Discussion in 'Announcements' started by Writing Forums Staff, Dec 16, 2020.
lead by example... dont try to police it as a member because that just leads to arguments
It's something we're well aware of and attempting to mitigate. One of those things that's going to happen regardless of rules. And there's only so much we can do. We nail the ones that need nailing, let other ones slide that deserve sliding, and generally wait until there's an issue to take action. Best thing the community can do is report report report and not attempt to take matters into their own hands.
Roger, wilco (yeah, I know they don't really say that).
As a lot of newer writers or newer members (not always the same thing) often struggle to know how to do a 'satisfactory' critique or know what to include are the Mods going to look at a basic crib list that might help?
If you don't know how to give a critique, look at the FAQ for constructive critiques. We encourage all writers to make a best effort to critique as they want to get critiqued.
Double post, moose
The thing to remember is that it's all about EFFORT. Not everybody is going to be a whiz-bang critiquer at first. Or ever sometimes. But it's important to show that you spent the time to read the piece thoroughly and forth your best effort. That's all we ask.
It's also helpful to read a bunch of critiques other people have done. Just go into the workshop and read a few at random.
That's honestly how I learned.
I've taken to giving a critique of sorts in the competitions. I was jotting down notes to help me remember all the stories anyway and what I liked and didn't, so it was little extra effort to convert that into a critique sealed behind a spoiler tag.
I'm still a bit torn over whether it's a good thing or not. Authors are submitting their stories to compete. They may not appreciate a critique there as that's not the ostensible function of the competition.
On the other hand, as an author, I'm always after critique on my work and I don't care if it comes from a non-critique thread. I'm always grateful when I receive a critique. It's how I grow as an author.
I haven't had much feedback from authors in the competitions regarding my critiques one way or the other. That's not surprising as authors aren't allowed to divulge their identities during voting, so I basically get the silent treatment.
There was a protest a while back when I only critiqued my top 3 picks instead of every single story, but that wasn't a complaint about critiquing generally. Rather, it was addressed to the issue that not every story got the critiquing treatment. More recently, @Selbbin posted an encouraging reply, which I appreciated, thanks.
Given there are currently no howls of protest, I'll keep doing it as it's not really taking much extra effort from what I'd do anyway. That said, it's probably something that might generate a heated debate in the future. I'm happy to keep doing it when I'm able or stop if the winds change.
Authors who want critiques are supposed to post their entries into the Workshop after the competition finishes.
From the Contest Entry Rules:
There had been some issues so the mod team (when I was still a member) decided to make it formal.
The issues we had (Not specifically relating to your critiques i hasten to add) are
a) Influencing the ongoing vote... since the thread can be viewed before voting and we can't change that
b) not all posters necessarily wanting critique
with a third point not relevant to you that we had one now banned member determined to give negative and discouraging critique, it seemed to us pretty much to stroke his own ego
Therefore Iain is quite right about what it says in the rules for entry - commenting on why you voted is fine so long as its in spoilers, but if people want actual critique they can post their stories into the workshop after the competition ends
Now that we've been outed, I can say I was happy for your comments, which added some bit of energy to the waiting game. The comments were fair and positive, in my opinion. I always read them (usually after casting my vote) even when I wasn't an entrant, often disagreeing with your choices but that's what makes it interesting.
So I'm new here and still trying to get a grip on how things work, so I certainly have no right to tell you what you should be doing differently. But (you knew there would be a "but", right) I must say I found the separation of "workshop" and "contests" a bit difficult to understand and struggle even more when I hear "not all posters necessarily want critique". I guess people join for a variety of reasons that I don't know but for me, I'd like to improve my writing game a little and if possible have some fun and camaraderie while doing so. Which, for me, would mean that if I did submit something in a contest* I would (1) be totally ok for this to not be anonymous; (2) hope or even expect feedback from others, at the very least those who also participated; (3) not care if such feedback was given before, during, or after voting. I would hope for the contests to be more of a social thing than one where someone gets to show off and the others wouldn't even discuss the piece. I would hope for discussions along the lines of "ha, ha, you got the same idea as me there, but I liked this thing much better about your execution", and so on. It would feel funny to me to re-post a contest entry to the workshop in order to get feedback.
But hey, as I said, I'm new to the party and there might be good reasons for why things are how they are.
(*) whether or not I have, is of course confidential
I'll be mentioning a few things you already know, but hopefully to provide some clarity, when posting in the competitions they are anonymous until voting closes. This is to ensure voting is completely based on the work and not influenced by who the author is. Once voting is complete, anonymity is removed and you can see the author of each work. In the voting thread, we encourage people to discuss the works as per your example, but to avoid providing critiques, and there is a difference. You can see examples in some of the voting threads. Many people who post in the competitions do not want a critique. They enter for other reasons. However:
If you would like to receive critique on your competition entry, you are welcome to do so by posting it in the workshop AFTER voting has closed. Not before. I did that recently myself. Also, works that have previously been published anywhere else on the forum cannot be entered for the same anonymity reasons.
It may seem weird breaking it up like this, but it helps to keep things amicable for the different needs and expectations of various members.
Feedback and suggestions are always welcome though. We're a community.
Separate names with a comma.