I’ll be receiving feedback on Waking up Jack Thunder from my beta readers. I’ve seen enough critiques over the last couple of years to be able to spot some of the warning signs which can tell you if you're about to receive a less than stellar review.
Since I know many of my LJ friends get feedback on their own work, I thought I’d share some of those tell-tale signals here.
You know you're in for a rough critique when...
1. In the run-up to your next session, you read several group emails, asking for confirmation of how to spell words like ‘illiterate’; ‘trite’ or ‘cliché’, and yours is the only story to be reviewed.
2. Before the meeting, the meanie in the group keeps smiling at you.
3. Before the meeting, other group members point at you and laugh.
4. Before (and during) the meeting, nobody will look you in the eye.
5. In the pre-meeting chinwag about books you’ve been reading, someone says, ‘Not the worst thing I’ve ever read’, and everyone turns to look at you.
6. The group leader places a black cloth on his head when it’s time to critique your story…
7. … then asks you to give up any concealed weapons.
8. When it’s your turn, the people on either side of you move away.
9. When it's your turn, someone hands you a box of tissues.
10. Someone else removes all nearby sharp objects.
Rest assured, no matter how rough Saturday’s critiques get, I shall abide by the code set out in The Critiquee’s Charter, and leave all concealed weapons at home.
How about you?
How can you tell when you’re in for a rough critique?