1. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    The value of reciprocity

    Discussion in 'Announcements' started by Wreybies, Oct 9, 2015.

    Just as a reminder to the forum as a whole, please remember that the Workshop rules indicate that a member must give two (2) well-considered critiques for every one (1) new item posted in the Writing Workshop. It's not 2 critiques and then spam the Workshop with everything on your hard-drive. It's always a 2-for-1. This is how the Workshop's productivity is ensured. Please make sure that you follow this dynamic because, though we won't see every infraction thereof, when we do, we will first ask that it be remedied by the member giving the missing number of critiques needed to fulfill the pact, else remove/close the overage of newly posted items. We would much rather the former rather than the latter.

    ETA:

    Just to be pedantically clear for any who are unsure as to what this means...

    If I go into a member's profile page and see this:

    Screen Shot 2016-10-14 at 10.59.06 AM.png
    Then I expect to find at least 48 well considered, individual critiques given to other members by this member. That snapshot is from my own member profile. That's how many individual items I have posted for critique across the years. I'm not really worried about my own ratio because I have done literally hundreds of critiques. I enjoy doing them. I find the act of doing them to be the most personally educational thing I can do in this kind of forum environment.

    Now, you're asking yourself why the mods just don't stop members from breaking the rule. We do. But we don't live here in the software. We're not A.I.s plugged into the code. We depend on the citizenry to help us because we are only human, we have things to do away from the digital fantasy. If you notice something like this, report it. It's so simple. Hit the report button. When the mods look into it, if there are grounds to take action, they will. If they find that the member is square with their crits, the member will be none the wiser and all will continue as normal.
     
  2. NobodySpecial
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    NobodySpecial Active Member

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    Sounds fair.
     
  3. Masked Mole
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    Masked Mole Contributing Member

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    I'd give this work a passing grade at best. Didn't really hook me. You need to work on showing, not telling.
    :)
     
  4. NobodySpecial
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    NobodySpecial Active Member

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    I'm pretty sure that won't count as on of your critiques.
     
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  5. Masked Mole
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    Masked Mole Contributing Member

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    Yeah, I don't post work here anyway. I was just having some fun.
     
  6. NobodySpecial
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    NobodySpecial Active Member

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    No harm there, all work and no play and all.
     
  7. Australis
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    Australis Active Member

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    Keeps Jack from begging at Times Square.
     
  8. Genghis McCann
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    Genghis McCann Member

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    I've been writing for a few years in total isolation. As a new duckling in this pond I'm beginning to see the value of fellowship and constructive criticism among writers. Don't know where I'm going, but I'll just keep swimming...... This forum is a big pond.......
     
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  9. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I was terrified when I posted my first piece for critique but it was so useful that I never could have regretted it. And giving critiques has helped me edit my own work so much more effectively. How useful they've been to the authors is another question but I hope they've been of some help. :D
     
  10. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    Beer-Psychostick

    Well I am happy :D. Oh yeah, and drunk. :p
     
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  11. Jones
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    Jones My body is ready

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    Is there anything I need to do to be able to post once I have given a few critiques? Still says I can't post a new topic.
     
  12. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    You need the two critiques, plus being a member for at least fourteen days, PLUS A TOTAL OF AT LEAST TWENTY POSTS. You only have twelve posts.

    Please read the New Member Quick Start Guide and pay particular attention to the link to the forum rules. That'll straighten you out.

    Good luck! :)
     
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  13. Genghis McCann
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    Genghis McCann Member

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    I can't believe how quickly my first twenty posts went up.

    But I write a lot of rubbish....... :rolleyes:
     
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  14. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    I'm trying, but some new members seem to be looking for praise and pats on the back and comments like: wow, you're an amazing undiscovered talent, good on you! Instead of really trying to improve.

    Unless that's true I'm starting to get sick of putting in the effort to be honest and constructive, which honestly I find hard because I'm terrible at it, only for the writer to leave a rude response. They don't have to agree, I don't always agree when people review my stuff, but they could be even moderately grateful.

    That's why I rarely put in the effort anymore. And with the people who do not behave like that, they get enough responses not to need mine, especially when I have nothing new to add.
     
  15. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    When I took the Gotham writing courses, they had a rule saying the writer couldn't respond to critique from other students until all the critiques were in (including the instructor's) and the instructor was moderating the discussion. Writers are often overly protective of their work, and if you critique them, they hit back and make you feel sorry you even bothered.

    I don't mind doing a critique and getting a rude response, but I understand that some people do mind. If you're in the latter category, why don't you try doing a critique and not looking back for any response? You've said your piece and that's that - the writer can accept the critique or not.
     
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  16. ReproveTheCurlew
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    ReproveTheCurlew Member

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    Yeah, I have the same problem. You spend a lot of time working your way through every stanza or paragraph, point out everything that works and doesn't work, really try to sum up the problems generally and tell them what to do in order to improve, and then you get little to no feedback, or, if you do, hostile ones. I've had those experiences in other forums. Here, I've started out much the same - so far I've written three, had no responses so far, but they were just a couple of days ago, so I'm not too worried it's going to end up the same. I suppose the best thing to do is to emphasise that every critique is subjective to some extent, and trying to put a lot of weight on the things that are good in the work, rather than only pointing out the bad things. Or, as minstrel suggested, just ignoring everything that comes afterwards :D
     
  17. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have to agree. I often times think that people do not want a critique, they want to have their ego massaged and react with hostility when this does not happen. However, this is to be expected of people who have not been critiqued before, they are having flaws pointed out that they are unaware of, and that is never easy to hear.

    When I was first critiqued my response was one of "no I'm a good writer, they must be wrong", and then it slowly sunk in as other people identified the same issues that I was making crappy mistakes. Now I want to see all my foibles laid bare as it is the only way I can learn and improve.

    Unfortunately bruising someone's ego a little will often result in a backlash, but it is necessary.
     
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  18. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    @Selbbin @Chinspinner @ReproveTheCurlew

    You guys need to realize that giving a critique is not so much different than writing your novel-you're trying to the reach the author of the excerpt. That means dressing up your critique in flash, interactive word problems, flattery, or bullying- whatever it takes to get through to them.

    Dry, mechanical critique is not going to reach most people putting up stuff in the work shop. I often dress up my critique in false pretenses of friendship, but in some cases, some of these guys need a good smack in the head, and the funny thing is, they usually like it!

    It's all interpersonal skills...
     
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  19. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have tried pretty much every version of critique [sniff], y'know in my time...love you, love you @123 btw. By the way, I think, asides from the - 'You should certainly study the English language' type response, or the 'stick at the homework, sonny' kind of revue, the best response is only ever the 'You were
    wonderful, my princess, a fascinating creature, wizard of linguistic...fizz, fizz...praise ye.'

    I mean, raelly, I think so...could pontifubuscate further, but this would be my conclusion at the end of dissertation. Somebody might have written about crit and psychology, somewhere, eh? Ass, I mean I'm trying to write again, I've had a very difficult week in my head, how bout you?
     
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  20. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    I gotta disagree with the "try interpersonal skills" malarchy. No, I am providing a critique. If you want to have your ego stroked phone an 0891 number.
     
  21. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    What's so fascinating about 'writing' - is how in linear observation - I don't quite have the form of words - but how 'clever people' cannot necessarily write. I find it interesting. It shows how difficult it is...the doctor writing humour - for example, can be disastrous...

    I love how pompous oafs can be revealed at their own hand, the clunking chug - it's so much fun.

    [Not you @Chinspinner, thinking about writing]
     
  22. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    That's ok, I exited your example at the use of the words 'clever people'.
     
  23. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ah shuss, you're clever.

    I don't agree about the 0898 numbers - I'm gonna shut up tho, shootings in Paris :(
     
  24. nastyjman
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    nastyjman Contributing Member

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    I also took a writing course, but not Gotham, that did this: don't say anything while the group critiques your work. It has been very helpful, and it helped me grow as a writer. There are times when a critique is off the mark, but even those eventually leads to a weakness on the structure of my story. And if I get nothing but praise, I'm actually disappointed because I want something--anything!--that could improve my craft.

    Take the critique, even if it's harsh or destructive, and turn it into a form of motivation. And if you feel that you need to respond back, take heed and read these articles: Am I being catfished? and Author attacks teenager after a 1-star review.
     
  25. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    As certain people have been doing for centuries, you don't ever have to stroke anything, you just have to HINT at the possibility of stroking...
     

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