I’m gonna confess something right up front.
I’m terrible at giving a good critique.
Critiques make me cry.
They are hard to give and hard to receive.
It’s hard for me to be honest and forthcoming about someone’s writing. To me, writing is so subjective. Finding grammatical errors is easy several software programs can do that but the nuances that make a good story better are hard to pin down and a good critique helps with that.
So today I was excited to learn a little about critiquing a scene.
Maybe if I practice on giving my writing good constructive criticism instead of nitpicking maybe I can get good at critiquing others writing.
Here is what I learned today from over at Writing/Romance.
- Decide who the protagonist is.
- Can you understand the protagonist’s goal?
- Do you understand who is keeping the protagonist from their goal and why? (antagonist)
- Do you understand the conflict? Who won?
- What was your initial reaction to the story? Good, bad, indifferent…
- What worked or didn’t?
- Did you get bored at any point?
- Did you get confused or lost?
- Did you feel anything? Scared, moved, sad, angry, annoyed…
- What did you love about the scene or story?
This tidbit was most helpful.
- When giving a critique Never rewrite sections. A critique is not the same job as that of an editor.
With that in mind, I believe the job of critiquing a story or scene is to help the writer see things from a different perspective.
Read more on How To Critique a Scene by Jennifer Crusie and let me know what you think.
She gives an in-depth example of a nursery rhyme critique. It’s very eye opening as to what a good critique should look like.
What has your experience been like with giving or receiving critiques?
Do you enjoy them?
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