Critique Schedule

  • To request a critique date, send an email to one of your SFWW hosts.
  • Members must have done at least four critiques before they can ask for a critique date.
  • Members must remain active to receive their critique date.

    Please convert story submissions to text (.txt) format or place in the body of an email (if it will fit) before sending to the host for distribution to the group.
  • Submissions should be sent to Elizabeth at least 3 weeks before the assigned Critique Due Date.

*The number of critiques received tends to decline during the holidays.

Sample Critique 4

Critique of "Thumbalina and Flatfoot" by Joe Lindsay

Story by Roland Hough

The classic SF form of a Man with a Problem. The best features of these stories have always been the science. Yours certainly qualifies in this respect.

* The use of language is sound, at times becoming a little technical and long-winded. You should see if there's anything irrelevant you could cut out. For example --

> It is relatively new technology, even today, this business of setting up inter-spatial threads between known points in the universe. Mankind formed this idea when the ability to sense the existence of threads was first discovered. Every now and then some human comes up with a quantum leap, no pun intended, to mankind’s exo-evolutionary tool set. Using theories centuries old, they proved that two points in space could be connected through inter-dimensional threads. Then someone built the first gate. It went from Earth to Jupiter’s second moon, Europa. They pushed a probe through it, and voila, thread jumping was born.

You can kill a lot of this -- for a start, you can assume that your SF reader is familiar with what a "stargate" does. You can also cut individual clauses in your sentences. See if there are any parts you can rewrite a little shorter, a little punchier.

* My major plot concern:

> The problem is that there is no way to engineer a probe that can find the gate on the other end, once it has passed through.

That I don't buy. Why can't you? What qualities does a human possess that a machine can't? You gloss over this fairly important concern. There a range of possibilities -- perhaps building a probe capable of creating a thread gate would be too expensive. Perhaps the conditions on the unknown side of the thread gate are so variable that it is impossible to efficiently program such a probe.

* The opening paragraphs are confusing. Here's another way of structuring it:

> Something is wrong, very wrong. We aren’t landing. We are just falling into nothingness.

I'd suggest that you now have the narrator look across the cabin (so that we know for sure he's in some type of vehicle) to see how his copilot is doing. Perhaps your description could be a little more visual than "he was unconscious." You could describe Janfir's head lolling, or a nasty bruise. It's in low gravity, so his hair would be floating all over the place as if underwater -- you could make a comparison with a drowned man.

The next thing to do is mention the threat gate, perhaps just in passing: "We are falling away from the thread gate at 350 Km/h , and despite our velocity, are being pushed along north by northwesterly at about 60 Km a minute. Then a description of the planet. Then have the narrator try to take action. Only after this should you start introducing more information about the nature of thread gates and the mission.

* I liked the oddball explicitives, and that final note from Jafir. More lighter or unusual bits & pieces would be welcome. Have your narrator admire the view. Put some life into the cabin interior. A half-empty box of tic tacs, a pet Martian Mouse, some posters, some humourous adage tacked up to the control panel, some appropriately ancient music. A nice contrast with the impending doom.

* Consider introducing the computer as a second character, which communicates verbally, so that you can include some dialogue. It would also be an excellent way of providing technical information in a format not quite so dense and relentless, of adding humour or even creating more dramatic tension, as the narrator struggles to get the tempermental computer to co-operate.

* Your learning curve appears to be a vertical line.


Sample Critique 3

Critique of "Thumbalina and Flatfoot" by Bob Langer

Story by Roland Hough

Dear Roland,

I try to wait until I've finished reading a story before making any comments. In the first paragraph you state that you're space craft is in free fall. In the second paragraph you state that, "Gravity is increasing, I can feel it in my fingers." If the space craft is truly in free fall, then there would be no sensation of gravity by the passengers. (This is why people in LEO are weightless, not because the force of gravity falls off that quickly.) If the craft is either accelerating or decelerating, then it is not in a state of free fall.

If this spacecraft/glider is no longer in free fall and is subject to the full force of 2.4 gravities, the situation is not as grim as you might suspect. Arthur C. Clarke wrote a book in '51 called, "The Exploration of Space." In it he mentions that under an acceleration of 4 gravities, the force required to lift your arm would be comparable to lifting a heavy briefcase or a portable typewriter at arm's length. He also mentions that in the prone position, man can survive a force of 20 gravities for up to a minute.

I'm trying to get a handle on this planet that your intrepid hero is in orbit about. I appears that you're basically describing Jupiter. From the 2.4 g's to the atmospheric winds, etc. The physical details are all matching too closely. For a gas giant, Jupiter is not all that large. Of the dozen or so planets discovered orbitting other stars, about half of them are more massive than Jupiter. One appears to be ten times Jupiter's mass. You might want to run some of those numbers through a calculator and come up with the gravitational force exerted by an even larger planet. As far as their atmosphere's goes, you should be safe sticking with a similar mixture to that of Jupiter.

And unless you're inventing new jargon, tacheon should be spelled tachyon.

Your reasoning for why human pilots are needed to "find the gate," is a little implausible to me. From the risks involved with this type of process, this would be ideally suited for designing a machine to take care of this task. Hmm... Interesting that you give this planet a diameter of at least three times that of Jupiter. Yet it has the same mass as Jupiter. And it has a solid surface. Overall, with that mass and that volume, this planet should be even less dense than Saturn. In fact, it would have a density less than a tenth of Saturn's. Which makes me wonder whether or not this tenuous collection of gasses would even coalesce.

Here goes the mention of the nearly unbearable gravitational force again. Let's say you have a 200 lb male as your pilot. At 2.4 g's he would weigh, 480lbs. Yes, this is indeed heavy. But, people who weigh considerably more are able to function under their own power. It may not be comfortable, but there's little reason for our hero to belabor this point.

This is just a minor, almost personal preference. In this future where we have a form of faster than light travel via a vast cosmic network, why does it sound like our hero is using a 20 MHz 386 with 2 meg of ram? There is no hint of even a half witted AI. Apparently there is no voice recognition since the pilot must flip switches on his arm rest to take care of even the most basic functions. There is no indication that the computer has any ability to generate speech.

Ouch... I am toward the end of the story. You have mentioned that these thread gates are invisible to the eye and are very difficult to detect. Now, at the last instant, the hero happens to remember a key fact. Radar will show a "slight blindness" to a thread gate when it is near by. To prevent this from sounding contrived, make some mention of this fact earlier in the story.

Ok, I have finished this entire story now. Beyond the more technical notes, allow me to make a few comments in regards to the story telling.

The Idea behind this story is that mankind has developed "Thread Gates" as a means of faster than light travel. One consequence of the difficulty of placing these Gates is that it requires the presence of a human pilot. Which naturally leads us to your lead character.

The lead character of this story felt to me to be rather flat. Why did he go on this third trip? After the publicity from his second outing (the one where he found fossilized evidence of life on another planet) our hero could have sold the film, novel, and any other right associated with his experiences for a considerable fee. So, taking into account his apparent wealth, and the risk factor involved with this exploration, why go on the third trip? The only answers that come to mind are either vanity or greed. Our hero doesn't sound particularly greedy. Although he does refer to himself several times in the third person. This is a particularly vain trait. However, he wasn't so vain that I wanted him to fail. I simply didn't care about him one way or the other.

The plot, the events, the actions that the hero had to take could be summed up in one quick sentence. This was a story of Man against Nature. In this case, Nature was pretty damn big, and Man had some technological support. This may be due in part to the characterization, but the tension in the plot did not increase throughout the story. The tension hit a plateau once the pilot's situation was defined. With the navigator unconscious, and the ship out of control gliding through a gas giant's atmosphere, where can you go to increase the tension?

One possibility to consider is having the pilot eject some balast, namely the unconscious navigator. If the energy situation is as tight as you claim, perhaps dumping the body would help make the difference. It would certainly raise the stakes in the story.

Also, one note on the point of view. In this type of story I would strongly urge you to not use the first person viewpoint for a couple of reasons. One is that there is no profound change in the character. There is no need for the story to be told in his words. Secondly though, and more importantly, with the first person viewpoint, you know that the narrator (in this case the pilot) is going to come out alive. If the narrator doesn't make it out, it feels like the reader has been cheated... The reader starts questioning how the narrator is able to tell this story at all. So, you don't want to use the first person viewpoint because it makes the story feel predictable. At least, I wouldn't want to use the first person viewpoint for that reason.

All in all, this was an entertaining story. One thing to keep in mind though is be very careful with any technical details. There will always be someone reading your stories who has the background to comment on the technical details of your stories. A group of MIT students worked through the dynamics of Larry Niven's "Ringworld," and found that it was unstable. Also, for another perspective on the lone explorer in a space ship you may want to read Frederick Pohl's novel, "Gateway." (On a side note, Legend software wrote an adventure game based on that novel in the early '90's. They were giving it away on the internet a year or so ago.)

I hope these comments help.

Bob Langer

Sample Critique 2

Critique of "Climbing Twilight" by DM Rowles

Story by JD Williams


What a lovely story! It is almost perfect. You did a great job in creating an alien being. (“Redwoods” make me think “Big foot” makes me think “Past or Future earth” but no matter; maybe it is, maybe it isn’t.) And on a deeper level, of course, the story is about the need we all have to be able to say goodbye to a loved one. So the story uses the genre to deal with a human problem. That’s what good sf is all about for me -- but I am a product of the 60s, don’t forget...Delaney, Ballard, Aldiss, Ellison, Russ, LeGuin, Disch, Moorcock etc.

May I point out a couple of places where I was pulled out of the narrative by a word choice or construction? (A story this good leaves me no choice but to go over it with my patentpending WordFreakoScope.) I wish I could get the hang of cutting and pasting from a text document -- I have to rely on my notes and memory here. Anyway -

“Papa-Mama who grew weak and fragile with each passing day” better as “weaker and more fragile”.

“Eyes bordered by tears.”(Rimmed? Framed? Well, those aren't good either...)

At one point you say “shot like thunder” and at another you say “flowed like lightening” -- both of these similes bothered me. I don’t think of thunder as shooting. It rumbles, crashes; and lightening doesn’t flow.

I suggest a space break before “long years after”.

So the narrator returns to “continue the history of the race. Not really. He/she returns to perpetuate the species. I love the fact that the attempt was a “failure” and produced a male and a female.

There is one fragment that doesn’t work. “Terrified that I might never bear a child.”

I would take out “Somehow she had discovered what I had done.” That is obvious.

General stuff --

The whole story is really embodied in the very beginning (“I let go.”)

I confess I got a little impatient with the death scene. We know what was up with the reverse/transfer. Maybe you shouldn’t explain it quite so much.

I may be rushing this critique a little bit, but I wanted to be the first to say, “Beautiful work, Jim. Touching, thought-provoking, sophisticated. Bravo!”


Sample Critique 1

Critique of "Climbing Twilight" by David Lowrey

Story by JD Williams

Hi Jim-

You have a good idea here and some interesting fantasy beings to portray. Here's a few suggestions on how to make them more interesting.

(BTW, sometimes when I get critiques, my first reaction to 'suggestions' is like Commander Kern to Riker in ST- The Next Generation: "If this were a Klingon ship, I would have killed you for your 'suggestion.'" But I usually get over that in a few minutes ; )

As a reader, I had a few problems getting through this one, because I was distracted by the thought dialogue.

"*Did the wind blow in your eyes?* I thought. Sensing my thoughts, ..."

"*It's almost time, Little One.* Her thoughts came suddenly into my mind."

Three aspects to the dialogue:

First, a few details on the psi powers might be useful, how they work and what limitations they have. For instance, would they know if, *I have to go to the bathroom,* or *By the way, you're really a jerk. Oops, I didn't mean that -- I really like you, I was thinking about someone else.*

Second, thought dialogue usually follows one of the standard conventions below:

1. I'm thinking, he thought. Isn't Dave a jerk.

2. "I'm thinking," he thought. "Isn't Dave a jerk."

3. I'm thinking, he thought. Isn't Dave a jerk.

Compare, *I'm thinking,* he thought. *Isn't Dave a jerk.*

All three conventions are used but No.1 is best because there's less interruption of the flow of the narrative. Quotation marks interrupt, and italics raise the volume of the thoughts. *Asterisks* scream. As an unconventional method of denoting dialogue, they immediately distract the reader from the story, shaking him or her right out of the flow of the story like riding on a bumpy road with old shocks. They do provide a sort of fantasy quality to the dialogue, but your job is to do that through characterization and setting.

Third, you are bordering on creating an alien dialect, which can create a lot of challenges for a writer; especially if it's a dialect unknown to the reader. I'm sorry I can't offer any advice here, except that I always try to stay away from dialects; they're too hard to write effectively - even if I use them myself in everyday life.

On setting, where is this fantasy world in relation to the reader? It could be a redwood forest type of setting -- similar, say to Endor or the pacific northwest; or another dimension. The most important thing here is how is their world related to us?

Climbing ... is an interesting description of the lifecycle of fantasy beings, told from the perspective of the child, but the story could be summed up: I came into puberty, my mom told me the facts of life, I resisted, she died and I took her place. I would add a few more plot twists to this, perhaps create someone who interferes with the normal cycle of life and creates problems for them to overcome. Readers usually enjoy a story better if there is a human they can identify with, or a human-like character. Perhaps your plot could thicken by introducing a human interloper to their world, threatening their way of life.

BTW, I wouldn't send this to "Writer's of the Future" just yet (just a personal opinion). Climbing... is a great start on an interesting world. Allow us to get closer to the characters, tell us more about where they are, and make life more difficult for them. Then, definitely send to the L. Ron Hub guys.

With warm regards,

David Lowrey

Sample Critiques

Sample critiques from the SFWW are presented below as both an example to new and prospective members of the kind of critiques produced in the workshop, and to guide those who are new to the workshop experience in writing their own critiques. Every writer has their own style, and no style should be seen as the "right" way to critique. Please also refer to our critique Guidelines.

Critique Guidelines

When we criticize work, we are commenting for the purposes of salability, and our goal is to help authors to become publishable and published writers. For prose pieces, the following issues are critically important:


- does the action make sense? Is what is written moving the story forward? Sometimes, the pieces are too short or are fragments, so a complete plot analysis isn't possible. Most pieces can be judged within the first few sentences for effective plot beginnings, however. That's what editors do.

a) Does the story start at the right place (the beginning)? Most stories by beginning writers start far too early--way before the key action takes place. Some, however, may start too far forward. These writers have taken the advice of start with the action at full steam too literally.

b) Is the pacing appropriate to the story? Too fast? Too slow? Just right?

c) Is the plot a real plot (a character, in context, with a problem)? Are things happening which seem to have no discernable reason or purpose?

d) Are there unconvincing coincidences passing for plot? "I saw Prunella at the A & P that afternoon. I couldn't believe it when she told me that she had the other half of the key to the Ancient Peruvian Treasure Box which I had been seeking, the very one which had brought upon the murder of Uncle Henry by the ravening pirates."

e) The ending: is the payoff adequate to the buildup? Does the ending make sense? Is it satisfying? Does it arise from character and situation or is it "deus ex machina," where the Cavalry suddenly comes riding in over the hill to save the hero and heroine? Most importantly: were the seeds of the ending sown in the beginning?


- Is the beginning adequate to catch the reader's interest? Another key issue related to salability. Is there the proper balance of action, dramatization, and narrative? Sometimes, more narrative is needed, as in the pieces where the author will begin with a lot of unattributed dialog.

The dialog might be saying exciting things, like:

     "I'll kill you, Jim!"

     "No you won't, I'll rip your arms out of their sockets first."

     "Darn you, Jim! Just pass me that ketchup."

OK, here's killing, anger, conflict . . . but who? Where? Who cares? Other beginning errors include hooks that are a bit too strong: and I've seen child abuse, rape, incest, this type of thing. The reader has to care about the story and characters first, not be thrown into a situation from which they will instinctively recoil.


- are the people of the story believable? In the case of some of the work we've seen, one wonders if the characters which are being written about are people. Some beginning writers use genderless, nameless characters. While this might have been done in some avant-garde writing, this isn't usually the type of writing which is accepted in the SF world.

Urge the basics:

a) Names--good ones--indicative of character, which make sense. "Tom, Dick, and Harry" just don't cut it. With all the great names in the world, let's promote some creativity in character-naming.

b) Dialog and action fits with and supports character. Meek, sensitive characters shouldn't scream or suddenly pull out Ninja weapons unless it's a comic piece.

c) Gender, place, time, dress and manner of characters should all go together to support good characterization.

d) Physical descriptions are appropriate to the piece. A viewpoint character should not be able to describe himself, unless it's integral to the plot. The good 'ol, Susie sees herself in a mirror trick should always be pointed out to the author. Physical description of viewpoint characters can be done indirectly, by the reactions of others to the character and the character's own interaction with the world of the story.

Point of View

- whose story is being told and who is telling it?

a) Omniscient narrators are pretty much on the outs in the current publishing world. The omniscient narrator hops from head to head, from scene to scene and place to place and there is no single point of view or voice, other than the author's.

b) First-person narrator. A difficult voice for the beginner, though many people often think it is "easy." The first-person narrator can only tell what he experiences and knows. This can be a powerful, but also a limiting voice. It is often thought to bring the reader into the story, but poorly-done first person narration has the opposite effect. The reader becomes aggravated by the character, and generally quits reading. A good example of when first-person narration is inappropriate: stories told by people who are dead or in comas, unless it's a horror or surrealistic story. Of course, Dalton Trumbo's, "Johnny Got His Gun," the famous World War I story, was told from the point of view of Johnny who had no arms, legs, eyes and was deaf from a war wound--a unique and effective story not likely to be repeated.

c) Third-person narrator. Also called, "limited third-person point of view." This is the most common narrative style used in novels and short stories. The technique uses limited authorial intrusion, and done properly, can bring the reader in as close to the story or closer to it than can first-person narration. A point-of-view character is selected and the story told from that character's perspective.

d) Common mistakes include:

1. Head-hopping: switching back and forth between different characters' thoughts and opinions.

2. POV slipping: telling something that the POV character couldn't possibly know.

e) WRONG point-of-view character. Sometimes stories are told from the wrong character's point of view. This is an error in plot, related to the point-of-view issue. If the author more fully understood the story's plot, he or she would have automatically and easily chosen the appropriate character to "tell" the story.

Style - is the writing appropriate to the story? Style is subjective, but true errors in style are glaringly obvious.

a) Tone. Is a serious story being told in a flippant tone? Or a comical story told in a plodding, self-conscious style? Most common, especially with younger writers: inappropriate irony, otherwise known as "smarting off."

b) Anachronisms or Freudian slips. In historical stories, are characters using modern phrases? Or, do inappropriate comments slip into the narrative, for instance, in a tense scene of financial intrigue, does one character suddenly say to another, "I love your see-through blouse, Frieda?" Are characters acting appropriately for their age and stage in life?

c) Usage/Confusion errors. The gerund problem is among these. "Pulling on his boots, he leapt to the door with his gun." Gerunds used in this manner are usually associated with two unrelated clauses jammed together with a comma. The author needs to use separate sentences which portray clear and understandable action and narrative. This is lazy, confused writing. Psychologically, I think it signifies a confusion as to what the appropriate story and/or action is, because most often, I've seen very beginning writers do it when they are tired or bored and don't know what to do with the story. Misplaced modifiers and split infinitives also fall into this category.

Sentence fragments? Sometimes they are appropriate, if they seemed planned or intentional and are not excessively used.

d) "Taking the reader for granted." Otherwise known as "The urge to explain." The great phrase, "RUE" or "Resist the Urge to Explain," is used in the book Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, by Browne and King.

"I'll never darken your doorstep again, you thieving hussy!" Johnny slammed the door furiously. He was angry. He had never been so angry in his life.

[Thank you, author, I got it the first time . . .]

Simply put, authors make this error when they use dialog, narrative summary and action to accomplish the same purpose. Dialog and action can both be strong methods of communicating plot developments; narrative summary less-so, but it has its place.

Thirty years passed and Monica had never kissed another man.

That's narrative summary - preferable to detailing Monica's turn-downs of men over a 30-year period.

e) Lack of variation in sentence length or sentence structure. Too many short sentences? Too many long, run-on sentences? A long sentence or two can be interesting, but not every sentence. An ungrammatical, confusing sentence is exactly that, and is never good writing.

f) Excessive use of passive voice. Passive voice is often mistaken for the past-perfect tense. Passive voice refers to the reversal of the "normal" subject/verb order of a sentence. Tenses of verbs serve to indicate time and order of events. When writing about the past, or indicating various moods, past-perfect verbs are very useful, and they have nothing to do with "passive voice."

"Bob hit the ball" is "active" voice, the normal sentence order in English.

"The ball was hit by Bob" is passive voice. The subject, "the ball," comes before the verb.

You might see something like "The speech by Mayor Bob was given in his usual sarcastic tone." Normal sentence order would be: "Mayor Bob gave the speech in his usual sarcastic tone."

Passive voice isn't a major point in fiction writing: if it is used to excess, there are usually other severe problems in plot and style which are more harmful than passive voice alone.

g) Internal dialog passing for emotions or plot. Many beginning writers do this. At its most extreme, the internal dialog is actually the author's own thoughts as they ruminate along the page, not those of the character.

"What would Mary do? Would she fire the gun at John, or would she turn it on herself? What would happen if she fired the gun at the floor? How could she ever decide?"

Please, Mary, decide. Please, author, don't tell us what happened until Mary decides. Sometimes, this sort of internal dialog can be unintentionally hilarious, like the authors who are going along with the story and suddenly say, "this is really boring. When is this going to be over?" Soon, I hope.


is it good? A good ear for dialog is something which is difficult to learn. It's easy to spot when a writer is good at dialog. Conversations should be realistic and serve to advance the plot. Good dialog is not realistic dialog, it is dialog which advances the story, shows character and echoes in the reader's mind.

a) "Maid and Butler dialog" is dialog where two characters tell each other things they already know. It is often used to attempt to tell backstory or to explain concepts the author thinks the reader won't understand. In SF, we know this as the "infodump."

b) Flowery dialog: sometimes found in Romance writing, Historical writing or Fantasy writing, these are characters who speak language which never issued from a human mouth. High language can be appropriate in all of those genres, but dialog like this:

     "Margaret, your lips are as sweet as the nectar from a honeyed buttercup," Lord Brockston Bragg ejaculated.

     "Oh, Brockston, I can feel your . . . it's . . . it's pulsating, Brockston," Margaret exhaled.

. . . is never appropriate.

c) Bad tags. "Said" is fine, as well as the occasional whisper or shout, indicating volume (but even that's not necessary). Bad tags include "exhaled," "ejaculated," "shrieked," "sputtered," "muttered," "murmured," and all other verbs attributed to a line of dialog instead of appropriate action, description and good dialog which speaks for itself.

Marianne cupped her hand by my ear. "He's going to try it now. Just watch," she said.

Whispering is pretty much understood.

Bob sighed and opened his mouth, then sighed again. "Can't," he said at last. "Can't do it."

(Beats "stuttered," or "sputtered," followed by "Bob stuttered. He had stuttered since he was seven and the Burnsey boys had whipped him behind Old Man Gruenpfluegel's barn.")

Originality and creativity

The most important part! We should be encouraging people to use their imaginations and to think beyond the first ideas which pop into their heads. Cliched plots and characters and situations, like "Worldmaster Gray" and "the spacefaring couple who crashes on a planet and turns out to be . . . Adam and Eve!" fall into this area. Originality in character, plot and setting is very important and goes a long way toward contributing to the quality of any kind of fiction writing.

-- Amy Sterling Casil (c) 1996


Each member must critique at least two stories a month to maintain membership. The hosts can grant waivers to this policy on an individual basis, provided members contact them in advance.

A new story or novel chapter will be sent to the membership each Monday. The author must provide their story to the host two weeks before their scheduled critique date in ASCII (text) or HTML format, or in the body of an email (if the story will fit). No other formats are accepted.

Members have two weeks to critique a given story. Critiques must be written in the body of an email and sent to every member on the mailing list. Please read our detailed critique guidelines and sample critiques if you have any questions about this process.

Critiquing the work of a fellow writer is a mutually beneficial experience. The critiquer benefits by reading a work, thinking about the various points of story development and technique, and putting those thoughts into a helpful summary for the writer. The writer benefits by having an objective party read and comment on their work. How the writer uses those comments is up to them, though the writer should pay particular attention to comments repeated across several critiques.

Feedback should be given to a writer freely and objectively. In turn, the writer may want to respond to critiques received. This is encouraged. It often helps the critiquer and others understand a story point from the writer's perspective. This is a part of the learning exchange that makes the SFWW so special.

Should a writer be offended by any comment from another writer in the group, immediately contact the hosts. DO NOT respond out of anger, even if you feel it's justified. The hosts have experience in both writing and critique groups that can assist you. Explain your feelings and the reasons for them to the hosts, and let them guide you. Remember, the hosts reserve the right to remove any member from the mailing list for abusive or disruptive behavior.

Some thoughts to consider when critiquing or reading critiques of your work:

  1. Critiques are done by fellow writers. Their points of view may differ from your own, but they are not wrong.
  2. Critiques are done with "helping" in mind.
  3. If you read a critique that doesn't sit right with you, don't respond to the critiquer right away. Jot yourself a few notes and go on to other critiques. Others may touch on the same point and you may find the "offending" comments to be a problem you missed.
  4. Include the hosts if you find yourself bothered about something someone said about your work. The hosts will maintain confidentiality and assist you to find a solution.