Are you wanting to join a critique group or start one of your own? Here are some guidelines established by the PNWA. The goal of the author is to improve your story. The author must be open to change their characters, story, changing the direction of their plot, and even the emotional arc. A critique group is not a means to hear praise. Although every writer longs to be loved and appreciated for their writing, we must be open to hear how to improve and make our stories better.
Before you begin, establish the size of your critique group. Three to six is an ideal amount. It gives everyone a chance to read their piece and time for the others to critique.
Establish a time to meet. Once a week is best, but at least once a month. Also determine which day of the week and the time.
An ideal critique group is a mixture of gender and a variety of genres. Diversity is the key. You want many view points.
Bring only one copy of the scene or chapter you want to share. The author reads it out loud to the others. This stops the others from reading ahead and correcting grammar issues. You want them to pay attention to your story and give genuine criticism. Don’t defend yourself or characters. Listen to what the group has to say about improvement. You don’t have to agree, but write down their suggestions.
As the listener, you should take notes. Always start with something positive to say about the reader’s work. Otherwise, all the author will remember is negativity.