Reader Response


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Thread: Reader Response

  1. #1

    Reader Response

    What do you look for in responses to your poetry? Compliment or critique? What is the most useful to you?

    Personally I prefer people to flag up the areas that they think I need to work on, or that they didn't understand. Or they might even tell me that the whole thing doesn't have much mileage, or the structure is fundamentally flawed, or whatever. I find it much more useful than generic praise. Compliments are nice, but they're the sort of thing I might receive easily from my family or friends. And they feel a bit fake. When I post things online, especially, I'm looking for honesty. For a fresh pair of eyes with no emotional ties to look objectively at my writing.

  2. #2
    for me. its people pointing out the simple mistakes i make. or when phrasings are wrong

    i dont think a crit should ever dig into the subject, since, the subject is what it is, to meddle with it is to create another poem entirely (not necessarily a bad thing)

    oh and i like when people dont/barely use punctuation because it feels more verbal to me
    which is why i do it...

  3. #3
    Simple mistakes, like grammar or spelling, I think the writer should really erase out before posting a poem for critique. That's the easy bit. If they're expecting someone to take time out to read their piece and make suggestions, it should be spell-checked and proof-read, absolutely the best they can make it before asking for opinions from others.

    As for subject matter, I think if the subject is typical teen angst, or completely and utterly cliché, or whatever, then it's perfectly valid to point that out. There's nothing wrong with writing a new poem - taking a fresh angle on something you might have originally written in a clichéd way.

  4. #4
    yes they should. but i tend to use the internet as a wall to throw a poem against and see if it sticks.

    so if i make a mistake that word isnt going to pick up (like words that are correct but misspellings of other words like the extra o that sometimes finds my o's)

    i always post right after i write. the only editing being done is in the process of writing. then i read it there in the post. then i fix my mistakes that are stupid. then i wait for the crits to see where i need more work.

    i am an odd case surely though

  5. #5
    Member Ilasir Maroa's Avatar
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    What I look for in response to one of my pieces is constructive criticism. If someone says "This is awesome! XD" I say, "Thanks. Could you point to any parts you really liked and explain why?"

    If someone says "This is crap and trite and terrible." I say, "Fuck you!"

    Well, I'd like to, anyway. What I really say is "Are there any specific parts of the poem or my techniques you feel need work, or do you think the poem as a whole is a trunker?"

    In my experience, many people seem to equate rude and arrogant comments with "negative criticism". They're not the same thing at all. Negative criticism is pointing to areas that didn't work and explaining why and/or suggesting improvements.

    Same thing with the other end. "OMG you're awesome!" is a great short term boost to my ego, but it does not help the poem, and it is not the same thing as "positive criticism". The latter is when someone points out areas they felt worked particularly well and explain why.

    Something that a lot of people on this board could do with considering more honestly.
    "A plot-driven story is anything with a plot." ~BS
    All lines are arbitrary; otherwise, we wouldn't have to draw them. ~Nicholas Vesiri

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Ilasir Maroa View Post
    What I look for in response to one of my pieces is constructive criticism. If someone says "This is awesome! XD" I say, "Thanks. Could you point to any parts you really liked and explain why?"

    If someone says "This is crap and trite and terrible." I say, "Fuck you!"

    Well, I'd like to, anyway. What I really say is "Are there any specific parts of the poem or my techniques you feel need work, or do you think the poem as a whole is a trunker?"

    In my experience, many people seem to equate rude and arrogant comments with "negative criticism". They're not the same thing at all. Negative criticism is pointing to areas that didn't work and explaining why and/or suggesting improvements.

    Same thing with the other end. "OMG you're awesome!" is a great short term boost to my ego, but it does not help the poem, and it is not the same thing as "positive criticism". The latter is when someone points out areas they felt worked particularly well and explain why.

    Something that a lot of people on this board could do with considering more honestly.
    I appreciate the short term boost to my ego with replies such as "That was an awesome piece." But I am really looking for positive criticism, or constructive criticism, something useful to me, pointing to ways I could improve my work. Negative criticism is precisely that, someone else criticizing my work without offering any suggestions of improvement. To me, it comes across as rather rude and arrogant. One can offer suggestions without being so negatively rude.

  7. #7
    Member MaggieG's Avatar
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    I agree with you Nellie for the most part. Constructive criticism is necessary to improvement. But all that also falls into the category of what we consider rude. I have seen people get sensitive over " I don't get it. ", " This is a very weak poem. ", and " This is full of mistakes. " When I get comments like this, I don't see them as rude, simply honest. I would prefer they give me a little more detail than that. lol BUT... I also get that this is a machine that most don't have all the time in the world on either. Nowwww if I am getting comments like " This sucks ! ", etc, or personal comments about myself as opposed to the writing ? I am going to come back, and demand specifics. That whole boondock mentality of " Put your money where your mouth is Shmuck ! " ( And yes... I have had my butt handed to me doing that lol ) But ! At least I know I am dealing with an intelligent mind instead of a troll. lol
    Last edited by MaggieG; May 20th, 2010 at 02:58 PM. Reason: Because I'm not doing anybody ! ( cept my husband ) LMAO

  8. #8
    I once read the line, "Publshing a book of poetry is like throwing a rose petal into the Grand Canyon and waiting for an echo."
    See my books Hidden Content (and in heaven).

  9. #9
    Member MaggieG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lin View Post
    I once read the line, "Publshing a book of poetry is like throwing a rose petal into the Grand Canyon and waiting for an echo."
    *laughing* Amen !

  10. #10
    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.

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