That's not the kind of critiquing I mean. We'll leave that to the teachers and professors. I mean a helpful critique of a fellow author's work. Looking at their book to help them see things they might have missed after the fiftieth edit. If you are a writer, you know what I'm talking about. We've all been there, and found that words blurred into mere black smudges on paper.
I haven't done a lot of critiquing for other people's book, possibly because I only have one critique partner. More because of lack of time than anything else. But even from my limited experience, I think it's a valuable thing. I guess it's human nature that it's a lot easier to spot mistakes or faults in other people's work than your own. Then there is the matter of outside perspective as well. When it's my story, I know it's inside out, so even a little hint makes the whole scene clear. But when it's someone else's vision, I don't know what it means, and so I need clear words and story line to be able to understand it.
Critiquing someone else's work helps you think about issues in your own work. Or at least that's how it is for me. If I say to my CP, "too passive", and a day later I find myself writing a passive sentence, I notice it. If I complain that her character is "too whiny", I notice when mine is winging for no good reason.
What we offer to our critique partners (hopefully) is constructive feedback, and that feedback is constructive for both parties because the more effort and thought you put into reviewing their work, means the more knowledge and skill you build up to edit your own.
What do you think? Do you feel that your experience with your CPs is mutually beneficial? Does it improve your critiquing skills for your own work?