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A few thoughts:
How an author words their critique is very important. Just like how only the right word in your book will do, the same applies with a critique. If a critic doesn't choose their words carefully and focus on the work itself, than everything they say will be ignored. Emotions tie heavily into writing and this fact cannot be ignored when offering up a critique. Being brutal isn't being kind or helpful it's another word for cruel. People seem a little mixed up lately, with going on about given harsh critics for the authors' own good. I think that saying is backwards don't you? So for who's own good is it for? Or rather who feels better, at what end of the critique? Wishing to help others is commendable, however it must stem from kindness.
What rolls off one person back with ease, another will take it personally. A critic's job is to focus on the work itself, not the anthers faults. The best way to have all of your helpful advice ignored, is by only focusing on the mistakes that the author is making and pointing them out. What I mean is, that the critic is making it feel personal to the author. Saying such things as "You need to, I think that.." No. Focus on the book/story/chapter it self. Grammatical errors, spelling errors, fragmented sentences. Other errors like these that you spot, great it's good to spot those, but that doesn't make one a critic, when someone checks for those they are line editing.
When a critic unprofessionally is [i]attacking[/i] the author's choice of story type, plot line, and writing style. I would say this occurs more out of the critic being "green" as a writer themselves. And example would be, a critic really hates first person point of view and will go into one of these stories ripping apart the author for using too many I's. Or the critic decides that they hate anything that are not short crisp sentences, and anyone that doesn't have a writing style like they do, has to be wrong. So is in need of fixing. See? Those are just examples mind you, try to remember one style of writing is not the only one, and they all are valid.
A good critic should never let their ego decide how they critique. Avoid using "I would not use that word" Then pull back for a moment. The authors' word choice, unless it is jarrings out-of-place, then that word they chose for a reason. That reason cannot be seen fully until you have read the whole book. What if that word, that sentence, paragraph, chapter, will make perfect sense later on? You can't know this until the book is finished. Again keep your opinions out of it, they are counting on you for an unbiased critique, give it to them. It is pure arrogance to try to force an author to use your writing voice, check that critique once more. Is that a helpful advice or just your personal preference?
The author will decide the story's meaning, and, of a story's[i] intent.[/i] Don't tell an author what their work is "supposed" to mean. When reading an author's work, it's crucial to take into account its genre, along with its intended audience. it's tasteless to harshly judge an author's book simply because you don't like the genre. Focus on the story. Is the plot, characters, and verb choice appropriate? The author is counting on you to tell them why or why not and to do this in detail. Anything otherwise may as well be a line edit. If you simply can not get over your distaste for a type of book, then continuing to critique, it will only harm the author as your perspective of the book is colored.
Keep this professional as you are able, avoid using the words, 'you, I like, I don't like, This is bad, this is good,' The reasoning behind this is that, by saying "you", (or any of the other examples) at any time in your critique you are now drowning your invaluable critique with personal opinions, and preferences. This causes the author to feel like they and their skills are under attack. It's far better to start with: “This works because, this doesn’t work because"…you don't have to use that exact wording, that's just an example. The authors you are giving a critique deserve to have an explanation of why something in the story is working, based on facts, the same thing applies for when something isn't working, and what is causing this.
A good critic explains them selves and strives for clarity in all that they say. When offering ways to do something better, backed up with a solid reason why based on actual writing rules and explained in a straightforward way. The logic of this will be clear.
I personally love the critics here, most of you are so helpful and are my teachers.:) I thank you for this. I wish to become a better author and a better critic. This blog doesn't just come from a critique I wasn't happy with it also comes from wanting to also improve as a critic.