Thread: A noted decline
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Old 02-26-2015, 02:17 PM
risk10 (Offline)
Scribbling Master
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 781
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A lively debate. Excellent!

Max: I see style and substance and care and perfection as very separate things.

I understand there are people who try their best and the work can be - for the want of a better word - "messy". Every new author I come across I look at their previous posts, particularly their first five. Many is the time I "dobbed" in a new member who put up three word critiques just so they could skirt the rather generous 5 posts rule. This is happening so often now, I don't even bother. This is one of the issues.

There are things that give away a piece as slap-dash. A litany of spelling errors is one. Most people use Word or a similar system that has within it a spell checker. If they cannot be bothered at least running that through, then I'm out.

The second is poor structuring, i.e. missing words, sentences that run for ever, and a story that lurches from one incogent idea to the other. A second read through by the author will eliminate many of these errors.

If these two fundamentals aren't there, then I don't bother. More and more, I am seeing this. I certainly understand Non-Serviam's point of view. He is a lot further down the line than probably 99% of the writers here. There is little point in him wasting his time on people who are not going to appreciate what he has to say. I know, as I have seen people arc up when given brutal, honest, but constructive feedback.

On a different note: I can appreciate the sparse and the flowery. For what it is worth, that chapter looks nothing like what I posted up, and am now close to finishing that story. There have been many pieces where I have enjoyed the ride, but not necessarily the destination and vice-versa. I can still critique this from a point of view, but I admit this tends to be more functional and technical support, rather than insightful ways to enhance the substance of the story.

@daes - my issue is that many poor pieces are getting lip service critiques. Trolling through the last month alone I saw six examples (not naming names) where the piece needed work, yet the crits were "I enjoyed this" or "keep going you have a great idea here". Nothing was offered in the way of helpful critique. I also noted there were a lot of people with under 20 posts offering this critique and am suspicious that these are simply 'bump' posts so they can showcase their own masterpieces.

I guess the fix is that members like me need to do a bit more. I certainly need to be more active in my critiquing here, especially if I have decided to get on a soap box. But one man alone cannot halt the sea. I need others to crusade with me, hence this discussion.


PS I will check out that story, Max. An informal referral system might help
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