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Astaire
I definitely think you need a general example of critique vs. flaming for your thread, i.e.:

Good idea:

"Please work on your spelling and grammar; a lot of the errors I found in your poem that were spelling-related could have been fixed easily with spellcheck, and not taking the time to proofread your poetry makes your poems seem sloppily done."

Bad idea:

YOUR SPELLING AND GRAMMAR ARE LAME LOL NEVER WRITE POETRY EVER AGAIN

Yeah. In general, I think you skimped on Critic Ettiquette quite a bit, especially considering how much effort you put into the ettiquette required for RECEIVING a critique.

Otherwise, I'm lovin' this thread. heart


You make too much sense. >_>

No, admittedly, I see my own bias there. What sort of additional advice would you give for critic etiquette? (and I may look for examples as well).
The Good Poetry Critic:

* Knows poetry, or at least knows what good poetry looks like and why.
* Actually helps critiqued poet out with such things as grammar (first and foremost), spelling (greatly important also), literary devices, line breaking, proper enjambment and the stuff of poetry that differs it from prose, or normal writing.
* Knows when to sugar coat some parts of the critique, or to give the poet some slack, and when to smack the poet in the face to better instill the advice given.
* Is conscious of several good examples of poetic prowess, places to learn from, or resources to check out. Also has personal experience to share and explain.
* Arranges the critique well, allowing the critiqued to understand the critic's voice and reason.
* Must be a good poet (as in bullet one) in order to verify his/her advice.

The Bad Poetry Critic:

* Garners knowledge from things he/she has heard in life, rumors and possibly false articles of poetry.
* Appears to be sightless and misinformed with nothing to back it all up.
* "The pot calls the kettle black." Insults poets and other critiquers without presenting evidence or reason. Also applies to people who have little to say when actually performing a critique.
* Is a bad example: i.e. not having any grammar skills, not having written anything, teaches false beliefs in poetry.
* Is generally unliked or discouraged by the poetry world, showing something of a foolish character.
* Takes a long time with things, breaks promises and acts idiotic. Also arranges critiques badly, presenting eye-gouging comments and suggestions that are barely legible.
Seems about right, though I'd scratch the first point under "Bad Critic." Not much specificity or foundation.

I've got some interest in stuff like this, because I can't exactly break the rules if the rules aren't built up in the first place. It'd suck if flaming became widely accepted.
`Kira
The Good Poetry Critic:


heart

Some of this sounds confrontational with words like "stupid" and "arrogant", but I agree with the main sentiment.

Edit: And Oxxi is right; that point is something many of us would say we 'know it when we see it' but that is difficult to 'measure', so to speak.
Just want to help, is all.

First bad point scratched.
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Astaire
I definitely think you need a general example of critique vs. flaming for your thread, i.e.:

Good idea:

"Please work on your spelling and grammar; a lot of the errors I found in your poem that were spelling-related could have been fixed easily with spellcheck, and not taking the time to proofread your poetry makes your poems seem sloppily done."

Bad idea:

YOUR SPELLING AND GRAMMAR ARE LAME LOL NEVER WRITE POETRY EVER AGAIN

Yeah. In general, I think you skimped on Critic Ettiquette quite a bit, especially considering how much effort you put into the ettiquette required for RECEIVING a critique.

Otherwise, I'm lovin' this thread. heart


You make too much sense. >_>

No, admittedly, I see my own bias there. What sort of additional advice would you give for critic etiquette? (and I may look for examples as well).


Well, here's some general stuff:

1) As a critic, your main goal is to help the poet you're critiquing, no matter how poor in quality you think the poem is. After all, if you don't give them the advice they need to help them improve, they may very well continue writing bad poetry!

2) You're there to critique the poem, not the poet.

Good: "The problem with your poem is that your main image is comparing tears to rain, which is a very overused image; I understand that you accidently flushed your hamster down the toilet and it makes you sad, but in order to convey this sadness, you might want to work on creating a different image."

Bad: "You sound like a whiny emo b*****d. Who cares about stupid turtles, anyway? God. Get a dog and shut up."

3) If the poet is asking for "gentle critiques," please be mindful of that.

4) Don't bother to write a critique if you can't take the time to be thorough, ESPECIALLY if the poem needs work. As a poet, would YOU appreciate only getting half-assed critiques?




HELP! I spent a whole hour writing a careful, detailed critique of someone's poetry and they refuse to listen to reason! WHAT SHOULD I DO, OH WISE ONE??!?!

1) Count to ten. (It may sound like cliche advice, but trust me; too many flamewars have happened on this forum because the critic didn't stop and calm down before responding.

2) If the response is a violation of a TOS (flaming you, insulting you, threatening you) then report it and do not respond.

3) Defend your critique, but don't become so defensive that you fail to see what the person being critiqued is saying/don't go into flameland."

Good: "I understand that you're only ten years old, but when I critiqued your poem, I did so with the hope that you would improve; poets of every age need help with their poetry, so don't feel like I'm picking on you because of the fact that you're younger."

Bad: "TEN? How are you not, like, five? Grow up and stop being such a baby."



If I think of anything else, I'll edit it in/let you know.
Even though this isn't my thread, thanks Astaire, for helping. You really don't know how that makes me feel. You know, to see someone actually helping. heart
Astaire
neat stuff about giving good crit


Mind if I use some of what you mention as long as I credit and all that?
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Astaire
neat stuff about giving good crit


Mind if I use some of what you mention as long as I credit and all that?


I don't mind at all. heart Use whatever you like.

@Kira- You're welcome, love. heart By the way, lovin' the good critic/bad critic checklist. (Especially "is a bad example" under Bad Poetry Critic; I've seen way too many of those trolling around the forums, and they make me sick.)
I'll be honest. My current pet peeve is blanket praise of a poem that honestly just doesn't hold up. Lately, I tend to comment them with an equivalent opposite and wait for the writer to thank the "so good" while screaming at my "so bad" -- at which point I mention that both comments are equally useful. Sometimes I go on to offer to recant my statement if the positive critiquer will explain what parts are working. I've never been taken up on that offer.

I'm not expecting thanks or I wouldn't do this experiment. However:

There's a place to build someone up, I suppose; but not only is it unmerited in some cases, it's very destructive as the poet replies, "Well other people liked it" and clings to the praise while wrinkling their nose at constructive criticism (and yes I mean constructive and helpful now) as if it's year-old trash.
Astaire's avatar

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I'll be honest. My current pet peeve is blanket praise of a poem that honestly just doesn't hold up. Lately, I tend to comment them with an equivalent opposite and wait for the writer to thank the "so good" while screaming at my "so bad" -- at which point I mention that both comments are equally useful.

I'm not expecting thanks or I wouldn't do the experiment. However:

There's a place to build someone up, I suppose; but not only is it unmerited in some cases, it's very destructive as the poet replies, "Well other people liked it" and clings to the praise while wrinkling their nose at constructive criticism (and yes I mean constructive and helpful now) as if it's year-old trash.


I agree with that. Blanket praise is almost like flaming in that no valid reasons are being given for the comments, and they can be detrimental to the poet's view of the poem that they've written. I think something about that should be added in critiquing etiquette.

Besides, you're the one writing this potential sticky, so if it's something that bothers you, you might as well add it. heart
i think noobs should be forced to read this all the way through, as well as taking and passing a comprehension test on all the subject matter before being allowed to post ther poems for criticism. because i have given so many long, and (i hope) constructive critiques that have never even gotten responses.


also, i love poetess laureate. heart
I think there are two main reasons constructive-but-negative critique gets no or poor response, and I think one of them is legitimate:

1. The writer is not ready to accept criticism of any kind. This may be simple defensiveness, especially if they feel criticized personally. This can also be because their ego won't allow it; they posted to be told how wonderful the writing is. (illegitimate)

2. The writer is overwhelmed; suddenly they're looking at ALL THIS STUFF that's somehow 'wrong' and they need to make sense of an information overload. Sure it's not perfect but where did that truck come from that just hit them? (legitimate)

What do we do about #2? I don't know that it's a good idea to 'dumb down' a crit -- so if there's a lot to say, there's a lot to say. But it CAN be overwhelming.

Maybe to save time and hassle all around, start with basics or one specific thing, gauge the writer's reaction to that, and then decide whether to reply in full or move on?
yes, that's good advice.

unfortunately, i have about as much stamina for critiquing as i do for running. it comes in spurts, so i try to squeeze it for as much as i can before i just want to sit on my lazy butt again. xd
Good stuff.

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