Critiquing - a few guidelines

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jvc

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Critiquing - a few guidelines:
Just a few things to bear in mind when critiquing a piece of work or offering a piece for critique.

Show Respect
First and foremost, respect your fellow writer. Respect that they have their own ideas and feelings about the piece of work - and that they may not agree with yours. Respect means offering your suggestions politely and in a constructive way. It also means accepting criticism graciously, even if you vehemently disagree.

Vengeful and retaliatory crits will not be tolerated.

Be Honest:
Don't say you love a piece if you don't. A writer can't learn from false praise. Honesty means saying what you think.

Be Constructive:
Try and identify what works and what doesn't - and where it doesn't, offer suggestions, if you can.

Be Positive:
Criticism is about identifying what works as much as it is about what doesn't work. Don't just focus on the things that don't work in a piece - try and identify at least one or two things that do.
 

Cath

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Because I think this is also valuable...

Receiving Critique:
Listening to people criticising your work can be tough - trust me on this. I usually rant for five minutes... 'but how can they say that? They don't understand. That's not what I was thinking when I wrote it.'

But you know, the critic only has the words they see on the page. They don't know what's in your brain, or what you were thinking when you chose those words to tell your story. And each critic brings their own experience and knowledge to each piece of work they read.

Some people will rip your work to shreds. Some people will praise it. Some will offer a calm and constructive critique. Some of what they say will be right, and some will be wrong. The writer who really wants to learn will listen, reflect on what they've been told, and rewrite.

If you really disagree with what someone has to say, the best response is to thank them for their input and walk away. Respect works both ways.

Please remember this.
 
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