Encouragement vs Honesty - Page 18


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Thread: Encouragement vs Honesty

  1. #171
    Quote Originally Posted by amsawtell View Post
    Copy editors, beta-readers, workshop groups--if you go through the writing process your SPaG will be found for you. Of course, before submission your manuscript should be as clean as possible.

    I was talking in the scope of this website or critique group. I always forget that a pendant will come and tear everything that is said apart.
    Accuracy is not pedantry. No one was looking to "tear everything apart". I can only react to what you wrote, not what you intended. The fact is, many, many inexperienced writers believe just what you implied; that clean copy isn't as important as stunning ideas and that's just not the case. I work in a manufacturing plant where we make products by the thousands every day. One of the functions here is that of a Quality Assurance technician. Those QA techs are much like copy editors, they exist to help catch defects which slip through the manufacturing process. It's a job that shouldn't be needed, but it is currently. We try to react to those defects by examining them to find their roots causes and then eliminate the source of the defects, thereby permanently eliminating the problem. Sometimes the defects are not process, or design related, but workmanship related; defects caused by people not skilled enough, or not caring enough, to do the job properly. That's like basic SPaG issues in writing. If those folks don't improve the quality of their work, they put their jobs at risk. Just as writers do.
    “Fools” said I, “You do not know
    Silence like a cancer grows
    Hear my words that I might teach you
    Take my arms that I might reach you”
    But my words like silent raindrops fell
    And echoed in the wells of silence : Simon & Garfunkel


    Those who enjoy stirring the chamber-pot should be required to lick the spoon.

    Our job as writers is to make readers dream, to infiltrate their minds with our words and create a new reality; a reality not theirs, and not ours, but a new, unique combination of both.

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  2. #172
    Quote Originally Posted by T.S.Bowman View Post
    So, while I completely understand that honesty is normally the best way to go, I also understand that sometimes, just sometimes, being honest could quite possibly be a final step in someone giving up on his/her dream of writing.
    I've come back from that abyss a couple of times and you're right, it ain't easy. The latest time was last summer when I asked a 'friend' for feedback and, after not hearing from him for a couple of months, asked if he'd a chance to read my novel yet. His reply amounted to, "It's pretty juvenile and since my son grew up, I don't read that kind of thing any longer. But if you want, I'll keep reading." (He'd only gotta through a couple of chapters.)

    Needless to say, I was devastated and it took another couple of months before I could pull myself together enough to figure out what to do about it. Had it not been for my wife encouraging me, I might never have gotten back to it. But I did and over the next two drafts, I managed to bring my story and myself back from the edge.

    I hope you can do the same.

  3. #173
    Member LOLeah's Avatar
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    I've never read something for the purpose of critiquing it and come away with absolutely nothing good to say. Every writer has strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes the weaknesses are so glaring that their strengths as a writer are even more difficult to recognize, but I've always been able to find them, and compliment them. I have no problem delivering hard truths but I can do that and be encouraging. And be honest all the while.
    "We all die. The goal is not to live forever, the goal is to create something that will." ~Chuck Palahniuk

  4. #174
    Honesty humbly submitted is the best kind of critique. Much that constitutes critique enters the realm of subjectivity, and so opinions should only be presented, with their supporting reasoning, as such and not as fact. It's possible to dislike something that's actually good work, and its antithesis is also true. You're a vain human being with vain opinions.

    And writers need to understand that about critique, too. If your primary interest is to improve your writing, you should listen to what others have to say, but never make it your foundation.


  5. #175
    Quote Originally Posted by Terry D View Post
    I can only react to what you wrote, not what you intended.
    That's a point that far too many hopeful writers miss. As David Sedaris observed: “The returning student had recently come through a difficult divorce, and because her pain was significant, she wrongly insisted her writing was significant as well.”

  6. #176
    WF Veteran SilverMoon's Avatar
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    It's all really a fine line. Words have to be measured not only carefully but aptly to the writer at hand.

    Here's a very informative, comprehensive outline concerning critique. Really think first segments are worthy of a putting a sticky thread into play. Am working on it.

    http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/...uing-kline.htm
    Last edited by SilverMoon; September 7th, 2016 at 05:13 AM.
    “The man who cannot visualize a horse galloping on a tomato is an idiot.”
    Andre Breton

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