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Critiques

Crit Guides

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.

I'm a Lit Admin at #SeniorSelections!

What is SeniorSelections?



"SeniorSelections stands to feature premier artwork from the deviantART community through weekly features from each gallery category."

Basically, it is a group of senior members who are going to showcase their favorite picks from around the deviantART galleries every week. :D I'm part of the literature team, along with thetaoofchaos.


I am accepting suggestions!



I am accepting suggestions for Literature only. I will accept any form of literature except Scripts (sorry, I just don't know enough about them to feel comfortable featuring them to the community). Here are things I look for:

In Poetry:
:bulletblack: Strong, concrete imagery. Abstractions turn me off.
:bulletblack: Intelligent structure and formatting.
:bulletblack: A clear, well-developed theme, message, or story.

I especially enjoy socio-political, human nature, and Eastern styles. I'm not as likely to enjoy romance (unless it is very well written), fantasy, or fixed forms like the sonnet. But please DO send me anything you think I might enjoy.

In Prose:
:bulletblack: Clear, concise language use that relies on concrete imagery.
:bulletblack: Natural sounding dialogue.
:bulletblack: An interesting plot or well-developed character (bonus points for both).

I prefer reading sci-fi/sci-fantasy, satire, non-fiction (especially autobiography and memoir), and comedy. I am unlikely to sit through high fantasy or romance. But again, do send me anything you think I may enjoy!

:pointr: Extra special bonus points if you find good prosetry! :)


To Suggest



Send me a note with a thumb or link to the deviation you're suggesting. Please title your note: "SS Suggestion" or something to that effect.

:bulletblack: Please only send your suggestion to ONE person on the SeniorSelections team.
:bulletblack: One thumb or link per note, please. It helps me stay organized.
:bulletblack: Please feel free to suggest simultaneously to other feature groups such as DailyLitRecognition.
:bulletblack: I will respond to all suggestions as soon as I have time to read them. If you do not hear from me within a couple weeks, please feel free to send me a poke.
:bulletblack: You can include a blurb about why you feel a piece deserves to be featured, but it is not necessary. Truly good literature speaks for itself. :)

If you have questions, please leave a comment on this journal.

Thanks!
:heart: Lili

Visitors

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strictlyhandmade
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12:08 pm
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9:23 am
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Gay Love

Wed Sep 17, 2014, 1:20 AM


Anthology Theme: I recently had a long, painful conversation with a new friend from work. We'll call him Paul. Paul is 24 and married less than a year ago. His husband, we'll call him Pat, recently admitted that he's been cheating on Paul. I hugged Paul while he cried and cheered him on when he raged, and offered my couch if he wanted somewhere to crash - and was incredibly proud when he said, "hell no. The cheating bastard can find a street corner for all I care." 

Love is heartbreak, sometimes. And it's pain. And it's kicking a sorry excuse for a partner to the curb. And that's true no matter who you are or who you love. 

So, inspired by Paul and his amazing confidence in who he is and what he deserves, this mini-anthology is focused on gay love. I tried to find a bit of it from every angle. I hope you'll enjoy these personal, powerful pieces of literature. I sure did.

ThisIsParanoia



To Whom It May Concern   Dad's on his 20th diet soda today. He's trying to cut back. The more he glugs them down, the less mom wants his fat little prick poking at her fat folds. He's had 7 layers of carrot cake to wash down his stress, and on Sunday, like clockwork, he'll hang over the top of her so that his fat is nearly touching hers, and they'll fuck. It isn't like what it was when they were younger. They were young and in love and sex was beautiful. She snuck out like every other teenager of the 80s and they smoked and drank and fucked. Now it's like some kind of affair. Mom puts it on the calendar like she does with her appointments. "Wed. 1pm Lunch with Janet, Wed. 9pm, Sex with husband." It gets meshed in between the bills she’s got to pay and the schoolwork she's got to do to get her bachelor's. When it happens, it's silent. She blows him and budgets out the next month because they’ve both taken pay cuts.
            Somet


You know you’re in love when you sound like a psychopath sometimes."

A thorough, complex, and intriguing exploration of love, family, Prince Charmings, and where things go wrong.

ShadowedAcolyte



A Backyard in CaliforniaA Backyard in California
What thoughts I have, the first spring in our first home owned!
everywhere are evidences of copulations:
O'Keeffish hookerblooms and their johns, the bees,
spotted bird eggs, post-coital dandelions, swollen seedpods
all heavy with pregnancy and spent lust
Join me, Whitman!
Leave Ginsberg to his supermarket leering
and roll with me in my backyard!
Explore me like the West, show me your Manhattan skyscraper,
fill me with that which I envy,
your wide pride and love for our country
after our beards unzip
I will tell you of progress, of rights and weddings
and labels, and you will ask, "does love not label
itself, identify itself?"
I, lacking answer, will teach you what a generation
of growing up out has taught us
an irony you, our first brave teacher, will appreciate
as I map your folds and we flower inside each other
toes curling in soil moist with irrigation
hands pushing off treebark and fencewood
you will marvel at the desert succulents
the spreading pal


"after our beards unzip
I will tell you of progress, of rights and weddings
and labels, and you will ask, 'does love not label
itself, identify itself?'"


Dripping with sensuous, joyous imagery that belies the Whitman poem that inspired the piece, this is one for the senses!

glossolalias



Thou Shalt Not Commit--have you ever been in the bed of a committed lover
when someone else's name is on your tongue,
and you saw him yesterday: that wallflower who drove
your patience past its limit, whose waiting hand
stretched you to the length of your intimacy until you cried
mercy? the man who loved your every interest, craved
the workings of your ideology, sought after your pacing mind
more than he ever witnessed your lust? and you think,
if i had been a more stable person then, i would be talking
the first words of my guilt: debilitating the trust
which does not come so easily but he wanted every broken
piece of it, sat around the edges of conversations where you
became what you fear most: an infatuation,
an idol still revered in his dark eyes, but
you always liked his smile: how he romanticized you in the light
that emanates from your being.


"sat around the edges of conversations where you
became what you fear most: an infatuation"


Clever structure and searing honesty is always present in Jorge's work. This short, introspective and potentially awkward situation is no exception.

GeneratingHype



The Lucky One"I heard that you have AIDS."
Well now, I thought before turning around, what a lovely way to begin a morning. "My name's Bill," I said, offering a hand and a lopsided smile."It's nice to meet you, too."The man, awkward and embarrassed, took my hand; his shake was weak--wet.A few moments passed in silence, and then I cleared my throat, rocked back on my heels, and folded my arms. "You heard wrong."
"Oh--"his voice trailed off and I felt momentarily sympathetic.
"I'm HIV positive.There's a difference."
"Oh--!"He shifted his weight while I watched, calm, to see what he'd do.He did nothing.
"And you are?" I prompted, letting my arms fall to my sides and trying to lend a casual tone to my voice.
"Oh, ha.Ha-ha!Oh.Yeah.I'm Scott."
"Scott's a fine name."
"Thank you."Scott was suffering from some grave moral dilemma--some conundrum.
"So."This had to be the least stimulating conversation I'd had in weeks, and I taught second grade.
"So. Um.Oh!Well.Ha-ha!Ha.


"I'm just another one of those fags, now."  

My heart broke.  I tried to think of something uplifting--something honest, but comforting.  "I know."  Well, at least it was honest.


Bill's passing was a loss felt in wide swaths across the literature community, and for good reason. His blunt, often self-deprecating style was impossible not to relate to, and his matter-of-fact honesty impossible to deny.  The Lucky One is just one of many important pieces in his gallery. Do give it a browse if you're not familiar with it yet.


Hopefully you've found something to love in this small feature. Thanks to DailyLitRecognition for the idea, and for hosting such a neat contest!

:heart: Lili

Webcam

Lit and Community Related Guides

A Guide to Group-Hosted Contests on dAIntroduction
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
Dear Lit Community, Some Solutionsdreamsinstatic wrote an open letter to the literature community specifically addressing issues he feels are detrimental to the health of the lit world on dA. Many of his concerns have been voiced by others in the community in past years and finding solutions to problems like fragmentation, cliques, and "elitism" (what I would call trolling) is no simple task. If, indeed, solutions need to be found at all. Below are my thoughts on some of the problems discussed in dreamsinstatic's article. Feel free to share your thoughts and ideas in the comments. Let's keep this conversation flowing.
Problem #1: "Elitism" or Trolling

DeviantART is made up of people. Just because we're people who interact through computer screens doesn't mean all the troubles of the real world don't count. People are still selfish, unfair, cruel, and rude for no apparent reason. I've been t

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
Pound's poem is considered such a great work because he inserts several layers into a single image. Using only 13 words he evokes an entire painting within the reader's mind. You can hear the sounds of the trains, see the fatigue of a mother wrestling with her cranky toddler,
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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:iconscarlettletters:
Scarlettletters Featured By Owner 16 hours ago  Professional Writer
Thanks very much for faving my work!
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:iconeqlrytes:
eqlrytes Featured By Owner 1 day ago
Thank you kindly for the fav. :heart:
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smith4891 Featured By Owner 6 days ago  Hobbyist Writer
Nice Robin Williams webcam. A legend has passed, and there is no replacing him. :)

There are good actors, then there are great actors. Then there was Robin Williams, and he was phenomenal. :)
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DrippingWords Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2014  Student Writer
Thanks for the fave(s)! :huggle:
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anapests-and-ink Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you so much for the fav!
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