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  1. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Constructive but Positive

    Discussion in 'The Art of Critique' started by Rei, Aug 17, 2008.

    Today I read an incredibly negative review of my work. I felt horrible after read it. Nobody should feel bad after reading a review. Not everyone can take critisism very well (myself included).

    We're hear to encourage and help. You can say the exact same thing in several different ways and every way will have a different reactions. The review I had essential said this: "This probaby isn't what you want to hear, but the opening is boring and has no hook. Nobody will buy your book the way it is. Don't be discouraged. Good luck anyway."

    How is someone not supposed to feel a little bit discouraged when it told you exactly why nobody will ever buy it? The review barely included any real help or showed signs that the writing had any hope of being good. It is very possible to point out everything the reviewer did and still make me feel hopeful that what I'm doing has a chance. He could have said, "It needs some work to make the opening interesting enough to hook the reader a little more. You could try doing these things. Don't give it. You can make it work."

    People respond to critiques that are positive. You can point out where a piece needs work with little or no chance of discouraging the person if you use the right words.
     
  2. Manny
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    What sort of review was it? One on here?
     
  3. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah it was on this site, let's keep this on the topic of keeping reviews positive, even when poiting out problems. You know, I had a professor who never used the word "weakness." She always said, "areas for improvement."
     
  4. Etan Isar
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    Etan Isar Contributing Member Contributor

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    A quick note: I think you've read too much into the review that started this, but that doesn't mean this topic's not worth another good discussion.


    I think it's a bit of a quibble to debate phrasing. The job of a critique is not to baby the writer, it's to point out specific issues in the piece, and general isues that might need work. If the writer is so worried abut the opinion of others that "weakness" upsets them, they're in for a shock when and if they start submitting work to publishers and agents.

    Different reviewer's have different styles. One lovely site I've used in the past often has staff passing along this message: "I don't think you're equipped to function here." As a person taking time to read your work, the critiquer is doing you a favor. There are plenty of other things more productive for them that they could be doing. This does not excuse insults or rudeness, but just like some people don't deal well with harsh critique, some people are blunt by nature.

    As the author, you have the prerogative to use reviews as you see fit. If you don't agree, you don't have to take the critiquer's advice. If the review is out of bounds, you have the right to ignore it, and not review that person's own work. You cannot control the behavior of others, only your own.
     
  5. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Phrasing not important to a writer? It is. Besides, we're not talking about publishers who's business it is to sell the best they can get, or critics who are supposed to help people decide what to read. We're talking about people who are here to help and encourage each other. Being positive is not the same as babying. Babying ignores weaknesses and gives lots of praise for the tiniest thing.
     
  6. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Rei,

    Take the review for what it is, find what's useful in it for you, and move on.

    If a negative review, direct and blunt, is of concern to you, then it may very well be a rough road to publication. Rejections of your submitted work are just one example. Maybe a piece gets published, then there are readers who will rip it from one end to another. Even professional and semipro reviewers and critics may not have nice things to say, and it'll be printed across the interenet or newsprint.

    You are correct, that sometimes someone who reviewes a piece here (or elsewhere) and provides a crit could be more positive or word things less harshly, but they could also have bothered not to read and taken the time to comment.

    We as writers need to be told what is working and what isn't, and hopfully why. Flowery language can sometimes dilute the points made. And in the end, you as the writer don't have to agree. It's impossible to please everyone.

    Terry
     
  7. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Positive does not equal flowery.
     
  8. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Rei,

    You're missing the point, but that's your prerogative.

    Next time you post your work for review, list at the top: "Only Positive Reviews Desired"

    Terry
     
  9. Cheeno
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    Cheeno Contributing Member

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    I suspect you paint my critique with an unjustly tainted brush. In paraphrasing me you give the wrong impression of my intention. Of course, you're entitled to your opinion, as I am, but taking it as personal as you are takes you away from what you should be doing. I won't comment of it again but as I said before, good luck with your work.
     
  10. Raven
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    Raven Banned

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    Locked on Rei's request.



    *Click*




    ~Raven.
    Senior Super Moderator.
     
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