1. Leluminaile
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    Leluminaile New Member

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    Reviewing others' work: Love doing it but...

    Discussion in 'Support & Feedback' started by Leluminaile, Nov 29, 2011.

    Hello there!

    I'm new to this site but not new to writing workshops in general. I'm a fan of giving critiques and I like that this site has a rule about posting at least 3 substantial critiques prior to submitting your own work. It's a fair system, which I thoroughly enjoy :)

    However, there is one problem: how can I compose a substantial critique of someone's work when by the time I get to it there are already 15 or 25 comments below it that individually addresses each of the points that I came up with during my initial reading? I feel like I don't have a chance to get my two cents in, and I think it's a waste of time (for both me and the member who submitted the post) to regurgitate what everyone else has already said. I think it may be an issue of timing with me specifically. For example, I work 9-5 and don't stay up very late so the amount of time I have to read and contribute is very narrow. But in case anyone else might have been thinking the same thing, I just wanted to offer this up as a suggestion for future reference...

    Perhaps there should be some other way of encouraging people to critique others' work more often, which would allow for everyone to get a chance to say what's on their mind? Maybe limiting comments to one major point per member...?

    Also if this was a topic already brought up before, I do apologize.

    Thank you!
     
  2. urban_rae
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    urban_rae Senior Member

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    When I critique I typically do not read the other reviews before posting my own, I don't want to bias my own review. If I repeat what others have already said I don't think it is a bad thing because it only reinforces that issue raised with the author. If more than one person notices the same thing, it can serve as an eye opener and give the author indication from the general consensus of what they are doing right or wrong.

    Likewise, when reading reviews on my own work, I don't mind the repeats. I would prefer that the reviewer leave in the comments that are repeats because then it allows me to see that more than one person notice the same thing. In other words, it's not just one person's opinion. Its good to know if everyone who read it felt the same way. If it was something I wasn't going for, then I know I need to fix it. If I see only one comment on the problem, I may think that just that one person did not get it.

    So, I suppose what I'm getting at is that I don't think it is an issue. But that is just my opinion... Happy writing :)
     
  3. Leluminaile
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    Leluminaile New Member

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    Thank you for such a quick response to my inquiry!

    I see your point of view and realize that for some hearing (or in this case reading) the same feedback over and over again can be useful to gauge where the reader(s) are having problems. It's certainly a useful tool when the comments are substantial and direct attention to specific areas.

    For me, I don't like to step on anyone else's toes. When I would take workshops, in order to save time and to allow everyone a chance to speak, each person giving feedback would be restricted to one or two comments in the beginning and if there was time or if something wasn't said that needed to be said, then everyone could go back for another round of discussion. Anyways, it's something that should be considered, at least as an alternative. I'm also not a fan of highlighting the member's whole text and inserting red or blue comments everywhere, but that's just a personal gripe. I think critiquers should just get to the point without having to pick out every flaw in the excerpt of writing...again, that's just the editor in me ;)

    Good luck to you as well urban_rae!
     
  4. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've done beta-work for some time now and as mentioned already ;) , I don't read other reviews before posting my own. Hearing one person say something has less impact than if several say it. Grammar/spelling issues I won't tag each and every one, but give 1-2 examples. Workshops are a horse of a different color, because, as you say, there is a time limit. Critiques online has no such restriction.
     
  5. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Hi!

    What I'd say is that the other reviews are irrelevant. What you should aim to provide is your honest and full appraisal of the piece. Some of the things you say could already have been mentioned, but others won't. And if you're making a point which has already been made, then you're just adding to the weight behind it. Given that one of the main points about the critique requirement is to expand your own reviewing skills, you don't get the full benefit if you worry too much about being unique.
     
  6. urban_rae
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    urban_rae Senior Member

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    I don't see how you can step on any toes here. Like shadowwalker said, this medium is very different than a workshop setting, there is no need to feel like you can't say something because you want to give others a chance. Here, everyone has a chance! In fact, I've learned that the better, more detailed critique you give, the more other members want to read your other critiques and your own work. If you post something really thoughtful people notice, they want to see what else you have to say. If you limit yourself because you don't want to step on toes then, people wont get to hear all of your valuable feedback.

    I hope I am not beating a dead horse here. It's just that I have really learned the value of giving a good critique. I have improved my own writing and grown so much because I put a lot of thought into my posts. I'd hate to see someone lose out on this learning experience because they feel the need to limit what they have to say.

    Just give the best critique you can! We want to hear everything you have to say :)
     

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