“Although critique is commonly understood as fault finding and negative judgment, it can also involve merit recognition,” states Wikipedia.
My critique group, Central Arkansas Writers, also known as CAW, meets monthly as a closed group at a public library. At present, we have four members. Each one travels an hour to the centrally-located meeting place. I drive down from the north, another comes up from the south and the other two come in from the east. Each writer gives and receives an in-depth review of the works-in-progress. Our recent creations are as new as a little chick that hasn’t scratched yet or a newborn calf too wobbly to stand.
A writer’s feelings about a new piece may be sensitive when feedback indicates room for improvement. But with good-natured enthusiasm, our group works well together, as we have done for years. We take each other’s writing goals to heart. At present, we are into novel-writing. Three of us have published novels and the other member has a completed novel ready to be published.
Our method is to send a new chapter by email the week prior to the meeting. We critique and bring the copies to the meeting. We then discuss each work explaining our suggestions, page by page, as the author of the piece listens without comment. Our aim is to encourage each other and therefore we add a smiley face or a check plus to show that certain lines and phrases stand out from the red-penciled areas. As creators of fiction, we need to see the good marks occasionally. 🙂 CAW is definitely worth its salt.