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  1. John Calligan

    John Calligan Contributor Contributor

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    Critique the Critics

    Discussion in 'The Art of Critique' started by John Calligan, Feb 5, 2019.

    Below is a google doc copy of a story I posted on my blog in 2017. While it is already posted, if the spirit moves me, I can still edit it.

    I have set the document to allow anyone with the link to comment. Rather than commenting on the comments in the comment section, give feedback on the feedback in this thread. Give the best feedback you can in the document, then see who agrees with you here.

    After mine runs for a little bit, someone else should post another story.

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_0iblOAw67P4o4F3YoggyHBjRa7wPIWzlee4ZVGHsRw/edit?usp=sharing
     
  2. matwoolf

    matwoolf Contributor Contributor

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    Hi @JC, I would keep the piece.

    But for the sakes of my attention span I would write less to reveal more.

    Consider the pace of my eye and my imagination, how I might be captivated by the scene of these old time 'fellows' resting up for the night? It could be so immersive without the...rush of words filling every cranny; no room for rumination, a reader is choked in detail.

    Your first paragraph and indeed the subsequent page tells me everything about everything - from the exact reason our wagon has stopped, and who we are about to meet, to a description of a gentle Sebastian including conclusions about his gentleness indicating some future trustworthiness etcetera. Imagine a simpler draft for my slow and simple mind? I can [still] draw all the conclusions you seek.

    I paced around the oxcart / my wool cloak pulled tight against the wind. The sun dipped under a mountain, casting a shadow across the green valley.

    Once a month, I traveled to the western mountains to trade.

    Sebastian released the oxen from their yoke,
    a large, fair-skinned man with a barrel chest. He was gentle with animals They nuzzled him on their way to eat. Their tails wagged like dogs.

    I .. ... pacing.

    Seb waved me over to where he was sitting on a log and set a chessboard between us. He had carved the wooden figures himself
    . I took a sip from my flask and made the first move.

    All best
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2019
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  3. John Calligan

    John Calligan Contributor Contributor

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    Someone come set this man straight. You can’t possibly agree with how this man delivered his advice, or what he chose to comment on.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2019
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  4. EBohio

    EBohio Active Member

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    This is what I agree with most. This is why I became a screenwriter instead of a novelist.

    Just examples, nothing specific about your writing:

    It is enough for me to say, "he ran" instead of "he ran, while beads of sweat ran down his face like the mighty Colorado trying to find it's way back to it's mother's womb".

    I don't understand sometimes why novelists want to overdo the "description and comparison" thing.

    I'll only comment on specifics of YOUR writing if you invite it, but I hope you get my point.
     
  5. exweedfarmer

    exweedfarmer Contributor Contributor

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    As to the story: way way way too much set dressing. Don't need that much information about non events. Seems like an introduction to a longer story.

    About the critiques: a little long.
     
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  6. jannert

    jannert Member Supporter Contributor

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    The format in your link has me stumped. Where are the critiques we're supposed to be critiquing? All I'm getting is a document, complete with margin rulers, etc, with a note to yourself at the side.
     
  7. matwoolf

    matwoolf Contributor Contributor

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    I only wrote 7 lines - including 'hello,' mister @curmudgexweed farmer :)
     
  8. John Calligan

    John Calligan Contributor Contributor

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    lol I don’t think I explained it very well. My idea was for people to comment on the piece in the doc, then comment on the comments here, but instead everyone is just agreeing it’s bad here
     
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  9. J.D. Ray

    J.D. Ray Member Supporter

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    There's only, currently, one critique on that document, which says, simply, "story is bad. DNF". Presuming that "DNF" abbreviates "did not finish", I don't find any part of this critique useful to the author. To that person, I would say, what did you find bad about the story? What kept you from finishing it? How do you know it was bad? How do you know what the story is about since you didn't finish it? The answers to all of these would be helpful to the author in their presumed attempts to rectify their mistakes, if indeed they've made any. As a critique writer, you should be more thorough in your delivery.
     
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  10. exweedfarmer

    exweedfarmer Contributor Contributor

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    A reader doesn't finish a work of fiction for any other reason than it's boring. Right?
     
  11. Nariac

    Nariac Senior Member

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    A friend of mine stopped reading Game of Thrones when her favourite character died.
     
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  12. renkay

    renkay Banned

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    critique is good thing, but i do not like when people start bad critique my bad works. because I know that ones are bad
     
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