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Thread: Critique Group

  1. #1
    Number One
    Guest

    Critique Group

    Anyone got any tips/advice on starting and maintaining a critique group?

    I've managed to have my ms. requested and read by almost a dozen agents, and all I get back, feedback-wise, is that "the voice doesn't resonate" with them, or they don't "love the writing." I have a few readers I trust who've read it (including a librarian who sits on a lit award committee) who are just as puzzled as I am by this, so I'm trying to cast my feedback net wider.

    I'm in St. Louis, if anyone *here* is interested in attempting this with me . . .

    Thanks!



  2. #2
    Keith Bouchard
    Guest

    Re: Critique Group

    Critiquecircle.com is a really good resource.

  3. #3
    John Chritton
    Guest

    Re: Critique Group

    I'm not in St. Louis, but I'm always fine with editing and critiquing if you want some help. Helps me get a fresh perspective and improve my own writing while helping someone else out

    One thing to keep in mind, from what I've experienced, is to have a wide range of people in your group. The problem that the agent has may be just a personal preference, but the key is to appeal to the widest range possible. If your readers all come from varying backgrounds and tastes, they'll more effectively represent the eventual audience you'll have.

  4. #4
    Jeanne Gassman
    Guest

    Re: Critique Group

    Number,

    I'm working to meet a deadline at the moment, but if you want to click on my handle and fire me an email, I have a column I wrote about this very topic. My only request is that you don't distribute the column elsewhere. It's been published, but I still have the reprint rights and will probably sell it again.

    Jeanne

  5. #5
    Rogue Mutt
    Guest

    Re: Critique Group

    My advice about starting a critique group is not to start. Like any group or club or anything where you get people together it can end up being a real pain in the arse to control the bickering and what have you.

  6. #6
    Aaron Brown
    Guest

    Re: Critique Group

    Heya Number One,

    I'm in St. Louis. Ever checked out www.stlwritersguild.org?

    I was thinking of becoming a member, myself.

    -Aaron

  7. #7
    Number One
    Guest

    Re: Critique Group

    Thanks, everyone. I’ll check on some of the resources that were recommended.

    Jeanne, John: I should have responses in your email boxes. John, I *thought* I had a pretty wide group or readers -- a librarian, an advertising illustrator, a one-time comic book writer, a counselor, a Greek Orthodox minister, and a subway ticket booth attendant (sounds like the start of a lame joke, I know). Seemed like a good cross-section, and they’ve never held back -- “I don’t get this whole section” and “this version of the opening is too fast and doesn’t work at all” were two comments I got from them on earlier cuts, so I thought the feedback was OK.

    Rogue: Not quite what I was looking for, but a good point that sounds like it comes from experience.

    Aaron: I’ve considered it myself . . . it’s just an expense thing right now.

    I appreciate the help!

  8. #8
    Keith .
    Guest

    Re: Critique Group

    #1, I've had trouble finding a local group, too. They're all full with waiting lists. Online you could be taking advice from 3rd graders! I'd be interested if you find a reliable one.
    km

  9. #9
    Mo S
    Guest

    Re: Critique Group

    Keith-

    Granted, online any advice you might get could be from a third grader, but if they've got decent advice, who are we to disregard them?

    I for one think a critique group is a pretty good idea.

  10. #10
    Keith .
    Guest

    Re: Critique Group

    A critique group is a great idea ...if you're in the right group. Experience mixed with newbie energy makes a great group-if they can write. Online is like a box of chocolates. You never know ...well, you remember. I've never found one willing to exchange work beforehand to see if it's a good match. They want to send you something to crit. I tried twice and the chapter sent to me was sh!t. I didn't mind giving it a once-over, but sure as hell didn't want this person's advice.
    km

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