Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Let's Talk Terms

What happens within a writers group? The interaction between writers involves feeback, critique and/constructive criticism, and encouragement.

In a writers group, you give and receive feedback. Feedback involves sharing observations and suggestions about each other's writing. The goal is to improve as writers.

The word "critic" comes from the Greek word kritikos, which means to discern. When you critique someone else's manuscript, you are evaluating it--looking at its structure, flow, content--and, if it is fiction, the character development and plot. You discuss both what works and what doesn't work--the good and the bad.

Constructive Criticism implies a compassionate attitude towards the person receiving the criticism. That bears repeating: Have a compassionate attitude towards the person who is receiving critique.

In constructive criticism, the goal is to uplift or encourage another writer as she improves her writing skills. When you're giving feedback, tell a writer what you like about her manuscript. Don't just pull out your red pen and make a manuscript bleed red. Take the time to say, "I love this word picture!" or "This is a great lead."

No comments: