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This week Kelly and JJ discuss critique groups: how they found theirs (each other!), how to find one in general, whether or not you need critique groups, and how to give effective feedback.
Kelly pointed out that she and JJ met 10 years ago, and now they both feel super old. They met through a mutual friend when they were both living in New York.
- Browse all our posts on Critique Partners
- How to find critique groups
- Start your own or join an existing group
- Do research: online, literary center, library, organizations like SCBWI or RWA
- Critique groups are often about chemistry, and that you all understand each other’s work
- How to critique work and offer feedback
- Generally, line edits are not useful feedback at the drafting stage
- Character development, plot obstacles, etc. are more helpful than pointing out misplaced commas
- Once a month is probably a better timeframe to meet than weekly, in terms of how much time you have to produce work and to review others
- Asking questions is good method of critiquing, as it allows the author to remain in control of their own work
- Try and find a group of people who are “at the same level” or slightly “better” than you so you can learn from them and learn together. Being the “best” in a group means you have nothing to learn and you’re just teaching. You want to challenge and inspire each other.
- Before going into a critique meeting, maybe come up with a list of concerns that you would like your partners to focus on: voice, characterization, dialogue, etc.
- Stephanie and Stacey will be hosting a critique partner connection here at PubCrawl later this month, so stay tuned!
What We’re Reading
- The Assassin’s Masque by Sarah Zettel
- The Scorpion Rules and Plain Kate by Erin Bow
- Soundless by Richelle Mead
- Trickster’s Choice by Tamora Pierce
- Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
- The Magicians, The Magician’s Land, and The Magician King by Lev Grossman
What We’re Working On
- Kelly is working on her YA and rereading old drafts
- JJ is struggling to get the culture of East Asia and its language into an English mode
Off Menu Recommendations
- Kelly is watching The Magicians TV show
- JJ is still making her way through Life is Strange
- Minorities in Publishing podcast
- 2015 Diversity Survey of Publishing by Lee & Low
- Lore podcast
That’s all for this week! Next week we will be talking about ROMANCE. Be prepared for a long one, folks, as both Kelly and JJ have FEELINGS.