Dealing With Criticism

Discussion in 'Author Discussions' started by Rival, Feb 9, 2020.

  1. Rival

    Rival Active Member

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    As an author, criticism comes along with the job description. Good, bad, useful, useless, all sorts of criticism is given. I'm not going to lie, criticism kind of makes me lose motivation to write even if I even enjoy the story. Once that motivation is gone, it's practically impossible to regain which leads to a lot of original fictions being left unfinished/dropped regardless of the number of people that enjoy the fiction. The common answers are 'to toughen up', or 'to disregard it', but in all honesty, it's not that simple for most people. My question to you guys, is how do you deal with criticism? This question has been bugging me ever since I dropped my very first fiction I wrote because of my inability to handle criticism. After a few years, I have realized that I am running out of novels that I enjoy and I want to start writing stories in my own vision. To be honest I'm kind of scared... my first fiction was fairly popular gaining over 600 thousand views, but I dropped it because of my own incompetence. I don't want that to happen again. Before I fully commit to starting something, I need to know if I can stand strong against the fact that I'm only human and I WILL make mistakes.
     
  2. elengee

    elengee Daoist Ninefaps

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    Kill the chicken to scare the monkeys, first troll gets shanked. :aww:
     
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  3. phucanhcr02

    phucanhcr02 Well-Known Member

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    Flame the shit out of them for fun!!!!!!!!!
     
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  4. Noea

    Noea Member

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    Dont read the comments till you finish the story
     
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  5. Kalto

    Kalto [ Somewhat meticulous ]

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    If you got 600thousand views and readers who enjoy your novel then that means you got supporters in a sense, so if you want motivation think of them (unless you are in a slump or procrastinating or preparing for a new novel or something along those lines, then that is another matter), just keep in mind that there are those who simply like to demotivate others and lie for no reason (they also might not be fans of the genre(s) of novel you are writing so they are trying to lower your motivation and discourage other readers from trying your novel) :blobsweat:
     
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  6. frozenlimabeans

    frozenlimabeans Active Member

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    Criticism is sometimes hard to deal with and it's not exactly something you could ignore or get used to overnight.

    But the fact ur getting criticism shows that ur novel is gaining traction, lovers and haters who want go either pull you up or push you down.

    And I think you are strong enough since after all you are asking instead of letting everything fester.

    In my case, I dealt with criticism by thanking the critic, it didnt matter if the criticism was good or bad. I would try to fix the story up a bit and see how it goes, if I dont like it, I would change it in the future. Theres no reason to go completely with people's opinion, even me as i give this advice.

    Good luck on your future/current novels (recommend them to me, I would like to read some. I'm novel deprived as of now)
     
  7. RR Vocaloid

    RR Vocaloid RoyalRoad.com Slepragt

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    It’s all about trying to maintain your mindset while writing.

    Sometimes criticism can be used to help improve yourself, or fuel yourself with snarkiness/insulting your own work in a bid to help keep writing.

    It’s the same with positive feedback.

    The issue is when either of these factors you off course enough to where you aren’t comfortable writing anymore. You start to have doubts about the story’s direction, want to write other things that fit your original image more, the image in mind changes so you feel like redoing everything from scratch. It all gets under your skin and writing becomes a chore. And one can never be without excuses to not do chores.

    I wrote a story about a rock as a joke, 250 word chapters. I was filled with snarkiness and stress from college to create a sarcasm infused story about an ordinary rock. 100 thousand views.

    It got so hyped I got excited. I couldn’t write the story the same anymore with a whole different mood but kept trying and failing. I couldn’t even write 250 words, barely 15 minutes or less of effort and dropped the story, then tried rewriting a part, then dropped it again. Positive feedback, not even negative, destroyed my story.

    I’ve basically dropped every single story idea since and got dozens more in my notes never posted stretching hundred thousands of words. So, I can’t really offer sound advice, but I guess it would be best for you to try writing shorter stories to practice endings, story structure, and experiment with different plots so that you can better yourself before doing a larger project again.

    I’m personally trying to write an entire story to completion before posting it so as to not be effected by any feedback, but it’s hard going without some feedback to motivate and also busyness irl getting in the way.
     
  8. Olives

    Olives Well-Known Member

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    The problem with other humans is that when they see something good, they also want to be a part of it. That leads to some odd people.

    If people are criticizing you on things that you handled poorly (plot seemed way too convenient to the point of stupidity, bland garbage characters, etc), that probably means that they've compared your work to others they've seen (which is fine; that's how evaluating works), and think that you're worthy of a comment. It might not feel good to get criticized, and people on the internet are pretty damn blunt, but they probably mean well. probably

    I'm probably not the best source of info anyways, usually the good ol' "I don't care" is my way of life.

    If you want people to really look at your problem there's a game on steam called "Kind Words" (It's like 6$ CDN), and you can send your worry anonymously out to the world, and somebody'll probably take the time (hopefully) to help you.
     
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  9. justmehere

    justmehere Well-Known Member

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    Do you think the river is better if it is straight or curvy?
     
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  10. jinxs2011

    jinxs2011 [Rebel Against Normality][Writer of the Unusual]

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    Make sure to have a positive attitude, and write a reply. If you find it difficult or start writing a reply in a rage-filled frenzy, put it down, take a break, sleep on it, whatever it takes to get that out of your system. Then reply to the comment in a polite, calm manner. Address all their points, admit when they're right, explain when they're wrong, thank them for it if it was particularly enlightening or interesting commentary.

    I've found that a lot of the time - not all of the time obviously, because there are some people who are just douches - that they probably wrote their comment in a rage as well. If you're calm about it, it can make them calm about it as well, and then you can have a constructive discussion, instead of a flame war where each person just shouts their view at the other person and insults them.

    Sometimes, I've even found that there are comments that aren't worded at all nicely, but they do make some good points that shouldn't be ignored just because of the tone they were surrounded by. But if the conversation isn't constructive, even if it's still written in a bad tone, by their second reply, cut it off there. Make it clear that you won't entertain inanities. They're a waste of time and emotion.

    Take all criticism into consideration. Think, again in a calm manner, whether or not it is justified and valid, and whether or not you should make changes to accommodate that. Then, if you decide that it's justified/valid but you won't be changing it, explain why. If it's not justified, explain why.

    If they aren't understanding, and are toxic, then leave it at that. It isn't worth your time. If they aren't toxic and can get a good dialogue going, well, then, aren't they just helping you make the story better? And what could be better than that?

    One of my stories has almost nothing but criticism on it. It's not great for my morale writing that story, to be sure. But, at the same time, there are quite a few people on there with whom I managed to discuss and question about exactly what might be done to improve it, what they didn't like or understand, and that was good.
     
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  11. Dgsmasta

    Dgsmasta Well-Known Member

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    Write all haters on the death note.:blobpeek:
     
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  12. lnv

    lnv ✪ Well-Known Hypocrite

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    Hmmm... I'm not aware of any living person who criticized me so its hard to say... they all end up disappearing never to be heard from again for some reason.... :blobcat_knife:

    But all seriousness aside, the way I handle criticism is to make use of it to improve my story. It's all a matter of trying to view things from their perspective, and in doing so my story can improve as well.

    Of course this only works if the other side is willing to engage in a conversation so that you can get where they are coming from. That doesn't always mean that the conversation will end with me agreeing to their criticism or them agreeing to my counter arguments. But at the very least in bouncing my ideas and understanding where they are coming from, I can feel more confident in my own writing. If I do notice flaws in my writing, then I strive to improve them.

    The downside to this is I got nothing against those people who just leave generic comments or not willing to engage. Those can be demoralizing but then I just go reread some positive comments to get motivation and move on.
     
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  13. kkgoh

    kkgoh Well-Known Member

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    Agreed with @frozenlimabeans and @RR Vocaloid.

    Criticism is very important as a form of feedback. You don't get to pick and choose which ones you want.

    I would focus on the constructive feedback, the ones that aren't JUST pointless complaints but give suggestions for improvement. I try to incorporate that kind of feedback in my novel reviews these days.

    It's also important to understand what people are really complaining about, since most people can't be bothered to give suggestions. e.g. someone who complains about a boring generic protagonist may really be hinting that readers prefer more edgy, cunning anti-heroes, etc.

    This approach has been very helpful for my work in real estate. It's incredibly difficult to please property buyers, who complain about everything from price, to space, to layout, to decor. It's especially annoying when there's a lot of money at stake, but it's a necessary learning process. And I've learned to tailor my work to ensure I meet 70% of the demand, since I know it's impossible to please everybody.
    Note that this % number may differ depending on the genre you're writing since there's a much larger range of audiences. Even satisfying 50% of your target audience may be satisfactory. You don't have to write a Harry Potter and target for universal appeal.
     
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  14. Vanidor

    Vanidor Well-Known Member

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    You can kind of sort criticism into sections, helpful, not helpful, helpful to someone that isn't you.
    Helpful = points out some way you can improve like grammar or characterization

    Not helpful = just vague trash talk, or they don't like your type of story and got there by mistake(theirs or yours in describing/selling your story)

    Helpful to someone that isn't you = Things like "faster pacing, this drags and is too boring" can be helpful but usually it means they want you to write like someone else or write a different story entirely

    It's hard to sort "Helpful" from "Helpful to someone that isn't you. Maybe you are taking too long on something or your writing is boring in a spot, but maybe they wanted to read an action novel with romance and your slice of life romance wasn't right for them.

    They took the time to leave you a comment and it is worth considering it. Just be sure whatever you write you still like.
     
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  15. zduino

    zduino Well-Known Member

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    You can always ask a friend to filter through comments for you. I find its better to get needed comments that are constructive every once in while from a friend who supports me vs. letting the pressure from the fire hose (aka the internet) extinguish my creativity.
     
  16. ATrueStory

    ATrueStory Villainesses, Historical Shit, Noble Circuses

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    Flame and troll. Sometimes I use a throwaway account just to annoy people who annoy me. Some people think just because they have a platform they can throw shit at something they didn't figuratively bleed, cried and sweat over.
     
  17. ATrueStory

    ATrueStory Villainesses, Historical Shit, Noble Circuses

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