You need much more in a critique than "wow, great job, well done."
If you are going to take the time to give your input (and you should for the majority of the stuff you read) do the writer and yourself justice
. Spell out how you reacted to the story/poem, what grammatical-logical-rhythem-flow mistakes you see and why it does/doesn't work for you.
I'm sure everyone here has had the frustration of posting something you seated over and polished, only to 43 people view and only two take the time to post something trivial.
I will use me as an example. I posted a short story here called "Surprise" and the best critiques I got were the ones that not only said good job, but told why and/or pointed mistakes. I for one appreciate the effort anyone takes to post, much less critiques. I post to not only get approval (c'mon admit it, we all do to some degree) but to learn from the input of others.
What follows is advice I got from some of the other writing forums I belong to and the advice is dierctly on point. I do not take credit for the wisdom below, but certainly agree with it all.
This is courtesy of my research on www.writerscreate.com
How to Give and Receive a Critique.
For those unfamiliar with the ways of giving good feed back here is a brief outline of what you might take into consideration when giving your critique. You do not need to comment on all of these but hitting a few of them would really help the writer.
1) The overall story
. Did it grab you, did the story flow from one thing to the next well? Did it feel real and believable? Was there a mood and did it fit the story? What were your overall impressions.
. Is the story in an active voice? Is it using verbs to their full potential? Spelling and other grammar mistakes?
3) The setting
? Is there a clear picture of the setting that you get in the piece presented? Are the senses used to their full potential?
. Did they seem real and believable? Did they seem likeable or at least distinct enough to capture your attention?
5) Anything else stand out as wrong?
6) List the things that were right about the story
. Just a few things that were good. The key to giving a good critique in meshing the bad with the good. What parts held you're attention? What did you like about it? Did the characters really stand out? Was the setting unbelievably real? That type of stuff.
7) Put some thought into the critiques you give
. Don't rush through them. Make sure you are giving the writer aid and not a heap of criticism.
Now to receiving a critique
Receiving is sometimes harder than giving. You've been working on the piece for awhile and people are just criticizing your baby! How dare they! Well, if you get too bent out of shape, you're not ready for a proper crit. Writing is filled with critics and rejection, if you can't handle it you might consider writing a bit longer before coming to this point.
If however, the critique you recieved was unusually harsh, report it immediately. The moderators will look it over for improper critique ediquette.
One note on recieving. People have (in most cases) put a lot of thought and time into giving you a proper critique of your work. Please be nice enough to respond to them
. Make sure they know that the time they spend on your piece is appreciated. Feel free to ask them questions, or to have them clarify something that you don't really understand. You can even pm them if you like.
Also, this thanks to researching eliteskills.com
• Brief guide to commenting:
Comments are essential to improving your own works. By reading through the works of others you can better understand what it is to be a 'unique writing' and make yourself standout by observing the strengths and weaknesses of others. It is very important that the comments be as helpful as possible towards improving the writing rather than just saying how great or how bad it was. If you do not have time to comment or will not have time in the future please be curtious and do not submit. One should not ask for help if they have the time to take but not give aid in return at some point. Time is to be respected. Compliments are fine, but please try to tell the authors how the writing made you feel. The more details and specifics, the better.
• Bad Comments:
"Wonderful <>! You put a lot of emotion into it. I can tell. Great write!!!! Have a great day. Keep writing. -Bob" ...
"It created some nice images. I like the flow, way to go."
"This really speaks to me. You did a great job!"
Now is it really possible to tell if this person even read the writing? That's how you know if the comment was good or bad; you can't tell if they just skimmed through for partial detail or actually read it. If it was bad just send a polite note to the person making it either referring them to this page or asking them to take more consideration into adding details to their feedback(then lead by example, give a quality comment).
• If I can't find words!?
Then you're not helping by saying, "great job". That's just a kick in the face to the writer. You won't always understand a writing on first read. If it's complicated don't just say they are a genius, try to connect to the writing as best you can an express your interpretation or how it made you feel. If you can't say anything about it then don't try to just throw a bad comment in.
• What if I just really like it?
Then elaborate on what makes you really like it. What if everyone only got "GREAT WRITE!!!11" comments? That wouldn't help us improve any. Think feedback rather than compliment. If you do compliment try to connect with the writing and add detail: "When you said '...quote' it really made me connect to the time I... and the way you structured it makes it feel like it's swaying and contributes to the piece."
• I think of the first thing that comes to me!
You don't help any by saying, "I relate, lots of emotion, great write." Put some time into the technical aspects and think about rewording the writing. The real world is not about smilies and compassion. It's about having substance behind your words and having a helpful impact. If everyone just said, "that was cool, that sucked get over it, that was great, the flow was nice, too complex for another read through so I'll just say your brilliant, etc" it would ruin the integrity of the site.