Issues with Criticism

Discussion in 'Help and Rules' started by John-1107, Feb 23, 2018.

?

What should John-1107 do?

  1. Stay on AlternateHistory.com!

    59.6%
  2. Leave and don't ever come back!

    25.0%
  3. Leave, but Return in the Future

    15.4%
  1. MrGreyOwl Watching Bird

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2014
    Location:
    Limerick
    The point of publishing a story in a semi-public place like AH.com is to let people comment on it, in good or bad. Unlike what you seems to believe, most people here try to be constructive, and the mods are very good at rooting out plain mean behavior.

    Even then, you don't have to fight any critics on AH.com. It's perfectly fine to just answer "if you don't like it, don't read it" to your critics, you won't get banned for that. If your story fits the bill (eg: ASB in the ASB section) you can perfectly post it and continue, ignoring all comments, if you're so persuaded you're right and they're wrong. Nobody is going to put a gun to your head and say "change your story, now!".

    But if you're looking for an echo chamber, this is not the place. If your ego is too fragile to see anything that is not a direct praise a personal attack against you, you're better not posting anything. Here or anywhere else, for what it matters. With an attitude like that, you're in for a lot of disappointment in life.

    To quote Beaumarchais: "Without the freedom to criticism, there's no genuine praise."
     
  2. perdu42 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2014
    Location:
    The Land That Time Forgot
    Can I suggest looking at this from another perspective.
    People are willing to engage with what you post. You may not like some of that engagement but the engagement is there.
    Just think if you were posting into a void, absolutely zip response.
    I know which outcome I would prefer.
     
    Zagan and kholieken like this.
  3. Talwar Ontario Mountain Man

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2008
    Location:
    The Fortress of Bureaucratic Incompetence
    No. Make your own decision.
     
  4. Fred the Great Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2012
    The moderation is good here on criticism crossing a line from being about the work to being about the author. The former can be constructive, while the latter is invariably just fodder for personal abuse. Why don't you write something and then keep an open mind to what feedback you receive?
     
  5. FriendlyGhost Haunting history for 45+ yrs

    The main focus of AH.com is indeed 'real-world' alternative history but in the ASB sub-forum that doesn't have to be the case. It is specifically for 'scenarios that involve time travel, magic, alien intervention, anything in the sea of time and other such weirdness' which can include fantasy stories (one story in ASB I read: Children of the Fog has heavily fantastic elements). So your definition is not at odds with the AH.com one.
    Generally members expect some level of plausibility on here, but 'plausible' for ASB/fantasy doesn't necessarily mean 'must be possible in the real world' - it's more like 'should be consistent within the story itself.' If you write a fantasy story which involves people being able to cast spells only if they have red hair, then have someone dye her hair red and gain the same power, that's fine - it's your prerogative to set the rules within your own story. What you will get criticism for is elements which don't hang together within the same story. For example, if you then have someone with blond hair cast a spell, there had better be a reason why that's possible - a change in how magic is working, or something. If you don't explain why this 'inconsistent' event has happened, someone will probably ask.
    As others have said, it's important to differentiate between what could be called different types of criticism:
    (1) pointing out an apparent mistake, such as 'did you mean to write "the Circle Sea" because I thought it was called "the Circular Sea"?' or pointing out a spelling mistake; everyone makes these mistakes (even professional writers - that's why they employ professional editors!) so there is no criticism of your actual writing implied;
    (2) questioning an aspect of your story, such as the example I gave above of an inconsistency; there is generally no criticism of your writing implied, just an attempt to clarify if what you wrote is what was meant; an answer from you of 'all will become clear later in the story' is fine;
    (3) negative criticism of your writing; unlike the others, this is harder to deal with; if someone writes, "your character isn't believable, I don't like him" without any reasoning or suggestions, then you can choose to engage ("why don't you like him? what isn't believable?") or not;
    (4) criticism of you personally; this is unacceptable; if you get a comment such as, "you're a bad writer and don't deserve to be posting here" then use the 'Report' button to bring the post to the attention of the moderators.​
    You can also expect to get general queries about the story, which might read a bit like criticism but aren't really. For example, "are you going to introduce other types of magic users? If so, it would be great if they used a completely different type of magic" could be taken as a criticism of the type of magic you have already written about, but is more likely to be the member showing interest in the direction of the story. Sometimes these sorts of comments can help you by pointing out possibilities in the story you hadn't noticed yet.
    It's entirely up to you whether you engage with your critics or not. As long as you remain polite, there should be no reason to fear being banned (basically, stay within the rules). Asking members to stop criticising will just result in them not reading any further, which is probably not what you want.
    Based on the previous version of your first post in which you noted that you were getting very stressed, I voted for you to leave temporarily. I'm not going to change my vote for now, though from me please read it as 'don't spend too much time on here if it's affecting you badly.' I will also note that if you are still feeling stressed and this is affecting your health, then please consider taking professional advice (doctor, health visitor, etc) - this forum is not where you can or should expect professional help like that.


    I hope my long reply (sorry) is of some use.
     
    The Professor, Xenophonte and Zagan like this.
  6. woweed New Hippie

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2014
    Location:
    Florida
    Wait...ALL criticism? Because, like, that's a really bad attitudefor a writer to have. Everyone needs feedback if they're gonna advance their writing abilities.
     
    Jammy and desmirelle like this.
  7. John-1107 A writer under treatment for issues with criticism

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2014
    Location:
    Republics of Texas and the Philippines, USA
    Final Message
     
  8. Talwar Ontario Mountain Man

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2008
    Location:
    The Fortress of Bureaucratic Incompetence
    I'd be surprised if you've made any enemies, but good luck finding your ideal site.
     
    Kerney, nbcman, BlackWave and 2 others like this.
  9. Neshomancer Mistborn Jedi

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2011
    We may not consider ourselves his enemies, but given that he takes all forms of criticism as personal attacks, and many have pointed out the flaws in (criticized) that view he likely considers us such, even when we meant no offense.
     
    nbcman, RiverDelta and Talwar like this.
  10. MrGreyOwl Watching Bird

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2014
    Location:
    Limerick
    All he certainly made is a lot of eyes roll.
     
    nbcman and RiverDelta like this.
  11. RiverDelta Gwen, Gwen, the Mirror Gem

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2017
    Location:
    The American Communes
    I'd be surprised if he was an adult. I'm not sure if we should be so hard on him.
     
    Planet of Hats likes this.
  12. Neshomancer Mistborn Jedi

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2011
    According to his profile he was 28.
     
    RiverDelta likes this.
  13. chankljp The sensitive soul of a heartbroken idealist Donor

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2015
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    @OP

    I have never read any of your materials, and know that you have already left, but here are just my personal thoughts on this matter when it comes to criticism:

    I sort of 'get' what you were trying to say and how you feel. After all, when you put your heart and passion into a piece of writing (Or any project for that matter), it becomes your 'baby', so to speak, and you want for other to share in your joy and pride.

    ... But the fact is that sometimes, other people for one reason or another are just not going to find your baby beautiful, or even outright tell you in the face that it is ugly. It is just a fact of life that not everyone likes the same thing, and that some people either don't mince their words, or are just plain rude/not concern about how other feel.

    But think of it like the Oscar Wilde quote: 'There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.'

    Even if the criticism was wrong, 'does not get' what you were trying to do, rude, or was an outright troll comment.... It is still a sign that whatever you have written was enough to provoke enjoy of an emotional or intellectual reaction that they decide to take their time in responding to it, instead of just go, 'Meh', and move on without a word.

    In the end of the day, justified or not, fair or not, if you put any part of yourself out in the 'real world', not everyone is going to like you as a person or your stuff. It is just something that you will need to find a way to either deal with.
     
    perdu42 likes this.