Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Criticize is Gone - Critique is the In-Thing

Journal 4-2

No one says "criticize" anymore. It sounds to negative. The new thing these days is a "critique." Sounds much nicer doesn't it? And it encompasses both the negative and positive aspects of a critical review. Jolly good.

I used to be (and sort of still am) in an online workshop group for short story writers. There I honed my style of critiquing and always hoped that when people worked with my writings I got the same courtesty back from them. Critters is the name of the place because that's what we are. Short name for a critique? A crit. hehe.

Ok, so what do I want to see? Well I'm not the type that believes an initial piece of work is perfect. Granted, like most people it's hard to take tidbits that tell you what bites about your story, even when it is put in a nice, diplomatic way. But I want to know. Be nice, but tell me what does indeed suck about my story. I mean, after all, if you can't find the kink in the software, how the hell else are you going to fix it so that it works? Besides, knowing what people don't like can help me adapt to things that work for everyone. That way, when people tell me things that they thought were magically delicious in my manuscript, I can either keep them or find ways to work around them. It all boils down to finding that happy medium between what you want and what your audience wants. Granted, I don't use everyone's suggestions - if only one person out of ten doesn't like something, there's a good chance I won't bother with it. But I've had work come back with the same mentionings of certain spots in my story, so when 99% of those who look at my work think something needs to change, usually they have a point. Many times I've looked at what they've said, looked back at my story and thought "Oh yeah...duh."

I like things to be written though. I don't always need to hear people explain this and that because things are much easier when they're written down. That way I can go back and look at what they've had to say instead of trying to remember what so-and-so had to say. It makes things much easier to compare as well - easier to see how many people said "this part isn't very good" so I can then decide what exactly I should do with said part, if anything.

It's good to know that I'm not perfect. Makes it much easier to accept that my writing isn't either.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

No, *you* rock hardcore. Dream on, you fuckin' dreamer. What is the symbolism for the bloody eyeball? j/k