I found this as I was wandering around blogs and writing sites. This article details more or less exactly what I strive for when I critique...and also, what I look for, like best, and find most useful in critiques I receive.
That is from the critters website. Fine critique site. Great place to start out as a writer. They emphasize on critiquing over writing. You need to meet a criterea of reading and critiquing to be able to post your stories for critique.
You have to wait for your story to get read (4 weeks, usually) but you are guaranteed to get unbaised readers for your stories.
I second Critters as a good site for beginning writers. The critiques will be all over the place as far as worthwhile comments, but it's a good site to get a LOT of critiques.
My stuff was invariably trashed. The first story I posted on there was a love story between a man and a cat (seriously). The very first response I got back was, "great story". I then waited for others to recognize my genius, and I think I got about ten other critiques, all along the lines of, "What in the hell is wrong with you?"
But even those that asked that question helped out with making the story better even though they didn't like it.
(The story's still unpublished by the way, and probably will be forever. But it's one of the best things I've written, I think. Which also makes me wonder what the hell's wrong with me?)
My only problem with critters is that it doesn't have much of a community feel. I did critters for a bit, but I just stopped caring because I didn't know anyone and felt like it was kind of a batch process thing. Here's the new bunch of stories, read, crit, never hear from the person again and a new batch of unrelated stuff from unrelated people.
Posts: 303 | Registered: Mar 2006
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I'm not a member of critters. I'm not comfortable with making commitments I'm not totally sure I can always live up to.
But I posted that not because of critters but for the article itself since its about the best set of guidlines I've ever seen for giving crits that are 1) useful to the author and 2) presented in a positive, respectful manner that makes them much more likely to actually be listened too.
thanks for posting that. This may be a good resource to add to the guidelines for critiquing page... I know I for one could use reminders every once in a while...
Posts: 496 | Registered: May 2009
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This is a good guideline. Thanks for posting it Merlion.
I think part of my problem with critiquing is that I am short on time, and I know this makes me a little terse. And, unfortunately, I often leave out the positive comments. It is hard trying to fit a critique in the small window that both my kids are happily playing. I hope that if anyone felt I was too harsh, they would call me on it. I am a nice person in real life.
[This message has been edited by MAP (edited April 17, 2010).]