Constructive Criticism

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

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    "Okay, I've read your script, and I have a few things to say about it. It needs work, but you've got something going here. I wasn't impressed by the car chases, but those aren't my thing. But I do know that cheesy one-liners aren't really done anymore, unless you're spoofing those kinds of movies, and this isn't a parody. I did like the romance scenes. You should probably expand that relationship. These kind of movies don't do relationships well, and this would help your movie stand out."
    "Okay, I've read your script, and it's retarded. You should just use it for toilet paper. Nobody likes car chases anymore, and your crappy jokes make Arnold look like Shakespeare. You thought that shit was funny? Oh, the love scenes were good. I always knew you were gay."

    While flames are designed to put people down, Constructive Criticism is meant to help an artist improve his/her work. It's rarely shown in fiction, but it's important to it, since it's meant to help people improve their writing.

    This kind of criticism is about being honest, clear, and considerate in your comments. It doesn't mean making only positive comments (it's not constructive to say a bad work is good), but it does mean you're trying to help the artist improve positively. It should also be noted that politeness, while appreciated, isn't necessary to make the criticism constructive. So long as the problems are highlighted and suggestions are made to make things better, Cluster F Bombs can be dropped without the criticism becoming trolling.

    It's not perfect. For one thing, you have to be aware of your biases, and admit them. There are times when you are asked for criticism, but are probably not the best person to be asked about something. For another, you could make claims that turn out to be wrong, even if you thought otherwise at the time. Finally, the artist could misunderstand your criticism, and take it as bashing, even when you mean otherwise.

    Yet it's still the form of criticism most likely to actually get results. In fact, some artists can even give this to themselves, hence the phrase "I'm my own worst critic."

    Now you might be wondering if this is appropriate for this site. Of course it's better than Complaining About Shows You Don't Like, but describing tropes and listing examples doesn't actually call for criticism. There are some places where it can fit, particularly in YKTTW. You can help a new trope a lot more with this kind of criticism than insulting the new trope, the troper that posted it, or that troper's mother.

    However; you'll notice that most people don't actually understand the concept of Constructive Criticism. As you'll probably learn if you take a college-level creative writing course, one of the most important things about Constructive Criticism is don't rewrite the work to suit your desires. This is actually one of the biggest things that people need to learn about being constructive, because it is not very constructive to try to suggest the author to write a work into something that you want to enjoy. The point is to make it into something that they want to create. You will notice this as a trend in people who are members of the Periphery Hatedom, especially if they have a Bias Steamroller.

    And perhaps the most important thing? Don't mock the work or the author. When you start doing this, then it stops sounding like a Constructive Criticism and sounds more like Flame Bait or Hate Dumb. Doing this will make people think you're flat out bashing them.

    Unfortunately; finding criticism is rather hard in the internet age. It's easy to get criticism on the internet, but when it's mixed with the GIFT, people will often take that as an opportunity to act like a complete dick and call it criticism. If someone walked up to you and asked you for critique and you gave a very rude-sounding critique, then they won't ask you again and you won't get to critique anything. On the internet, there's loads loads more random people and works to critique, especially since you can find it anytime you want

    No examples, please; We're just defining the term.