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[Writing Lessons] Giving and Handling Criticism


Problematic Shitlord
As GF's arguably most criticized member and more importantly as a graduate in English/Creative writing, I think I've had a good enough share of experience to give some pointers and basic methodology when dealing with and dealing out critiques on writing. We'll discuss giving criticism, which is something people on the whole are generally pretty bad at. Having been through dozens of writing workshops, trust me, it's fact. Even seasoned writers have a hard time giving a sound, solid critique sometimes. So don't be upset or self-conscious about your own skills. It's something you have to develop and practice, not something you can learn overnight.

Dishin' it out

To start, you must put yourself in the mind of someone writing something. Those who have not written much (and even those who have) possess a tendency to treat their work like their children. They coddle it, adore it, and lash out when people have bad things to say about it. With this in mind, your first tip is to tread softly, at first anyways. Critiques are meant to be helpful, not a way of indirectly insulting someone or bashing them. As one matures as a writer, they understand that they cannot please everyone, someone will always dislike your work and you can't treat every piece like a newborn.

Also, listen to yourself. Your critiques may be too harsh or too soft. Being too hard is going to just upset or anger someone and too soft will make them ignore you. Try reciting your critiques out loud first if you can to help you judge their sound.

[this is a continuous thread, it will continue to be updated as I write more for it, feel free to add comments as I go!]