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THE GENTLE ART OF CRITIQUING

Posted on September 12, 2012 at 6:35 PM

By Glenys O'Connell

Critiquing is a skill and done well can provide the person whose work is being critiqued with some very valuable feedback. Critiquing can smooth out the glitches, help with story and plot points, make characters more believable, spot errors and generally polish up someone’s work. It can renew the writer’s enthusiasm and confidence. Or it can destroy them. Depending on how it is done.

Professional critiquing always looks to the positive – even busy editors rarely advise a writer submitting work to them to take a job, any job, except writing – although best selling author David Gemmell was once told by an editor to stay with his job as a trucker’s mate! Usually they will wish the writer luck in placing the work elsewhere, perhaps advise them to consider taking a creative writing class, etc.., even if the work submitted seems beyond redemption. The point being, the writer and their future work are not beyond redemption, and do not deserve to be terminally put down because of one piece that does not hit the spot.

The Rules

The first rule of critiquing is to consider .......

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Categories: Writing Skills, The Writing Life

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2 Comments

Reply Robert
2:46 PM on September 17, 2012 
Critiquing is indeed an art, but authors must learn not to take a critique personally.
Reply Glenys
3:43 PM on September 17, 2012 
Thanks for commenting, Robert - quite agree. We do need to grow thick skins in this business and realise that not everyone will like what we do - taste in reading, as in many other things, is subjective.