1. Darkkin
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    Darkkin Reflection of a nobody Contributor

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    Critique on critique

    Discussion in 'The Art of Critique' started by Darkkin, Mar 27, 2015.

    Here's a question for you: Have you ever had someone start critiquing your critiques across various threads questioning your observations, and not the works critiqued? It is polite but pointed. I'm evil because I point out an issue, therefore, should not be heeded. Basically, I'm being informed my critique should be null and void because I don't say, 'It's perfect just the way it is.'. The cases for critiques like this are few and far between. In most instances, I think they are a disservice to the writer.

    When I critique, I'm tough but fair. I try to balance the negative with the positive, and it's the fact that I comment on flaws that started this. Have you ever encountered anyone who berates critiquers for giving a thoughtful review?

    I'm the kid who pointed out the obvious in the Emperor's New Clothes, but I'm not going to sell myself or other writers short. They deserve the effort and the insight. I've ignored it, but it's irritating to have one's critical thought processes called into question.

    Folks on this site remind me why I write, so thank you.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2015
  2. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    Only where they are validly pointing out that I might have picked up the shit end of the stick.

    I tend to avoid a lot of sites though. I remember some where people frankly did not want a critique, they wanted an ego-stroker and they would get defensive to the point of plain rude when they received anything other than gushing praise.
     
  3. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes sorry, I knew what you meant but went off on a tangent. Yes, there are some people who confuse a critical review of a piece of work with some sort of a veiled insult or an attempt to knock the writer's confidence. What they need to realize is that an honest critique helps someone improve, an exercise in ego stroking only holds someone back from improving.
     
  4. Boger
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    Boger Contributing Member

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    On the other hand, receiving reviews can be motivating, but I feel like it shouldn't be expected so much when most people are just going to (compulsory; think about the workshop margin) provide (yes genuine, actual) criticism. Shaping your audience can only be done with groupies. Only them you can tell what to do, what to think and where to go to with their lives. Personally I can question critique but that means I'm taking things for granted; if it's not a lesson as much as it is offensive I should still be modest rather then defensive, but there are people who can give you that feeling they overlook what they've been reading; where you as a writer put the heart of the story so to speak. There is a barrier between what is said and what is meant; so it is important when you are provided with critique that you both understand each other substantially. It can be difficult when they have to start questioning each other, but those cold wars are commonplace, if not the mainstream level of communication on the internet.
     
  5. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    It is the reason, in truth, that we discourage, at all costs, intra-critic discourse in the Workshop. I have been to (and still belong to) other sites where this is permitted and seen threads quickly spin out of control, the number of responses climbing, but NOT the number of critiques, just the debate between two or more people. I NEVER read other critiques prior to giving my own. I do not comment on the critiques of others, even in the positive.
     
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  6. edamame
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    edamame Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think you should message this critic about why they feel the need to critique your critiques instead of the works. I agree this behavior is rude, but calling this person an ego-stroker and defending your own critiques here, on another forum, doesn't solve what's bothering you.

    Edit: Or, you can speak to the moderators of the forum if you don't want to create an unpleasant confrontation.
     
  7. Darkkin
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    Darkkin Reflection of a nobody Contributor

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    I read only the piece I'm reviewing and then leave my critique. No debate. And I did go back and delete my post, edamame. I know it wasn't polite thanks for the netiquette check. :agreed:

    Edit: There are something that need reporting, this is a case of a member simply not liking me because I'm not sunshine and roses. They are entitled to their thoughts as I am to mine. As I said it's pointed but polite. I hate passive-aggressive tactics, and I'm pretty sure I misspelled aggressive, at least once...It's two ss, right?
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2015
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  8. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    I respond to the critiques to give that person an explanation of something they may have had an issue with, to assure them it has been explained previously, or to add context too assist their critique. I don't critique the critique, I hope, because it's just a matter of opinion and you can't really debate opinion, especially when you ask for it. If I disagree, I'll say so, but I won't challenge it. I'll just say: thanks for taking the time and for your suggestions but I'll be doing something else.
     
  9. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    I wish you'd critique my ramblings more often. Being neglected by Wreybies makes me sad. :(
     
  10. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    We have a rule in critique group, no cross talk. I absolutely hate it when someone turns critique into a chat session. We chat before and after, we discourage chatting during critiques. It's necessary.

    It's fine to say you don't agree with a critique, but it should be addressing the work, not the critic. One thing I notice when I'm reading critiques is at some point you end up with lots of negated feedback.

    You should do X
    No, you should do Y​

    I worry that too often some of the critique opinions aren't all that qualified. We have some excellent reviewers in the forum. And they invest their time very generously helping other writers. I do hope newer authors are able to sort the skilled critique from the unskilled.

    Re the OP, I can't imagine @Darkkin giving unskilled critiques. What's the point of pulling punches if one doesn't have enough clout left to learn from?

    There have been times I spoke up because new forum members were being berated for asking, "is this a good idea?" But that was a different situation. People who were tired of that question were answering posts that maybe they should have left for someone not so annoyed by the question.

    Maybe the person in question in the OP has the opposite idea that authors should always be coddled. I don't think we are responsible to never hurt anyone's feelings. There's a balance there somewhere.
     
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  11. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Don't ever critique a critique. That's just plain rude.

    Thankfully, I can't recall anyone ever having a problem with my critiques. I hope it stays that way.
     
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  12. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Selbbin, poppet, I will say this once and only once because the cost to me is dear.

    I have just sat in your latest posting ("I am a Sacrifice") and my fingers have moved to the keyboard over and again like a ferrel dog that wants a bone that's right there on the ground but the person offering the bone is sitting much too close, and jesus that bone looks good and there's even meat left on it, and I would snatch it and run if that damned person would just scoot back another few feet.

    I have no ability to critique stream of conscious writing, though I can appreciate what is obviously stonkingly good stream of conscious writing, just the same way that I haven't a clue as to the technique of painting in the impressionist style, though I am not blind to the beauty of a Monet. If I have failed to critique your work, my friend, it's only because it leaves me feeling a bit, literarily, emasculated. :oops:
     
  13. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    This is a writing forum, maybe the other place is as well, not a pro editors' service, so one just can't expect pro level amazingly detailed super duper insightful critiques from who are largely non-published writers, still learning themselves, so in this light, I find critiquing the critique a bit of a waste of time.

    On another forum, there were actual guidelines to how to respond to critique. If you find someone else's critique unsatisfying, or if after pressing for more detailed feedback still don't seem to get anywhere, the best response is to your critter is "thank you."

    Maybe those who get frustrated with your probably more-than-they-deserve critique should learn to just say 'thank you' and move on.
     
  14. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Personally, I appreciate "unskilled" critiques best - they generally come from people who are readers first, then writers, and thus are actually more useful. But yeah, criticizing others' critiques is uncalled for, other than perhaps pointing out factual error.
     
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  15. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    A little while ago I had a critique of my work that said basically (and in nearly as few words) "There were so many grammatical errors I can't even begin to list them, so I won't."

    Abusive without even having the courtesy to give ONE example: which shouldn't have been difficult if there were that many.
     
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  16. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Taking that at face value, and only assuming the person were correct, this to me sounds like someone who may know correct grammar and syntax, but does not know how to explain the why of it, or just thoughtless, crass laziness on the part of the "critic". If you can't be arsed, then don't be. Click on and find something else. I know there are probably plenty of members who regard me as a pedantic twat when I go into "professorial mode", but if I see a general issue that appears again and again, in the different ways that a given syntax may present itself, I assume the person has missed the finer points of that bit of the machinery and I am happy to explain, just as you said, with a single example. Finding and fixing the other examples is how the person will hammer the lesson home.
     
  17. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Funny how some of us, myself included, don't like the noun, critic, when it comes to a person who critiques.

    'Thank you' is indeed a reply I make to critiquers whose suggestions I don't find useful.

    This is interesting because it says I misread the OP. I thought it was one critic critiquing another critic, not the critiquee critiquing the critiquers. o_O
     
  18. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I've wanted to zonk some gushing critiquers and rude ones but I'm not one for entering a possible fight especially if it's not my fight to fight. I've only pm-ed a few people on certain sites when some amateur writer tells another amateur writer to stop writing ( as in you're not talented enough. ) I've gotten very cold, mind your business replies ( from the people making the comments ). Should've known. As for the gushers they're slightly harmless - at the worst they're wasting your time and giving you false hope, at the best they're giving you a boost.
     
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  19. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm not a fan of the gushers. I've had occasions (not on here) where I've had a couple of gushers (good terminology by the way) followed by an honest critique. The honest critique identified issues that just clicked the moment they were mentioned, but the gushers had obfuscated them by blurring my own objective view of the writing.

    The "give up you're shit" comments are presumably a mixture of trolling and frustration at their own mediocrity mirrored in someone else's.
     
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  20. Woof
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    Woof Contributing Member

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    Gushers can be nice but not productive, for me. Critique is for development, not adulation (though a little never hurt...!). And critting crit just seems like a big fat waste of time on all sides... I'm not surprised you seem a little incredulous!
     
  21. writer one
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    writer one Member

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    Critique on critiquing,
    I need critiquing, but I am never sure of the words within the sentence and I have noticed most of the time a sentence will be changed or a word changed. I am not perfect and these changes bother me because the more corrections I need, tell me I am a bad writer. I must admit the word perfect haunts me.

    I beg for your patience's to understand critiquing better. writer one
     

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