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Dealing With Contstructive Criticism/Advice

  1. northweststarr profile image80
    northweststarrposted 6 years ago

    A common problem for all writers, taking other peoples' suggestions and criticisms gracefully is essential to the process. I personally, welcome any and all advice from my readers that is constructive and true. I find that my work improves dramatically and I'm more interested if discussions result in my hubs' comment sections instead of just a "nice job" or a "good hub." So please, tell me what you really think and I'll do the same.

    1. tobey100 profile image60
      tobey100posted 6 years ago in reply to this

      You have the perfect attitude.  I was in the music business for years.  All sides.  A lot of artists failed because they considered they song as their creation and didn't want anyone touching it.  I learned along time ago there's always someone out there better than you.  I learned not to be so creatively egotistical as to ignore their advice.

      1. northweststarr profile image80
        northweststarrposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        TY tobey!  If you don't want people telling you what they think, you wouldn't publish it, right?

        1. tobey100 profile image60
          tobey100posted 6 years ago in reply to this

          You got it.

    2. flightofdestiny profile image59
      flightofdestinyposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      I am practically begging for criticism at this point. I am new to online writing and recently posted my first short story. I'm curious as to how other's view it. I have problems understanding why people wouldn't appreciate constructive criticism in this mode of writing. If you are publishing your work online, you are doing it for others to see. If they see it, one would think they would feel something about it which would lead to comments about it. That's what I believe anyway, but... to each his own

      1. northweststarr profile image80
        northweststarrposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Well said!  Want me to look at your story? I'm not always the nicest. (hence this forum) but I am truthful.  wink

        1. flightofdestiny profile image59
          flightofdestinyposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          I would love that!! Thank you

          1. northweststarr profile image80
            northweststarrposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Will do very soon, gotta get offline right now.  (baby is crying) but will check it out! smile

  2. Cagsil profile image60
    Cagsilposted 6 years ago

    Self promotion is against the rules of the forums.

    If you would like advice on a specific hub, then post a link so people can review the hub.

    Asking for people to read your hub and comment is not allowed.

    1. northweststarr profile image80
      northweststarrposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      TY for that Cagsil!  Wasn't really trying to promote my hubs as I currently don't really have anything hooked up to them to better my financial situation.  Mostly using this as more of a social network and as a cure for boredom.  Actually have had problems with people getting upset about my polite critiques and want those people to know they're welcome to critique my work in return.  Terribly sorry I offended the rules of self promotion and it won't happen again.  wink

      1. recommend1 profile image71
        recommend1posted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Don't be sorry - you have not broken any rules - Extreme hub makeover is for this kind of thing.

        You can even include (advertise) a specific hub that you would like people to look at.

    2. Sally's Trove profile image98
      Sally's Troveposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Cags, I think the only faux pas here was that northweststarr put her post in makeover instead of maybe, hangout or knowledge exchange. Dealing with constructive criticism/advice is a great topic. smile

      1. northweststarr profile image80
        northweststarrposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        oopsy, I think this is my first forum and I just put it in the wrong spot... sorry guys... will do better next time.... smile

        1. IzzyM profile image87
          IzzyMposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          No this is the perfect place for this topic, because when someone posts to extreme makeover, they can expect constructive criticism.

          When I was new I put one hub here and only one person responded. What she said made me delete that hub lol.

          It takes time to build up a protective shield around you. But we have to have one as writers. What I think is good, someone else might think is crap and vice-versa.

          Everyone is different.

          I see Lisa HW posted that she doesn't like someone emailing her to point out a missing comma, or a comma in a place it shouldn't be, where I would welcome that advice.

          Not that I didn't know where the comma should be, rather that I suffer from a kind of blindness, in that I read a hub over as how I intended to write it, not how I actually wrote it.

          Website Examiner did a series of hub critiques for those of us brave enough to submit a hub.

          I send him (or her) one of my better hubs and I got a critique saying that I should spend more time checking spelling and grammatical errors before I hit the publish button.

          I had read and re-read this hub several times, and simply did not see the errors until they were pointed out.

          So yes if anyone reads any of my hubs and sees a glaring error, please tell me. Either on the comments (which I will delete afterwards) or by email.

          Thanks guys smile

          1. R.S. Hutchinson profile image87
            R.S. Hutchinsonposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Pointing out grammatical errors is one thing.. but telling an author "this is good, this is good, but everything else sucks because this is how it should be (emphasis on 'should' and based on that critics personal opinion)"  is different. Especially if the writer never asked for a public critique. Such critiques, in my opinion should be limited to personal contact and not for the world stage to view- again only solicited when the writer requests it. But even grammtical "errors" I would send privately. I wouldn't want to take a risk with your writing reputation amongst your potential paying fans by "pointing out" that you misplaced commas or have run-on sentences.

            1. IzzyM profile image87
              IzzyMposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Some authors would welcome that advice, especially new authors who have not yet built up a confidence in what they do.

              Again, if they don't post something in this forum, Extreme Hub Makeover, they shouldn't be subjected to it, because they didn't ask for it.

              But some of us still like our obvious typos to be pointed out.

              Maybe I should post more hubs here, so that everyone can point out my mistakes to me, seeing as I keep missing them.

              Edit: and gaining a nice backlink in the process wink

              1. R.S. Hutchinson profile image87
                R.S. Hutchinsonposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                "Again, if they don't post something in this forum, Extreme Hub Makeover, they shouldn't be subjected to it, because they didn't ask for it."

                Yes that is exactly my point.. I was referring to this type of critique on someone's hub they published for their fans to read. If, however they published something and THEN asked for a critique- that's completely different.

                and backlinks are smart smile

                1. northweststarr profile image80
                  northweststarrposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  By the way... I never mentioned you until you bull-in-the-china shopped your way in MY forum!!! Just for that, I'mm going to start reading and critiquing ALL YOUR POETRY HUBS!  You don't have to publish my comments, but you'll still see them in your head... haha

  3. R.S. Hutchinson profile image87
    R.S. Hutchinsonposted 6 years ago

    Constructive criticism is usually a good thing. But I would never criticize someone's literary work without their specific request. Mostly due to a very honest and (often viewed harsh) critique (see my blog) that I believe would only serve to make them a better writer. Not everyone on HP would invite such critiques- if any.

    However, if someone asks me specifically or even publicly (as you have done here) to criticize their work then it's fair and reasonable to critique such work publicly. But I find it tasteless to go hub hopping and give my uninvited two cents on other's work - unless it's something very favorable to the author.

    Plus I would rather give a critique privately than publicly -again unless specifically asked for. Because the critique should be based on what I think will help the author not showing the world how well I can critique. After all, everyone is a critic!

    1. recommend1 profile image71
      recommend1posted 6 years ago in reply to this

      I agree with this - also I find that even when criticism is asked for it is received with hostility and aggression, most people think their stuff is fantastic, especially those who write really bad poetry or awful prose.

    2. Sally's Trove profile image98
      Sally's Troveposted 6 years ago in reply to this



      I agree completely...usually, a Hubber enables the "Contact" feature, and if I feel I have something valuable to offer, I'll use that feature. What I have to say is nobody's business but mine and the Hubber's.

  4. Lisa HW profile image82
    Lisa HWposted 6 years ago

    I'm pretty much in the "wait-until-someone-asks" for critique school-of-thought.

    My own "thing", as a Hubber, is that I have no problem whatsoever with someone's disagreeing with something I've said, or with asking me to back up or clarify something I've said. 

    As a writer, and as someone who is used to handing in writing to editors or someone else who may want to make changes, I have no problem with any of that either.  As far as I'm concerned, if someone is paying me to write something for them they have every right to do whatever they want to do with whatever I give them.

    As a writer-and-Hubber, I don't mind if someone feels like being bothered pointing out a typo (although it's beyond me why anyone would take the time to send an e.mail about something like a comma he didn't think ought to be there  roll), I'm not interested in someone else's ideas about how I approached a piece of writing.  I figure, everybody writes what he wants to write, how he wants to write it.  If he's interested in getting suggestions on how it might be better he can ask.

    There's no piece of writing that everyone is going to like, and much of the time what one person would have done is something the writer specifically didn't do for his own reasons.

    I left another writing site because it went from calling itself, "a writing site", to calling itself, "a writers' collaborative" and expected people to see their own writing as part of a "team effort".  For good, for ill - my writing is mine and something I do myself.  It'll either succeed or fail.  If someone likes it, great.  If not, he can vote it down.  One reason I shut off most of my comment boxes on Hubs was that I don't want to keep going back and re-visiting writing I consider "done and in the past".   hmm  My thinking is, if someone else thinks he can do a better job than I've done on a Hub, he should write his own.  If I've hit "publish" it pretty much means I've through with pondering how the Hub has been written and calling it "done and over".   lol  Maybe that sounds obnoxious and unfriendly for me to say (I may be obnoxious at times, but I'm generally never unfriendly); but when it comes to most things I do in life, I'm not usually interested in anyone else's input on it.  hmm

    1. FloraBreenRobison profile image61
      FloraBreenRobisonposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      I don't think it sounds unfriendly or obnoxious.  It sounds honest.

    2. northweststarr profile image80
      northweststarrposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      You've got the right idea, not having a comment box if you don't want criticism.  Well played.  Only, why publish at all if you don't care what people think about your work?

      1. Lisa HW profile image82
        Lisa HWposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        I didn't get rid of the comment boxes to avoid criticism of the content.  I really just had to stop getting e.mails about comments (as much as I appreciated them) on ancient Hubs, to the point where it was getting to be a part-time job.   That aside, though, I appreciate people's input on a discussion (and don't even mind the occasional nasty comment) - just not input on my writing, itself.  I figure, at this stage in the game, it is what it is.   smile  (I don't mean to make this sound like "reading the riot act" (because I know lots of people enjoy critiquing one another's actual writing.  I know it's just that different people like different stuff, and only wanted to speak for myself (and anyone like me).  smile

        BUT, having said that (and I know I may be completely weird), but I write because I enjoy writing.  I do want to (and do) earn from it.  Other than that, though, I don't really care who reads, or likes, what I write.  I just write, and then I'm done with it.  (That's one reason I don't want to keep re-visiting it because of comments.  hmm)

        One of the reasons I've been able to earn has been thanks to people who have commented on my Hubs.  I know that and appreciate it and anyone's thoughtful (or mean) comments.  In any case, I've been writing online for years now, so some things are going to either get too be too time-consuming, or just get "old".   I've been writing offline since the early 1980's, so there's a point where one thinks, "If I haven't learned to be better by now, it isn't going to happen."   lol  Even so, though, there's a difference between "critique" of writing and "criticism" of the what the writing says. 

        People are different, though, and think differently.  I figure those differences make for good discussions.  smile

        1. northweststarr profile image80
          northweststarrposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          I like you... Mind if I follow?  I am obnoxious every once in a while out of sheer boredom and perversity...

  5. FloraBreenRobison profile image61
    FloraBreenRobisonposted 6 years ago

    I welcome a private comment on constructive criticism. I actually just got one on a poem I wrote and the woman who emailed me was quite correct regarding the format.  I want my writing to be as good as possible.  That being said, I am talking about *constructive* criticism.  I was at my local music festival one year where the adjudicator had no time for anyone who wasn't good enough to be considered for the Provincial level.  She told several people that they were wasting her time and told a 14 year old girl to get over herself. She wasn't asked back to adjudicate another year.

  6. Mark Ewbie profile image84
    Mark Ewbieposted 6 years ago

    I had to book a course of sessions with an analyst after someone left a horrible comment.  I'll quote it but can't say who it was obviously.

    "Great hub! Really funny and pretty damn excellent. Well done!"

    Obviously Great Hub is meant to be sarcastic. Then they say "pretty" which means it isn't.  And they finish off with that well known patroniser "well done".

    I can only talk about it now as I'm through the regression  stage and into anger.  Anyway I checked them out and flagged every one of their three hundred hubs.  Took forever, I wasn't on broadband at the time.  Nearly blew my dongle.

    1. Sally's Trove profile image98
      Sally's Troveposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      What a refreshing voice. Glad you popped in. smile Is there some smiley face that says "being sweetly sardonic"?

      1. Mark Ewbie profile image84
        Mark Ewbieposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        You got me pegged... some people would just think it a waste of time.

        1. northweststarr profile image80
          northweststarrposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          >is always happy to welcome the sarcastic< wink

    2. FloraBreenRobison profile image61
      FloraBreenRobisonposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      I nearly stopped singing after the musical festival I talked about above.  You are supposed to sing music which challenges the skills you already have, not just sing music that you've mastered.  I sang a grade nine piece-there is a huge jump between higher grades in music-after having done extremly well in grade eight pieces.  I was one of the people who was told that I had wasted her time.  I cried the whole night and didn't get to sleep.  I had to go and sing the next night too.  That's why I make such a big deal about constructive criticism given to me privately.  When it is constructive criticism they are trying to be helpful, even when they don't help.  Although I continue to sing, I have always hated the song I sang for the festival and will not listen to anyone sing it.

      1. Lisa HW profile image82
        Lisa HWposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        I'd agree on the thing about "privately", but I still maintain that the only people who should be presuming to offer "constructive criticism" (which is a very different thing from offering feedback or kicking in on a the discussion) should be people in the "official capacity" of it (as with teachers, coaches, etc.) or people who have been asked. 

        People do have to be particularly careful with kids too, I think.  My sister (now 60) still tells her "famous" story about how her kindergarten teacher told the class to draw a picture of the sun.  She - in all conscientiousness and artistic ability - decided that the sun at sunset/sunrise (not sure) was the most beautiful.  So she drew an orange sun.  Her teach actually scorned her for choosing orange, and made a big, public, deal about how "everyone knows the sun is yellow".   mad  mad    Every so often my sister brings up that story again (usually when we're admiring an orange sun)  lol  lol

        The point is (besides it being "nice" to be sensitive toward children/teens), sometimes the person doing the "constructive criticism" doesn't have a clue about what the artist/writer had in mind.

        1. Sally's Trove profile image98
          Sally's Troveposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          That is devastating, proven by still being with your sister for all those years. Too many of us grow up being taught, guided, by adults [constructive critics] who ought to know better.

          1. Lisa HW profile image82
            Lisa HWposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            It was devastating to her.  She was four years old and "all happy" about school - and then this clown (who was like that anyway) did that.   hmm  My sister laughs about it now, but she'll usually add that she always wished she could go back as a grown up and point out to the woman that the sun is sometimes orange.  lol

            As for me, I just have the "bad attitude" of a fourteen-year-old because I've lived my whole life as a small person with an unintimidating face and voice; so I pretty much attract any number of people who presume to appoint themselves either mother, father, teacher, owner, or boss of me; and presume to believe they must know better about me, what I do, and my life than I do (even though I've been a capable adult now for - what - 35-plus years.  mad  mad  So my thing is that if I want to learn something, want a critique, or want a teacher of one kind of another - I'll find someone whose judgment and abilities in their area I trust, and I'll listen to them.

            Other than that, I have a real thing about ever presuming I have anything to teach anyone else about whatever it is they've created/done, and even an even bigger thing about someone else thinking I'm interested in their "teaching"/critiquing.  (Again, unless everyone signed on for a group-critiquing kind of thing and everyone's interested in participating.)  Either way, "critiquing" and "criticizing" are real button-pushers for me, as you can see.  lol  I can't possibly be alone in having lived a life fending off self-appointed teachers and "bosses of me", I don't think.... 

            The only reason I bring it up is to point out to someone like the OP that if someone else doesn't receive unsolicited "critique" well, it might be that the other person thinks similarly to the way I do.

            1. R.S. Hutchinson profile image87
              R.S. Hutchinsonposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              @Lisa..  that is very interesting, yet sad. It makes sense that people would "assume' they should be your teacher, boss etc. based soley on your size and demeanor.  I'm glad you pointed that out and it has given me ideas for character development in one of my novels smile

              1. Lisa HW profile image82
                Lisa HWposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                I've actually got a book on the back burner, but it's non-fiction and about the hidden ways The Women Movement hasn't particularly even noticed how far women haven't come in day-to-day dealings with people  I hope your character wouldn't be a sad one, though, because it's actually kind of funny (although infuriating).  It has, though, been a gift in many ways; because I see what I look like, and how I come across; and I know what a capable adult I am; and so I don't do what a lot of other people do (which is to assume that anyone smaller, less intimidating, or younger than I am is a child (ESPECIALLY IF THEY'RE -  LIKE - 45!  big_smile)  Oh well...  It keeps me young at heart.   roll

                (Oh well.  Don't mean to hijack the thread.   It's a problem for a whole lot of women, though - some, more than others  hmm).

            2. northweststarr profile image80
              northweststarrposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              I'm extremely outgoing, for a poet, and most of my friends tend to be quiet, introspective types.  Hadn't really thought about it that way, Lisa.  Mayhap I need to re-evaluate some relationships.  On the other hand... nah.  Everyone wants to hear what i have to say cause I'm awesome.  (joke)  It'd be one thing if I couldn't take criticism and/or laugh at myself, but all someone in that situation would need to do,  (R.S. Hope you're paying attention) is not publish my comment or respond and I'd quickly take the hint.  (It is more fun to argue about it, though.  I am currently a bored housewife poet.)

              1. Lisa HW profile image82
                Lisa HWposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                I do happen to being paying attention, and my next "real" project isn't starting until after the holiday - so I'm bored enough to enjoy a "debate"/discussion too.  smile

                I may not come across as a "barrel of laughs" on here (particularly this thread), but I'm always laughing at myself, and I don't take myself very seriously at all.  I'm absolutely fine with something like someone I'm working for criticizing.  And, believe it or not (although from some of my long forum posts someone would believe it), I've tend to have more to say about a lot of things than a lot of people. So it isn't that I'm some sullen, unfriendly, introvert who doesn't have a sense of humor.   One of my friends is the younger of several siblings, all of whom tend to be freer with their opinions about what she does than she prefers.  She'll always say how she looks around as if she's lost something and says, "Oh.  I'm looking for that sign I had around my neck that said, "I'm interested in what you think."   lol   lol  Point is, I'm not alone.   big_smile

                BUT, you're right.  If you made a commented on someone's Hub, and they didn't like it, they could have just not approved it.  Then again, I have to say that I've had the occasional comment (not critique of my writing, but critique of me, personally - and based on something the commenter only imagined about me), and I've kind of enjoyed posting their comment and "nicely putting them in their place" on the Hub.  (There's where my sadistic side comes in, I guess.   roll)  I guess that's a case of "If you insult me, then I'll be back to address your insult - and guess which one of us is going to come away feeling satisfied..."  roll  (Not one of my proudest traits, I'll admit, but I justify it by telling myself I don't go around insulting people personally, or their work; but if they insult me "thems pretty much fightin' words".   roll  lol

                1. northweststarr profile image80
                  northweststarrposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  Ooo, I do like you... wink  I'm going to have to remember the "sign around the neck" comment as I'm the baby of 6 siblings.  (see, I'm loud cause I had to be.)  You are definitely free to open up a can on me if I ever criticize you.  (Though I wouldn't,  only how you wrote something, and then, probably only if I actually kind of liked it...)  People who can't take an honest critique and opinion however, need to be poked at once in a while, though.  Kinda like a campfire.  If you don't challenge them, the flame might die down to low and then there would be entirely too many boring/uninspired hubs lying about.  wink

                  1. Lisa HW profile image82
                    Lisa HWposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    lol  (The sign-around-the-neck thing is one I've borrowed from my friend on occasion, but she's funnier in her enactment of the whole thing.)  I suspect - in view of your willingness to debate - I like you too, except for that little issue you seem to have about needing to criticize people.  (;lol). 

                    Anyway, my question about that poking the campfire thing:  But why?  Why not just leave people alone?   big_smile  (I need you to know that at this point I'm actually laughing in person - not just on the screen.  smile  )

                    I have to say that I know I have tons and tons of really boring/uninspired Hubs on here.  (I'm not being funny or exaggerating.  I hate a whole lot of my Hubs - but the ones I hate are are that way because I've always tried to straddle some line between making them useful/informative but also writing what I want to write.  For my purposes on here, it's how my writing on here has seemed to have built up.  I do professional writing elsewhere, so I only have so much energy for my spare-time writing.  It's mediocre - or nothing for me.  hmm  For someone like me (and this isn't particularly about me, but I'm just an example), I'm here on that low flame after (or alongside) a day of more heavy-duty writing (or, if I write for myself but not for immediate money, then the flame is high again; but I"m not earning money for it).  So, in all my exhaustion (but also enthusiasm for writing for any number of reasons), I've had to settle for a lot of the stuff I've got on here.  It isn't going to get me a Pulitzer Prize, but I won't be the only Hubber in that boat.   roll  BUT - I mean - stuff in newspapers and magazines can be pretty uninspired and boring to a lot of people too.  Some writing is OK if it's boring.  lol  (Or at least it has to be OK as far as I'm concerned.   big_smile)  (By the way, I'm a middle child - hence the trollish personality and attitude problem, I guess.   roll)

        2. fetty profile image77
          fettyposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          I am a retired teacher , and sometimes especially when hub hopping I comment, "That this is not a fully developed hub, This could be better if..., You have chosen a wonderful topic but only introduced the topic, etc."  I occasionally receive a scorn filled response. I have questioned why I feel the need to do this,(trust me!) but I still exercise this repressed need. I always hope my suggestions help the budding writer. I have spent years helping young children develop this ability. Some people come by writing easily and others struggle. I feel honored when the writer feels help has been given. I hope you all see my tainted point of view here. You , all have amazing points as well. I am learning a great deal from just reading your comments.

          1. Lisa HW profile image82
            Lisa HWposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            fetty, I should probably not post more here (just because I've already had so much to say), but I can understand what you're saying about having been a teacher.  Also, these days there's the big push on for increasing quality on the site, and that's not lost on me either.

            The only thing (and other side of that) is that there are people like me, who (besides any "issues" I've already expressed) have been away from school for close to 40 years and who (respectfully, and I do mean that) just aren't interested in having someone else appoint himself my teacher.   :

            My thing is that if I'm working in some settings I do aim for perfection in what I produce.  On here, I take my writing seriously and aim for decent quality; but I don't aim for perfection, considering my own writing purposes/needs when it comes to this particular writing.  I wish you could tell that I'm saying this in a friendly, understanding, tone; but I've had teachers comment on some minor thing or another in my stuff.  I always think, "I got my A's in English decades ago.  I know how to write.  I do take a few liberties (mostly in the interest of trying to keep my writing less formal at times), and I'm sure I mess up with some punctuation here or there.  Unless it's a typo, when I commit a grammar infraction it's often by choice or just not stopping to double-check on the correct use of something.  It's my choice to be a little more relaxed in this particular setting (and since it's neither school nor "real" work).  Right or wrong, the point is that I've had people assume I'm a "budding writer" just because I write on a site like this - and I'm not.  I'm in my 50's and have been writing (offline) since the early 1980's.

            So, as someone who has been on the receiving of well intentioned teachers (and you're far from the only teacher or retired teacher who has those urges you do   (  smile ) any number of times, I do have to politely (and, again, respectfully) say that it does irk the heck out me.   hmm  smile   I don't think I know absolutely every last, little, thing about grammar, and I'm not someone who thinks I write with perfection.  My thing, though, is that at this point in my life (and especially after some pretty difficult things in that life), I just don't care about achieving perfection on here.  Also, (and here's where middle-aged people can get obnoxious, I know) I just figure if there are some things I haven't perfected by now it isn't going to happen.

            I don't think it's right for people to respond to your well intentioned suggestions in a fresh or scornful way.  It's just that I, personally, am not interested in any remarks beyond, maybe, the pointing out of a typing error or else questioning some point I've made.  I don't want to seem melodramatic; but with some of the stuff I've had in my life, I kind of think it's a little bit of a miracle that I can whip up 5000 words in a couple of hours, and then another 7000 words a few hours later.  I don't expect a well intentioned "critic" to know my business, but that doesn't change the fact that I get irked if someone makes an issue over something like punctuation.  hmm  That's why I think it's better when people wait to be asked before volunteering grammar or writing critique/tips.  (Based only on what's on some Hubs or forum threads on this site, I know I'm far from alone in having enough stuff in life to make some grammar errors seem pretty unimportant.)

      2. Sally's Trove profile image98
        Sally's Troveposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        What happened to you was not constructive criticism but an attack by the critic against herself. It just happened to be played out on you. And that is devastating for a young person.

        One year, the person closest to me told me to shut up during a Christmas sing because I was off-key. Well, maybe I was, trying to drop an octave in a key that wasn't comfortable for me, but I didn't need to be told to shut up. Too bad for me, I've never found my singing voice again, except to hum silently to myself.

        Every artist must be open to criticism, but must always shut the door on abuse.

        1. northweststarr profile image80
          northweststarrposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          I agree completely about being antiabuse.  In fact, if I think someone's work is awful, I won't say anything at all, because that's what my momma taught me!!  Usually, I only critique stuff with promise and always make sure I say what's right along with what I'd do differently.  I try to regularly go to creative writing workshops with "friends" so we can rip each others' work apart and steal/borrow new ideas!  After those sessions, I can take anything!

          1. R.S. Hutchinson profile image87
            R.S. Hutchinsonposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            @northwestern Maybe you should work on the delivery of your critique. Telling someone,  - unsolicited- "this is good, this is good- dump everything else because it's archaic"  is not only just your opinion but is unnecessary and unwarranted if it wasn't at first asked for. If we were in a writing workshop where critiques were expected then it would be appropriate.  Moreover, writing on your own posts that my work "inspired you but that my poem was 'vague'" is once again, crossing the line. I'm not sure why you would feel you have earned the right to publicly insult someone else's poetry. Someone by the way whom is a very accomplished poet and writer and knows a thing or two about creative writing. And standing behind the idea that "if it's published then you want critiques" is wrong. As I said before, if I wanted someone's critique/opinion then I would ask for it, and I usually only ask people that have illustrated work that I believe is better than mine.
            With all that said, I'm sure your passive remarks have brought people to my hubs - so thanks smile

            1. northweststarr profile image80
              northweststarrposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Glad to help you out darling!  wink  Your hub score is going up, up, up smile  Great job!  (As far as publicly insulting your poetry, I did originally put a disclaimer on the comment that you didn't need to approve it so you were actually the one who publicly insulted your poetry, not me.)  You're absolutely right that my critique was unsolicited... (I think you're only whining because you half-@$$ed that one and you know I'm actually right, your poem was unspecific/vague without the imagery that would've taken it to the next level) NOW I'M PUBLICLY INSULTING YOUR POETRY.  (Hope everyone else is entertained by this, I know I am smile )

            2. MelissaBarrett profile image61
              MelissaBarrettposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Read the poem, read the review... Gotta go with R.S. Hutchinson here.  Constructive criticism is saying "Hey, I would do it this way" or "I don't think that imagery lines up" or even "It's not the best I've ever read, maybe you might want to go back to the drawing board". 

              The review was unhelpful, insulting and generally rude.  Then I read northweststarr's stuff...

              I, at this point, would be really interested in knowing what her qualifications for reviewer are.

              1. northweststarr profile image80
                northweststarrposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                So I take it, you won't be following me?  Remember, this was my opinion only.  Didn't actually mean to insult anyone when I made the review.  I could have been nicer, I suppose, but then we wouldn't be havig this wonderful discussion.  Plus, he said he was a creative writing instructor.  I was approaching his work in a manner that gave him the benefit of the doubt.  If he'd been an unaccomplished every-day Joe.  I would have been a whole lot easier on him.  Also, once again, I told him he didn't need to display the comment as it was just MY OPINION. wink

                1. recommend1 profile image71
                  recommend1posted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  In respect of someone who is claiming to be a ceative writing instructor - if you find serious fault then I would say you have every right to comment, at least as a query about whatever you see - the same would apply to seriously dubious medical advice, even if you are not a doctor.

                  1. northweststarr profile image80
                    northweststarrposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    Ty!

                2. R.S. Hutchinson profile image87
                  R.S. Hutchinsonposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  @North .. well that is not true. You didn't know I was a Creative Writing teacher until after you posted your "critique". And I agree with Melissa as I too would be interested in knowing what your qualifications were to insult my poem. You have no knowledge of the poem, why it was written,, or the author yet you insult it and claim it to be a "critique". I tried, professionally to rectify your "critique" on my own post which you then once again came back with another insult that I chose not to publish. And then you insult my "vague" poem once again on your own hub and even AGAIN on this thread claiming "I half @ss'd it".   That poem has been read by many readers and professionals that have all agreed to one extent or another that it is a great poem. AND EVEN if it wasn't, the point is that that poem has a VERY powerful meaning to me and to have someone come by and insult it is truly tasteless. I gave you the benefit of the doubt initially which is why I posted your original "critique".

                  1. northweststarr profile image80
                    northweststarrposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    Do you know sarcasm when you hear/read it? Humor is the spice of life... or something like that.  People, this is what happens when you get self important.  (On both sides of the argument)  I'll admit I was a little full of myself when originally posting my comment.  I apologize for bruising your ego, but I was STILL RIGHT. (heh heh)  When I insult someone they know it and my original impression of you and your poem was NOT unfavorable.  Now, that is all the apology you're gonna get out of me.  There is value in pretty things, I just generally prefer a little substance.  We'd all starve on a diet of cool whip topping.  (And get tired of it soon)

                3. MelissaBarrett profile image61
                  MelissaBarrettposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  Not necessarily, if you had a topic of interest to me I would probably follow you.  Many writers have personalities that collide with my own.  I follow the "most creative people are probably at least mildly insane, or else their view of the world would be exactly like everyone else's" That would make for a very boring world. 

                  As a poet, no I wouldn't follow you.  I don't like terminal rhyming poetry (which appears to be what you mainly do)  I don't believe that true expression can occur within the confines of "moon/June"  I.E. if you are thinking about the rhyme, you aren't thinking about the imagery.  There are some that successfully pull it off, but they are the true masters.  Otherwise, it all sounds like greeting cards to me.

                  I also wouldn't follow Hutchinson based on that poem.  It didn't really invoke anything emotional in me. 

                  I was basically reviewing your review.  Which was not constructive criticism at all, but sarcasm--the Pocahontas line stuck me hardest--that didn't seem to have any purpose other than to say that you were the better poet.  Unless you are one of the aforementioned masters--in which case excuse me Ms. Angelou-- the level of criticism had nothing to reasonably back it up.

                  1. R.S. Hutchinson profile image87
                    R.S. Hutchinsonposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    @ Melissa.. I read that "critique" as well and thought the same thing however, .. that was not my poem and not the "critique" on my page. This is mine and the critique is still at the end along with my response:

                    http://hubpages.com/hub/I-Will-Not-Chase-Love-Poem

                  2. northweststarr profile image80
                    northweststarrposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    The Pocahontas line was not on R. S. Hutchinson's poem.  Thank you very much.  That was actually another creative writing teacher who got a kick out of it and received it in the manner that it was meant to be received.  I wasn't nearly as harsh to Hutchinson.  Yes, I can be harsh to other people as well as to myself... Also agree that terminally rhyming poetry IS boring.  Luckily, if you'd read further, not all my stuff is like that...  Or maybe it is... I'll do a quick run through of what I've posted to check it out.  That's a good criticism.  Ouch.  Were you reading the latest hub I posted on broad or general poetry?  It was meant to be like that. 
                    Showing off stuff I normally wouldn't publish.  Or the humor hub?  Be specific please, that was a parody and meant to be rhyming.  I was harsh to Pocahontas Guy, but I'm not always like that.  I do generally try to censor myself a little... and he gave me license to say what I really thought. In the broad poetry hub, I joked that I should work for Hallmark.  Is this where the "greeting cards" slam comes in?

                    Agree that everyone having the same views WOULD be boring.  In the end, I'm mostly regurgitating my own education and personal views.  I believe the quote you're looking for is "Judge not lest you be judged." 

                    On another note, I am likely insane.  That's what happens when an introspective person leaves the workforce to be a full time mommy to three kids in an unfamiliar environment.  wink

                    --(Just tired of the normal B.S. so decided to make my own.)  smile
                    Thanks for reading whatever hub you did read and stay tuned! I'm a work in progress...

                  3. northweststarr profile image80
                    northweststarrposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    By the way, feel free to criticize away on my new hub/poem. I posted it just for yall!!
                    http://hubpages.com/hub/revisingpoetry

  7. recommend1 profile image71
    recommend1posted 6 years ago

    Constructive criticism and advice is a difficult issue - who is qualified to give it?

    I sometimes leave comments that point out spelling mistakes, obvious grammatical errors and maybe some other obvious issues relating to the way an article appears to come across to me, or not.  I normally leave criticism with the comment that the hubowner should delete it - and I leave another comment that is non-critical about the content.

    The only genre where I might comment on the content etc., is poetry where I am qualified (literally).  The general standard of poetry on hubpages is crushingly low, most of it is not poetry in any accepted description of the genre.  There are a few people actually writing poetry that I would consider to be normal to good and a very few that I consider to be really good.  'I consider' just means in my opinion.  I do notice that some of the really bad self-proclaimed poets make the most noise, and the few who might be able to offer an informed educated opinion generally only make bland uncritical comments, which is a pity.

    1. northweststarr profile image80
      northweststarrposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Was that a set down?  Ouch, gonna have to check out your poetry, I suppose.  (Promise I won't leave any comments.)  Poetry is what it is.  If someone with no training in poetry thinks their stuff is good then... more power to them. I won't bother them.  When "professionals" make glaring mistakes, it's a bad standard to set. Not all of my poetry is well-inspired and I wouldn't consider myself the word in free-verse, but I do notice commonalities in the mistakes even experienced poets make. 

      I also have a real problem with poets who write outside of their era for no apparent reason because they are already covering ground that's been covered before.  I'm a definite Dickinson fan, yes, but Emily wrote for her time so that it was accessible and not repetitive.  If it's a tribute piece, fine, or something that needs those language choices, but not just to make it sound more important or to scream, loudly  "I'M A POET."
      That being said, I've never met a poem that has something to say that I would completely throw out.  I probably rework my poems 20-30 times before I'm happy with them and more before I can truly say I'm finished.

  8. recommend1 profile image71
    recommend1posted 6 years ago

    This is a writers site at the end of the day - and if anyone can get upset with fellow writers pointing out typo's and bad grammar then maybe a less demanding site might be more suitable.

    I can agree that unqualified people pointing up what they perceive as errors is not what is wanted, but tidying up your stuff is onlyuseful.

    1. Lisa HW profile image82
      Lisa HWposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      I think it depends on what someone defines as "a writing site".  Some people figure all the usual stuff that's included in the "help" section is what they're signing up for.  Others apparently expand the definition to include critiquing other people's actual writing (as opposed to commenting on the ideas presented).  That's yet another case of nothing more than people thinking differently and expecting different things. 

      To be candid, I know that my own stuff is not perfect; but if you look at the loads of stuff on here that's absolutely awful, I just don't think the relatively minor thing, here or there, that shows up in my stuff is worth worrying about.  Tidying up is always useful, but - really - some things are screaming for tidying up.  Other stuff really isn't that big of a mess in the first place.

      My own thing is that I don't get "upset" over it (because I plain, old, don't give enough of a rat's bottom about a lot of stuff that goes on here).  It is that I do get irked (which is different from "upset"), but I also think if people want to feel free to critique then people who are irked by it ought to feel equally free to express their own views as well.

      Sometimes what some people (writers) need is not a less demanding site, but a MORE demanding one -  one with editors who address any flaws in writing, and one on which "everybody and his brother" doesn't see it as his job to edit everyone else's stuff.   hmm   I'm not angry or being confrontational, or anything.  It just may go back to whether someone views a site like this as "at least sort of professional" (and business) or as a social thing.  In professional writing everybody and his brother doesn't kick in on editing.  And if it's nothing but social - then why worry about grammar at all?

    2. R.S. Hutchinson profile image87
      R.S. Hutchinsonposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Let us not mix apple and oranges here. Pointing out grammatical errors is alot different than reading someone's personal work and saying "this basically sucks".  Especially, when that person's opinion (however qualified or unqualified it may be)  was never invited.

      And I do agree with you Lisa on everything you said.  I get it.

      1. northweststarr profile image80
        northweststarrposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Never said your poem "sucks."  Now you're getting repetitive.  Do you point out your students mistakes to them or are you one of those teachers who sticks a B+ on their paper for effort so they won't get their feelings hurt?  An experienced writer attempts to look at critiques as opportunities for improvement, not as personal attacks.  WAS I RIGHT? Even a little bit?  Could it be better?  Do you need a band aid?

 
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