Monday, September 7, 2015

Critiquing the Critique Group

At some point in your writing career you'll probably end up in a critique group.  Whether the group meets at the local coffee shop where everyone knows each other on sight or is hosted on an online forum where you only know the others by their avatars they all have a similar goal: to help improve each others work.

Unfortunately, not all critique groups are created equally, and it's not always easy for a new writer approaching their first critique group to separate the helpful from the harmful.

A good place to start is to read Anne R Allen's Beware Groupthink: 10 Red Flags to Watch For When Choosing a Critique Group. I've listed the bullet items here.

10 Things that Can make a Critique Group go Sour
  1. Dogmatic PC/Religious Policepersons.
  2. Misinformed and outdated "writing rules"
  3. Unenforced Rules (or None) 
  4. No moderator (or a bad one.)
  5. The grammar militia
  6. Power-trippers and divas
  7. Praiseaholics.
  8. Co-Authors.
  9. Know-it-Alls (Who Don't)
  10. The Empathy-Challenged