Monday, October 31, 2011


 Critiquing the "Focus Way"

1. MEMBERSHIP: The group was founded for the purpose of critiquing and is limited to no more than six members at a session. A prospective member is asked to attend a meeting and present her or his work in progress. Current members discuss this at the next meeting and if all are in agreement, the prospective member is then invited to be an active member of the critiquing group.
2. THE PROJECT: Each member is expected to have a work in progress, which is called the Project. A Project may be removed from the table by its author at any time and a new one submitted. Members who are "between projects" may still attend the meetings and critique.
3. INTENT: There are no membership fees. This is a meeting of friends who understand the need of an author to have his or her work heard and critiqued by compassionate writers within the community.
4. MEETINGS: Meetings are held at a member's house on the last Sunday of each month unless otherwise decided at a previous meeting. Hours, which are amenable to change, are generally from l0:30 AM to 4 PM, with lunch break at noon.  Members bring their lunch. A "kitty" is provided for coffee or tea and snacks.
5. READINGS: Readings begin promptly at 11 AM. Unless otherwise requested, each writer reads his or her own material and everyone is guaranteed a fair amount of time. The Reader may give a brief explanation before, but is asked not to interrupt the story with explanations while reading and to wait for the critiquing to begin before commenting on any part of it.
6. THE CIRCLE: There are no rules as to who reads first. The person to the reader's left begins the critiquing and this continues around the circle until all have had their say, after which the person to the left of the first reader reads, etc. The others listen, taking notes if necessary.
7. CRITIQUING: This is a conversation between the Reader and the person who is critiquing, i.e., the Critiquer. After everyone has had a turn at critiquing, the floor is open for general discussion before moving to the next reader.
8. RIGHTS OF THE CRITIQUER: The Critiquer has the right to ask questions and to make appropriate comments about what's been read – beginning with what he or she likes – and to give an
opinion as to what might improve the work, keeping in mind the genre and potential market, and the witer's style.
9. RIGHTS OF THE READER: In all cases the choice as to whether or not to take the offered advice remains with the Reader. The Reader will try to refrain from making overlong reflections as to "why" her characters do what they do and to accept the critiquing with the same good grace in which it is given.    
10. RESPECT AMONG MEMBERS: The Golden Rule applies. Respect each other's privacy and feelings. If there's a problem that can't be discussed with everyone take it to the Moderator.

No comments:

Post a Comment