Wednesday, February 9

The Value of an Awesome Critique

I was wondering what I would blog about today -- I'm trying to blog once a day, but sometimes it is hard to find topics. Today I was going through the blogs I subscribe to hoping that there would be an exciting announcement (I'd love to read: iPad 2 on sale tomorrow! But, alas ...) however nothing caught my eye. Then, on the verge of giving up, I thought: Aha! Something very nice did happen to me today AND it has to do with writing. Perfect!

Someone, I won't name names, sent me the most marvelously helpful critique of my current manuscript. It was encouraging but also didn't pull any punches and mentioned areas in the manuscript which could be improved upon. It has made me much more optimistic that my story will be, in the end—and I think this is the highest praise—a good read.

I think that's the sign of a good critique, that it helps the writer make their story better without making them feel that their story is a huge steaming pile of doodoo.

Creating a good critique isn't easy. I've written my share of critiques and it's darn hard. I think it's one of those things that is both a learnt skill and a dark art.

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