The Padawan's Guide to Providing Good Critiques
After reading and writing here for a year or so, I've given, received, and read numerous comments. Some have been very helpful, some have not. Since we recently also addressed the issue of commenting in other people's fics in another thread, I realized we needed a guide on providing good, solid, constructive critiques. Offering a constructive critique helps people grow and develop as writers much more than if you simply say "Good fic!" or "Looking forward to the next chapter!" Sure, we all like being told that people enjoy our fics, but in order to grow, we need more help than that.
Please offer your suggestions on improving the quality of critiques. Feel free also to say what kinds of critiques helped you most as you wrote your fic(s), and the kinds of things you like to see when receiving them. Share your thoughts on how to give great criticism--what do you look for in a fic? How do you word your criticism? What do you think makes comments more effective? Are there any pitfalls you avoid when offering comments? Is there anything you always do with your critiques?
Share with the rest of us your helpful tips!