Re: Best/Worst review that gave you the kick in the pants you needed to make your story better.

#21

sharoncorsola Wrote: My friend's review was the good one, and probably saved me from a lot of embarrassment that would have happened if I accepted my mom's review as truth and had submitted it to the neopian times.

Basically the rule about feedback is that you never get it from friends or family. Friends are better than family, but can still be bias because of how much they like you.

Re: Best/Worst review that gave you the kick in the pants you needed to make your story better.

#22

Vivian Wrote:
sharoncorsola Wrote: My friend's review was the good one, and probably saved me from a lot of embarrassment that would have happened if I accepted my mom's review as truth and had submitted it to the neopian times.

Basically the rule about feedback is that you never get it from friends or family. Friends are better than family, but can still be bias because of how much they like you.
That's why I get it from people who hate me. Cause I know I'm doing a great job when it pisses them off.

Re: Best/Worst review that gave you the kick in the pants you needed to make your story better.

#23
As someone who has given a lot of crit in the past, I actually don't like it when people ask for a "brutal" crit.  The only pieces of fiction I think deserve an actual derogatory comment are the ones that are almost unreadable.  Even then, the worst thing I'm going to be saying is something like, "Why are you abusing that poor thesaurus?"  Or "Bruh, do you even edit?"  Or maybe, "Paragraphs and quotation marks - you should not have graduated high school without learning about them."  "This sentence of yours is an example of a comma splice - don't do that."  "Homophone problems everywhere."  "Dialogue tags plz.  Who the heck is talking?"  Such brutal.  Many butthurt.  Wow.  This is all just mechanics, it's not even related to the artistic choices or personally meaningful content one would naturally be sensitive about.  It's actually boring to make these kind of critiques, so when you are reading them, don't imagine the critiquer saying them with acidity or a sneer or anything; somewhere between tired and mildly confused is more accurate.

Critiques that are interesting to make usually require reading 20k words or more, which is worth doing if a story us going to be rewritten or heavily edited anyway, or if a good story is in danger of going on hiatus because the writer has written themselves into a corner.  But probably not worth doing for an ongoing story where the writer isn't stuck.

I can, however, think of one brutal critique that would apply to a lot of the better stories on this site.  So here, this one's a freebie if it applies to you: "Most authors are too lazy and/or afraid to outline what they've already written in order to gain a better understanding of their own stuff."  If you just don't see the point of outlining what you have written, try it once as an experiment and then you'll know if it's useful for you or not.

Re: Best/Worst review that gave you the kick in the pants you needed to make your story better.

#24

Vivian Wrote: Basically the rule about feedback is that you never get it from friends or family.
My dad has been my content editor since I was a teen. For most part I agree... but my dad was brutal. So while this is mostly true...
For context dad was a published author of short fiction. He wanted me to learn how to write great stories. I suppose I pulled a page from his book in that if the worst you're going to hear is from someone who WANTS you to succeed, and WANTS to see you reach your potential - then criticism from the random internet reader will be soooo much easier to handle. 

Dad was harsh. Now days we go over reviews and figure out what to work on.

Re: Best/Worst review that gave you the kick in the pants you needed to make your story better.

#25

sunandshadow Wrote: I can, however, think of one brutal critique that would apply to a lot of the better stories on this site.  So here, this one's a freebie if it applies to you: "Most authors are too lazy and/or afraid to outline what they've already written in order to gain a better understanding of their own stuff."  If you just don't see the point of outlining what you have written, try it once as an experiment and then you'll know if it's useful for you or not.
Hands down, YES! That and you're first draft is NOT your final draft! Editing is NOT the same as revising. Editing does not make a 2nd draft, it's just some polishing. 

I sympathize with discovery writer who have no plan, no idea where their characters are going, and just sort of meanders with the plot. If you're a great character writer a meandering plot can be ignored but only for so long. By an large being a great character writer takes a long time to figure out. But once that first draft is done, go back over it, now that you know where you're going, and fix the structure for the benefit of the reader. Eliminate fluff that doesn't serve the story or character, and tighten point A to point B.
My 2nd draft is all outlining what I have and re-plotting. My 4.1 draft is re-outlining down to the scene and restructuring accordingly. It's less labour intensive at this stage than in my 2nd draft stage where I'm rooting out bad ideas.

Re: Best/Worst review that gave you the kick in the pants you needed to make your story better.

#26
I had someone write a review saying that everything is too easy for my character and nothing bad happens to her…and at that point they’d read right up to the chapter before everything starts to go to shit for her. 
But I loved that review. I was already taking the story to a place where the character actually was having to work and suffer and struggle more, and that gave me confidence in the direction I was taking things. It also made me wonder if I should edit earlier parts of the story so it’s less “one half everything is easy and wonderful, and in the other half everything SUCKS” 

The review was gone the next day, though :/