WS 18: Critiquing Part 1

Learn our styles of critiquing, the do’s and don’ts of critiquing and what to look for in critiquing your novel.

(about 25min.)

We will be announcing the winner of the M. L. Forman signed novel later.

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Information for the beginning or aspiring writer about all things writing in the fiction world. Novels, publishing, etc. We feature author and other professional interviews. View all posts by Writing Snippets

7 responses to “WS 18: Critiquing Part 1

  • Jess Smart Smiley

    Whoa. How’d I miss this post? Somehow it slipped by me, but I’ve found it! Ha ha!

    “You’re critiquing the story, not the author.” Probably my favorite snippet from this discussion. After four years of art school, where we spent the mornings tearing apart each other’s pictures through critiques, I’ve developed a pretty thick skin, but I need to be more mindful of the way I critique. Thanks for the reminder.

    Also, I’m so glad you pointed out the use of repetition in a novel. I can be so repetitive. I can be so repetitive.

    • Writing Snippets

      You are too funny! I really believe that you have to get a thick skin when you put anything that you create out for others to approve or disapprove. The hard part is not treating fellow creators as if they don’t have that thick skin yet. Repeating ourselves is human nature. We want to drill into their heads our opinions, or points of views, to get validation. Repetition usually works- just look at commercials. Novels are just not the place for that. Smart readers will become bored, or think you are trying to ‘teach’ them in a preachy way. Ah, the joys of becoming a writer.

      • Jess Smart Smiley

        One thing I love, however, is repetition in symbolism. Using different parts of a symbol in new ways to show a connection, or a theme. I love that in novels. But I guess we’re really talking about saying the same thing over again 😛

  • Jess Smart Smiley

    A few months ago I taught an art class where the assignment was to re-imagine the cover of their favorite book. It was really interesting to watch how the group of fourth graders picked up on the symbolism within their books and the ways they represented it on their cover. There were probably 7 out of 40 children that made covers for “Hunger Games” or “Mockingjay” and it was amazing to see how adept they were at using symbols and representing them visually.

    I just love how symbols can act as a doorway into an entire thought or idea, or even an entire novel.

  • John D. Payne

    I find that some things I repeat too often, because I forgot I put them in. And other things get left out, because I thought they were already in there. The cure for both is outside feedback, as you all point out.

  • Jess Smart Smiley

    Great point. I wonder if there’s more to be said about using repetition to create a theme? Maybe ways to use repetition toward our advantage?

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