Critiquing for both the person who is receiving the critiques and the person who is giving the critiques is a difficult process. For the best out of both, here are some rules that will help guide you through everything! Critics Constructive criticism. The only way that the process will be beneficial for you and the person you’re critiquing is the key word: constructive. If you just comment “That’s nice” or “That was good” there is no feedback that the writer can take and put back into their work. Coming from the other side of the spectrum is the same outcome. Commenting “That was terrible” or “That sucks” doesn’t help the writer at all and can actually be hurtful to the person who is sharing their work. Here are some questions you can refer to while reading someone’s work: What did you think was nice? Why? If possible, provide an example. What did you think needs improvement? Why? If possible, provide an example. Are the characters well-rounded or (if it’s a chapter of a story) do they sound natural? Is there too much or too little description? Were there any grammar errors that you noticed? Were there any spelling errors? What did you like about the story as a whole? What didn’t you like about the story as a whole? Are there any other comments not covered by the questions that you wish to add? The above questions don’t have to be used in a critique. This is only to give you the fodder you need to create a well-rounded critique which is discussed more below. Be well balanced. Only writing about the good things or only writing about the bad doesn’t make a good critique. Covering both ends of the spectrum and everything in between is a good way to ensure that the writer gets both positive and negative feedback and allows them to see what they need to improve. Writers Don’t take negativity personally. The point of a critique is to read about the good and the bad. Only hearing the good doesn’t improve your writing at all, and crying about the bad doesn’t help either. Take the negative points and use them to your advantage. Critics are pointing out plot holes, inconsistencies, etc. They’re helpful!