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for Reviews: The Case For Constructive Criticism

10/31/2017 c1 8PJ Wise
I definitely agree with you regarding both sides of the fence. There are those out there whose main goal is the flame...and there are others who basically are giving a bona fide critique of the work.

First of all, it's opinion based AND factual to begin with. For example, someone critiqued my work for not having the British spelling of words (colour versus color, etc). That is a matter of opinion, because Webster and Colliers both say that either form is correct. Wrong grammar, however, is a different story.

Another is wordiness. A perform might get hurt over a comment about wordiness, but keep writing and let a handful of years pass by...read the same work again along with the constructive review. Chances are (depending on how truthful you are about yourself) that you're agreeing more full-heartedly with the reviewer.

Sometimes, one has to think on why he or she wrote and posted in the first place. Did you write for the reviews alone, making it a popularity contest? Did you write to use it as an outlet or an avenue to be creative and to de-stress - also hoping that you can reach out and inspire others? Did you write because you are passionate about it? Hopefully, no matter what is your reason for writing, may you be patient to those who are truly offering a constructive review...and may you not bunch them up along with the flamers.
11/1/2015 c1 2LizzieS
I agree with you. In fact, now that I think about it, one of the reasons I may be so hesitant to review is that I'm tempted to correct their grammar/spelling mistakes but feel like I may come off as too strict or critical.

However, as someone who hopes to eventually do this as a living, I recognize that you need to make sure your grammar and spelling is close to perfect and the best thing I can do is help other writers.
7/10/2006 c1 9Queen Anabella
I agree. I absolutely love constructive criticism. Only if they're constructive, though. If they're unneccessary, I get a little annoyed. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, however. And I like getting my spelling corrected, because there's really nothing more that ruins a story then misspelled words that are hard to figure out.
3/28/2006 c1 3Theresa Green
I couldn't agree with you more, Madcow13 - constructive criticism is absolutely essential if we are to improve as writers. In comparison with the harsh world of publishing in print, the world of online fiction and fan-fiction is generally very friendly and possibly a little bit too chummy. (I'll tell you your stories are wonderful if you tell me my stories are wonderful, kind of thing.) It is much more useful if a critic points out things that could be improved as well as complimenting you. Some of the most useful feedback I've had has been from fellow writers who have taken my writing apart bit by bit (in a cheerful and amicable sort of way) and giving it a good grilling. "This comment is out of character," for example, or "This is just a weasel word that means nothing - delete it," or "The pace has dropped too much. Get some action going!"It sounds like you are a serious writer and as such you understand the importance of having a thick skin. Sadly there are plenty of writers out there who are less mature and are more concerned about their egos than their stories.Thank you for reviewing 'A Quiet Crusade'. I think that you would be there with my characters cheering them on in their quest.All the best, Theresa Green
1/31/2006 c1 5The Green Crow
“What, are you like the official editor of fictionpress? If we wanted advice or spelling lessons we would ask and I don't think we have.” - anonymous review

Who does this guy think he's kidding? In my point of view, submitting something to fictionpress is the equivilent of asking for help on improving it! The whole point of fictionpress is to help others improve and to improve yourself. You also argued it very well, and good for you for not puting up with this crap.
1/31/2006 c1 20Pheobe Meryll
Your points are very valid and perfectly good. I have been refuted on grammar corrections before by people who insisted that I was too rigid; however, I was only following the standard rules of grammar. Constructive criticism is a really good thing, and I definately value the well-thought-out reviews I recieve more than careless ones (although I do value any comments I am given). Sometimes the tone of the critisism is hard for me to handle, but when I leave it alone for a minute or two and then look at it frankly, I usually find that the writer knew what he was talking about. After all, we're all here for the same reason, so let's help each other, no?

In that spirit, I did notice a (very) few mistakes in this essay, which I will cite now...

"if anyone does have a problem with how I review can you please email me and not leave a review for me." This is a question, so you need a question mark there at the end. Also, you may want to go over that paragraph becuase it seemed a bit overly emotional for an essay. I know it is a personal taste issue, so it's just a suggestion.

"Some people don't like to give constructive critisism because they are afraid of hurting the author's feelings but one part of being an author is the ability to take constructive critisism." Comma needed after "feelings."

"I spell check but obviously some mistakes slip past me." Comma after "spell check"

There were continued instances of missing commas which, while important, is not half so bad or annoying as ecxessive commas...still, it seems to be a styalistic habit, so you may want to work on that.

"Spelling and grammar is an easily corrected thing so you may as well try to score one hundred percent on that." Since you say 'spelling and grammar,' you should continue with 'ARE easily corrected..."

Anyway, you did overall a very good job with this essay. I appreciate your looking for help as well as praise, and I hope I've balanced both. :) Good luck! It's people like you who keep fcpress the way it should be!
12/24/2005 c1 7Razelle
thank you for writing this. this essay has a message that many authors should read. i agree with all the points you made.

12/13/2005 c1 Alandra Dally
Definitions (for those not in the know):

FLAME - An abusive and immature slate of someone's work. All a flame will do is tell you how rubbish your work is, that your intellect makes primodial soup look like Einstein, that your writing is about as fluid as a slug on cocaine... but the flame itself will generally be written in the style of a moronic five year old.

CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM - A compliment. Someone has taken their time out to help you improve your work. Thank them. One way to do this is return the favour. Or, if nothing they've written appeals to you, (or if you don't have the time, or whatever) pop them an email and says thanks. Share the love, people. This site is about improving, not about pretending we're perfect. We're not. If we were, we'd be published and rich, and even when you get accepted by a publisher they change your manuscript.

A good essay, Madcow, and hopefully a few people out there will listen.
12/13/2005 c1 7Alankria
And, as it says on the bottom of this review screen: "It is extremely helpful to use this opportunity to comment on an aspect of the story that can be improved. A well rounded critique is often the most rewarding tool for the writer." A general message to anyone reading these reviews: If all you ever receive are fangirl reviews, often littered with anime smiles, out-of-place Japanese words like 'kawai' and text-message abbreviations, then nine times out of ten you are writing pure and utter b*ll*cks. Thanks, Madcow, for writing this essay, and I hope a lot of people take heed.
11/30/2005 c1 Lacy originality
Gr8 work...i love how you got to the point and was straight forward about it. good argument and as far as i'm concerned i totally agree with u. Ican't stand it when people can't take constructive criticm after all it was meant to help and not to undermine... good job on proving your point as well, all you need to do is check for some speeling errors and this will be gold.

p.s. if u ever have any spare time your welcome to r.r one of my stories as i just signed on this site a few days ago...

11/17/2005 c1 xInSaNexBlOoDyxPrInCeSs
Hello. *Waves* There is a certain friend of mine who takes "constructive criticism" very far, and I found that he was right in every aspect. Anyhow, I like your argument. Point number one is easily rectified. All you need to do is use spell check and reread your work. Of course, there will be some mistakes that slipped past, but typing as people do on AIM would be unacceptable, as works posted on Fictionpress are meant to be proudly showcased projects. Anyhow, good job on this. ^.~

~The~ Insane~Bloody~PRINCESS
11/5/2005 c1 1Goddess Aurora
What you said here is quite true. I don't understand how come people can't take critizisms. They were there only to help the writers. If they can't take critizisms, they won't be able to improve their writing skills. Of course, flame is another story. I guess people misinterpret critizisms as flames. As long as the reviewers give critizism in a nice way, then everything should be fine.
9/25/2005 c1 14CreativeEdge
Its good to know that other authors feel the same way that i do about reviewing.

Constructive critism is the main reason to review , it gives the author the view point of the reader, it helps the author see little mistakes that escaped them and it also helps move the story along.That said, sometimes a simple compliment can make a persons day.

8/28/2005 c1 4stroke in a can
This essay quite amuses me. It's too bad that people can't take constructive criticism although in some cases I've seen criticism given rudely, which can become offensive. I for one, hate it when I've been spelling something wrong or whatever and no one tells me because then you just look like an idiot to whoever reads your work.
8/18/2005 c1 24katmonkey
I totally agree with you. And thanks for your review. I think it's good when someone gives constructive criticism as it's what enables us to become better writers. I can't find any mistakes in your essay so well done!

And in response to your review, yeah, most people would call it Secondary school but round where I live in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire there are lots of schools called "... High School" so it's kind of a habit for me to call it that too. Also, since f/p is American and has lots of North American members, they might not get what "secondary school" is.

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