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Author Topic: Thoughts about a self critique  (Read 2052 times)
Chromium Steel
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« on: October 16, 2010, 04:28:21 AM »

Right, I'm about to post a new version of a story I've already posted on the Rag. Since the work has had a major overhaul, there are some noticeable differences between the two. I'm just wondering if it will be useful to other writers if I wrote a short article about the changes I have made to the story and why.

My reasoning is this. A lot of beginner writers are uncomfortable about having their work critiqued, I know I was. Another problem is that most of the reviews on the Rag are pretty perfunctory, I know that mine are. I think it would be useful for writers to actually have examples of what went wrong and how it can be put right. All done in your typical secondary school essay format.

If it's a good idea, I'm thinking about following the following format. A general overview of the problems, followed by examination of each problem and how I fixed it using before and after examples. It might even be useful to include examples from the original draft of the story; bad grammar, worse spelling, and all.

So, is it a good idea? I let you, my fellow authors, make the call.
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k9k
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« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2010, 05:18:44 AM »

I agree it's a good idea. A lot of the problems I notice tend to be easily fixed. For example, more times then I can count, an otherwise good story rushes to the "climax", when it would make the story better if the author paced it better.

I myself am doing a rewrite of one of my stories based on critique here.
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Quinn Yellowfox
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« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2010, 01:18:46 PM »

Hey CS. I've posted several versions of the same story. I've never pointed out several of the changes and the reasons for them other than saying that it's a newer version. I honestly thought that if a reader was interested in the process enough, he/she would ask. No one has ever asked.

I think it would be interesting, but I don't know how many would appreciate your effort.
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Altivo
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« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2010, 02:32:05 PM »

Sounds good to me, CS. While I agree with Quinn that probably a lot of people wouldn't care, there are some of us who will be interested. Also, it sounds like a worthwhile exercise for you as the writer. I often spend time analyzing what needs to be done with a piece before I actually take the red ink and shears to it, but I've never tried to write out my reasoning.

And Quinn, one of the reasons I've never asked about your changes is simply that you seem so quiet about what you are up to with your writing. I've figured you didn't want to say much about it and left it at that.
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Quinn Yellowfox
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« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2010, 01:13:45 AM »

Please don't take being quiet for being secretive. I'll gladly share my thoughts and processes.

The biggest change I made in Wastelands, for instance, was giving the character Werner an apprentice. The reasons and benefits of that decision would take pages to elaborate. In fact, it might even be a good discussion in the writers office...
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Chromium Steel
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« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2010, 07:44:02 AM »

Positive Responses to the idea so far.

Yes, I realise that most people won't read the article. I never expected that they will. I don't really mind that. If it provides help to only a few people, then it's worth while. True, it also does serves as away of cementing a lot of the changes I've made in my writing methods.

Before I looked at these other posts I was thinking that I might make the idea a challenge. It would be interesting to see the processes of other writers too. The more variations made available, the more solutions to the various writing problems that most beginners encounter. I would be interested in seeing everyone's methods too.

I also agree that the idea would make a worthy thread in it's own right. I would still make a separate article as a parallel to what happens on the forum. How many people read the main site vers the forum. It would also force me to make a more coherent version.

I've have had another separate kooky idea (it's been a weekend of them.) I've been thinking about keeping a simple log how I develop a story from initial idea to the final version. I've been wanting to analyse my process to see if there are ways to both streamline it and avoid some of the errors I keep repeating. How useful would that be to others to read?
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