Tuesday, May 29, 2012

getting critique is tough

I had a frustrating critique group meeting last week. We had agreed that every critiquer could talk without interruption on their turn and the author would wait until the end to talk. Suffice to say, it was chaos: questions, interruptions, discussions, etc. And we ran over our allotted time frame. :( Recall my tips for critiquing: Critique 101.

I also got the impression that some of the authors did not totally grasp concepts such as point of view or genre. That's fine. We all have to start somewhere.

I was quite surprised when a couple of the group members quit after the meeting. It just goes to show different people perceive things differently. I thought we were a group of authors working together and trying hard to improve our craft. Clearly, some members did not have that same impression.

I am reminded of how difficult it can be to get critique, especially if you aren't experienced at it. I've been trying to write seriously for over a decade and have gotten a lot of critique in that time. It's still tough to hear your work, your baby, isn't working for readers. But, I've learned how to deal with it. Carefully consider what your critique partners have to say--they are trying to help you, after all. Accept some suggestions and reject some.
The bottom line is: you don't have to listen to everyone's advice. It's your work.
Good luck with your critiques!


  1. I think you can't force people into having the right attitude, they either have it or don't (although obviuosly they can acquire it over time). Most people, I think, have a moment when the penny drops and they calm down when they realise how useful a good crit can be, and how easily ignored a bad one can be.

    Moody Writing
    The Funnily Enough

  2. mooderino, I think you're right! A good crit can be gold and a bad crit is irrelevant. Thanks!