Author Topic: critique group woes  (Read 19168 times)

Offline tangelb

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critique group woes
« on: May 07, 2013, 12:49:12 PM »
I joined a critique group of other first time PB writers through SCBWI. For the most part, it's been helpful. I've gotten some useful feedback and we share resources.

The disappointing part is that no one has published a children's book before and out of seven people, I ended up being the one with the most to offer critique wise. I'm the member everyone wants to read their revisions. I don't usually mind helping out because I do learn from reading others' work, but two of the writers don't seem to be taking my advice at all. Then they want to share revisions that haven't fixed the huge problems I've pointed out.

I was hoping to get more out of this group and sometimes I feel like maybe I should look for a different group.

Any advice?

Offline Tabris

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Re: critique group woes
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2013, 01:00:32 PM »
Look for a different group. It's great to help others, but you need someone either at or above your own level.

Offline bodwen

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Re: critique group woes
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2013, 01:57:35 PM »
True.  You need at least one person in the group who is a better writer than you, is more experienced than you, or has more industry connections than you, otherwise you won't be challenged and grow as a writer.

Offline Sarah Ahiers (Falen)

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Re: critique group woes
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2013, 02:19:19 PM »
I ended up being the one with the most to offer critique wise. I'm the member everyone wants to read their revisions. I don't usually mind helping out because I do learn from reading others' work,

I have this problem too. My advice is to get out before you're in it too long and don't feel you CAN leave, you know? Well, i'm minnesotan. It's hard for me to, like, maybe disappoint someone, so maybe that's only a problem i face
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Offline tangelb

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Re: critique group woes
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2013, 04:07:17 PM »
Thank you ladies! You confirmed what I was feeling. This group is over email and I still feel bad about bailing. I really do need a group that will help me grow.

Falen, I already feel guilty about leaving! Awkward :huh:

Offline jmundy-castle

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Re: critique group woes
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2013, 04:44:52 PM »
I also agree with all of this. I'm kinda in the same boat.  I also hate leaving stuff   :sad:

Offline tangelb

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Re: critique group woes
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2013, 07:28:43 PM »
Good luck finding a new group jmundy-castle. I wish we were in the same genre!

Offline Sarah Ahiers (Falen)

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Re: critique group woes
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2013, 07:29:34 AM »

And I've always wondered why a crit partner can't be a crit group? That way you could get more eyes on your work and if someone felt the need to drop out, it wouldn't create such a huge hole.


Oh it definitely can! It just depends on if you have people willing and able to work together.
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Offline jmundy-castle

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Re: critique group woes
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2013, 08:52:17 AM »
I'm pulling out my newb lack - why must crit partners be in the same genre?

Just curious.

Also, I think I'm unclear on what my genres ARE, usually. My protagonists tend to be in their teens, but the themes are often more adult. Someone suggested NA to me, but all that I've found tends to focus on romance, which is definitely not a strong point in my work.

This is OFF topic, I know, but ya'll started me wondering. 

Oh, and I am a fan of all of you too!

Offline bodwen

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Re: critique group woes
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2013, 09:30:04 AM »
Critique partners should be of the same genre because each genre has conventions that might not appeal to writers of another genre.  Take horror and romance for example.  People who write romance and who are used to having happy endings would not like it when the monster everyone thought was vanquished makes another appearance at the end, while the horror writer might find it unconvincing that a dude would whip up a four course meal complete with fancy pastry for the woman he's courting and then not want sex.

Or women's lit and historical.  Modern reader look at arranged marriages in novels and respond with "Why would a sixteen year old girl agree to marry a thirty year old man she's never met and doesn't love?"  Answer, because if she didn't, her sister would, and sometimes the family could only afford to marry off one daughter, and the girls who didn't marry probably went to a convent, which in those days, was exactly like being sent to prison. 

Not saying historical fans don't ask questions like that, but if you're going to change things to suit a reader, it should be a reader who might pay money for your book if they didn't know you.

Offline Sarah Ahiers (Falen)

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Re: critique group woes
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2013, 11:02:46 AM »
But, i would add that, as long as they read the genre, they don't need to neccesarily write it to work as a crit partner.
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Offline greenland

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Re: critique group woes
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2013, 06:02:19 PM »
Oh, can I vote for Bodwen too? Cause I honestly truly need a crit group some time soon - and I love you guys. (YA Fantasy/romance here) ;D

Offline tangelb

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Re: critique group woes
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2013, 07:56:29 PM »
A QT critique group would be fabulous! I tried to start one here for children's book writers months ago. I hope all of you grown up writer get together :yes:

Offline bodwen

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Re: critique group woes
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2013, 09:48:44 PM »
Ah, thanks.  I'll put something together this weekend.    ;D

Offline jmundy-castle

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Re: critique group woes
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2013, 09:58:53 PM »
Wooohooo!   :clap: :clap: