1. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    When seeking advice...

    Discussion in 'The Art of Critique' started by Lea`Brooks, Jul 14, 2015.

    1) When you post a topic asking for advice and receive some, the courteous thing to do would be to reply and acknowledge that people are trying to help you. I can't count the number of times I've seen people type the most detailed responses and receive nothing in return. While it isn't necessary to respond to every single person, a generic "Thank you everyone!" can go a long way. These people take time out of their day to form decent responses, only to be ignored. Please, for the sake of politeness and etiquette, respond to your threads once in a while.

    2) When you post a topic asking for advice and receive some, don't argue with the people responding because you don't like their response. You asked for opinions and got them. While it's understandable to want to defend your idea, if you were so firm on it in the first place, why did you even start the topic? It's a waste of other people's time to respond to a thread that was only meant to inflate your ego and then get clobbered because we didn't say what you wanted.

    3) When you post a topic asking for advice and receive some, don't continue to pepper them with questions for three more pages. It looks like your expecting us to solve your every problem, essentially writing your story for you, and we just don't have time for that. It's your story. We give you advice because we want to help, but don't abuse it. We have our own shit to write.



    /rant
     
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  2. MoonDreamer
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    MoonDreamer New Member

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    Wow! You are so right.
    The fact is that some artists/writers ask for criticism but actually they are only waiting for responses like: "Don't worry, everything you do is great!"
    Sadly for them, that's not going to help them grow in their writing/art.
     
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  3. AspiringNovelist
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    AspiringNovelist Contributing Member

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    I agree. I've gotten torn apart during some of my critique requests, but it's all for the better as my writing has already improved. Plus, giving critiques has helped me tremendously. I'm reading genres that I would have normally never looked at and being exposed to different ideas/takes on the same piece. I'm finding errors in grammar, tense, plot far quicker that I have before.

    This forum is a win-win, your work is better from honest critiques AND because you're playing the role of a critic, you're forced to analyze every sentence, every word. Both make you a better writer.
     
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  4. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    What an excellent post! I especially like number 3. Absolutely. You learn NOTHING if you don't learn to solve your writing problems for yourself and take decisions about what your story should contain and what direction it will go.

    I've read umpteen posts on this forum asking what do I do now, should I do this, should I do that, should my main character have a cat or a dog, is this a good name for my character, would you read a story about a werewolf who falls in love with a staircase, etc etc. These are the kinds of issues you must decide for yourself. The trick is to make a choice, then make your choices work. And the way to find out if they've worked is to write them, then put them out for feedback in the Workshop, or give them to a beta reader whom you trust.

    A good critique highlights problems you may not have noticed, or reinforces your opinion that something is (or is not) a problem. A good critique might even offer a few suggestions for solving a problem. It's okay to respond with a question if you need clarification on the points they've made. BUT THEN STOP.

    You need to go away, re-think the issue, and figure out how to correct the problem on your own. Work towards that 'eureka' moment—that wonderful moment when you suddenly know what will make your story better. You can research writing techniques, if need be, to get the brain juices flowing. Think about the problem from all angles as constantly as you can, and the eureka moment will come. Then try again.

    As Lea says, we've all got our own shit to write. We aren't going to hold new writers' hands through every step of the process of getting their books from the sparkle of an idea to bestseller status. If you need that level of encouragement and advice, you probably need to take some creative writing classes or attend a few workshops. Or maybe read a few more books of fiction in your chosen genre, to get an idea of how written stories actually work.

    There is no magic carpet to success in this game. You need to study, practice and work your butt off, maybe for years, till you get it right. There isn't any foolproof short cut, despite what some enterprising authors of 'how-to' books try to tell you. You can't rely on others to do your thinking for you. Yes, striking out with your own ideas is risky, but risk is what produces results.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2015
  5. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    Why yes, yes I would read a story where the werewolf falls in love with the staircase, @jannert.

    The Wolf whispered huskily, "You give me wood, Staircase..."

    Blushing, the wooden Staircase replied, "It's all I have to give, Wolfy".
     
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  6. SwampDog
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    SwampDog Contributing Member

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    I looked at one forum dealing with the written word, and critiquers were asked to be nice.
    As a consequence, virtually all critiques were fawning sycophantic guff. Pukeworthy.
     
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  7. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Well that's a shame, because 'nice' should mean 'courteous, constructive and helpful,' not sycophantic. I don't believe in sugar-coating problems, but there are ways to say things and ways not to say things.
     
  8. Iain Wood
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    Iain Wood Member

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    Totally agree ! On other sites, I can spend hours researching genealogy for example and in many cases there’s not even the slightest hint of an emotion !
    At times it’s difficult and even unnecessary to thank everyone individually..., so a “thanks all” makes everybody happy !
     
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  9. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    I don't mind people asking questions. We all get stuck sometimes or get so lost in our stories that we can't see the wood for the trees, and discussing the problem really helps. But I agree with everything @Lea`Brooks said.
     

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