So one of the pleasure in being a writer is in interacting with other writers. Writing is often seen as a lonely profession but in fact writers tend to get along well with other writers. We love to chat about what we have read and the hows and whys of our craft. Writers are also invited to review and critique each others work.
Even a lowly semi-pro like myself will have the chance to read and comment on another aspiring author’s work. Frankly I think a writer should be willing to comment and critique as much as he or she is able, (Still, one needs to be careful. It’s easy to watch your valuable time being sucked away until you’re doing no writing at all.)
Today I had a chance to spend an hour or more with a friend and co-worker giving her a critique on a techno-thriller she had written.
I am not going to comment directly on her story or writing, that was for her and now general distribution. However the real value in critiquing is not in the critiques you receive but in the ones you give. Nothing helps you work at and understand the craft of writing then trying to dissect a piece and understand why it does or does not work. I wrote a 3400 word critique of her novel and went over it with her. I referred to it as handing her her head. (Though luckily I did it politely enough she did not feel as though I had handed her her head. I did, just wrapped nicely and present with courtesy.)
I have received the gift of critique from others and from professionals who have donated their time so I am happy to pay it forward whenever I can.