Elements of a Good Critique

Like a pilot preparing for takeoff, the person conducting a critique reads the submitted material and “runs a checklist.” Except for grammar, spelling and word choice, the critiquer should not make definitive recommendations to avoid polluting the original writer’s creativity. The rewrite is always up to the author. There are a number of different items in which a writer may request a critique, a few listed below: TITLE – descriptive, …

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Reasons to Join a Critique Group

As writers, our desire to tell stories keeps us going, full steam ahead. But every time we’re tap tapping away at the keyboard, the number one question in our minds is, will anyone like my book? By 2017, over 1 million books had been self-published. If the story you’re writing doesn’t stand out, it will sit on that online bookstore shelf, unnoticed and lost in the mix. So if you’re …

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Sharing Writer Resources with your Online Critique Group

Group vs. Public Sharing Critique groups generally consist of writers with like interests. Positive friendships and bonds form between members. We help each other learn through information sharing. There are three basic levels of privacy for a critique group: Personal info — family, finances, politics and religion. These are best kept at home and not discussed or recorded online. Group info — group projects, member full names, addresses, phone numbers, …

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Moderating an Online Critique Session

Whether a critique group meets in-person or online, each session needs a moderator. The moderator sets the order of critiques, starts the video session, directs the meeting flow, and keeps the peace from start to finish. Schedule and Group Size Three hours is the ideal timeframe to conduct a session. If a meeting lasts longer than three hours, attendees’ attention will diminish. This window also works well across the four …

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The Online Session for Critique Groups

What Happens Prior to Session Several days prior to the online meeting All stories are loaded in a dated folder Critique assignments loaded to same folder Link to Hangout copied to assignment document Members have finished critiques Just before start time all members Open Chrome Browser Open Google Drive SHARED FOLDERS Find the folder for the day’s session Open the following so they are in tabs at the top of …

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Finding Critique Assignments and Completing Critiques Online

For an online critique group that submits critique pages ahead of time, members need adequate time to complete their critiques before the critique session. Our group assigns pages to other writers to critique by 2:00 PM on Sunday for a online video session Tuesday evening from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM. Our group leader emails an assignment notification to those attending. She also posts a link to the Google Spreadsheet …

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Sharing Critique Pages And Preparing For Online Critique Sessions

Leaders of an online critique group are responsible for setting up new members and preparing everyone for weekly critique sessions. Having one or two people as the go-to is helpful in keeping each meeting running in an organized manner. My previous post discussed How To Set Up File Sharing For An Online Critique Group, so your file structure is in place and ready for writers to upload the pages they …

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How To Set Up File Sharing For An Online Critique Group

One of the most important parts of online critique is setting up and maintaining the group’s file sharing service. For the purpose of this post, we will not proclaim to be experts in file sharing, nor will we bore you with all the technical details. We will explain what we use and how we use our shared drive. If you are interested in learning more about the services available, one …

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Hardware Requirements for Online Critique Groups

Minimum equipment needed: Online critiquing is done over the Internet. Consequently, an Internet connection is required. The least expensive connection is a DSL (digital subscriber line) that is part of the wired telephone network (“land-line”). Video conferences with multiple people require a higher speed than commonly purchased. Try to obtain a minimum of 2Mb/s UPLOAD speed because slower speeds will cause jerky images and jumbled sounds. For best results connect …

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Set Up an Online Critique Group

Due to the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic, in-person critique groups are canceling their face-to-face meetings. Our online critique group is here to help yours go online. We hope our knowledge will encourage other groups to continue to meet. Once you go video, you might not go back! Our Online Experience The Speculative Fiction Critique Group has been in existence for four years years, although most of us have been participating in …

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