January 19th, 2005, 01:56 AM
Just an observation, feel free to prove me wrong. It seems like there are a lot more people in this community who want to be critiqued than are willing to critique. Maybe going over someone else's story and finding meaningful comments to make is too much like work, maybe they don't want to be wrong, but you can just look at the several threads that have popped up (possibly engendered by this discussion), and at the number of responses they have recieved.
No, I haven't jumped into all of the critique threads, but I've done some. Hey, free story . I expect my opinions to be treated as, well, opinions, and if I can help someone improve their craft a bit, why not? The thing I always look for in a critique is how well I communicated, whether they read the same story I think I wrote. Anyway, let me step off this soap box and go back to the bench.
So much for the addage; everyone's a critic.
January 19th, 2005, 09:40 AM
I try to be a good critic and I try to respond as best that I can. But some of us have jobs or school plus we're busy writing ourselves or should be.
This doesn't leave much time to do critiques but I try.
January 19th, 2005, 10:52 AM
When you are reading someone's work it is similar to writing a review. It's never necessary to bash someone over the head with criticism. First of all, that would not be productive for anyone. Secondly, there are ways to use the opportunity to really bring out the strength in an author. Everyone has their unique strengths as well as areas where they are weak. If you can spot those strengths and direct them accordingly, you can help. If your criticisms are all aimed at areas that cannot really be improved, what's the point? When someone has talent it can be channeled if you, as a critic, are sensitive and careful. Writers are naturally sensitive, and most have a difficult time hearing things negative about their work. You wouldn't write if you didn't think you could ever produce something worhtwhile. After all, think about the people who audition for American Idol, if anyone ever watches that show. It's amazing that so many of them really do think they can sing. The show is a perfect example of almost all the wrong ways to let someone down though. Rarely is it constructive, rarely is it meant to help.
Sometimes it's impossible to offer criticism without being hated for it. Though everyone claims that they appreciate the honesty, what they really crave is justification for their efforts and praise. That's natural. So if you are going to ask for a critique, then be prepared. And if you are going to offer a critique, then be sensitive to these issues.
January 19th, 2005, 02:46 PM
Originally Posted by MrBF1V3
No, you're not wrong, and Ex touched on most of the reasons for that, but one that wasn't mentioned is the fact that the writer's forum is always bottom heavy in terms of experience. There are a lot more single digit posters than there are triple digit ones. I hope the people who ask for a critique and then vanish aren't leaving because they're discouraged by the lack of response. I think many of them stop posting because they've stopped writing. Let's face it. It's tough to keep going when you find out how few get published and then get a critique that makes it sound like you've got a ways to go before you even have a chance.
January 19th, 2005, 03:11 PM
I agree with Ironchef. But I do think that people come here because they know they can expect an honest critique, not a bashing. Even when a very young writer posts his or her first attempt, no one casts it off here with derision or looks down upon it. We also have more authors here than critics, so one would expect that more are looking to get advice than to give it.
But I cannot imagine anyone giving up so early in their career because of the difficulties in getting published. Writing is in the blood. You may get frustrated and angry, and you may wonder what all your efforts are for sometimes, but I don't think anyone who loves to write, has any choice but to continue.
It is incredibly hard to get published today. And even when you finally do sign your contracts and finish with your editors and cover artists, and the book starts to ship, it is even harder to get the attention you need to sell any significant numbers. It is an up hill battle all the way. But isn't that true in just about every artistic field today? And isn't it better to pursue what you love even if the road is a difficult one?
January 19th, 2005, 08:39 PM
I AM too a mod!
I don't critique here or post for critique here.
a) because I'm too blunt and commercially orientated, and don't like to upset people, especially hobby writers, and,
b) because it's not really set up for the serious writer, it's just a casual place for feedback not like a dedicated critique forum. The non-counting is a clue. It's meant to work on the spirit of generosity.
January 19th, 2005, 11:28 PM
Don't take me wrong
I feel compelled to write a disclaimer. I wasn't complaining, I was observing. I haven't recieved a lot of critiqueing (Is that a word?) on the thread I started, but what I have recieved is --excellent--. I would not discourage anyone from starting a thread or posting a story here and asking for opinions. But I would tell them not to expect tons of response.
For the record, I'm one of those hobby writers you may have heard about. I like my day job, and I write because I enjoy it. I don't enjoy trying to sell my stories. But if I get a chance to share, sure, why not? For those of you who write for a living, you don't have to worry about competition from me .
January 20th, 2005, 04:24 PM
Where have I been?
And I think I posted this on another thread, it all depends on what type of critique you're looking for.
I read and read a lot. I also write and write a lot. I'm looking to be a published author one day (so Sheepie, PM me if you want to bash one of my stories). When you're asking for a critique, many on the site look at this as a labourous process (at least I do). I don't want to give a critique that consists of a line or two. I want to give full unedited thought. I do try to give a paragraph or two of feedback and it takes time to decide which punches to pull and which to let fly.
Because most people on this site are authors, it's not lack of desire that keeps people from doing critiques, it's time. I'd much rather write than critique someone else's work. I'd rather edit my own mistakes than point them out in another's story. Does that make me selfish, no. I'm not putting my work out there unless someone asks. I'd never refuse a reciprocation. I've done a lot of critiques, but I wouldn't make 'em public. The longer the work, the longer it takes me to critique it. That's just life for me.
Don't take lack of critique as a put off. The number one thing an author must do...is write. Everything else is secondary.