Saturday, February 27, 2010

To crit or not to crit: chapter 3 of 4

Here we are, almost done. There are a few thoughts I have to include.

As you crit someone else's work, you may have to mention facts: pointing out where the writer breaks grammar rules, for example. Even here, it’s not necessary to leap off an ivory tower onto the poor writer. Say something like ‘I think you meant…’ or ‘In this context, the accepted standard is…’ When I can cite a source, such as my trusty Webster’s New World Dictionary and Thesaurus, Second Edition 2002, I list that. The writer knows I’m not pulling stuff out of the air and she/he can go check it out if they want. I’ve had critters cite examples from published fiction and that’s great. That gives me someplace specific to go if I want to get further into it.

If you crit in a newbie queue, please be extra careful. Those writers may not be new to writing or getting crits, but they’re new to the site. Don’t sour people on something you yourself find helpful by biting off their heads. Put in a few extra smileys, or ‘good job here’ comments. People who are in fact new to writing will probably have more weak things and just plain errors in their writing, so think about whether or not you want to tackle that before you start critting.

That said, try to crit an occasional newbie story. You were a newbie once too. You might gain a crit buddy.

It may be easier to just leap out of the water, mouth gaping, and bite off limbs. People who saw "Jaws" when it came out remember those teeth. But bunny rabbits get the positive attention.

The final chapter: So what's in it for me?


  1. Some of the best crits I've seen come from folks in the Newbie queue!

  2. There you go. Thanks for standing up to support Newbies, Angela! A Newbie may have less tired eyes and brains :)