When you write, you notice other writers. You enjoy friendships with other readers. You may be in a writers group. When you write, these relationships are important because you’re going to seek out people to read your works in progress.
Generally you can ask for certain things before people read to critique. Some people ask for very detailed suggestions such as comma placements and misspelled words. Some don’t have any idea what they hope to get by sharing. Here is what I have learned about what I want from critiquers:
- Give me a variety of readers. Don’t just seek out other writers like you. If the readers like it despite not liking the genre, you can feel good.
- Tell me how you feel about the protagonist. If readers hate the person leading the story, they may not care about reading to the end.
- Give me a guess on what happens next. When a critiquer reads just a piece of your work, it is a great opportunity for you to see if you are misleading your audience enough or if the plot is too obvious.
- Tell me what strikes you the most. I’m curious what impressions critiquers are left with. I want to know what the work leaves people with, or what they feel is missing.
Taking time to let people read your work is a welcome break from creating and editing it on your own. Getting critiqued can point out flaws you might be too close up to see. Hearing others’ perspectives on the story can help you to work on clarifying things for your audience. There is no critique you must take, so why not listen with an open mind?
What is important to you from fellow critiquers?