This is a guest post from the wonderful Jolene Perry, whose writing blog can be found at and author’s website is at
You can find her young adult novel, The Next Door Boys here. It’s Out Today!!! Go check it out 😀


When I offer critique for anyone I’ve never done a crit for before, or even for long-time friends, I’m always a little nervous.


I SHOULD be nervous. Someone’s gong to be on the other end of this giving serious consideration to what boils down to MY OPINION on their words, their story, and possibly their chances for publication.


Now, I feel fairly confident when critiquing for beginner writers, but the longer I write, the more published authors I’m doing critiques for – and let me tell you, it’s intimidating. And I think it should be. Always.


Something that struck me recently is that highlighting the positive is just as helpful as pointing out where we need to improve.


I recently read an amazing manuscript. There was a lot of good stuff in there, and some things I wanted explained more fully, a few parts I ADORED that she was thinking of cutting. She was thrilled, because that’s the angle she’d wanted to take initially. I can’t wait to read it again and see what she’s come up with.


I’ve made comments on how things made me laugh, or how one simple phrase made me feel and understand the character better. This is SO helpful for me to see when other people make notes in my WIP. I want to know what makes people laugh, what makes them cry, the parts that touch them, because I’ve been surprised more than once.


And when a scene isn’t working, but something in there IS working, it might be able to be used somewhere else. This is good stuff to know.

So, just remember that it’s not just the corrections that help us become more publishable, it’s also highlighting and learning where our writing is the strongest.


And that’s my random bit of happy to share with you today.


How does positive feedback help you?

Or are you one of those who just wants to see what they need to fix?




 Jolene’s Next Door Boys is out TODAY!!

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3 thoughts on “Doing the Critique | MAKE SURE YOU HIGHLIGHT THE POSITIVE

  1. This is great. I always love hearing from Jolene. I like to see what I am doing right as well as what I am doing wrong. I want to know both. I think they both make for better writing.

  2. I always, always, always try to leave positive, encouraging comments when I critique, in addition to commenting on the things that I think may need to be tweaked. I think it’s not only helpful to see what you’re doing right that you may not have even realized, but it also helps the person on the receiving end of the critique not feel bogged down by negatives. I’ve had a few people crit my work and they only listed “bad” things. I cringed with each turn of the page to see what I’d done “wrong” this time. I don’t want to make someone who is willing to share their work with me feel that way! Great post, Jolene!

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