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  1. theoriginalmonsterman
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    theoriginalmonsterman Pickle Contest Administrator Contributor

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    Struggling to write a Critique

    Discussion in 'The Art of Critique' started by theoriginalmonsterman, Dec 5, 2014.

    I guess I shouldn't say I'm necessarily struggling to write a critique, but struggling to find a story to write a critique on. What's the point in writing another critique if the story I want to critique already has a strongly written critique the author has already read over? Personally I feel there's no point in writing another critique, because I would probably end up using the same points the critique above me had made. Overall what I'm trying to say here is I want to write a critique, but I can't find a story that requires one.

    So what do you suggest I do?
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Go the the sub-forum in the workshop you are interested in. For example: Novels.

    Skim down the right hand side under # of replies and find some entries that haven't had many responses. We are often struggling to keep critiques in balance and often an entry will scroll off the front page without many replies, just out of luck of the draw. Anyone willing to go back to these threads is an angel. :)

    For Example, The Wondering Princess only received one critique of this section and only one critique of the earlier entry. @Alexa C. Morgan needs more critiques.

    The Meeting - Prologue only has 3 comments. @PapaSmurfberry could use more feedback.

    :D
     
  3. theoriginalmonsterman
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    theoriginalmonsterman Pickle Contest Administrator Contributor

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    Well that's what I did ._.

    I guess I just need to look a little harder then. Thanks for the tip. :)
     
  4. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Wait, wasn't there supposed to be some kind of "reviewer" title to ensure that those people would have had more reviews?
     
  5. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    It was actually never meant for that. It's a personal challenge for the individual to give critique in order to improve their own writing. I kinda' let the idea go because though I know the concept is true from personal observation and participation, selling people on the idea that giving critique is how to improve your own writing, not the writing of others, is like selling Americans on the metric system. Doesn't matter how logical it is, you're just not going to get'um to give up their inches and yards.

    ETA: Also, the yearly November Spambot Raid began early and I had to focus elsewhere.
     
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  6. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Ah, you don't understand why the U.S. is not on the metric system then.
    http://themetricmaven.com/?p=1916
    The fact is that the founding fathers were very interested in developing a metric system, and would have adopted the French system before the first tax season, if not for a band of pirates.

    Edited to Add: The reason we didn't switch in the early 80s like we were supposed to is that the Detroit auto makers (already under siege by the Japanese auto makers) put pressure on congress to stave off a potentially costly switch of all of their tools.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2014
  7. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    First of all, as Wrey pointed out, the goal of critique is for you to improve your own writing, by figuring out what works, what doesn't, etc. in other pieces of writing.

    Secondly, is there really a thorough critique that you agree with 100% and had not one additional thought about the piece? Nothing you felt especially strongly about? It's perfectly fine to agree with a previous critiquer on a critique. If a person says, "I really enjoyed Character X, and was strongly rooting for him. Excellent job in conveying his competing emotions. The description was so vivid, I felt like I was really right there with him," and you thought something very similar, it's perfectly okay to say, "I agree with ForumMemberMan. I was really drawn to X and his anger and relief both came through very well. I also thought the description of the battle , especially when Sam was stabbed was well done."

    Especially if someone loved my piece, nothing would make me happier than to see another critique of someone who also loved it. Similarly, if someone really didn't like my piece, especially if they pointed out a particular reason they didn't like it or a specific part that was confusing, it's helpful because it reinforces that two separate readers had problems with the piece, and it becomes harder to dismiss that piece of criticism. (You can't say, oh that person was an outlier -- they just didn't get it, or they must've read it too fast, or they're not my target reader, etc., particularly if a lot of people say something similar.)
     
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  8. Alexa C. Morgan
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    Alexa C. Morgan Member

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    Thanks for the support :) Sorry for the absence, I had been on a 'internet hiatus' focusing on moving on with my writing. But I am back now, and I will do my best to critique as much as I can hah, share the love right ? :)
     
  9. Zelee
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    Zelee Member

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    One thing I did was pick a category like say flash fiction and then sort it by number of replies. This way you can start with the stuff that has slipped through the cracks without a critique. Very helpful if you want to review something that doesn't already have a bunch of replies
     
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  10. Miss Lonelyhearts
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    Miss Lonelyhearts Member

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    Hi I'm new here. I'm struggling to come up with Critiques. Critiques are supposed to be helpful but in order for them to be helpful I need to know more about writing. I'm new to writing, my English is very poor and I know nothing about character building, plot development, don't know how to structure sentences and to join words. I need help.
     
  11. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    If grammar and spelling are weak points for you, don't worry. That's the least of all things. There are grammar police enough to fill that role. Remember that the works that we each write are not really intended for an audience of other writers who know all the lingo and tricks. They are intended for The Reader. The Reader is anyone who enjoys reading. Find a piece, read it, and tell the writer what worked for you and what didn't. Tell the writer if all the snazzy words they used made the piece more dynamic or just confused you. Tell the writer if the character in question feels like a real person or like a flat cut-out. You don't have to use the lingo of the trade, that doesn't matter at all. ;)
     
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  12. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    You may be a novice at writing, but you know how to read.

    So, when you read it, what did you think? What did you feel? Did you understand it?

    There's a lot more to writing than getting the grammar correct, or avoiding plot-holes. Some of us are hung up on those two (me probably more than most!) but the main thing is did the writer get to you?

    Character building, plot development, these are things a writer needs to know; to a reader they shouldn't be obvious.

    If you look at a painting, do you go "Oh, he used that yellow paint really well there!" Or do you go "Wow, that really makes me feel (insert feeling of choice)."

    If all you've got is "That's perfect, don't change a thing", then an author will like to hear that too. Probably far more than me telling them that their use of the subjunctive is incorrect!

    Just remember not to be rude...remember, authors have long memories, and you may want to post your own work some day!
     
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  13. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    It can actually be a lot more valuable, at least from me, to get critiques from people who are primarily readers, not writers. As writers I think we tend to get too caught up in our own style, and our own current challenges and goals. Our critiques can sometimes be too much of a "that's not how I would have done it" instead of a pure response to the piece of writing.

    So, critique away! Something as simple as "I didn't understand X" or "I really enjoyed it when Y did Z" can be super-useful.
     
  14. Miss Lonelyhearts
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    Miss Lonelyhearts Member

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    How do I know I have qualified for the 2 critiques so that I can create threads myself?
     
  15. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Have you posted a critique to two different pieces in the Workshop section? Looking at your posts, I'd say not. So get on over there, pick a genre that you like, pick a couple of stories, go for it.
     
  16. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    When you write the critique, ask yourself if what you have written is your best effort. Ask yourself if what you have given is the kind of specific help you hope to get when you post your own work. Ask yourself if a "critique" that merely says "Great stuff, liked it, keep writing" would help you in your quest to improve as a writer.
     
  17. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    If you ever get stuck, look at what other reviewers are doing. Follow their lead. Like anything else, critiquing takes practice. No doubt you'll improve over time. :)
     

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