How to be a Great Wattpad Critic (In 5 Easy Steps) 

For this weeks post I’ll be focusing on something that has been a big part of my Wattpad journey: critiques. They’ve helped me not only teach others, but gain friends, followers, and feedback for myself. While it is tons of fun, being a Wattpad critic isn’t as easy as it sounds. Here are 5 steps to get your critic journey going, and going well.

1. Advertise! 

Wattpaders won’t know you’re a critic if you aren’t advertising! Head straight to the designated help thread and post an advertisement. Here’s mine, made from a simple photo editing app. Picture advertisements will help you stand out in a long thread. 


2. Ditch the Complicated Sign Ups

I’ve mentioned in past posts about how much I hate special forms when seeking help from other Wattpadders. Forget forms, special passwords, etc when having others request your service. Keep is short and sweet. Explain what you’re willing to help with and your payment. Don’t ask for story descriptions, titles, or say, “what you’re looking for help with” etc, either. I’m going to get real here. If you’re a critic, you should be helping with everything, not ignoring some things and pointing out others. 

3. Don’t Sugar Coat, but Don’t be Mean Either

ALWAYS be polite and honest when performing a critique. Even if the book is literally the worst thing you’ve ever seen and every sentence makes you want to rip your eyes out, don’t resort to saying things like, “this sucks.” But don’t only point out the positives either. Our job as critics is to help others improve their work. Even seasoned writers feel hurt when getting negative feedback. It’s part of the writing process. 

4. Always Re-Read Your Feedback

Having a sophisticated, grammatically correct feedback post or comment will not only improve your reputation with the author, but can even attract others to seek your feedback after seeing your post in the comments section. Always re-read your feedback before posting to make sure there are no errors, and to see that you’ve said everything you meant to. 

5. Respect the Author’s Feelings

Many times, authors will be very unhappy with even the slightest amount of negative feedback. They may say things like, “Thanks, but I disagree.” Or “Thanks for your feedback, but I’m not changing that.” And you know what, that’s OKAY. Never feel like you wasted your time doing a critique for someone who doesn’t want to listen right now. Eventually they may change their minds and fix their work, and your comment will still be there for reference. 

Why Real Critics Shouldn’t be “Sugar Coating”

A while back when I first started doing critiques on Wattpad, I noticed a common trend in the posts of the advertising critics. This trend was usually at the bottom, and was under the caption “Sugar Coating.” These critics wrote in their post things like, “I will sugar coat” or “Please let me know how much sugar coating you would like.”

I was baffled. If they weren’t going to be giving honest reviews, then what were they doing? Well, when you look at it, being a Wattpad critic is a great way to get follows or reads on your own story.

Then again, I’m sure that many critics know the backlash we receive when someone doesn’t like what we have to say. I’ve been called a “bully” and a bunch of other names by Wattpadders.

The thing is, we shouldn’t let that stop us. There is no way on earth that I’m going to stop telling people what is wrong with their story because I don’t want them to get upset, or hurt their feelings. I’m not saying you should be a jerk when you go out and critique someone’s story, but you definitely shouldn’t be super nice.

By doing this “sugar coating” and giving them nice feedback when their story actually stinks, you’re only damaging the writer. That doesn’t help them improve and could even lead to cockiness. Because let’s face it, when people tell us our stories are really good, it bumps up our ego a notch.

Ending point: Don’t sugar coat. Be yourself when you critique. If you’re not giving helpful feedback, you might as well not give it at all.

 

When a Loved One is Your Biggest Critic

Last night I asked my boyfriend to read the first chapter in my newest story, Saving Flight 926. After a lot of begging on my end, he finally caved and read up to chapter 3. When I asked him what he thought, he said, “It’s not very good honey. I’m sorry.” This has happened to me on several occasions. Out of everyone who has read my work, the person who I’m closest to is my biggest critic of all, nitpicking at my stories down to the repetition of a word. 

I’m sure this has happened to some of you fellow writers out there. The question is, when someone your close to is your biggest critic, how do you deal with it? Try remembering these 5 things. 

1. Everyone has their opinion. 

This is very true. Everyone who reads your work will have a different opinion about it. And at the end of the day, that’s all it is: their opinion. Unless of course they’re one of your beta readers, in which their opinion is extremely important. But if you’re just showing them your first draft, relax. Even we know that first drafts are never our best work. 

2. It won’t change their opinion of you. 

Loved ones will always support you, even when you have a bad day or write a story that just doesn’t have the potential to be something great. This is why we call them “loved ones”. At the end of the day you love eachother no matter what. So even if they are harsh, they only want to help. 

3. Don’t let is discourage you. 

Remember why you write: because it calms you down, because it makes you feel good, or because it’s just plain fun–it doesn’t matter! You write because it’s something you enjoy. I’m never going to stop writing just because my boyfriend isn’t a fan of most of my work. Just keep typing away. If they don’t like what you come up with, that’s their problem. Know that you’re never writing to impress a loved one. At the end of the day, it’s our work. Not theirs. 

I need to start trying some of these things out for myself. 

Critic vs. Critique

Being someone who is in the desperate race on Wattpad to gain followers as I near my longtime goal of 1,000, I am once again running a critiquing service.

Time and time again, I see people, some as old as 16, mess up the word “critic” and “critique”. This got me thinking. Maybe it’s not stupidity, but just a common mistake.

So, to eliminate ANY confusion for anyone out there, here are the actual definitions for these two words from the Webster’s Dictionary:

Critic (noun): one who expresses a reasoned opinion on any matter.
Ex. She is a harsh critic.

Critique (also a noun): a careful judgement in which you examine the good and bad parts of something.
Ex. Hans gave a critique on Elsa’s meatloaf. He said it was dry and salty.

Another example: I am a critic who leaves critques on fiction stories.

So please, never ask someone, “Can you please leave a critic on my story?” Or post an advertisement saying that you “will critic any genre.” These are two different words with two different meanings.