|My manuscript and my cat|
I've only ever critiqued for one author, and it wasn't so much of a critique as me just saying "That was good" about fifty times.
The problem is, I can read through my own work and spot the moments when the ideas are muddled, or the pacing is wrong, or I've accidentally mentioned that my tee-total bridesmaid is happily downing whiskey. I know what just doesn't feel right.
But - but! - if I read your book, my thoughts will fall into two categories: good and bad. If it's good, I'll happily tell you and shout it from the rooftops. If it's bad, I'd probably rather change my name and make new Facebook and Twitter accounts than actually mention it to you. And that's if I actually notice the problems in the first place. I just don't analyse other people's work the way I do myself - I accept that that's how you want the story to go, especially in genres that I don't usually read.
Second confession: I've read more out-of-comfort-zone novels since I met you guys and started blogging than I ever did before. Because of that, something that I don't think works might be the key feature of the genre you're writing in. And I don't want to show off my ignorance!
So, my plea today is: tell me how you get so great at critiquing, please, because I'll probably need to trade favours soon!