16. Critique Groups
This week Kelly and JJ discuss critique groups: how they found theirs (each other!), how to find one in general, whether or not you need critique groups, and how to give effective feedback.
Kelly pointed out that she and JJ met 10 years ago, and now they both feel super old. They met through a mutual friend when they were both living in New York.
Browse all our posts on Critique Partners
How to find critique groups
Start your own or join an existing group
Do research: online, literary center, library, organizations like SCBWI or RWA
Critique groups are often about chemistry, and that you all understand each other's work
How to critique work and offer feedback
Generally, line edits are not useful feedback at the drafting stage
Character development, plot obstacles, etc. are more helpful than pointing out misplaced commas
Once a month is probably a better timeframe to meet than weekly, in terms of how much time you have to produce work and to review others
Asking questions is good method of critiquing, as it allows the author to remain in control of their own work
Try and find a group of people who are "at the same level" or slightly "better" than you so you can learn from them and learn together. Being the "best" in a group means you have nothing to learn and you're just teaching. You want to challenge and inspire each other.
Before going into a critique meeting, maybe come up with a list of concerns that you would like your partners to focus on: voice, characterization, dialogue, etc.
Stephanie and Stacey will be hosting a critique partner connection here at PubCrawl later this month, so stay tuned!
What We're Reading
The Assassin's Masque by Sarah Zettel
The Scorpion Rules and Plain Kate by Erin Bow
Soundless by Richelle Mead
Trickster's Choice by Tamora Pierce
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
The Magicians, The Magician's Land, and The Magician King by Lev Grossman
What We're Working On
Kelly is working on her YA and rereading old drafts
JJ is struggling to get the culture of East Asia and its language into an English mode
Off Menu Recommendations
Kelly is watching The Magicians TV show
JJ is still making her way through Life is Strange
Minorities in Publishing podcast
That's all for this week! Next week we will be talking about ROMANCE. Be prepared for a long one, folks, as both Kelly and JJ have FEELINGS.