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Site Suggestion: Story Critique Options · View
Liz
Posted: Thursday, July 04, 2013 6:33:00 AM

Rank: Scarlet Seductress

Joined: 1/22/2013
Posts: 3,900
Location: In the sweet shop, United Kingdom
GingerKitty proposed the following:

GingerKitty wrote:
I'm always reading about wanting to improve the standards of the writing here, which is sometimes (okay, most of the time) met with criticism. I think in order to help people improve and get good feedback, a critique forum, like on the sister site would be useful.


Thoughts by Shylass:

Shylass wrote:
This is a great idea. However, I think that it should be a private forum, just as it is on the blue site. It would have to consist of people who are serious (in a fun way), or it would just be another vehicle for slagging people off or running them down (certain people are good at that).

I am in two minds about whether I would want to join it, personally, but I'm not sure that this thread is the right place for that discussion.

In general, I think the idea has potential in some form here.


My suggestion for an alternative to the forum idea:

Instead of a private forum, how about this:

I have seen on some artistic websites (such as DeviantArt) that a user can specify that they would like to have a piece critiqued when submitting it.

We could have a tick box on the story submission page called 'I would like a critique of this story' which would put an additional button on the story page itself.

Any user can click the button and submit a proper review of the story (subject to certain conditions such as minimum word count - otherwise you could get 'critiques' which say for example, "Not enough cock.")

These could then be listed as links on the top of the comments section, e.g. 'Critique by Shylass' which can be clicked on and opened.

This would also allow for multiple story reviews without clogging up the comments section with big chunks of text, but also allow casual readers to check them out also.

Perhaps a privacy option could also be added to make the critiques only visible to the author?

Please add your thoughts below.


Noreasonneeded
Posted: Thursday, July 04, 2013 7:11:14 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 4/7/2013
Posts: 237
Location: United States
In general, I prefer to vote and comment on every story I read. I think the author should get that from me, at the very least. Sadly I don't get to read as much as I would like. *sigh*

I like the "non-agression" comment policy here. And the voting and comment ratio are about what I expected. (Less than 1%) But it does sometimes seem that the voting is overly generous.

All that said, if I have something to say to the author that I do not think needs to be in my comment, I will send a private message to make my point. The danger of a public critique area is always that the heathen will surface and take over. Sad to say. Maybe the button should just indicate a desire for critiques to be sent as email. And if the author wants to take the comments further, they could start a forum thread.

Just a concern that the honest request "I'd like a critique of my writing efforts" could be read as "attack me without mercy, I'm asking for it". And then it's a one-sided dodgeball game.



http://www.lushstories.com/stories/taboo/new-lesson.aspx
Shylass
Posted: Thursday, July 04, 2013 7:21:22 AM

Rank: Gingerbread Lover

Joined: 1/6/2012
Posts: 3,591
Location: Trumpton, United Kingdom
Liz wrote:
GingerKitty proposed the following:



My suggestion for an alternative to the forum idea:

Instead of a private forum, how about this:

I have seen on some artistic websites (such as DeviantArt) that a user can specify that they would like to have a piece critiqued when submitting it.

We could have a tick box on the story submission page called 'I would like a critique of this story' which would put an additional button on the story page itself.

Any user can click the button and submit a proper review of the story (subject to certain conditions such as minimum word count - otherwise you could get 'critiques' which say for example, "Not enough cock.")

These could then be listed as links on the top of the comments section, e.g. 'Critique by Shylass' which can be clicked on and opened.

This would also allow for multiple story reviews without clogging up the comments section with big chunks of text, but also allow casual readers to check them out also.

Perhaps a privacy option could also be added to make the critiques only visible to the author?

Please add your thoughts below.


I think GingerKitty's idea is great. However, I much prefer Liz's idea.

For personal reasons that I'm not going to share, I would be very reluctant to join a private forum. I want critique, but not in the same form as the blue site has. I do see the value that others find in it, though.

I think an option for anybody to critique work seriously, rather than leaving it on the open general comments part, is a wonderful idea. I would prefer anybody and everybody to have the choice to critique work should the author ask for it. Any sort of idea where people are asked to do something often results in "tit for tat". "I read and critiqued your work, so do mine! Do mine! I was nice to you, so be nice to meeee even though it's shit, or so much better than yours that I want to rub it in your face!"

I don't like overtly advertising my stuff, generally. I made an exception for the book and certain things I put on my blog from time to time (usually things that I feel very insecure about, so it's my way of pushing myself). Therefore, I would hate to start a thread in a forum that basically says, "Hey, read my story, and help me be a better writer!". I like the fact that people can choose for themselves if they want to or not.

I don't know what it would mean coding-wise, but I know that I would appreciate that function very much if it could be done. It could be said that the votes/comments section is enough, but for developing writers, it isn't. As we read in the forums often, people often feel like they can't leave constructive critique, even via private messages, should they wish to give it. This would be a way to show that an author really wanted to develop the skills that they had, and anybody who felt that they could contribute to that would have "permission". For a story site, I would see that as a natural progression, to deepen the experience not just for readers, but for the growing authors too. I think a next step past scores and comments, and into a world of "Please tell me how you think this could be better" would be a good thing for Lush.

Obviously, there will always be things that people want to bicker about. I get upset if somebody thinks my stuff is crap, but when I've had my cry, I try to do something about it. I also learn to increase my own skills and judgement by weighing up if what the critic said actually had merit. Sometimes it does, and sometimes it doesn't. Therefore, I would love to have this option. Anybody who shows themselves to be a doorhandle can always be blocked, but those who genuinely wish to see somebody do better can feel free to share. And the author can clearly show if they would like to receive that sort of feedback. I love it. sunny


Ut incepit fidelis, sic permanet.

***
********************************CLICK THE BANNERS TO BUY THESE WILLY-STIFFENING BOOKS!********************************
Liz
Posted: Thursday, July 04, 2013 7:21:39 AM

Rank: Scarlet Seductress

Joined: 1/22/2013
Posts: 3,900
Location: In the sweet shop, United Kingdom
Noreasonneeded wrote:
In general, I prefer to vote and comment on every story I read. I think the author should get that from me, at the very least. Sadly I don't get to read as much as I would like. *sigh*

I like the "non-agression" comment policy here. And the voting and comment ratio are about what I expected. (Less than 1%) But it does sometimes seem that the voting is overly generous.

All that said, if I have something to say to the author that I do not think needs to be in my comment, I will send a private message to make my point. The danger of a public critique area is always that the heathen will surface and take over. Sad to say. Maybe the button should just indicate a desire for critiques to be sent as email. And if the author wants to take the comments further, they could start a forum thread.

Just a concern that the honest request "I'd like a critique of my writing efforts" could be read as "attack me without mercy, I'm asking for it". And then it's a one-sided dodgeball game.



This really isn't an option to be honest.
Any comments that are submitted in an overly aggressive manner or without any substance as to being a genuine literary comment on a story can usually be removed with a request to admin.
"This is total shit!" for instance, is completely useless as a story comment. It tells the author nothing.

What we would be looking for is something far more in-depth and covering a range of aspects. Perhaps a 'Critique Guide' could be put together to help those users wishing to write one?

Story Opening
Conflict
Plot
Setting
Characterisation
Dialogue
Point of View
Show versus tell
Format
Grammar
Writing Style


Noreasonneeded
Posted: Thursday, July 04, 2013 7:36:23 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 4/7/2013
Posts: 237
Location: United States
Okay, good to know. I like the list of options idea. And in general and for the critique process, for authors who wants to know, want advice, and want to improve. I would be a user. I want the critique to improve my writing.

http://www.lushstories.com/stories/taboo/new-lesson.aspx
Delphi
Posted: Thursday, July 04, 2013 7:48:04 AM

Rank: Story Verifier

Joined: 6/30/2012
Posts: 1,191
Location: United States
I like this idea, and would use it if there was a private option. I don't leave constructive criticism mainly because I'm sure most people don't care about it and I'd likely just irritate them. If something showed that they wanted it, I'd be more apt to do so.

If used as a writers helping writers tool, I'd personally like the private option. I've dealt with bandwagon bitching before and in keeping it private, you will usually get more honest results from people.



The Delphi/NaughtyNurse collaboration - a Recommended Read
1ball
Posted: Thursday, July 04, 2013 9:20:56 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 9/13/2011
Posts: 970
Location: United States
I like Liz's idea. I might then disable comments and scores and enable critiques.

My latest story is too hot to publish. My most recent story before that is Even Stranger In Lust
clum
Posted: Thursday, July 04, 2013 10:16:52 AM

Rank: Clumeleon

Joined: 5/13/2011
Posts: 3,722
Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Meh.

The lion is most lionlike when he roars.
Dani
Posted: Thursday, July 04, 2013 10:47:09 AM

Rank: Penguin Wrangler

Joined: 12/25/2010
Posts: 4,033
Location: Under Your Bed, United States
clum wrote:
Meh.


Same here.



We're tiny. We're toony. We're all a little looney. And in this cartoony, we're invading your TV.

Buz
Posted: Thursday, July 04, 2013 10:53:53 AM

Rank: The Linebacker

Joined: 3/2/2011
Posts: 5,174
Location: Atlanta, United States
I'd make sure that my own stories are well above par before criticizing those of another author. I've seen some of the most critical comments come from people who really should spend time, and a lot of it, improving their own work. Generally, the best constructive criticism or improvement advice would come from an admired author who sends you a pm about the things you should do to take your writing to the next level.

I have written a new poem. It is called 'Long Twisty Woman.'
You can read it at: http://www.lushstories.com/stories/erotic-poems/long-twisty-woman.aspxx
Also, if you wish, check out my co-authored a story with the wonderful DanielleX. It is called 'Focus on Sex.'
You can read it at: http://www.lushstories.com/stories/quickie-sex/focused-on-sex-1.aspx

Delphi
Posted: Thursday, July 04, 2013 11:27:51 AM

Rank: Story Verifier

Joined: 6/30/2012
Posts: 1,191
Location: United States
Buz wrote:
I'd make sure that my own stories are well above par before criticizing those of another author. I've seen some of the most critical comments come from people who really should spend time, and a lot of it, improving their own work. Generally, the best constructive criticism or improvement advice would come from an admired author who sends you a pm about the things you should do to take your writing to the next level.


That is a different take on it than mine. I've benefited from constructive criticism from both beginning and professional writers. Everyone sees something different when they read, and while I find some feedback more helpful than others, I appreciate it all.

I'm not the best writer out there, but I deliver the best I can. I'd do the same with my constructive criticism, and I'd hope that I'd be a better writer after it's given to me as well.




The Delphi/NaughtyNurse collaboration - a Recommended Read
Shylass
Posted: Thursday, July 04, 2013 11:34:29 AM

Rank: Gingerbread Lover

Joined: 1/6/2012
Posts: 3,591
Location: Trumpton, United Kingdom
Buz wrote:
I'd make sure that my own stories are well above par before criticizing those of another author. I've seen some of the most critical comments come from people who really should spend time, and a lot of it, improving their own work. Generally, the best constructive criticism or improvement advice would come from an admired author who sends you a pm about the things you should do to take your writing to the next level.


Does that happen often for you, or are you speaking theoretically? That would be the ideal, but it doesn't work that way for everybody, sadly.

Not all of us have recognition to the extent that an admired author would take the time to help us improve our work out of the goodness of their heart or passion, time allowing. Not all of us feel able, or can, approach people whose work we respect. And some of us might have tried and not got anywhere.

I think there is a difference between criticising in a positive sense, and just being a critical knobhead. It's fairly easy to spot those people, but it's also an exercise in learning to recognise criticism we should take on board and be challenged by, or let it fall away to wither.

Some people might think the idea is meh, and they're not bothered either way, but for a site that promotes quality writing, as GingerKitty originally suggested, such an option could be highly beneficial. The people who feel meh about it don't have to use it.



Ut incepit fidelis, sic permanet.

***
********************************CLICK THE BANNERS TO BUY THESE WILLY-STIFFENING BOOKS!********************************
Delphi
Posted: Thursday, July 04, 2013 11:42:32 AM

Rank: Story Verifier

Joined: 6/30/2012
Posts: 1,191
Location: United States
Shylass wrote:


Does that happen often for you, or are you speaking theoretically? That would be the ideal, but it doesn't work that way for everybody, sadly.

Not all of us have recognition to the extent that an admired author would take the time to help us improve our work out of the goodness of their heart or passion, time allowing. Not all of us feel able, or can, approach people whose work we respect. And some of us might have tried and not got anywhere.

I think there is a difference between criticising in a positive sense, and just being a critical knobhead. It's fairly easy to spot those people, but it's also an exercise in learning to recognise criticism we should take on board and be challenged by, or let it fall away to wither.

Some people might think the idea is meh, and they're not bothered either way, but for a site that promotes quality writing, as GingerKitty originally suggested, such an option could be highly beneficial. The people who feel meh about it don't have to use it.



This. I also think that even writers held in high regard by others might benefit from constructive criticism, if they wish to have it. (Not speaking specifically about Lush, but about writers in general.)




The Delphi/NaughtyNurse collaboration - a Recommended Read
Magical_felix
Posted: Thursday, July 04, 2013 11:49:48 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 4/3/2010
Posts: 4,548
Location: California
I think the system Liz suggested is a good idea and seems like it could be implemented rather easily. Not saying this is a reason not to do it BUT, it's rare enough that people are willing to even leave a comment and comments are usually positive one liners. I wonder if anyone would ever leave a real review.

I can see this critique thingy added and then....................................................................................nothing.





TheDevilsWeakness
Posted: Thursday, July 04, 2013 11:57:05 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 7/19/2011
Posts: 1,270
Location: I'm the girl that your father hoped he could date.
Liz wrote:

What we would be looking for is something far more in-depth and covering a range of aspects. Perhaps a 'Critique Guide' could be put together to help those users wishing to write one?

Story Opening
Conflict
Plot
Setting
Characterisation
Dialogue
Point of View
Show versus tell
Format
Grammar
Writing Style


This right here could be useful. Maybe as a sliding scale rated from 1 to 5. And then a spot for additional comments if the reader wishes to elaborate further.
Maybe something like this...

Quote:

Scoring applies as follows:
1=Needs a lot of work; 3=Average or Could be better; 5=Awesome, loved it, wish I wrote it
Story Opening: Rating 1-5 ___ Comment: ____________
Conflict: Rating 1-5 ___ Comment: ____________
Plot: Rating 1-5 ___ Comment: ____________
Setting: Rating 1-5 ___ Comment: ____________
Characterisation: Rating 1-5 ___ Comment: ____________
Dialogue: Rating 1-5 ___ Comment: ____________
Point of View: Rating 1-5 ___ Comment: ____________
Show versus tell: Rating 1-5 ___ Comment: ____________
Format: Rating 1-5 ___ Comment: ____________
Grammar: Rating 1-5 ___ Comment: ____________
Writing Style: Rating 1-5 ___ Comment: ____________


This gives you a bit more in depth critique without making the reader write an essay about your lack of punctuation. Cause face it... We're lazy creatures and I don't want to put that much effort into it if I'm reading for fun.

Guest
Posted: Thursday, July 04, 2013 12:26:35 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 472,630
Could be interesting to see what happens if it's put in place. Though, if people ask for critique, they have to be able to handle it without flying off the deep end.

I've seen many stories that come through the site with the line, "This is my first story so comments, criticisms and feedback would be nice," or something along those lines. Then, if the story gets rejected with a note containing tips on how to fix it and suggestions on what could be done, most times they don't take it well. I have at least 5 pages worth of hate-mail in my inbox from people who "wanted" critique or suggestions on how they could improve.

1ball
Posted: Thursday, July 04, 2013 12:29:52 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 9/13/2011
Posts: 970
Location: United States
TheDevilsWeakness wrote:
This gives you a bit more in depth critique without making the reader write an essay about your lack of punctuation. Cause face it... We're lazy creatures and I don't want to put that much effort into it if I'm reading for fun.


Excellent suggestion. I would be more likely to use that when critiquing others and would like to see that on critiques of my own works.

My latest story is too hot to publish. My most recent story before that is Even Stranger In Lust
Coco
Posted: Thursday, July 04, 2013 12:45:08 PM

Rank: Story Lover

Joined: 7/22/2011
Posts: 4,107
Location: Fantasy City, United States
clum wrote:
Meh.


Everyone might show interest but in the end most here are amateurs, I'm interested in how the story made them feel, not a critique from someone as unqualified as I am.

Fine idea if you want it but for me, meh.

Shylass
Posted: Thursday, July 04, 2013 12:54:08 PM

Rank: Gingerbread Lover

Joined: 1/6/2012
Posts: 3,591
Location: Trumpton, United Kingdom
cocokisses wrote:


Everyone might show interest but in the end most here are amateurs, I'm interested in how the story made them feel, not a critique from someone as unqualified as I am.

Fine idea if you want it but for me, meh.


For me, part of a good critique involves how the story made the reader feel. Some write, "I liked this". Why? To me, critique is not all about technicalities and correct grammar, but the atmosphere and emotion a good story or poem can evoke. My favourite writers pull emotion from me, or let me wear theirs for a while. In my opinion, a person who can read or listen to a story is just as qualified as anybody else to say what they think could improve it or not.

Ut incepit fidelis, sic permanet.

***
********************************CLICK THE BANNERS TO BUY THESE WILLY-STIFFENING BOOKS!********************************
crazydiamond
Posted: Thursday, July 04, 2013 1:25:08 PM

Rank: Clever Gem

Joined: 7/17/2011
Posts: 2,285
Location: Exactly where I should be!, Canada
Hmm that sounds great!

I saw a lushie do this voluntarily recently on a piece of work, and damn, did the author ever have a hissy fit!

Hopefully, most can handle a little constructive critisism. It's all helpful at the end of the day.

bunny

Guest
Posted: Thursday, July 04, 2013 1:26:39 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 472,630
one_winged_angel wrote:
Could be interesting to see what happens if it's put in place. Though, if people ask for critique, they have to be able to handle it without flying off the deep end.

I've seen many stories that come through the site with the line, "This is my first story so comments, criticisms and feedback would be nice," or something along those lines. Then, if the story gets rejected with a note containing tips on how to fix it and suggestions on what could be done. . I have at least 5 pages worth of hate-mail in my inbox from people who "wanted" critique or suggestions on how they could improve.




Wasn't me I swear Embarassed
Coco
Posted: Thursday, July 04, 2013 1:30:13 PM

Rank: Story Lover

Joined: 7/22/2011
Posts: 4,107
Location: Fantasy City, United States
Shylass wrote:


For me, part of a good critique involves how the story made the reader feel. Some write, "I liked this". Why? To me, critique is not all about technicalities and correct grammar, but the atmosphere and emotion a good story or poem can evoke. My favourite writers pull emotion from me, or let me wear theirs for a while. In my opinion, a person who can read or listen to a story is just as qualified as anybody else to say what they think could improve it or not.


I suppose that we will have to agree to disagree on this one. I like, correction... I love to hear how a story makes a person feel. However, I do not want a person with grammar worse than my own to critique me, nor do I want someone who doesn't know about plot development to critique my story ideas. This is a good idea for some not for all. I would not like to see the current system changed to this one.

Magical_felix
Posted: Thursday, July 04, 2013 1:39:29 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 4/3/2010
Posts: 4,548
Location: California
cocokisses wrote:


I suppose that we will have to agree to disagree on this one. I like, correction... I love to hear how a story makes a person feel. However, I do not want a person with grammar worse than my own to critique me, nor do I want someone who doesn't know about plot development to critique my story ideas. This is a good idea for some not for all. I would not like to see the current system changed to this one.


They aren't talking about changing the system. They are talking about adding an option for critiques if an author wants.



Coco
Posted: Thursday, July 04, 2013 1:48:03 PM

Rank: Story Lover

Joined: 7/22/2011
Posts: 4,107
Location: Fantasy City, United States
Magical_felix wrote:


They aren't talking about changing the system. They are talking about adding an option for critiques if an author wants.


Noted, but my comment remains...

Magical_felix
Posted: Thursday, July 04, 2013 1:54:28 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 4/3/2010
Posts: 4,548
Location: California
cocokisses wrote:


Noted, but my comment remains...


I understand what you are saying. Like getting this...

i think it needs to be better and not as much talking and more sex with the girl and her brother join in to it would be better is the brother join also more pussy description and treat the girl like a goddess and the brother having sex to with his sister is awesome xx

...like, that would be annoying.



Guest
Posted: Thursday, July 04, 2013 1:55:23 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 472,630
The way I was thinking was the critique forum could be operated in such a way that would allow people to submit stories for critique before submitting for verification. That way, it would allow people to brush up on grammar etc, without having a mod send it back and then having to resubmit. At the very least, it would improve standards - if proper unbiased critiques were given, and cut modding time down, thus not only improving throughput, but also the general standard of writing. For this to work, it would likely have to be an opt in thread, with a no tolerance policy for unfairness.

I like Liz's idea and the idea of being able to hide the critique from others. It does sort of go hand in hand with Poppet's idea, discussed in a different thread, of hiding comments.
Guest
Posted: Thursday, July 04, 2013 1:57:10 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 472,630
GingerKitty wrote:
The way I was thinking was the critique forum could be operated in such a way that would allow people to submit stories for critique before submitting for verification. That way, it would allow people to brush up on grammar etc, without having a mod send it back and then having to resubmit. At the very least, it would improve standards - if proper unbiased critiques were given, and cut modding time down, thus not only improving throughput, but also the general standard of writing. For this to work, it would likely have to be an opt in thread, with a no tolerance policy for unfairness.

I like Liz's idea and the idea of being able to hide the critique from others. It does sort of go hand in hand with Poppet's idea, discussed in a different thread, of hiding comments.


In theory, it's a great idea, but considering how many stories we have to send back for breaking the rules, not just writing standard, I don't see that part happening soon.
Guest
Posted: Thursday, July 04, 2013 1:59:30 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 472,630
Magical_felix wrote:


I understand what you are saying. Like getting this...

i think it needs to be better and not as much talking and more sex with the girl and her brother join in to it would be better is the brother join also more pussy description and treat the girl like a goddess and the brother having sex to with his sister is awesome xx

...like, that would be annoying.


I once had someone message me to say that I should give detailed descriptions of the female character's boobs and say exactly what size the guy's naughty bits were and describe him as having a lot of body hair.

I guess the person thought it was critique, I thought something along the lines of. .. uh, no.
Coco
Posted: Thursday, July 04, 2013 2:03:48 PM

Rank: Story Lover

Joined: 7/22/2011
Posts: 4,107
Location: Fantasy City, United States
Magical_felix wrote:


I understand what you are saying. Like getting this...

i think it needs to be better and not as much talking and more sex with the girl and her brother join in to it would be better is the brother join also more pussy description and treat the girl like a goddess and the brother having sex to with his sister is awesome xx

...like, that would be annoying.


Lol, I didn’t realize that I said as much as that! All hail to the great interpreter of forum posts. Now where's that fucking bowing emoticon when I need it?

Magical_felix
Posted: Thursday, July 04, 2013 2:05:48 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 4/3/2010
Posts: 4,548
Location: California
one_winged_angel wrote:


I once had someone message me to say that I should give detailed descriptions of the female character's boobs and say exactly what size the guy's naughty bits were and describe him as having a lot of body hair.

I guess the person thought it was critique, I thought something along the lines of. .. uh, no.


My favorite critique PM I have received went something like this...

Felix, every time you write a story it's like you take a shit and it smells different every time. Congrats.

...I'll admit that it was pretty funny.



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