Wednesday, June 9, 2010

More thoughts on critique groups

My blog buddy Christine Fonseca has a guest on her blog today. SM Ford (aka Susan Uhlig) gives her thoughts about joining a new critique group. Check it out!

Speaking of critique groups, the Slushbusters had a productive meeting last night. Remember when I said last week that we were all working on stuff? Well, almost everyone had work to submit for last night's meeting, which is rare for us these days. Most meetings, about half of us have work to be critiqued. Alison and Steph had submissions, even though they couldn't make it to the meeting! In those situations, we use track changes and insert comment in Word and email their work back to them, rather than having a physical discussion about it.

The Slushbusters use a few different techniques for sharing our critiques with each other. Most of us make notes on the document in Word, print out the pages, discuss our ideas/cheers/criticisms at the meeting, and hand over the pages. If a Slushie has submitted a long piece of work and I don't have a lot to say, I like to copy the paragraphs I have comments about into a separate page to print and bring for discussion, but I still email the entire submission back, so they can see my suggestions within the context of the whole. I always do that for Lisa's work, because she's not physically at our meeting anyway. There's no point in printing out more than I need to make comments.

When we talked to Lisa last night, I got to use Skype on my new laptop for the first time. It worked great, once I figured out how to add another wireless connection. This computer has a wireless button that can be turned off, which it was. Oops! It took me ten minutes to figure out. And the Slushbusters consider me the techie one!

11 comments:

Jayne said...

Sounds like you guys had a productive meeting! It's funny as my job title makes me sound like I am the 'techy one' yet in reality I am not really all that techy. I basically work on websites yet focus on the design/content rather than the build, and of course everyone thinks I can build them from scratch which would be a beauty if I could. :)

Davin Malasarn said...

Thanks for this! I love hearing about other crit groups. I've had mine for about 7 years now, and to think of how much we've grown together is quite amazing.

Michelle said...

Jayne, it's funny how that works! I have such a limited tech background, but sort of learn stuff as I need to use it.

Davin, I can't imagine how much growth could happen in seven years! That's about twice as long as I've been part of our group.

Amy Tate said...

I love those types of meetings. You go home so pumped!

Sarah said...

It was a good meeting! I came home and wrote for a while afterwards, Amy.

Jayne, Michelle really is the tech person for us Slushies. Don't know what we'd do without her.

And I agree that it would amazing to see what our group is like in a few years. I counted myself fortunate to find good writers that give good feedback. Now everyone has become a friend as well. Pretty incredible.

Tess said...

You guys are so blessed to have each other. Glad the meeting went well and glad to hear you are all feeling inspired and motivated with the work :)

Lisa said...

It is true that when everyone is submitting chapters for critique, I feel more motivated in my own writing. I'm so glad that even from thousands of miles away, I can still be a part of this amazing bunch of writers.

And I'm so invested in other Slushies' stories. I get impatient when busy lives get in the way of writing and I don't get to read the next chapter for a month or two. :)

Christine Fonseca said...

Thanks for the shout out! and I love skype...in fact, I think I should skype some on my online writerly buds....

Michelle said...

Yes, Christine, I think you should!

Kristi Tuck Austin said...

Great post. It is exciting to hear you all have so much writing going on.

I love the blog's new look. (I've been using Google Reader so I haven't ventured over this way much.)

Michelle said...

Thanks, Kristi! I just changed the blog template about an hour before your comment!