Zoto's critique, milk shakes and genre group. We will get together to critique works. We are going to look at doing genre critiques, i.e romance, poetry, children s and YA, sci-fi and fantasy, mystery and thrillers, etc. If enough people from each genre come (i.e. at least 2 people)
Standards for critiques:
The usual 10-pages max , double spaced using Times New Roman or Courier New size 12 font for ease of reading and copies for everyone, so please bring 10.
Here’s some DOs and DON’Ts for the critique group
* Ask the writer what type of crit she/he wants, be that just basic structure or grammar, or story flow, character interaction, or even just a more general ‘find all the faults you can’ crit.
*Critique the work in terms of its intended market. Don’t criticize her/his choice of genre or category.
* Praise what works as well as what doesn’t. Be specific.
* Bring copies, rather than just read out loud. It’s a lot easier to pinpoint why something is working if you see it on the page
* Share the time fairly. Ten page maximum so everyone can offer critiques and get critiqued.
* Use the ‘sandwich’ technique – open with a positive comment, give suggestions for improvement, then finish with encouraging words. Be honest, but be kind.
* Don’t argue with those offering advice and don’t defend your work. Sit silently during the critique. The critique is there for you to listen to and act on only if you want to. Remember, it’s just one person’s opinion. However, there is a general rule to follow when it comes to opinions: if only one person picks up on a problem, then you can ignore it if you don’t agree with it. If two people pick up on it, you need to look at it. If three or more people pick up on a problem, then you have a problem.
* Don’t present opinions in terms of ‘that’s wrong, this is right’. Offer alternatives, raise questions.
* Don’t lose patience with those who don’t seem to be ‘getting the message’. Every writer’s journey is different, every writer learns things at different paces, and some of us have thicker heads than others.