Online critique groups differ from face to face critique groups in many different ways. Of course, the first way being the other members might not live in your city, state, or even country. Without any meetings to have to worry about, one might not think that there are any rules when it comes to participating in an online critique group. But that is further from the truth.
Rule #1: Find your Genre
I f you are a romance writer you don’t want to just going any group. You want to join a group with other romance writers, and the same stands for any genre of fiction and non-fiction.
Rule #2: Introduce Yourself and Join the Group
While it’s easy to sit in the corner of the room during a face to face group meeting and not really participated because of nerves, it’s a thousand times easier not to join in the online group message boards. Don’t be afraid to join in on the conversation and introduce yourself. You’ll be glad you didn’t just remain a wallflower.
Rule #3: Keep your word
If you promised your feedback would be returned within a certain time period, then keep your promise. When you don’t have to worry about a mandatory presence at a meeting destination at a certain time, it’s easy to slack off in getting your feedback to another member of the group in a timely manner. Keep your word and get the feedback to them when you tell them you would.
Rule #4: Be Helpful
If you want helpful advice given to you, you should give nice advice in return. Attacking another writer for their story or writing style isn’t going to do either of you any good.
Rule #5: Agree to Disagree
Getting into a dramatic back and forth argument war isn’t productive on either side of the argument. Of course, with online groups and dealing with people through email, the risk for becoming victim to such a war increases. Instead of arguing with the other person, ignoring them, deleting the email, and refraining from communicating with them again is the best stance to take.