Met with my class and we went over the critiques each of us received at the conference. Most were good - and productive.
I watched Radiohead play 'The Daily Mail' tonight. Song lasts about 3 and 1/2 minutes. The first 4 1/2 measures were the piano playing the intro, the next 8 and 1/2 measures consisted of the piano and one singer singing a ballad-type song, after that trumpets were added, a few measures later the drums were added.
I bring this up because of the critique process at a conference/workshop. The number of pages usually allowed to be sent to the critiquer is ten. (sometimes out of a book of 80 - 100,000 words). A lot more than 3 1/2 minutes of play time.
As I stated yesterday, my critique was good (loved my voice), but she didn't have a clue as to what the book was about. I should have (I kept kicking myself that I didn't) sent the hook. The hook would have explained it all in two seconds flat.
I think that, since we are paying for these critiques, the amount of pages critiqued should be a little more. I understand that most readers will read about thirty pages of a children's book before they give up or fifty pages of an adult book.
These critiquers are professionals. They swear they can sometimes tell if a book is going to be good after the first sentence. I believe them. I think they should give a paid critique at least thirty pages at these conferences. IMHO
And they should send back any MS that is not proofread and grammatically correct. That would level the field immediately.
Life is complicated.