1. Super_Brian

    Super_Brian New Member

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    How do I do a critique? I seriously need help...

    Discussion in 'The Art of Critique' started by Super_Brian, Nov 8, 2017.

    How do I do a critique? I seriously need help.



    Hi everyone. I'm Brian. New here but not new to writing... I'm really struggling in critiquing others. Two years ago I joined a writing critique website that lets you post your work so long as you critique others first. I did horribly. And believe me when I say that I put forth effort in it. I went out of my way to read others' work AT LEAST 3 times before critiquing. And right after I critiqued the work, people reported me for having poor critique. It was frustrating. I put forth effort in my critique only to have it rejected. I lost my points and couldn't get my own work critiqued after that...

    What am I doing wrong? Are there articles out there on the internet that teaches me how to critique?

    Many thanks...
     
  2. Midge23

    Midge23 Member

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  3. Super_Brian

    Super_Brian New Member

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  4. OJB

    OJB A Mean Old Man

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    1. Don't try to be 'friends' with the person whose work you are critiquing.

    2. Don't Critique other people's critiques, just the piece.

    3. If you new, just explain if a. you enjoyed the piece and b. if you understood it or not.

    4. As you advance as a writer, you will learn things that will help both your writing and critique. Read, study, write, and critique as much as you can and your abilities will grow.

    -OJB
     
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  5. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    Sounds like a pretty shitty place if you ask me. I'd have told them all to stick their writing up their arse'oles and found somewhere else... like here.
     
  6. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Nobody here is going to report you for poor critique. The only way you get in trouble is if you post inane comments like "Yeah it's good" just to get your critique count up. Critique is opinion, nothing more, so as long as you give an actual critique (rather than a couple of words) you can't be wrong or right.

    Also, we all suck at first. I cringe at the way I used to critique, and probably in a few years I will cringe at the way I critique now. Don't sweat it.
     
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  7. 8Bit Bob

    8Bit Bob Member

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    What @Tenderiser said ;) Don't worry about it, even if you think you don't have anything good to say about a work, you do! When I first joined I was super nervous about critiquing, but then I just loosened up and now I'm fine with it :)
     
  8. Kwills79

    Kwills79 Member

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    Haha, I feel EXACTLY the same way about my critiques. Other people seem to post just good, insightful suggestions while I feel like mine are very black or white (I liked it, I didn't like it) and it's hard for me to define why I liked or disliked something. I guess that just comes with experience and the more you read them, the more you will be able to pick out the points that are helpful to others. Glad to hear that nobody will be reporting 'poor' critiques here since learning how to do them is as valuable to the writing process as anything else. Plus sometimes it's nice to just have somebody say that they loved what you wrote!
     
  9. big soft moose

    big soft moose All killer, no filler. Contributor Community Volunteer

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    That or when it becomes insulting "this is a load of shit, you must be a moron" territory (it doesnt happen often because offenders tend to get one of those custom user names with the strike through)

    As to giving critique

    I liked XYZ because , I didn't like ABC because..... Character A really resonated with me because but I didn't feel character B because etc
     
  10. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Unworthy in the eyes of the LORD Contributor

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    And don't forget the good old sandwich method. I despise it, but I find myself doing it all the time: Find something you like abou the story, anything at all ("This is one of the best Twilight knockoffs I've ever read"), then move to something you don't like, "But I'm not sure that calling them 'Ed' and 'Belle' is going to make it past the copyright lawyers. Have you thought about 'Ted' and 'Ellie' or something similar?"), then cap it off with a positive ("Your description of the way his chest hair had a different glitter than his skin was a nice detail"). It sounds silly, and it may not make the recipient feel any better, but it can ease any anxieties you might be having about being too harsh. Also, remember that unlike what I did above, you don't have to fix the author's problems, just point out what you think they are ("Um, you've got something caught in your teeth, dude.")
     
  11. Lew

    Lew Contributor Contributor

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    What @Tenderiser and what @Iain Aschendale said! The sandwich method is critical in any critique or review of any sort, unless the person or the product is not worth saving at all. (Rare) However, the critique should be factual. If you find yourself getting confused in some section, perhaps due to time jumps or POV shifts, just say, "I found this part confusing,you might consider..." And SPaG should be pointed out. I like to critique in Word with track changes enabled, so they can see the specific points, or I can insert comments or highlights... I don't mind editing SPaG for them, they can then just accept the change and it is done, unless there are so many it becomes tedious... at which point I might just stop and say "This is not yet ready for critique. Could you correct some of SPaG? I will take another look, as it is distracting from the story right now." Just be factual and polite, and you should not have a problem. I am careful to avoid stylistic critiques. One I reviewed excessively used present tense narration, which combined with time jumps, became very confusing, requiring me to re-read several sections to get things in the correct order. I am not a fan of present tense writing in general, but that is a stylistic thing and I want to criticize why I found the implementation of that style confusing, not that I don't like present tense narration.
     

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