Welcome Guest [Log In] [Register]
Welcome to Survival of the Fittest, a RPing board loosely based off of Koshun Takami's Battle Royale, with its own unique plot and spin on the 'deadly game'. We've been around quite a while, and are now in our thirteenth year, so don't worry about us going anywhere any time soon!

If you're a newcomer and interested in joining, then please make sure you check out the rules. You may also want to read the FAQ, introduce yourself and stop by the chat to meet some of our members. If you're still not quite sure where to start, then we have a great New Member's Guide with a lot of useful information about getting going. Don't hesitate to PM a member of staff (they have purple usernames) if you have any questions about SOTF and how to get started!

Let the games begin!

Username:   Password:
Add Reply
The Critique Guide (Crossposted from Mini); How to tell people they be writing good or not.
Topic Started: Jun 14 2011, 11:03 PM (1,188 Views)
Outfoxd
Contender
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
((Note: This is specifically for the classic, thread-style critiques we have been doing. Granted, most of it still applies to the low-pressure style we'll be utilizing in the bulk of the subforum.


Tips on How to give a substantial critique (The Fox Method)

Since it was asked for, I'm working on it. Now, everyone is going to have their own method to critique. Every writer is going to have different things to find important, or different things they don't like to see in writing. But they key is being able to justify what you say, and showing the person being critiqued where in their writing these points are happening.

Don't consider this a step-by-step guide on how to do a critique. I've been a writing tutor for three years, and this is the process I've developed out of habit and training. Just consider this a guideline or an example of one way to do it.

1. Read through the person's work.

This is an obvious one; you can't critique if you haven't read anything. Go through their writing. Find what's interesting, find consistent strong points or weak points. See how the character interacts with others, see how they work alone. Since we're concerned more with the global issues (characterization, strength of narrative), I wouldn't worry about grammar and such.

What I do, and recommend people do, is take notes as you read. I usually pull out quotes I find notable from the writing and store them in a document for later, then put in a side note about why I found the quote notable. What's important is reading through the character almost straight through; if you get too bogged down trying to find things to say from the start, your reading will lack cohesion as you chop up the narrative instead of read it as one piece while you pull out notes.

2. Start with the positives.

Another product of my training, but I think an effective way to critique. Start with what you liked. Talk about what worked for you, things you think the writer was trying to do that worked. Talk about particular turns of phrase that were clever, strong pieces of writing that you noticed. It's always goodd to start with positives.

3. Ask questions.

When you start getting to the point where you're talking about what worked, don't always (being a bit hypocritical here) just say what you didn't like and point it out directly. Ask questions about things. If someone has a long, out-of-character moment, I might ask "Why did they act this way after being different before?", and hopefully I would get justification for the mis-characterization.

The idea here (again, something passed down to me from my tutoring experience) isn't just to turn out better writing, but better writers. If you just tell someone what's wrong, then wham, bam, they can fix it and that's the end of that. But if you ask them questions, you lead them to look into the issue themselves, and hopefully find what it is they did and understand it instead of just fixing it and being done.

4. Be specific.

Any critique can benefit from details and examples justifying your points. For me, this is where my pulled out quotes come in. People can see in my critiques I tend to write them in a quote-by-quote fashion. Oftentimes my critiques contain as much of someone else's text as they do my own writing. This is because providing the specific quotes wherein I see issues or things I'd like to address helps drive the point home. Also, I'd rather not send the person being critiqued scrambling through their own posts looking for what I chose to mention.

5. End strong.

I tend to do a summation at the end of the critique, just something as a secondary reminder of what's going on, or an admonition of the writer to continue doing what it is I liked. Reinforcement is always good.


In any case, I hope this guide will help us to get some strong feedback on our writing, so that we might develop into even stronger authors.
V5 Characters:

Leona Van Kamp
Current Thread: Arcadia


Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Outfoxd
Contender
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
Thread Etiquette:


Something I feel I should have noted is how critique threads are typically supposed to happen.

One person posts a critique, then the next post in the thread is generally supposed to be a critique of that person.

So:

Person B critiques Person A.

Then Person C posts, critiquing person B.

Thereby we have a line in an orderly fashion.


A point of contention for me I'd like to state is that I don't think it's a particularly good idea to "call critiques" in advance. Here I mean when a person posts saying "I will critique so and so later" and pledges to do so a later date.

I'd say if you're able to do a critique, do it. But don't call one. When you call somebody to critique, it means other people won't touch that person. It's all well and good if you shoot one out in a couple days, but if you don't really have the time or something happens, that person is stuck waiting until you get around to it. In the meantime, someone else could have given that person a critique and kept the thread moving.

The called critiques trend is especially prevalent in the TV critique thread, which is why I drew attention to it.

So yeah, if you're gonna critique, just do it. If you don't have time at the point you look at it, leave it to somebody else until you have a free moment.
V5 Characters:

Leona Van Kamp
Current Thread: Arcadia


Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
1 user reading this topic (1 Guest and 0 Anonymous)
« Previous Topic · Critiques · Next Topic »
Add Reply