Critiquing is not Criticizing

Definition of Critique
To evaluate in a detailed and analytical way

Writers love to write but not always to share.

Why? Well, when we share we allow others to see into our soul and the souls of our characters.

That tends to make us uncomfortable because the characters are our babies and friends.

We have to share eventually or no one will ever know we’ve written anything.

For some of us that’s ok, but, if you want to publish…… you need to share long before the book is finished

Why a Critique is so Important

  • To open up the story and ourselves to the world
  • To allow feedback both positive and so called negative
  • Helps us as authors to understand the story on a new level
  • Shows us where we’ve led our characters astray or that they have led us astray
  • Fixes issues of continuity or even character description…. Susie needs to have green eyes all the way through the story and not change to blue when she’s batting her eyelids at the hero or scowling at the villain.
  • To give fresh eyes to the book.
  • We know what is supposed to be happening, after all, we wrote it.
  • Not so fast, a lot of the time what’s in our heads doesn’t make it to the paper or the computer screen.
  • It’s way too easy to leave out a paragraph. When the poor reader tries to read through the sections around it they can’t make heads or tails out of it.
  • We also tend to repeat a word when we’ve been typing along merrily and then take break. If we simply pick up where we left off that can spell trouble.

 

How to Annoy Your Reader

There are many ways an author can annoy their reader without even trying, or in most cases, thinking about it.

So…how to annoy me (the reader) let me count the ways.

Apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning a British poet 1806 -1861
Her classic poem began… “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.”

Use lots and lots and lots of run on sentences with ‘ands’ that never seem to end.
Make sure that they are really convoluted (look it up) and hard to understand.

Oh, yeah, use words that you have absolutely no idea what they mean.
Your reader won’t appreciate trying to figure out the word that really belongs there.

A good rule of writing is to never use five words on page that would likely be beyond the reader’s level. There are lots of resources that organize words into what grade a child is likely to learn them.

Please………use the wrong form of the word…. that really gets our blood boiling and makes us so proud of you…. NOT!

Sally and Timmy went over to there/their friend’s house after school.
“There are to/too/two many candles on my cake” Uncle Harry complained.

Begin every sentence that you possibly can with either ‘And’ or ‘But’.

Whenever I see this happen my blood almost literally boils! I have been writing for over 50 years and have never had to begin a sentence with either one. If your sentence is rolling along  and you can’t bare to start a new one simply put a semi colon….; instead of beginning a new one with ‘and’.

These two lovely words interrupt the flow of your story and jolt the reader right out of the book. I know, I know ‘they’say it’s acceptable. If you choose to be a mediocre writer go right ahead.

Any author who really knows their ‘stuff’ when it comes to grammar and word usage is miles ahead of the pack.

If you follow these suggestions I can guarantee you will have accomplished your goal of annoying your reader to the point of never getting past the second or third paragraph of your article.