Critical Ink Message Board › Critiques
At a critique session (which 99% of Critical Ink is), there needs to be a discussion of the passage being read. It's great to say, I love your story, your dialog, your characters, your setting, whatever, we also need to know what is WRONG. Obviously none of us is perfect. Like a few meetings ago, I was informed that the passage I read had an anticlimactic ending to a particular scene. I hadn't noticed it before. I took it home, re-wrote it, and I know it is so much better now. That is what these critique sessions are all about.
So, I think that from now on, we need to print out what we are intending to read, so those of us who are "listening" can follow along. It might be easier for us to "catch" something that is wrong or just a little off if we can see it as well as hear it. Plus, we'll be able to notice punctuation errors, capitalization errors, typos, and other things that we'd not be privy to just by hearing it. And we make notes on the copies as we read along, so the readers have copies of what was said and where improvement is needed.
I also think that we should have someone else in the group read our work once in a while. While I know my characters, and their voices, someone new to the book won't. It helps us to hear how other people might interpret our story, our words.
Critical Ink is about improving our writing, and ourselves as writers. If everything we read is great, we become complacent and don't strive for improvement. If we don't strive for improvement, we probably won't get published, or sell any books.
Our group is a group of great storytellers. Let's make us even better.