Recent posts tagged criticism


2022


Labels, Labels, Labels

I don't particularly care if my SF is hard, soft, or mushy; I care whether or not I give a darn about who's in it and what happens.

End(game) Result

People see your results, not your efforts. By design.

The Dark Stuff

Something that disturbs us can be profound, but that does not mean disturbance is profundity, or a certain route to same.

Tell It To Me Straight

We don't want validation just to know that we're doing the right thing, but also to know we're not doing the wrong things.

Misery Index, 2022 Edition (And Earlier)

The story of a never-written project that made me realize why I don't want to rub the misery of our moment in people's faces and call that art.

The Momentum Of My Curiosity

I still want to review stuff, it's just making stuff that's taken first priority.

The Cocoons We Spin

"It is not possible for reviewers and critics to provide what they purport to provide — and for which writers so ridiculously and childishly yearn." (Doris Lessing)

How To Give Constructive Feedback

My advice for how to give truly constructive feedback on someone else's work.

2021


Canonical Criteria

Friends of mine and I were talking about the idea of a canon or pantheon of great movies, and how to select them. We had a fun debate about the criteria, and eventually I drew up a list.

Critical Mass

One must have concrete critical standards of some kind, or one ends up in a kind of death spiral of hopeless idealism.

What We Bring To The Table

Learning to find your own take on things you read or watch gives you a sense of what you can bring to your own work, too.

2020


Kauffmann Syndrome

The problem with much criticism: it proceeds from the flawed premise that art is hierarchical.

The Impossible Factor

Why SF&F have something to teach us even when it isn't "real".

Leveled Up

If people critique your themes or intentions, that's a sign you've leveled up.

Kindly Educate Me About My Suckage

More on how most writers are not good givers of writerly feedback. Few people are.

By Hook Or By Book Or By Crook

On how my friend and fellow writer Matt is against the idea of the "hook" as a narrative mechanism.

When Weighing In Got Outweighed

Why I no longer write reviews of stuff for my own site.

2019


I Owe An Excuse

What's the difference between an appreciation of something and making excuses for it?

Short Of My Own Mark

A good critic of other work makes me look at my own and feel like I've missed even the standards I wanted to set for myself.

The Case For Preferring Older Books

You miss out on less than you think.

Words From The Wise

Very few people are qualified to give useful story advice because they think the main function of a story is to entertain them.

The Performance Index

On gauging artistic quality by way of popularity, always a bad move.

2018


Beat It To Fit, Paint It To Match

"Workshop" is the wrong word for the place where we come to mutually improve our writing.

But Who Am I To Be Critical?

When you look at something, you have to be willing to not pretend that it needs to be great in order to justify anything.

Ruined Forever

No critic can ever "ruin" a work you like, unless you don't know what their job really is.


See other criticism posts for 2018