What's the biggest thing you look for in a critique?
What do you hope people will give you in their critique?
I happen to have a remarkable crew of critique partners. In my humble opinion, they are awesome. They are wonderful, because even after I proofread and proofread, they still catch the things I always, always miss.
For instance, I have a terrible habit of repeating a word, such as "then," "and," and "but." It's almost like I get addicted to a certain word, and just have to use and use and use it... rather like "use" in this sentence.
Another bad habit of mine is my overuse of commas. Sometimes I catch myself, and then I have shocking lack of commas. I always do one or the other. As I said, it's a bad habit. Or habits.
Me, the biggest thing I look for is readability. If a story doesn't flow, I can't read it properly until I've edited it and made a sentence flow more cleanly into the next. That's the one thing that niggles me the most when I critique. Flow is so important to me. What's the most important story element that you HAVE to correct when you're critiquing someone's story?
When I send a story to my friends, the biggest thing I hope they give me is their honesty. I don't want praise (though that can be balm to the writer's soul). What I want are their honest opinions and suggestions that will make my story that much better.
How about you? What's your critiquing attack?