Wednesday, April 2, 2014

First Kiss: Critique Guidelines

Guidelines for Critique on MSFV:
  • Please leave your critique for each entry in the comment box for that entry.
  • Please choose a screen name to sign your comments. The screen name DOES NOT have to be your real name; however, it needs to be an identifiable name.  ("Anonymous" is not a name.)
  • Critiques should be honest but kind, helpful but sensitive.
  • Critiques that attack the writer or are couched in unkind words will be deleted.*
  • Cheerleading IS NOT THE SAME as critiquing.  Please don't cheerlead.
  • Having said that, it is perfectly acceptable to say positive things about an entry that you feel is strong.  To make these positive comments more helpful, say why it's a strong entry.
  • ENTRANTS: As your way of "giving back", please critique a minimum of 3 other entries.

*I can't possibly read every comment.  If you ever see a comment that is truly snarky, please email me.  I count on your help.


  1. Boooo, boooo! Aspiring writers always hear negatives. What's wrong with a little cheer leading?

  2. Because, dear anonymous, cheerleading is not productive.

    Also? Aspiring writers do not "always hear negatives". Comments about what is working in a manuscript are as constructive as comments about what is not working. The difference between a "positive comment" and a "cheerlead" is this: The former is a concrete, quantifiable statement about something that's working well. ("The pacing of your dialogue here is excellent." "Good tension in this scene!") The latter is ego-boosting fluff that doesn't do much more than make the writer feel good about himself for a little while. ("OMG this is AMAZING! When can I read the whole thing??" "Best entry I've ever read. YOU ROCK AS AN AUTHOR."

    Capiche? :)