Author Topic: An Article On Critiquing. Please Read.  (Read 6156 times)

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Offline turncopper

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An Article On Critiquing. Please Read.
« on: Sun, Dec 25, 2005, 07:45 PM »
My college professor from a few years ago (a wonderful lady and author, I might add) gave me a copy of this article. I found it useful then and I'm sure VX will benefit in an educational sense now.  This is good advice that the author is giving.  If you're a reader and don't know how to leave proper feedback, this can be an asset and help you avoid awkwardness. But reading this can benefit anyone, reader or writer, as it also explains to writers how feedback should be received. So, please read and learn from it what you can.


Quote
The Importance of Critiquing With Kindness
by Linda J. Gilden

 

When a manufacturer develops a new product, he usually submits it to a limited test area to see what works and what doesn't. Critique groups or writing partners are great test markets!

But often, in the early stages of our writing careers, the critique process is difficult. When I pass a recently birthed literary baby along to one of my critique partners, I am asking them to be critical of a very precious part of me. In the beginning, I felt like I was being critiqued personally. I often became a little defensive.

One of the first manuscripts I took to a writer's conference back in the early 90's is all marked up. When I first looked at it, I thought Man, that editor really didn't like this at all! But that, of course, was not the case.

Being critiqued is part of the honing process and shouldn't be taken personally. It is a wonderful opportunity to learn and refine and help us become the writers God wants us to be.

Critiques can be frightening to writers, especially those who have never submitted themselves to the process. I know at first I felt like I was crawling up on the sacrificial altar to be ripped apart! But that didn't happen either.

Critique at its best is about helping others become their best and improving writing skills, not about discouraging or attacking them personally. If someone regularly critiques your work who is constantly negative and only points out the failures of the manuscript, you will be discouraged. Find a critique partner with a genuine desire to help you grow as a writer.

Having your work critiqued is like submitting it for the final polish. Our goal is to help one another become more publishable and published writers.

Sometimes, it's not just the content of the critique but the way in which the critique is delivered or the author's reaction to it that can make or break the critiquing experience. Remember, honesty is important. Don't shy away from making suggestions that will improve someone's writing because you are afraid of hurting his or her feelings. You can be honest without stomping on another person's heart!

It is natural to want to avoid critiquing negatively to guard the author's feelings. But it's not always the negative aspects of a critique that cause the author to experience psychological pain. Sometimes it is the spirit in which the critique is delivered.

A good rule is to critique as you would like to be critiqued.

In order for an author to make a story better and stronger, he needs to know where the flaws and weak spots are. But it is not very helpful to him if you just point out these flaws. Make helpful suggestions to make the story or article stronger. If the piece needs a great deal of work, don't overwhelm the author. Focus on one or two key things. The author may not always agree with your suggestions, but he will always get something out of your critique if you approach the critique with kindness.
Are you qualified to critique?

You may feel like you are not qualified to critique. Do you read widely? As an informed reader you are qualified and your suggestions will be very valuable to the author. Explain to the author how his story or article meets your "requirements" as a reader. This kind of feedback is very valuable.

Always be tactful. I would much rather hear "There might be a better way to say. . . " than "Yuck!"

Offer suggestions, not pronouncements. "Have you thought about . . . ? " is probably a better approach than "Don't do it this way."
What makes a good critique?

There are many approaches to critiquing work of another writer. One good approach is the "sandwich" method. The sandwich method consists of three parts:

   1. Positive impressions of the author's work. However, responses like "Great" or "Nice Work!" are unacceptable. Find the factors that you think contributed to the successful aspects of the article or story and comment specifically. "Vivid description." "Great storytelling."
   2. Constructive criticism and suggestions for improvement. For example, if the writer relies on cliches, tells more than he shows, or writes transitions that leave you dangling, point out these issues. Suggest alternate phrases, dialogue or description that would clarify or a transition that will point the way. Guard against sounding condescending.
   3. More positive comments. For example, "I'd love to read more of your work because I am hooked on your characters." Or "I liked your voice; the word choices, metaphors and dialogue were rich and vivid."

Why Critique?

Having your work critiqued will give much needed feedback. Critique will help you polish and perfect your work before presenting it to an editor. This will reduce your percentage of rejection substantially. You will also learn more about writing, thus improving your skills.

What is the most helpful type of feedback? The criticism. Pointing out the flaws is essential to your success as a published author. It is nice to have affirmation but it is the negative feedback that really contributes to your success.

As you begin to read or listen to the critique, you may find yourself reacting defensively at times. This is normal. Keep in mind these comments are from one person. If his criticism doesn't ring true or make sense to you, don't change a thing. Ask another person to take a look at your work and see what he thinks.

And, remember, the critiquer is not forcing you to make any changes to your work. Make only the changes that seem right to you.

Be sure to thank the person who has critiqued your work. A neighbor of mine is a fellow writer and great critiquer. She is also a teacher and often takes courses to update her education.

She once took a course at our state university. She had done many critiques with her professor but always by email or telephone. On the day she was to physically appear in class, she arrived, parked the car, gathered her stuff, and went to the classroom. The professor greeted her at the door.

"Hello, Mrs. Griffin. Welcome to the class. Your hair looks very nice and I like the dress and shoes you are wearing. I like everything you have on except your tacky red bracelet."

My friend was somewhat taken aback. She didn't know whether to laugh or cry or leave. She sat down in a seat, stunned by his forwardness.

He began his class by saying, "Critiquing with kindness is very important. No matter how many nice things you say to the writer you are critiquing, they may only remember the negative. So remember, how you word your criticism is extremely important. Mrs. Griffin, remember your red bracelet!"

You may not have a red bracelet. But your words could be just as shocking and memorable as Mrs. Griffin's professor's words. So choose your words of critique carefully and remember to sandwich them with many kind ones!

Đ 2003 Linda J. Gilden


You can see this article in its original form if you like. Here is the link to the article:

http://www.spiritledwriter.com/aug2003/critiquing.html

I hope I was of some help.  :)

Mel
(turncopper)
« Last Edit: Wed, Dec 31, 1969, 04:00 PM by turncopper »

Offline xxevilskittlexx

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« Reply #1 on: Mon, Dec 26, 2005, 02:58 AM »
Thanks for the info. I have always critiqued my fellow classmates papers just like she says. You never see this in critics these days.  People are forgetting what an actual critique is. Thats why I ignore what critics say, so I can have my own opinion. Sorry I went off topic.
« Last Edit: Wed, Dec 31, 1969, 04:00 PM by xxevilskittlexx »
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Offline pickles78

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« Reply #2 on: Mon, Dec 26, 2005, 04:46 AM »
Thanks Mel!
I think the article is very useful. In general I think that people here take well the critiques...and use them to improve their stories.
But you touched in a sesitive spot... "Am I qualified to critique?" Sometimes my head spins with this doubt, because I'm not even a english native speaker, so... what do I know about it?!
Though I try to tell people what I think about their writing...but I confess that when I don't find the story that interesting I rather not say nothing, because I didn't know what to say and how to say it...
I hope I can use this article to give some nice feedback to all the fics/stories I read!
 :rule
« Last Edit: Wed, Dec 31, 1969, 04:00 PM by pickles78 »

Offline Montgomery Burns 13

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« Reply #3 on: Mon, Dec 26, 2005, 05:53 AM »
Quote from: "pickles78"
Though I try to tell people what I think about their writing...but I confess that when I don't find the story that interesting I rather not say nothing, because I didn't know what to say and how to say it...



Yeah, same with me. I don't wanna hurt people, so when I don't like a story or even find it boring, I usually don't write anything. Sometimes I PM the authors though, because I don't wanna criticize them in public when I have something negative to say.
« Last Edit: Wed, Dec 31, 1969, 04:00 PM by Montgomery Burns 13 »
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Offline evilgrin

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« Reply #4 on: Mon, Dec 26, 2005, 07:04 PM »
thank you
I think it also has to be respected that some people write for joy alone, to understand that, and not critique at all.
for those that write well, or wish to, kind critiquing is best.
slams may work well on daytime TV, but putting your guts out on a page is another matter.
I always try to be kind, or say nothing at all.
I'll usually only give critique on actual writing if it is specifically asked for
EG:)
« Last Edit: Wed, Dec 31, 1969, 04:00 PM by evilgrin »

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Offline x-fuse

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An Article On Critiquing. Please Read.
« Reply #5 on: Tue, Dec 27, 2005, 07:47 PM »
Hi again.

Only something like discussions about writing could have brought me out of lurking again. These discussions were what made me participate on the boards long ago before it became something undesired.

I agree with a lot that the writer of the article has to say but our writing world is not the professional world. In the fic world we live in a petty environment with bruised egos and a lot of people who think that unless someone says 'that is great' than they are out to get you. I speak from an experience. When I first came to the Vin Diesel fic world about four years ago, I did beta for people. I sent a few e-mails and I even replied with a few comments. For the most part, I was ignored. When I wasn't ignored, I was insulted. And then there were the people who called me a bitch and said I had a personal grudge again them. This isn't meant to discourage anyone but to give an idea of why I do things differently now. It wasn't that they hurt my feelings but I found myself discouraged at my waste of time and promise. I love reading and was trying to give helpful hints or something to help a story along. Heck, I even wrote a Do and Don't list that is buried in the Water Cooler at Spiral.

I still beta or critique for a few people. People who ask for help and know that I'm not going to be a 'yes man'. I point out flaws, plot holes and anything else I see is wrong. I do this to varying degrees of toughness. I rarely point out what in right so I guess in a sense I do critique like I want people to critique me. None of this is done in feedback on the boards anymore, which is a shame because even people who write for fun (which I do) should want to know how to improve. If we are make a cake for Christmas every year and people pretend to like it or not say anything all the while laughing about what a disaster we are in the kitchen wouldn't you like to know about it especially if next year you can make an incredible cake.

It's another pet peeve of mine. I think not giving any critique to the new writers and existing one is one of the biggest reasons why they don't improve. How do someone improve their writing style, plot or anything else if they do not know that something is wrong in the first place? Unless someone says no feedback then they should expect something besides 'that is great.'

Look at fics from three, four or five years ago and now. Not all of them are good but chances are you are going to find a few more good fics in that bunch. People were more incline to point things out back them. Also back then some boards were used as a place to get critique for fics before they were archived.

What the writer said about pointing out flaws is not helpful if you don't make suggestions. This I disagree with (she is talking about the profession world not our Vin one). From my experience, it's a bad idea. It may work in that world but it is really going to take a long time before it would work in the world we write in. People tend to get pissed off and accuse you of trying to rewrite their fic if you do that. It is better to point out the flaw and wait to see if they ask you to offer suggestions of help. Some people don't want the help, some do. People are very touchy when it comes to their fics.

Another point I have made a few times. Constructive criticism means different things to different people. People can point out the meaning in a dictionary but people still take it to mean different things so saying 'Please give constructive criticism' will get different results so be clear in what you would like someone to do if you ask for feedback or help.

Another point I like to stress, like the writer of the article. Just because someone says something is wrong with your fic or they should change something don't mean the writer has to. It just means that the person who critique has picked up what they believe is a flaw the writer can 'fight' back and prove the person who gave the critique wrong. It makes for a stronger writer and stronger reader.

So here I am saying all these things and people might ask why don't I don't follow all my own advise. Simple. The moment I do all of the writer's friends would come out of the wood work bashing me for saying something mean even if it was something minor. Until the time comes when people are willing to accept negative feedback (or critique) than all anyone is even going to do is talk about it.
« Last Edit: Wed, Dec 31, 1969, 04:00 PM by x-fuse »

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Offline Harleywdo

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« Reply #6 on: Tue, Jan 03, 2006, 12:30 PM »
It seems this kind of thread pops up on most boards.  

I love feedback, any kind.  I like a good 'that was great' and I learn from the ones who point out my flaws, misspellings, and gramitical errors.  I can't spell. I mean I really really suck at spelling and spell-check helps but sometimes it just dosn't do it's job.  So if I use then when than would be correct, I'm glad when someone points that out.  

I have 2 beta's I use for my longer fics. One is a wiz at gramar and spelling and the other tells me what I need to do to make the fic better, more interesting or even what I need to get rid of.  I can think of three fics off the top of my head that she 'saved'  I thought they were good, and she insised I change some things......making it better, or at least more readable.  Now, I hated her at the time and really didn't want to DO the changes but I did and they worked.  

There are two or three people that I send a 'sample' to. Stories I'm considering, or the first chapter of something that's stuck in my head.  Some work, most don't.  But if I post the story, I'd hope that someone would tell me what they liked (for my ego) and what they didn't (for learning)  

That said, I've always reserved the right to hold up my hand and say. "It's MY fic."  Meaning if I don't want to change something I won't.  I haven't used that too often with either of my beta's but I have done it.
« Last Edit: Wed, Dec 31, 1969, 04:00 PM by Harleywdo »

Offline evilgrin

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« Reply #7 on: Tue, Jan 03, 2006, 12:48 PM »
Quote from: "Harleywdo"
..

I have 2 beta's I use for my longer fics. One is a wiz at gramar and spelling and the other tells me what I need to do to make the fic better, more interesting or even what I need to get rid of.  I can think of three fics off the top of my head that she 'saved'  I thought they were good, and she insised I change some things......making it better, or at least more readable.  Now, I hated her at the time and really didn't want to DO the changes but I did and they worked.  

..

That said, I've always reserved the right to hold up my hand and say. "It's MY fic."  Meaning if I don't want to change something I won't.  I haven't used that too often with either of my beta's but I have done it.



yep, I write the voice in my head. Some stuff is always going to need help, but, at the end of the day, it's you, and your inner voice, all the way
EG:)
« Last Edit: Wed, Dec 31, 1969, 04:00 PM by evilgrin »

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Offline Janine

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« Reply #8 on: Tue, Jan 03, 2006, 01:33 PM »
Thank you so much for posting this article, Mel! The feelings when first being criticized by others. I had one hell of a time when I first gave a fic to a beta reader, and it's still very awkward for me to receive criticism. I don't feel offended by it, it's just weird if someone's going through your work, pointing out the silliest mistakes you didn't catch. Anyway, the article also helps me as a reader. I try to give a detailed feedback, but sometimes I'm just a lazy ass and write only a one-liner saying "Nice one, liked it very much." I will try to improve.
« Last Edit: Wed, Dec 31, 1969, 04:00 PM by Janine »

Offline Nicolina

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« Reply #9 on: Tue, Jan 03, 2006, 03:52 PM »
*hrm* I havenīt read this thread from the beginning but I did read the last few comments.

Iīm very impressed by X-fuseīs long inlay(is that an English word??). There are different kinds of fanfic boards, some are more serious about the stories and about giving constructive feedback on them, some are less interested in that. The amount of feedback also varies greatly depending on whether the "right" people are active at the moment or not.

So, X-fuse, there are places to go, and forums with different levels of feedback. Personally I am very interested in feedback to my stories, and the more it has the character of an actual shred, the happier I get. Itīs a blessing if you manage to catch someoneīs interest that much that they are willing to go over your story with a magnifying glass, trying to help you to improve it.

I try to give constructive feedback, evilgrin, you know what Iīm talking about. But I must admit, I tend to make that effort only if the writer seem to make the effort her(or him-)self, by posting a story that at least is freed from sentences that start with a non-captital letter (what was that word again!?) and has had a spelling program go over the typos and so on.

(OH, btw, I, for one, tend to write too long sentences! Can you tell?)

If someone asks for my opinion, then I give it, as nice as I can be, but still honest. I havenīt had the bad experiences that X-fuse is talking about, people bashing me for reviewing. Maybe Iīve been lucky. I hope I will continue to be lucky then, because that would probably be a depressing moment...

Ok, now Iīm off to read the beginning of this thread! *lol*

Nic.
« Last Edit: Wed, Dec 31, 1969, 04:00 PM by Nicolina »

Offline evilgrin

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« Reply #10 on: Tue, Jan 03, 2006, 04:02 PM »
Quote from: "Nicolina"
*hrm* I havenīt read this thread from the beginning but I did read the last few comments.

Iīm very impressed by X-fuseīs long inlay(is that an English word??). There are different kinds of fanfic boards, some are more serious about the stories and about giving constructive feedback on them, some are less interested in that. The amount of feedback also varies greatly depending on whether the "right" people are active at the moment or not.

So, X-fuse, there are places to go, and forums with different levels of feedback. Personally I am very interested in feedback to my stories, and the more it has the character of an actual shred, the happier I get. Itīs a blessing if you manage to catch someoneīs interest that much that they are willing to go over your story with a magnifying glass, trying to help you to improve it.

I try to give constructive feedback, evilgrin, you know what Iīm talking about. But I must admit, I tend to make that effort only if the writer seem to make the effort her(or him-)self, by posting a story that at least is freed from sentences that start with a non-captital letter (what was that word again!?) and has had a spelling program go over the typos and so on.

(OH, btw, I, for one, tend to write too long sentences! Can you tell?)

If someone asks for my opinion, then I give it, as nice as I can be, but still honest. I havenīt had the bad experiences that X-fuse is talking about, people bashing me for reviewing. Maybe Iīve been lucky. I hope I will continue to be lucky then, because that would probably be a depressing moment...

Ok, now Iīm off to read the beginning of this thread! *lol*

Nic.



I'm a very picky virgo
it was hard for me, years ago when I started writing, to throw the rule book away, but I found that, if I wrote to please a writing critic, that I would never end up with anything.
or it would be so stilted that you'd stumble over everything, and never find yer voice.
most of the stuff I write now comes out of my head pretty much the way it ends up in the final draft.
I think that a certain eye has to be given to style, as well.
I'd give critics a heart attack.
you'd be hard pressed to find an actual complete sentence in anything I write.
I've often told people who are reading my stuff, and having trouble with it, to read it out loud. Or have someone read it out to them, because it's a conversation in my head.
there are great writers out there, who, the minute you start reading them, you hear THEM, reading their story out loud to you, in your head.
not saying help with spelling, continuity, etc, isn't a blessing, but there are times when a thing must be loved for what it is
EG:)
« Last Edit: Wed, Dec 31, 1969, 04:00 PM by evilgrin »

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Offline x-fuse

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« Reply #11 on: Tue, Jan 03, 2006, 06:51 PM »
Nicolina

When I wrote my comments, I was mainly referring to the Vin Diesel realm of fan fics. I have been a member of just about every single Vin Diesel board in the last four years. I am a member of other boards and sites that write other fan fiction besides Vin. I just find the Vin world unique in my experience.

With my own fics, I don't care what type of feedback I get. If someone wants to say they love it, go ahead. If someone wants to say they hate it, go ahead. If someone wants to point out what they believe is mistakes or what is wrong with the fic, go ahead. If someone who doesn't like me wants to come and tell me how terrible I am, so ahead but I do tend to get bitchy at that one. Pointing out things are wrong helps me just as much as pointing out what they like but not many people are willing to hear those things. Insulted and hate messages usually follow those posts.

I think feedback is more about a popular thing these days. You know smut fics are going to get a lot of feedback even the really bad ones. Then there are the cliques on every board. Some of it is because people know an author and are friends with them and some of it is because that author leaves them feedback. I actually know more than a few writers who said that they would only leave feedback to someone who has left it to them. How much honesty is in that feedback?

You are very lucky for not being bashed for your reviews. People have come after me on the old VX board, UVDFC, Spiral and Fanfiction.net.

Evilgrin (love the name)

Grammar has only stopped me from reading a fic once. A few things that will, besides knowing the writer sucks, is spacing and type of fic. I won't bother trying to read a fic if the writers don't put spacing between their paragraphs. It is just too difficult to try to read. I also won't read because of who is in a fic. I won't read Jack/Kyra and Riddick or Letty and Dom. I also stay far away from Vin fics.
« Last Edit: Wed, Dec 31, 1969, 04:00 PM by x-fuse »

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Offline evilgrin

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« Reply #12 on: Tue, Jan 03, 2006, 07:19 PM »
Quote from: "x-fuse"

Evilgrin (love the name) ......... I also stay far away from Vin fics.



thank you, and yes, the only thing I would refuse to read here is a Vin fic. Then again, I don't think it would last long on the board before a mod pulled it off. There's a huge difference in writing about a character, and writing about a person. The character, in a way, is ours. Vin the person isn't.
EG:)
« Last Edit: Wed, Dec 31, 1969, 04:00 PM by evilgrin »

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It was a rainy night in the big city. A hard rain. Hard enough to wash the scum off the streets. And I'm stuck in it without an umbrella. What a tool.

Offline Rachel

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« Reply #13 on: Sun, Jun 04, 2006, 11:39 PM »
Thank you for posting this Mel.

I'm afraid I fall into the category of just leaving 'it's great' feedback as I am afraid that if I unleash my full evilness, I'll have to go into hiding. I really do not like saying bad things about some of the writer's efforts.

But the thing is, although there are lots of writers, there are not very many good ones.

Because we are all so polite and kind with our feedback instead of offering a detailed constructive critism, they will never improve.

I really try hard to take on board all advice offered to improve my own writing...I know I can see a change from the first fics I posted to the fics I post now. That's all thanks to the help and advice I have been given.

Because a lot of people will only comment on their friends fics it's hard to get a really detailed critique...I feel uncomfortable doing it on the board but I will do it by PM.

Don't get me wrong, a simple 'that's great' is wonderful to hear too  :rule and I am guilty of leaving that when I chicken out of telling a writer what I really think. I tell myself I am not qualified to leave a detailed critique  BUT I am because I am the reader too, and I would rather read a good fic than 10 bad ones.
« Last Edit: Wed, Dec 31, 1969, 04:00 PM by Rachel »

Offline Nicolina

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« Reply #14 on: Mon, Jun 05, 2006, 12:57 AM »
Rachel, honesty is a good thing, and this is honest of you. I have the same problems, I don't want to hurt someones feelings. (Remember how worried I was that I had been to harsh with you on your original piece?)

I think that there are writers that aren't ready to receive constructive (and perhaps rather tough) critique, then there is a in-between category that have a lot to learn and that are willing to receive and make efforts to change, and then the last category is some who want their pieces shredded to pieces, even if it means falling into tears and ending up hating everything they've written.  

(I belong to the latter, I have received tons of 'great' critique which really feeds my ego and is like balm to my soul, I don't reject that at all - on the contrary. But when I finally got some really honest words, damn, that hurt. It took me some time to recover, I had to think about it a lot before I could implement my new knowledge in my writing. Now, ultimately I think I have matured a lot thanks to that incident - and am grateful)

What I try to do is to try to find something good about the piece, the idea or perhaps some visualization, then I add one constructive thing, like about commas, or repetition of words or such. And then I wait an see if the writer seem to respond in a good way or just ignore what I wrote.

If a story is horrible when it comes to grammar, typos, starting sentences with a lowercase, OFC is a really annoying Mary Sue, and so on... Then, most of the time, I just don't bother. If the author don't bother to try to follow the most basic rules of writing, then why should I bother reading it and take time out of my life to review it?

Well, that was my thought on the issue... obviously I had some. :)

Hugs to you, Rachel.  //Nic.
« Last Edit: Wed, Dec 31, 1969, 04:00 PM by Nicolina »

Offline Rachel

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« Reply #15 on: Mon, Jun 05, 2006, 01:36 AM »
Quote from: "Nicolina"
Rachel, honesty is a good thing, and this is honest of you. I have the same problems, I don't want to hurt someones feelings. (Remember how worried I was that I had been to harsh with you on your original piece?)
Hugs to you, Rachel.  //Nic.


:)
« Last Edit: Wed, Dec 31, 1969, 04:00 PM by Rachel »

Offline Nicolina

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« Reply #16 on: Mon, Jun 05, 2006, 02:10 AM »
*frown* What do you mean by text speak? Is it like 'btw' or fyi'? I'm really glad that I was of any help, and I really did think you improved the piece - a lot!

I know about the phenomenon with I scratch your back if you scratch mine. I guess it's natural that it happens, people are just people anyway, I don't care that much about it. I do what I feel like anyway... *lol*

Nic.
« Last Edit: Wed, Dec 31, 1969, 04:00 PM by Nicolina »

Offline Rachel

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« Reply #17 on: Mon, Jun 05, 2006, 02:18 AM »
Text speak = http://www.webopedia.com/quick_ref/text ... ations.asp

my friend gave me this website in a bid to shorten my text messages. :evillol

I just noticed when I was trying to read a couple of fics, they included text-speak in their fics - and I don't mean to offend anyone here - but I just don't understand a lot of it.
« Last Edit: Wed, Dec 31, 1969, 04:00 PM by Rachel »

Offline Nicolina

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« Reply #18 on: Mon, Jun 05, 2006, 03:08 AM »
Err... NO! Impossible! That is just impossible. You can not write like that in a fic. In chat, sure, or, if by chance your characters chat in your story, that would add to realism.

Maybe it is a difference between being 37 and 17 when you write? Probably. But I would stop reading a fic immediately if it had such stuff improperly put in it.

My penny about that!

Nic.
« Last Edit: Wed, Dec 31, 1969, 04:00 PM by Nicolina »

Offline evilgrin

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« Reply #19 on: Mon, Jun 05, 2006, 07:06 AM »
I suppose it comes down to what people are willing to hear.
I won't poke holes in something unless I'm SPECIFICALLY asked to do so.
there are all sorts of feedback, I guess.
I like to point out what I "got" when reading something. Sometimes that would come off as paraphrasing. If the writer realizes at some point that a) you're getting what they're writing or b) you're not getting it, that might help them find wherever it is they're going.
Even then, I won't do it unless it's someone that I KNOW has a) put a lot of effort into what they've done, and b)will not get annoyed by it.
it's a pesky fine line.
if something's dreadful I generally won't comment at all, past a chapter or two.
Maybe that's not fair to the writer, or doesn't help them, but sometimes I think that you have to want to help yourself too, and, if you're not getting the feedback you want, you should be asking for it.

maybe that's an option, a thread where people who may not have been noticed to SPECIFICALLY ask for feedback, and what kind?

as for the text speech, I agree.
EG:)
« Last Edit: Wed, Dec 31, 1969, 04:00 PM by evilgrin »

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It was a rainy night in the big city. A hard rain. Hard enough to wash the scum off the streets. And I'm stuck in it without an umbrella. What a tool.

Offline Nicolina

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« Reply #20 on: Mon, Jun 05, 2006, 07:25 AM »
Quote
as for the text speech, I agree.
EG:)



Yikes.

Yes, who couldn't?

Nic.
« Last Edit: Wed, Dec 31, 1969, 04:00 PM by Nicolina »

Offline evilgrin

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« Reply #21 on: Mon, Jun 05, 2006, 11:53 AM »
there may be moments in a story where it would be applicable, but seriously, it's kind of classed as another language, isn't it?
you wouldn't have whole sections of a story in a language no one could understand, it would be unthinkable.
maybe if you had two teenagers talking, you might have a blurb of speech with that gobbledygook, and then have to decipher it for the rest of us, but scattered throughout a story? Not if you want someone to read it you don't.
I accept that no story is going to appeal to everyone, but excluding great numbers of people from being able to read your story simply because they can't understand the language you're using can't be considered a very wise thing.
EG:)
« Last Edit: Wed, Dec 31, 1969, 04:00 PM by evilgrin »

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It was a rainy night in the big city. A hard rain. Hard enough to wash the scum off the streets. And I'm stuck in it without an umbrella. What a tool.

Offline Nicolina

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« Reply #22 on: Mon, Jun 05, 2006, 11:55 AM »
*s* No, and there would be no point in posting it to begin with either.
« Last Edit: Wed, Dec 31, 1969, 04:00 PM by Nicolina »

Offline Rachel

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« Reply #23 on: Mon, Jun 05, 2006, 12:02 PM »
We should say in our 'Feedback' requirement whether we wish to recieve a detailed critique and whether we would prefer it by PM or on the board.

I personally prefer to recieve mine by PM as it's only of help to my fic and me.

But everybody's different, some don't mind getting it as a post on the board.

Perhaps though, if we toughened up a little with our feedback, some of the not-so-great writers have the chance to improve. And I am not saying I am the world's best writer BUT I am willing to learn and would prefer to recieve honest feedback - I know I can write some bloody good smut, BUT I also know my grammar isn't my strong point and I overuse commas (that's an English trait, apparently) and I really need to work on my conversations.

Rachel
« Last Edit: Wed, Dec 31, 1969, 04:00 PM by Rachel »

Offline evilgrin

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« Reply #24 on: Mon, Jun 05, 2006, 12:09 PM »
sorry Rachel, I hadn't realized you preferred it via PM.
yes, I think being more detailed with what sort of feedback would help a lot, but I still think that it should be the kind of feedback people ask for, and, if they haven't asked for that type of feedback, then it shouldn't be given, out of respect for that writers wishes.
Some people like to be "shredded". For some writers, that could prove to be so destructive to their ability to write that they never write again, or never share it anyway.
I think that fostering a clique of "shredders" would be just as harmful, if not more so, than fostering a clique of "that's great!".
EG:)
« Last Edit: Wed, Dec 31, 1969, 04:00 PM by evilgrin »

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It was a rainy night in the big city. A hard rain. Hard enough to wash the scum off the streets. And I'm stuck in it without an umbrella. What a tool.

Offline Nicolina

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« Reply #25 on: Mon, Jun 05, 2006, 12:25 PM »
Fostering a clique of shredders? Harmful? That would entirely depend on how it's delivered. If that clique consists of people with empathy and a level of maturity there shouldn't be much of a problem.

Rachel, maybe it should say more clearly in the feedback-line in the header of each story what level of critique you are willing to put up with and how you want it received. But I want to jump in on wanting it privately, as a PM or in a mail.... Of course I respect it if you wish that, but other people can learn tremendously from constructive criticism given on a story they are following. If you share you can help other grow. At least that is my humble opinion. IMHO. *lol*

Nic.
« Last Edit: Wed, Dec 31, 1969, 04:00 PM by Nicolina »

Offline evilgrin

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« Reply #26 on: Mon, Jun 05, 2006, 12:30 PM »
the thing is, you WANT that type of critiquing. Not everyone does.
I haven't met many "kind" shredders, for that matter. Perhaps that's the type of thing best done when only specifically asked for
EG:)
« Last Edit: Wed, Dec 31, 1969, 04:00 PM by evilgrin »

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It was a rainy night in the big city. A hard rain. Hard enough to wash the scum off the streets. And I'm stuck in it without an umbrella. What a tool.

Offline Nicolina

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« Reply #27 on: Mon, Jun 05, 2006, 12:39 PM »
I actually believe we have more or less the same look on this nevertheless. Everybody should respect the level of critique an author are willing to receive.

And, on the side note, you are right about what I want.... *giggles*

Nic.
« Last Edit: Wed, Dec 31, 1969, 04:00 PM by Nicolina »

Offline 33andHolding

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« Reply #28 on: Mon, Jun 05, 2006, 01:24 PM »
Okay, I have been following this thread all day, because at the moment it is of much interest to me. EG and Nic, you are both right.

I have recently left honest feedback for a writer, and I was actually afraid to do so.

The result has yet to be seen.

So I will share my thoughts on this topic at that time.

Just wanted you girls to know that someone else is reading this thread other than you!

Jenn
:)
« Last Edit: Wed, Dec 31, 1969, 04:00 PM by 33andHolding »

Offline Nicolina

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« Reply #29 on: Mon, Jun 05, 2006, 01:38 PM »
Great 33, Will you fill us in on what kind of response you got? It would be very interesting.

Nic. (Loves to be shredded and stomped on, I'm like the magical bird Phoenix, I'll raise re-freshened from the shadows. *lol*)
« Last Edit: Wed, Dec 31, 1969, 04:00 PM by Nicolina »