Thursday, January 8, 2009

Guidelines For Critiquing Another Writer's Work.

Every year at this time I hear many writers comment that they need to find a GOOD writing critique group. If you are a member of a group already here's some guidelines my group uses for Critiquing.


1. Listen to what the author says (s)he wants/needs from the critique. That is your minimum responsibility to the author.

2. Be positive. Think positive, constructive, dietetic (i.e. not too sweet) sandwich cookie with your critique.

3. Be tactful. You may have to eat your own words so make sure you wouldn’t mind eating them.

4. Ignore the genre of the actual writing, critique the writing itself.

5. Begin with your over all opinion.

6. Critique as the story flows from beginning to end.

7. Be as detailed in your critique as possible.

a. Ask the author questions to find out intent.

b. Make comments as clear as possible.

c. Pay attention to active vs. passive voice.

d. Does scene advance the story?

e. Try to make suggestions as to how the writer may improve his/her work; rather
than sound as if you are rewriting the author’s story for him or her.

8. If the author wants/needs to tighten his/her writing point out where this could happen.

9. End on a positive note.

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