1. waitingforzion

    waitingforzion Banned

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    I just gave a negative critique and now I feel bad

    Discussion in 'The Art of Critique' started by waitingforzion, Jan 19, 2015.

    I just critiqued a poem that a guy wrote, and I feel bad because I looked at his picture and he looks happy and I don't want to insult anyone.
     
  2. A.M.P.

    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Contributor

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    If it's up for critique than there can be no wrong unless you wrote "You suck. Uninstall word from your PC"
     
  3. Void

    Void Senior Member

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    So did you critique his work? Or did you insult him? A bit of both?
    Critique is not inherently insulting, telling someone of the supposed flaws in their work is a very useful thing for any creative individual. Generally, most humans (but rather less than preferable) seem to be naturally predisposed towards kindness in certain circumstances, so I tend to view criticism as more honest than praise.
     
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  4. thirdwind

    thirdwind Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I don't think your critique was that harsh. Usually what I'll do is say two things I disliked about the piece for every one thing I liked. It's what a professor back in college used to do when giving critique, and I think it's a good model to follow.

    The only other thing I'll say is that you need to elaborate a bit more. Offer suggestions for improvement. You also need to define what you mean by rhythm since you state that your idea of poetry is different from most people's. Little things like that can really improve a critique.
     
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  5. 123456789

    123456789 Contributor Contributor

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    I disagree with this. A mediocre piece (which is most) isn't really going to have much to like. Coming up with stuff just to be nice (ohh, that was intriguing or I think you might be on to something) just tricks people into believing they're better than they are.
     
  6. Gawler

    Gawler Senior Member

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    Just be honest with your critique, cite examples of what you think is wrong or could be improved. Some people respond more to criticism while other respond better to praise.
     
  7. Shadowfax

    Shadowfax Contributor Contributor

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    What a rubbish reason to feel bad!

    There are avatars on here (the picture where this guy looks bad) which aren't even the same sex as the poster!

    As long as your critique isn't deliberately unkind, and you give examples of what you dislike (I was recently critiqued for "some obvious mistakes" where the critiquer hadn't even got the manners to point out what even one of those might be) so that the author can learn from what you say. Yes, it's just your opinion, and the author is free to think "He knows nothing! I know much better!"
     
  8. Mckk

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Are you sure you're not just starting threads cus you like the attention...? I click on a number of threads on this forum and most of them are from you...

    Anyway, as long as you're kind in the way you communicated your critique, even a negative one, there's nothing to feel bad about.
     
  9. Selbbin

    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    I just read your critique. It's fine.
     
  10. Christine Ralston

    Christine Ralston Active Member

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    My idea of a negative critique is something that bashes the author. If you are constructively offering advise in an attempt to help the author improve his or her writing, then it is a positive critique. :)
     
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  11. KaTrian

    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    You could see it as motivational feedback. Gives you a confidence boost. I don't think it's trickery, unless, of course, you go way overboard or really downright lie. But usually you can give motivational feedback of just about anything.
     
  12. Fitzroy Zeph

    Fitzroy Zeph Contributor Contributor

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    Is that harsh?
     
  13. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    No, because no reasonable person could take it seriously :)
     
  14. NewEnterprise

    NewEnterprise Member

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    "Uninstall word" made me lol :p

    But yeah, if it's constructive and not just abuse at their attempt then it's always fine :) I love getting some fairly critical feedback myself
     
  15. Selbbin

    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    When I read through the workshop and my immediate reaction is 'this is utter garbage', I choose not to start the laborious process of trying to explain why. And since I don't want to simply write 'This is absolute shit, WTF were you thinking?' I simply don't reply. If there seems to be a grain of hope or I have a particular point to make, only then do I leave a comment. But then I feel it's pretty useless.

    Also, if I read something and feel it is fine so I have nothing to add, I generally don't reply either.
     
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  16. 123456789

    123456789 Contributor Contributor

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    The world needs takers, too.
     
  17. Selbbin

    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    I do my fair share of reviews.
     
  18. Lemex

    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I've done a good number of critiques in my time. They are nothing to ever feel bad about. Stop feeling bad.
     
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  19. Link the Writer

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Unless you made personal attacks on the person (ie, "You should quit writing forever, because you suck. This shit makes Twilight look like The Odyssey!") then you're fine.

    As for the 'his avatar looked so happy', well, I'm fairly certain no one here thinks I'm actually an orca whale typing this in the bottom of an ocean somewhere. :D Just critique, and if he/she gets into a huffy fit about it then its all on them. Don't want it critiqued? Don't put it up. Or put it up on FanFiction.net.
     
  20. Ben414

    Ben414 Contributor Contributor

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    I don't think I can hide my disappointment upon hearing this.

    I am actually the president of the Voter Apathy Party, though. Many people were disappointed in the 54.9% turn out rate in the 2012 election -- and none more so than us. I'm hoping that by 2040 we can get rate down to 0%.
     
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  21. Selbbin

    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    I prefer to call them Sea Pandas.
     
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  22. Link the Writer

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    That always seemed like a good method for me when I critiqued (well, barely, but still!) I have this suspicion that some new writers who get upset aren't doing it because they have an ego that needs to be soothed, but because they simply don't understand the difference between constructive criticism with an aim to improve their work, and criticism with the intent to insult and belittle. They only see it as 'wow, everyone hates my work and me!' Then they get defensive about it, which only makes the situation worse because the other side thinks that this is yet another egotistical author who want people to worship their stuff.

    It's hard for me to judge, so I just cover my bases.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2015
  23. jannert

    jannert Member Supporter Contributor

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  24. Link the Writer

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I like this best.
     
  25. jannert

    jannert Member Supporter Contributor

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    Of course there are writers (beginners and otherwise) who will take umbrage at anything they perceive as a negative reaction to their work. Some of them are defensive at first, but then begin to take on board what they need to after they've had a wee think about what's been said. This defensive/accepting reaction is probably normal.

    It's crucial, when offering any kind of helpful critique—positive OR negative—to give good, coherent reasons why you do or don't like something. Take it a couple of steps to make this clear, if necessary:

    "I don't understand why your character Ronson killed that guy. Ronson said earlier, "quote, unquote" that he would never kill a person because he knows what it's like to feel the pain of losing somebody he loves, even if the dead person actually deserved to die. However, he's just killed an innocent bystander for no reason, and shows no remorse because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. (My reason why this doesn't make sense to me.) I don't see any connection with what Ronson said earlier and what he just did.

    "Can you do something so this action makes sense for the reader—or make it clear that Ronson is the sort of character who says one thing and does another? I found myself going 'huh?' and backtracking to see if I'd read his earlier statement right."


    In other words, take the writer through your reasons why you think something isn't working. You're not saying it can't work, or that he should write another kind of story altogether (I hope!) What you're saying is "I don't get it." In other words, direct the author towards the problem that needs fixing. Whatever they meant, you're not getting it ...and that's what they need to hear. If you can offer them a way to tackle the problem, that's fine, but it's not really necessary to a good critique either. What's really important is letting the writer know what didn't work, as far as you're concerned ...and tell them WHY it didn't work.

    And of course, do all this in a courteous and helpful tone. This doesn't mean you can't be very pointed in your criticism. But you're criticising the piece, not the author. And you want to help them see their story as readers see it. I hope!
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2015
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