Criticism is a very subtle matter for both authors and critics. Let’s imagine two situations:
You wrote, for example, a poem or a story and decided to get a reasoned analysis from which you can draw conclusions about what is good and what is bad in your text and correct the shortcomings.
You visit your favorite website, read an interesting work there, but see some mistakes.
Whether you’re a critic or a UK essay writer, a big question arises: What should you do in both cases to avoid mutual insults and blacklisting? How to make the communication useful and productive for both sides?
If you are an author, first of all, clearly indicate what kind of criticism and in what form you want to receive (some websites provide this option). Specify the kind of advice you need, be it in the field of spelling, punctuation, images of characters, knowledge of the canon, the likelihood of narration, and so on.
If you are a critic, do not be lazy to ask whether the author needs your comments in this or that field. Alas, some authors think of themselves as geniuses, at the same time making horrible mistakes, and when critics point out to these mistakes, these “geniuses” resent, delete reviews and reproach everyone for being niggled with.
Be sure to clarify the border moments in advance not to bring the matter to the conflict.
Hot to Criticize and Perceive Criticism Objectively?
Undoubtedly, the main criterion for assessment of any work is objectiveness. But what stands for this term? The phrase is quite common; however, according to my observations, no one understands what is behind it.
As a critic writing the review, you should try to evaluate the idea, its implementation, the composition of the work, the images of the characters, as well as the language and style of the story. The key is not to express a personal opinion on the plot and the idea of the book even if you don’t like it at all.
Note that the author can’t change the whole work for the benefit of all comers, who, as a rule, want the opposite things. The author does not owe you anything unless you ordered him (her) to write a certain work.
Criticism should be reasoned and concrete. Do not use hackneyed general phrases like “you write good/bad,” “living characters,” “boring/dull text,” etc. The point is that the criticism must first of all be aimed at helping a person to correct shortcomings and mistakes, and all of the phrases mentioned above don’t bring and specific useful information. They can’t help the author to improve his work, meaning they are all useless.
Think that the text is written poorly or, conversely, well? Explain why. The author can’t read your thoughts. Be concise, don’t review or recall abstract topics – the author is interested in your feedback on the content of the work, namely its advantages and disadvantages, not the global world problems!
Don’t mix criticism and your personal emotional perception of the text, its episodes, and characters. Any work causes some emotional response, but what this have to do with the objective assessment?! Nothing. If you hate, for example, Ramsey Bolton, and the latter is represented as a positive hero, this doesn’t mean the work itself is low-quality.
If you’re an author, be sure to write detailed annotations, disclaimers, and titles. If you are a critic, do not be lazy to read them. To avoid unpleasant surprises, supply the annotation and the disclaimer with information about what the potential reader can expect from the book.
Another common mistake is confusing the author’s and the character’s life position and treatments of things. No matter what words the author uses to describes the protagonist, you can’t take this as the author’s viewpoint!
Whether you’re a writer or a critic, be polite and correct. Do not use abusive words and expressions in reviews and comments. The only way to boost your writing/criticism skills to the next level is to be professional to the core. If you claim something that is your opinion, do not forget to point out that this is nothing more than your opinion! Otherwise, you risk passing for a categorical boor who imposes his point of view on everyone.
I wish you best of luck in your writing endeavors!
Lucy Adams is a freelance writer and blogger. Although she’s a generalist, most of all she loves to cover topics related to education, writing, and language learning. These three attracts Lucy so much that so almost never leaves them without attention. Feel free to suggest something intriguing and let the author bring it to life exclusively for you.