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Writing Useful Critiques
Preface

This article is written for LitResources. Our goal is to be a collection and creation station for all resources pertaining to literature on deviantART. This article will feature the wonderful world of critique! DeviantART staff recently made it possible for unsubscribed members to leave critiques using the premium feature, so we thought it was an opportune moment to educate the community about the many facets of critique.
If, after reading the article, you have more information or resources to add, please leave your thoughts in a comment! And don't forget to :+favlove: this article to help spread the word.

Critique: What It Is, What It Is Not

Though the distinction might seem obvious to some, people often confuse writing a critique with writing a review.
To make it plain, a critique offers thoughts and advice for improving a piece of literature or art. Cri
DeviantART: A Critical Community (Part 1)You may have heard...
From the most novice to the most accomplished, dA is home to artists of all types and skills. This mish-mash of talent, experience, knowledge, and eagerness to learn creates a beautiful opportunity for mentorships between those who are learning and those who are willing to lend their time and patience to a burgeoning new artist or writer. But forming those relationships can be daunting for those looking for help and unfulfilling for those offering that help. 
This is the first of a two part article series that aims to address a few key points of miscommunication that seem to be common between those willing to offer critique and constructive commentary and those seeking feedback. You may have heard that the critique community on deviantART "sucks" or "doesn't exist", but I'll humbly beg to disagree. I've been an activ

What is Worth Critiquing?This article outlines a few questions to ask yourself before you request critique on anything.
1. Have I self-critiqued my piece?
Have you given the piece a thorough examination, looking for ways you can improve, parts that could be removed/added to, techniques that might work better, etc?
If you haven't reviewed the piece for yourself, I highly suggest doing so before you request critique. Self-review is a skill you need to develop as an artist in order to improve. Critique from others is wonderful, but learning to apply your own critique to your pieces will help you produce better art on your first attempt.
2. Is the piece of good quality?
Do not request critiques on doodles, first writing drafts, snapshot photographs, etc. Critique should be reserved for a piece you want to learn from and improve, which means the piece should have required thought and time to complete.
There are always exceptions to these sorts of rules. A drawing that is half-way completed, for
So You Want to CritiqueHere is a two-fold guide for deviants wishing to receive critique as well as deviants who want to give constructive critiques:
A Note to Non-subscribers
You're allowed to give and receive critique, too! The system for subscribers that dA has put in place is flashy, sure, but it doesn't alter the content of a quality critique. Comments have worked just fine for many years. I see no reason why you should stop using the tried and trusted system just because something new has come along. Now, onto the article!
Make Sure the Feeling's Mutual
Some people don't give critiques. Some people don't want critiques. That's okay. Being a member of dA does not precondition you to the critique-crowd.
However, if you do want to be a critique-groupie, make sure the artist you're giving critique to actually wants it. If the critique option is not enabled, or there's no request for critique in the comments, chances are critique is unwanted. If there's something you really, really want

How to Apply CritiqueHow to Apply Critique
by KneelingGlory
Critique is a vital element in learning any form of art. The advice offered by other artists in your genre help you build new skills as well as refine your natural talent. However, it is easy to forget that your art should remain your art. This guide attempts to help artists and writers who are new to receiving critique understand how to apply the advice offered by others without losing the uniqueness of a piece that made it critique-worthy in the first place.
Good Critique in a Nutshell
Before you can apply critique, you need to understand what a good critique does. The purpose of all constructive criticism is to help you improve your work. If someone offers critique it generally means he or she sees potential in your piece and wants to help you "polish" the piece. Therefore, a good critique offers:
- Observations on the piece's weak areas as well as strengths.
- Explanation of the reasons why a particular area
DeviantART: A Critical Community (Part 2)You may have heard...
From the most novice to the most accomplished, dA is home to artists of all types and skills. This mish-mash of talent, experience, knowledge, and eagerness to learn creates a beautiful opportunity for mentorships between those who are learning and those who are willing to lend their time and patience to a burgeoning new artist or writer. But forming those relationships can be daunting for those looking for help and unfulfilling for those offering that help. 
This is the second of a two part article series that aims to address a few key points of miscommunication that seem to be common between those willing to offer critique and constructive commentary and those seeking feedback. You may have heard that the critique community on deviantART "sucks" or "doesn't exist", but I'll humbly beg to disagree. I've been an active participant i

Things My Friends Say

From Carmalain7

Good day, miss.

i thought i might drop by if only to inform you that reading your reviews has honestly been a surreal, out of body experience that has immersed me deeper into literature pieces than i could have possibly have ever hoped to have done on my own. Your reviews are thought provoking, delightfully constructive yet balanced, absolutely inspiring, and so well done that i find myself mentally bookmarking a few of your methods for future use.

All in all, in case there was any doubt for whatever reason, i'm mostly here to award you with the coveted dA's 'You're Much Too Amazing to Even Comprehend' award. This award has only been awarded to a handful of recipients in the past and each has gone on to continue instilling joy into, as well as improving the lives of, all those around them.

You. Are. Awesome.
:iconbowplz:

From julietcaesar
It's always hard to explain how much you mean to me. When you give back to dA, when you write that one stunning poem that temporarily stops my breath, when you don't let stuff get you down too much. When you keep forging on. You tell me I have these qualities, but you embody these qualities far better than I do. You shine with them.. And people gravitate to that. It's a gift. Please don't forget that.

From IrrevocableFate
Do you hear that? :iconlisteningplz:
:iconhurrrplz: It's the sound of you.
You being awesome. :iconohmysocuteplz:


From cristinewakesuphappy
you're one of my :+fav: writers.

Friends

Your Superbowl 49 predictions? 

67%
18 deviants said What is a Superbowl?
15%
4 deviants said Seahawks will win by a point margin of _____
11%
3 deviants said I'm not guessing points, but _______ will definitely happen in the game.
7%
2 deviants said Patriots will win by a point margin of _____
Tomorrow will be day ten in a row at work. I got "promoted", which of course meant working ten days in a row, switching shifts abruptly, and taking a paycut. :D Woo! America! But it's been good really. I'm basically an intern learning to be a supervisor right now. Which means I only have to take 100 calls a month, instead of about 40 calls a day. I'm quite happy with that. So far my new job has mostly consisted of being support staff for new agents. I answer questions, explain policy, assist with performing account changes, and basically help them out when they don't know how to do something. Which is often. 

The new schedule has me working from 1:30pm - 11pm, sometimes 11:30 if my agents are not off the phones in time. Switching from a mid-day schedule to a night shift schedule has completely fucked the semblance of a sleeping pattern I'd managed to muster. Plus it means I can't share a car with Lawrence, so I've been catching a bus as near to work as I can get and walking a mile to actually get there. Going from a job where you sit the majority of the time, to being on my feet + walking a mile before I even start has wreaked a bit of havoc with the pain management routine. I was down to just one or two tylenol every other day for pain and my daily NSAID to prevent swelling. I'm gonna have to get back on a bit more strict regimen if I'm gonna survive this first month of so transitioning back into a job where I actually get to move all the time. 

In the meantime, quite a few of my suggestions got accepted for DDs in the last couple weeks. That makes me super happy, so I'm gonna feature them here again in case you missed any. I've also participated in quite a few interviews. I haven't been very busy with posting work simply because I haven't had time to write anything. Hell, barely had time to think anything! :lol: Hopefully once I settle into the routine at work I'll get back to writing/keeping up on group duties here. You can expect nothing from me this weekend though. On Sunday I'll be cheering for the Seahawks in the superbowl (REPETE BABY) and on Monday I actually have to take care of things like blood draws, grocery shopping, rent-paying, and actually getting to spend time with my husband. 

Hope you're all well! 

:heart: Lili

Dear Parents:Strike the soft skin of your children; leave marks.
   Go on: show them how hard they must become
      to be like you.
Mold them to be mindless: coach them to react
   with fists; make them believe that words have
      little worth.
Shape them into an almighty monster: modern man.
Destroy their purity and imagination by damning them
   with absurd words of a god who previous men
      imagined.
Teach children to follow a leader, and to not ever
   break the circle they belong to, so society never
      moves forward.
Above all: train them to question love, even your own.
I.My bones were glass blown:
Crafted to curve lowly -
(un)beautifully - furling like
a fetus,
inchoate.
Imagine me transmuted, bursting through
desquamated skin. Picture my
clay-molded contours liquified
and awakened, shifted:
Incognito.
But I am unseasoned - grape-shelled,
guileless. Esotericism is overflowing
in my veins:
I click
shut.
This path is as smudged as
its traveler (skidding yet
never slowed), clotted
with mud:
Defiled.
Watch my fingers splay, breaking
from my tendons to
grasp tangible air
and touch
nothing.
You can neither scorch nor
whittle me into
nail-sized hopelessness, only
make me
obsolete.
Steeled, my jaw is set -
diffident, not shattered.
Flawed, definitelymaybenot
godlike: Merely
I.
BreakingOne day, you will open the cupboard
to find a wine glass or some Tupperware
and the world will, without warning
or alarm, roll off the edge of the shelf
and coming crashing down.
The oceans will splash onto the linoleum,
onto the rug. All the dust in all the deserts
will rain down onto the couch and coffee table,
the hills will crumble, the mountains will break,
all the windows in all the cities will shatter
and fall, a thousand dangerous miles of glass
glittering on your kitchen floor.
Everything will hush.
Exhale the breath you are holding,
and go look for a dust pan, for a broom.
Cancer The plane wades 
through cotton corn
seeded by vapour 
trails - these clouds swell
as white tumours
gorged by rain.
Like brain scans,
earthly and ghostly 
on a death canvas 
lit by fluorescent finalities. 
to everything there is a seasonI.
as a flower or a man,
i shall burst,
and scatter.
as a corpse, i shall
peel away, and
return to the earth,
the air. i'll be in
your lungs yet.
II.
look, it’s not that i’m not
a little bit charmed
by the concentric circles
of existence, and the love,
the bitter, bright and
stinking
love.
it’s not that i don’t like
carrying this body that is a miracle,
a miracle in the sum of its parts.
kahlo got it, she knew what
she was talking about –
but i won’t put words
in a dead woman’s mouth.
and the hot sweat of it here,
the pain, the fuck and the sour wine
of it here,
it isn’t really chaining me
down. i’m thinking of
floating away.
III.
did i ever tell you
i’d like to die on my back,
looking at the sky?
in one of those faraway places
i saw from the car as a child, the top of a hill
seen from a distance; someone else’s farm,
someone else’s land. someone else’s emptiness,
a thin line of grass between
dirt and the inf

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The ever-wonderful ValaSedai posted an article about Individually Hosted Contests this morning. It covered a lot of important stuff like gathering prizes and organizing your entries. This guide is going to cover much of the same stuff, but from a group admin's point of view. :)
Prepare and Organize
The Summer Contest that myself, SilverInkblot, and thetaoofchaos hosted through DailyLitDeviations literally took months of planning. We wrote and revised the prompt, rules, entry guidelines, prizes, judging guidelines, and more. Then when the contest was announced, people had questions and the questions most frequently asked were added to an FAQ section in the article. Then there was collecting and finalizing the
Breaking in to Lit!Introduction
Literature has long been considered one of the closest knit communities on deviantART. As a result, some people find it difficult to "break in" to the Lit crowd. There are rumors of elitism, difficulty in getting exposure, and lack-luster appreciation for the incredible work that goes into writing a good piece of prose or a well structured poem.
If you look at a painting you can see amazing detail, great use of color, and the importance of the subject immediately. You know it came from the artist's imagination and that he or she had to spend hours translating that to a canvas. The tangibility of the work is right in front of you. With writing, it is not quite the same. The effort the author puts into the work can only be appreciated if readers put in their own effort to read the work. The gratification is not instant, which is one reason the lit community is so close knit.
Those who do have large followings often also comment and read quite a lot of work h

Be A Hero, Report a Miscat!
Miscats: What are they? Why do they matter? How do they happen?
A "miscat" is a deviation that has been submitted to the wrong gallery, or mis-categorized, on deviantART. For example, literature does not belong in the photography gallery, even if there is a photograph supplied as a preview picture for the writing.
They matter for several reasons. Miscats make searching for specific types of deviations tedious, particularly if you are looking for newer submissions. A search of the Writing Tutorials gallery for popular deviations in the last 24 hours brought up four deviations, all miscats. Miscats also make the site disorganized and even harder to navigate for new comers. Lastly, they make your work harder to reach by taking up space in the wrong gallery.
I'm sure others can think of reasons why miscats are annoying, and I invite you to leave comments here discussing it!
The number one reason that I think miscats happen is simple ignorance. There a

Flash Fiction Month July 2012Preface
This article is written for #LitResources. Our goal is to be a collection and creation station for all resources pertaining to literature on deviantART. This article will focus on Flash Fiction Month! It will include information about what specifies flash fiction, activities around dA for flash fiction month, and links to resources revolving around FFM activities.
If, after reading the article, you have more information or resources to add, please leave your thoughts in a comment! And don't forget to this article to help spread the word.
What Is Flash Fiction?
Put simply, flash fiction is a very short story. Lengths can vary from as few as six words (i.e. Hemingway's famous Baby Shoes) to a thousand, sometimes more. It depends largely on the outfit for which the author decides to write a piece of flash fiction. For the
Tips for the Messy WriterWhen the Muse Strikes
I don't know about you, but most of my ideas for writing come to me in the shower. There I'll be, rinsing the shampoo from my hair, and suddenly a line flits through my head - a line so beautiful, so perfectly balanced between the universal and the personal that if I do not capture it immediately my muse will torment me with silence the rest of the year. Generally this situation ends with me haphazardly wrapped in a towel, running down the hall past the rest of the household - who have now learned to politely look the other way - to the dry erase board on the refrigerator where I can scribble out the thought before it evaporates into the ether.
If this is a situation familiar to you, then you may be what I call a messy writer. Messy writers are those for whom organization is not always advantageous, or even possible. This short guide offers five rules I've discovered help keep me on track once I've started a writing task. I hope you'll find them h

Poetry Basics: BrevityBrevity: n. the quality of expressing much in few words.
When I was in tenth grade, I took my first literature course. It was a six week exploration of poetry. The first poem my teacher showed us was Ezra Pound's In a Station of the Metro:
The apparition of faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.
I, in all of my 16-year-old knowledge of the intricacies of what poetry is, informed my teacher that those two lines were not a poem. 
"You don't think so?"
"No. They don't rhyme, they are just one metaphor, and did I mention they're only two lines?"
"We'll see." 
She sure showed me. ;)
Importance in Poetry
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Intrigue Behind the English DictionariesColor vs. Colour
On an international site such as dA, you often run across cute debates about whether to use an extra "u" or whether it is apologize or apologise. Few people know that this debate was once an international hot button issue between the US and Britain. Noah Webster started compiling An American Dictionary of the English Language in 1807. Eighteen years later he published the most comprehensive overhaul of the American English language. To research the etymology of words, Webster learned over twenty foreign languages, including Arabic and Sanskrit.
Webster chose to revise many of the traditional British English spellings, thinking them too complicated. He dropped the 'u' from words like colour and revised centre and theatre to end in -er. Webster felt that these changes were necessary to help further establish the United States as a

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Comments


Add a Comment:
 
:iconchromeantennae:
chromeantennae Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Felt like showing love:
Lili, you are really one of the best people here on deviantART. You inspire me and I'm so glad I know you and that we can support each other. You are fantastic. So, so fantastic and I'm glad we're friends. I love you, Lili.
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconsrsmith:
SRSmith Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2015   Writer
Thanks for collecting 'Vacancy'
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(1 Reply)
:iconcarmalain7:
Carmalain7 Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2015
I was just about to suggest one of Meggie's poems, haha. I need to be quicker to the draw if I ever want to beat you to being delightful. =p
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconscarlettletters:
Scarlettletters Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2015  Professional Writer
Thanks very much for faving my work. I appreciate it.
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(1 Reply)
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