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 the browser
- Assignment spreadsheet (with Hangout link)
- The stories the member critiqued
- Copy the Hangout link
- Open another tab
- Paste the link into the address bar
- Hangouts should appear
- Click on JOIN session in progress
The Session Starts Online
At this point, as a member of the group, you should see the other participants across the bottom of the screen in alphabetic order with your image on the lower right. When people speak they appear enlarged in the main area of the screen.
The members usually chat until all the members have joined the session. The moderator follows the critique order as previously set up and asks the first critiquer to start. Usually everybody except the critiquer and the author involved MUTE their microphones (if needed, click on the screen to show the three controls).
The presenter’s voice can be heard no matter what tab members look at. Members usually cycle the view by selecting the browser tabs at the top:
Assignments <-> Story Document <-> Hangout
The moderator keeps track of the time for each critique and reminds the critiquer if they exceed the allotted time. Each critique proceeds in order until the end of the session.
End of Session
When all the critiques are complete the group disconnects by clicking the red phone icon. All the authors download the critique folders just presented. As they have time they use the information in the critiqued documents to revise their manuscripts. It’s a good practice not to wait too long before making revisions.
R. C. Beckett was given a collection of Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine as a teenager and read hundreds of the stories — he was hooked and started writing fiction in 2013. He loves to write hard science fiction, but can’t help adding a bit of humor. Publications: “Exit Mars” and “Exit Earth” (available on Amazon). “Exit Pluto”, the third in the Exit series, should be published in late 2020. He lives in Golden Colorado and is a member of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. Walking his dog is key to his writing since that’s when he imagines plots for his stories. He also volunteers as a webmaster for non-profit companies including SpecFicWriters.