We all know that getting the exposure you want for your work is a tough endeavour here on dA. Despite the wonders of the site, the simple fact of the matter is that comments are hard to come by these days.
There may be many reasons for this - lack of time on the part of many browsers, lack of interest, or simply: not knowing what to say. We've all been there at one point (some of us more than others), and it presented the question - "what is it that writers want out of a comment?"
The only way to find the answer to this question was to set up a poll - which received an amazing response from the lit community, and with your help, this editorial will highlight some points that will aid in leaving some insightful and appreciated comments.
First and foremost - Read.
Many of the writers on dA want feedback - we all do, it's what we crave! Unfortunately, a startling amount of people, don't actually read the work of others, yet expect others to read theirs.
No matter how you look at it, it makes sense to give, in order to get - not only will you discover new writing styles and ideas, but you will also start paving the way to comments by building relationships with like-minded people. So go out there and read the work of your fellow writers - help them out if you can, and tell them what you like, or what you don't - it doesn't matter, they want to hear it all. Everything helps, no matter how small.
Reading as a WriterHave you ever set down a book for good because you found something in it you don’t like? If you want to write, I suggest that bad habit end now.
Why, you ask? Because everything you read—and I mean everything–has positive value for you as a writer. Stephen King, and any author worth his or her salt, is a huge advocate of writers reading massive amounts.
Again you ask, why? How can everything be useful? There are a number of reasons and I’ll cover as many as I can.
Reading bad literature teaches you about yourself and shows you what to avoid—or at least how not to do something—in your own work. If you run across something that you don’t like, stop and ask yourself why you don’t like it. Is it just a personal preference? Was it out of place or poorly executed? Does it contradict something from earlier? As soon as you figure out the “why” of something’s badness, you learn a little about yourself and you
Message Center: friend or foe?Greetings! A while back Beccalicious asked the writers on deviantART to look to ourselves for solutions from within the literature community and what we as a whole can do to better help and educate ourselves and others in this big ol' happy family of ours.
Also, SKYFALL gifs because reasons.
This prompted me to write a journal centered around the aspects of the idea:
Does activity equal community?
Granted, the journal has evolved quite a bit since its first draft, but I feel it brings up a point that we in the community need to think about.
As EclecticQuill explains it:
"Community is based on the interaction of individuals, so in a sense yes, activity does help increase the level of community someone experiences. But that being said, activity alone isn't enough, if there's no sense of inclusion, common ground and mutual respect, then all the activity in the world
If the reader can relate to the piece, then this is the highest compliment an author can get. Forming a connection doesn't have to be a powerful one - simply having experienced something similar, or known someone like a character is enough.
Authors love it when a reader tells them how a piece makes them feel while reading. This in itself is a form of personal connection. If you felt sad while reading a poem, or tense during an action sequence - let them know!
What do you think the writer is writing about? This is open to everyone! Don't be afraid to voice your understanding of the piece or what you think of the themes.
What did you think worked well? What did you not like? A critique doesn't have to be an essay, it can simply be a short comment. Just remember - a good critique will tell the author WHY, and HOW. Why the reader liked/disliked something and how to improve.
Writers love this! It means you engaged with their work and appreciate their ability to create great masterpieces with words.
If you see any, mention them! The same can be said about any grammatical errors you think the author would like to know about, but please try to insert these into a longer comment instead of focusing mainly on an edit job.
Asking Questions vs. Open Comments.
A note for all writers to keep in mind when seeking feedback, is to ask questions actively within your artist's comments (the deviation description). Quite a few writers on dA said they do this, and not only does it offer them critiques on specific points within their work, but it also gives commenters something to grasp if they are lost for comments.
Some examples of questions to ask are:
Now, if you are unsure of what your weaker points are, then perhaps it is best to opt for leaving the comments open to whatever comes in. Remember however, that sometimes a little nudge in one direction is useful in coaxing commenters to unravel your work.
Point - highlight the part of the work you believe requires attention, or needs to be changed
Explain - explain why you believe this particular aspect of the work is not done as well as it could be.
Example - offer an example on how to change it.
PE: Literature Critique TipsAs part of Project Educate Critique week, the Community Volunteers would like to share more art specific elements to consider whilst giving good critique.
Today we are looking at the Literature gallery, with our Top Tips.
Before you start
READ the piece all the way through.
Read it again, making notes of what you would like to point out in your critique.
Stay Objective- you are critiquing the piece not the person.
These tips are areas which aren't just necessary in critiquing others' work, but also when self-critiquing your own writing. This is one person's suggestions and I welcome any further tips in addition.
A good opening. The opening to any form of writing doesn't necessarily need to involve a physical explosion, but it needs to have an initial hook; something to entice the reader in. It needs to be clear, something that
Guide to Advanced CritiquesTutorial Index
What a Critique is NOT
What Is Advanced Critique?
Guide To Advanced Critique
Writing the Advanced Critique
An Example of a Critique
Advanced critique is as much
How to Accept A CritiqueFirst, there's a common misconception that I want to address before I even begin. I've heard way too many people try to claim that they don't write for an audience or that they only write for themselves. In my mind, this usually translates to something like, "You or someone else gave me a critique I don't agree with, so I'm trying to justify why I'm going to ignore it." You're going to have a hard time convincing me that you don't care about anyone else's opinion of your work if you PUBLICALLY SUBMIT IT ONLINE.
I don't know if you've noticed, but dA (and any other site like it) is essentially structured to be used for peer review. That's the main point of the ability to leave comments in the first place. If you're really only writing for yourself, you would keep your stories in a shoe-box hidden under your bed. And, no, the "I was posting it so my very bestest friend Mary Sue could read it" excuse doesn't fly either.
Critique Department Newsletter #2Hey Everybody!
Its me, shehrozeameen - Head of the (drum roll) PoeticalCondition Critique Department!
Alright, aside, I see everyone wondering what's the big deal behind this newsletter?
Well, the Critique Department decided it was time we considered telling our members about ourselves, why critique is important, and how it can become a major facet in your dA experience. This newsletter was the joint effort of the core team:
:iconshehrozeameen: (that's me ) - Head of the Critique Department
:iconprettyflour: - Staff Secretary
:iconmichel-le-fou: - Staff Human Resource and Quality Assurance Manager
:iconfernknits: and :icondannymechanist: - Staff Critics
:iconnotensmsk: - Critique Department Founder and Staff Critic
Critique is not a bad thing! I'm saying this from personal experience. If handled c
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I totally agree with just about everything said here. I like that you have addressed both sides of commenting/critiquing, giving them and receiving them. As a new critic at , I am waiting for the first accusation of being mean for pointing out an area to be improved upon.
It's great to see this getting more attention in the lit community as it is such an important and overlooked aspect. I've built some great friendships on dA through back and forth commenting on writing. I have even gained a supporter/collaborator/editor on a serious project that I have finally settled into.
Well, I could also just tackle them like that little gif up there.
It's interesting to see how much the lit community seems to be expanding and yet growing closer together in the year that I've been here. In some aspects, it feels like a completely different dA than the one I started out on, in a good way!