Tuesday, 27 March 2007

No "Thank-Yous"

I thought it worth mentioning that the posts in each story thread are actual critique posts and marks and discussion, not "Thank-you for critting waste-of-bloody-space" posts.

In Boot Camp every story is posted anonymously, and the author is not expected to reply with thanks or to argue. Our thanks is IMPLICIT and we return favours by making sure that all the other stories are critiqued at least 8 times, AND discussed.

We don't thank people for critiquing. Instead, in their critique-posts, critters thank the author for giving them learning material.

Avg alx low high crits Pst
103 104 098 107 021 021
108 117 095 117 010 019
109 117 097 117 008 040
109 116 093 118 010 026
097 098 092 111 008 014
106 119 087 119 009 021
104 109 090 111 008 017
095 098 080 106 010 037

Incidentally, when one mark is extreme (we call them luvvits or slappits) that extremity is clearly exposed by the grid of marks and then the author of the extreme crit needs to justify that mark in argument. We crit crits, it's how we learn

Often marks are very close, sometimes top and bottom are 5-6 points different. Sometimes there's a split with half high, half low. Because we DON'T shrug and say "it's just subjective opinion" and instead argue the case, element mark by element mark, we learn to read better, understand more, crit more accurately, see why XZ is good. Not "it's good" but "it's good BECAUSE"

I look at other sites and see all sorts of anguish. Stories not being critiqued, the stories by the in-crowd getting more crits, longer crits, greater praise. "Crits" that are sometimes little more than a line; crits that go on and on forever but don't deal with the whole story; tedious line-edits. (Line edits are for people who don't know how to crit a whole story as a story).

On those sites i see people saying how they "always thank the critiquer" or "oops I forgot to say thank-you and now X won't crit me"

This PERSONALISING creates like-for-like critiquing, people being too kind because they know the critiquer and because they want crits back. Anonymity brings it down to THE TEXT.

This personalising, swapping nice crits or "retliating" with a harsh crit when you've had one means that truth is seriously damaged. I read comments that make swathes of beginning writers appear to be better than 98% of published authors. yet those "brilliant" authors keep getting rejected. Why is that?

They are misunderstood?

The world isn't ready for them?

It's a market stitch-up, a conspiracy?

Nope, folks, the critiques are not honest, the critiques are too kind, the critiques are often not overseen by a professional with a heart of stone (ie truthful).

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