A Critique Feedback Method

Last night, I chatted with an old friend and former co-worker who is also an aspiring writer. It turned out he was looking for a writing accountability partner. I was happy to oblige, as I can always use another kick in the rear to get me motivated.

Here's some feedback for my lazy butt.
Here’s some feedback for my lazy butt.

He suggested a feedback system that I thought balances the positive and negative very well. It captures some important overall aspects without necessarily digging into line-by-line details (which is what I normally do in my current critique group).

I thought I’d share it here as another option, perhaps less intrusive, for getting some feedback on a writing project.

After reading, answer the following questions:

1 – What did you like best overall? (Feel, characters, tone, etc.)

2 – Best lines (hopefully 1 or 2)

3 – Things that worked (made you want to keep reading)

4 – Any other comments

Then

1 – What doesn’t feel right?

2 – Worst lines / paragraphs

3 – What confusing thing needs further clarification now (i.e. not an intriguing mystery to be explained)?

4 – Things that definitely don’t work

5 – Other constructive criticism or funny/biting comments

I think this is a great idea, and I am eagerly looking forward to how this partnership develops.

Any thoughts about additions to this feedback method? Are there any aspects you’d want to see covered if it was your piece getting reviewed? Let me know in a comment.

Also, I really can’t say enough about the importance of getting a real person’s feedback on creative writing. Critique group has been the most wonderful experience thus far in my short writing journey, and it’s the school where I’ve learned the most lessons in the shortest time.

I documented many of those lessons in a series of posts in April, discussing Elements of Critique that I look for when critiquing a piece of writing. These lessons are condensed into this free e-book .pdf for your use: Elements of Critique

It’s designed to help any critique know what to look for, and to help anyone set up their own critique group if they don’t have one available to join.

If you find it helpful, I’d love to hear about it.

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