Not to brag, but I am really good. I mean, everyone who comes calling leaves satisfied.
I am, of course, talking about *Beta reading. I give great crit. Thing is, there are rules to being a good (crit) partner.
Never Fake an Orgasm:
No one gets better by having someone telling them they are amazingly awesome. It might seem easier to pretend like something is great to spare their feelings... but being realistic is so much more important if you want to help the writer grow.
But Don't Just Lay There:
Feedback is key. If you do a crit and you have nothing to say... then you haven't done a crit. You're a fifi. You kinda get the job done, but it isn't really satisfying. Be picky. Point out good stuff. Question word choices. Dig in and participate.
Know how kinky your partner is.
Everybody wants something different. Some people are missionary position with the lights off people. Others want whips and toys and beads and outfits and special furniture. So what kind are you? If you are a the kinky kind and you get a hold of a missionary person's manuscript you could end up tearing into character motivations and subplots when all they wanted was someone to make sure their commas were in the right places. Talk before hand. You don't wanna show up in your gimp outfit when it isn't expected. It's just embarrassing.
But here's one for Writers looking for Crits--
Don't be a Slut:
All writers (IMO) should have crit partners. But don't just put your stuff out there for any and everyone. One, you don't know what you will get. Seriously, just because a person reads or writes, it doesn't make them a good crit partner. Two, it'll only confuse you. This one likes part A, but hates B and C. that one like A and B, but hates C. All you can do is create a situation where everything is hated by someone. So be choosy and trust your instincts when the notes come back.
* For non-writers, beta reading is when you read and critique the work of another writer. :D.