WritersBeat.com
 

Go Back   WritersBeat.com > General Discussion > Writers' Cafe

Writers' Cafe Get a drink, sit down to relax, and chit-chat with other writers.


A noted decline

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 02-25-2015, 05:32 PM
risk10 (Offline)
Scribbling Master
Official Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 781
Thanks: 163
Thanks 280
Default A noted decline


Hi all,

I am writing this because I genuinely feel that the standard of work on display here and the value of the crits received as been declining over the last number of months.
I know posting this is unlikely to make me a popular figure, but I feel strongly, as I have found myself visiting and posting less and less on this site over the last 6 months. I am not the only one. Many talented members, some members for many years, have been inactive (left?) for nearly a year or more. This needs to change.

While I understand that this site is open for everyone of all levels of talent, the standard of work posted in the fiction site (where I frequent) is not the level it was this time last year. I honestly don't feel people are taking the time to look over their work and carefully edit it before posting it up.

To compound this, many critiques are rather less than helpful. They range from "this is great" (when really, the piece needs a lot of work) - to "this is rubbish" (usually reverting to name calling and escalating into personal attacks). This used to be the exception, yet, sadly, it is becoming the norm. I have commented on a few stories of late, but it seems that the standard of both work and feedback need to be addressed.

I have attached a link to the first chapter of a story I posted on here many moons ago. While I am a far cry from being a great writer, I do feel it is superior to much of what is being presented on the fiction boards on this site (waiting for the barrage...). Please take the time to skim read, particularly the feedback, as this is crucial to developing writers' capabilites. I received great feedback and have become a better writer for it. Perhaps the mods can provide more critiques (I see a few, but these have dropped off too, I note) to show the newbies how it is done.

Untitled Fantasy WIP - Chapter 1 Part 1

For my part, I will try to be more active and provide crits to more pieces. But I would like to see more time and effort placed in the execution of a story, if I am to invest my time in providing a critique.


OK rant over. Anyone else have any thoughts?

__________________
TAKE THE RISK
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to risk10 For This Useful Post:
jimmymc (02-26-2015)
  #2  
Old 02-25-2015, 08:17 PM
max crash's Avatar
max crash (Offline)
Always Online
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: The Keep, just beyond the orbit of mars
Posts: 2,239
Thanks: 147
Thanks 404
Default

I ,for the most part, agree,

I will try to change my ways, but at the moment I will say this

Why should I put hours of effort into a post that will either be ignored, or given a pat on the back. if I write a piece and post it I expect something back even and especially if it is that the piece - stinks.

I do have this to say in everyone's defense, we don't all like the same type of story or writing style, I personally like the reader to fill in the blanks and I just tell the story. i.e. I don't care if the reader pictures himself or herself as the character in the hills out back of the house.

I read your piece that you linked, it was hard for me to read because I found it overly described just about everything. I found it trying to copy the old masters with flowery words that describe things to try to put me in the place when all I need to know was it was sunset.

There in, I think, is the problem I do try to critique these types of stories but I don't feel I can give you a 'correct critique ' the story is just not my style, my mind doesn't work that way.

I'm sure other feel the same way and while they try to critique the story; in the end all they can really say is whether they like it or not and maybe fix or suggest some spelling or punctuation changes.

I have been pretty blunt here Risk10, but I don't mean any disrespect, I would very much like to find a solation to this elephant in the room. I don't know what the answer is but if anyone has any suggestions I'll do all I can to help push them forward.

I am really against a standardized critique form, I just think it wrong but it might serve as a training tool so we could all get on the same page.

As for me I'll try to tighten my stories up as much as I can. After all I posted, what I knew was crap, and got nothing back - so I may as well "try" to make perfect things and see if it makes a difference.

I would dearly love to see this conversation go somewhere this time.

If I can be of any help - let me know

Max
__________________
if you're writing over your readers head - tum etiam, ut graece scribens --- the secret of success changes;the truth of failure remains constant; if you try to please everyone you will fail.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 02-25-2015, 08:52 PM
risk10 (Offline)
Scribbling Master
Official Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 781
Thanks: 163
Thanks 280
Default

Thanks, Max

And no offense taken. I realise there is no one size fits all and my posting my piece was less about the work itself and more about illustrating the way 'things used to be' in terms of the critique I received (which was excellent).

You are not one of the chief offenders either. I have seen you put effort in your writing and critique in the past. I am not even going on about people who have difficulty with SPaG - I know it doesn't come easy to some of us. What I want to see more is pieces that have care behind them. You can tell straight away if someone has spent time on their work (flow, structure, and yes obvious SPaG issues, like missing words), versus someone who just hacked at a keyboard for an hour or so to come up with a 1000 words of a story that may have a solid idea behind it, but was executed poorly because the author didn't bother to take care in their work.

My bugbear is that if someone throws up a piece like that, why should I spend the time critiquing it? Conversely, if someone has spent the time working hard on a piece, to receive shitty crits makes me want to scream.

We are all here to learn. Reading a piece of work that has mistakes, but the author has done the best they can -I am happy to offer critique. Offering 'hey this is great' when it has obvious flaws is neither truthful nor helpful. I think trying to spare feelings has taken over in some quarters.

There have also been personal tirades launched against authors here, where the piece was carefully crafted and generally well written, so the critic has gone personal.

I know I can do better - but I feel I needed to point this out. I have noticed a lot of 'fly-in, fly-out' members that post a dozen stories, dont offer any helpful critique and then piss off. Their work is flooding the forum somewhat and it is making the good stuff hard to find.
__________________
TAKE THE RISK
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 02-26-2015, 09:09 AM
daes13's Avatar
daes13 (Offline)
Heartbreaking Writer of Staggering Genius
Official Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: At 1040 MPH... So I'm not sure
Posts: 1,653
Thanks: 418
Thanks 422
Default

Have you considered that the people that posted higher caliber work have become successful enough that they feel they are better off critiquing others' work than posting their own, and the new members are not experienced enough to replicate that caliber yet?
__________________
I'm just bored. Slinging the first thought that comes to mind, which is often poor advise.

Courtesy of BP
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02-26-2015, 12:19 PM
max crash's Avatar
max crash (Offline)
Always Online
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: The Keep, just beyond the orbit of mars
Posts: 2,239
Thanks: 147
Thanks 404
Default

risk10

"My bugbear is that if someone throws up a piece like that, why should I spend the time critiquing it? Conversely, if someone has spent the time working hard on a piece, to receive shitty crits makes me want to scream."

sorry but I have two problems with this statement - one, how can we tell if someone just throws up a piece, maybe they are just a writer that is stuck in the bud. And second, no matter how much time you spend on a piece - if it's a shity piece it's a shity piece.

I agree that we should tell the truth but a little compassion is also in order. I don't think we should pass judgment on the effort put into a piece but just critique the piece.

daes13, I see your point of view, but a critique is just your opinion, when you read a piece you have a reaction to that piece, good or bad.
like I stated earlier, I don't care for flowered descriptions, but if I preface my critique with that statement and then sayI liked the overall story for these reasons, and disliked it for these.

Then I have done the write a favor. He or she may not like my opinion but it at least it gives them something to think about. It's like, risk10 probably does care for my Spartan descriptions in my stories - but that is understood going in and I will still get some feedback on the piece.

but more important, in my opinion, is the critique its self; critiquing a story is a huge learning experience for the critiquer. It forces them to put into printed words what they think about the piece and why. their future works will be forever changed by the critique they just offered and they will in turn become better writers.

after all a critique is just the opinion of the critiquer and the critiquee is not obliged to take the advice.

to write a good critique is as much a learning experience for the critiquee as it is for the critiquer.

Just remember not to be an ass.

Max
__________________
if you're writing over your readers head - tum etiam, ut graece scribens --- the secret of success changes;the truth of failure remains constant; if you try to please everyone you will fail.

Last edited by max crash; 02-26-2015 at 12:22 PM..
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to max crash For This Useful Post:
  #6  
Old 02-26-2015, 12:28 PM
daes13's Avatar
daes13 (Offline)
Heartbreaking Writer of Staggering Genius
Official Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: At 1040 MPH... So I'm not sure
Posts: 1,653
Thanks: 418
Thanks 422
Default

True, I have spent a lot of time trying to learn how to critique, and still cannot get it as well as others. I swear some people on here should be editors they can go at it line for line. I agree it is an opinion and I try to give my own as best as possible. The problem is we cannot see our own problems until someone else points it out, and vice versa.

A lot of new people are posting and-- if I can read the piece as we all have our own preferences-- I try to critique. I mean if they aren't good yet, then tell them right? They will either try or quit.

Someone cannot get upset at the "caliber" (I know I said it, but I'm quoting it anyway) of someone's work on a site dedicated to people trying to hone their craft. It would be different if this was simply a story site, but not when it is centered on critiques.

If you feel your work is better than theirs, then show them via critique. As NickPierce would say "Lead from the Front" (hope he won't mind me quoting him), and don't whine about the inexperience of current writers. Let's show them.

I know I have a long way to go to even be marginal, but I can try.
__________________
I'm just bored. Slinging the first thought that comes to mind, which is often poor advise.

Courtesy of BP
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 02-26-2015, 01:32 PM
Non Serviam's Avatar
Non Serviam (Offline)
Heartbreaking Writer of Staggering Genius
Official Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Location, Location
Posts: 1,463
Thanks: 71
Thanks 590
Default

Originally Posted by risk10 View Post
I genuinely feel that the standard of work on display here and the value of the crits received as been declining over the last number of months.
I've been lax in providing crits of late, I admit, but even when I'm actively critiquing I find the one leads to the other.

I read a few paragraphs of a story and decide whether I can help the author. A lot of the time I don't feel I can ---- either the piece is so good that my advice won't help, or else (rather more commonly) it's so poor that the only things I can say will make the whole interaction bruising and unpleasant. Good work is what leads to good crits (and only rarely vice versa).
__________________
A few of my stories:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
;
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
;

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


English is a strange language. It can be understood through tough thorough thought though.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Non Serviam For This Useful Post:
  #8  
Old 02-26-2015, 01:35 PM
max crash's Avatar
max crash (Offline)
Always Online
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: The Keep, just beyond the orbit of mars
Posts: 2,239
Thanks: 147
Thanks 404
Default

risk10 check out a story called "a man with a feather in his hair" posted on this site, see if you can help, it's very descriptive stuff and I am just lost as to which way to point him.

how about a referral system.

Max

edit, non serviam, but if the poor work is never pointed out as poor then... well at some point in time someone has to point out that your shit stinks and then maybe you can work on making it smell better. other wise you may never know.

Max again
__________________
if you're writing over your readers head - tum etiam, ut graece scribens --- the secret of success changes;the truth of failure remains constant; if you try to please everyone you will fail.

Last edited by max crash; 02-26-2015 at 01:40 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 02-26-2015, 01:48 PM
Non Serviam's Avatar
Non Serviam (Offline)
Heartbreaking Writer of Staggering Genius
Official Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Location, Location
Posts: 1,463
Thanks: 71
Thanks 590
Default

Originally Posted by max crash View Post
edit, non serviam, but if the poor work is never pointed out as poor then... well at some point in time someone has to point out that your shit stinks and then maybe you can work on making it smell better. other wise you may never know.

Max again
Sure, but in my case "someone" will be "someone else". I'm not the kind of man who enjoys ruining other people's days, particularly when the other people turn out to be pre-teens with self-esteem issues.
__________________
A few of my stories:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
;
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
;

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


English is a strange language. It can be understood through tough thorough thought though.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 02-26-2015, 02:17 PM
risk10 (Offline)
Scribbling Master
Official Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 781
Thanks: 163
Thanks 280
Default

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.

Cheers

PS I will check out that story, Max. An informal referral system might help
__________________
TAKE THE RISK
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 02-26-2015, 03:06 PM
max crash's Avatar
max crash (Offline)
Always Online
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: The Keep, just beyond the orbit of mars
Posts: 2,239
Thanks: 147
Thanks 404
Default

then how do we or anyone help a preteens, maybe create a space place like - preteens enter here or maybe some kind of code in their membership that tell us thicker skinned folks to use kid gloves. They still deserve the truth but it should be done carefully so they will continue to write.

what if I am some old guy with a fourth grade education, should I be handled like a preteen - maybe.

maybe all critiques should be done assuming the writer is a preteen.

children are a lot stronger than most people, these day, seem to think they are.

constructive criticism can be done so it is taken well and why should a preteen get softer handling, when it is common courtesy to handle all critiques with a soft touch.

I even go you one better, how does a preteen feel when he or she gets no feed back at all. are they more or less devastated than if they got a bad review.

I submit that a preteen or anyone else is better off with a bad review than no review at all.

Max
__________________
if you're writing over your readers head - tum etiam, ut graece scribens --- the secret of success changes;the truth of failure remains constant; if you try to please everyone you will fail.

Last edited by max crash; 02-27-2015 at 06:53 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 02-27-2015, 02:27 AM
Non Serviam's Avatar
Non Serviam (Offline)
Heartbreaking Writer of Staggering Genius
Official Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Location, Location
Posts: 1,463
Thanks: 71
Thanks 590
Default

They have teachers. People who're properly trained to give feedback that improves their work.
__________________
A few of my stories:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
;
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
;

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


English is a strange language. It can be understood through tough thorough thought though.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 02-27-2015, 06:56 AM
JoeMatt (Offline)
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 6,392
Thanks: 441
Thanks 1,526
Default

I'm interested in reading a complete story or chapter, and I'm not interested in SPAG. I want to comment on story and characterization.

If it's written well enough, it actually takes less time to read something that is several thousand words and comment on those aspects of it than to trudge through a few paragraphs riddled with errors and generally bad writing and try to note everything that needs fixing. I always get the feeling none of it really sticks anyway.

And I'm probably not going to critique the "opening" of something that will likely never be finished. If I had a dollar for every abandoned "beginning of a story" I've seen on writing forums, I'd be a wealthy man.

So I'm most likely to read a complete story or chapter -- one where I see the author has done his best to catch any errors or weirdness -- before he asks anyone else to do it for him. Unfortunately, there isn't much here these days that meets those basic requirements.

Last edited by JoeMatt; 02-27-2015 at 06:58 AM..
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to JoeMatt For This Useful Post:
Non Serviam (02-27-2015)
  #14  
Old 02-27-2015, 06:57 AM
max crash's Avatar
max crash (Offline)
Always Online
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: The Keep, just beyond the orbit of mars
Posts: 2,239
Thanks: 147
Thanks 404
Default

non - they didn't take their work to their teacher, they brought it here.

and

teachers have a tendency to squash the imagination in favor of the status quo.

Joe - I agree that the story is the most important part of a post and spag is secondary (provide it not to bad, but we do have non -English speaking writers)

but, to complete a story, even a short story is not that easy on these post, I mean 3000 words sometimes doesn't even allow you to get into the story. and separate post is just not the answer because of the time between when you can post, (three times a week and no more than 9000 words.) a prospective reader would loose interest in the story; even if the story has potential to be a good story. are you expected to critique each post or just the last one? would I post the last part if I didn't get any feedback on the other post?


that leaves us with flash fiction and it's very demanding even for a English speaking writer. there can be no extra words, descriptions, character development, and may other things are pared to the core.

you're also stuck with the problem of - if I am going to try to sell this story; then I can't display the entire story, or first rights go out the window. there is nothing left for the possible buyers to buy.

I'm not sure that the rules of the site need to change but maybe the attitude of the potential critiquers. I'll add that I have a lot of trouble reading and critiquing post that are over 1000 words. so if they don't grab me then I may not finish the post and I sure am not going to pull up the second or third but I will provide some kind of feed back to the writer. sometimes, when the piece really needs work - it is in a private message.

don't look at me for answers but I just wanted to tell you what I think the problems are.

in conclusion, I think the biggest problem is a failure to commit to a critique, starting an argument over the archaic nature of a poem is not a critique, it's an attack. a critique is based on the style of the piece you are trying to critique not trying to bring the writer over to your side and abandon his personal believes.

I would say that I don't mean to offend any one but that is not the case, I believe if you don't offend someone, somehow then you're all in the same choir and the critique was wasted.

diversity is the answer and we all need to get past our own petty problem and do what we signed up to do - deliver a honest critique in a way that doesn't devastate or over inflate.

just my opinion, if you don't like it, bite me.

Max
__________________
if you're writing over your readers head - tum etiam, ut graece scribens --- the secret of success changes;the truth of failure remains constant; if you try to please everyone you will fail.

Last edited by max crash; 02-27-2015 at 07:39 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 02-27-2015, 07:15 AM
Cityboy (Offline)
Still Clicking!
Official Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 4,679
Thanks: 32
Thanks 185
Default

Geez, happily critique someone's work or move along to argue with someone on the board (which seems to be the trend here). Why the fuss over nothing? Has anyone noticed, more importantly, humanity is on a decline?
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 02-27-2015, 07:20 AM
JoeMatt (Offline)
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 6,392
Thanks: 441
Thanks 1,526
Default

Originally Posted by Shelly View Post
Has anyone noticed, more importantly, humanity is on a decline?
Is the tendency to make the same simplistic observation over and over part the decline?
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 02-27-2015, 07:40 AM
Cityboy (Offline)
Still Clicking!
Official Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 4,679
Thanks: 32
Thanks 185
Default

Originally Posted by JoeMatt View Post
Is the tendency to make the same simplistic observation over and over part the decline?
What are you expecting a Purple Heart to help someone? Do it with good intentions or don't do it at all.

Maybe a solution lies in a section for beginners (like a swimming pool :high and low water) where moderators or volunteers can help the young with their work. This discussion has a "preteen" ring to it.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 02-27-2015, 07:43 AM
max crash's Avatar
max crash (Offline)
Always Online
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: The Keep, just beyond the orbit of mars
Posts: 2,239
Thanks: 147
Thanks 404
Default

shelly we are not here to fix the world just this small part of it.

let's stick to the subject and not go off on some ego trip

this is not my thread but I will say this,

Joe, Shelly, stick to the business of this thread or go find somewhere else to argue.

Max
__________________
if you're writing over your readers head - tum etiam, ut graece scribens --- the secret of success changes;the truth of failure remains constant; if you try to please everyone you will fail.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to max crash For This Useful Post:
  #19  
Old 02-27-2015, 08:17 AM
Cityboy (Offline)
Still Clicking!
Official Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 4,679
Thanks: 32
Thanks 185
Default

Originally Posted by max crash View Post
shelly we are not here to fix the world just this small part of it.

let's stick to the subject and not go off on some ego trip

this is not my thread but I will say this,

Joe, Shelly, stick to the business of this thread or go find somewhere else to argue.

Max
I stated a beginner's section might not be such a bad idea. This way reading young writers who might be error prone wouldn't frustrate polished writers like you (since you mentioned preteens, didn't you?). Easy fix.

I agree with you...clashing sux. Wasted energy benefiting only the ego.


(Probably not a good idea mentioning "humanity's decline" ... apologize. But, watching hundreds of thousands slaughtered and millions more displace in the last few years has nothing to do with my ego...just wanna clear that up. But, you're right that shouldn't be mentioned in a writer's forum. Sorry, from heart, not ego.

Last edited by Cityboy; 02-27-2015 at 08:47 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 02-27-2015, 10:44 AM
max crash's Avatar
max crash (Offline)
Always Online
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: The Keep, just beyond the orbit of mars
Posts: 2,239
Thanks: 147
Thanks 404
Default

we must have been posting at the same time and I missed the suggestion of a beginner section, sorry

it's not a bad idea

as far as the decline of humanity, I agree, but this is not the place. if you open a thread I will participate.

Max
__________________
if you're writing over your readers head - tum etiam, ut graece scribens --- the secret of success changes;the truth of failure remains constant; if you try to please everyone you will fail.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 02-27-2015, 10:51 AM
JoeMatt (Offline)
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 6,392
Thanks: 441
Thanks 1,526
Default

Originally Posted by max crash View Post
Joe - I agree that the story is the most important part of a post and spag is secondary (provide it not to bad, but we do have non -English speaking writers)

but, to complete a story, even a short story is not that easy on these post, I mean 3000 words sometimes doesn't even allow you to get into the story. and separate post is just not the answer because of the time between when you can post, (three times a week and no more than 9000 words.) a prospective reader would loose interest in the story; even if the story has potential to be a good story. are you expected to critique each post or just the last one? would I post the last part if I didn't get any feedback on the other post?
I've posted stories here that are 4500-5000 words -- and I get comments. Some of them are rather detailed critiques. I'll do the same -- if I see something where I know the author has taken care and I feel like he or she is posting his best work. A while back, I read a story from a member here that was about 8500 words -- and I sent him a word doc with detailed inline comments.

If you are serious about your writing and getting meaningful feedback, then you should be willing to read a few thousand words and write a critique. All kinds of people do it and have done it, here (more so in the past) and on other forums. It just depends on what kind of forum you want to have. The attitude of "I can't read more than a thousand words" or whatever won't cut it.

Originally Posted by max crash View Post
you're also stuck with the problem of - if I am going to try to sell this story; then I can't display the entire story, or first rights go out the window. there is nothing left for the possible buyers to buy.
Most often not -- if you post in "Members Only."

The way it used to work -- and how it works on some other forums -- "Fiction" is more the beginners forum. "Members Only" is for writers who have an eye on publication. There's really no need for a separate beginners forum. If you are having real problems with SPAG -- that's what the SPAG workshop is for. Everything that you need is here. The only thing that seems to be missing are people who are really serious about becoming better writers.

P.S. -- Max, if you write a complete story and do your best -- I'll read it, regardless of length. I've tried reading your openings and bits and pieces etc. What I mostly get is excuses about why you did this or that. It seems like you just rush through something and post it -- I think you've even said as much. Maybe you should take more care with your own work and set a better example before you start complaining about the state of the forum.

Last edited by JoeMatt; 02-27-2015 at 11:16 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 02-27-2015, 11:21 AM
max crash's Avatar
max crash (Offline)
Always Online
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: The Keep, just beyond the orbit of mars
Posts: 2,239
Thanks: 147
Thanks 404
Default

joe you shouldn't paraphrase ( i.e "I can't read more than a thousand words" ) someone. what I said was - and this is a copy of what I said

"I'll add that I have a lot of trouble reading and critiquing post that are over 1000 words. so if they don't grab me then I may not finish the post and I sure am not going to pull up the second or third but I will provide some kind of feed back to the writer."

and I will also agree , because I have experienced it, that larger post, my long time writer get reviews, because they are easy to follow and have a story.

but at some time that long time writer was writing crap and someone had to have helped them to the place in the writing world where they are now by giving them a critique.

I would also say that say that while the members forum purposes to give that protection. it is also not as available to the readers. and if it is the readers who read it don't commit, again lack of a critique does the budding writer no good.

everyone who has ever been great at anything at sometime had a coach, an adviser, someone who took them under their wing and helped polish them, don't you want to be that someone and not just the guy that puts the gold medal around their neck.

everyone should get a critique on their posted work, they took the chance to post it the least a member of this site can do is to put themselves out, just a little, to give them what the site promised.

step out of your comfort zone, give someone else the help someone at one time gave you.

Max
__________________
if you're writing over your readers head - tum etiam, ut graece scribens --- the secret of success changes;the truth of failure remains constant; if you try to please everyone you will fail.

Last edited by max crash; 02-27-2015 at 11:23 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 02-27-2015, 11:36 AM
daes13's Avatar
daes13 (Offline)
Heartbreaking Writer of Staggering Genius
Official Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: At 1040 MPH... So I'm not sure
Posts: 1,653
Thanks: 418
Thanks 422
Default

Scrolling through the first three pages of the fiction section there are about 10 posts by people who are probably not coming back- or if they do its just to post another story for feedback. I try where I can to give some half assed version of a critique, but I see Risk10's perspective because sometimes I even consider if they are coming back or not.
__________________
I'm just bored. Slinging the first thought that comes to mind, which is often poor advise.

Courtesy of BP
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 02-27-2015, 11:57 AM
JoeMatt (Offline)
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 6,392
Thanks: 441
Thanks 1,526
Default

Originally Posted by max crash View Post
everyone who has ever been great at anything at sometime had a coach, an adviser, someone who took them under their wing and helped polish them, don't you want to be that someone and not just the guy that puts the gold medal around their neck.

everyone should get a critique on their posted work, they took the chance to post it the least a member of this site can do is to put themselves out, just a little, to give them what the site promised.

step out of your comfort zone, give someone else the help someone at one time gave you.

Max
Well, a good coach isn't going to give the time of day to anyone who isn't doing his best. So, no, everyone does NOT deserve a critique.

I never asked for help without first doing my best -- and that means finishing something -- anything -- and proofing it to the best of my ability. My first stories and chapters weren't very good, but I got lots of useful feedback because more accomplished writers could sense they weren't wasting their time.

So, yeah, if you want good feedback (that's a collective "you") -- quit fucking around and put some time and effort into your work and your critiques. It's pretty much that simple. The more people that do it -- the better the forum.

Last edited by JoeMatt; 02-27-2015 at 12:03 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 02-27-2015, 12:03 PM
max crash's Avatar
max crash (Offline)
Always Online
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: The Keep, just beyond the orbit of mars
Posts: 2,239
Thanks: 147
Thanks 404
Default

agreed, but we have also seen the same thing in introductions, one post - I'm here and then nothing else, do we not welcome them.

I hate to pass judgments without justification for those judgments.

but I do understand how it is easy to be jaded by the hit and run posting of a story. been there gave a long critique but I'm not sure the poster ever even read the post.

I guess it boils down to the two types of people in the world, those that trust and those that you have to prove yourself too. I've stood on both sides of that line so... I was just thinking it may depend on how much I want a project to succeed as to how much trust I give up how quickly.

today, to further this site, I am willing to give every poster a chance until they prove they don't deserve it. tomorrow -- who knows.

Max
__________________
if you're writing over your readers head - tum etiam, ut graece scribens --- the secret of success changes;the truth of failure remains constant; if you try to please everyone you will fail.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 02-27-2015, 12:05 PM
Cityboy (Offline)
Still Clicking!
Official Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 4,679
Thanks: 32
Thanks 185
Default

A skillful coach belongs in thee majors, not the bush league. And, if he/she has any decency, "they" wouldn't look down on anyone playing their butts off. To me, that's not a coach but an azzhole.

Critiquing is open and closed to anyone. Why should it become such a issue? Do it from the heart, or move on. There are many fine writers around, but this ain't the majors...hell no.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 02-27-2015, 12:08 PM
max crash's Avatar
max crash (Offline)
Always Online
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: The Keep, just beyond the orbit of mars
Posts: 2,239
Thanks: 147
Thanks 404
Default

Joe how do you know - for a fact - that they are not putting in 110 percent into their work, maybe they are just struggling and need a little help, or encouragement to pick up a English Grammar book

how about helping Charley Brown become a better baseball player.

Max
__________________
if you're writing over your readers head - tum etiam, ut graece scribens --- the secret of success changes;the truth of failure remains constant; if you try to please everyone you will fail.
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 02-27-2015, 12:18 PM
Cityboy (Offline)
Still Clicking!
Official Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 4,679
Thanks: 32
Thanks 185
Default

Are there any women in this discussion? I'm assuming there aren't, and if I am correct, it would only reinforce my belief that women are way out in front of the male thinking process. I don't believe this would be an issue in the female mind.
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 02-27-2015, 12:18 PM
JoeMatt (Offline)
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 6,392
Thanks: 441
Thanks 1,526
Default

Originally Posted by Shelly View Post
A skillful coach belongs in thee majors, not the bush league. And, if he/she has any decency, "they" wouldn't look down on anyone playing their butts off. To me, that's not a coach but an azzhole.

Critiquing is open and closed to anyone. Why should it become such a issue? Do it from the heart, or move on. There are many fine writers around, but this ain't the majors...hell no.
What bullshit. This is just some half-ass way of calling me an "azzhole."

Your idea of a critique is some self-gratifying heaping on of praise and mutual ass-kissing. It has nothing to do with helping someone become a better writer.

You don't have a dog in the fight.

Originally Posted by Shelly View Post
Are there any women in this discussion? I'm assuming there aren't, and if I am correct, it would only reinforce my belief that women are way out in front of the male thinking process. I don't believe this would be an issue in the female mind.
More beside the point bullshit.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 02-27-2015, 12:22 PM
max crash's Avatar
max crash (Offline)
Always Online
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: The Keep, just beyond the orbit of mars
Posts: 2,239
Thanks: 147
Thanks 404
Default

shelly

you're right this isn't the majors, this is the bush league, and like it or not we are bush league coaches. we should be doing our best to help them get a shot at the majors.

even if we have the number one best seller - we are still on this site - while we are here we have an obligation to coach not judge.

I'll relay a shot story on my baseball career, I set the bench from the time I was in ninth grade until I was a senior. I never played in a game.

We got a new coach my senior year, he over looked my brushes with the law and gave me and everyone a fair run at the positions, I got second base. I also batted cleanup and sometimes pinch hit.

now I wasn't any better than I ever was - someone just gave me a chance. Maybe that is where I'm coming from in these post.

what you see as inattention or sloppy work may just be lack of encouragement.

think about it.

Max
__________________
if you're writing over your readers head - tum etiam, ut graece scribens --- the secret of success changes;the truth of failure remains constant; if you try to please everyone you will fail.
Reply With Quote
Reply

  WritersBeat.com > General Discussion > Writers' Cafe


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Decline of school system Thousandth Writers' Cafe 16 03-25-2006 09:10 PM


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:07 PM.

vBulletin, Copyright 2000-2006, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.