So here I am, complaining about being too chicken to submit my work to a critique group for shredding review, when LO! and behold, Courtney Vail, a fellow writer whose blog I found through the “writing” tag on WordPress and visited and commented to, pops by my blog and sees my whiny little wimp-fest.
She left me an encouraging comment, and a link to The Next Big Writer website, which has critique groups you can join, and then she took it a step farther.
She wasted a few minutes of her own life to post this incredibly helpful entry, which includes a list of questions to ask when reviewing a piece for someone. She gives the usual advice about writing in a vacuum, and how it’s not helpful, and then gives a bullet-point list of things to look for when you’re doing a critique. They’re things her groups uses, and I imagine those of you familiar with critiquing another writer’s work don’t need the guidance, but I sure as heck did.
Not only will this help me learn to critique, it’s going to help me write, too. Keeping these things in mind when doing my own writing (yes, smart-alecs, I do write occasionally, just not right this moment) will strengthen the prose substantially and direct the writing to stay focused.