Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Seven Reasons for NOT Joining A Critique Group

Donna's Book Pub recently posted the Top 7 Reasons to Join a Critique Group. Just to play Devil's advocate, here are seven reasons not to join a critique group. I've actually gotten a lot out of crit groups and I'm in one now, but there are some pitfalls to watch out for. Take this list only half seriously.

7. People talking about things other than writing.

6. Newbies who say they'll read your stuff and never show up again.

5. That one person who rips apart everything you write despite having published less than you. (there's one in every group)

4. The regular who always wants people to read their entire novel but "doesn't have time" for more than a few pages of your own.

3. Five people having five mutually exclusive opinions about your work.

2. Printing out an entire chapter, waiting three weeks for it to be returned, and finding only one little comment at the end saying, "good job."

. . .and the number one reason for not joining a critique group. . .

1. It takes time away from your writing!!!


irishoma said...

Hey, Sean. I think we must've belonged to the same critique group at one time because some of your experiences are remarkably similar to my own. In one group we had a guy who arrived one week dressed as a woman and next as a man. I'm fairly open minded, but what bothered me was in most of his stories he did awful things to women in graphic detail. Then there was the guy who regularly showed up in his Star Trek outfit and wrote stories about "princess" his wife--and lamented over why she divorced him--but that's another story.
Great blog. I'll be back.

Sean McLachlan said...

Hmmm...I forgot to mention "unpublished writers who try to grab attention in any way possible." You see them at conventions too. People often forget that most writers, even most successful writers, tend to look and act like regular folk. Julina Barnes once said something along the lines of, "There's not much glamor in a writer's life. Mostly we just stay home all day."

Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Civil War Horror blog, where he focuses on Civil War and Wild West history.

You can also find him on his Twitter feed and Facebook page.