Encouragement vs Honesty - Page 2


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Thread: Encouragement vs Honesty

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by T.S.Bowman View Post

    Is it my fault that the family I grew up in was abusive? Was it my fault that they had me in a position of not having any kind of confidence in myself?

    You have to realize that people who are in or have recently come out of that kind of situation have been beaten down for a very long time. That person could be the next H. G. Wells or Lovecraft. That person could have something very important to say that the world needs to know. But, given the fragility of their state of mind, a few harsh words could very well cause that person to walk away with their head hanging down feeling the same old feelings that have been repeatedly beaten into them over many years.

    We simply do not know. And because I do not know, and having been there, I prefer to take a more gentle approach until I see more of the person's posts. I am always honest about what works for me, but I always let the person know what does, as well.
    In the context of getting critiques on a forum, being encouraging and constructive should be the norm. A forum is moderated as well, so there is an expectation (and even enforcement) of a certain decorum. Yet outside of that, people are only looking at the work. The author's issues are typically their own, and besides, the readers don't care. Outside of a forum, the world can be a rather harsh and unforgiving place. Personally, I don't think it's a matter of having a thick skin. It boils down to just how important writing is to the person regardless of encouragement or any personal circumstances that might be a hindrance (ie, mental health issues, social issues, addictions, etc). A desire or need to write is intrinsic and if it isn't, anything can and will stop someone from writing, even the weather.
    Anything that doesn't take years off your life and drives you to suicide hardly seems worth doing.
    - Cormac Mccarthy

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by T.S.Bowman View Post
    You have to realize that people who are in or have recently come out of that kind of situation have been beaten down for a very long time. That person could be the next H. G. Wells or Lovecraft. That person could have something very important to say that the world needs to know. But, given the fragility of their state of mind, a few harsh words could very well cause that person to walk away with their head hanging down feeling the same old feelings that have been repeatedly beaten into them over many years.
    Do you really think an editor is going to care about your situation? They're going to judge your submission solely on its literary merit. Why should critiquers be gentle when the person that actually matters won't be?
    "Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing." - Benjamin Franklin

    "I do not over-intellectualize the production process. I try to keep it simple: Tell the damned story." - Tom Clancy

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Gamer_2k4 View Post
    Do you really think an editor is going to care about your situation? They're going to judge your submission solely on its literary merit. Why should critiquers be gentle when the person that actually matters won't be?
    Why should a critiquer be unnecessarily harsh when they don't need to be? Because that's the way the "real world" works? Is there no kindness to be found in the world? Because the one doing the critique can be harsh with little repercussion? By your logic, critiquers don't "actually matter" either. And if the editors are the only ones who really matter, then why would the critiquer feel the need to be so harsh anyway? Let the editor be the one doing the bashing.

    Seriously. I see some here who have the attitude that "It's the writing I care about. Not the writer's life." But, many times, a person's writing is an extension of themselves, no?

    It's odd to me that people get so adamant about something like this. What is wrong with taking a little time to consider the person behind the writing. It's not like I am saying we should treat each other with kid gloves.
    “Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were, but without it we go nowhere.” -Carl Sagan

    Real courage is found, not in the willingness to risk death, but in the willingness to stand, alone if necessary, against the ignorant and disapproving herd. --Jon Roland, 1976

    Have you checked out the Hidden Content

    Founder of the Pantsers United Group and member of the Fantasy Lords Group

    "Life is composed of lights and shadows, and we would be untruthful,
    insincere, and saccharine if we tried to pretend there were no shadows." - Walt Disney

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by spartan928 View Post
    In the context of getting critiques on a forum, being encouraging and constructive should be the norm. A forum is moderated as well, so there is an expectation (and even enforcement) of a certain decorum. Yet outside of that, people are only looking at the work. The author's issues are typically their own, and besides, the readers don't care. Outside of a forum, the world can be a rather harsh and unforgiving place. Personally, I don't think it's a matter of having a thick skin. It boils down to just how important writing is to the person regardless of encouragement or any personal circumstances that might be a hindrance (ie, mental health issues, social issues, addictions, etc). A desire or need to write is intrinsic and if it isn't, anything can and will stop someone from writing, even the weather.
    Wow. This is interesting.

    I take it you have been in the position I referred to?

    You are correct, of course, in pointing out that the readers don't care. So, of course, that automatically means that we shouldn't either, right?
    “Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were, but without it we go nowhere.” -Carl Sagan

    Real courage is found, not in the willingness to risk death, but in the willingness to stand, alone if necessary, against the ignorant and disapproving herd. --Jon Roland, 1976

    Have you checked out the Hidden Content

    Founder of the Pantsers United Group and member of the Fantasy Lords Group

    "Life is composed of lights and shadows, and we would be untruthful,
    insincere, and saccharine if we tried to pretend there were no shadows." - Walt Disney

  5. #15
    I had an experience that should be addressed with this subject: Know where the critic is coming from on some issues.
    If the critic is a homophobe and you have a gay character shown in a good light, he will find fault and sometimes be acidulous about it. If your work has some immoral character shown to be a good character in other ways, a religious fanatic is going to rain curses on your work.
    A critic of Lab Test found a lot of fault with the work and was malicious about it she gave it -*, while two others found the work very good (***1/2 and ****)
    The next book that critic said she had reacted as a Jewish person, not as a critic, and I had made Zionists the bad guys. She read the work partly and had immediately reacted badly. A Jew was also the hero of the work, in a lot of ways.
    How nice! Her acid critique, that actually was a personal attack, was written and out there.
    If a critic has a reputation of attacking an author instead of critiquing the work honestly, avoid them like the plague.
    I had no idea the critic above was adamantly opposed to any negative mention of any Jewish character. I would not have asked her to review it, had I known. Her being "honest" about the next one (that I did NOT send her) didn't erase the critique that was on the web. The one I needed honesty with was the first one.
    My initials are C. D. People call me CD. The next book was a CD Grimes mystery. Her "honest critique" of the book was something like, "This was probably a very good story, but I am tired of CD being such a pompous ass. I found reading it tedious."
    I replied that I didn't know if she meant CD Grimes or me, thanks for the critique, I won't ask her to critique anymore.
    In other words, consider such things when you receive a critique and know which ones to ignore. A critic who will make personal attacks against an author is dishonest by the act.

  6. #16
    Member dither's Avatar
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    Difficult subject,
    you have to consider the writer firstly and foremost imo,
    for what it's worth.

    That which might serve to challenge and motivate some,
    will leave others destroyed, and feeling utterly useless.

    You know all this of course.

    Which is why i'll probably never try.

    What i do here falls way below the radar of critique.

    Just one very fragile ego, dithering.
    If i post a comment on a "WIP", LOOK! I'm a reader that's all, and i can only tell how i feel, as a READER, giving/offering feedback. Hoping to learn and grow here. So please, tell me where i'm going wrong.

    Me? I'm just a fly on the wall.

    Look! I'm trying, okay?

    One can but dream, if only i had dared.

    "The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong" Mahatma Gandhi.
    Alas, i am weak.

    I must find a way to Eastbourne and i so wish that i could dance.

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by T.S.Bowman View Post
    Why should a critiquer be unnecessarily harsh when they don't need to be?
    I never said a critiquer should be unnecessarily harsh. I simply said they shouldn't be unnecessarily gentle.
    "Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing." - Benjamin Franklin

    "I do not over-intellectualize the production process. I try to keep it simple: Tell the damned story." - Tom Clancy

  8. #18
    seriously dither, your posts are almost like poetry to me. I guess because I've associated a certain tone, mindset, attitude to them that strikes certain cords now regardless of how much or little you say. Thx

    Quote Originally Posted by dither View Post
    Difficult subject,
    you have to consider the writer firstly and foremost imo,
    for what it's worth.

    That which might serve to challenge and motivate some,
    will leave others destroyed, and feeling utterly useless.

    You know all this of course.

    Which is why i'll probably never try.

    What i do here falls way below the radar of critique.

    Just one very fragile ego, dithering.


  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Gamer_2k4 View Post
    I never said a critiquer should be unnecessarily harsh. I simply said they shouldn't be unnecessarily gentle.
    I never said that, either.
    “Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were, but without it we go nowhere.” -Carl Sagan

    Real courage is found, not in the willingness to risk death, but in the willingness to stand, alone if necessary, against the ignorant and disapproving herd. --Jon Roland, 1976

    Have you checked out the Hidden Content

    Founder of the Pantsers United Group and member of the Fantasy Lords Group

    "Life is composed of lights and shadows, and we would be untruthful,
    insincere, and saccharine if we tried to pretend there were no shadows." - Walt Disney

  10. #20
    Member dither's Avatar
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    TK,
    i thank you.

    I wasn't angling for compliments, yes really, and because you volunteered that comment, i'll trust that you're not just "being nice".
    Please don't be offended by my reaction, such is my view of myself.
    If i post a comment on a "WIP", LOOK! I'm a reader that's all, and i can only tell how i feel, as a READER, giving/offering feedback. Hoping to learn and grow here. So please, tell me where i'm going wrong.

    Me? I'm just a fly on the wall.

    Look! I'm trying, okay?

    One can but dream, if only i had dared.

    "The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong" Mahatma Gandhi.
    Alas, i am weak.

    I must find a way to Eastbourne and i so wish that i could dance.

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