What kind of critiques do you give? Do you give the same kind of critiques that you expect from others? Are you too general in your advice? Too vague? Do you use a fair amount of tact? Courtesy? Do you do a quick read-through and then dole out advice like it was candy on Halloween? Or do you seriously read the words entrusted to you? When someone gives me their prized manuscript to read, I try to point out as much good about it as I can. I sandwich my advice. Top layer-good stuff, middle layer-things they might need to look at and consider changing, bottom layer-good stuff again. I've found that if you use this sandwich method, it makes the writer feel better. They can see the things they might need to change clearly, because you put that in the middle, between the good stuff and it's easier to swallow.
I've had all kinds of critiques. Envious, too general,and plain mean, I just want to hurt you critiques. I've had some really great crits, too. I'm critiquing this morning, and that is why I thought of this post. The mean critiques that I've had, I threw them out. Never to think of them again. But let's face it, they hurt. One almost made me quit writing. It said something like; you couldn't write your way out of a paper bag. UGH, that was tough. But I grew as a writer that day. I judged that my story was better than that person knew, and I felt sorry for her, not me! The sandwich method is a great way to critique.
I learned about this from someone. I can't remember who. If you read this, feel free to speak up and I'll put your name with a link on this post.:) Anyone have other great ideas for critiquing out there? :)