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A contest of sorts

My latest column over at YAAYNO (YA Authors You've Never Heard of) is called, 'The Critiquee's Charter.'

Taken from a post I made back in the summer of '09, it contains a list of twelve 'rules' to follow when you're on the receiving end of a critique.  Actually, there are only eleven of them - I left #12 blank for folks to add their own suggestions.  I think it could prove to be a useful tool for critique newbies and veterans alike.

Later this month, I'm going to post it on the FindAWritingGroup.com website, along with people's favorite suggestion for the missing #12 (to be chosen by an LJ poll, over on the FAWG LJ community).  I'll include any suggestions made in the comments at the YAAYNO site by noon on Wednesday, October 6th 2010 (US/Eastern).

Naturally, I'll credit the person who comes up with it (and link to their website or blog) on site.

If you'd like to read the list and come up with your own #12, here's a link to the posthttp://obscurekidlitauthors.blogspot.com/2010/10/critiquees-charter.html


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( 28 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 3rd, 2010 05:57 pm (UTC)
I humbly admit that my reaction (well, the one I try for) to a bad critique is the same as to a normal internet flame. I write a scathing and vitriolic and totally awesome riposte - in longhand or on a word document only.

Print out onto paper and read it to a cat, who be trusted not to blab, then shred it.

Feel much better (eat icecream if needed).

THEN later on read the critique again with hopefully a spot of distance... or not, whichever seems right.
Oct. 3rd, 2010 09:18 pm (UTC)
Ice cream is good for every occasion :)
Oct. 3rd, 2010 06:28 pm (UTC)
Followed the link and read them.

A thought re: number 10
This is why I am not part of a writer's group; ran across one of those people. While I love feedback & always divorce my writing from my self-worth when reading said feedback, I respect myself too much to work with @ssholes who like to hurt others just because.

To expand on your number 5, with a nod to number 8 too
You know what you want to get across in your writing and if someone, especially several someones, didn't get your work, then you need to phrase it differently. Not getting it is a sign that you need to explain yourself, not a sign of diminished intelligence on either side of reader/writer coin.
Oct. 3rd, 2010 09:20 pm (UTC)
Sadly, more than a few writers have a problem seeing that.
Oct. 3rd, 2010 11:04 pm (UTC)
I don't know, maybe I'm one of them.

My greatest difficulty in studio was that Spike Lee wasn't there.

Through the whole program,
I wondered if I were an idiot with delusions of grandeur.
Or could I really be in a program full of obtuse dimwits?

Fifteen years later,
no who was in studio with me has published anything,
and only one of my profs has published anything in those same fifteen years.

While my novel remains unpublished,
B-17 pilots, as well as people who lived through the war,
are astonished at well I grasped and expressed the zeitgeist in that novel.

I was an onion in a petunia patch, apparently.

But if a group of people who have demonstrated their capacity
to comprehend literature and written language
aren't understanding a piece of another author's work,
then, yeah, the piece itself is in need of further reworking.
Oct. 4th, 2010 11:37 am (UTC)
An onion in a petunia patch? Is that a reference to layers or did you make the other folks at the studio cry a lot :P
Oct. 4th, 2010 11:52 am (UTC)
Well, yes, pretty much.

But my point-if-I-have-one
is along the lines of
"The praise of a fool is more odious than the rebuke of the wise."
Oct. 3rd, 2010 07:16 pm (UTC)
Ooh, I'll think of the best one!
Oct. 3rd, 2010 09:20 pm (UTC)
then I wish you luck, Peadar :)
Oct. 3rd, 2010 11:05 pm (UTC)
I haven't thought of anything,
so your chances are quite good.
Oct. 4th, 2010 08:38 am (UTC)
Chances of what, now? I have already forgotten what we were talking about...
Oct. 4th, 2010 11:33 am (UTC)
Number Twelve in Jon's memorable contest of sorts.
Oct. 3rd, 2010 09:12 pm (UTC)
Thanks for sharing :) Good Advice.
Oct. 3rd, 2010 09:21 pm (UTC)
My pleasure, Julie :)
Oct. 4th, 2010 12:01 am (UTC)
I remember that list! Good list then. Good list now.
Oct. 4th, 2010 11:45 am (UTC)
I'm going to do something similar for critiquers. I've known a few people over the years who could use a little help in that regard - and sometimes I've been one of them :)
Oct. 4th, 2010 12:27 am (UTC)
But if it's a contest of sorts,
I'll bet on the binary sort.
Oct. 4th, 2010 11:54 am (UTC)
That sounds very dark and sordid sorted.
Oct. 4th, 2010 03:49 am (UTC)
That was a great list!
Oct. 4th, 2010 11:48 am (UTC)
Thanks, Tracy. Any thoughts for a #12?
Oct. 4th, 2010 10:09 pm (UTC)
I've been given this some thought. Seriously. How about: Before reading feedback, take a deep breath. Take another. And another. Stand in front of the mirror and repeat these words, "It is my story. It is NOT me. I can disagree or agree with comments. If I disagree, there has to be a VALID writerly reason." Take another deep breath.
Oct. 6th, 2010 10:45 am (UTC)
Good one, Tracy :)
Oct. 5th, 2010 03:43 am (UTC)
I need to go back and look at your list again, but here is something that really struck me this year - I mean that it became real to me.

Remind yourself, when reading or revising or getting critiques, that your story has its own existence apart from you. Say to yourself, "I am considering the good of my story, and I will do whatever I need to to make it stronger and better and more true." Then be grateful to the friends who are helping you reach that goal!

I don't always manage to do this, but I'm getting better at it. )
Oct. 6th, 2010 11:01 am (UTC)
I like that one. Thanks for sharing, Mary :)
Oct. 6th, 2010 12:15 pm (UTC)
Sometimes, even the most deliberately spiteful critique may say something useful, so it's better to read it with an open mind (even if you have to MST3k it to yourself).
Oct. 6th, 2010 12:25 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Elizabeth. What does 'MST3k' mean?
Oct. 6th, 2010 12:44 pm (UTC)
Google "Mystery Science Theater 3000". XD
( 28 comments — Leave a comment )

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