Constructive criticism. With anything we do in our life we need someone who is willing to take the time and help us to get better. However, there are two very different ways to go about doing it.
Let’s say in your writing you head hop with your POV’s (point of view). One critiquer says, “This is terrible. When you write you have to keep the same POV. How do you expect someone to follow the right character if you’re constantly head hopping.”
Here is the other critiquer. “You have a strong scene here. Something you need to watch for is the head hopping. Try to make sure you stay in one POV throughout a whole scene that way your reader knows who the person is behind the words.”
Which one would you prefer to receive as a writer? For me it’s obvious. The second one is the one that will motivate me to make my writing that much better. Whereas the first is just inappropriate and judgmental. I would have to step away from the critique for a day or to so I could back to it with a more open mind and then try to see if anything they have said could really help me.
When I critique someone’s work, I make sure to do it in the manner I’d want to be critiqued. I spend my time going through the submission making sure I don’t miss anything that might help someone else.
When I receive a critique back with a lot of it marked up I actually get excited. I know for some people this might be discouraging but for me it means that someone else has taken their precious time and thoroughly gone through my work.
I know I still have a lot to learn when it comes to writing. Constructive criticism is the way I’m able to learn best. So the next time you receive your submission all marked up by a critiquer, be thankful for it as it can only help you to improve as it has for me.