As you interact with works on Scribophile or elsewhere, remember to always approach the task of criticism with a desire to be genuinely helpful.If your criticism is built on this foundation, your commentary will be constructive regardless of your competence and experience.“As for literary criticism in general: I have long felt that any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel or a play or a poem is preposterous.
But depthless praise can be just as damaging as heartless criticism.
The reason for this is that it offers no real commentary on the work.
The problem was not the content of his criticism, but its malicious delivery.
Had he come to my work with the desire to be genuinely helpful, I would have listened to what he had to say, and I might even have gained some enlightenment during a formative time in my writing career.
Conversely, we might be willing to share our opinions with other writers while struggling with our competence. If we’re critiquing on Scribophile, we may feel that we are wasting one of the author’s coveted “spotlight” critiques.
Having used Scribophile on-and-off since 2009, I’ve seen countless readers qualify their commentary on my own work (“I don’t read your genre,” “I haven’t read your previous chapters,” “I’m not good with grammar,” etc.) and I’ve seen even more cry woe on the forums about how they can’t critique because they’re not experienced enough, not educated enough, or not talented enough.Being honest and being brutal are not the same thing.Critics must learn to express hard truths without coddling and without being jerks.If you want to explore some elements helpful to improving your critiquing skills, I invite you to get yourself some hot caffeine, strap on your thinking cap, and read on.Listed here are some ideas I’ve found helpful for approaching others’ work; these tips are about your mindset as a critic. The best teacher is experience, and I encourage all writers to reflect on the ways in which they approach others’ work as well as how they can best contribute to the growth of others on and off of Scribophile.It will express your best interest—especially if you had a lot of hard things to say. Be genuine in your motivations, and genuine action will follow., meaning, have the best intentions for helping the writer. This section concerns authorial intent and has as its purpose the critic’s growth as an interpreter of that intent.This section is not so much about “It is important to appreciate the amount of subjectivity and pre-understanding all readers and listeners bring to the process of interpreting acts of human communication.But unless a speaker or author can retain the right to correct someone’s interpretation by saying ‘but that’s not what I meant’ or ‘that’s not even consistent with what I meant,’ all human communication will quickly break down.”—what the author desired the audience to receive from their work.In order for people to listen, they must feel that the person criticizing them has their best interest in mind, and being harsh doesn’t communicate your best interest.In my earliest days writing, I received some negative criticism from a writer who decided to berate me for penning a bad phrase rather than explaining to me why the phrase didn’t work.