The Art Of The Critique And Other Essential Babbling Bullshit

first page critiques on fiction writing tools blog-1

Is your ugly writing? Is it confusing like the last sentence? Are you ugly? Wait, scratch that last question. We already know the answer.

As writers we need, no, require feedback. A proper critique keeps us in line. It tells us if our writing is just a heaping pile of steaming dung or a prose to be reckoned with. There are many ways to critique writing, but for the sake of all things time-consuming, we’re gonna focus on just four. That’s right, four.

Critique The Writing, Never The Writer:

Sure, the writer may be a complete dullard, we’re not all totally cool people; however, both compliments and complaints should focus on the writing, not the writer. Refer to the sentences or the paragraphs, the flow of the narration, the characters and their actions, or the dialogue. Never, ever, for any reason target the writer. We get stabby and several of us like to write about a good murder scene, if ya know what I’m sayin’.

Be Positive:

Don’t be a miserable pissant full of negativity and weird kinds of shit. Remove hands from hips. Unfold arms from chest. Breath.

Be truthful, but positive. How’s that done, you ask. Begin by speaking well of the strengths of a piece. Don’t gush over it, that’s what relatives are for. Use positive language to convey the needs of the writing. Make suggestions on a wordy sentence or extended paragraph where the concept is already very good: “Maybe tighten the structure” instead of “This is complete sharkshit and you suck as a writer.”

Be Fucking Specific:

Vaguery sucks, period. Your goal in critiquing is to clearly communicate to the writer about how they can more clearly communicate to their readers. This is done by being honest. Don’t hem and haw with ah’s and um’s. Be precise. Be clear. Be to the point.

Give What’s Needed:  

If you’re critiquing the writing by jotting notes in the margins, make that shit clear and legible. Don’t make it look like it was written wearing mittens. That’ll allow the writer a better chance of understanding your notes and incorporating said notes. Looky there, you just got a byline in his or her next book. Long continuous beep…WRONG!

Just A Few Notes:

~On September 4th, I will present the WORLD PREMIERE of my interview with one M.S. Kaye, writing goddess and winner of awards and stuff. Don’t miss that or I will find you. I have Google too you know!

~If you’ve read a book and thought, that shit’s the bomb or even liked it a little – maybe even my book, or any book by any author – please leave a review. Those are helpful. So is word of mouth, so yell it loud. Your thoughts matter!

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