Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Critique Partners: Providing Thorough Critiques
Here are some points to keep in mind, first:
1. Be polite: comment on things you do like about the writing
2. Be honest: give your true opinions
3. Be aware: give accurate advice
4. Be helpful: make suggestions for improvement
Next, before you can be a great critique partner, you need to read a book on the craft of writing (in my humble opinion!). Once you've read a book, you will know what to look for when critiquing.
Here's a short list for starters:
SELF-EDITING FOR FICTION WRITERS by Browne & King
THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE by Strunk & White
THE FIRE IN FICTION by Maass
Then, use the review bubbles in Word to leave comments on the Word document. These bubbles make it very easy to quickly make suggestions for improvement in the ms.
Give accurate advice. I know with one of my CPs, I was nagging her about her use of ellipses. I began to wonder if I was being accurate, so I googled it. After reading advice on several websites, I realized I was wrong. Check out this site if you'd like to test your own knowledge: http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/
Researching specific topics and reading books on the craft will help improve your eye.
By giving excellent critiques for others, you will improve your own writing. Your eye will become more fine tuned to the details of writing and your writing muscles will become stronger from the exercise!!
What do you look for in your critiques?
[post originally publised 3-3-11 ... for more tips on critique partners, click on the tag]