1. whatevershoes.
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    whatevershoes. New Member

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    my critiques aren't good enough

    Discussion in 'The Art of Critique' started by whatevershoes., May 9, 2009.

    i read the guidelines for the constructive critiques, and it sounds very thorough.
    i'm not sure if i'll ever be able to post anything of my own,
    because i know i'm not very good at critiquing strangers.
    when it's someone i know well i can adapt to their individual way of writing
    and try to give suggestions that would fit their style,
    but when it's someone writing who i don't know at all
    i find it difficult to give specific critiques.
    i guess i need to be bolder and practice critiquing more,
    so that i can give more constructive advice
    so that i can share my own work...

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  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Sharing your work should not be the goal. The purpose of the Review Room wrorkshop is to learn to critique mire effectibely. Doing so will help you find and improve the weak points in your own writing.
  3. Cheeno
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    Cheeno Member

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    Why do you want to adapt to someone else's style? Write how 'you' feel about the story you've read, and don't be afraid to go into specifics if you feel strongly about any point. You're not here to flatter anyone. You'll do yourself a big favour if you make a habit of approaching a critique from a constructive point of view. Read the piece. Digest what you've read, making notes as you go. Write your response, from a positive and constructive perspective. If you haven't the confidence yet, spend time reading other critiques until you get a handle on what's required. Good luck.
  4. Torana
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    Torana New Member Contributor

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    finf between 2-5 points in the piece you are trying to review, whether they are good or bad points and say what you did and didn't like about that 5 points.

    Sometimes telling a writer what is good about their piece can be really helpful as they know what they have done right. You can also look at the title of the piece and say whether it fits the piece, the beginning, whether it captires your attention or not, the ending, does it tie the whole piece up nicely?

    There are simple little things you can do even if you don't know how to offer constructive feedback, that will help writer of the piece know where they are going right or wrong.

    You can also look for SPAG issues.

    Give them a try and see how you go. Aim for a sentence on each of the points I mentioned and you should be fine.
  5. Edge
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    Edge New Member

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    The thing to remember is that any thing helps. as much as many people here will hate to admit it, A simple "I like it" can go along way. It may not help the writer develop the story, but it can surve just to bust how they feel about it, knowing that another person likes the work can really boost thier morale.
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    However, "I like it" is not constructive. It gives te wrter a brief flash of the warm fuzzies, but does not help the writer further develop his or her writing. "I like it" barely requires an active synapse or two to spark dimly.

    Leave the praise in there, but while you are in there, dig around until you find a way to make it even better. The writer then benefits from your suggestions, and you benefit by honing your thought processes for imporoving a piece of writing.
  7. Wreybies
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    Wreybies iModerate Staff Member Supporter Reviewer Contributor

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    But you shouldn't try to fit yourself to their style. That's the kind of review that you go to mum for. "Yes, hun. That's lovely."

    Nope. You are the reader, you are the end customer. If the writer is hoping one to get paid as a writer, then they are writing for the reader, the reader is not reading for the writer.

    Well, then tell them how it made you feel to read their work. Tell them the pictures it put into your head. Tell them the things that made you lift an eyebrow because you didn't understand.

    That part right there, the part in bold. Remember that part, 'cause it's the truth. All of us sucked at the beginning, even those of us who thought we were awesome, nope, we sucked! And we got better as we did more and more.

    The most productive part of reviewing and learning to review is how it makes you revisit your own work with a more honed eye. ;)
  8. Rei
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    Rei New Member Contributor

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    You also have to be able to tell why you liked it. A lot of people refuse to believe there is any value in it (including many here) but it's very helpful to tell people what they did right so they can do it again. Many writers don't know how good they are or when they've done something good.
  9. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Senior Member Contributor

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    OP, I was in your position a few days ago. It's easy - it barely takes twenty minutes to write a review, and, if your own work is any good, it should take thirty minutes for something of about the same length.

    It's a reasonable deal.
  10. Pliny
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    Pliny New Member

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    Then maybe it should be reviewingforumswithabitofwriting.org.
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Objection to how the site operates already noted. But it isn't freepublish.com either. You always have your member blog for displaying your writing. Or you could set up your own web site.
  12. Torana
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    Torana New Member Contributor

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    Basically, the reason why we do encourage our member base to review so much is that it is one of the best ways to improve upon your own writing, while helping others at the same time.

    My own writing greatly improved once I learnt how to give constructive reviews to other people as I was able to look at my own work and see areas where I have gone wrong myself.

    I am sorry if you feel that our review system isn't to your liking, but it helps all our members gain help with their writing while teaching our members a little more that they may not have already known about writing and editting.

    If you don't like how we run here, you don't have to stay. Though I do hope you remain and enjoy your time here with us. :)
  13. Castlesofsand
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    Castlesofsand Banned

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    I learnt a while ago, perhaps too late how important reviewing is when learning how to write properly. Looking at others word things, seeing other avenues to go down, but also taking the time to put constructive thoughts into how it might be said.

    we never critique our own properly but i've been to sites that required you to do that to your own piece and a detailed critique with a form to follow.

    the bottom line is it helps both you and the writer. But helps you twice as much.

    if you refuse to review or think this is unimportant, well then you must believe you are already a writer and should be out there promoting your new book. That's just a fact.

    as for not knowing how, if you can write, you can review.

    CoS
  14. Laverick
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    Laverick New Member

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    I don't think you have to do an indepth critique. Heck, half the time the writers don't even want that. A lot of people get to the copy editing before I even see the stuff. I try not to give huge reviews, since I think people get enough of that. I accidentally end up finding a grammatical error and giving myself a headache while attempting to teach how to use a comma...

    You don't have to be that thorough. I think some writers just want some kind of feedback and opinions about it. Tell the writer what aspects you liked and maybe what you didn't like. It doesn't have to be grammatical or indepth. That develops over time. I think it's better to approach things slowly.

    As an amateur reviewer there's a tendency to make a lot of mistakes and sometimes not give good advice or be too harsh. Editing is an art in itself. Once you get the hang of it, it helps you in huge ways. It helps when you review your own writing, BUT ALSO it helps you know when a critique is off the mark.
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