How to Critique

A good critique is respectful, insightful, loving and helpful. It comes from a heart that wants the creator to improve upon their craft and create the best work possible.

Critique is not bashing a work. Don’t worry. You’re not a butthole for giving your opinion. A critique must have criticisms, but it also has to highlight good things as well. It’s an objective analysis of a work. Not a personal attack. 

 

Actively look for what you like first. Always lead with what you like about a piece. As much as you can find, even if it’s little. It will help you find a way to love the work even if you didn’t like it to begin with. It also helps the creator hone in on their strengths and draw confidence in what they’ve made.

Hit em with the truth. Yeah. There’s gonna be some stuff that sucks. It might be horribly obvious and the piece could be the worst monstrosity they’ve made to date. Basically, dish out what you think you could take if you were them. Depending on the person, sometimes they might enjoy making a joke out of it, sometimes people just prefer it straight, sometimes it depends on who you’re giving the criticism to. If you don’t know them well, play it safe and keep it kind and simple. 

Other times, you’ll read something that is seemingly perfect. You’re gonna have to work hard and feel like a jerk deeply analyzing it for it’s flaws. But it will really help, because while you might not see something wrong, what would a ~hater~ find?

Give suggestions. Finish out the compliment sandwich. Highlight those things you really like and make any possible suggestions that could help them. What do they lack, but also how could they highlight their strengths more?

 

Don’t forget it’s just an opinion. Not fact.

Believe it or not, you don’t have the be-all-end-all take on everything. And neither does anyone else. The beauty of creative works is that it’s all objective. If someone says something you don’t agree with about your work, don’t feel like you have to take it to heart. Likewise, if someone doesn’t take your advice, it’s not your work, so don’t worry. Stay in your own lane.

 

What if you don’t like the message of the Creator’s work you’re reading?

Even if you disagree with the message a work is making, how could they improve the way they portray the message? If it was you, you believe what you write about. Your values are yours and that’s awesome. But they also have that feeling about what they’re writing. A good critique of a writing should be respectful and offer critique of the delivery of the message, not the message itself. This is a critique of a literary work, not a rebuttal or critique of the message. There’s a time and place for those sorts of critiques, but here is not.