I have come across the next classic instructional writing manual that you need to have right next to Elements and Style. I haven't even finished reading it, and I already know this, it's that amazing! It's The Writing and Critique Group Survival Guide by Becky Levine!
Isn't it beautiful?
It will make you an expert critiquer in no time!
I used to look at other people's stories and mine) and just 'know' something wasn't quite right. Becky taught me (okay, her book did) how to spot the weaknesses, and how to fix them in MY OWN WORK. That's the main reason that this book will be dog-eared and cherished by all. It will guide you to being a better writer.
In the fiction section, she, breaks it down into critiquing for plot, dialogue, character, etc. It blew me away with how easy critiquing can be!
The Survival Guide covers fiction, non-fiction, memoir, you name it. This is a definite 5 star rating, if I ever gave ratings to books. I talked everyone in my writer's group to buy it.You NEED this one. Go buy it. Now.