Being part of a writing group is a good thing. It gives you an extra push to achieve your goals and you can get some feedback about your writing from people who are writing themselves. But, being the person giving the feedback is not easy. Whether you review someon’e writing as part of a group or one on one for a friend you want to balance the criticism with positive comments. Keeping it constructive and yet honest too. For those brave enough to give constructive feedback here are some points to discuss about the writing you are reviewing.
Purpose: Is the purpose of the writing coming through clearly? Whether the writing is about cleaning your toothbrush, finding a shark in your bathtub or the latest best selling paranormal romance… does the purpose of the story/ article come through clearly?
Voice: Does the story/ article have a personality? Not every piece of writing will have a lot of personality but there should be a voice behind it, you should feel the writer gave something of themselves to the work. You should feel the writer was interested in the topic they wrote or the story they told.
Audience: Does it have appeal to the reader? Will the reader appreciate the story or article, does it speak to the reader or just drone on as if the writer was talking to themselves? Are all the reader’s questions answered?
Content: Has the writer included enough information, relevant information? Does the story have a beginning, middle and an ending?
Form: Are the ideas or the story plot presented logically so the reader can follow the information and easily move from one point to the next? Even a time travel story needs to have plot the reader can follow and understand clearly.
Writing Devices: Does the story include dialogue, personal experience, specific details, descriptions, or creative comparisons? Non fiction can use interviews as a device as well. A little variety is a good thing.
Purpose Again: Does the writing make the reader react in some way? Smile, laugh out loud, get angry, feel sad, or relief at solving a problem, when you finish the writing is there an overall reaction you are left with, something to make you remember the writing? What is especially good about the writing?