Today, I received a few requests to be a writing buddy. I'm so excited! I've never had writing buddies before, but since I'm trying to take my writing more seriously I thought they would be able to help. Writing is such a solitary task it's easy to feel like you're the only person in the world doing what you're doing and having the same problems that you're having, even if you know that's not true.
So i have been watching a few writing lectures by Brandon Sanderson (here) and he has given a couple tips that will help when you're reading someone else's work.
1) Remember to give good feedback.
2) Be specific.
3) Be descriptive, not proscriptive.
Describe your reaction to what you're reading, not what was wrong with it. (ex. I was confused here, I was bored here, I was frustrated here."
4) Ignore the small stuff.
Lead with Plot, Characters, and setting. Don't talk about Prose unless it's a big issue.
5) Try to look at what the book is trying to be rather than what you want it to be.
Just try and remember that you're reading and commenting on someone else's "baby". Just as your writing means the world to you, your writing buddy's writing means the same to them. You just have to remember to be truthful, but not hurtful. You never want to make someone feel bad about what they're writing, it's hard enough to put yourself out there and let someone else read what you've been working on.
If you have any other tips I would love to hear them.