Monday, April 29, 2013

Critiquing Feedback TMI

Ever wish you could call out, "Do-over" and it would happen? My niece asked me to critique her first chapter of a novel draft she completed. She had never taken a class or other helps; she just did it. For that I applaud her. She had the drive to complete the task, believed in herself, and went down the learn-as-you-go road. The girl has some talent, too, and I'm proud of her.

I find critiques and revisions stimulating. No, really. Deciding to give my niece the benefit of my "experience", I critiqued everything that popped into my head--both good and not-so-good. My gently-worded comments included tips and teaching treasures that might be nice to know--one bite at a time. I think I stuffed her with information overload! We learn better line upon line, don't we? Ack! I hope I didn't give her a stomach ache.

What kind of feedback do you give? Do you dish it all out (with no mean intent), praise only what's good, or something in between? I'm learning that all critique audiences are not created equal. Maybe I shouldn't always be zealous to "rip it apart" when someone asks me to do that.

Your thoughts and/or critique-related horror stories are welcome.


Krista said...

I give it all. Good or bad without trying to be mean. I don't change my critique style to cater to other people. I offer my particular brand of critique if they want it, if they don't they can have someone else read it.

Renae W. Mackley said...

I like that, Krista!

Canda said...

I received a critique of one of my stories almost two years ago, and just this past spring I figured out what that person was trying to get me to see.

Yeah, I'll a little slow like that sometimes.

Hannah Holt said...

I had a similar experience with a friend. She asked me to critique her first novel and I could tell she didn't like my feedback. I tried to be balanced, but I think she only wanted me to tell her I loved it. So if it's someone's first critique, I try to go easy. If it's me and my critique partners, we go at it pretty hard. Yes, we lead and end with something nice, but otherwise bring out the magnifying glasses.

Renae W. Mackley said...

Canda, if they didn't explain it, it must not have been that great of a critique. Hmm. Glad you got it but I wonder if you agreed with it.
Hannah, I love it when they bring out the magnifying glass AND they love it. Hee hee.
Thanks, ladies.