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Work Room - Week 17

Obviously, there is going to be a lot of talk about the Blind Box. http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/1010245.html

What does it mean? What's actually in the box? If you survive, does it mean that you are a potential human?

And by all means, this would be the place to discuss the ins and outs and dealing with the topics.

But I was thinking about something recently and this is *also* a good place to talk about it.

Context is greater than constructive criticism. (LJ didn't like me using the symbol, so I'm spelling it out)

What the hell am I talking about, since I just posted that from left field... Idol has had a lot of discussions over the years about the idea of opt-in/opt-out for constructive criticism and how important it is to be able to give advice that is actually constructive as well as being able to accept it. It's important to the development of "your craft" to be able to see what someone is offering, pick it apart and take from it what you actually find useful.

We also covered that some people just aren't that interested in "the craft". They just want to tell stories, and maybe shove you in a locker when you start sounding too full of yourself with your discussion about technique. ;)

But there's a subsection that I don't recall ever really touching before - maybe it felt self-explanatory at the time, or maybe I just never thought about it too much. I'm thinking the latter.

And it comes down to what I wrote before: context is greater than constructive criticism.

If someone is writing a story about a family of dragons who set off on a quest to slay the evil Princess, then the conversation of "Do they want constructive criticism" is going to come up.

If someone is talking through the pain of losing their Mom. Or something real and personal - you probably shouldn't be wondering "Should I tell them that it would be stronger if they tightened up their middle paragraph?"

If you *are* asking, the answer is "No", not unless they specifically are asking for it. If they are, then absolutely go for it. If they aren't though... yeah, that's probably not going to end well.

That's not an "Idol rule" or even an "Idol suggestion". I think that is kind of a life thing.

To the best of my knowledge, it hasn't come up this season. We *kind of* have had it happen in the past though, but I wasn't thinking about it in this way. You never know though, when it may come in handy!


( 34 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 3rd, 2017 02:02 am (UTC)

Sorry, it had to be done.

The last couple of entries, I've actually posted drafts of my topic with requests for constructive crit. I do keep those in friends locked posts, because I don't want to give my topic away before posting the final draft.

Sometimes, I like crit. Sometimes it comes unsolicited though, and like you said, if the piece is very personal, then it's hard to take. So yeah, context is everything.

As a teacher, I really try to keep that in mind with my students. Art is a very personal thing, and writing is no different.

Funny though, some entries this season that had no edits were received better. I wonder why that is.

Edited at 2017-05-03 02:05 am (UTC)
May. 3rd, 2017 02:38 am (UTC)
I think sometimes a strong idea arrives with less need for editing than other things. Only sometimes, but I think it can happen.

Parsing the weight that should be given to any piece of crit is an art that I think many people practice their whole lives.
RE: WHAT'S IN THE BOX?!?!? - dmousey - May. 3rd, 2017 02:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: WHAT'S IN THE BOX?!?!? - favoritebean - May. 4th, 2017 06:34 am (UTC) - Expand
May. 3rd, 2017 02:12 am (UTC)
Second! This is horseshoes, right? :-)

I long to be ready for concrit. I want to ask for it, but I am just not quite there yet. It's not that I don't trust our players, because I have never come across a better, kinder, more supportive group of writers. And it's not that I don't want to be a better writer--I do! That's why I'm here, but I am not sure I have enough confidence in my writing.

I'm really excited about this week, nervous, but excited.
May. 3rd, 2017 02:21 am (UTC)
The nice thing about crit is that you can choose to ignore it. I've had critiques of pieces in the past (not in LJI, people here are nice) where it was obvious that the person offering crit was not trying to help. I've also had crit where people insert opinions like "This is really boring," without really stating what makes it so, or how things could be livened to their satisfaction.

In situations like those, I have chosen to ignore it. I think it's equally important for those offering crit to be able to decipher between actual helpful suggestions and opinions, which aren't always helpful at all.
(no subject) - murielle - May. 3rd, 2017 02:45 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dmousey - May. 3rd, 2017 03:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 3rd, 2017 02:13 am (UTC)
First? Really? Whoa.... [ pirouettes around the room because the gods know she can't very well do it in real life] Tra la la. Ok, I'm lonely now. I'll come back when there are more peeps to lurk with. Oh, quick announcement. The girl child set up a Dreamwidth account for me. Name's the same. Please friend me and send a community link, because without Alicia- I can't figure out how to find people... I'm so techno- dub.
Hugs and peace all~~~
May. 3rd, 2017 02:22 am (UTC)
I'll friend you. Will you friend me back? My DW account is more of a journal though, and not so related to LJI.
(no subject) - dmousey - May. 3rd, 2017 01:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - beeker121 - May. 3rd, 2017 03:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dmousey - May. 3rd, 2017 06:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 3rd, 2017 03:24 am (UTC)
Tell the truth, shame the devil
I've enjoyed telling (and re-telling) stories for as far back as I can remember.

The odd thing is... I don't enjoy *writing* stories. At all. Telling, yes. Writing... not so much.

So why am I here?

Good question.

I wish I had a good answer for you all... or even a bad one. But I honestly don't have a clue.

I don't know why I do what I do. I just enjoy telling stories... but writing them is at best a chore... and sometimes is downright painful.
May. 3rd, 2017 04:02 am (UTC)
*Worried that Gary went to bed early and I will not see my topic tonight*

May. 3rd, 2017 07:14 am (UTC)
I've been sending unspeakable nightmares for the last three hours in the hopes that he'll wake up, be too terrified to go back to sleep, and decide to check his email and send out prompts. So far it doesn't seem to be working. = (
(no subject) - eternal_ot - May. 3rd, 2017 07:20 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - hwango - May. 3rd, 2017 08:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - halfshellvenus - May. 3rd, 2017 05:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - hwango - May. 3rd, 2017 08:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - beeker121 - May. 3rd, 2017 08:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - eternal_ot - May. 3rd, 2017 07:26 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - halfshellvenus - May. 3rd, 2017 05:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
I got the same prompt. - ellakite - May. 5th, 2017 04:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: I got the same prompt. - eternal_ot - May. 6th, 2017 07:25 am (UTC) - Expand
May. 3rd, 2017 07:18 am (UTC)
I always appreciate Concrits and that's what has shaped my writing and improved it. And to be frank, it's been on my mind all this season..since I have been writing non-fiction, do I ask for concrits? Is there a better way to say something that is personal for me. Or do personal entries need to be just flow of words from the heart to paper?
(Deleted comment)
May. 3rd, 2017 03:02 pm (UTC)
It's why I leave *** and ask for concrit and discussion. If those aren't there, then I'm not. Several members of Idol have had a hand in honing my craft, and I hope they continue to do so.

I also note different formatting and approaches, and I read the comments and crit given on others pieces to see if I can also utilize them. (I'm a lurker, hehehe)

One thing about this year- this group has been very kind to one another, and helpful. I hope it continues!
May. 3rd, 2017 02:24 pm (UTC)
I really like the Blind Box idea, but I'm stuck stuck STUCK for an idea. My first source of inspiration has failed (internet) as well as my second (morning shower). I'm going to try my third (bike ride), and then I'll head to Panic. I'm well into just staring at the cursor.
May. 4th, 2017 06:36 am (UTC)
That's been my problem with many topics this season. It's amazing how inspiration strikes when you have only 24 hours to spare. I'm sure you'll write something good.
(no subject) - rayaso - May. 4th, 2017 12:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 3rd, 2017 02:50 pm (UTC)
I got my topic- The Rent I Pay- and am busy letting it churn in the brainpan. I do know it's a Spoon song, and I flashed right to 'The Rent Is Too Damn High' other than that, like Yukon Cornelious, I've gone mining and have got- "Nothing"
May. 4th, 2017 04:39 am (UTC)
My topic is It's Always Been Enough.

And I'm also wondering if four topics means four polls...
(no subject) - messygorgeous - May. 7th, 2017 09:33 am (UTC) - Expand
May. 3rd, 2017 05:34 pm (UTC)
So if I survive (I want to survive)... I'll have just like 3 days to write?

Maybe that's best... I wrote my survival thing in like 2 hours and I like it a lot, forced to just write what I know best... myself.
( 34 comments — Leave a comment )


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