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Crits (1 Viewer)

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AtleanWordsmith

WF Veterans
As a recently-freed newbie, I can completely attest to this. Now that I've gone through the Trial of the Ten Posts, I demand an agent and a publisher, and someone to tell me how wonderful my work is, and immunity from all negative criticism.

I... I don't like the way you're looking at me.

Please don't hurt me.

No, please! Not in the face! It's my best fea-

__________________

When I critique, I generally try to ignore things like grammar and sentence structure, because I know that there are people out there who are waaay more qualified than I am to handle it, and who will handle it.

Truth time: I don't actually know a lot about how grammar actually works. I picked up things like how sentences are supposed to be structured and what type of punctuation goes where, but for the life of me, I could not actually sit down and tell you how to do it. I do, however, know about flow. A lot of my writing is done in a casual manner, sacrificing certain rules in order to maintain the flow of the story. I'm not always successful, but I've been told that my writing is easy to read, and that's what I find important.

So... that's what I attempt to help people with, when and where I can.
 
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TKent

Retired Chief Media Manager
Ah...it appears no one gave you the full run down:

1. Ability to post your work for crit = 10 posts
2. #1 plus access to an agent who will harshly reject you = 10 posts + 10 in depth crits of 5K or longer works by fellow members
3. #2 but with a really sweet rejection = 10 posts + 10 in depth crits + 10 contest judging gigs
4. #3 plus access to an actual publisher who will harshly reject you = 10 posts + 10 crits + 10 contest judging gigs + 10 tweets that WF is best writing forum in the world
5. #4 but with a sweet rejection = 10 posts + 10 crits + 10 contests + 10 tweets + 10 Facebook shoutouts that WF is best writing forum in the world
6. All of above BUT with acceptances by the agent & publisher = keep writing until your work ROCKS + your first born child (don't worry, you'll be too busy writing to take care of her/him anyway)
7. Someone to tell you how wonderful your work is, and immunity from all negative criticism = it will never happen ;)


As a recently-freed newbie, I can completely attest to this. Now that I've gone through the Trial of the Ten Posts, I demand an agent and a publisher, and someone to tell me how wonderful my work is, and immunity from all negative criticism.

I... I don't like the way you're looking at me.

Please don't hurt me.

No, please! Not in the face! It's my best fea-
 

Angel101

Senior Member
LOL. Are there medals for pissing people off? After this, I feel like I should get one. Holy moly. I have two toddlers, and yet this is the silliest thing I've dealt with all morning.
 

AtleanWordsmith

WF Veterans
Just let it roooll off your shoulders, Angel. Not everyone handles criticism well, and if they're going to dismiss your attempts to help because they didn't like what you had to say... well, they won't be receiving any help from you in the future.

They might find that they're turning off other would-be critics and mentors, as well. Nobody wants to waste their time and effort trying to help someone who won't be helped.

Bump 'em and roll on.
 

Harper J. Cole

Creative Area Specialist (Speculative Fiction)
Staff member
Chief Mentor
Interesting thread. I'll admit to being surprised at how direct some of the criticisms were when I first joined, but by the time I got around to actually posting anything I was used to them. Important thing to remember is that they're the same for everyone, though someone newly joined might not realise that.

HC
 

aj47

(he/him)
WF Veterans
Some people have a tough time separating themselves from their "word-children" and so they feel any fault you find in the word-children is criticism of them.

Bah.
 

Cran

Da Boss Emeritus
Patron
What I really don't understand, though, is why other members need to jump in and comment on my criticism. That's not helpful to the writer. Write your own critique. In fact, on other forums there are rules against commenting on critiques unless you're the author of the work that applies. It's good rule and helps avoid arguments and people ganging up on each other. It also avoids people commenting like, "Yeah, what he said."
I'm sorry, but it is not a good rule; it's a cop-out to protect critical elites without regard to the validity of the criticism. The rule here is that critics are not immune to challenge or question; that, more than the writer should be expected to defend the writing, the critic should be prepared to defend the critique.

This way, we avoid subjective taste being presented as objective assessment or empirical judgment.
 

Angel101

Senior Member
I understand what you are saying. Everyone has their own way of doing things. I prefer to critique without being trampled by people who are more concerned about feelings than writing. If I were having a civil discussion with someone about my critique, that would be totally different. That is not what happened, which the only reason I brought that up. Also, as a writer, I find it more helpful to get totally different perspectives from different people without reading their arguments with each other, arguments which always seem to veer away from the original topic. Sorry, I'm not suggesting change. I was just sharing my frustration from this particular experience.
 
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Cran

Da Boss Emeritus
Patron
Well, being trampled or veering off-topic becomes a moderation issue, and anyone is entitled (indeed, encouraged) to report such posts if a moderator has not stepped in.
 

Kyle R

WF Veterans
My current perspective on critiquing:

I'm a fan of the critics who identify what the writer is attempting and offer suggestions to improve their efforts.

I'm not a fan of the critics who pick apart the writing because it doesn't match how the critics themselves would write it.

I say: help the writer do what they're trying to do. Don't try to push the writer to do it your way.

This means letting go of the notion that you know better. It means trusting that the writer has their own creative plan. It means stop trying to teach the writer, and start trying to help them, one fellow writer to another.

:encouragement:
 

scrub puller

Senior Member
Yair . . .

What we like and dislike is subjective and I often qualify comments with . . . (in my opinion).

I hardly ever comment on punctuation or spelling which I believe is more properly described as editing.

The same as a poster mentions up thread, I look for style and flow and structure.

Most times these elements will be enhanced by wholesale cropping of words particularly the 'was's' the 'were's' the 'this's and the 'that's' and 'ing' and 'ly' words.

I keep mentioning such points and, if folks object (as has been known to happen) it's their problem not mine.

Of course the other issue is what application the document is written for. Pieces intended for self published niche readerships will likely have a different look and feel to more mainstream publishing . . . all perfectly understandable.

In any market though, smooth easily read and comprehended prose, describing action, emotions or surroundings is to be preferred over pretentious wordy rhetoric and I will always critique to that effect.

Cheers.
 
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Pluralized

Black Dracula
WF Veterans
Give what you can, let the writer do with it what they will. Be helpful, be thorough, but don't ignore someone's work because you are concerned whether others will approve of your crit. I don't think I've ever done what could be called a 'great' critique, but have helped writers find glitches on occasion. Probably pissed a few off too, but you'll have that with any creative medium where there's critique.

Crittin's as much for me as for anyone. My editing eye has sharpened up tenfold from it and I love the reciprocal help I get from others.

It's what makes this place well-rounded, in my opinion, because without honest critique it is hard for writers to actually improve. Wish I had more to give in terms of skill as a critter, but that's not going to stop me from trying to help.
 

Arrakis

Senior Member
My current perspective on critiquing:

I'm a fan of the critics who identify what the writer is attempting and offer suggestions to improve their efforts.

I'm not a fan of the critics who pick apart the writing because it doesn't match how the critics themselves would write it.

I say: help the writer do what they're trying to do. Don't try to push the writer to do it your way.

This means letting go of the notion that you know better. It means trusting that the writer has their own creative plan. It means stop trying to teach the writer, and start trying to help them, one fellow writer to another.

:encouragement:

I definitely have to agree with this post. Mine belief is that every writer should find their own unique style, instead of looking up methods on Google or elsewhere. Despite mine blunt honesty, I always try mine absolute best to let the writer make up his or her own mind, instead of acting like an overbearing relative. For instance, instead of giving them mine own ideas, I'll ask them questions about the things in their stories--that way, they'll make themselves expand upon the plotline without any input from me. From mine perspective, that actually helps them more, since they're lifting the mental weights on their own. I might make a suggestion or two, but I don't try to shove it down their throat.

Personally, I think the critic sometimes needs to have the same skin-thickness he expects from those critiqued.

Ha ha, well said. Everytime I write a review, I am always steeled for a backlash.

Challenge your critics! Ruin their lives!
 
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caters

Senior Member
I personally am very sensitive to criticism. Almost all the comments I get on my writing are of this form:

"Writing and supposed edits" "This is wrong, that is wrong, this word is wrong, this whole sentence is wrong, your idea is wrong"

And I hate wrong whether I know that I did something wrong or whether someone is commenting on my wrong.

They almost never give me positive comments and even when they do, the negative is way higher in magnitude.

This is exactly why I have stopped posting my actual writing here and instead posting my ideas.

I get angry at them. It only shows as frustration in my posts but it is more than frustration.

I feel as though they are unnessacarily attacking my own writing. My momma isn't like them when it comes to editing.

She still gives very good edits but in a pleasant way, not one that makes me angry.
 

Harper J. Cole

Creative Area Specialist (Speculative Fiction)
Staff member
Chief Mentor
Hi there caters,

I'm sorry you've not been happy with the feedback. It can be tricky to pitch the level of critique so that it's helpful without being hurtful. I did see that one member made a personal remark in your previous thread, which is unfortunate.

On the whole, though, I think that people are just trying to help you to improve as a writer. We can all get better - I know I've learned a lot here.

I hope that you have better experiences with us in the future.

HC
 

Carly Berg

Senior Member
The only critique I remember that p*ssed me off insanely was one where the woman made the comment, "You are an idiot." I had already developed somewhat tough skin by then from heavy participation in the critique process but that one made steam come out of my ears. If she'd been in front of me, I'm pretty sure I'd have slapped her upside the head. I'm not saying it's not true but she didn't have to say it that way!

However, in a weird way I think the critique comments that don't sit right with us are doing us a favor. Better to get that milestone first stingy review (and possible meltdown lol) handled on a semi-private, moderated critique board than out in public after your work is published. No matter what you write, someone is not going to like it and they can say pretty much anything they want, out there forever, right there next to your "Buy This Book" button. Your only choices then are to eat it or entertain the entire internet with a public tantrum. :p
 
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caters

Senior Member
Hi there caters,

I'm sorry you've not been happy with the feedback. It can be tricky to pitch the level of critique so that it's helpful without being hurtful. I did see that one member made a personal remark in your previous thread, which is unfortunate.

On the whole, though, I think that people are just trying to help you to improve as a writer. We can all get better - I know I've learned a lot here.

I hope that you have better experiences with us in the future.

HC

So you're saying that I am just perceiving those comments with edits as negative comments when really they are positive comments and just don't look like it at first?
 

Harper J. Cole

Creative Area Specialist (Speculative Fiction)
Staff member
Chief Mentor
Well, you could look at it both ways, but I think they're positive in that they're suggestions you can incorporate into your stories if you like.

HC
 

Cran

Da Boss Emeritus
Patron
I personally am very sensitive to criticism.
That's unfortunate. It means you face a future of pain and disappointment even if you do good work in any field. Even the greatest, most talented and successful people are not immune to criticism, and not just from those who love to snipe or chip away at someone to salve their own egos, but from those with the benefit of arm's-length perspective who can see the chink, the missed flaw, or a better way to approach or develop or present the work.


Almost all the comments I get on my writing are of this form:

"Writing and supposed edits" "This is wrong, that is wrong, this word is wrong, this whole sentence is wrong, your idea is wrong"

They almost never give me positive comments and even when they do, the negative is way higher in magnitude.
OK. If a critique points out what is wrong without explaining why it is wrong and then providing what would make it right, it's a poor critique.

If a critique ever refers to the idea, rather than the presentation of that idea, it is not a critique; it is a breach of critical protocol and should be ignored utterly because it comes from someone who does not know how to critique properly.

It is not our right to argue or challenge the idea, only to assess and help improve the presentation of the idea.

This is exactly why I have stopped posting my actual writing here and instead posting my ideas.
Well, that's your choice. But ideas cannot be critiqued, and therefore do not belong in the creative forums. Discussing and developing ideas can be fun, but won't help to better write or otherwise present them.

I feel as though they are unnessacarily attacking my own writing.
Unnecessarily attacking is probably what you believe, considering your sensitivity to criticism. I, however, take it as a personal insult that you would suggest the members of my forum who take the time and trouble to read and respond to your own writing are trolls.

Your own writing is what WF members volunteer to go through, point out weaknesses or flaws, and, if able, to recommend remedies. That's what WritingForums.com was created to do: to help writers (and creative artists) improve their writing (and creative arts) and do better in their chosen pursuits.

If your writing is attracting trolls, then perhaps it says something about your writing and your future prospects. Regardless, trolls should be reported the instant they are found so that they can be banned from this forum. However, someone telling you to fix your spelling, or that a word or sentence doesn't mean what you think it means, is not a troll. That member is doing you a favour.

My momma isn't like them when it comes to editing.

She still gives very good edits but in a pleasant way, not one that makes me angry.
I hope your momma is a member so she can help show the way to others.

The only critique I remember that p*ssed me off insanely was one where the woman made the comment, "You are an idiot."
Did this happen here? Who made this comment in breach of da Rules* to you? Did you report it?


*Flaming: Flaming will not be tolerated. When critiquing, keep observations about the work, do not make inflammatory personal judgments of or attacks on the writer. In any discussion, keep it about the topic and not the poster. Violations will be deleted. Repeated offenses or ignoring staff warnings will result in an infraction.
 
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