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a better way to critique

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stephenmatlock View Drop Down
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    Posted: 20 Oct 2020 at 1:29pm

A friend of mine wrote this on Facebook and I thought it was very helpful.

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A long, long time ago I was in a Black writers' group called DeGriotSpace.

One of the best innovations the group taught me was a submission/critique system with numbers ranging from 1-5. Writers would post with SUB1, SUB2, . . . SUB5 depending on the limit of critique they wanted. Readers would write back with CRIT1 . . . CRIT5 to indicate what level they're critiquing at.

The levels were roughly:

1 - Tell me I'm pretty

2 - You can point to a couple of things I can look at, but generally tell me I'm pretty

3 - Sandwich method critique. Tell me what's good, but let me know where I can improve, too.

4 - You can be pretty honest with me, but I'm not a machine. Throw a little encouragement in there while you're picking it apart.

5 - No holds barred. Drag me. Tell me it's trash if it's actually trash. Don't be a dick, though.

This was great because you didn't have to memorize a set of temperaments and moods for different writers, and the approach wouldn't need to change from day to day. It also was a consensual process: people signed up for what they were ready to receive, and detailed critiques wouldn't be wasted on people who were not in a headspace to process them.

In the creative world, there's much made of having a thick skin and being able to take criticism and editing. While that is helpful, it is a porosity of spirit, a willingness to absorb and sublimate the outside world into art, that makes creatives who they are. It's a lot to ask of them to both remain completely open to the world around them and to selectively shut out anything that hurts, without having their art affected in any way.

I always ask creatives what level of critique they want if I am formally engaged with them. It helps me be helpful to them, and it helps them more efficiently get what they need.

https://www.facebook.com/cgbrown/posts/10158814827177288

Maybe it would be helpful for us if we had a similar system set up for our critiques so that we could say to people what level of critique we’re looking for.

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rthomas View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rthomas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Oct 2020 at 2:18pm
Originally posted by stephenmatlock stephenmatlock wrote:

A friend of mine wrote this on Facebook and I thought it was very helpful.

Quote

A long, long time ago I was in a Black writers' group called DeGriotSpace.

One of the best innovations the group taught me was a submission/critique system with numbers ranging from 1-5. Writers would post with SUB1, SUB2, . . . SUB5 depending on the limit of critique they wanted. Readers would write back with CRIT1 . . . CRIT5 to indicate what level they're critiquing at.

The levels were roughly:

1 - Tell me I'm pretty

2 - You can point to a couple of things I can look at, but generally tell me I'm pretty

3 - Sandwich method critique. Tell me what's good, but let me know where I can improve, too.

4 - You can be pretty honest with me, but I'm not a machine. Throw a little encouragement in there while you're picking it apart.

5 - No holds barred. Drag me. Tell me it's trash if it's actually trash. Don't be a dick, though.

This was great because you didn't have to memorize a set of temperaments and moods for different writers, and the approach wouldn't need to change from day to day. It also was a consensual process: people signed up for what they were ready to receive, and detailed critiques wouldn't be wasted on people who were not in a headspace to process them.

In the creative world, there's much made of having a thick skin and being able to take criticism and editing. While that is helpful, it is a porosity of spirit, a willingness to absorb and sublimate the outside world into art, that makes creatives who they are. It's a lot to ask of them to both remain completely open to the world around them and to selectively shut out anything that hurts, without having their art affected in any way.

I always ask creatives what level of critique they want if I am formally engaged with them. It helps me be helpful to them, and it helps them more efficiently get what they need.

https://www.facebook.com/cgbrown/posts/10158814827177288

Maybe it would be helpful for us if we had a similar system set up for our critiques so that we could say to people what level of critique we’re looking for.


This is brilliant, and I'm going to post this when I post my story. Thanks for sharing! 
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MrLipto View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MrLipto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Oct 2020 at 2:19pm
Oh wow. This gives me shivers.

My whole family, my spouse, my mother, siblings, everyone is operating at level 5. Only. It would be beneath them to offer praise when there's work to be done.

I come to the forum for 1-4.

But maybe this is a system they can vibe on. Clap


Edited by MrLipto - 20 Oct 2020 at 2:19pm
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stephenmatlock View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stephenmatlock Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Oct 2020 at 3:40pm
I'm glad you're finding it useful.

PLEASE CREDIT THE AUTHOR, EVERY TIME YOU POST THIS. It's important to always give credit to the creators, especially Black creators. Hidden Figures is a movie because of this.
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rthomas View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rthomas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Oct 2020 at 3:53pm
Originally posted by stephenmatlock stephenmatlock wrote:

I'm glad you're finding it useful.

PLEASE CREDIT THE AUTHOR, EVERY TIME YOU POST THIS. It's important to always give credit to the creators, especially Black creators. Hidden Figures is a movie because of this.

Love the allyship - and yes, absolutely! 
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