Critique Group Etiquette

Browse here ... a few of our most recommended posts. A place to start...
User avatar
PaulE
Site Admin
Posts: 1176
Joined: Fri, 10 Jun 2016 2:27 pm
Location: Sydney
Contact:

Critique Group Etiquette

Postby PaulE » Fri, 13 Apr 2018 4:06 pm

Largely applicable to critiques on the forum as well.

9 Embarrassing Mistakes to Avoid

http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blo ... s-to-avoid
"If nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do." - Angel

User avatar
AJ Konlucko
Tremendously Important Member
Posts: 4224
Joined: Tue, 15 Nov 2011 10:35 am
Location: Tasmania

Re: Critique Group Etiguette

Postby AJ Konlucko » Fri, 13 Apr 2018 5:25 pm

Good share.

User avatar
Rath Darkblade
Moderator
Posts: 2399
Joined: Sun, 10 Jun 2012 4:39 pm
Location: Melbourne, VIC

Re: Critique Group Etiquette

Postby Rath Darkblade » Fri, 13 Apr 2018 10:45 pm

There is one more piece of etiquette I'd like to mention - one which is rare in real life, but incredibly common on the so-called "interwebz". It has to do with this:

...no writer improves if all anyone says about their work is, “I liked it.”


Yes, being told that "you liked it" is not very helpful. But on the flip side, some people online seem to forget that etiquette exists at all, and reply in the strain of "It sucked! Why do you even try?! I rule, nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah" etc. (I've purposely cleaned up the language a little).

As long as I've been a member here at the AWF, this sort of reply has never happened - but I'm sure I don't need to say why doing it is a bad idea. :P
There is nothing wrong with nepotism, so long as you keep it all in the family. (Winston Churchill)

User avatar
AJ Konlucko
Tremendously Important Member
Posts: 4224
Joined: Tue, 15 Nov 2011 10:35 am
Location: Tasmania

Re: Critique Group Etiquette

Postby AJ Konlucko » Fri, 13 Apr 2018 11:18 pm

Good point Rath. Getting good feedback is vital to developing as a writer.

User avatar
CageSage
Tremendously Important Member
Posts: 1093
Joined: Tue, 12 Dec 2017 12:49 pm
Location: Adelaide

Re: Critique Group Etiquette

Postby CageSage » Sat, 14 Apr 2018 12:11 pm

There's also another thing specifically about the level of skills in the critique group. Each group is unique. A new writer has a lot to learn, but they also offer a fresh perspective, the willingness to listen, to question. The writer with more craft skills needs to bring along the newer writers for a couple of reasons: to get the best out of the new writer in terms of critique, and also to help the new writer become more skilled.
Each group is going to be different, but the element of courtesy and willingness to listen and learn is the aim. The benefits of a critique group are only benefits if every member comes away better, stronger, faster (cue the music).
Most of what is written about critique groups seems to make an assumption that only experienced and skilled writers should 'do' critiques (whether as part of a group or not). Q: How does a beginner writer become skilled/experienced unless there's someone (who may know more, or at least enough to enable further learning) willing to give feedback? When I first started, I needed someone to give me line and scene edits (still do, really), and if I'm asked to do a critique on a piece of work, I'll make a note of the things I see, sometimes suggestions, and only if I have the whole mss or plan will I offer critique on the overall structure or development of the story (which usually doesn't happen, unless the person is a professional editor).
I've seen groups where all the members were beginners, with some who wanted to be serious, and some who only wanted to be doing what writers do. These groups usually splinter or fail unless there are guidelines about what's going to happen, what the expectations are. Groups need definition of their purpose, not scaling/classing by what their members already know.
It's fine if there's a writer looking for a group who doesn't want to publish - some people only want to have fun with their writing. This is fine, if they find the right group to suit their needs.
I'm a serious writer, and I want a group with members who want what I want - good, solid feedback that will strengthen skills, build confidence, and above all, honesty. I want writers who are both better than me, and whom I can help learn from what I've learned (I'm never going to stop learning). Writing isn't only about writing, it's also about how a reader reacts to the written words. Which means, to me, that critique groups need to set their own ground rules for purpose and expectations, and also etiquette.
My opinion only, but if I hadn't had the initial 'beginners' group of critiquers, I'd still be pulling my hair out (if I had any left). ;)

User avatar
Rkcapps
Site Admin
Posts: 3668
Joined: Wed, 20 Jul 2016 1:25 pm
Location: Sydney
Contact:

Re: Critique Group Etiquette

Postby Rkcapps » Sat, 14 Apr 2018 2:06 pm

Yes, I agree Rath, it helps if a critiquer can point out what's working. You need to know the good and bad to know what bits to improve upon and which bit to cut.


Return to “New to AWF?”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest