Sunday, December 8, 2013

What makes a good critique group

As has been repeatedly expressed on a hundred blogs across the Internet. Every aspiring new writer needs a good critique group. I won’t go into why they need it. If you have to ask then you’ll never understand. Instead I want to talk about what makes a good critique group. I can speak to this because I happen to be in one of the best groups ever. What is more, we know how lucky we are. You know it is good when people come early and stay late.

The things that make a good group:

·        Diversity. The five of us cover every decade from the 20’s to the 60’s and both genders from different walks of life. It allows us to see our stories from a lot of different Points of View.

·        Nice People. The group is made up of people that want to see the others succeed. There is no jealousy. Instead we are truly pulling for each other. This make things flow so much more smoothly. You don’t have to worry if their comments are motivated by something other than the story itself.

·        Willing to Listen. Each of us listens to the other opinions. We might not always make the suggested changes but we listen and analyze the comments.

·        Active Learners. Each member is constantly striving to get better. Reading articles, sharing ideas. Bringing books on writing. Anything that will help us do better.

·        Willing to share. We share our experiences with Agents and Publishers giving us a peak into the business of writing.

·        Similar Interests. We have read most of the same books. This gives us a common reference point. Some of the younger members may not know a classic movie, the older ones don’t know who the latest hot recording artist is but when it comes to books we are on the same page.

·        Hard workers. Each week we establish writing goals for the next week. The act of verbalizing what we want to accomplish is a great motivator. We critique about fifteen thousand words each week. An average of 4K from each writer, one or two chapters. Each member is diligent in making sure the critique is good and thorough.

·        Focused Group. We laugh and have a good time but the most important thing is the critiques. We share and talk about what is going on in the rest of our life, but a gentle reminder and the group quickly gets back on task.

·        Appreciative People. Each of us know how good we have it. That groups this good don’t come around very often. We are careful to not mess it up.

Now that I have told you what makes a great Critique Group. I have absolutely no idea how you find one this good. That’s your problem not mine.


  1. This is awesome. I would add one more: A great critique group includes guys who don't quit the group after the ladies can't stop hash-tagging every.single.thing.they.say. #thanksforputtingupwithus

  2. Thanks Anya, I will never look at a Twitter tag the same. Everytime I see a cross hatch I think of crossed finger and You and Kristi. It brings a smile to my face everytime.