Sunday, July 20, 2014

How to provide helpful critique...

The tips below work in all areas of life - I have adapted them from my communication trainings - and explain how to provide critique that is helpful and respectful. If you give critiques that way, you’ll have a better chance of getting lucky to receive helpful and respectful critiques in return!
  1. Don’t provide a critique unless you’ve been invited to do so. Or ask first!
  2. Don’t waste time on writers who have a narcissistic streak - help those who sincerely want to improve!
  3. Don't haste a critique! Take time and make an effort so you can offer a critique that is thoughtful. You want the same for yourself. (I like the story, good luck is not a critique!)
  4. Critique the writing, not the writer. Stay on a factual level, don't get personal. As a general rule - never start with YOU (should...)
  5. Always start with the strengths,  In communication training I use the Burger-Method: Start with something positive, strengths, then address the weaknesses and problem areas using positive language. End on a positive note!
  6. Be objective! If the piece you’re critiquing is not in a style or genre that you prefer, mention that - it helps the writer putting your critique in perspective!
  7. Make clear suggestions for improvement. Give helpful examples!
  8. Encourage - motivate - inspire! Writers are sensitive souls and it's likely that finding out that more polishing awaits the receiving one will be crushed - some are at that point even tempted to give up. Nurture that poor critter - you might be next! And if you are - say thank you ;)