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Valid forms of critique

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  15:11:19  11 December 2005
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Ian_C
The man lacking a plan
(V.I.P.)

 

 
On forum: 08/02/2003
Messages: 273

---QUOTATION---

I don't think being biased is the problem at hand here (although you do score some points on it). Rather, it's of unconstructive (and potentially destructive) comments made by reviewers who tore up the hopeful work of a new-comer due to their own perception that they are better than everyone else. I did that a lot before given a harsh awakening by another forum member (he's gone now though). A critical review, by this forum's standard at least, means both good points and bad point are covered.
---END QUOTATION---



Yeah, that's exactly what I mean.

Of course people's advice, even if well meaning, will be coloured by their own experiences and viewpoints ( that much should be taken as read, although we are veering dangerously close into a 'Mr Spock' style of analysis here that sucks the fun out of everything ), but to say that there is no such thing as destructive criticism is naive in the extreme.

As to other matters. VIP eh? I did wonder about that, does it grant me diplomatic immunity like the bad guy from Lethal Weapon 2?

I'll certainly be around here a bit more ( going to be posting up an alternate ending to 'the difference' soon ) and will comment on other people's work whenever I can, so hopefully that'll fufill this shiny title you've kindly awarded me.
  11:13:06  11 December 2005
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Amoki
back with a vengeance
(V.I.P.)

 

 
On forum: 07/31/2003
Messages: 1729

---QUOTATION---
Critical evaluation does not necessarily hint at bias. Moreover, being uncritical does not necessarily mean the reviewer is not biased. The hillarious thing is, that all of this moot, considering the critique of art is necessarily biased. The formal system of literary review necessitates the evaluation of a work based on certain biases. If you think it's possible to review fiction objectively with more depth than a spell checker, you're dreaming.
---END QUOTATION---



I don't think being biased is the problem at hand here (although you do score some points on it). Rather, it's of unconstructive (and potentially destructive) comments made by reviewers who tore up the hopeful work of a new-comer due to their own perception that they are better than everyone else. I did that a lot before given a harsh awakening by another forum member (he's gone now though). A critical review, by this forum's standard at least, means both good points and bad point are covered.
  08:39:09  11 December 2005
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Siro
Local Law-Enforcement
(Moderator)

 

 
On forum: 03/02/2005
Messages: 7378

---QUOTATION---
Ah, I didn't pick up on that bit with the car, fair enough.

I try to be unbaised so it's good to hear you thought my critque was that way. I've been on too many writing messageboards in the past where some bitter person tears your work to shreds ( literally failing to list any good points whatsoever ) then says 'hope to read more from you soon!', it's hard enough for any writer to gain the courage to put work out there without knowing there are people with knives deliberatly waiting in the wings.

Sounds a lot like me . Ian, not that most reviewers do it on purpose, when your reviewing a story after a hard day's work you don't tend to stay positive, let alone say positive words

BTW - you're promoted to become a permanent VIP by me. First thing is to further antagonize Siro, second is probably to recognize your contribution to the literary contest forum and also your seniority (if there is such a word that is)
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Amoki, do you accept my entry into the contest?
  07:42:24  11 December 2005
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Fux0r666
resident smart-ass
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 06/04/2003
Messages: 1927
Critical evaluation does not necessarily hint at bias. Moreover, being uncritical does not necessarily mean the reviewer is not biased. The hillarious thing is, that all of this moot, considering the critique of art is necessarily biased. The formal system of literary review necessitates the evaluation of a work based on certain biases. If you think it's possible to review fiction objectively with more depth than a spell checker, you're dreaming.
  05:07:11  11 December 2005
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Amoki
back with a vengeance
(V.I.P.)

 

 
On forum: 07/31/2003
 

Message edited by:
Amoki
12/11/2005 5:16:57
Messages: 1729

---QUOTATION---
Ah, I didn't pick up on that bit with the car, fair enough.

I try to be unbaised so it's good to hear you thought my critque was that way. I've been on too many writing messageboards in the past where some bitter person tears your work to shreds ( literally failing to list any good points whatsoever ) then says 'hope to read more from you soon!', it's hard enough for any writer to gain the courage to put work out there without knowing there are people with knives deliberatly waiting in the wings.
---END QUOTATION---



Sounds a lot like me . Ian, not that most reviewers do it on purpose, when your reviewing a story after a hard day's work you don't tend to stay positive, let alone say positive words

BTW - you're promoted to become a permanent VIP by me. First thing is to further antagonize Siro, second is probably to recognize your contribution to the literary contest forum and also your seniority (if there is such a word that is)
  22:49:02  10 December 2005
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Siro
Local Law-Enforcement
(Moderator)

 

 
On forum: 03/02/2005
Messages: 7378
Yeah, I know what you mean. As you can tell from the posts by other people on this thread.

I agree with you, sometimes you need to read a story twice, or repeat some confusing parts to understand them, such as the scene you talked about.

And I am from Russia. It does not snow here all the time and there are no polar bears. Nice to meet you.
  22:30:25  10 December 2005
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Ian_C
The man lacking a plan
(V.I.P.)

 

 
On forum: 08/02/2003
Messages: 273
Ah, I didn't pick up on that bit with the car, fair enough.

I try to be unbaised so it's good to hear you thought my critque was that way. I've been on too many writing messageboards in the past where some bitter person tears your work to shreds ( literally failing to list any good points whatsoever ) then says 'hope to read more from you soon!', it's hard enough for any writer to gain the courage to put work out there without knowing there are people with knives deliberatly waiting in the wings.

I'm from the U.K, and it doesn't actually rain here as much as everyone says.
  20:09:10  10 December 2005
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Siro
Local Law-Enforcement
(Moderator)

 

 
On forum: 03/02/2005
 

Message edited by:
Siro
12/10/2005 20:11:56
Messages: 7378
Thank you very much.

It is a very pleasant experience to have your work reviewed by an un-biased person. Thanks to you, I will fix some of these errors and get a new version up soon.

Thanks one more time.

Oh, and the reason I needed to include the part where I said that the driver started the car was because the car stood still while they had the conversation.

P.S. Just curious, where are you from?
  19:21:04  10 December 2005
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Ian_C
The man lacking a plan
(V.I.P.)

 

 
On forum: 08/02/2003
 

Message edited by:
Ian_C
12/10/2005 19:22:16
Messages: 273
Very good, solid and, for the most part, really put my mind in the scene I was reading. I grew a little disorientated during the action sequences but certainly not enough to really distract me.

Characters were developed in the style of a 1st person piece I found, with much focus on Semion but not so much on the men surrounding him. Although their discussion in the jeep did go some way to alleviating that I find it also helps to give each man their own mannerisms and behaviour as well as back-history, often little things can tell us much more than any elaborate speech.

I was a bit confused about the existence of the Soviet Union despite the timeline, but I guessed you'd gone with an 'alternate history' world in which the USSR never split up.

Technically speaking I have a handful of comments;

You sometimes use unecessary adverbs, like the two below:

'Semion asked curiously'

I understand what you were going for here, genuine interest as opposed to just polite interest, but it felt a little clumsy. If anyone asks something then, by default, they are curious. You could lose the 'curiously' and still be covered by your passage a little later that said 'Semion became interested' ( or something along those lines ).

'Masha said jokingly.'

I got the impression from this scene that she was acting mock-serious hence Semion staring at her in puzzlement, if she had said it jokingly then it would be obvious that the whole thing was a gag and he wouldn't be confused.

Only one instance of repetition that I found, but there could be more;

'The frozen lake seemed to be made of glass, no, marble. The cracks in it spiderwebbed, creating a marble-like effect'

I appreciate that this is a real bastard to pick up on, sometimes requiring more than one re-read. I've repeated descriptions within a sentence or two more than I care to remember in the past, just something to keep an eye out for.

Also an unecessary passage ( though the only one that I could see ), could be snipped to streamline the piece a bit more;

'The driver turned the keys in the ignition and the car started immediately.'

I had the feeling this bit wasn't necessary for example, they've all entered the jeeps so we can assume, barring any unexpected problems, they're going to start driving - you don't really need to point it out.

And, lastly, some pedants among your audience may point out the following:

Military Stalker groups are only up to five men.

As far as I can recall you had seven, though it's far from a fatal error so I personally wouldn't worry about it.

Despite these niggles I enjoyed it, it felt very....'authentic', hope these comments help.
  15:56:19  10 December 2005
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Siro
Local Law-Enforcement
(Moderator)

 

 
On forum: 03/02/2005
 

Message edited by:
Siro
12/10/2005 15:58:49
Messages: 7378
Good point. But still, some will still read it.

And this is not necessarily for people. It's for the contest.
 
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