Re: Your Critiquing Style and Experience



I’ve been writing on and off for a very long time. A few years ago, I was very seriously on the agent-quest, publishing hunt but I also burned myself out pretty hard which is why I took a break from it all for a few years. I only just started getting back into writing seriously this year. This is why I recommend being kind to yourself these days and to take it easy if you know you’ve reached the bottom of the creative well. Speaking from experience, it can be hard to find your way back once you’ve gone well past that point.

I haven’t kept count but I’ve critiqued several manuscripts over the years, both short stories and novels, in the fantasy (all subgenres), YA fantasy, and paranormal romance genres.

If you’re looking for a copy edit, line edit sort of critter, I probably wouldn’t be your first choice. My skills are more on the macro side of things: does this plot make sense? would the character actually do something like that? this piece of worldbuilding is a bit clunky. That sort of thing. I can do the more micro type of critique that a copy/line edit would require but you’d have to tell me in advance. I have to switch to that sort of mindset to do a proper job because it requires a certain amount of focus for me.

My critique style tends to be tough but encouraging. If something’s not working, I will definitely tell you but I will also tell you if something IS working. Possibly with smiley faces and hearts. lol

Speaking for myself, I tend to have an issue with withholding information. I’ve been working on fixing that but seriously, I need people to constantly keep on me about this because it’s such a bad habit!

I agree that it helps to get to know that person first and the type of critiques they prefer. If you want a “Is this working?” sort of crit versus a “Push me to the next level!” sort of crit. I’m capable of giving both but I like to know in advance. Giving a “Push me to the next level!” crit is going to do no one any good if you’ve just started your manuscript and only have three chapters! In that case, a “Is this working?” crit would be more appropriate. That sort of thing.