Constructive Criticism, The Dos and Don'ts

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Constructive Criticism, The Dos and Don'ts

Post by Admin on Wed Apr 29, 2015 7:34 pm

Constructive criticism: advice that is useful and intended to help or improve something, often with an offer of possible solutions

Criticism: The act of passing judgment as to the merits of anything.
2. The act of passing severe judgment; censure; faultfinding.
3. The act or art of analyzing and evaluating or judging the quality of a literary or artistic work, musical performance, art exhibit, dramatic production, etc.

We welcome constructive criticism here, not "plain-old" criticism because it is more faultfinding than helpful. Please be mindful of this!

When giving your critique on somebody's writing, please be mindful of their feelings. We're all humans here! well. Please try to phrase your critique as nicely as possible. We want everyone and their written works to succeed. You want the story/fanfic/essay/etc. to succeed.

Examples of Good Constructive Critique:

Example 1:
Example 1:
Personally I really love this story! Though, I'ma help you out.
Not sure if people pointed this out...but you focus too heavily on their problems. You need to focus on their personalities, you're trying to make us sympathize with them. But you're going about it the wrong way, instead of focusing on their problems try focusing on their personalities. Riko's love for cat's isn't exactly abnormal.
Plus I get the whole making this a serious series theme. But again, you're going about it the wrong way. In real life people don't get teased nearly as bad as Riko for having Autism, or being Goth. For Marina, usually people would feel horrible for her. Homosexuality shouldn't be focused on so heavily for one of the girl's let alone frowned upon by every person. Look at Entwined Hearts, Capulet and Montauge's homosexuality isn't frowned upon by every living creature/human/thing. Sure the parent's don't approve of it but still.
Kayo and Amaya as well, while their romance is prominent and Sumiko's possible crush on Sora is too. It isn't focused on heavly and isn't looked down upon by every person in the series. Sure in Rainy Day Romance a few people give Kayo and Amaya some odd looks.
Let's see...the whole Marina-Will-End-Up-Like-Her-Father deal. While it is a concept the fact of the matter is MOST of the time people would sympathize/pity her. Not constantly shove it in her face.
I think that's your problem with TwiPre, you're trying to use real problems in fake format. While Autism, Bullying, Homosexuality frown upon, Child death, homelessness, and Gothic dislike is real. You're using it for the sake of drama. Your over fabricating the actual reality of it. Autism is a real thing but ALL kids except, like, three or four making fun of her. That's a bit extreme, plus the child death that wasn't executed correctly.
While Cure Duck/Umiko Kawasawa did 'die' as in a giant castle came toppling down onto her. She didn't die, a few seconds before it would've crushed her she was sealed into that thirty two number clock. While it could be considered child death it isn't used where she gets electrocuted and stuff.
Again, Marina being bullied the way she is is HIGHLY unrealistic...
While this series is 'cute' for some RARE moments. It does have a TON of potential.
What you need to do is scrap TwiPre complete and start anew. Maybe not have all the characters be bullied/have problems, have a good majority of HAPPY episodes while stick with sad as well. Not have homosexuality be a key, etc.

Example 2:
Example 2:
I think what you are doing is picturing the scene in your mind as if it were on TV, and are transcribing everything including the visual cues to the reader. Although there is typically nothing wrong with this technique, but I think you are overdoing it in such a way that some visual cues simply stick out and feel out of place. For example, the dust particles floating in thin air, while looks cool in the visual medium, comes off as odd as a written piece.

Example 3:
Example 3:
Your short story is very lovely! I love how you used metaphor to describe your characters! I think if you used a little less metaphor however, it'll be just what you need! While metaphor is great, too much can detract from the story. {provide examples to help the problem and person out}

Examples of Bad Constructive Critique:

Example 1:
Example 1:
Ehhh.. It's ok? I mean you used way too much metaphor and it's overbearing to the story. Sorry! You should probably take some of the metaphors out.

Example 2:
Example 2:
Hello uh
So. Rape scene. And abuse. In a Precure fanseries.
You keep saying in those fancure confessions that you promised to improve in them but... honestly, where is it? Where's the fucking improvement? Because frankly I barely see them. And actually, I doubt you even improved at all.
Do you really fuckign think that something like RAPE and ABUSE and RAMPANT ABLEISM IS ACCEPTABLE IN A /PRECURE FANSERIES?!/
Like please. Fucking amuse me. What made you think that ANY OF THESE IS FUCKING OKAY? You said that there would be a good ending? Yeah sure okay I'll fucking bite. BUT AT WHAT FUCKING COST?! THE MURDER?! holy shit it's not even worth it it's just a fucking murderfest. a dark and edgy /afterschool special/ that is supposed to be a PRECURE FANSERIES? A SHOW ABOUT LITTLE GIRLS FIGHTING FOR HOPE AND LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP? bruh
I... I absolutely have no other words oh my god YOU TRIGGERED ONE OF MY FRIENDS, ACTUALLY. INCREDIBLE
of course my inbox will always be open to any of your whiteknights who are utterly imbecilic enough to defend this problematic mess

Example 3:
Example 3:
To be honest I don't think there's any saving this? No matter what you do and how much you revamp, it's always going to be hugely problematic, offensive, and outright racist. In all honesty, it should be scrapped entirely.

Example 4:
Example 4:
You know, I honestly sat on this reply for a long time, and I considered not saying anything at all, but after seeing this post, I can’t just say nothing. I have to say this, and I’m glad I had a few hours to think it over.

Julia, how DARE you.

How dare you do this? No, I don’t simply mean writing a villain’s backstory as “her 15-year-old daughter was raped and the villain blamed HER for it, then the daughter died and so did the baby.” I mean, how dare you react in this way?

Julia, I was willing to give you a chance. Okay? I was sitting here, during this whole thing, thinking “Okay, she probably has trouble with certain elements in her fics. At least she deleted the most offensive stuff and is trying again.” I thought “Oh, she’s not good at dealing with people, but I’m sure she’ll get better.” But today, seeing this response, you’ve proven me wrong. You wrote a chapter with rape of an underage girl, victim blaming and shaming, and child death, just to show why your villain was awful. You didn’t need to have those elements in your story to do that, but that’s not the real issue here.

The real issue is…you don’t care.

You don’t care about the people you triggered and hurt by that – my GIRLFRIEND was triggered by that, Julia! Do you know how hurt she was? You don’t care about who you potentially could trigger, because if you did, you wouldn’t say all this. You don’t care about offending, upsetting, or triggering your current readers or potential ones – and yes, you lost several potential readers, when I had to put up a trigger warning for you, because you clearly couldn’t be bothered to do it, and several people came forward and said they were immensely triggered by such material and were going to stay away from this story. You don’t care about them either, because if you did, you wouldhave warned for everything that was in that chapter. Or you would have rated your entire fic M, that way the younger readers who go into that section of ffnet, or the older readers who just want something in the PreCure spirit, wouldn’t so readily find it.

You don’t care about anyone but yourself. You have made that abundantly clear in this response, as you’re much more wordy not on the fact that you hurt people badly and are sorry, but on *~*gosh sorry you were offended*~* and yelling at people who were upset and triggered. You spent the majority of this response talking about how mean you think everyone is for “defining you based on your mistakes” and “not being nice in their criticisms.”

Oh, and guess what, Julia? We tried to be nice. We tried to be nice about this. We nicely told you what was wrong with this story. We nicely told you that you should warn for triggers. We nicely told you that certain elements were very problematic and not okay.

And you didn’t listen. So being nice clearly didn’t work.

You proved, both by not listening to us and by this response, that the only person you care about is you. You think that only your feelings matter. You don’t care who you upset, who you trigger (Oh, and don’t pull that bullshit “Gosh how was I to know that people could be triggered by just words?” because it wasn’t the words, it was the fucking scene. It was a mother blaming her child for being raped that triggered people, it was an underage girl dying horribly while her baby was strangled that made people upset and not want to read. It was victim-shaming, victim-blaming, neglect and child abuse that made people triggered because this shit doesn’t happen solely in fiction, Julia.) or who you hurt. All you care about is that people are nice and sugarcoat everything and blow smoke up your ass, while you hang back and use your autism as an excuse for what you put in your fanseries. “I didn’t know this was wrong! I don’t know how to deal with people!” Julia, several of my friends are autistic and they know that you have to warn for rape. They know you give stories with content like TwiPre higher ratings than what you gave it. And they know to be sincere in their apologies for triggering someone, instead of saying “Okay but you guys are being mean so let me make this all about me and my feelings instead of your legitimate hurt.”

You don’t care about any of your readers, potential or existing, any of your potential friends, anyone who might stumble across your fic. You only care about yourself. This wasn’t an apology, this was you trying to become the victim in a situation where you were the one hurting people.

This was you trying to distract people from the horrid ableism of your fic – and yes, killing off the autistic 13-year-old in the most horrible of ways is ableist. Depicting her as a girl who speaks third-person and plays with corpses of cats because she doesn’t know any better is ableist. Having an entire city be against the other autistic girl, throwing rocks at her and calling her names, even if you try to shoehorn in a moral against bullying, is ableist because they don’t learn their lessons for good, and everyone is against her – by saying “Oh but this other fic that’s not even in this fandom was way worse!”

No. We’re not talking about that fic or that author, we’re talking about you. This is what a little kid does when he spills flour, points and says that Jim spilled paint, go yell at him.

You’re twenty-one years old, fucking act like it.

I had been willing to give you a chance, but no.

No, I’m done.

You’ve made several “apologies” before, but never followed through. You never warned for triggers. You still aren’t even truly apologizing, you’re blaming others for your own issues. You claimed you were trying to get better, but then you just got worse and tried to make yourself look like a poor, innocent victim.

I’m done with you. I’m done trying with you, I’m done telling myself “she just needs a little time,” I’m done with everything.

I hope to God you mature and actually see the error of your ways and actually apologize to these people, but God knows I won’t be watching you to see if it happens.


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