1. Ghosts in Latin
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    Ghosts in Latin Senior Member

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    I feel pompous

    Discussion in 'The Art of Critique' started by Ghosts in Latin, Mar 5, 2009.

    I cannot help but to feel as if I'm not reviewing, but somehow imposing my preferences on other people's writings, especially when what I just read was written well, and, for the most part, I enjoyed it.

    Would someone review my review? (Is this allowed?)
    http://www.writingforums.org/showthread.php?p=387348#post387348

    Do I come off as being arrogant, or is it a lack of confidence in my reviewing?
     
  2. Bob Magness
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    Bob Magness Senior Member

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    I don’t see anything the least bit arrogant about your review. If someone only wanted compliments about their writing then he’d likely just ask for his mom’s opinion. People post their work here because they want to become better writers and they want honest critiques. This doesn’t mean you should be rude in your critique, and you weren’t. Personally, when doing a review I prefer to point out both things that could use improvement as well as things that I enjoyed. I see you did this as well, which I think is good form. And you don’t have to apologize in the review, pointing out that it is “only your opinion”. It is your review, it goes without saying that it is just your opinion. So good review, keep them up.
     
  3. Gannon
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    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Expressing preference is not pomposity it is statement. I try to avoid any sense of pomposity by subjectively quantifying everything. Saying that 'I find' 'for me' or 'IMO' limits the opinion to one person view and avoids flat 'fact' like statement which may alienate an author.

    I think your poem could be improved by ...
    I was unsure by this line because ...

    Also I try to be inexplicit as definiteness leads to possible pomposity.

    It may be better to try ...
    You might like to consider ...

    Is less contentious and provocative than the a command approach.

    Replace X with Y because X is wrong.

    Everyone's opinion no matter the opinion is valid, and even more valid if clarified with thoughful comments.
     
  4. Cheeno
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    Cheeno Contributing Member

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    I thought it was fine. You where both specific and constructive, while also being polite, so there's really nothing to feel bad about.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Before there can be a variety of opinions to choose among, there must be people willing to lay out their opinions for all to see.

    There's nothing arrogant about having an opinion. as long as you dont assume everyone else's opinion is worth less.

    If anything, your opinion could have gone even deeper in supporting your view. Don't be shy, give the writer REASONS to consider your suggestions, He or she may still decide not to change, or to change in a different directiuon instead.

    With any luck,you can see the results of whatever changes te writer DOES make, and learn whether those changes improve the writing. And if your suggestion was NOT taken, but the piece improved anyway, you can add that to your own knowledge base.
     
  6. Ghosts in Latin
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    Ghosts in Latin Senior Member

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    Thanks for all your input, guys.

    I feel better about reviewing. :)
     
  7. Imposter
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    Imposter Member

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    I reviewed the same piece as you (probably more harshly), but I see nothing pompous about your comments, nor mine. They were simply opinions. I expect the writers to use the or discard them as they see fit, and I do the same when I submit something for review. I always feel bad when I have to write something that could be construed as negative about a piece of writing, I don't like to hurt anybodys feelings, but unless I put it out there for them they wouldn't be able to decide if maybe a different approach would be appropriate.

    I've read your reviews......you do good work. Fair and unbiased.
     
  8. Castlesofsand
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    Castlesofsand Banned

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    reviewing is like anything else, you give what you believe in, but you have to see what others see too. you view is no less than theirs and no more. they can take it or leave it, but it is still your views, your time well spent should be considered. one can't push something on someone, they have to accept it willingly. i'd say, review away :)
     
  9. lynneandlynn
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    lynneandlynn Contributing Member

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    I saw nothing wrong with your review either. I read it and thought it was actually a fairly soft review (only because I tend to be harsh when I critique I guess) which isn't a bad thing--it's just your style of reviewing. Personally, since my critiques *do* tend to hit on the harsher end of the spectrum, I always end my reviews with "Feel free to take or leave anything mentioned in this critique," so that no writer feels they *have* to follow the advice I'm giving. While it isn't necessary to express that it's only your opinion in a review, I think that it's a courtesy everyone should be willing to extend (especially those of us who critique in a harsh light).
     

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