Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Beggars Choosing to Look the Gift Horse in the Mouth

Another wonderful incident from Critique Circle.  It's great there are so many dipshits there to provide blogger fodder.  I mean, otherwise what would I talk about:  politics?  Movies?  Comic books?  How awful!

Anyway, here's another dipshit.  This time whining that the crits he's getting might not be up to snuff.
I’ve a bit of a bugaboo in assessing the worth of some crits on CC. I’ve been working for the past decade to mature a writer’s voice, a style I like and one I am comfortable with as I write and rewrite (and rewrite).
 My vexation flows from critiquers who crit as they go along and don’t seem to acknowledge the disadvantage this places on the writing and the writer. The problem I have is that my stories tend to wrap one meaningful large moment around many, at first sight, questionably mundane moments. I’ll give a poorly thought through example to attempt clarity. I’ll have a character put her groceries in her trunk after pushing her fire extinguisher aside. Comment: “Cut the fire extinguisher. It adds nothing.” Then when they reach the part that bursts aflame, comment: ‘Oh, never mind.” (The fact that I advised you to do something ruinous to your story)
 Question: How does one do that and still trust the critter’s other analyses?
 My reaction is this person should not continue offering this species of crit. For me, and I posit, for any logical writer, it lowers the worth of even their most brilliant comments because the writer can only conclude that by the time the critiquer gains familiarity with the story as written, they’ve already finished critting it.
I do not contend that no one should crit as they go. Some make that their best offering. I do contend that they should acknowledge for their own benefit the disadvantage this places on the writing and the writer and recognize times when a little sell-doubt may be in order.
It's proof that beggars can be choosy!  And look the gift horse in the mouth.  Geez, just the nerve of people critiquing my story for free for not putting enough effort into it.  Why don't they read the whole thing and give it a good long think before critiquing it?  Hell, why don't they read it three times and write a whole 5000-word essay on it?

You want to talk about entitled snowflakes, there you go.  The reality of a critique site is you get what you pay for.  You don't pay for these critiques so you can't realistically expect sage wisdom.  Most of the people you're dealing with are not professionals.  They're just amateurs giving their time in a vain attempt to help you and in return they get 1-3 points so they can load their own stories to be critiqued maybe not up to your standards.

I don't like saying "it is what it is" because that's so simplistic but in this case the system is what it is.  If you want better, get out your checkbook and pay for a professional edit.  Otherwise you have to take what you can get.

From a critiquer point of view, I often don't have lots of time to spend reading someone's story.  And to be honest so many of them are so awful I can't read them all the way through once let alone several times.  There are plenty where I just give up because it's so fucking terrible.  Then I just scribble enough to get my 3 points and move on.  You don't like it, well, maybe you shouldn't have written such a shitty story.

The idea of just disregarding a whole critique because of one comment is so stupid.  Look, even the best hitters in baseball couldn't get a hit more than 40% of the time.  You can't expect someone not to have one miss in an evaluation.  It doesn't mean you disregard everything else.  To use another cliche, it's throwing the baby out with bathwater.  In the end, though, it's no one's loss but your own.

And as I said to the people defending this:  I can't wait until you get something published for real and start getting "reviews" on Amazon and Goodreads.  You think the critiques here are poorly written?  Wait until you get your first one-star review saying only "ok."

You ain't seen nothing yet, snowflakes!

As a funny addendum, a couple days later someone started another thread complaining that he wrote a 2200-word critique and the author just said all the stuff he pointed out was intentional.  In case you need another reason why some people might not want to spend hours writing a critique.  Even funnier when I said that maybe it was the guy in the first thread who was that author I got slapped down by the admin for "personal attacks" and trying to "incite a flame war."  If you don't actually use someone's name and just suggest a link between two threads how is that a personal attack or inciting a flame war?  I just thought it was a neat coincidence.  Even the moderators are such whiny crybabies on that site!


  1. lol...how little those admins know...if you were going to incite a flame war, you would do a better job than that; you've been doing that since the mid-90s lol

  2. It's not cool to complain about a critique. Someone took the time to read it for free. You don't then post a compliant even if you don't like it. Anyway, these people inexperienced. Some will learn, and some will stay stuck on CC.



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