How To-sday: Murder

The Murder is the meat part of the method. Ideally, the reader has already received and read the piece, so the page is all bloody. This is the part where the reader gets to the author why it's all red. But there's a catch. There's always a catch. The thing about critique is that it can go downhill fast. Criticism can be hard to hear, no matter how well-intentioned it is. For that reason, when giving your opinion on something, you must first get permission.

For that reason, you should come up with a title or summary for each one. Something like, "I have an opinion about the accuracy of your science and meteors" or "I have an opinion titled 'Faeries and ghosts and trolls, oh my'". Make sure it's enough for the author to understand what the opinion is about without actually giving it.

Sometimes, an opinion is unwanted so there's no point in even talking about. Like that thing about science and meteors? I'd done the research and math, but I knew if I got too realistic with it, I'd have no story. So, we didn't talk about it. We moved on to the next thing.

During this time, the only thing the writer is to do is say yes or no to opinions. If they try to argue or explain everything, this section could take days. Also, as the writer, remember that you won't be there to explain to your readers.

As a reader, it's best if you write down your opinions. That way, the author can go back and read them all later, even the ones they didn't hear during the meeting. It's great to talk about them though because the writer can see who agrees with what and get clarification. Just remember to be nice to each other. Watch out for your fellow writers getting overwhelmed and back down. It's best to have a moderator who can keep an eye for that.

And, writers, remember, at the end of the day it's your words and your story. You never have to make any changes that you're not comfortable with. The goal here is to help everyone improve, not just as writers, but as readers too.

Good luck and don't get blood all over your shoes.