1. Robert_S
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    Robert_S Contributing Member

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    How detailed to critique?

    Discussion in 'The Art of Critique' started by Robert_S, Jan 15, 2014.

    I'm reviewing some scripts on zoetrope and I've noticed some word choices that seem out of place. Example:

    "Each bunk is full with another homeless man."

    First, there is the passive voice.
    Second, the use of the word full. While it's not terrible, it seems perhaps out of place because full gives me the impression of something filled with an uncountable noun, such as a glass full of water or bowl full of rice.

    I haven't submitted my review yet, but this is one place I marked for constructive criticism.

    Zoetrope does annual contests and so far, this script is pretty good. It's easy to read, has a good character web, pretty good dialog (some I've marked for CC). I think it's good enough to go high if not all the way to first place, but it needs some tweaking.

    Am I being too nitpicky? Am I stepping on toes? The people running the site want reviewers to give CC, but where is the limit?
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    as a professional editor and writing mentor/writing services provider, my call is that there should be no limit...

    for a new and unknown writers to give their work a decent chance to be noticed among the piles of competitors' the material being submitted must be as close to perfect as possible...

    if the ms is rife with grammar or technical goofs, it won't matter how acceptable the storyline or dialog may be, because those mistakes will jump out at the reader and the writer will be seen as either lazy or incompetent... resulting in their being passed over in favor of those who take the time and have the ability to polish their work before submitting it...

    so, go ahead and be as nit-picky as you need to be, in reviewing others' work... to be any less is not doing them any favor...

    love and hugs, maia
     
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  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I prefer to pick out three to five of what I perceive as the largest issues, and point to examples of each in the writer's excerpt. That lest me discuss each one in some detail, from why I think it[s a problem to suggested general remedies.

    Theories on effective teaching or presenting claim that three to five major points is about all you can expect an audience to retain from a single session. More than that, and you overwhelm the audience, and then only one or two points are retained, if you're lucky.
     
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  4. Robert_S
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    Robert_S Contributing Member

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    Well, I just finished my critique and it grew to 5 1/4 pages before I realized. I haven't posted it yet, but will in an hour or so. Since it is posted online, they'll have a hardcopy to go over again and again. I also let them know I didn't cover each and every occurrence of the same issue, so they will have some analysis work of their own.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    are you referring to a critique of a member's posted work, Robert?... as in you are going to post 5+ pages in their thread?
     
  6. Robert_S
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    Robert_S Contributing Member

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    No, this was for a zoetrope script. I know I probably shouldn't be bringing up other sites, but what I learn there, I can bring here and vice versa. Also, that site is a bit more focused on the video arts, with a smattering of short story and novella.
     

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