Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Criticizing or Critiquing?
• I usually highlight passages that I find confusing or that don't seem important and relevant to the rest of the story.
• I circle in red the wrong tenses.
• I underline or circle weak adjectives and/or verbs.
• I point out all figurative devices: allusions, alliteration, similes, symbols, metaphors and other similar techniques.
• I ask the author if these literary techniques make the reading experience more enjoyable or strengthen the story.
• I make sure the ending the author’s trying to convey relates both to the story as a whole and to the beginning. Does the ending resolve the plot and bring closure to the crisis of the characters?
I find that my fellow writers usually respond positively to my technique. However, last year an acquaintance of mine asked me to read her story and to give her my opinion. So I did. She was not thrilled with my comments because she thought I was criticizing her. I told her to get a second opinion.
Have you dealt with oversensitive writers who are not open to constructive criticism? Do you know anyone in your writer’s circle who falls into this category? Or are you guilty of being of one them?
P.S. the writer in my anecdote never admitted I was right but she asks for my opinion from time to time. (LOL!)