What's a Critique? A Guide for New Members

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What's a Critique? A Guide for New Members

Post by bigbadbear on Tue Mar 04, 2008 1:37 am

It gets very frustrating when we get our stories on a site like this and we get simple comments such as:

Wow! This was great! Keep writing!

or

I didn't like this at all. You stink at writing.

It's funny how we see these more than often. Sure, they can be an uplifter, such as the first quote. But that doesn't help us improve. We have come here to improve our writing, not to make us feel good. That may sound a little harsh right now, but let me explain.

Those quotes up there are called 'one-liners'. No one likes to get them. As easy as they are to type, they don't help us at all. We need critiques that will help us improve our writing. Now, look at the quote below, and see how this critique would help the writer. I'll bold and underline important things.

Great job! This was very well written, and easy to read. Although, there were a couple faults that I did find. Your characters, man. They aren't doing anyone justice. Right now they are blah, and not very realistic. In other words, they have no depth. If you want to create the important bond between the reader and the characters, you need to make them realistic.

Praises: Although they make us feel better, they are not very helpful. Notice how I only had two praises. That was to give the author a head start into what the critique was saying. If I started out with, "Although, there were a couple faults... ect..." the author wouldn't know if we liked it or didn't.

Critique: This is the actual meat that the author wants to know. Notice how I wasn't too harsh at all. I made it clear that the characters weren't exactly the greatest, and he/she can improve. Don't be overly harsh; no one likes to be put down. It really derives from their writing.

Scroll up and look at the second quote that I posted. "You stink at writing" gives the author horrible feelings, and it doesn't improve their writing. See where I am going? A critique is supposed to do one thing and one thing only: improve the author's writing. There are going to be some cases where you want to say, "This stinks!" Some writings can be that terrible. But the least you can do is list some reason why you think that the piece was bad. Again, don't be overly harsh, or it will put the writer down.

In conclusion, you should never write one liners. Not only do they do nothing, but it's a waste of a post. Give reasons why you think the way that you do, and always give them praise. Even a simple, "Well done" will mean a lot after a harsh critique. Also, if you see any grammatical mistakes, point them out so the author can edit. No one likes to read a horrible piece with no words spelled right.

Also, we ask that you proofread anything before you post it on Crawfy Lit. Thank you.

-Jared

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Re: What's a Critique? A Guide for New Members

Post by Mark on Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:00 am

This was great advice, I will make his sticky.

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Re: What's a Critique? A Guide for New Members

Post by Teh Wozzinator on Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:23 am

BBB, great job here... it was a very good explanation to new users.

Unfortunately, that was a one-liner. Very Happy (But it wasn't a critique.)

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Re: What's a Critique? A Guide for New Members

Post by bigbadbear on Tue Mar 04, 2008 3:27 am

Thanks guys. I took my time with this. lol

Um, is it only Administrators that can make things stickies? I can't figure out how... well, thanks.

-Jared

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Re: What's a Critique? A Guide for New Members

Post by Mark on Tue Mar 04, 2008 7:55 pm

Mods and Admins can. When you post a topic, jsut below the content box there will be an option to chose frmo 'Normal' 'Sticky' and 'Announcement'. Something like that anyway.

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