Author Topic: Critiques  (Read 10314 times)

Offline Abstemious

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Re: Critiques
« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2014, 06:06:59 PM »
Apologies accepted, thatollie. No harm done.

I must say that I am reading and taking in all the replies to my original post. As you will note, I am still here, hanging in.

I have actually spent practically the whole day on MyWritersCircle. I was so engrossed in going through posts and reviews that I forgot to take my medication at 4 p.m. Missed it again at 6 p.m. (taken over 1 hour late). I looked at the clock at 9 p.m. then head down on the site and the next thing I knew it is just gone 11 p.m. So missed some of my favourite programs on TV: the six o'clock news, the ten o'clock news - I hope I haven't missed anything important!

Kind regards to all.

Offline bri h

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Re: Critiques
« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2014, 06:17:57 PM »
I'm glad you're still here, Ab. I'm also thankful for the crit you gave my Coal Waggons. You made me think of an aspect to it that I'd never gave much credence to. See? you're one of us, after all. ha ha. Bri.
Fare thee well Skip. We're all 'Keening' now. xbx

Offline Abstemious

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Re: Critiques
« Reply #17 on: June 10, 2014, 06:23:25 PM »
I enjoyed it very much and it brought back memories of my own childhood, at the age of about 5, sliding up the bank to the tracks and putting a halfpenny on the track so that the train would flatten it and make it look like a penny!

Are you going to put all your reminiscences into one book of short stories?

Offline bri h

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Re: Critiques
« Reply #18 on: June 10, 2014, 06:25:23 PM »
I'm still concentrating on 'the writing.' I want to be able to give to a publisher a near perfect book. I can only do that by learning how, here. B
Fare thee well Skip. We're all 'Keening' now. xbx

Offline Skylan

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Re: Critiques
« Reply #19 on: June 10, 2014, 06:31:42 PM »
I disagree and here's why.

Your example half-proves my point. Abstemious has taken a look at other members' critiques and decided that he doesn't want to post his work up for review because he doesn't think he can take the critiques. Would his reaction have been any different if he had found that out by posting his work instead? I think it would have been the same.

The only part that's a problem is that, because of the above, he doesn't feel like he's good enough to offer critiques of his own. Here's an excerpt from the thread, Critiquing for the shy.

Remember – just as long as you know how to read, you have an opinion – and writers need the opinions of readers! No need to go through all of the above – or even half. You might like to concentrate or comment on just one particular point. Every comment is useful and you’ll be thanked for it – even if the author doesn’t agree.

Good luck everybody. Don’t be shy!


I myself feel inadequate giving reviews sometimes. Mostly because I do things through intuition, rather than knowledge or skill. I've never taken a creative writing course. I always did awful in English class. I couldn't tell you the difference between a pronoun and a noun or what an adjective is. But what I CAN do, is tell whether or not I like a piece of writing. Even if I can't offer in-depth, educated critiques like, say, hillwalker, I can still offer my opinion as a reader. And readers are the ones we aim to please, right?

My original point wasn't that we shouldn't be softer on new writers, but rather, that if new writers took the time to read our guidelines and learn what to expect, not only from the Circle, but from the writing world itself, we'd all have a lot less incidents with new writers quitting because they felt  we were attacking them.

When I offer reviews, I try to point out things the writer did right, not just the things they could improve on. Even in cases where I feel the entire piece was not good at all. There have been times when new writers have received nothing but negative reviews here, and I take the time afterward to send them an encouraging PM to let them know its not meant as a personal attack, and that they shouldn't quit or be discouraged from writing. It doesn't always work, but I make the attempt.

Offline Skylan

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Re: Critiques
« Reply #20 on: June 10, 2014, 06:34:39 PM »
By the way, Abstemious, I hope you stick around the Circle. There's no need to feel inadequate in critique-giving. Even if all you give is your opinion on whether you liked something or not, that's already helpful. I for one look forward to seeing your work.

Also, I apologize if I am wrong in referring to you as "he".  :P

Offline Abstemious

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Re: Critiques
« Reply #21 on: June 10, 2014, 06:44:34 PM »
You are correct, skylan, I am a 'he', a very old one, nearing 70.

Perhaps newbies should be limited to 300 words. Just a few paragraphs rather than half a story or more.

This way, critiques would spend less time on reviews and the newbie would have less on his plate as regards his 'errors'. With a story of around the limit of 1200 words, there can be a lot to go wrong. A shorter post would be less 'damaging' and the newbie might not be so disheartened by the critiques.

Offline ma100

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Re: Critiques
« Reply #22 on: June 10, 2014, 06:48:51 PM »
What you have to understand guys is, you will see a notable lack of replies on here from newbies, apart from the OP. Some of you are of the misguided impression that there are no complaints about harsh crits. Let me dispel that myth.

Some, the mods can talk round when they report posts. They try to make them understand the comments or deal with the matter where necessary. These reports are not up for public consumption and a lot ease into the place well after a wobbly start.

Why do you think the newbies aren't here? Because they don't want to make waves and get in rows. They are scared. But, just for your information, long standing members also report posts for harsh comments, more so in fact. And why aren't they here? Because they have seen the free for alls that can ensue.

Think about why Nick had to post that reminder. It ain't rocket science. ;)

For those of you who haven't read it and the replies.

http://mywriterscircle.com/index.php?topic=53799.0

If your a hard skinned poster, hit the prose workshop with your work, so we can attack give honest in depth critique. >:D


Wolfe

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Re: Critiques
« Reply #23 on: June 11, 2014, 01:40:28 PM »
I should like to comment on the critiques in general and I find many of them to be overly criticizing a newbie poster's work. I find this particularly off-putting and, to be honest, I am not surprised if newbie posters do not come back. One cannot expect to win a race at the first attempt.

A stranger goes into a restaurant and asks, "Can you do me a favor? I'm starving. Will you give me a free meal?"

The owner, a generous man, offers his time and food. But, first, he asks in return, "What do you want?"

The stranger answers, "Anything is good."

The owner offers a dish, again free, and hopes it's what the man wants.

The stranger feels insulted. He doesn't like the meal nor the service. He complains to anyone who will listen. And then, he leaves in a huff never to return.

Who is at fault? The owner for giving the free meal? The stranger for asking for anything? Or was it something else?
« Last Edit: June 11, 2014, 01:47:55 PM by Wolfe »

Offline heidi52

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Re: Critiques
« Reply #24 on: June 11, 2014, 01:52:22 PM »


Who is at fault? The owner for giving the free meal? The man for asking for anything? Or was it something else?


Is this a trick question? Of course its the owner's fault, he should have read the man's mind.

How about a guy who comes in and asks for a dish, and says he wants it hot, assuring them that he can take it, and to make it really hot. So he's served the dish and it's so hot he can't eat it. He obviously should sue the restaurant.

Wolfe

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Re: Critiques
« Reply #25 on: June 11, 2014, 01:58:08 PM »
So the owner shouldn't have given the stranger a free meal? Or should the owner have demanded the stranger state exactly what he wanted instead?

Edit: Yes, I know what was sarcasm, Heidi.  ;)
« Last Edit: June 11, 2014, 02:13:52 PM by Wolfe »

Offline heidi52

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Re: Critiques
« Reply #26 on: June 11, 2014, 02:06:48 PM »
The owner should give everyone who is hungry a meal, because in the grand scheme it's better for him, and the world in general.

The idiots who can't accept and say thanks, are of no consequence, just minor annoyances.  ;)

Wolfe

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Re: Critiques
« Reply #27 on: June 11, 2014, 02:14:32 PM »
I really like you, Heidi.  :D

Offline Matt Walker

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Re: Critiques
« Reply #28 on: June 11, 2014, 05:06:52 PM »
In my opinion, many things, including criticism, can be said in a nice way. I think being able to make a point with tact takes more skill than making it by being blunt. It is very easy to be critical. It is very easy to say when someone gets upset, "Well they asked for the truth, they need to stop being so defensive, it's not MY fault," even though everyone knows how often this happens and that it WILL always happen.

Everyone new to writing is emotionally defensive over their work. That's why there's so much theory about constructive criticism in every creative discipline. So to those who argue 'it is up to the poster to be grateful for whatever they get and stop complaining', it is equally acceptible to say to the reviewer 'how about you learn how to give constructive criticism?'
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Offline protekme

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Re: Critiques
« Reply #29 on: June 11, 2014, 06:54:08 PM »
I love you Matt.

Critiques should not insult. Harsh critiques should not insult.

If the restaurant owner offers a FREE meal, he should offer it with class. . . . and not throw the plate at full speed on the table. There is a way to do things even if it's free.
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