The Importance of Critiques - Page 4


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Thread: The Importance of Critiques

  1. #31
    That being said, one thing that writers seeking feedback could do to improve the process is to proof their content. I really hate trying to offer feedback on something that was dashed off in a hurry, without even editing.

    Please, no hot-messes. It's rude to the critique'rs, and really it plays a negative role in the whole process. Errors will make a reviewer view your work in a harsh light. Clean it up before you post it, please.

  2. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Rotten View Post
    Clean it up before you post it, please.
    I would go further and say that you should do that with all your posts, not just ones for critique. Make writing well a habit so that you barely have to think about it to get it right. Those of us who revel in the language instinctively read every post critically but are too polite to comment when critique is not expected. Someone who genuinely enjoys writing well should feel embarrassed about putting their name to anything written badly regardless of how trivial it is. If you check through my posts you may notice how often they are marked as having been edited almost immediately after I have posted them because I have seen on reading them back a deficiency such as a missing apostrophe, bad use of commas or a clumsy phrase. Get into this habit and when you sit down to write an actual work you will be able to focus your mind on the story and let the writing just happen as usual. Critique that describes how the reader feels about the actual story, characters, settings etc is far more palatable than hard editorial critique of the technical side of the writing and anyone can offer the former as personal opinion while the latter is often indisputable and demoralising, but the remedy is in the writer's hands even before the reader sees the piece.

    Write right; right?
    (Er, is that correct use of a semicolon? Now I'm seriously worried ... as I ought to be.)
    'Sharing an experience creates a reality.' Create a new reality today.
    'There has to be some give and take.' If I can take my time I'm willing to give it.
    'The most difficult criticism that a writer has to comprehend is silence.' So speak up.

  3. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Plaidman View Post
    Even as a new writer with little to no experience, I recognize the importance of getting critiques from peers on your work. It's a tool that can help you grow as a writer and hone your skills. This is a tool that I would like to take advantage of here. As I have seen pointed out in threads that have tips on critiquing, you can't really expect people to critique your work without first writing critiques of other work. That makes sense.

    However, as a new writer who is only beginning the journey and has little to no experience in the art, I don't feel that I am qualified to critique other, more experienced, writers. I would hardly call myself a peer. So, what is the new and inexperienced writer to do?

    Any thoughts?
    Well, people liked your LM entry so I think you have some skill in the field. But really, a lot of critique is reading with light touch feedback. Rather than have all the answers, technical terms, and fixes ready, you can say "paragraph XYZ didn't work; I felt bored/confused/my mind wandered" or what-have-you.

    The temptation though may be that to provide credible critique you need to go super hard on people. It might be tempting, writing critique, to rip apart every little thing to showcase how you're a dyed-in-the-wool author that probably drank with Hemingway or something, but TBH I rarely see this go well, because it tends to a. get people's backs up and b. smother their voice and whatever nascent skill they may be nurturing, resulting in generic, timid prose. I try and just be nice with my critique. That doesn't mean I don't find fault; I do. I am a (or is it an?) horrific grammar pedant and unapologetic style snob so certain things (comma splices, as-linked clauses, I'm looking at you) send me right off, but I'm not going to expect a starting-line writer to want to deal with that, so I'll filter myself because I don't want to be *that* guy


    Hidden Content Monthly Fiction Challenge


    The first cut don't hurt at all
    The second only makes you wonder
    The third will have you on your knee
    s
    - Propaganda, "Duel"

    *

    Is this fire, or is this mask?
    It's the Mantasy!
    - Anonymous








  4. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by JustRob View Post

    Write right; right?
    (Er, is that correct use of a semicolon? Now I'm seriously worried ... as I ought to be.)
    It's ... it's fine Rob. Do what you like with punctuation. See if I care.



    No, no, I'm joking. I second all your points above too. I even try and be elegantly eloquent in my work emails and Lord knows those Philistines don't deserve such golden words.


    Hidden Content Monthly Fiction Challenge


    The first cut don't hurt at all
    The second only makes you wonder
    The third will have you on your knee
    s
    - Propaganda, "Duel"

    *

    Is this fire, or is this mask?
    It's the Mantasy!
    - Anonymous








  5. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by bdcharles View Post
    Well, people liked your LM entry so I think you have some skill in the field. But really, a lot of critique is reading with light touch feedback. Rather than have all the answers, technical terms, and fixes ready, you can say "paragraph XYZ didn't work; I felt bored/confused/my mind wandered" or what-have-you.

    The temptation though may be that to provide credible critique you need to go super hard on people. It might be tempting, writing critique, to rip apart every little thing to showcase how you're a dyed-in-the-wool author that probably drank with Hemingway or something, but TBH I rarely see this go well, because it tends to a. get people's backs up and b. smother their voice and whatever nascent skill they may be nurturing, resulting in generic, timid prose. I try and just be nice with my critique. That doesn't mean I don't find fault; I do. I am a (or is it an?) horrific grammar pedant and unapologetic style snob so certain things (comma splices, as-linked clauses, I'm looking at you) send me right off, but I'm not going to expect a starting-line writer to want to deal with that, so I'll filter myself because I don't want to be *that* guy
    I was quite surprised at how well the judges scored my entry. I was also quite thankful for the critiques they included.

    I would think that being unnecessarily hard on people in a critique would serve more to discourage than to provide constructive input.

  6. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Rotten View Post
    That being said, one thing that writers seeking feedback could do to improve the process is to proof their content. I really hate trying to offer feedback on something that was dashed off in a hurry, without even editing.

    Please, no hot-messes. It's rude to the critique'rs, and really it plays a negative role in the whole process. Errors will make a reviewer view your work in a harsh light. Clean it up before you post it, please.
    I would think that you would want your work to be as well as you can do before asking for critiques. Why ask someone to point out errors you know are there.

  7. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by bdcharles View Post
    It might be tempting, writing critique, to rip apart every little thing to showcase how you're a dyed-in-the-wool author that probably drank with Hemingway or something...
    I've drank at bars where Hemingway drank. Does that count?

  8. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Plaidman View Post
    I've drank at bars where Hemingway drank. Does that count?
    Absolutely. Just make sure you mention it, vitriolically, whenever someone questions your methods or writes in a way you don't like. If you're in the same room as them fling something at them.




    Hidden Content Monthly Fiction Challenge


    The first cut don't hurt at all
    The second only makes you wonder
    The third will have you on your knee
    s
    - Propaganda, "Duel"

    *

    Is this fire, or is this mask?
    It's the Mantasy!
    - Anonymous








  9. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Plaidman View Post
    I was quite surprised at how well the judges scored my entry. I was also quite thankful for the critiques they included.

    I would think that being unnecessarily hard on people in a critique would serve more to discourage than to provide constructive input.
    Everyone's take is different--"harsh" and "helpful" are subjective terms. I prefer to be thorough and have a bad habit of breaking everything down and doing line edits when I crit. Some people like that, and some don't, but the killer is mostly that it appears to be a waste of my time. The whole point's to be the most help, right? Why spend the time reading and not be thorough with a crit? (There are tons of reasons).
    "Ammonia will disinfect sin."
    --adrianhayter

    "Art is life, just add bull****."
    --Chris Miller

  10. #40
    I would say as a new writer, you are more than capable of critiquing others' work. Even if you don't have the experience to know what kind of writing might be appropriate for certain magazines or genres of books, you can decide if a story is too complicated and whether you understand it.

    I would be happy if a new writer could critique my work and tell me how my story made him/her feel.

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