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My Top 12 Tips for Critiques

I am often asked to critique my friends’ work. I consider it an occupational hazard.

While I don’t mind doing critiques, they do present a few challenges and I always proceed with caution. This is especially true with new and unpublished writers, although it’s tricky with anyone who does not know my critique style. The last thing I want is to alienate another writer or come off as harsh, but I admit I have been blamed of that in the past. The problem is that what I consider a constructive critique (one that I ask for myself) is more detailed and direct than most writers want.

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Lessons from a Firefighter

Every head in the coffee house followed intently two firefighters who ran off before placing their order. A call had come through and they booked, taking with them the focus of every set of eyes in the place.

As a group, we watched while they pulled on their turnout gear, climbed in the rig and took off down the street. Minutes later we all looked up as a companion truck roared down the street.

Fifteen of us were riveted to the spectacle.

It made me wonder how to write characters that draw that much attention.

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