1. Chickendancer
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    Chickendancer Senior Member

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    Defending your work

    Discussion in 'Support & Feedback' started by Chickendancer, Jan 21, 2011.

    Hello all, newby here. I mean no offense or disrespect to any members but curiousity has gotten the better of me. I have been on other sites, not as good as this, for some time and there is something that happens here, ALL THE TIME, that I have not encountered (to this extent).
    Members defending their work.
    Someone makes a crit and the postee(?) then replies, sometimes at length, to that crit. Is this sop here? When someone crits my work I say 'thank you' and move on. Not trying to upset anyone. Just curious.
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think it depends on how new the writer is, the first few can sting and be difficult to take.

    I am greatful for any review.

    Where I do respond is in three situations:

    1) The critque is a list of faults with no suggestions or indication about how to correct I ask for examples or ideas about how to correct it or I don't understand something I will ask for clarification. This afterall helps the reviewer to understand how helpful their review was. This isn't to say anything they have said is wrong, but how they have said it is useless to me.

    2) When someone hasn't noticed I am British - ie with the use of single quotes and certain grammar. So they know next time reviewing a Brit that colour is an acceptable spelling of the word, I can use grey etc

    3) With a novel excerpt - I flirted with just including first few lines of first three chapters. Sometimes additional info is required. That is more because I accept the critique is valid and clearly a bit more is needed to make the critique it is then there for people to come along later.
     
  3. Boring Editor
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    Boring Editor Member

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    Discussion of a critique is healthy and helpful. I'm more likely to critique a person's second piece if they defended some of their word choices I disagreed with, or addressed my points frankly, rather than some who just says, "Thanks."

    That said, if the writer was defensive or rude, I would forever skip their posts.
     
  4. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    Aye. If, as is often said, the review process is about helping the reviewer as much, or more, than the reviewed, then reviews of the reviews or critiques of the critiques can prove very fruitful.

    It's only a problem when people go about it an unmannerly fashion. Which is hardly news. Forums are fine 'til people are idiots etc etc
     
  5. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    It does occur, though it is a practice that is discouraged, for the obvious reason that it comes off as ungrateful and - I can hear the ultra-epic-eyerolls now - it goes contra to the forum's purpose which is reviewing is meant to improve the reviewer, not the reviewed.
     
  6. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've been known to make some pretty long replies, not defending so much as just thinking over the issues brought up aloud, because I suck at thinking in any way that doesn't involve writing, so spelling it all out to myself is the best way to understand how I should use the review :p
     
  7. Chickendancer
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    Chickendancer Senior Member

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    Well, there you go. Thanks for the replies. (see what I mean).
     
  8. Boring Editor
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    Boring Editor Member

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    I think one can express gratitude and disagreement at the same time. Healthy discussion helps hone the writer and the reviewer more than a simple "Thanks." I find it odd that reviewer is supposed to benefit more than the reviewed; but I'll agree to disagree there.

    That said, there's a fine line between healthy discussion and a writer disagreeing with everything.
     
  9. SashaMerideth
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    SashaMerideth Contributing Member

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    Well, I think you are wrong Boring Editor, but I'm not going to tell you why. :p
     
  10. Xeniyah
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    Xeniyah Member

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    I do defend sometimes, but only if I find the review having only negative points and no real solution on how to solve them. This can be taken in two ways by the reviewer. First of all, they can see it as me being ungrateful and not willing to learn. Secondly, that their review was not clear enough (lacking things like examples of the mistakes or solutions). I always hope the reviewer understands that I am willing to learn, but do require a clearer review on the points mentioned.

    If a writer simply says 'thank you' on a review I've given, I find it hard to believe that they actually learned from it. After all, you are a writer and beginner or not, you should stand behind what you have just written regardless of how many flaws it has. Reviewing and being reviewed should be a healthy balance between believing in your work and being able to learn from one another.
     
  11. lemurkat
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    lemurkat Senior Member

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    I don't mind people defending their work in the way of saying WHY they chose to do a certain thing.

    What I don't like - and what you see more in art than in writing - is constant cries of "it's okay that the proportions are wrong or the face looks distorted it's my style. Style can go a long way, and style is good, but sticking with your style and not evolving it to improve it can also trap you at a plateau.
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    where is that stated as site policy, wrey?

    and how can it possibly make any sense, when the reviewED is asking for and often getting advice on how to improve their writings from the reviewERS?
     
  13. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    Below are just two examples of that being stated as the goal of the review system. Aside from that, I'm not sure if it's included explicitly in the site policy, but it gets brought up pretty much anytime someone comments on the whole two review requirement.

     
  14. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    However I would say it's a very handy second benefit for the people who put their work up. :p
     
  15. Boring Editor
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    Boring Editor Member

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    If the critique is good enough, it will improve the writer more than the reviewer. If it improves the reviewer more, the reviewer has done the writer a disservice.
     
  16. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think it should be a two way process. Although I am not sure how improving the reviewer works if we never give them feedback. I'm going to made no apologies at all for using the review room to improve my writing, anymore than I am going to apologise for it improving my rewviewing. However a reviewer will never improve if the reviewee cannot turn round and say, actually that was useless to me. I have had some great and experienced writers give some really useless reviews.
     
  17. Xeniyah
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    Xeniyah Member

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    I could not have said this any better :) This is what I try to do when in the review part of these forums.
     
  18. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    those are wrey's statements...

    and that's from banzai, in re reviewing rules 'n regs/purpose... as you can see, the former are not an accurate reflection of the latter... it's not as one-way as wrey presents it, which is why i said his claim didn't make sense... and still doesn't, imo...
     
  19. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Engaging in a dialog with the reviewer is fine, imo. It is useful.

    "Defending" the work or arguing with a reviewer is a bad idea. If you dislike the review that much, just say thanks and move on.
     
  20. Etan Isar
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    Etan Isar Contributing Member Contributor

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    You should never feel compelled to "defend" your work. You should feel free to discuss the review with the reviewer, in cases that they weren't clear, or you were hoping for specific examples. But if you truly feel attacked by a critique, either you don't have enough distance from the story, or the critiquer is an asshole. Either way, nothing good will come from arguing with the person.
     
  21. Chickendancer
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    Chickendancer Senior Member

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    Posted by Xeniyah: "Reviewing and being reviewed should be a healthy balance between believing in your work and being able to learn from one another."
    Exactly. This is the point I tried to make when I first posted this query. Of course I acknowleged those who take the time to look at my work, but you are absolutely right. As good as the review might be at the end of the day the author is the final arbiter of what works for them and what doesn't. I have paid my dues on other sites, and will take my hits here as well, knowing full well that I can learn something even from a, hmmm, less than expert review. But I never defend my work to any crit. That, in my humble opinon, turns this from a review site into a debating site. I know that I'm going to cop some stick for saying this, but old farts like me tend to get stuck in old habits. Once again guys, no offense meant. Cheers.
     

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