Writers Groups – Critiquing Methods – Forced Positives/False Positives

Does it count if I say “I love the font you used!”?

This is the fourth installment of a thread covering critiquing methods I’ve encountered in my writing career. This post discusses a critiquing method wherein participants have to say something nice about a submission before they can critique it.

Review
Finding a critique group that’s good for you is based on one question:

What is your goal/reason for being in a critique group?

 
My goal is simple and direct; improve my storytelling and storycrafting/increase my skill levels/learn my craft.

You have to say something nice
These critique groups vary from “You have to say something nice first” to “You can only say nice things”. This format falls under a larger format I call “Ruled to Death”. The You have to say something nice format occurs so often I’m giving it its own post.

First thing; if a critique group has this rule in place, it’s probably a reaction to harsh and perhaps abusive activity. Get out while you can!
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Writers Groups – Critiquing Methods – The Month Long Read

You’ve had it a month and all you can offer is “You use the word ‘blue’ a lot”?

This is the third installment of a thread covering critiquing methods I’ve encountered in my writing career. This post discusses a critiquing method wherein participants receive copies of work ahead of time (usually a month), read it, comment in writing, then meet to share their thoughts and suggestions once per month at which time they also provide the author with their written comments.

Review
Finding a critique group that’s good for you is based on one question:

What is your goal/reason for being in a critique group?

 
My goal is simple and direct; improve my storytelling and storycrafting/increase my skill levels/learn my craft.

Participants have a month to read and comment on a manuscript. No reading during the group (except for example purposes)
Most of my experience comes from groups like this. The majority of the sessions are devoted to critiquing. Socializing occurs after the critiquing session (although people often bring shareable munchies because the sessions are held in private homes or reserved rooms in libraries, et cetera).

The good is that people have had a month to read, comment, review their comments, come up with solutions to what they consider a problem, …, the negative is that people will get used to your style, genre, et cetera (something I mentioned in Writers Groups – Critiquing Methods – Read ’em and Weep).

Let me share an anecdote to demonstrate this.
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Writers Groups – Critiquing Methods – Read ’em and Weep

You want readers familiar with your work, you don’t want critiquers familiar with your work

I previously discussed The 20 Page Whack critiquing method. This time I’ll focus on a critiquing method wherein one person reads a piece and then others, who haven’t read it previously nor read along as it’s being read, critique it.

Review
Finding a critique group that’s good for you is based on one question:

What is your goal/reason for being in a critique’ group?

 
I answered this question as it pertains to myself in Writers’ Groups – Introduction and The 20 Page Whack; improve my storytelling and storycrafting/increase my skill levels/learn my craft.

As mentioned previously, I’m discussing critiquing groups that meet monthly and of course, I’m discussing methodologies I’ve experienced.

Someone reads a piece and people critique it after it’s read. Nobody sees the material before it’s read.
Strong suggestion up front; Attend a few of these meetings before you read your work to them.
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Writers Groups – Critiquing Methods – The 20 Page Whack

A formidable method that’s off-putting at first (to me, anyway)

Long ago and far away I mentioned writing something about my experiences in different writers’ groups.

Okay, I mentioned it as the last line in Writers’ Groups – Critiques. I’ve been a little busy and I’m getting back to it now.

Finding a critique group (different from writers’ group in my mind. A writers’ group has a purely social agenda. A critique group has a work agenda) that’s good for you is based on one question:

What is your goal/reason for being in a critique group?

 
Continue reading “Writers Groups – Critiquing Methods – The 20 Page Whack”

Butchers, Bakers and Candlestick Makers

Oh, it’s cruel to be kind

Tough lessons last week.

Long ago (in internet time) I had my own company. It did well enough to keep us going for 20+ years. One of the things I learned during that time was how amazingly easy it was to piss people off.

For the most incredible, unbelievable reasons.
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