Thursday, January 25, 2007

Theme: Critique - The Where

As I see it, there are two ways two work with a critique group - online or in real life. (Ain't I a regular rocket scientist?)


The easiest way to do this is through a yahoo email loop. This allows you to post chapters via the files section, communicate easily with the other members, even get opinions on author photos or book covers using the photos section.

Using the yahoo groups, your online crit group can be as small or as large as you like.

Another online method is through email. I know of one group that forwards chapters from member to member, each adding their comments as they get it until it finally returns to the originator with everyone's comments.

Real Life:

There are a few ways to do a real life crit group as well. The first way is something we do at my RWA chapter. Once a month at our meeting, two members are selected to participate in the critique. These members bring enough copies of their 15 pages for everyone at the meeting, then with everyone following along, they read their work outloud. The other members may jot notes on the provided pages during this time. When the reading is over, everyone gets a chance to discuss the work - except the author. You only get to listen - no defending your work! Then the pages are gathered up with everyone's comments and returned to the author.

The second way is a weekly meeting where pages are exchanged, critqued during the week, then returned at the next meeting. I participate in a group like this as well and it's been a great source of beta readers for me.

So...what kind of critique group are you in?


  1. Anonymous9:31 AM

    Just out of curiosity, how big is your RWA chapter? I can't imagine trying to get all of us together to critique a work in under one hour.

  2. My chapter is about 50 - 60 strong. Usually only 20 or so show up for the meeting.

    Two different members participate each month. We allot an hour - half hour for each. It works out great and has really become a wonderful part of the meeting each month.

  3. Just wanted to add - the critique is limited to 15 pages. It doesn't really take much time at all to read outloud. Most of that person's half hour is spent getting feedback.

  4. Anonymous8:00 PM

    That's neat about your chapter critique group.

    I enjoy the best of both critique worlds - I'm in a small, online group and I'm part of a real life group. It's nice because I can send a draft to one group, edit based on their comments, then show the new draft to my other group.

  5. Anonymous12:31 AM

    I used to be in a live one, but being a mother cut back my social time. Now I'm online, working with authors I met then decided to work with. I think I have a great fit. We email and get to it when we can. I'm really happy working this way.

    Oh and we also crit on yahoo messenger, just post little excerpts as we go.

  6. oh that's very cool. How wonderful to have that kind of feedback on a regular basis.

  7. Anonymous11:22 PM

    Since I couldn't get a live group, I went online and can't complain. :) I chose to join a small one, only 6 of us, which was pretty cool.