What can YOU say in six sentences?
If you know what you're talking about, tell me what you think. If you don't, then go away. I'm not interest in click-me-back friends or fawning affirmation. I'm here to improve my craft and meet some great people on the way.
I think it would help if we added a brief comment to our work, to let people know if this is 'just for fun' or we welcome comments. "Feel free to crit" would work. That way we don't risk offending someone who just wanted to play with the language, or ignore somebody who obviously needs help but may not know how to ask for it.
I think you're on to something, Judy. This is probably the most helpful way to encourage those who want to write better or with an eye to a professional market.
Like others have commented, I think constructive criticism is best, especially when it's been solicited by the writer and/or it is merited. Writers like praise, of course, but we only get better through practice and the refinement of our work.
The trick on a site like this is to determine if the writer wants any kind of comment or criticism at all. Some of us come here just to play or muse or vent, that is, not to get better per se, but just to write.
Trolls are never welcome, and I've read some comments here that are just plain snarky or mean. That comes with the scenery.
Maybe we create a new tag that tells the world "Constructive criticism welcome"?
Any criticism is welcome. Personally, I think it's a morally weak action to delete a criticism one doesn't like.
That said, the forum is a factor too. Posting nasty messages about JK's literary skills on a kids' Harry Potter site seems a little Grinch-ish (and one could hardly criticize a moderator for deleting these), whilst it would seem perfectly fair to write a James Joyce site about the sheer mind-numbing banality of some sections of Ulysses (and one would hope such a comment would be preserved).
I suppose an exception should be made for crit that contains abusive or foul language.
My goal at this point is to write better, more creatively, and just more. It's been a long slow dry spell and I find by being here and participating in this place the brain is beginning to put together snippets of this and that, in an active fashion. I've always written prose, in a small way, and poetry in a large way. They support each other quite nicely. But I'm getting ideas for short bits, sometimes good, sometimes awful, and starting to act on the impulse to write them down.
Crits are welcome unless I definitely say not to. I may not agree, I may argue about it, or not change a thing--but trust me, Im thinking it over.
I first came here because it was recommended by a family member as a place to hone your craft. I stayed because it was a lot of fun to work within the strictures of just six sentences. The writing here is also very good and lots of fun to read. A supportive community was at hand, that was my first impression. As others have said, fawning is not what we're looking for.
Criticism comes with the desire to improve. I think it's hard to interpret comments sometimes because we lack the ability to hear the commentor's tone of voice, nor can we see facial expression. It still amazes me how much gravity non-verbal communication carries.
I have the impression that a lot of people work here (and play here) who might be sensitive or who are just getting started and might not have the chops to hang in with some of the big posters who manage to hit a home run most of the time with their 6's. I think it's important to encourage them, too, in a way that keeps them here and leads them to their revelations.
It's also not just the beginners who are a apt to be thin-skinned; I know a man who, years ago, made it very clear that he was quite honestly not up to online crits, and would prefer to just post publicly and crit his own work privately. Sometimes (and I do understand this, big time) just seeing a piece in the glaring lights of a forum shows up your errors and the mis-wording very clearly. This was, btw, a man who had been writing for years and could out-write anyone out there.
Some boards have a special section for "no crits" work, and I wonder if that wouldnt work here. Read, admire, comment or not, but in an encouraging way.
i want THE TRUTH. The only thing I like sugarcoated is my morning bowl of cereal. And helpful critiques of a 6 here can help my writing in the future. It's like going to a free workshop.