Most writers don’t get critiqued enough. True some critiques do cut you, like some reviews. I think KIRKUS reviews can say one’s writing is “shit” in hundreds of ways, some subtle some not, as in from “dross” to “mind dump.” Most critiques are in the vein of what works and what doesn’t work. In a writing class once, a fellow’s short story was about a scene in Vietnam, and then in the dialogue the character used the term “gook” in referring to VC enemy. The critic thought it was distasteful. I’m sure the writer felt his character was true in that dialogue, and while he did not argue, some classroom peer/novice advice has to be weighed.

This came up in another blog site about the value of critiques. See:

It really is invaluable and a learning thing. That’s why local workshops are so important too, not just the conference breakout sessions.

5 thoughts on “Critiques

  1. Hello Tim

    I agree, but where is a novice writer to go?
    In my area the nearest writers group that I can find has to be at least 60-70 miles to the North. Friends and family are useless in most cases & one can only lean on more established writers so far.
    Local schools no longer offer Creative Writing….I have been taking distance learning stuff on the net, but again that only goes so far????

    • Hey Chris…..
      I learned a lot from reading and subscribed to for a while, Writers Digest magazine decades ago. I haven’t taken a creative course since Fresno City College 1979. Not sure if they are still offering. Is West Hills in Lemoore campus offering? I might ask writer/aquisitions editer Sunny Frazier for you. She lives near you.

      • Yes…West Hills offered a Creative Writng Class during the spring semester at a time that I could not attend. Looks like spring only as I did not see it again in fall ’12.
        I did take a couple of the distancelearning courses offered & will continue to take these as I can participate at anytime of the day.

  2. Pingback: Ten things I’ve learned from giving and receiving critique | Writerly Goodness

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