1. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    Educational Self-Critics

    Discussion in 'The Art of Critique' started by A.M.P., Oct 8, 2013.

    I had a little idea that poked me.

    We have all these fun weekly contests and some of us write stories here and post them up for constructive criticism and I thought of a new way to make use of them!

    Lots of members seem to want learn how to write better, how to get starter, how to edit their own work, and even how to simply give good critics to others.

    So, why not have authors voluntarily choose to self-critic for the masses?

    The way it would work would be as follows and can be done after or before the changes.
    I'd like to also recommend maybe doing it LIVE on Google docs or something so it can be more dynamic and people can chat and ask questions. However, forum style would work just fine as well.

    1) Post your work preferably in the first draft.
    2) Begin dissecting paragraphs or phrases.
    3) Explain why or how you noticed the mistakes.
    4) Take others suggestions and ideas and comment/apply them.

    So, just something I think some might be interested.

    I used to do live writing sessions for fun and had people joining and talking about the whole process. So, I figure this could be a dynamic and fun way for people to learn and see how they themselves differ from different authors.
     
  2. JayG
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    JayG Banned Contributor

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    But if you have the skill to do that you won't make the mistake in the first place. Right?

    I agree that it might be useful, but what I think would be of far more use would be a successful writer showing the changes they make in the first edit, along with the reasons for the change, to help us better understand the process.

    Another useful thing would be for that writer to take a scene and show the purpose of the various elements. When we read, we're not thinking of why the writer chose to mention something, or perhaps not mention it. As an example of what I mean, I took a scene from something that sold and deconstructed it, to explain why each element was placed. The idea is to read it as a scene, first, then go back and see if the purpose for that section was achieved in your case (and perhaps make use of it is it was). Unfortunately, I'm not that brilliant writer I was mentioning, but for what it may be worth, the piece did sell, and it's here. If you think something like that might be worthwhile, and know a successful and adored writer, and can convince them to do the same thing for a piece of their work...
     
  3. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    I don't think that's necessarily true.

    Sometimes, when I write, I think what I wrote got the message across, or my point was obvious and clear, or that the paragraph structure makes sense.
    However, when I go back and reread after I'm done I say it aloud or just quickly notice that it's not what I envisioned in my head and proceed to edit it.

    Trust me, if I wrote everything perfectly the first time, or any of us did, we'd have more random novels out there than Stephen King.

    Any way a writer would choose to show his own self-editing I believe would be educational so long as we can see the before and after with some explaining on the thought process.

    And yes, I think your idea is also good. I notice it rather often that others, myself included, can't quite tell why place something in a scene or when/where to create a desired effect.
    Especially when it comes to the first page or so where you gotta hook the reader after the character you're portraying.
    I think I even read a post of two of yours that dealt with exactly that.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    hope you won't mind a minor 'critique' from one who critiques new writers' work, amp...

    when you say 'self-critic' and 'good critics' what you really mean is 'critique/s'... a 'critic' is the person providing a 'critique' [= an assessment of the quality of whatever is being 'critiqued']...

    so, you might want to start your self-critiquing process by learning the 'in-lingo' of the writing/publishing world...

    love and hugs, maia
     
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  5. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    Actually, it works both ways.
    I can be my own critic and I can give myself my own critique.
    So when I'm my own critic, or self-critic, it still makes sense in what the thread is about.

    I'll admit I probably used critic/critique interchangeably in my OP.
    I didn't realize I was writing them wrong, lol.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    here's what you wrote:

    that would mean you are giving critics [as in giving people] to other people... when you really meant 'critiques' [as in assessments of their writings]
    with that 'to' in there, this makes no sense even in the nonsensical sense of the usage above, sorry to say... the reason being that 'critic' is a noun, so can't be used as a verb, which is what you did... 'critique' is the verb form...

    another problem with that second one is 'for the masses'... one can only 'self-critique' if it's their own work they're assessing... if they're reviewing others' [the masses'] work, then they're only 'critiquing' and tacking on 'self' makes no sense whatsoever... get it?

    hope this helps you learn how to use the two words properly... hugs, m
     
  7. Okon
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    Okon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Mammamia, I think A.M.P. meant that the process of self critiquing their own work is what would be shown to the masses. His sentence made sense to me the first time I read it, but I do understand your point about the verb usage.

    I think that it would be fun to see draft 1, draft 1 with comments on apparent issues, then draft 2 with fixes. I edit as I go, but I would make an exception if I was posting something like this. I don't know if commenting should be allowed, though. It would turn into an opinionated mess every time somebody wanted to post an example, leaving the people looking for help totally lost. Maybe a rating system would help people follow the better self critique processes?

    I would definitely like to see something like this.
     
  8. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    Okon's gets it.
    Maia is too caught up in typos and lack of attention to detail.

    All I'm suggesting is maybe writers who often have issues with editing or finding mistakes or how to show/tell or whatever can benefit from seeing a more experienced writer (Or anyone else, really) do their own editing step by step.

    It's an old idea I've experienced with other writing groups and friends, figured I'd share the notion with the people here too.
     
  9. Dean Stride
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    Dean Stride Contributing Member

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    I'll probably sound a bit condescending when I say this, but attention to detail is key to a good critique, amongst other base aspects.

    You're not helping your case by retaliating in a disregarding manner, you should listen to what your peers are saying, especially those who are more experienced, in order to establish a proficient line of communication and actually get your idea across.
     
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  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    good points, ds... and important ones, imo... thanks for the support...

    as a case in point, i hope you won't mind my noting that you may have meant 'basic' rather than 'base'... unless, of course, you regard some aspects of critiquing to be 'vile/despicable/contemptible'... ;)

    love 'n hugs, m [doing my best to live up to my 'official' title]
     
  11. Dean Stride
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    Dean Stride Contributing Member

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    Ah, will take note. Cheers!
     

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