All right, we’ve got our very first critique group scheduled!
When: March 31, 4-6 p.m.
Where: Gypsy’s Coffee House
303 N. Cincinnati Ave.
Tulsa, OK 741203
As part of preparation for the critique group, we’re reposting part of a blog from last year, called “A Wise Reader.” These are some of the things you’ll need to think about when giving and receiving critiques.
We’ll have more posts throughout the week, both here and on our Facebook group, so be sure to check back!
Questions to Ask of Your Readers
Were you ever bored?
Did you find your mind wandering?
Where in the story did this happen?
What do you think of Character X? Like him? Hate him? Why?
Could you remember who Character X was, or did you keep forgetting him?
Was there anything you didn’t understand?
Were there any sections you had to read 2-3 times?
Were there any places where you got confused?
Suspension of disbelief:
Was there anything you didn’t believe?
Any place where you scoffed and said “Oh, come on!”?
What do you think will happen next?
What are you still wondering about?
Each of these questions will tell you where the problem areas are located in the manuscript. Then you can go back and fix them. You may come across more questions to ask, as well.
The Care and Keeping of Your Wise Reader
Always be respectful of your Wise Reader, even if they say something that hurts your feelings. If you need them to find a specific point in the manuscript, give them plenty of time to do so. Thank them for their time.
Don’t try to defend yourself. (Stephen King, in his book On Writing, says that any time you begin a sentence with “Yeah, but…” during a critique, you are wrong.) Never tell them that they’re wrong (since they’re reporting on their own experiences, how can they be wrong?).
Finally, make a concentrated effort to go back and fix every single thing that they mention. Even if a particular item is not a major problem, chances are good that you will improve it regardless.
That’s all for now! Hope to see you all on Saturday!