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Constructive Critique Group

A good critique is an invaluable tool for improving your work.

You can now use the Critique Circle at the this link: http://www.faithwriters.com/critique-circle.php

For REGULAR ARTICLE SUBMISSIONS, leave a request for an article review from other FaithWriters members on this forum. Be sure to leave the url to your posted article. Or post your article on this forum for review by other members.

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Constructive Critique Group

Postby Come forth » Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:14 pm

Hi, there is a newly formed group of members who have agreed to give constructive critiques to those who are really seeking them. If you would like this for something you have written, please put your request here; with a link to the article.

If you would like to join this group you can also do that right here. Just tell us you want to join and follow this thread each week.

This group is about giving good, constructive critiques in a caring manner. As such we agree to follow the 'sandwich' method of critiquing. That is to:

Start with a simple statement of how the entry impacted on your personally. Did it grab you? Did it teach you something? Was it exciting? Did it make you happy or sad for the MC? Was it easy to read? (just examples of questions you could ask yourself) Choose a positive impact to share with the writer so that the review is off to a positive start.

Second; pick ONE thing that you feel could be improved upon. Look at things like 'show not tell', conflicts in POV, time differences, use of too many conjunctions, sentence variance, did the entry have a good hook, did it end well, did it flow smoothly from start to finish (again just examples). Pick only one thing so that the writer is not overwhelmed or discouraged and remember that if we learn one thing, just one, then we have improved and there is always next week to improve some more.

Third and last is to pick one thing that you felt was really good. maybe a particular phrase or word choice was excellent or perhaps the entry started with a really good hook, or maybe it ended particularly well. Again just one thing to share with the writer and so end the review on a positive note.

That's the sandwich method.

For further great hints at giving a good critique please look a little further down where I have reposted some guidelinne Lillian posted on a different thread.

Blessings, Graham.
Last edited by Come forth on Tue Feb 18, 2014 1:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
May we all get eyes to see and ears to hear,
A Revelation of His Word, crystal clear.
Admitting our need to be drawn in,
Less of self, more of Him.

My prayer for us all.
God bless us with the Revelation of His Word, Graham
http://www.shekinahcloud.com/page/page/8464330.htm

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Re: Constructive Critique Group

Postby Come forth » Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:42 pm

Hi guys, this is for those who have already joined the group.

We do seem to have a small conflict in the directions for giving constructive critiques.

Lillian pointed out that this is posted on the site:

"Weekly writing contest. Learn to write to word count, topic and deadline. To improve your writing skills constructive criticism may occur, unless otherwise requested."

The emphasis here is on an entrant requesting to NOT receive constructive criticism.

The advice given to us so far is that we should not GIVE constructive criticism unless it is requested.

These two are in direct opposition to each other. For me, I'm going with the first advice, which I believe is more in line with the sites aims and goals. Each member of this group will need to make their own decision. If you only want to critique those who request it then the best I can suggest is that you don't start critiquing until a brick is thrown. Rachel did suggest that this may encourage a brick throwing revival; and she may have a point.

For this coming week (starting with the new subject released on Thursday 20/2/14) can I ask the following,

Rachel to make three constructive critiques on level one and two on level two

Shann to make three on level two and two on level three

Lillian three on level three and two on level four

Dave to make two on level one, one on level two, one on level three and one on level four

I will make three on level four and two on articles in the critique circle.

As we get more members I will include more rostered to the critique circle.

If there is any disagreement then please don't hesitate to let me know.

Blessings and thanks to everyone; Graham.
May we all get eyes to see and ears to hear,
A Revelation of His Word, crystal clear.
Admitting our need to be drawn in,
Less of self, more of Him.

My prayer for us all.
God bless us with the Revelation of His Word, Graham
http://www.shekinahcloud.com/page/page/8464330.htm

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Re: Constructive Critique Group

Postby Shann » Mon Feb 17, 2014 8:02 pm

I will be delighted to. I have already made several on level one and two, I think and I also try to go to the circle on a regular basis. :D
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Re: Constructive Critique Group

Postby RachelM » Mon Feb 17, 2014 8:25 pm

Sounds great! :D
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Re: Constructive Critique Group

Postby Shann » Mon Feb 17, 2014 8:28 pm

I have already gone to level two and did some! I'm excited.
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Re: Constructive Critique Group

Postby lish1936 » Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:22 pm

I must have read your mind, Graham. I already did one on level 4 and three on level 3. :D

Next week, I'll wait to get your roster. What day will you post it each week?


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Re: Constructive Critique Group

Postby Shann » Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:56 pm

And I have already received a thank you for the comments I made (two different ones) I think we are doing the right thing!
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Re: Constructive Critique Group

Postby Come forth » Tue Feb 18, 2014 1:34 am

I'm reposting the guideline's that Lillian found and posted on the other thread.

Lillian posted:

Six Key Characteristics For Reviews
Your reviews should...

Be Honest.

Helping writers improve their craft is the goal. Honest opinions are what help writers improve. Giving false feedback doesn't help anyone and can lead an author down a long road to bitter disappointment.

Be Encouraging.

Everyone at every level should be encouraged to continue writing! Encouraging reviews are more likely to be used by an author which means the time creating the review was well spent. Whether the author decides to use the reviewer's honest suggestions or not, the review should be motivating and encourage the author to keep writing

Be Respectful.

Regardless of an author's level of skill or talent, a reviewer should always respect that the author is an individual person. A reviewer flaunting that they are better than the author they're reviewing is not respectful and is counter productive.

Be Well-rounded.

While honesty is very important, a review that points out only flaws without any mention of an item's positive points is not nearly as helpful to an author as a well rounded review with both positive and negative remarks. Don't forget, the same goes for reviews that only point out positives! Even the greatest pieces of writing have room for suggestions and opinions.

Be Appealing and Easy to Understand.

When reviewing, presentation is very important. Emoticons can highlight important points in the review and can be creatively used to make the review feel more friendly. Double spaced paragraphs and other appropriate spacing makes reading a review much easier on the eyes.

The Content Of A Review

Keeping in mind the six points highlighted above, a review should contain your opinion. While grammatical, typographical and other errors can be included within a review, don't forget to tell the author how the piece made you feel. Give them your thoughts about the inside of their writing, not just the outside.

Some example questions you may ask yourself about the piece to help you get your opinion across are as follows:

How did the writing make you feel? Did it invoke any emotions?
Can you relate to the writing through a personal experience?
Did the plot interest you? Were the characters believable? Did the dialog flow naturally?
Did the time, place and other setting characteristics work together?
What did you like most? What did you like least? Did anything stand out?
Is there anything you would change within the writing?
Was the writing memorable? Why or why not?
If this were your own writing, what would you want to know from a reviewer?

Incorporating these thoughts within your reviews will expand your own analytical skills allowing you to regard your own writing from another viewpoint. Whether the author agrees with any of your suggestions or ideas is not relevant. You have given them another perspective on their work they would not have otherwise had. They may hear the same thoughts from a number of different people which may give them a better understanding of their readers as a whole.


Thanks Lillian.

Blessings, Graham.
May we all get eyes to see and ears to hear,
A Revelation of His Word, crystal clear.
Admitting our need to be drawn in,
Less of self, more of Him.

My prayer for us all.
God bless us with the Revelation of His Word, Graham
http://www.shekinahcloud.com/page/page/8464330.htm

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Re: Constructive Critique Group

Postby Come forth » Tue Feb 18, 2014 1:40 am

Hi guys, I hope you read this right:
(starting with the new subject released on Thursday 20/2/14)


This week you are running on your own but the roster above is for next week.

I will always post here on Tuesday or Thursday the roster for the COMING challenge; remember, my time is Australian and ahead of you U.S. of A. slowcoaches. :lol: :lol:

Is that okay with everyone or would you prefer a posting closer to the actual release of the topic?

Blessings, Graham.
May we all get eyes to see and ears to hear,
A Revelation of His Word, crystal clear.
Admitting our need to be drawn in,
Less of self, more of Him.

My prayer for us all.
God bless us with the Revelation of His Word, Graham
http://www.shekinahcloud.com/page/page/8464330.htm

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Re: Constructive Critique Group

Postby Shann » Tue Feb 18, 2014 4:47 pm

Can I blame it on sleepwalking? I really do sleep write, even did a challenge once in my sleep. Thank you God that it was appropriate. Another excuse is since I'm home and rarely write down the date I seldom know what the date is. Do I need more excuses? I can come up with some!
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Re: Constructive Critique Group

Postby RachelM » Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:36 am

Come forth wrote:Hi guys, this is for those who have already joined the group.

We do seem to have a small conflict in the directions for giving constructive critiques.

Lillian pointed out that this is posted on the site:

"Weekly writing contest. Learn to write to word count, topic and deadline. To improve your writing skills constructive criticism may occur, unless otherwise requested."

The emphasis here is on an entrant requesting to NOT receive constructive criticism.

The advice given to us so far is that we should not GIVE constructive criticism unless it is requested.

These two are in direct opposition to each other. For me, I'm going with the first advice, which I believe is more in line with the sites aims and goals. Each member of this group will need to make their own decision. If you only want to critique those who request it then the best I can suggest is that you don't start critiquing until a brick is thrown. Rachel did suggest that this may encourage a brick throwing revival; and she may have a point.


Graham, I hope you don't mind me saying this, but I don't really see an opposition here. The first quote is directed at people entering the challenge. They need to be prepared for the possibility of constructive criticism.

The advice given by Deb, Joanne and others was (I think) just advice. They have had experience with people being hurt and in turn angry at FaithWriters. Nobody has forbidden us from leaving constructive feedback, but they are cautioning us.

I think that each of us needs to bring this before the Lord in prayer. Personally, I feel much better waiting until the bricks have been thrown and leaving feedback on entries that have requested red ink.

On the other hand, I sincerely hope that Shann will continue blessing others with her wisdom and insight as she has been doing. She is obviously gifted in this area and has blessed many, including myself.

I hope that I am not misunderstanding or offending anyone.

I love this site, and I'm really excited about being stretched in this way and working with a team of writers who desire to bless others. :thumbs
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Re: Constructive Critique Group

Postby itsjoanne » Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:30 am

RachelM wrote:
Come forth wrote:
These two are in direct opposition to each other. For me, I'm going with the first advice, which I believe is more in line with the sites aims and goals. Each member of this group will need to make their own decision. If you only want to critique those who request it then the best I can suggest is that you don't start critiquing until a brick is thrown. Rachel did suggest that this may encourage a brick throwing revival; and she may have a point.


Graham, I hope you don't mind me saying this, but I don't really see an opposition here. The first quote is directed at people entering the challenge. They need to be prepared for the possibility of constructive criticism.

The advice given by Deb, Joanne and others was (I think) just advice. They have had experience with people being hurt and in turn angry at FaithWriters. Nobody has forbidden us from leaving constructive feedback, but they are cautioning us.


Rachel - at least from my perspective, you are correct. Pretty sure from Deb's as well. You are NOT forbidden from leaving constructive feedback (especially not sandwich comments - which are encouraged). We've just gotten nasty comments and lost members from folks being what the writer considered too critical (and trust me - I KNOW that the people commenting did not think they were being overly critical) in those yellow boxes, and we want you prepared to deal with it.

Listen to the Lord's leading for EACH of you.

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Re: Constructive Critique Group

Postby lish1936 » Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:59 am

Joanne wrote:Rachel - at least from my perspective, you are correct. You are NOT forbidden from leaving constructive feedback (especially not sandwich comments - which are encouraged).


Ditto... That's how I also perceived it.

Joanne wrote:Listen to the Lord's leading for EACH of you.


Double ditto. Amen! :D Asking God 's help and wisdom for the comments we leave, AND for how we respond when our intentions are misunderstood is key.

Lillian
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I write even when I think I can't, because I must. :-)

I love to write. Nothing escapes the crush I have on the written word. I'm hooked on words!!

"Let words bewitch you. Scrutinze them, mull them, savor them, and in combination, until you see their subtle differences and the ways they tint each other." Francis Flaherty

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Re: Constructive Critique Group

Postby Come forth » Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:07 pm

Okay guys, all of your points are noted and accepted.

I just want to clarify that I was not saying we were told NOT to leave constructive comments, but that we were ADVISED not to unless requested. And that advice was given more than once and by more than one.

Now that Mike has added new comments to the 'submit entry page' it is easier to follow that advice and not cause upset.

However, having said that, I am now on the same page as everyone else. I apologize for pushing this issue, but it was important to me even if I did come across as nit picky.

We are good to go and I'll not be rocking the boat any further.

Blessings, Graham.
May we all get eyes to see and ears to hear,
A Revelation of His Word, crystal clear.
Admitting our need to be drawn in,
Less of self, more of Him.

My prayer for us all.
God bless us with the Revelation of His Word, Graham
http://www.shekinahcloud.com/page/page/8464330.htm

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Re: Constructive Critique Group

Postby Come forth » Fri Feb 21, 2014 6:40 pm

Hey guys, we are off and running and it has been a great start.

Our assignments are mentioned above and we each have to do five constructive critiques by the end of this Challenge (The short end of the stick).

Remember Mike's six points as we go this week:

1) Please critique within your own abilities. If you are not certain do not point it out.

2) Consider using the sandwich method of reviewing. Start with a compliment, point out the corrections, end with a compliment.

3) Remember you are critiquing to help the writer.

4) Remember, if a writer wants a more in-depth critique they can go to the critique circle.

5) Pay attention to the writers request. If they request no red ink, please listen.

6) Start a bit slower this week. Many entries had already been posted before we added the new language to the Challenge submission page.

Last week was awesome with a definite increase in constructive comments.

Thanks everyone.

Blessings, Graham.
May we all get eyes to see and ears to hear,
A Revelation of His Word, crystal clear.
Admitting our need to be drawn in,
Less of self, more of Him.

My prayer for us all.
God bless us with the Revelation of His Word, Graham
http://www.shekinahcloud.com/page/page/8464330.htm

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