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queenmegumi
May 29th, 2005, 01:48 PM
First off, I hope I have the right word here: affect as opposed to effect. I swear I never get it right... I didn't notice this thread anywhere, so I thought I'd start it.

Anyway, I was curious about how authors feel when they receive less than steller critiques for their stories. Does it make you not want to critique the other author's work? Or throw something negative back at them in your own critique? When I was younger I was like that, but now I can see the value of negative comments (although I still prefer positive ones :p ). It may sound immature to do, but I can't help but think as human beings we're effected one way or the other by negative comments. Sometimes I admit I still get irked, and have to take a step back and think about the comments and try to see the value in them (btw I appreciate this board's honesty and ability to stay away from "this sux" comments. I've found all the reviews of my stories genuinly helpful). Still, I sometimes notice an author being sharp or defensive, something I don't blame them for exactly, because some comments can be somewhat hurtful. So again: Do negative comments a/effect how you critique other people's work? Or do you feel a strong urge not to critique that person's story at all (especially if the person continues to give negative feedback)? A somewhat immature approach, but like I typed, we ARE human......

Meghan Sullivan

michaelS0620
May 29th, 2005, 02:30 PM
All depends on the tone, although I have never had a problem with it here. For those who reply with negative (but constructive ) comments I think it through and see if I agree. I look harder at my writing. For the pithy "I didn't care for it" comments, I pretty much ignore as I can't work with it to improve my writing. If I were to get some assinine "You work is crap" kind of response then I would be annoyed. Might come up with a snappy comeback or two, but for the most part other forumites would tend to jump on them.

As far as criticizing other's work? I tend to write longer critiques to those who answer back. If someone on the site was very flip and just arguing everyone's feedback I won't post, because why if the person isn't listening, then why bother?

But no, I would not "return fire" by slamming someone else's work if they slam mine.

Michael

MrBF1V3
May 29th, 2005, 02:48 PM
Oh yes. definitely. I've gotten some pretty harsh criticism, some of it earned, and it's really easy to be glum or think in terms of retaliation. Your writing is a part of yourself, kind of, something you care deeply about. When you share it you hope people who read it will like it, and maybe make a few helpful comments.

I've learned to work through it, to try to see why the comments were made, to put them in context, and then see what I can use to improve my craft. And sometimes the solution is--get a second opinion, and a third, etc.

There are those who will not like what you write as a matter of taste, just not to their liking, nothing you do will change their opinion. It's good to learn how to recognize when that is the case, and treat it appropriately.

And it's good not to overreact. That person, with good comments or bad, is not the one writing, they don't put their name of the bi-line. They are helping you, use their help for what it's worth, but don't take advice as gospel. (Especially mine :rolleyes: )

B5

Expendable
May 29th, 2005, 03:26 PM
It hurts when someone says something negative about my writing, but like it's been said before, if someone just says, "I don't care for that" then I can ignore it.

When I critique, I say what I liked and what I had problems with.

Sometimes, when the mood strikes me, I'll take something someone's said and a short story will come out of it but it's all in fun, not retalitation.

Jacquin
May 29th, 2005, 03:48 PM
It may be that I am supremely arrogant but no, negative comments don't affect me. To be honest I don't think serious comments can be construed as negative. If it is an honest comment then it is valuable. An editor recently ripped one of my stories apart and cut about 20% straight out. After I got over the surprise about the amount of red I looked hard at it. Pretty much everything made perfect sense. Was it negative? Not in my opinion, he's taken a good story of mine and made it a damn site better than I could have. He's even paying me for it...

I think what I'm trying to say is that I have learnt not to offer my work out to all and sundry so I can bask in the radiance of my own brilliance and simply let people whose opinions I actually care about view my work. Strangely I have written a lot more since I started being more reclusive. Coincidence? I think not...

michaelS0620
May 29th, 2005, 04:26 PM
I agree Jaquin. I guess comments can be negative towards your current story, but still positive in the sense that the feedback moves you closer to your goal.

Michael

JamesL
May 29th, 2005, 04:44 PM
If a writer cannot handle criticism, they should should not write. Simple as that. As a writer you will get criticism, and some of it will be bad; that is natural. You just have to take it on the chin and try to use it to your advantage. Of course it is difficult to do this when someone unhelpfully simply says your story "sux" for no apparent reason, and the best course of action is to ignore this sort of remark. David Gemmell once received a book review of one of his novels that read "The only thing I liked about this book (Lord of the Rings rip-off with no characterization) was the butch chick on the cover." What did Gemmell do? He took it on the chin and shrugged it off. He even took some satisfaction from the fact that the reviewer was a failed writer.

For other kinds of negative criticism, you just have to grin and bear it. It is important to remember that negative criticism doesn't make you a bad writer. It should be used to make your story better.

Personally when I receive negative feedback, I try to analyze it and use it to improve my story. Of course it can hurt, but that's a good thing; it shows I care about my stories and want people to like them. And in writing you have to care, otherwise you shouldn't be doing it. :)

JRMurdock
May 29th, 2005, 04:56 PM
"If a writer cannot handle criticism, they should should not write."

I disagree. If a writer cannot handle criticism, they should not submit. The only way they'll get the feedback is to submit it (either to an agent, publisher, ask for an opinion, etc). If they submit it and cannot handle it, they should not do that again. Either that, or toughen up.

I'm not arrogant. I'm not cocky. But I enjoy writing and most of the time I feel I do a good job of it. I've spent a great deal of time learning. That's the key to writing. Learn all you can and practice, practice, practice.

J.R.

milady
May 29th, 2005, 10:06 PM
If a writer cannot handle criticism, they should should not write. Simple as that. As a writer you will get criticism, and some of it will be bad; that is natural. You just have to take it on the chin and try to use it to your advantage. Of course it is difficult to do this when someone unhelpfully simply says your story "sux" for no apparent reason, and the best course of action is to ignore this sort of remark. David Gemmell once received a book review of one of his novels that read "The only thing I liked about this book (Lord of the Rings rip-off with no characterization) was the butch chick on the cover." What did Gemmell do? He took it on the chin and shrugged it off. He even took some satisfaction from the fact that the reviewer was a failed writer.

For other kinds of negative criticism, you just have to grin and bear it. It is important to remember that negative criticism doesn't make you a bad writer. It should be used to make your story better.

Personally when I receive negative feedback, I try to analyze it and use it to improve my story. Of course it can hurt, but that's a good thing; it shows I care about my stories and want people to like them. And in writing you have to care, otherwise you shouldn't be doing it. :)
I agree, if you cannot accept criticism you're never going to learn, you're never going to improve. If you can't admit that your work has problems, you'll never be able to see them to fix them.

But negative criticism which isn't constructive is useless. You don't know whether the problem is in style, plot, character, or if the critic simply doesn't like it for some personal reason (ie. it's a romance, and they can't stand romances).

TheEarCollector
May 29th, 2005, 11:40 PM
I am really harsh with some of my criticisms, but I try not to be mean, and I expect the same from others... My feelings aren't hurt if an inconsistency is pointed out, I am not going to sit and argue about why I am right because if the reader doesn't know something then I didn't make it clear as the writer. As long as they have reasons to back things up, there is no reason to feel bad, because everyone can improve upon things.

That being said, whenever someone says something like, "I think it's stupid," or just, "I didn't like it," it makes me incredibly angry because they have just wasted my time. Way to go, you didn't like it, but instead of telling me why you didn't like it you opted just to say that it was stupid. It doesn't even hurt my feelings about my own personal work, it just angers me that some people are so closed minded that if it isn't what they expected, it has to be wrong.

The only things I see as "negative" are when someone tells you that it was bad, stupid, or anything else along those lines, just because they personally didn't find it appealing. It stings for a second, then their lack of insight just makes me angry.