On Thursday September 18, members of Tooele Writers gathered in the Tooele library to discuss critique groups. Laura Bastian, president of the writer’s group, gave the presentation.
Information included a list of critique-group how-tos from magicalworlds.net. The full list can be found online here, but some of the ideas were to establish the type of writing the critique group would accept, including the necessary formatting. Avoiding cliquishness, giving the types of critiques you would like to receive and focusing on the story elements (dialogue, plot holes, character development, etc.) are also important.
Some critique groups use a timer to keep discussions manageable and fair.
One of the most important things to remember when joining a critique group is to ask the group to answer questions about the things you’re looking for.
Laura also showed the group how to use some items of the review section in Microsoft Word. Besides simple ‘track changes,’ authors can merge the comments they get back from beta readers into one document and use the ‘accept’ and ‘reject’ features to sift through the comments they want to keep or delete.