Critiquing

This really makes me think. How does a writer become better at critiquing? It’s a fine art to pull a piece apart constructively, but it’s rare to find someone who does it well.

There are a lot of different ways to do this. Listen aloud while the author reads and provide critiques. Read a piece and provide suggestions. Read along while it’s read aloud. Do you look for things that throw you out of the mood, or verb tenses, or something else entirely?

I use a variety of these options, and I am learning more with each attempt. I have my weak points – especially in poetry.

There is no way to improve writing without critiques of your own work, and while an author needs to know her weak points – she also needs a level head from outside to tell her what’s good and bad. “Uh, you know you said the word ‘window’ four times in the last two sentences?”

Time to begin reading aloud, I think. Even though it sometimes seems weird to read aloud to myself.

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1 Comment

  1. Dawn Embers said,

    6 January 2009 at 13:53

    This is an interesting topic. I’ve even taken a class on lit criticism, but I think it made things more confusing. I have studied different schools of criticism but don’t know how to improve my own. I would guess that most people follow the reader response, since it is easier and connects what they are reading with their own personal experiences but that is just a guess.

    I need to read more of my stuff out loud as well. Wonder if I’d get strange looks if I did that in public… *ponders*


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