1. Youniquee
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    Youniquee (◡‿◡✿) Contributor

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    Does your age make you a less better critic?

    Discussion in 'The Art of Critique' started by Youniquee, Nov 23, 2010.

    I'm only 14..[15 really soon] I just don't feel good enough to go and critic other people's when I can't even write half as good xD What if I make a point that's just overly stupid?
    what do you think?

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  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma New Member Contributor

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    My first novel is young adult fantasy - I love getting the opinion of teenagers, for me it invaluable to be told when I sound like a middle aged lady pretending to be a teenage boy - you can give insight into my stories an adult or a more accomplished writer cannot. His thoughts are colloquial and not meant to be perfect because he is seventeen.

    Thanks to my teen readers and their feedback I knew my fight scenes sounded like a middle aged woman with a handbag - I was able to get help. I knew when I was using a stupid cliche/stereotype or one that was pretty accurate.

    Also it is a way to improve your own work.
     
  3. Jonalexher
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    Jonalexher New Member

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    Not necessarily. You can still review story-wise :]
    "I think this should happen.." "You could make him do this"
    If you feel you could do a little better grammar wise, maybe stay out of that for now, but you can still give your opinion on some stories !

    Read a lot, to increase your vocabulary, punctuation, and grammar. And pay attention in your english classes! haha
     
  4. HeinleinFan
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    HeinleinFan Member

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    It's not age that matters, Youniquee. It's experience.

    Adults don't always want to admit this, but it's the truth. A teenager who reads more often is going to have a better sense of when a story works well, compared to already-published stories, than an adult in their fifties who doesn't read much.

    And it's okay to critique a piece of work when your own work isn't yet that good. Film critics do it all the time -- most critics, after all, have neither worked in the film industry nor written a book, but they write reviews anyway. Because the purpose of a review is to tell potential readers what the storyteller did right, what they did wrong, and whether the story is ultimately worth their time.

    Here on the WritingForums, a review has a slightly different purpose. Our job as reviewers here is to applaud writers the things they're doing well, bring their attention to parts of the story that don't work or which are still very rough, and give them a few ideas as to how they might improve their writing overall.

    You don't need to be a Faulkner or a Shakespeare to tell an aspiring writer that their characters seem flat or that the setting changed suddenly for no good reason. We're mostly a lot of hobbyist writers, here, with a few published folks in the mix to spice things up. We're not about to jump on you for your age -- particularly when we can't know your age just by looking at what you've written.

    In particular, your post's grammar and spelling were fine. That already tells the rest of us that you have a pretty good handle on what you're doing. So I wouldn't worry about it, at least not much.

    Good luck with your writing.
     
  5. Noya Desherbanté
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    Noya Desherbanté New Member

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    The minute I saw the title of this post I got all het up a bit hehe :p Age matters in next to nothing, as HeinleinFan pointed out, it's all down to experience. You're still a writer, whether you've had time to practise a lot or just a little, and (assuming you read, which, being a writer, I'm kind of guessing you do?) moreover, you're a consumer. The writer in you tells us what we can do technically - even if you point out something obvious, it might not have been obvious to us - and the reader in you tells us what you like to read. I think a wide range of feedback is great, and I'd be just as excited to have constructive criticism from you than a Pulitzer-winning uberwriter!

    (Oh - and thanks for making me feel old! ;))
     
  6. Agreen
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    Agreen Faceless Man Contributor

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    If you can have an opinion about a piece, particularly with regard to what worked and what can be improved, and you can communicate that opinion, you can provide a constructive critique.
     
  7. Whizp
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    Whizp New Member

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    I think it's fine to comment on the story or point out something that you don't understand in the text - but beware of giving advice unless you are very sure what you say is correct ;)
     
  8. Masroefa
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    Masroefa New Member

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    When I saw this question, I was instantly drawn to see what peoples answers were, mostly because I had the exact same question when I joined but never bothered to ask.

    Because we HAVE to do reviews before we can post our own work, I just got reading and learned mostly from how other more experienced members do reviews. I also learned a great deal from other peoples writing. I'm a much better critic than I was when I first started some 3 weeks ago, and the more I read peoples work, the better I become :) its something I'm happy about because ultimately, it makes a better writer.

    Learning from my mistakes and others helps a great deal. I finally consider myself a writer. Before, I didn't think I was worth the title at all, but WritingForums helped me develope and just like I did, u will too. You will get better at it, you'll see.

    Good luck
     
  9. smilez
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    smilez New Member

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    I felt the same way. Well still feel the same way, not necessary because of my age but because i feel that people on this forum are good at what they do, and I'm not as good. Reading the responses you received helped though. Thank you for posting this question Youniquee. :)
     
  10. Newfable
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    Newfable New Member

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    ^This.

    If you write a critique, and earnestly mean to help the other person out, while taking a serious look at their work for strengths and weaknesses, then any critique is a good critique. Hell, even if the author looks it over and sees that what you said doesn't help them at all, they at least walk away knowing that people took time out of their day to look it over, taking more time to sit down and re-read it thoroughly.
     
  11. juliow
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    juliow New Member

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    As long as you stay true to your opinion, I don't think your age matters a big. And as far as not being able to write as well as those you review, writing reviews is an excellent way to improve your own work.
     
  12. DisFanJen
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    DisFanJen New Member

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    I'm not sure there's anything to say that hasn't already been said.

    As long as you give your honest opinion then any review is worthwhile. And it's experience that counts and by doing the reviews you'll get that experience.

    I've only been a member for a week or so and if you'd asked my to post my work a week ago I would have run to the hills.

    But after a week worth of reviewing the biggest thing I learned is that the best way to move forward is to give it a go, so putting my neurosis aside I posed my first piece today.

    So get reviewing. And when you feel up to it post some work and I'll happily read it. :)
     
  13. Pythonforger
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    Pythonforger Carrier of Insanity

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    Age doesn't matter in reviewing, or even writing. Personally I'm a tween, and yet nobody has complained so far that I made a stupid point.
     
  14. Xeniyah
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    Xeniyah New Member

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    The only 'problem' you might have with age is that you do not always understand all themes but that is about it.

    Personally, I love opinions from old, young, new and experienced writers - it gives me a much broader perspective on what I am doing.
     
  15. Spacer
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    Spacer New Member

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    Well, The Hobbit was given to the acquisition editor's young son for review. For work aimed at that age group, it is very good indeed.
     
  16. Spacer
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    Spacer New Member

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    Oh, I also remember having a reprint of an old copy of Astounding (now Analog) that featured a letter to the editor by one Isaac Asimov, a 9-year-old kid.

    From his autobiography, I recall he wrote feedback about the stories he read, and was then surprised to find that eventually his criticisms were well regarded and appreciated by the writers, and he had several mail conversations with authors.

    It is why John Campbell met with him personally when he visited the offices, since he was already well known as a reader. And Campbell knew he could talk shop with this "kids" work.
     
  17. alter-ego
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    alter-ego Banned

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    Easy solution. Just re sign up to the forum, but put that you are 70 years old in your profile. You'll instantly have the respect of your peers from having a lifetime of experience. No one will question that you wrote anything stupid, although they may question if you are suffering from senility. Sometimes you just can't win.
     
  18. Manav
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    Manav New Member

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    Some of the best and most helpful reviews I have received on my works posted here are from people who are under twenty.
     
  19. NathanaelWorks
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    NathanaelWorks New Member

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    Of course not.
     
  20. Reggie
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    Reggie I Like 'Em hot "N Spicy Contributor

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    I really don't see why age matters. I mean, as long as you can still see the pen and paper, and know how to write, age, to me, doesn't matter to become a qualifying reviewer. Until you become blind, you can no longer review verbally on pen, paper, or computer unless someone assists you on reviewing, or you still feel that you are capable of writing while being blind.
     
  21. Dandroid
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    Dandroid New Member

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    there are a few categories where age may serve to refine an existing position...but age will only add to experience...keep in mind, however, that physiologically there is still some brain deveopment that is still in process in younger folk...
     
  22. guamyankee
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    guamyankee New Member

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    Yes, assuming you've been using your noggin over the years and actually building up experience, I tend to think you just learn more as you get older. Until you get to that point where the body and mind starts to break down, and you start to regress.
     
  23. Dandroid
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    Dandroid New Member

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    more angles, filters, lenses, and, sadly, prejudices...
     
  24. guamyankee
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    guamyankee New Member

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    I'm not sure the prejudices part is true in all cases, that might be a stereotype.
     
  25. Dandroid
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    Dandroid New Member

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    maybe...i wasn't speaking of racism..but every time i meet up with a person on break from their first year of undergrad, and they tell me they are now a marxist...i don't tend to hear much more....
     

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