Had a great brainstorming session last night with critique buddies, MaryAnn and Dana. Each of us brought a work-in-progress, read a portion, and gave feedback.
Part of the writing process is to put your work in front of other eyes before it’s polished. Sometimes, that’s difficult because it’s not your best work and you know it’s going to receive negative feedback which is critical to making it better. Necessary, but not any easier to take. Fortunately, I don’t have too much of an issue with that.
That’s not to say that all feedback for WsIP is negative. It’s important to have a critique group that recognizes the good, questions the questionable, and isn’t afraid to say, “I don’t get it.” Fear is the mind killer and being fearful to give or receive criticism will ultimately weaken your work and that of others in your group.
I remind myself when giving feedback to include the good with the bad. A rule of thumb I like to use is:
1. What is good about this?
2. What’s something else that’s good?
3. What would make it better?
Another method is the “sandwich”.
1. Name one thing that good.
2. One thing that needs work.
3. Another thing that’s good.
Remember that the work you’re critiquing is someone else’s baby. Treat it with care.