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Writer's Critique Group!!

  • Aug 20, 2014 · 6:45 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

First, IF you are RSVPing, and you have previously attended, please commit to reading the stories IN ADVANCE with a written critique or story notes.

This means, in advance, read and critique the stories. If you have any questions about this please feel free to contact me, but I think this is self-explanatory. If you cannot read the stories in advance, please consider to wait to RSVP to a meetup when you have time to do this work in advance.

If someone has already covered what you're going to say, or you've lost your notes for the meetup, simply say "Pass" and we move on to the next critique. Please do not try to critique a story you have not read in advance. This is unfair to the other writers and to yourself.

How do I find the stories? (FAQ)

Uploaded stories are available under the "More" link above in the dashboard, and then from there, scroll down to see "Files".

Whatever we don't finish in one meeting will carry over to the next critique meetup and priority will be given to the writers who haven't had a critique the month before. In other words, the "new" writers will get critiqued first, and then as time permits we will workshop the stories by writers who were previously critiqued. (When submitting a story or novel chapter please try to make 4K-5K words the upper range, and of course your story can be much shorter than this. Flash fiction is also encouraged.)

IF submitting PLEASE try to upload stories within the next 2 weeks so group members will have plenty of time to read them

(In theory, if you feel so compelled, you could submit longer than 5,000 words, but then members are only expected to read and print off the first 5,000 words and finish the entire work ONLY if they are so inclined. Please only do this if your story is close to 5,000 words, say 6K or 7K, otherwise try to divide it up into two separate parts) Shorter pieces are also welcome and it would be nice to sometimes review flash fiction.

We'll be using is the Milford method to critique stories.  Essentially we go around in a round robin, and everyone gives 2-3 minutes of feedback on the story being critiqued.  The writer being critiqued is QUIET until the end, and then responds, explains, or (hopefully!) thanks the critique group for their thoughts and opinions. ONCE the critique ends and the writer replies, hard copies with comments are distributed back to the writer all at the same time.

So essentially if we have 4 stories we'll be giving 30 minutes to each story and we move onto the next story.  If we get 5 stories, then we could go a bit longer and squeeze in a fifth, or table it for the next time. Hence, try to keep your comments to 2-3 minutes when giving feedback, unless we have fewer members than usual on a given night. So I hope 2-3 minutes doesn't sound Draconian, but at 10 writers, 3 minutes apiece and we're at 27 minutes before the writer even comments, and this assumes no interruptions/delays, like coffee refills, conversational banter and finding a parking spot.

The meetup is scheduled for 6:45 PM, but try to arrive a little bit earlier if possible so we can get settled first and order food/drink.

When you come to the meetup, please print out the submitted stories, add any critique notes on the copy, and then share with the writer AFTER everyone has given their critique and the writer has responded.  Here is a primer on Milford if you're unfamiliar with the method:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milford_Writer...

When giving your critique of the writer's work, try NOT ask the writer direct questions that will launch the writer into a monologue about their story.  You can pose questions that they can answer once it's their turn to respond. If you absolutely must ask the writer something, try to phrase it as a yes/no question that they could in theory answer quickly, so as not to interrupt your own critique, OR wait until the writer speaks at the very end and then ask your questions. Thanks!

Meeting dues are $3 to help support Meetup costs that I pay in advance, payable via Paypal or in person at the meeting in cash.

Membership fee is $5 annually. You can attend once without paying the $5 membership fee to see if you like the group and then when you return for the second meeting the $5 is due for the calendar year.

Right now I'm running a SPECIAL since it's the beginning of a new year. If you pay $30 for the year, then you're set for the year and your dues and membership fee are covered until 2015, and save roughly $11 for the year if you attended every meeting. If you already attended our January meeting, then I am offering this to you for $27 if you've already paid for the January meeting. Contact me, and I will give you details about how to pay via Paypal, or cash in person.

Thanks for being a member, and I hope to meet MORE writers at the next meetup!

And if you haven't submitted a piece for critique yet, now is the time!

Join or login to comment.

  • Michael G.

    After reviewing and considering everyone's critiques, I did some rework to my prologue and chapter 1. I just uploaded the reworked version (noted in the file name) in place of the original version. There is no obligation to reread and comment, of course, but figured I'd post it in case any of you are interested. The biggest change is the end scene in the prologue but there are several adjustments throughout. Thanks to all of your for your help!!! Chapter 2 coming up for September's meet. :)

    1 · August 25, 2014

    • Michael G.

      If you do want to comment on the rework, by the way, you can email me at gemmatim at yahoo.com. Again, no obligation or expectation whatsoever. Thanks.

      1 · August 25, 2014

    • Michael G.

      So I JUST realized that the file I had uploaded for this only had my reworked Prologue and not the reworked Chapter 1 along with it. Fixed now and uploaded. Again, no obligation but any comments on the rework are appreciated. You can email me as above. Thanks to those who took time to check out the reworked prologue already.

      September 16, 2014

  • Michael

    I'm fine with you putting mine in a word doc, using the way you did it below. Thanks for volunteering to do this Michael!

    August 26, 2014

    • Michael G.

      Check your email bud, just sent you a couple of things.

      1 · August 26, 2014

    • Michael

      Thanks for putting the doc together. And I get these messages through email so if I'm not seeing my email, I'm not seeing this either!

      August 27, 2014

  • Michael

    OR-- some brave soul can help, compile the email list for me at the next meeting and then post it at the Word doc. if you view this as an important tool.

    If you want to share your email, list it, if not, then you don't have to share your address and it isn't a big deal.

    Also, for those who want to share information. Most writers should have a business card with them. It's a fairly inexpensive investment, and it allows you to market yourself and your work!

    It's also fairly easy to hand someone or request someone's business card at any of our meetups, either before or after the meetup (but just not during the critiques--I would try to wait for other opportune times to share this info.)

    I think my main point in this is that I take privacy concerns seriously, and although posting group email addresses online doesn't seem like a big deal, sometimes those you don't want to have it, can latch onto it and I don't want to facilitate this process.

    Cheers,

    Michael

    August 25, 2014

    • Michael G.

      Mike, great posts. I updated my email post as suggested, so it doesn't get grabbed by any bots. Thanks for the tip. Also, I have everyone's email that currently attends the group, so I'm happy to put it together for you in a word doc but only if everyone agrees to it first, of course.

      1 · August 25, 2014

    • Laurie W.

      I would want them available only to active group members (that come to the meetings)

      1 · August 26, 2014

  • Michael

    Also, at the last meetup, I referenced an article on OS Card, but I gave you the wrong title. It's actually called: "Creating the Innocent Killer: Ender's Game, Intention, and Morality"

    and the link to the article is here for those interested parties.

    http://www4.ncsu.edu/~tenshi/Killer_000.htm

    1 · August 25, 2014

    • Laurie W.

      Interesting- will check it out : )

      August 26, 2014

  • Michael

    I just wanted to point out, that I think what Mike did is probably a best practice if you want to share email. I feel funny posting other member's personal email addresses publicly like this (privacy), but feel free to share them this way, or directly with one another through the email system if you want to send entire manuscripts. It's simple to do!

    The reason I'm hesitant to publicly post members email addresses, is that there are webcrawlers that harvest email addresses that then may later spam you, or try to hack your account.

    The only thing I'd probably do different than what Michael did below, is list his address as
    gemmatim at yahoo dawt com

    or something like that so it isn't picked up as easily.

    Also, if there's need for it, someone remind me next meeting, and I can pass around a list, and IF you'd like you can put your email address on the list. I can then compile this list and upload it as a word doc if you want to share your addresses this way.

    Thanks!

    Michael

    1 · August 25, 2014

  • Judy C.

    We met in the smaller room this time, and it worked well. We could hear each other without having to strain or shout. As always, the comments were helpful, intelligent, and insightful. Fewer stories to review this time meant we ended before ten. It was noted that some of us have grown as writers as a result of being part of this group - how wonderful! That's one of the main reasons I joined. ')

    3 · August 21, 2014

  • Laurie W.

    Good stuff, as usual. Continues to be a worthwhile and enjoyable experience : )

    1 · August 21, 2014

  • Michael G.

    Superb meeting. Missed a few friendly faces but a great session as always. Thanks everyone!

    1 · August 20, 2014

  • Laurie W.

    So sad! You had a really good chapter, too... all those cudos you'll be missing : )

    1 · August 19, 2014

    • Vanessa

      I appreciate that!! :-)

      August 20, 2014

  • Vanessa

    Hey guys, I'm going to have to bail tomorrow too. I will email everybody their edits, if that's cool. Thanks.

    August 19, 2014

    • Michael G.

      Awwww. :-(

      August 19, 2014

    • Michael G.

      I'll email you yours too. See you next month. :-)

      August 19, 2014

  • John N.

    Sorry, but I don't think I can make this meet after all. I'll try for the next one.

    August 15, 2014

    • Michael G.

      Sorry to hear it John. Hopefully catch you next month.

      2 · August 15, 2014

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