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How to respond to critique (1 Viewer)

Firemajic

Poetry Mentor
Staff member
Senior Mentor
PULEEEEZE remember, most critiques are not a personal attack, seriously, get over yourself! How are we going to learn and grow as writers if we are constantly offended by any critique that is NOT dripping with empty praise and vain ego massaging. I am a serious writer, I am here to learn, I am not here to have my fragile ego polished... give me a break. If you do not agree with the critique, just say "Thank you for reading " and mooooooove on......
 

Firemajic

Poetry Mentor
Staff member
Senior Mentor
"Take this kiss upon the brow!
This line is kinda cliché and unoriginal...
and, in parting from you now,
thus much let me avow-
you are not wrong who deem** Maybe rework this line... it sounds obscure...
that my days have been a dream;

Ok, here, Mr. Poe, you are losing me... what hope has flown away ... and why???
yet if hope has flown away
in a night or in a day,
in a vision, or in none,
is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem*** LOOOOVE the last 2 lines! You nailed this, Edgar.. I mean Mr. Poe... ;)
is but a dream within a dream."
Edgar Allen Poe, The complete stories and Poems


Hummmm... interesting Mr. Poe... I thought your first line was ... well, kinda cliché and not very imaginative OR original.... then you wondered off track a little bit and where is your imagery? Nice mood though, I think with a little bit of polishing, you could have a fabulous poem...



Ok, why am I critiquing Edgar Allen Poe? Just to show you that not everyone is going to like everything you write.
EVERYONE reads poetry differently, everyone interprets the poet's words in a PERSONAL way... so what does it mean... when I have a negative comment about Poe's poem... Does that mean I do not love and respect Edgar Allen Poe? No, it does not. Does it mean that I think I can write BETTER than Mr. Poe? Nooo, it does not... It simply means that I have an OPINION... Nothing malicious... Nothing belittling or reflecting your lack of intelligence... or skill... My opinion is MY POV, given so that the poet may understand what the reader is receiving from the words, mood imagery ect... That is all... truly... this was not a personal attack on Mr. Poe, it was NOT a personal attack of his work... it was just my %$#$^ opinion, given with respect, and honor... that's all... ;)

I am always honored when I am lucky enough to receive a critique of my work. I Appreciate that the writer of the critique has taken the time and energy to try to offer me a DIFFERENT perspective... a new way to see the same thing, I love to be challenges and pushed out of my comfort zone... I cannot tolerate stagnation and a one dimensional way of thinking, that strangles creativity....
 

SilverMoon

WF Veterans
Fire! I am aflame with relief for your exampling how to critique a Poet ! I wonder if he's stark raven mad, turning over in his grave, because you have your own mind; minding his work with your gift for critique.

Sometimes crybabies cry because they are spoiled (Whahh! My way or no way!). Sometimes crybabies cry because they are hurt (Ouch! Who threw me out with the bath water?!)

I think it all boils down to how an Opinion is delivered. If members followed an iota of your lead, not a whimper would be heard - one way or the other.

You, the :star:, who's got the words wrapped around her finger.

Silver:moon:
 
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Pete_C

WF Veterans
It's an interesting thing. Critique is a valuable tool for any writer, whether new or established. The ones of value are not the 'I love this, so moving' type, but the ones that get under the skin of your work and start to question the whys and wherefores. I have improved thanks to critique, and I know others from a range of forums and groups who have also improved.

Interestingly, the ones who develop best are those who listen, think about what's being said and why it is being said, then filter which advice has value for them and examine how they can use that going forwards. Those who either ignore or bicker over reviews rarely move forwards, and can often go backwards due to a misplaced complacency.

I've never understood why writers will put a piece of work up for workshopping or critique and only value one-liners sayings its good rather than in-depth explanations of how it could be improved. Of course, what happens is those who offer in-depth and useful critiques avoid the writers who quibble, and so all they ever get is one-liners of praise. Maybe it's a self-fulfilling prophesy?

I know that I write for a minority audience. If I showed some of my work to 20 people I'd be lucky if 1 liked it. Too many would find it lacking in poetic language and uplifting themes. They find it too skeletal in structure, too base in content and often jarring in flow. That's intentional. However, that doesn't mean I wouldn't want a well thought out critique from the 19 (or more) who don't like it. I'm interested in what they think and how it makes them feel (or not feel). It doesn't mean I'll agree with them or change anything, but I'm grateful for their time and input, and I thank them for it.

Here's the thing: they can never be wrong. They have their own tastes, their own ideas and their own opinions. If they hate my work, they are right to do so. I'm happy for that. I want to know why, not so I can change it (or change them), but so that I can explore what I'm doing in a more expansive way. Will I ever write anything mainstream? No. I write about engineering for a living and its all the mainstream I need thank you. But I'm still open to their thoughts.

I find it hard to understand whether people who ask for critique and then argue the toss are just egotists, or maybe they've been filled so full of false praise they believe it, or maybe they just can't see the points being made because they haven't worked at writing hard enough.

It's a shame, because I know many who give good critiques (I almost wrote good crit, as in 'you give good crit') will stop oiffering them to those who argue, and that impacts on the overall value of the forum, because you can also learn from critiques of other peoples' work!
 

H.Brown

WF Veterans
I think that critique is subjective, just being told that someone likes your writing can be helpful in keeping a writer writing. In-depth critique is what a writer looks for when their work has gotten to the point where they can no-longer see all of their own mistakes. I also think we must remember that not everyone feels like they can give in-depth critique. I agree that writers need to be more open minded when receiving critique and must sift through as you have said for what they agree applies to their work and leaving the comments that don't behind instead of arguing the issue, a key thing I always remember is that not everyone can be right all the time.

I see critique similar to singing in public, people who are close to you are there to tell you, you are amazing, they build you up but it is those honest few that can stand up and tell you if you suck or not. This is how I see critiques on here if I wanted to be told I'm amazing I'd just send my WIP to my mum or sister or friends but posting it on here allows me to see what other writers think.

My main piece of advice when it comes to critiques is to take what people say with a pinch of salt, remember that people are not trying to upset you but rather the are trying to help with their comments.
 

haribol

Senior Member
PULEEEEZE remember, most critiques are not a personal attack, seriously, get over yourself! How are we going to learn and grow as writers if we are constantly offended by any critique that is NOT dripping with empty praise and vain ego massaging. I am a serious writer, I am here to learn, I am not here to have my fragile ego polished... give me a break. If you do not agree with the critique, just say "Thank you for reading " and mooooooove on......

Yes, very great idea and indeed this is a good advice for all of us. I never feel offended I my poem is critiqued. I feel happy when my poems are commented for I can always learn and know wherein lies my flaws. As a writer others' points of view matter a great deal
 

midnightpoet

WF Veterans
Attitude is important, both in the writer and those that critique; a give and take of both sides that emphasizes co-operation, mutual improvement (yes, one who critiques can also learn something) and professional courtesy. A thick skin on the part of the writer is important also, but also remember that the writer can take something positive from even a very negative review.

Critics should remember, though - "That stinks" or "You call that a poem?" are not helpful; it's always a good idea to think about what you've typed before hitting the "post reply" button. Have you tried to help the writer, or are you trying to bolster your ego?
(smiles)

Carry on and keep writing.
 

Nellie

Senior Member
Attitude is important, both in the writer and those that critique;

Critics should remember, though - "That stinks" or "You call that a poem?" are not helpful; it's always a good idea to think about what you've typed before hitting the "post reply" button. Have you tried to help the writer, or are you trying to bolster your ego?
(smiles)

I agree..... Attitude is important. If the critic comes across as a bully by saying those type of things, the writer may never want to write again. Yes, the writer must have tough skin, but the critic needs to consider how they may come across. Words are powerful!!
As Suzannah Windsor Freeman points out in writeitsideways.com, "when critiquing, you don't have to be cruel to be kind-- be constructive to be kind."
 

Firemajic

Poetry Mentor
Staff member
Senior Mentor
It's an interesting thing. Critique is a valuable tool for any writer, whether new or established. The ones of value are not the 'I love this, so moving' type, but the ones that get under the skin of your work and start to question the whys and wherefores. I have improved thanks to critique, and I know others from a range of forums and groups who have also improved.

Interestingly, the ones who develop best are those who listen, think about what's being said and why it is being said, then filter which advice has value for them and examine how they can use that going forwards. Those who either ignore or bicker over reviews rarely move forwards, and can often go backwards due to a misplaced complacency.

:love_heart:I've never understood why writers will put a piece of work up for workshopping or critique and only value one-liners sayings its good rather than in-depth explanations of how it could be improved. Of course, what happens is those who offer in-depth and useful critiques avoid the writers who quibble, and so all they ever get is one-liners of praise. Maybe it's a self-fulfilling prophesy?:love_heart: Yeah....

I know that I write for a minority audience. If I showed some of my work to 20 people I'd be lucky if 1 liked it. Too many would find it lacking in poetic language and uplifting themes. They find it too skeletal in structure, too base in content and often jarring in flow. That's intentional. However, that doesn't mean I wouldn't want a well thought out critique from the 19 (or more) who don't like it. I'm interested in what they think and how it makes them feel (or not feel). It doesn't mean I'll agree with them or change anything, but I'm grateful for their time and input, and I thank them for it.

Here's the thing: they can never be wrong. They have their own tastes, their own ideas and their own opinions. If they hate my work, they are right to do so. I'm happy for that. I want to know why, not so I can change it (or change them), but so that I can explore what I'm doing in a more expansive way. Will I ever write anything mainstream? No. I write about engineering for a living and its all the mainstream I need thank you. But I'm still open to their thoughts.

I find it hard to understand whether people who ask for critique and then argue the toss are just egotists, or maybe they've been filled so full of false praise they believe it, or maybe they just can't see the points being made because they haven't worked at writing hard enough.

It's a shame, because I know many who give good critiques (I almost wrote good crit, as in 'you give good crit') will stop oiffering them to those who argue, and that impacts on the overall value of the forum, because you can also learn from critiques of other peoples' work!



:cheers::cheers::cheers::cheers::cheers::love_heart::love_heart::love_heart:.....WHOOOOT woooooot!!!! Exactly.... Thank youuu!!!
 

Firemajic

Poetry Mentor
Staff member
Senior Mentor
I agree..... Attitude is important. If the critic comes across as a bully by saying those type of things, the writer may never want to write again. Yes, the writer must have tough skin, but the critic needs to consider how they may come across. Words are powerful!!
As Suzannah Windsor Freeman points out in writeitsideways.com, "when critiquing, you don't have to be cruel to be kind-- be constructive to be kind."



You are right, Nellie... ATTITUDE is crucial... when giving and receiving critique... Tone , make sure your tone, when offering critique, is
1. RESPECTFUL... what is respectful? Do not use belittling phrases, do not assume that you know what the poet wants to say... keep it simple, and remember the golden rule... treat others as you would like to be treated. Attitude is important, if you start off sounding like a "know-it-all", well that is a huge turn off, causing anyone to feel stupid or embarrassed intentionally is a pathetic thing to do...

Now, when you receive a critique that you do not like, or one that you disagree with...
1: be RESPECTFUL
2: Open a dialogue, ask questions, and if you feel the need to defend your work [ and who doesn't] be RESPECTFUL
3 DO NOT TAKE THE COMMENTS AS A PERSONAL ATTACK
4: Do not retaliate and act like a smart ass, and start with the personal digs and comments...
5: At the very least, say "Thank you for reading"
6" MOOOOOOVE ON!!!
7: Do not hold a grudge, and pounce on every opportunity to sling shit and take another dig, to soothe your own ego.
8: REMEMBER.... please remember.. that this is our safe place, our writing community [ look up the definition of community] this is where we hang out, share time, ideas, thoughts, inspiration... this is where we work on our dream, and where we share our passion... we are all adults, we love words and words are powerful, let us be kind to each other.....

and last of all... ask yourself this question.. "Why are you posting your poem" ... "What do you want from your readers"....do you want honesty.... or adulation .... ;)
 

andrewclunn

Friends of WF
Say what you will, but passive aggressive personal messages with thinly veiled threats have served me well in protecting my precious ego. I often send Microsoft hate mail for their busy body "spell checker" that just doesn't recognize my brillaince!
 

Nellie

Senior Member
:cheers::cheers::cheers::cheers::cheers::love_heart::love_heart::love_heart:.....WHOOOOT woooooot!!!! Exactly.... Thank youuu!!!

Okay, after reading this:

Pete_C said:
Interestingly, the ones who develop best are those who listen, think about what's being said and why it is being said, then filter which advice has value for them and examine how they can use that going forwards. Those who either ignore or bicker over reviews rarely move forwards, and can often go backwards due to a misplaced complacency.


I've never understood why writers will put a piece of work up for workshopping or critique and only value one-liners sayings its good rather than in-depth explanations of how it could be improved. Of course, what happens is those who offer in-depth and useful critiques avoid the writers who quibble, and so all they ever get is one-liners of praise. Maybe it's a self-fulfilling prophesy?


Here's the thing: they can never be wrong. They have their own tastes, their own ideas and their own opinions. If they hate my work, they are right to do so. I'm happy for that. I want to know why, not so I can change it (or change them), but so that I can explore what I'm doing in a more expansive way. Will I ever write anything mainstream? No. I write about engineering for a living and its all the mainstream I need thank you. But I'm still open to their thoughts.


I find it hard to understand whether people who ask for critique and then argue the toss are just egotists, or maybe they've been filled so full of false praise they believe it, or maybe they just can't see the points being made because they haven't worked at writing hard enough.


If one "asks" for critique, then the critic needs to do it diplomatically, after reading/hearing what the writer is really trying to say.

here is my question:

I don't understand why there is the forum for "Poetry" and then there is also a forum for "Poetry Discussion".

Shouldn't the "Discussion" forum be the workshop for critiquing other's poetry?
Why can't we post our poem in the Poetry forum and then see it discussed in the "Discussion" forum? One needs to go.

 

Firemajic

Poetry Mentor
Staff member
Senior Mentor
But Why, Nellie? I am trying to understand your POV... Do you not want your poetry discussed/critiqued in the main poetry thread? ;)
 

Nellie

Senior Member
You are right, Nellie... ATTITUDE is crucial...
and last of all... ask yourself this question.. "Why are you posting your poem" ... "What do you want from your readers"....do you want honesty.... or adulation .... ;)

I am posting my poem to be heard from my POV. Sure, there is always room for improvement in my work, but honestly, it needs to be done constructively.... constructive criticism. If someone tells me my work sucks or I should never write this again, that may be honesty from that person's POV, but for me, it is DEVASTATING!
 

Chesters Daughter

WF Veterans
Okay, after reading this:



If one "asks" for critique, then the critic needs to do it diplomatically, after reading/hearing what the writer is really trying to say.

here is my question:

I don't understand why there is the forum for "Poetry" and then there is also a forum for "Poetry Discussion".

Shouldn't the "Discussion" forum be the workshop for critiquing other's poetry?
Why can't we post our poem in the Poetry forum and then see it discussed in the "Discussion" forum? One needs to go.


Poetry Discussion, as its sub-heading indicates, is for the following: "Discuss poetic techniques, forms and styles. Please do not post poetry for critique here."

This is where you discuss all things poetic from questions about form to any other topic which has to do with poetry, and the threads posted here do not always relate to either of the existing poetry boards. This board is essential and serves its purpose.

Poetry is for posting work you want to share with the understanding that if you post it, it will be subject to critique. If you don't want critique, either post your work in Tavern Poetry or start a blog. The point of the Poetry board is not only to share, but to teach. And it, too, serves its purpose.

Poets' Workshop is for work you want intense critique on, whether your piece is a work in progress or tentatively complete. Most importantly, the Workshop is hidden from non-members as well as search engines thereby protecting the originator's first rights should they wish to submit their work for publishing. The ability to preserve first rights is essential to those who are seeking to be published.

As I've explained, each board serves a separate and essential purpose and never will any one of them be removed.
 
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