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Thread: Reader Response

  1. #11

  2. #12
    Member MaggieG's Avatar
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    Now, having given of their time freely, they then get responses from the opening poster such as "you didn't look deeply enough" or "you missed the point" or "well, I disagree with your statement that ... " or best of all, "I am good enough to know that I am right and you are wrong because...".

    People can argue the toss over this until the cows come home, but writing of all types is a communication, and the reader is the receiver of that information. If the reader doesn't like the message, or the way it is delivered, then that's a fact. They cannot be wrong, because they are the target at which you aim. If you fire an arrow and it misses the target, it's your fault. Anything that the reader doesn't like is valid, and it's NEVER their fault. It is yours and mine, the people that didn't get the writing spot-on. If the message goes over the head of the reader, then the writer has failed. If the reader tells you that, then accept it, because it's true.

    In the few days since WF has resurfaced, I've already got a number of people that I won't crit, because of their negative attitude to others. As writers, if we can't listen and learn from each other, then we don't deserve the help. When a reader puts your book back on the shelf, that's the judgement. You can't tell them they're wrong. When an editor spikes your work, you can't tell him he knows nothing. When you're filling up your scrapbook with unpublished unread work, guess whose fault that is! It's not the readers fault, not at all!

    If people are serious about improving, they need to put their egos in a box and face the truth. I once had an editor burn something I'd written in front of me and my colleagues. It wasn't a nice experience, but it taught me to never ever think I could just serve up something average to him. He didn't pat me on the head and tell me well done, but maybe I might like to consider... If he had, I would never had developed.
    I absolutely agree with this save one thing , disagreement. Now ! If it is " I disagree with you that this is a bad poem. " , etc. (You get the jist ) Then I say put your ego in check. But if it is along the lines of " I disagree because I am not seeing what you are seeing. " That is another matter entirely. I have done that on many occasion ( requesting more detail along with it ) It is nothing more than a discussion on the differences in styles, methods, and even preferences. Isn't that what writers are spose to do ? There should always be open dialogue between writers.

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieG View Post
    But if it is along the lines of " I disagree because I am not seeing what you are seeing. " That is another matter entirely. I have done that on many occasion ( requesting more detail along with it ) It is nothing more than a discussion on the differences in styles, methods, and even preferences. Isn't that what writers are spose to do ? There should always be open dialogue between writers.
    Well, it's less of a disagreement than a clarification of the crit, I suppose. Mind you, as I read that I did laugh to myself, trying to imagine such an exchange.

    Reader: I find the juxtaposition of images clashing with imposition of metaphor, and this imbalance is not helped by the iambic bastardisation at the end of the third stanza.

    Poet: I am sorry, I do not understand your point. Please elucidate further.

    Reader: I mean your poem sucks, you one-legged arsehole freak!

    This is why the interweb reaches out to us all.

  4. #14
    Member MaggieG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete_C View Post
    Well, it's less of a disagreement than a clarification of the crit, I suppose. Mind you, as I read that I did laugh to myself, trying to imagine such an exchange.

    Reader: I find the juxtaposition of images clashing with imposition of metaphor, and this imbalance is not helped by the iambic bastardisation at the end of the third stanza.

    Poet: I am sorry, I do not understand your point. Please elucidate further.

    Reader: I mean your poem sucks, you one-legged arsehole freak!

    This is why the interweb reaches out to us all.
    LOL ! I do like your bluntness ! I ask people to explain further all the time. There is always something to be learned I think. Not that I am looking forward to getting my knuckles cracked by you ! LOL BUT if I can learn something I will endure the pain. *grins*

  5. #15
    Baron
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete_C View Post
    I have to fly the flag the other way here, because on many occasions those requesting a crit are the rude ones, and the poor bastard that has tried to be helpful is the one on the receiving end. First off, we have to accept that if you post your work, you are soliciting for feedback. That someone then spends their time to offer advice and help is a gift to the original poster. That's their own precious time they've given to help. That's real value. They can give any old dickhead a few coins to go away or to take the good cause elsewhere, but their time is their own, irreplaceable. They can earn more cash, but their time is finite.

    Now, having given of their time freely, they then get responses from the opening poster such as "you didn't look deeply enough" or "you missed the point" or "well, I disagree with your statement that ... " or best of all, "I am good enough to know that I am right and you are wrong because...".

    People can argue the toss over this until the cows come home, but writing of all types is a communication, and the reader is the receiver of that information. If the reader doesn't like the message, or the way it is delivered, then that's a fact. They cannot be wrong, because they are the target at which you aim. If you fire an arrow and it misses the target, it's your fault. Anything that the reader doesn't like is valid, and it's NEVER their fault. It is yours and mine, the people that didn't get the writing spot-on. If the message goes over the head of the reader, then the writer has failed. If the reader tells you that, then accept it, because it's true.

    In the few days since WF has resurfaced, I've already got a number of people that I won't crit, because of their negative attitude to others. As writers, if we can't listen and learn from each other, then we don't deserve the help. When a reader puts your book back on the shelf, that's the judgement. You can't tell them they're wrong. When an editor spikes your work, you can't tell him he knows nothing. When you're filling up your scrapbook with unpublished unread work, guess whose fault that is! It's not the readers fault, not at all!

    If people are serious about improving, they need to put their egos in a box and face the truth. I once had an editor burn something I'd written in front of me and my colleagues. It wasn't a nice experience, but it taught me to never ever think I could just serve up something average to him. He didn't pat me on the head and tell me well done, but maybe I might like to consider... If he had, I would never had developed.

    I actually think we could benefit from two forums, one where those who want a biscuit go, and one for those who want some honest truth, warts and all. In the latter, poets could only say thank you or ask questions about the points raised when they received comments. As it stands, there's a mixture of hobbyists, people who write for fun, and a few who want the hard graft to try and crack something. Mix them all together, and someone's going to get pissed at some point.

    That said, there's no room for the "this sucks" nor the "awesome" type comments. Neither help anyone.
    Time given to critiques is valuable and no critique should be dismissed out of hand. At the same time it's foolish to think that the person taking time to give the review is write or that the opinion has to be accepted or acted upon. There are so many variables that come into this. I've met far too many people on forums who just try to appear clever in their critiques and invariably those same cliché lines s appear in their comments.

    A number of people I've seen giving critiques also try to impose their own voice upon the author. This is not offering a helpful opinion it's an attempt at subjugation. Reviews can also be strongly coloured by the personal tastes of those giving them. Like any form of communication it's a two way process and either side can be right or wrong. It's always really up to the author to decide what to accept or reject. It's also up to the author to give a courteous response even to negative criticism.

  6. #16
    Banned Martin's Avatar
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    I'm fairly good at missing points sometimes, still give a critique and end up being the one who learns, looking like a fool, but always enjoying the process, hehe. Courtesy is definitely a key word in forum communication.

    With that said, I do believe this poetry section has suffered from many rather critique-less but overly courteous responses lately...

  7. #17
    Even pearls of wisdom hurt if they are dropped from a great height.

    Poetry is an art. In art there is no best or worst, only differences in opinion. Take the case of Dylan Thomas, there is debate as to whether or not he should be considered among the best of his time. In my opinion on the weight of "Do not go gentle into that good night"he should be counted among the greatest of all time.

    There are people on this forum that target newbi writers with their scathingly critiques. Who among us wrote perfect poetry our first few tries? I know I didn't.

    Sometimes we have to hand pearls of wisdom to the recipient if we don't want to hurt them. The more experienced writers will know to look up and catch what is dropped.
    "PS: don't take technical advice about cold fusion from someone who can't spell fuzhun."

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  8. #18
    WF Veteran SilverMoon's Avatar
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    QUOTES FROM BARON:
    A number of people I've seen giving critiques also try to impose their own voice upon the author.
    This has happened to me recently where my poem was nearly entirely re-written by a writer of true brilliance. I'm glad he found my poem worthy of his effort and time but felt my voice had been disregared. I would have prefered "direction".

    It's also up to the author to give a courteous response even to negative criticism.
    That's called class. Fellow writers who should take heed to responding to other's crits graciously. As one would want for themselves.
    Last edited by SilverMoon; May 26th, 2010 at 12:27 AM.
    “The man who cannot visualize a horse galloping on a tomato is an idiot.”
    Andre Breton

  9. #19
    The most fruitful comments to me are those that tell me what the poem made them feel. Which parts touched them. Which ones didn't.
    Of course I want to know whether my grammar is good or bad, and if I have made any spelling mistakes. But that's not so important to me anymore, because I do spell-check my poems many times, and call me arrogant here, but it's easy for me to detect those.

    But if not a single reader feels anything, I have failed. If it's just a good poem with a good theme and excellent grammar, I have failed.
    Even modesty has its flipside.

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