The Downside of Critiquing

Critiquing others' work has a lot of things going for it.

It helps you identify weak points in your own writing. You know that whole plank/speck thing? All those things you can't see in your own writing are easier to see in someone else's. And the cool thing is, the more you do it, the more likely you are to catch them in your own work.

It helps you learn from people's strengths. Like, I'm terrible with the descriptions. So when I'm critiquing for someone whose good at them, I'm all, "Oo, how did she do that!" And because I'm in critiquing mode (instead of reading mode) I actually pay attention to the answer.

It helps you make friends. People like it when you do something for them, and they almost always offer to pay it back. It's an easy way to build solid relationships, which for an introvert like me is critical.

But the downside to critiquing is this:






9 comments:

Lynne said...

LOL. So right. To be the best writer you can be, you must:(1) read constantly, (2) critique often, and, of course, (3) WRITE. It's the trifecta of authorly awesomeness.:) Cool post Adam!

maine character said...

Yeah, it definitely gives you an objective view that you can't get with your own work, and because it's not published yet, you focus more on it, 'cause you might have a chance to help make it better. Your opinion matters, and that alone is quite the compliment.

Sarah Ahiers said...

oh man, i am also not good with descriptions! You and me are on the same page.
Though i will say the only downside of critiques i've ever come across is stretching youself too thin - critiquing so much that you no longer have time to work on your own writing

Matthew MacNish said...

Hah! I totally thought there was going to be some white text to highlight. You're funny, man.

I would say the only downside is that it's damn hard work. That can make it seem incredibly tedious, and if you put a month into critting a novel for a new CP, and then what you get back from them doesn't have as much effort put into it, that can be frustrating.

But the beautiful thing is that when you find the right partner, you get back tenfold what you put into it.

Angela Brown said...

The upside certainly outranks any downside that anyone can come up with. I think the only downside I can come up with is that critting is the giving of feedback to someone not ready for it but instead looking for someone to validate their "writing genius". Yeah, as if there is an actual novel out there that couldn't stand a word change here or there lol!!!

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

I'm totally highlighting that blank space, looking for the secret answer...and you got me. :) Love it!

Anna said...

Glad I wasn't the only one highlighting the white space ;-) point well made! Bravo!

Jay Noel said...

Maybe another little downside is when you're working with someone for the first time, and you're a little unsure how sensitive they are. I've had some writers that couldn't take any little bit of constructive criticism at all. They just wanted praise!

Daisy Carter said...

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