Saturday, April 3, 2010

0 How to Critique YA or Kid Lit?

I am strange, I know, but I got excited when I was filling out the judge's scoresheets for The Sandy writing contest last week. Formalizing the critique process with actual scores made so much sense, and for the first time it hit me that critiques could be much more helpful than they already are. I do a fair bit of critiqueing for other writers. What if, instead of offering a few snippets of helpful information about the things I believe could make a story stronger, I provided a systematic rating for every aspect of the writing, characterization, plot, and so on? Yes, it would take longer for me to do a crit, but wouldn't it be more helpful for the writer? Wouldn't I love to get a systematic overview of my own work?

And then I really got to thinking. What if I could look at my writing the same way I approach someone else's? It could cut down on a lot of revision time by showing me exactly where I needed to focus my energy first.

I'm thinking about turning the judge's scoresheets into a revision form. What do you think? Is this something you would find helpful? Or is it too much information? Too much work?

The judge's scoresheets from the Crested Butte Writer's Contest (The Sandy) are posted here:

Take a look.  Happy critiquing!


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