Should My Critique Group Be Face to Face or Online?

Over the last several posts, I’ve discussed finding the right critique group.  But is this group virtual or in person? Let’s take a look.

I currently belong to a face-to-face group and an online group and from my experience, I can share a few advantages and disadvantages to each.

Face-to-Face

Advantages

  • You’re working and networking with local writers.
  • Trust is more easily established
  • Communication — verbal, physical and written– can capture the subtleties in critique feedback.
  • Feedback is immediate
  • Meetings offer not only feedback, but an opportunity to talk about other challenges with your writing process
  • You get to work across genres, unless you live in a community large enough to create genre specific groups

Disadvantages

  • Honest feedback may be more difficult to give and receive in person.
  • Groups can sometimes lose focus, digressing into other matters.
  • Personality conflicts more easily arise face to face.
  • You may not get the genre specific feedback you need from writers outside of your genre.
  • You are restricted by the scheduling of the group meetings.

 

Online  

Advantages

  • A vast pool of writers, genres, skill levels to choose from.
  • Honest feedback is often more readily given and received.
  • Most online groups function asynchronously, so scheduling is not an issue.
  • More time often allowed to consider a critique before offering feedback.
  • Offer the possibility of participating in a genre specific group.

Disadvantages

  • Participants may drop out or be unresponsive without the in-person peer pressure to engage.
  • More challenging to build trust with a group of people you have never met in person.
  • The feedback process may take days or weeks.

What is your experience with face to face and online groups? Have a preference? Why?  Post a comment. I’d love to hear from you.

Next post I’ll look at how to find your next critique group.

 

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