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Hey, Newbies: Don't be afraid to critique(or post)

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Jhill View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote Jhill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Feb 2019 at 1:18pm
I think it's a good idea to let readers know what type of feedback you'd like. Are you new and nervous and don't want anyone to be mean to you? That's understandable, and I think it's fine to say so in your story post. Most people here will respect your wishes. The people who don't respect your wishes are not worth your time anyway. 

If you want constructive criticism, say so. If you have a specific area you're concerned about (like, do my transitions make sense? is the opening paragraph engaging?) say so. Hopefully the readers who respond will provide good observations in a respectful manner. And if someone is rude, just ignore them. There aren't many rude people here, but there are a few, and you are not obligated to acknowledge their comments or provide a reciprocal review on their story.

I also think it's important to remember that not everyone shares the same goals for their writing. Some writers are here to have fun, or dip their toe in the water. A harsh comment can do a lot of damage to a new writer, but a supportive suggestion can make the whole thing worthwhile. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote SakuraHime Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Feb 2019 at 3:04pm
Sharing your work can be both terrifying and freeing, and I know that while I am often a bit anxiety-ridden over the process, I am always glad I shared. Much of the feedback I get helps me organize my own thoughts and concerns about the piece (I felt that way too, when writing it, so I'm glad someone else validated my instincts, or, I'm so glad the reader enjoyed that aspect; I worked hard to convey that!).  

That said, I want to help reiterate that feedback can always be constructive and positive. There is no reason to just leave a negative comment with nothing of note to help the writer grow, nor is it reasonable to leave a comment that doesn't highlight at least one thing the writer did well. A post that just says, "I didn't like your piece and I doubt you'll do well with the judges because of A, B, and C," is of no use to anyone.

I am always grateful to other writers who call out my weaknesses in a constructive way because that's what I need to hone my skills. It's also nice to receive a compliment once in a while and feel that I was able to find some success, no matter how small. Thank you to all who've offered this to me, and as I get caught up on reading and commenting this week, I hope I'm able to offer the same insightful feedback.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote northernwriter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Feb 2019 at 9:06pm
Wonderful advice and discussion. Thanks for posting!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kellcoo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Feb 2019 at 5:09am
This is great advice, thankyou! I have been reluctant to
give too detailed feedback as I feel I haven’t earned my stripes yet, so tend to leave generic gushing with perhaps one line of ‘room for improvement’ 
I’m sure as I read and receive more myself, I will feel
more comfortable, but it’s nice to have these guidelines to refer to. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Kellcoo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Feb 2019 at 5:23am
Hi Suave,
I was wondering about this. Do we assume that there's just no-one from those heats on the forum? Are there any stats on how many sign-ups actually convert to entries...I'm sure there must be a percentage who just don't end up submitting a story for one reason or another.
Interesting though that you say this is the first time you have had empty heats. I read that this is the highest number of sign-ups this year- does that correlate to an increased number of people on the forum. If not, then that explains the empty heats I guess...more people creates more heats in the competition which leaves gaps if there's not an increase of people on the forum to fill them.


Anyway, I'm letting my geek shine through too much. I love me a good statistic!   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Feb 2019 at 5:38am
Originally posted by Kellcoo Kellcoo wrote:

Hi Suave,
I was wondering about this. Do we assume that there's just no-one from those heats on the forum? Are there any stats on how many sign-ups actually convert to entries...I'm sure there must be a percentage who just don't end up submitting a story for one reason or another.
Interesting though that you say this is the first time you have had empty heats. I read that this is the highest number of sign-ups this year- does that correlate to an increased number of people on the forum. If not, then that explains the empty heats I guess...more people creates more heats in the competition which leaves gaps if there's not an increase of people on the forum to fill them.


Anyway, I'm letting my geek shine through too much. I love me a good statistic!   


Hey, hey. 

My thoughts on it?  All the heats are filled, as even today one of the vacant heats picked up a story, the number is dwindling.

There are about 32 per heat, and if, with the mass of writers we have this time, 4750, perhaps some of these are just full of new people that don't want to put it out there for everyone to see.  I know on my fist bash at NYCM I did not post, just wanted to wait and watch.

For the most part I don't think there are that many writers that do not submit, thought there will be some as it is a horrible thing the first time you get something like, Pol-sat, a parole officer, sex lube - I remember what it was like trying to write something other what I wanted to write the first time, as I had only ever wrote what interested me. 

In the flash fiction, where everyone writes two stories for the first round, there are quite few no shows in the second story writing.  If it is from life getting in the way, or because they just could not get an idea, or the first story they wrote did not score so they thought whats the use.




Edited by Suave - 05 Feb 2019 at 5:41am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kellcoo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Feb 2019 at 5:47am
Originally posted by Suave Suave wrote:

Originally posted by Kellcoo Kellcoo wrote:

Hi Suave,
I was wondering about this. Do we assume that there's just no-one from those heats on the forum? Are there any stats on how many sign-ups actually convert to entries...I'm sure there must be a percentage who just don't end up submitting a story for one reason or another.
Interesting though that you say this is the first time you have had empty heats. I read that this is the highest number of sign-ups this year- does that correlate to an increased number of people on the forum. If not, then that explains the empty heats I guess...more people creates more heats in the competition which leaves gaps if there's not an increase of people on the forum to fill them.


Anyway, I'm letting my geek shine through too much. I love me a good statistic!   


Hey, hey. 

My thoughts on it?  All the heats are filled, as even today one of the vacant heats picked up a story, the number is dwindling.

There are about 32 per heat, and if, with the mass of writers we have this time, 4750, perhaps some of these are just full of new people that don't want to put it out there for everyone to see.  I know on my fist bash at NYCM I did not post, just wanted to wait and watch.

For the most part I don't think there are that many writers that do not submit, thought there will be some as it is a horrible thing the first time you get something like, Pol-sat, a parole officer, sex lube - I remember what it was like trying to write something other what I wanted to write the first time, as I had only ever wrote what interested me. 

In the flash fiction, where everyone writes two stories for the first round, there are quite few no shows in the second story writing.  If it is from life getting in the way, or because they just could not get an idea, or the first story they wrote did not score so they thought whats the use.





Hang on, what? You write TWO stories? Oh my! *slumps on the couch fanning herself, feeling tired all of a sudden*
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Suave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Feb 2019 at 6:00am
Originally posted by Kellcoo Kellcoo wrote:

[QUOTE=Suave] [QUOTE=Kellcoo]Hi Suave,


Hang on, what? You write TWO stories? Oh my! *slumps on the couch fanning herself, feeling tired all of a sudden*


Haha, not in this contest, in the flash fiction contest that ended last month I think.  In the contest we are in right now everyone just writes one story for the first round and then 5 from each round write again.  So, take a deep breath and relax.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote fioOxf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Feb 2019 at 6:29am
Originally posted by SakuraHime SakuraHime wrote:

 
I am always grateful to other writers who call out my weaknesses in a constructive way because that's what I need to hone my skills. It's also nice to receive a compliment once in a while and feel that I was able to find some success, no matter how small. Thank you to all who've offered this to me, and as I get caught up on reading and commenting this week, I hope I'm able to offer the same insightful feedback.

I think this is so key (is that grammatically correct? do I care right now..? ;) )! 
We want to learn, but we're also stepping outside of our comfort zone by posting and leaving ourselves open to the opinions of 4,800 strangers (OK, far fewer use the forums, but that's the potential). So for that alone, we deserve a positive backslap. 
But we should also never forget - I reckon, and it's just me here - that we have no idea what kind of a day the person whose story we're reviewing has had, and it's far better to make a bleak day brighter than a bright day a little bleaker. The forums are about human interaction and community, after all. 
I'm a teacher trainer, by profession, and the human side of teaching, the rapport, the interpersonal relationships are essential to the learning (as is the intrapersonal side, the reflection). It has been proven time and again that 'nice teachers help your learning, nasty teachers don't', so if we want to help other writers learn their craft and improve, we NEED to say the friendly stuff.

So my vote goes for the compliment sandwich, too. And for not giving grammar lessons...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fioOxf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Feb 2019 at 6:36am
Originally posted by Kellcoo Kellcoo wrote:

 

Hang on, what? You write TWO stories? Oh my! *slumps on the couch fanning herself, feeling tired all of a sudden*

You do :) A couple of months apart, though. One in July, I think it is, and one in September. It's great! Even if you score zero in the first (which I did... ), you get to try a second genre. And even if you score zero in the first story, you get pointers from feedback in the forum, so you have a chance of doing it better the second time round - and then killing it, the following year. That's my theory, anyway. Last summer was my first comp, I went from 0 in the first, to 5 in the second. So we'll see where next.....
But yeah. I recommend it. Though it's a very different creature from the 2,500 word/ 8 day one!
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