A Review on Giving Critiques

2ceb1d2cb6194a21f6abecf76e4a1c44Happy New Year!

Surprise! I’m not going to talk about making writing goals for the year, or giving tips on how to complete them. Why not? Everyone has their own motivational structure–goals work for some, but can be super stressful for many.

Instead, this year we are doing something shiny and new in the Oquirrh Writers chapter–giving feedback and critiques.

Starting January 5 (our meetings are now on the FIRST THURSDAY), the second half of each chapter meeting will be spent doing critiques.This way you can receive personalized feedback on your work in progress (WIP).

We will break into small groups and both read and respond to the selected pieces in the same meeting. This is quite possibly the best way to improve your writing. I know I’ve personally learned more about the art of writing by receiving objective feedback than any other way. It’s also a great tool to help motivate you to continue working on projects and growing as a writer.
So much WIN!

The guidelines are simple:
1) Your selection should be no longer than 1500 words.
2) Print four copies, double spaced, 12-pt. font.
3) Keep the violence, language, etc. no worse than PG -13.

As for feedback, remember it’s about the writing, not the writer. Our goal as  a group is to provide positive support to writers of all abilities. When giving feedback always start with complimenting the strengths of the story. Use care when making constructive critique, keeping focus on the written word. Don’t feel pressured to come up with solutions, it helps the author to grow when they puzzle out the best way to fix a problem.

When receiving feedback, be professional. It is super easy to become defensive when people point out areas of your work that need strengthening. Don’t. When you send your stories out in to the world, your reader will not have you there to explain what you meant. You are not required to take advice you don’t agree with, but keep an open mind. You might learn something that will help you grow.

I hope to see lots of people bringing their work to review. Even if you choose not to bring something, it’s good experience to practice critical reading and feedback.

As always, I wish you a marvelous New Year! Let’s make this one the best yet!


About Jodi

Jodi L. Milner is a writer, mandala enthusiast, and educator. Her epic fantasy novel, Stonebearer’s Betrayal, will be published November 2018 by Immortal Works Press. She has been published in several anthologies. When not writing, she can be found folding children and feeding the laundry, occasionally in that order.
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