1. Bwebb
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    Bwebb New Member

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    Reviewing to be critiqued....uggh

    Discussion in 'Support & Feedback' started by Bwebb, Jun 6, 2010.

    I'm a writer, and in no way or form qualified to critique anyone elses work. However in order to be critiqued I must review. This is like a plumber performing brain sugery to fix the pipes in the hospital. No, it's like performing the brain surgery because your told to, letting the patient die and still not allowed to fix the pipes. I don't fully understand this rule and i noticed that most people who review don't post alot of work. Can someone explain this to me?
     
  2. Etan Isar
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    Etan Isar Contributing Member Contributor

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    Everyone on this forum is a writer. If writers are not qualified to critique, who do you expect to be critiqued by? :confused:


    The fact is, knowing how to critique is an invaluable skill for any writer, because you constantly have to critique your own work. It's always hard to see the flaws in one's own material, but by looking at other people's work, the writer isn't held back by their blindness to problems in their own writing. To explore why a piece of writing does not work for you helps you to get a better idea of what will work in your own writing.
     
  3. MJ Preston
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    MJ Preston Banned

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    1 person likes this.
  4. Etan Isar
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    Etan Isar Contributing Member Contributor

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    The workshop model is one of the most common models for teaching/learning creative writing. It's primarily a learn through doing approach. The forum is not here to polish up your work for submission, it's here to improve your overal writing skills. Which is something that giving and recieving critque is particularly effective at.
     
  5. Bwebb
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    Bwebb New Member

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    I understand the "whoring your work" part. I can say if i like something or if I don't like something and what parts I like and what parts I don't but that doesn't seem to be good enough.
     
  6. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    What you need to do is say why you like or dislike things, and how they can be improved. A critique is required, not just an opinion, and that means advice.

    And the aim of the requirement is not just to ensure everyone contributes, but also that it helps you as a writer. Saying that you're a writer, so not qualified to critique, is rubbish. If you are genuinely looking to improve yourself as a writer, you need to know what works and why, and what doesn't work and why. The skills that you learn critiquing other people's work can be applied to your own, and as a writer your editing skills are every bit as important as writing a first draft.
     
  7. nihilcertum
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    nihilcertum Member

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    A reviewing success story.

    Not much more to add... As a newer member, I have only reviewed 3 or 4 short stories so far, but I really enjoy it now. I try to find a strength and a few weaknesses in each piece/writer's style, then I try to apply that advice to on my own writing. For example, I wrote a short story that is up in the review forum and I got several reviews that said I didn't characterize the my main character enough, and they were right, although I didn't know how to improve it. I had a good concept of him in my head, but I didn't translate that into my writing. Then, I read another person's short story and he had the exact same problem. By reviewing his work I figured out exactly how to improve my own. I guess that's the goal of the whole critiquing process....
     
  8. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Spot on. There are no wrong opinons, just unsupported ones.
     
  9. Oasis Writer
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    Oasis Writer Contributing Member Contributor

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    I haven't been contributing enough lately, but I wanna back up Banzai's statement 110%. I'll even follow up with this: if you aren't practicing your editing skills, then how are you going to edit your own work before you send it to a publisher and editor? They aren't going to just smile and say, "Okay, I see one-hundred and ten grammatical errors within the first three chapters, but it's all good." For them to want to pay you for your work, they're going to need to see that you deserve to be paid. In the market, they're relying on your work selling so they can make money. You merely get a flat rate, and royalties from a bare minimal percentage (usually). If you self-publish, that's a different story, but even then, you don't want to send out something with that same equation of errors I send prior.

    That would look ridiculous.

    If you need help learning how to critique or review, or whatever you want to call it (it really is all the same), then ask some people directed questions, and read how others are doing it. Don't just fall into the SPaG critiques (Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar) but try to give guided feedback, and ask questions about what the writer was trying to get at, or what they meant, or why a certain section of the excerpt was confusing. Little things like that might seem stupid to ask for the critic, but for the writer, it gives them an opportunity to see what they may have missed, or need to tighten up.

    Critique like you would like to be critiqued; that whole you gotta spend money to make money, mumbo-jumbo. People often don't review people they don't know that well anyways, so by reviewing others works, you're making a name for yourself and people will usually respect that and help you.
     
  10. Thanshin
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    Thanshin Active Member

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    A writer unable to review a text is as improbable as a writer who can't read.
     
  11. Northern Phil
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    Northern Phil Active Member

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    I agree with the comments already made before me.

    As a writer I have benefited from reviewing other peoples work and it has also allowed me to improve my own writing style.

    I would also like to add that I am a member of other forums where they don't have the review before posting rule and they do suffer as a result. They often get a lot of people who have seen twilight or played oblivion and think that they can do something similar, the person then posts a pile of garbage which gets an honest review and they don't return to learn from that experience.

    It essentially boils down to the statement of 'Why should I review your work when you're not going to learn from it and help other people learn from your experiences.'
     
  12. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ditto what's already been said ^

    However, there's also the matter of morals. Why should somebody review your work, offer you help and move your work along, if you aren't willing to do the same for them?

    People seem to think it's fair to just waltz in, post their work, and be praised to high heaven without giving anything in return. If everybody posted and never critiqued, then there would be no reviews at all!
     
  13. je33ie
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    je33ie Member

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    I have to disagree, there's a lot of situations in life where this isn't so clear cut, for example, you can have a great storyteller who is deaf and a great artist who is blind.

    I agree that critique is something you can learn over time, but maybe you need to be critiqued a few times before knowing what a good critique is.
     
  14. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Your first few critique attempts may very well fall short. Like everything else, it's a learning process.

    Critiquing requires an effort, with demonstrable rersults. But a writer can receive critique upon critique and learn nothing, because it's too easy to receive critiques passively.

    By requiring minimum standards for the critiques, we guarantee that participants in the workshop put in the effort to begin seeing the benefits.
     
  15. Switch
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    Switch Member

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    As a new member of this Forum I'd just like to say that I think it's a great rule, which keeps the community together, keeps the forum fair, allows everyone to be critiqued and helps everyone improve their literature skills greatly.
     

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