Unproductive criticism isn't worthwhile. Here's how one of our fellow author's critiques:
1) There's always something good in any writing, so I start there.
2) If I find something I think needs to be changed or improved, then I find a way to help the writer with a suggestion, not a condemnation.
3) I always end with something good. There are at least two good things in any created piece. I feel it's my job to find them as well as anything I think could be made better.
4) I remind the writer this is MY opinion. I'm not the publishing god. Others will have opinions that are different. I urge them to seek those.
Ultimately, the writer is driving the boat. Remind them . . . subtly.
The plot (too much too soon/complicated? no hint at the plot/problem?)
The characters (alive and believable? if not, what felt flat?)
The action/pacing (did it keep me engrossed and wanting to turn the page?)
The dialogue (did I believe people would actually say these things?)
The background (too much or too little?)
The setting (did I understand where I was supposed to be?)
The technical details (spelling, grammar, scientific or historical details), etc.
What I loved about this work, and why
What caused me problems, and why
Great foundation for this group. I love these suggestions for critiques, both giving and receiving. Wonderful, all.
Thank you for this post, Jessie!
Another helpful post from member Tabitha Olson -- do's and don'ts of giving critiques.http://tabwriter.blogspot.com/2011/09/how-to-get-most-out-of-critiq...
Thanks for this!