Are critiques,

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JustSarah
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Are critiques,

Post by JustSarah » October 6th, 2012, 11:38 am

Suppose to leave you with the feeling the person should get lost? For a long all the critiques I ever got were, "Its better than I can do, but keep in mind whatever idea you want to do, has probably already been done." If they actually went line for line about what was good and bad about my work, I could take the hit. But the line about to me, its like saying to someone their lipstick is smeared, while avoiding something positive to soften the blow.<_<

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polymath
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Re: Are critiques,

Post by polymath » October 6th, 2012, 12:35 pm

That's not a critique; that's nay saying. Nay saying and fault finding, those are two of the big critique no-nos. A third in the same vein is doom saying. The big kahuna no-no is critiquing the writer not the writing. Your critiquer hit the no-no trifecta.

While every storyline has been done to death to a degree of similarity, there's still plenty of infinity left for freshness. Newly reading audiences have not seen all the old standbys either. New consumers need newly updated, current, timely, and relevant product.

In a focus group last week (writing workshop), the product under scutiny was about a labor action. An employer sorted through day laborers for the best prospects. That's been done to death. The fresh twist is it was female laborers. Exquisite. It don't take much. Different perspective, different attitude, different characters, different settings, different theme, different complications, struggles, and outcomes.
Spread the love of written word.

JustSarah
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Re: Are critiques,

Post by JustSarah » October 6th, 2012, 10:14 pm

By the way, I apologies if I seemed like a winer. It just I found what they said hurtful.D: But yea, like I'm doing something in between Jennifer Government and 1984. But it has other aspects that make different than just merging different dystopian aspects. Its kind of an odd merger between traditionally cyberpunk concepts, and traditionally military concepts.

One thing I seem to have a major hard time with is word count. Even in my older story I wrote, I only ever got to like 4,000 words. That always seems to be the word count I stop at. I tie up all loose ends at 4k. Which is why I was considering connected short stories.

Edit: The synopsis for the project I have up now, is actually a very old synopsis. After writing some profiles, get a detailed list of pictures of settings, and figuring out mcguffins, I'm going to try to pants the thing. The new synopsis will probably be multiple by 15 if the current outlines any indication.<_< I may end up pantsing it.

Mark.W.Carson
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Re: Are critiques,

Post by Mark.W.Carson » October 11th, 2012, 4:28 pm

Critiquing is a delicate process. You HAVE to be honesty, but honest and tact can go together. If someone is bored, or otherwise disinclined, realize that will hurt your chances of getting published or having someone read to the last page. Style issues aside, some books are just not for everyone. I have been bashed, but as much as I'd hope everyone would love my book, that may not be the case. Find someone who can tell you what is wrong with your book as well as pointing out the things that are good. If there are not good points, then they need to tell you that, but you should already get a feeling well before that, and that's usually not the case.

Usually, the issue is simply that someone is not at the right level to write what they intend. Often, that just takes practice and more writing to get around.

bcomet
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Re: Are critiques,

Post by bcomet » October 13th, 2012, 12:23 pm

Finding or creating a vibrant writing group is golden! Finding a great writing partner is also fabulous.
It helps also if -although there will likely always be some writers in a group that may be more or less advanced or experienced than others- no one is so far less or more experienced that it's not a good match.

I find that it is essential to begin by discussing and creating guidelines that are clearly understood and embraced by all in the group, for both critiquing and confidentiality. (Do not ever share work without explicit permission from the writer - this could cost a writer money if they ever entertain a publishing contract, and parts of the work are already leaked, even "accidentally" or without intended malice and embarrassment on rough draft work, etc. This even happened to Stephanie Meyer.) Also, when a new person joins, they need to be given a clear understanding of the guidelines.

One of our group critiquing guidelines is to be committed to helping each writer be their best and we all feel like we contributed every time ANY one of us is successful with our pieces: we all win! We also strive to give each other helpful suggestions when we see problems in a piece rather than just opinions. (i.e., "I need more detail -sensory information, more "beats," etc.- in that scene so I can really experience it" as opposed to "that scene falls flat for me" -without a suggestion for how it might come alive.)

If you know ahead what you are looking for in guidelines and feedback, it is easier to create it or see if a group is a fit for you.

I personally love also being part of a writing group where all of the writers are very different. It brings great -and often unique- feedback. I love that we have all different genres that are informed by critiques from some very different perspectives.

Hope this is helpful and you find a better fit! Also, Nathan's "sandwich rule" guidelines are really good. You might want to look them up on this forum.

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