Super helpful suggestions from my critique partners!

a poster that says why do writers write with answers like to share our feelings, to laugh, to share our experiences

I am so grateful for the super helpful suggestions I get from my critique partners.

It can be so hard to find a great critique group. At a creativity meeting back in March, a friend said to me that they tried out a new group and felt a little frustrated that people were too nice and not really digging in to help group members get better.

I understood how she felt. I don’t need people to be nice. I need people to tell me what’s not working.

I’m not generally too nice. In fact, I am working hard to be more tactful with my critique feedback. I think a good critique group means the members trust each other, understand the goals of each writer, and truly want each member to create their best work.

Here’s some excellent feedback I’ve received from my wonderful critique partners. I hope these comments help you, too!

  • From an adult critique partner on a picture book:

“I realize you bring back the original narrator’s story here, but I still think they are two different stories.”

Sometimes we pack too much information into one story. Other times we lose focus on the main story. Do you have two stories that should be separate? 

  • From an adult critique partner on a picture book:

“…this line stood out, it sounds too didactic and fact telling.”

Didactic means teaching, especially with a moral motive. The best stories tell, and they can have a message. But has your story become too focused on a lesson as opposed to the narrative journey? 

  • From an adult reader on a short story:

“This sentence doesn’t quite work for me.”

Sometimes we write things that WE love, but our readers don’t. When you’re in critique group and someone says this, how do you react? Do you defend your writing? Or do you think, if this reader doesn’t get what I’m trying to say, how can I make it more clear? 

Remember, a critique partner isn’t trying to make you feel bad, they are trying to help you write GOOD! Or, well. You know what I mean. But if you don’t, then I need to go back and revise!

You may know I provide editorial and critique services both independently and on Reedsy. If you’re writing a story or book and would like proofreading, copyediting, critique, or feedback please get in touch!