Friday, April 1, 2011

How Editing Groups Work (Part 3 of 4)

(Continued from the previous blog.)

6. The evaluation serves as part of the process of learning the craft. Members strive for honest opinions, tempered with kindness.

7. Members don't tell others what to write. They try to help each other write better and to make manuscripts marketable.

8. No one has to accept or implement anyone’s comments. (Take the ones that help; forget the rest.)

9. Members make no negative value judgments ("This is bad"), but offer suggestions for improving the writing.

10. Members won’t repeat comments made by others. If they have nothing new to add, they will say so.

11. Meetings center on assisting members to improve their craft. Members agree to stay on topic and not divert the group from its task.

12. When members make comments, they will offer at least one positive comment. Writers need to know what they are doing well and what isn’t working.

13. When the group discusses a person’s writing, that person may not talk or comment. This guideline forces them to listen to the comments. It also prevents their defending their writing. No one has to accept or implement anyone’s comments.

14. After everyone in the group has given comments, the person edited may ask questions. They will confine their questions to issues that didn’t arise during the group discussion or about any comments they want clarified. It is not a time to refute another’s comments.

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