This week I'm to tackle the Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog question from Laura, who asked:
"How do you approach critiquing someone’s manuscript? And once it’s out there, do you ever regret sending off a critique...?"
Laura probably hit most of the important points I consider (click here to read her post), but I confess, I'm far less organized!
I wanted to mention two things I've learned about giving critiques:
1) Find out what the writer is expecting. Line edits? Overall flow? Pacing? Everything? Just praise and nothing but?
When expectations and critique content don't match up, it can be hairy.
2) I am painfully strict about logic. Did you ever see the Youtube video of how the Lord of the Rings should have ended? With Frodo having the Eagles very politely fly him over Mount Doom so he can drop in the Ring of Power, easy-as-pie?
Yeah. So, if you have a loose ends in your story, I will find them like a screwy-logic seeking missile. I am also good at spazzing out over deus ex machinas. They drive me a little batty, too.
As for Laura's last question, do I ever regret sending off my crits?
Every single one. I second guess every opinion I give out. My biggest fear it that it will make someone stop writing. I hate hurting people, and all crits are painful. But if that's what the writer asked for, that's what I'll give, and we'll just both have to suffer for the sake of making us both better writers! So yeah, I regret them, but usually not in the long term.
Keep an eye out for next week's post by Sarah Fine then Deb Salibury's post the last week in Feb!