Certainly, as with any group there will be bumps in the road, but being a part of a critique group shouldn’t be as hard as it is to find one. When a group of different personalities gets together you are bound to have issues, but are there particular ones to avoid? And are they enough of a problem that you should consider leaving the group?
No matter how valid your comments are about their novel, the debator or arguer won’t hear it, believe it, and will argue with you that you are wrong until they are blue in the face. Take them how you will, whether you just ignore them or continue to fight with them.
THE OVER CRITTIQUER/HARSH ONE
You know that one who clogs up your pages with so much red you wonder if there is any black printed text on the paper anymore. This person is usually the mean one of the bunch, and never has anything good to say. They pick on every word of your pages, focusing on things they shouldn’t and knit-picking. Usually, this person isn’t too bad to deal with if you shrug and ignore, but if their behavior escalates, you might either have to say something or leave the group.
THE CRY BABY/SULKER
No matter how nice you are to the cryer, chances are, more often than not, you are going to hurt their feeling and cause them to cry. And, if the cryer turns into the sulker, and they don’t like what you have to say, they shut down and spend the rest of the meeting with their arms crossed in silence.
THE ROCK STAR EGO
In any critique there are bound to be all different levels of experience and success. Some might be published, some not, some might have contracts with agents, while some might just be starting with their novels. No one likes to feel inferior and on the other side of the coin, no one likes someone who brags and thinks they are better than you. Should you come across this type of person in your group you might want to consider saying ‘good-bye’.
“I loved it all.” “I loved everything.” “I didn’t find anything wrong anywhere.” The easy peasy pushover person loves it all and never has anything bad to say. While that might not be a bad thing, if your novel has little-to no-mistakes, even seasoned authors can make a mistake every now and then and need help finding the trouble spots. And, the easy peasy people aren’t a help at all.