Friday, May 6, 2011

Feedback

Over at Compuserve we've been having a discussion on giving feedback.  Is it good etiquite to rewrite some of the author's work when giving a crit?  You know, where someone will take a sentence (or paragraph, or page) from the work and rewrite it to emphasis how it could have been tighter, more grammatically correct, etc. 

Some said they like when this is done to their work because it helps them understand what the person giving feedback meant.  Others are very territorial of their work and while they accept the crit, don't want anyone else rearranging their words. 

I've seen it done respectfully and I've seen it done not so respectfully.  Personally I think it's ok if used sparingly and wisely, just a sentence or two.  And only if you know the author thinks it's all right.  I have seen people rewrite a whole page (not a red-line but a rewrite) and I thought that overkill.  What was so important that you had to rewrite a WHOLE page?  couldn't you give feedback without twisting every one of their words?  Maybe that's the problem.  Maybe if we learned how to give better feedback we wouldn't need to rewrite each other's words. 

So what do you think?  Do you like it when others rewrite your work or not? 

10 comments:

  1. I'm with you. A few sentences tweaked is okay. When the critiquer rewrites entire passages, that's a problem. I've always followed the sandwich method--good comment-crit-good comment. It seems to work. ; )

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  2. We learn from knowing what we did right as much as what we did wrong so I try to give both kinds of feedback.

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  3. If you're getting paid to ghost-write something then rewrite to your hearts content. That's an altogether different kettle of fish. . .
    but, how to give a good crit should be a mandatory pass/fail exam in the newbie author manual, before they're allowed to submit anything anywhere ... just kidding, mostly!

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  4. Personally, I don't have a problem with minor rewrites. If they say, hey, I think it would be better something like this. That's fine. Most of the time though, I find crits to be right in some way.

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  5. Sara! You are the third place winner in my Celebration Blogfest. I've sent you an email as well. Cross your fingers that your first choice will still be available after L and J. L. make their choices. ; )

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  6. Ooh, I missed most of that discussion, thanks for pointing it out. I agree, there ought to be better ways of critiquing than rewriting the whole piece. I don't mind a few rewrites on mine. At the end of the day, the author gets to decide what to pick and choose, after all.

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  7. Widdershins:
    I want a newbie author manual! I lurked around crit sites for a long time before I dared give any feedback. I still have a lot to learn. But I agree, there should be some sort of worksheet/test/lesson/ giving the basics of critiquing etiquette.

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  8. I have had some crits that made me wonder if they actually read my piece. But most of them, no matter how snarky or weird, do have something to offer. If only teaching us that no matter how much we try people will see things differently than we think.

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  9. Thanks Zan! I emailed you. I was camping this weekend. Lots of fun, little sleep.

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  10. Deniz
    That's right, the author gets to listen or not, change or not. They're still in the drivers seat. Hmmm, I wonder if that's why some people don't like the rewriting, they feel like someone's trying to take control of their work.

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