Just like there are many kinds of critiquing, there are many kinds critiquers. Natural assumption, right? Normal people would make a list.
So I have swept aside normal (with a flourish) and decided to compare the kinds of critiquers to Disney characters. (Still in a list.)
You’re welcome, in advance.
The Dory Critiquer
AWESOMENESS: These people are lots of fun. They’re always enthusiastic about your project, and they’ll stand behind you no matter what you write (bring on the elephants driving race cars). Need a fangirl/guy? Get yourself a Dory Critique partner.
DOWNSIDE: They tend to forget, um, what they’re supposed to be doing. One day they’ll critique, then they’ll forget about it for the next four mouths.
The Edna Critiquer
AWESOMENESS: Passion, you will find it here. This critiquer will be all about making your work the best it can be. They see the big picture, the ultimate goal. They know what needs doing. No fluffing around. Work, work, work!
DOWNSIDE: There is right and there is wrong. If you disagree, end of discussion. You’re wrong, they’re right (NO CAPES).
The Scuttle Critiquer
|The Little Mermaid|
AWESOMENESS: These critiquers say a lot. Comment after every sentence? You got it. They have a lot to say. Lots of thoughts, ideas, and suggestions.
DOWNSIDE: They have no idea what they’re talking about.
The Mother Gothel Critiquer
AWESOMENESS: They make lots of jokes (at your expense) and make you fall off your chair laughing. It’s all fun and games until you say, “Nah, I don’t want to change that scene.” WOAH. Bring out the knives.
DOWNSIDE: You have no idea if they love your work or think you’re ridiculous.
The Jane Critiquer
AWESOMENESS: Very professional and kind. They can handle anything you throw at them. Mistakes, plot holes, weird characters — they’ll take them methodically and help you out. If you’re on a first draft or an eighth draft, they’ll fit her advice for you. And if you’re one of those freakishly weird authors, they’ll handle it.
DOWNSIDE: They don’t like fooling around. Do what needs to be done and do it properly. If you’re manuscript is a pile of looney jokes, they won’t appreciate it.
The Mushu Critiquer
AWESOMENESS: They’ll never give up on you. Never. They make you laugh. They also go the extra-mile for you — need something critiqued on short notice? They’ll do it. They give it to you as it is (“Give me a roar. Oh, I think my bunny slippers just ran for cover.”)
DOWNSIDE: They tend to be a little over-bearing (a.k.a over enthusiastic, overwhelming, and over the top).
The Baloo Critiquer
|The Jungle Book|
AWESOMENESS: They’re really encouraging! They make you feel awesome and successful (even before you write a word).
DOWNSIDE: Basically, they pick up the “Bear Necessities” and then say the rest will be fine. Don’t worry! (“If you’re working like a bee, you’re working too hard!”) They’re not detailed or thorough.
The Evil Stepmother Critiquer
AWESOMENESS: They’re thorough No typo will survive! When they’re through with you, the manuscript will sparkle (or be shredded).
DOWNSIDE: Picky? That’s putting it mildly. They leave no adverb unturned. It’s scary the things they bring out. All mistakes are scrutinised and torn apart. Your scenes are shredded. And they’re not particularly encouraging either. Why sugar-coat the obvious? You need very strong nerves to handle this one.
The Rex Critiquer
AWESOMENESS: Encouraging, happy, and bubbly. Your critiques will be thoughtful and fun. (Lots of inside jokes!)
DOWNSIDE: They punctuate every comment with a “maybe” or “if you like”. They’re favourite phrase is, “I’m not sure, but…” This can easily drive a writer insane. At the end of the critique, you have no idea what to change and what to keep.
The Milo Thatch Critiquer
AWESOMENESS: They’re very smart and know what they’re talking about. Tend to be a bit radical in ideas, but you get the feeling they’ve studied and worked hard. They encourage you and only give worthwhile advice.
DOWNSIDE: Not very persistent. Often vanishes, only to return unexpectedly with more meaningful critiques. They can be known to force their ideas on you (but they’re easily flicked off).