Saturday, May 5, 2012

A Critique of "Why Critique Groups Must Die"

I thoroughly enjoy Red Pen's posts. He takes old stodgy beliefs and blow them to smithereens for kicks and giggles. How can you not like a guy like that? And recently he wrote this blog post: Why Critique Groups Must Die.

For the first time I thought, I don't agree. Have never agreed that all a writer needed was their editor or a editor. I'm not saying one should write by committee, that's even more insane. You can end up with a hot mess of a book that once had a soul and now pleases everyone. Not in a good way, but in a meh it didn't piss me off nor do I remember what happened kind of way. Trust me, it's harder to put magic back into a book than to make the hero less of an asshole. This is a scientific fact.

Then again, he's right, which is why I love his posts. He can be both in the same span of time. A writer should have a limited amount of people who vet the book. And there are two important things a writer should keep in mind. The first is before the writer hits send they should know the kind of critique they're getting. If I want to know if my story is working as a whole I won't send it to the person who's strength is line editing. And vice versa. And before a writer really hits send(to an editor), someone else should have read the monster they created to make sure it's readable and that it growls only in the parts it's supposed to.

So by the end of the post, I still ended up agreeing with him. Dammit.


  1. I agreed with him before I even read his piece. I understand why writers like critique groups, mostly for all the reasons he points out, but I would never join one. I'd never go so far as to say they never work for someone. I'm sure they do or there wouldn't be so many of them around. :)

    1. I too agreed at the blog post title. lol The main reason I've never joined one is because I don't like slow. I write fast and I prefer to edit/revise fast. Plus, he's absolutely right about getting crits on pieces of the story not being worth a crap. Grammar, punctuation and prose can be perfect while the story is horrendous. At the end of the day that's what counts more, the story. You perfect the former to make the story better, not the other way around.