Let’s say you aren’t able to find a critique group that works for you. Why not start your own? That’s what I did and I’m so glad. I have a wonderful set of gals in my group.
But how do you go about starting your own group? Advertise. Put up an announcement where other writers will see it. For me, my blog was my best bet, so I had a contest to find potential critiquers. The writers sent me a sample of their writing and some answered a questionnaire so I could get a sense of where they were on their journey. Once I had my circle of friends, we came up with a name for our clan, and I opened a Yahoo group.
I’ve been a part of several critique groups. All but one used Yahoo groups. The Yahoo critique groups had everyone post their chapter up for critique through the message feature and the completed crit was posted the same way. Depending on how many people were involved, I soon discovered submissions were lost in the shuffle as normal conversation also dominated the loop. I didn’t want this to happen to my group because everyone deserves a critique for their submission.
To avoid this potential problem, I organized a special spot for our critiques. In the folder section, I created two files for each member of the group: a To Do file and a Done file. When Member A had a chapter to be critiqued, she placed it in her To Do file. Once another member, say Member B, critiqued that chapter, she posted it in Member A’s Done file. This system has worked really well for us.
Tomorrow, we’ll talk about what to look for when critiquing a writer’s work.
What do you find works or doesn’t work in your group or groups you’ve been involved in over the years?