Okay, I've just finished Ben Walter's guide to Critical Writing so let's see if it works... As part of the Guardian's '60 Minute Masterclass' series this little ebook gives us the basics of what critics do, how we can do it ourselves and (possibly) get paid for our trouble.
Walter's is well qualified for the job. A respected critic himself (I've been the subject of his attention on more than one occasion) and largely admired for his nurturing approach, he's the ideal guide. He sees his work as a vital part of the creative process, considering artistes and critics as bedfellows rather than opponents.
It's a quick read (as the series title suggests) but there is enough to get you started. When reviewing a show he suggests we ask ourselves, “What is interesting about this work?” Just saying I don't like it isn't good enough. He says, “An opinion can be shrugged off, an argument must be rebutted.”
We've all got an opinion. With blogs, Twitter and Facebook there is no shortage of forums to voice it. If you want that voice to be more coherent and constructive read this book. It's one hour very well spent. If I didn't know better I'd give it 5 stars.
Click here to find it on Amazon.