Pop-Ups this Sunday is ON


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Full Member
Sep 28, 2017
Hi everyone,

Just a quick reminder to new and old alike, if you haven't read the Writing Groups instructions for giving critique, do take a look. They may not be what you think.

The Litopia Method For Giving And Receiving Writing Critiques

They're guidelines. This ain't school. I've ignored all of them at one time or another. But they are good. @AgentPete knows his onions. *ahem* Writers. He knows his writers.

The instructions boil down to this:
  • Be a reader, not a writer, when giving critique.
  • Give honest, non-judgemental criticism.
  • Don't rewrite.
  • Don't edit.
  • Don't be a teacher.
But above all:
  • Be a reader. Tell the author how the text makes you feel.
And bombarding writers seeking readers, telling them to check their inboxes to see further advice while the critiquing thread is still active, while kindly meant, is also perhaps leaning a bit too much towards intrusion of another writer's process.
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That's right. All you can do when giving critique is tell the author honestly how you responded to the work (in the active thread, given that that's how the author has chosen to share it). It's up to them what they do with your comments (incorporating or dismissing a particular reader's views is part of the author's process).
I'd also like to add that the threads in the Writing Groups aren't the place for critiquing another critiquer's critique. ;) Give your impressions and move on, unless you have something else to add to your own critique. Jumping on another's critique to dissect it isn't the purpose of those threads, and only leads to confusion for the writer seeking feedback. If it goes on long enough, it also gives the impression this is a competition, which of course it's not. If you truly feel the need to discuss something another critiquer said on one of the Writing Groups threads, it's best to approach that person via a PM. Thanks. :)
That’s what I have done in the past well recently actually. I think it is nice to be given a choice to either comment on the Writing group or to PM a fellow writer in person. Especially when they ask you questions about your feedback and when you want to go into a little more depth and detail without bombarding the writing group :D
@RainbowNerdAlix, I second what @Katie-Ellen Hazeldine says above. If someone asks for critique via PM, then that's the way to go. But if they start an open thread, it's more appropriate to keep your comments in the thread. The author should always lead the process.

In other news, I've been thinking about the craft aspects of critiquing, about critiquing as a writer, which @AgentPete's protocol advises against. Critiquing someone's work can certainly generate craft questions and lead to discussions that might cross the line into editing or teaching. And perhaps it is best that these kinds of discussion are avoided in the Writing Groups – unless an author specifically asks for them.

So I thought it might be a good idea to start threads in Café Life to discuss issues of craft when I find myself thinking this way, threads to pool knowledge – like this one.

I'd encourage you all to do the same.


It's been a week, so I'll unsticky this now and let it fall down the lists to oblivion.

I've copied the first post into the Writing Groups Directory and stickied it there.

Happy critiquing!

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Pop-Ups this Sunday is ON