Writing Tip #15-Critique Levels

I love writing. I love teaching. I love teaching writing. I love listening to writers talk about their manuscripts. I love problem solving with writers. I love the delicacy and boldness of writing. These tips are things I’ve learned over the years that have held me in good stead and kept me going through the hard dry times. I hope they help you.

And hey, they are only a minute long. Click here.

Critiques are critical to every writers’ development. But there are many levels of critiques. And it’s important for you the writer to know which level of critique you need. Level One is when you share your first words and ideas with your trusted and most supportive peers. This is the no criticism level. This is the ‘never see the light of day’ level. This is when the writer needs to hear, “Tell me more.” Level Two is the Inquiry level. This level is when the writer is looking at point of view, setting, character development. This is when the writer needs to hear from their critiquers: I love this story but I’m confused here or I’m having trouble believing this choice. I think this is the time the writer and critiquers can talk about what the story is about and whose story is it. Level three is the polishing level. This is when the writer is looking at shapes of chapters, logic flaws, theme, tone. It is the nitpick level. This is when the writer wants to hear critiques that will make their manuscript shine from commas to word choice to character arcs.