Young Writers Society

Home » Forums » Resources » Knowledge Base » YWS

How to Respond to Critiques

Post a reply
User avatar
876 Reviews


Gender: Female
Points: 5931
Reviews: 876
Sun Apr 11, 2010 3:40 am
Elinor Brynn says...



Whether you’ve written a story, poem, or created a piece of artwork, the time and effort that you’ve dedicated to working on a piece is something that you want to share with others. You're proud of it, and you may even consider it to be one of the best things you've ever created. You decide to post it on YWS, feeling pretty confident about doing so.

As time goes on, you eventually receive a critique. Much to your surprise, the reviewer didn't like the piece as much as you did. Perhaps they thought that your protagonist was a Mary Sue, or ventured that your favorite passage was cliché. Maybe they thought your art was a little beneath the standard and told you so. You get angry, and you may feel compelled to write a rebuttal private message or even more extreme, leave the site.

Don't feel bad if you've ever felt like you've wanted to do one of those things. It's quite a common feeling that members have had after receiving criticism. However, responding in any of the above ways would probably be the wrong thing to do.

If you send a nasty PM to the reviewer, you're only making things worse for yourself. The reviewer put time and effort into lending you their advice, and may think of you as a brat who does not want to improve. This could lead to you getting fewer critiques on future works. Besides, having enemies is never a good thing, and instead you should probably talk it out kindly with them.

It’s probably better not to leave the site, either. If you do, you're cutting yourself off from an amazing opportunity to further improve your writing. Why did you join in the first place? I'm willing to bet that it was so you could share your writing and improve. You can't expect to be an amazing writer when you first start out. Rather, you should give a site like this a few months to grow on you and be open minded enough to give the criticism a chance to work. You'll be amazed at how much you improve.

Now, how should you react when someone doesn't like your work? First, you need to remain calm. No matter who you are, you're never going to be able to please everyone. It would be polite to message the reviewer thanking them for the critique; after all, they did sacrifice their personal time to give you advice. Perhaps you can explain to them parts that they misinterpreted, or tell them why you executed a certain part in a specific manner.

If you edit and post a new draft of your piece, it would be kind to message the reviewer then, as well. They're going to love watching your writing improve and change, especially if they see you take their advice into consideration.

Furthermore, pass it on! A good deed keeps on giving, so if you find a reviewer’s advice even remotely valuable, extend the same to another writer. Don't fret if you receive a negative critique, try to pull the good parts from it and use it to improve. This site isn't even about who's the best; It's about growing as a writer.

All our dreams can come true — if we have the courage to pursue them.

-- Walt Disney




User avatar
113 Reviews


Gender: Female
Points: 11153
Reviews: 113
Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:38 pm
Mo. says...



This is great Elinor! I totally agree! This is very helpful. :D
Mo. was here. :) mwahahaha




User avatar
57 Reviews


Gender: Male
Points: 7010
Reviews: 57
Mon Apr 12, 2010 12:37 pm
Merlin34 says...



Here's a question. What happens if you get a review that is simply crude and unhelpful. Like, "wow, this is crap. you suck."? Do you report it?
http://maxhelmberger.com/
Advice on writing, funny articles, and more.




User avatar
876 Reviews


Gender: Female
Points: 5931
Reviews: 876
Mon Apr 12, 2010 10:26 pm
Elinor Brynn says...



Yes. If they're just being downright mean, you should report it.

All our dreams can come true — if we have the courage to pursue them.

-- Walt Disney