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40 votes
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Critique vs nitpicking

Ignore It. The anonymous person in question didn't understand the task. The objective is to criticize your writing, not to psychoanalyze you and recommend a therapy. It doesn't make a difference if ...
Amadeus's user avatar
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34 votes
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How to stick to your vision when you’re highly suggestible?

I'm fond of the following quote from Neil Gaiman: Remember: when people tell you something's wrong or doesn't work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think ...
profane-tmesis.info's user avatar
32 votes

Why can I not self-reflect on my own writing critically? How can I self-edit?

Let the Manuscript Rest In order to see your own errors, you often need a little distance. Can't see typos? You brain is filling in what you meant to say. Can't see plot holes? You're still too ...
Jedediah's user avatar
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26 votes
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How do you cope with rejection?

I'll give my two cents, as someone who feels the same struggles. You'll never get completely over the fear of rejection, or of not being good enough. I say this because even accomplished authors ...
Liquid's user avatar
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23 votes

What weight should be given to writers groups critiques?

First of all, as a simple metric, your use of the word 'that' is 50% higher than my own (I have 930 occurrences in 100K words.) I've tried to minimize 'that' in my writing. It's one of the words that ...
SFWriter's user avatar
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22 votes

Are "non-readers" useful beta readers?

Assuming that by "non-readers" you mean "people who are not fans of the genre you write", they can be useful beta-readers. Here are some points for you to consider, in no particular order. Being used ...
Galastel supports GoFundMonica's user avatar
20 votes

Why can I not self-reflect on my own writing critically? How can I self-edit?

One trick that's helped me in the past quite a lot is to change the entire document into a different font. I'm not exactly sure how or why this works but I remember reading about it somewhere and ...
RiverTam's user avatar
  • 301
17 votes

Critique vs nitpicking

Say you wrote a piece that was about something wonderful that had happened to you. A piece that exuded happiness and contentment. Someone—probably the very same person you discuss in your question—...
Cyn's user avatar
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16 votes

How harsh is too harsh when beta reviewing?

No such thing: By saying you are going to beta-read someone's work, you are promising them help to become a better writer. It's your duty to tell them what is obviously wrong with style, plot, flow ...
DWKraus's user avatar
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14 votes

What weight should be given to writers groups critiques?

Ironically, you are basically asking another writer's group by posting here! In general, writing should be tight, and not repetitive. Using "unremarkable" four times in one paragraph might be ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 102k
14 votes

How harsh is too harsh when beta reviewing?

Consider providing feedback in a "terraced" fashion: Focus on the larger-scale issues that should be fixed first, like the plot and characters. Note to the author that there exist other, ...
nanoman's user avatar
  • 241
12 votes

How harsh is too harsh when beta reviewing?

Proceed with caution Once I'm through the four pages, there are about thirty miscellaneous spelling/minor plot errors...and word repetition issues... Fix them, fix them, fix them all¹ Fix every ...
user11111111111's user avatar
10 votes

What things should one highlight as good in beta reading feedback?

My top recommendation is this: Identify what the story is attempting to do. Different stories are different creatures. "I'm pretty sure I know how this ends!" can be a harsh indictment for a mystery ...
Standback's user avatar
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10 votes

Are "non-readers" useful beta readers?

This answer is specifically from my personal experience rather than objective reasoning. I think it very much depends on the actual person and their individual abilities rather than whether they ...
GGx's user avatar
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10 votes

When to ask for constructive criticism?

You can ask people for advice/ constructive criticism at any stage of writing, but I would refrain from giving beta readers huge chunks of text at a time (like 40k words) unless they're professionals. ...
tryin's user avatar
  • 2,468
9 votes

Are "non-readers" useful beta readers?

In Software Engineering, a common practice for fixing difficult bugs is called "Hallway debugging". The programmer will go out in the hall and grab the first person he sees and get them to help solve ...
Ryan_L's user avatar
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9 votes
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What to look for when criticizing poetry?

I studied literature at school, and the most important thing I learnt is that the obejctive of a poet is to transmit something, whether an idea or a feeling. To do so, the poet uses a range of ...
SC for reinstatement of Monica's user avatar
9 votes

Criticizing long fiction. How is it different from short?

I tend to judge stories on the success of their theme. Characters create relatable and enviable anchors to follow through a story, while Plot is the sequence of story beats that are arranged to ...
wetcircuit's user avatar
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9 votes

How do you cope with rejection?

Several thoughts to consider: There is no reason to expect an agent's opinion to be a better assessment of your writing than a beta reader's opinion. Agents are business people. They pay their ...
SFWriter's user avatar
  • 23.8k
9 votes

What weight should be given to writers groups critiques?

The first thing you need to realise is that the advice from AuthorHouse needs to be taken with a very large grain of salt - they are a vanity press which expect you to pay to have your book published, ...
Chaos's user avatar
  • 201
9 votes

Sci-fi change: Too much or Not enough

Answer #1 is a comment/question: Can you ask them the sorts of books/stories they'd each recommend to help you calibrate your extremity? that might be the sort of info that can point you in the ...
SFWriter's user avatar
  • 23.8k
8 votes
Accepted

Methods for writing a code review

It depends on the context Code reviews can be done for various reasons and the way to write one it heavily dependent on the purpose. Some of the reasons you might write a code review: As part of a ...
linksassin's user avatar
  • 4,153
8 votes

What to look for when criticizing poetry?

I have my own three-part rubric I've used for years for critiquing any creative project: Craft: How skillful is it? What command of the technical basics does the creator have? In terms of poetry, ...
Chris Sunami's user avatar
  • 56.5k
8 votes

Criticizing long fiction. How is it different from short?

Is size alone the only difference in such approaches? My answer: It's not about size, it's about a sense of scale. Short pieces are like snacks; easily eaten and digested. A bad one will leave a ...
Liquid's user avatar
  • 15.9k
8 votes

Critique strategies to help improve someone's writing

The main thing to remember about critiquing somebody's writing is to not critique the person. What the piece is about is not a topic for criticism; what you think it says about the person that wrote ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 102k
7 votes

Are "non-readers" useful beta readers?

Are “non-readers” useful beta readers? I don't think so. People that don't read, don't enjoy reading. They don't like that kind of fiction, they don't know what is good and bad, it is all bad from ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 102k
7 votes

What things should one highlight as good in beta reading feedback?

Things that are good are things which you liked, and elements which achieved what the writer was going for. Funny bits: anything which makes you laugh (which is clearly supposed to) Nice turns of ...
Lauren-Clear-Monica-Ipsum's user avatar
7 votes

Am I using too much exposition here?

Professional writers can write pages of exposition without a problem, this is not too much, and 3 times as much would not be too much. As a matter of critique; you are weakening your prose with too ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 102k
7 votes

Critique vs nitpicking

I think that the biggest problem here is that this was not critique. It was unconstructive criticism. That reader didn't enjoy the mood you set in your piece. That is fine. There are styles of writing ...
Summer's user avatar
  • 4,461
7 votes

What to look for when criticizing poetry?

Emotional impact. While critical analysis could get into a lot of factors - structure, vocabulary, form, relations to events and culture, use of poetic language forms, rhythm, flow, themes, all these ...
SF.'s user avatar
  • 15.4k

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