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A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

General, open discussion regarding writing, getting published, markets, pointers, and other related topics. All are welcome! No advertising, please!

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Re: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby lish1936 » Thu Mar 06, 2014 12:31 pm

Totally awed by a very special, "Thank You" from a Weekly Challenge author. I only share this to encourage others to take the "reviewer" plunge. Jump in, the water's fine. :D

Like me, you may not have a lot of writing credentials, but as Peter said, "what I do have I give you." :D After the initial shock :shock: , most authors really do appreciate thoughtful comments.

Blessings,

Lillian
E-Book - Retirement Lane - How to Celebrate Life After 60

Fortunate 500


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: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

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Re: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby lish1936 » Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:45 pm

Buck wrote:I'm still new and learning my way around the community. I've found a lot of tremendously helpful articles on how to write, but I haven't found any articles about how to critique.


viewtopic.php?f=35&t=28273

viewtopic.php?f=54&t=11730

viewtopic.php?f=54&t=31273

Buck, I'm not sure what you had in mind, but I thought before we reinvent the wheel, :D I would let you know what's currently on the forum. Since you're new, you may have missed it -all this in addition to the information at the beginning of this thread.

Perhaps it might be a good idea to have all the information in one place. What specifically are you suggesting?

Blessings,

Lillian
E-Book - Retirement Lane - How to Celebrate Life After 60

Fortunate 500


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: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

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Re: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby Come forth » Thu Mar 06, 2014 7:21 pm

Hi Buck, I love the way you are jumping into things. You will be a great asset to FW.

Personally I feel you need to look around a little more and get the feel of this wonderful community. Go to this page http://www.faithwriters.com/critique-circle.php and you will find two links that have pop up boxes. The first is critique guidelines and the second is critique tips. They contain a very clear message and really, apart from your example request, they answer all of your comments.

To be honest, guidelines are more important than examples. And yes, the forums can be difficult to follow. but on the other hand if you are really interested in the conversation it is important to follow what has already been said. Once up to date, it is reasonably easy to stay up to date.

I'm not against your idea of an article on critiques, but nor would I join in the task. There is more than enough out there on the subject for us all to understand how to do it.

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: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

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Re: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby lish1936 » Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:50 pm

I can see both sides of this issue. And I tend to think that Buck is on to something worth considering. That's why I had suggested early on using the Critique Group thread as a "laboratory" for taking a piece and collectively sharing different critiques by members of the group for the same article. It would be a "hands-on" approach to improving the critique/review process that could be limited to one article a week or twice a week.

One thing disturbs me, should this materialize, and it relates to a section of Deb's suggestions regarding critiques:

Receiving Critiques

"How you handle critiques you receive is just as important as how you give them to others. It’s perfectly natural to want to defend your work, but it isn’t a healthy thing to do in a writers’ group. When receiving a critique, here are a few things to bear in mind:

Don’t argue with someone’s critique of your work. If you don’t like the changes he or she has suggested, just say “Thank you,” and move on. After all, a critique is an opinion, and we’re all entitled to our own opinions."


I think her suggestion is a good one to embrace.

Blessings,

Lillian
E-Book - Retirement Lane - How to Celebrate Life After 60

Fortunate 500


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: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby Come forth » Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:43 pm

Okay, I'm confused. I wasn't aware that there was an issue.

Buck made a suggestion and opened up a conversation; I joined in. No issue here.

Lillian said:

That's why I had suggested early on using the Critique Group thread as a "laboratory" for taking a piece and collectively sharing different critiques by members of the group for the same article. It would be a "hands-on" approach to improving the critique/review process that could be limited to one article a week or twice a week.


Post me back to this Lillian; I must have missed it.

I thought the whole conversation was about increasing the number of constructive comments on Challenge entries; I don't remember anything about creating a 'laboratory' to improve the critique process. I obviously had tunnel vision here and apologize.

I like the idea of a collective critique for one or two articles a week; actually think it's great. But I don't see a need to improve the 'way' that critiques are done. But maybe I've misunderstood you.

I think that Deb's comment is taken out of context here. She is suggesting that we do not react to critiques by entering into an argument and become defensive. And I agree.

However, the process here at the moment, and reinforced by Buck's own comments about articles on writing a good critique, is to discuss critiques verses reviews, how to write a good critique, how to improve the critique numbers without demolishing writer confidence and how to do it following this sites guidelines; an issue I've been passionate about for some time.

I can't discuss these issues without discussing Buck's critique; it is central to the point Buck is making about knowing how to do a critique. My desire here, without offending Buck or putting him off leaving critiques, is to help him learn how this site works.

To make judgments on the past experiences of a writer, based on ones own life, is not a part of a critique; I felt Buck needed to know this.

There is lots more I could have said, but Buck did me a favor and I thanked profusely. I learnt something, actually a lot, from Buck's review. My prayer is that I also helped Buck to learn something about critiques, especially on this site, by my response.

I just also want to say. The five stages of grief are linked to the process of someone going through terminal illness. They are not linked to someone going through crisis. My point here is that we all respond in different ways to emotional stimulus. It is important in giving a critique that we appreciate the writer as much as the story. If our increase in critiques follows through, then the learning process for the critique giver is as important as the one the writer goes through.

I personally believe that if the 'group critique' that you have suggested happens, then writers are going to respond to these critiques and discuss them. And they need to or the critique giver will never learn how their critique was received.

Sorry for being long winded, and I don't mind if you disagree.

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: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby lish1936 » Fri Mar 07, 2014 6:20 am

Graham wrote:Post me back to this Lillian; I must have missed it



Posted Feb. 16th...
"As our Coordinator, what do you think about trying to elevate the conversation here, so that we don't have to address every adverse reaction to comments made? We've already acknowledged that there will be differences of opinion. A once very expressive Faithwriter buddy always admonished me when forwarding her reviews "to eat the meat, and spit out the bones." That should apply on both sides.

I would love to see this thread as one that supports the reviewer, not discourages him/her. In my opinion, anyone who has a problem with a critique should address it directly to the person. As I've previously stated, we're all aspiring writers who should be willing to learn and to share.


Some ideas for the new thread might be:

1) Post samples of anonymous reviews from the Challenge that demonstrate the sandwich approach.
2) Post samples of anonymous, negative responses and discuss how one would handle it.
3) Post a sample fiction and non-fiction article, and give each reviewer an opportunity to write a critique using the sandwich method, followed by a corporate discussion. We would use Faithwriter's Guidelines as well as those posted on this site."

Graham wrote:I personally believe that if the 'group critique' that you have suggested happens, then writers are going to respond to these critiques and discuss them. And they need to or the critique giver will never learn how their critique was received



Just to clarify: Sample critiques would not involve the author of the article. Critiques written by members of the group would be discussed within the group to see if there were additional points/suggestions/ideas to improve the critique. That's why I referred to it as a laboratory/hands-on - a metaphor for experimenting/learning.

I'm revisiting this only because of Buck's suggestion and your request to post it again. I have no problem with keeping things as they are.

Blessings,

Lillian
E-Book - Retirement Lane - How to Celebrate Life After 60

Fortunate 500


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: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby tomoral » Fri Mar 07, 2014 7:55 am

Boy, oh boy, do I ever see this all getting out of hand. Leave the critique process as it is. If reviews are given the way Buck did Graham's, picking apart the article line by line, people are going to leave this site and never come back.

Leave it alone, I say.

Just my simple minded opinion. :roll:
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Re: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby buckspub » Fri Mar 07, 2014 9:52 am

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Re: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby tomoral » Fri Mar 07, 2014 10:00 am

I didn't mean to imply you are the reason for the drop in submissions, Buck. I don't think you have been around long enough for that. I was simply stating there was a drop since last week, and that reviewers should be aware.

Will I ever learn?
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Children are our tomorrow
Keep them daily from the sorrow
Of the beasts in life

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Re: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby tomoral » Fri Mar 07, 2014 10:32 am

I had previously posted that there was a decline in challenge entries. I was wrong. I was counting the previous week. So sorry. :oops:

I stand by my thinking that the current way of doing critiques sufficient.
God Bless the beasts and the children
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Re: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby lish1936 » Fri Mar 07, 2014 11:44 am

Lynn wrote:I stand by my thinking that the current way of doing critiques sufficient


Lynn, no one, at least I'm not, is suggesting that we change the way critiques are done. The suggestion to analyze them to see how they might be improved upon was for those who had agreed to be a part of the group.

For ex: I belong to the Critique Group, and I write a comment on an article. But perhaps I missed something, or I could have said it better. By bringing it to the group for their input, I improve my critiquing skills. There are times when I see a problem, but lack the ability to articulate it. Here again, it would be nice to come to the group to ask, "how would you word that?"

But that takes the Critique Group to a whole different level, and therefore not doable.

Blessings,

Lillian
E-Book - Retirement Lane - How to Celebrate Life After 60

Fortunate 500


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: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby Come forth » Fri Mar 07, 2014 5:52 pm

Thanks for posting me back, Lillian. I appreciate it and apologize, I certainly missed it.

Lyn, it's okay that you want the style of critique to remain as it is. So do I.

Buck, don't stop giving critiques or comments. You input is huge and valuable. But I would ask that you learn to do it in the style that this site uses. A good comment, a constructive comment given in love rather than just professionally based, followed by another encouraging comment. Your professional style of critique is more than welcome by private message for those who ask for it, you can do it for me on any story of mine you like, but it is not the style encouraged by this site for public display.

Lillian, I'm not sure that your idea for the critique group is not doable. In fact I think it is a great idea and well worth following through. One problem that I feel we would need to address is the willingness of all participants to feel free to discuss the piece in question (that includes the writer and critique givers) and to realize that we are going to end up discussing both objectively and subjectively. That is the only way I see it working if we do it publicly.

You cannot discuss a writers article in depth without inviting them to join, that wouldn't seem right to me. Besides, why wouldn't we want them to join in; it's for their benefit and learning as much as ours.

The only other way is to send the thread 'dark', a thread accessed by only those in the critique group. I know this is doable but I'm not sure how I feel about it.

I see the truth of what Buck is saying "Old-style forums like these are good for discussions, but not necessarily hosting informational documentation". It's very valid and if some guys wish to cooperate with Bucks suggestion about a critiquing article, that's great. I don't have anymore time to put into it but I would certainly read it.

But the other point is that we are not just talking about an article style information, but also the living experience that forum discussion gives us. A 'live' discussion where we talk about the critique we just gave, the writers response (every bit, perhaps even more so, as important for us to learn about) and improving our critique skills on an up-to-date daily basis.

Maybe we could try this by adding to our assignments one more task.

As members of the Critique Group, we could volunteer in turns to use our personal entries for this 'laboratory'. We can then each submit a critique on the Challenge page, it can be linked from here once the brick is thrown, and then come back and discuss that critique in depth with the other members.

How does that all sound?

Actually, another benefit here, is that this may encourage other members to pop over and join us here.

The important thing to me is that we keep talking. We may not always agree with each other; in fact we wont. But let's keep discussing it. That's how success comes.

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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