- The Cheerleader. She loves everything you do! This is gratifying, especially when you are doubting your talent, but it’s not particularly helpful in improving your work.
- The Grammarian. He doesn’t have a lot to say about the content of your work, but he’ll circle every typo in red pen and may insist you follow strict grammar rules that have gone out of date. (By the way, I never use red pen on critiques – blue, purple, or green ink stands out from the black text, without that negative association of graded English papers.)
- The Mouse. You can’t tell whether or not she likes your work, because she never voices an opinion. She might hide behind the excuse that she’s not experienced enough to offer feedback. She’ll do this for years.
|Me? An opinion?|
- The Perpetual Beginner. He truly isn’t experienced enough to offer feedback, and he never seems to improve. This type can be divided into The Rut, who brings in the same manuscript over and over without ever making substantial changes (despite all your thoughtful advice) and The Hummingbird, who throws away a manuscript as soon as it’s gotten one negative comment, preferring to work on something new.
- The Chatterbox. She wants to talk about anything and everything – other than the manuscripts you’re supposed to be critiquing. This person sees a writing group as a social occasion, not a way to improve your craft.
- Father Knows Best. He always has an opinion, which he voices clearly and often. He prefers to discuss how he would write the story if it were his own, ignoring the author’s vision.
|That's not how I'd do it.|
- The Bully. She enjoys tearing apart your manuscript. No suggestions, just criticisms bordering on insults.
|Some people hate everything|