Group Dynamics

During and idle meander, I found some insights on critique groups by Elizabeth Hein that describe my own experience very well.

I’d add one more personality type: the Labrador puppy. They bound in, decide everyone is their instant best friend and want to be involved in everything. At the end of the session, they bound away, promptly forget about everything they said or that was said to them and are never seen again.

Just like the Labrador puppy that bounds up to you in the park.

Scribbling In The Storage Room


I am a firm believer in critique groups. Critique buddies lend encouragement, keep you accountable to a writing schedule and see flaws in your work that you can’t. Nevertheless, group dynamics can be difficult. Even though writers are stereotypically considered to be introverts, that doesn’t mean we are immune from power plays and politics. Like any relationship, your relationships with your critique buddies are bound to have ups and downs. There will be weeks when you want to quit but, I suggest once you’ve found a group that works for you, stick with it. (We’ll talk about groups that don’t work another day.)

In any group of more than two people, group dynamics come into play. It’s interesting how we can each fall into a role within a critique group.  Some of the roles I have witnessed are:

  • The Bully speaks first and speaks loudest. Their opinion is the only…

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