Do’s and Dont’s for Critique Groups – pt 1


DO let the group know the level of critiquing you want. Is this a first draft and you just want to know if the idea is working? Have you been working on the manuscript for three years and you want all the warts cleaned up for submission? Is there a specific question you’d like the group to focus on?

DO give the intended age/audience for your piece if you know it. The critical ear will be able to respond as to whether or not you are meeting your goal.

DO ask someone else to read your manuscript aloud. You will be able to tell whether a piece holds up to a cold reading. It sounds different when it’s outside the author’s own head.

DON’T offer a disclaimer in advance of the critique. The work should stand on its own.

DO give a brief set-up if you bring a chapter other than the first.

DON’T defend your writing or criticize the critiquer. It’s best to listen objectively and make notes to consider for possible revision later.

DO ask questions at the end if you need clarification.

DO remember that your writing is your own and comments are only suggestions. Revise to satisfy yourself.

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