As part of the QueerSciFi.com site, we have a fairly new section where authors can share their WIP’s for critiques – anything from a general “what do you think?” to a more detailed line-by-line edit.
But as I start doing more of these critiques, I’m learning (or re-learning) that not everyone agrees on how to do a good critique.
I did one critique this last week where the author pointed out after the fact that my use of LOL and “unintentionally funny” could be seen as derogatory to the author and / or their work.
While my comments were not meant that way, it did make me reconsider how I present my edits and critiques.
I do use LOL pretty rampantly in texts and emails and yes, in critiques. Typically I am using it to leaven the critique – to lighten the mood.
So when someone, for instance, writes:
“The orange sky snorfed and spiffled”
and I say “I didn’t get this LOL”
I can see how that could be taken as “what a stupid line” instead of as the intended “I didn’t get this – but hey, you know, it might just be me – let’s laugh together about this.”
Maybe I’ll use smileys in the future or go for a more serious tone. I haven’t decided yet.
What are some of the pitfalls you have encountered in critiquing? And do you have any tips to give (or get) the best possible response to a WIP?