Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Eek! (02/25/10)
TITLE: A Heart-Breaking Critique
By Marilyn Schnepp
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Nobody would ever stoop to critique a baby, especially not to the parents. To say, "His eyes are a little too close together," or "her mouth is too large for her face," is strictly off base and never done - even in our modern impolite, disrespectful and anti-civil world we live in today, it's a No, No!
However, we're all writers, right? (Or at least wanna-be writers), and whatever we write is like our baby. Something we worked on for hours, trying to make it into something unique, fascinating, inspiring, unforgetable and perhaps accomplishing a lump in the throat, a tear in the eye, or a smile on the face of our readers. Writers are proud of their work....so, Yes, just like parents, we're ever so sensitive when it comes to a critique that puts our baby down.
But here's where the two must part. A child needs compliments to improve their growing process, whereas a writer needs honest critiques, to improve THEIR progress. Many times I don't finish reading a story because it is downright boring....but could I dare put " too boring" down as a critique and break their heart?
This is one time "being nice" doesn't help a writer eke out of poverty into a millionaire Best Seller List. If an article, poem, essay or story is boring, has bad grammar, incorrect paragraphing, no oomph, or wrong punctuation and badly needs editing, why can't we just be honest and help them?
My favorite critique idol is Simon Cowel, the mean judge on Amrican Idol. He's mean, but honest; and althouh he get's booed regularly, he always gets the biggest ovation of anyone on the panel when his name is announced. Take notice next time. People evidently admire honesty.
Following his example, I will critique the word "eek". It was not found in any of my three dictionaries, nor would Spell Check accept it as legitimate; So, if I'm going to be an "Honest-to-goodness Critique Artist", and try to eke out a living at it, I'm going to have to ruin, derail, demean, and squash out an innocent, but illegitimate baby by the name of "Eek."
Sorry folks, but that's the way it is, and until Daniel Webster says it's "IN", and Spell Check agrees... Honesty is still the best policy.
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