Critiquing can be a very hard thing to do. According in Wikipedia, the term critique derives from the Greek term kritik, meaning "discerning judgment", usually of the value of something. How do you judge the value of writing when it is a subjective art form?
Remember if you are asked to critique something, you are judging the work, not the author. Be honest but respectful. Offer suggestions for improvement if you find something bothersome or suggest alternative plot lines or character actions. Do not just offer up what you think is faulty or ineffective. Above all, you must respect the author and their own story.
Make sure you ask questions, if appropriate, to better help your understanding if what you are being asked to critique is a part or overview of a larger story. Make sure you understand the author’s point or motivation behind the story they are trying to tell.
Also, be respectful if the genre is not your usual genre you are being asked to review. Study up on the areas you lack experience so that you can offer constructive advice. Do not cast it off as it not being you area of expertise. After all, you are trying to help the author reach their goals, not your own.
If you can be objective and respectful while offering worthwhile advice, you have provided a great service to the author.
Good luck and keep plugging away.
Copyright 2009 Lynn Tincher
- The Literary Lynnch Pen
- The Literary Lynnch Pen is a weekly newsletter published by Lynn Tincher. About Lynn: Lynn was born in the small town of La Grange, Kentucky and grew up in Goshen. Lynn studied Theater Arts in College in hopes of becoming a Drama/English teacher. She has written articles in local newspapers and travel brochures. Now, she is focused on writing novels, short stories and poems. The second edition of her book "Afterthoughts" will be released in April of 2009 with the sequel "Left in the Dark" to be released on October of 2009. She also manages Artist Corner, an artist social website dedicated to help all artists become successful. Her eZine and website provides helpful tips and information. Lynn also provides email list management services. She has partnered with Constant Contact to help provide authors, artists, and small businesses the services to manage their email lists and marketing strategies, eZines, electronic newsletters, coupons and bulletins. Please visit: www.lynntincher.com artistcorner.ning.com www.myspace.com/lynntincher lynntincher.blogspot.com