On Critting

Here’s my rule of thumb when I’m critting someone’s work, and it lets me sleep at night.  If, when I’m reading your story, I think it, you get it.  In the comments, in some cases, or in a rant at the end, if it pulled me out, made me laugh, fooled me, annoyed me, reminded me of something I’ve seen elsewhere recently, whatever, that gets thrown in.  It may be overwhelming, but I’ve decided that if a great writer can enfold you in a story to such an extent the “outside” world ceases to exist, then the places where the spell is thinner need to be addressed.  And, by way of example, the places where I’m enthralled need to be highlighted to.  One of the best comments I can give or receive, I think, is “I’ve been in reader mode for the last 4 or 5 pages.  Love it”.

Hope that helps.  I’ve been in a lot of writer groups that imploded, either because some members weren’t there for the same reasons as the rest of the group, or someone took over and made it about them, or whatever.  Keep trying.  You’ll find 5 or 6 people to swap your stuff with.  And you’ll all learn from each other until they start saying what you knew they’d say, what the little voice in your head that sounds suspiciously like their voice said when you were writing the damn thing in the first place, but you won’t listen to the voice until your crit group says it to you again.  🙂

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One response to “On Critting

  • Melinda

    Thanks for expounding. I appreciate it. I like the comment about being in reader mode. If I venture into the crit group world again, I will keep what you said in mind.

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