I love to write and I love to read good picture books. I love to give encouragement and help others feel the same level of determination that I enjoy. I respect writers and the work we do. When I have done critiques in the past - and for my current critique group - I offer my honest opinion with comments that I hope will be taken as helpful and insightful.
To give a good critique, here's what I do, and what you can do too. Offer:
- Praise for good writing in specific phrases, paragraphs, and sections.
- Examples of where and how to cut wordy sections.
- Examples of how to make dialogue more age appropriate or characters more believable.
- Examples of how to create stronger verbs.
- Comments on the overall structure of plot.
- Suggestions to help clarify the plot in areas of confusion.
- A summary of my critique detailing the areas that need help and the areas that work well.
The more people you have look at a piece, especially in the early stages, the more eyes and ears you have working for you. Any story you write is YOUR story, and you must stay true to your own vision. Remember that each person offers their own opinion and that each critique is the opinion of one. Use what you find helpful. Disregard the comments you highly disagree with. However, if you're just being unwilling to revise, but multiple people are saying the same things, then you should probably take it to heart and "kill your darlings" (i.e. FIX what you're so reluctant to change). Happy writing! And happy revising!
QUESTION: Are you a member of a critique group? Share your experiences in the comments!
Keep on keepin' on...