Nonfiction Monday: For Critique Groups

So I ‘ve had this book with me since its publication in January. 

Becky Levine’s  The Writing and Critique Group Survival Guide: How to Give and Receive Feedback, Self-Edit, and Make Revisions is a must have book if you are writing and/or belong to a critique group.

It’s such an easy book to use.  There are six sections from getting started to how to maintain a group. You can either read it cover – to cover or pick a section.   I skimmed the whole book to start, noting things that our critique group already was doing.   I found Section 2 particularly helpful as Levine breaks critiquing into these areas:  plot, character,point of view and voice, dialogue, description and scene. 

What I love is that Levine has provided a writing sample which she refers back to when explaining how to critique the above.  She also uses writing examples from Adam Rex,  S.J. Rozen, and Mary Pearson to demonstrate the points she’s making.

I found for my own writing there were lots of points to ponder, especially in regards to subplot and dialogue.  How do you weave that subplot in with the main one?  Where are the dialogue beats?  DO I have enough dialogue? Do I need more?  Is my subplot contrived or not?

The Writing And Critique Survival Guide is one of those books to carry with you. It can’t be read too much  and what a terrific resource guide to own.  I have been thinking how to use  with young writers as well.  The following points  could be used for peer editing:
Start with the Good Things
Offer suggestions
Remember you manners
And by looking at scene, character, dialogue, etc., a checklist for student questions can be developed.

This is one book to have in your collection if you are a writer or if you work with students. Nonfiction Monday is hosted by Books Together, for the  first time.  Thank you.

If you want a poetry postcard from one of my students please contact me at macrush53 at yahoo dot com.

Happy Reading.



3 thoughts on “Nonfiction Monday: For Critique Groups

  1. MsMac,

    You just made my Monday. Thank you so much for this wonderful review! I’ve had a few people online tell me they liked the book, but you’re the first to review it who I haven’t met before, through social or “live” networking–so this means so much to me. What a wonderful post to wake up to!


  2. Thank you! I belong to two critique groups. It used to be three but I dropped one. I’ve been really thinking about dropping another.
    Instead, I’m going to get this book, read it fast, and decide what to do next.
    Again, Thank you,
    Marion who never responds.

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