Rule Q – Always ask Questions when you critique


Linda’s Rules of Writing

Pink tulips in full bloom.
Spring tulips at the American History Museum in Washington, DC

We’re onto the letter Q in Linda’s Rules of Writing of the A to Z Challenge, and always ask Questions when you critique.

Critiquing someone else’s work can be a special challenge, and it’s not always easy to do.  I always feel acutely aware that I could send someone who isn’t ready for the critique into failure mode because I find things that need work.

Earlier this year, I took an Odyssey online class, which distributed a worksheet of items to critique.  During the class the instructor Barbara mentioned that you should ask questions about when doing the critique.

Like, “If this cabin is supposed to be well-hidden, why is in on well-trodden path?”

Or, “How come John happened to show up here at this moment?  It seems coincidental that he would be here.”

Or, “Why is Jane following Mary around?  Mary seems like the kind of person who would take advantage of Jane.”

It’s a different way of thinking when it comes to critiques, and I’ve found it to be a powerful tool at hitting what might not be working with a manuscript.

What methods do you use to critique?

Caption: A to Z Challenge Logo