We all do it, every time we leave a comment on someone’s work on a blog or in a forum. But how can we do it helpfully and without offending anyone? The rules of most prompt sites, however, usually stipulate that unless a critique is asked for specifically, comments should always be positive – or words to that effect.
But is that a good thing? Bland and banal words or false enthusiasm do nothing except feed the writer’s ego. They cannot help to improve/ the piece of work, and hence add to the writer’s development. In addition, the art of critiquing well aids the critiquer to view his/her own work objectively, growing in the process.
I recommend heartily this article, to be found at: http://www.crayne.com/download/dealcrit.txt . It begins
HOW TO DEAL WITH CRITIQUING
By Rich Hamper
Critiquing can be tough for both the critiquer and the
author of a story. It’s often not just the content of a
critique, but the way in which the critique is delivered or the
author’s reaction to it which can make or break the critiquing
experience for both parties. Let’s take a closer look at
critiquing from both the critiquer’s perspective and the author’s
perspective and see what can be done to turn this experience into
a positive one for everyone. First, let’s look at critiquing . .
and gives some very helpful advice. This advice applies equally to poetry, prose, life writing etc.