Thursday, May 25, 2006

Critiques Analyzed

Beyond Dusk blogger, Kayla, shares her thoughts about giving critiques.

Two or three weeks ago, a friend and I were ranting over the phone about critiques. Specifically, about giving critiques.

People can't handle them.

It's any medium, not just writing. Writing, sculpting, photography--whatever. Someone asks for a critique, but when they get it, they rebound by either, 1) attempting to explain away what the critiquer pointed out as a potential problem, or 2) refusing to acknowledge that there's a problem at all. The first one is frustrating for the critiquer, especially if it's a repeat offense for every little thing. Try to consider that the critiquer might be speaking from a different perspective.

The second one is plain annoying, and can blend closely with the first. The writer needs to remember that, when they asked the critiquer for their opinion, they were making a silent promise to respect that opinion. Simply put: don't dismiss a critique until you've given it due thought, and even then, you don't need to tell your critique partner your every reason why.

Personally, I've adopted the habit of not saying anything during a critique unless I need clarification, or I've missed my mark so completely, that I need to tell them what I was trying to accomplish.

Kayla has some really good advice in her post and is so on the money. Then I think, "God, she's only in high school." I wish I had been that put together 15 years ago.

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