My Thinking Board
Thoughts about this & that...
Critique or Criticism?
What is the difference?
Critique is a detailed analysis, assessment, and evaluation in a detailed and analytical way.
Criticism is the expression of disapproval based on perceived faults or mistakes.
A review is a form of subjective critique that expresses the reader's opinion.
Being a writer is hard and building critique is important to every writer.
Authors need feedback in order to grow as writers and the goal of the person who critiques an author's work is to point out the areas that need improvement, without crushing the author's spirit.
Every writer goes through different stages of their writing career and even those, who are just at the beginning, need encouragement.
A good critique is a valuable feedback that the author can use to make the story even better, and therefore more likely to be loved by many others. Authors need feedback to improve their overall writing skills.
I often read reviews posted on fellow authors' books who write the same genre, and sometimes I'm amazed at how well some readers point out in their reviews the areas that need improvement. Such as being more consistent and clear with the storyline, dialog, and character development. These reviews are very valuable to any author no matter what stage they are in their writing careers.
A good and valuable critique
I'm not an expert when it comes to grammar, and I tend to write long-winded, complicated sentences. This reader managed to point it out in a building way while stated what she liked in the story:
"What really bothered me about the book was that it didn't seem to have been edited. And not just normal eBook errors. There were homonym errors and structural sentence errors! Somebody needs to have a talk with that editor.
But, overall, mostly very enjoyable. Fresh idea. I will be reading the sequel."
I've found a great editor who helped me snip and split my complicated sentences without changing the story and edited the homonym words, therefore, the second edition of the story was well edited.
Moreover, I had ideas to change and add to the story, which reflects in the third edition, again edited by a great editor. And because the story got too long, I split the two books into a trilogy. Now I'm almost satisfied with the story.
The third edition doesn't have any reviews posted yet, so I'm eagerly waiting. According to statistics, one of about every hundred reads result in a review, and my books are not there yet.
Isaac Asimov said, “Writers fall into two groups: Those who bleed copiously and visibly at any bad review, and those who bleed copiously and secretly at any bad review.”
Yes, bad reviews hurt, no matter what anyone tells you.
But reviews such as the following few are just simply hurtful and don't help the author:
"Waste of time... good grief!"
"Is fantasy so dire and bleak. This is unreadable."
"Just words on paper."
"Like propping up some sticks and calling it a fire - this book has no spark."
"Total Junk, did not finish."
"Could not get past the poor writing to finish the book."
But, bad reviews could be valuable too
Some of Stephen King’s latest novels received up to 500 one-star/two star reviews on Amazon.
Famous writers get bad reviews. As a matter of fact, the most famous books have at least 6 to 10% one start reviews.
Bad reviews are not a death sentence for a book.
In a twisted way, bad reviews give a book legitimacy because their very presence indicate that the good reviews must be genuine.
A reader told me once in my post's comments when I was feeling a bit down about a one star review: "If I see nothing but 5 stars I’m thinking the author got all his friends, family and associates to write a lot of butt-kissing reviews."
Reader and writers, share your experiences!
A good article, Erika, and so true. A writer cannot please everyone and whilst critique is essential, criticism is spiteful. I know two lady authors, both have an excellent way with words. Have they published? No. Why? They are wary of nasty criticism.
Well, nasty criticism is unavoidable, some people just thrive when they can criticize and degrade others. I guess it boost their fragile egos in a twisted way.
Very informative. I agree that critical reviews are building blocks. But. like you said some bad reviews are just that bad. My only one that I found to be vindictive was the one where the "gentleman" gave me a low star rating because he felt I should have written a sonnet! That is not a critique of my work. It would be like giving a writer of fantasy low ratings because it isn't sci-fi.
I agree, that's not even close to being a critique of your work!
I totally concur, Cindy. That is not critique in any shape or form. Gentleman? Not a chance.
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