January 28th, 2008

yahoo winter

Hello, you are a whiner

Okay, I have a completely random, wank thought-provoking question to ask, in terms of random feedback. You know, the kind of feedback that you get after something's finished, not when you're actually still in revision mode. Actually, let me back up and ask a preliminary question: those of y'all who write, am I totally crazy for thinking there's a point when criticism just isn't helpful anymore? Constructive criticism is fantastic, and even if it hurts your feelings you don't like it or it doesn't seem helpful, you can still learn from it, or at least file it away under Complaints Registered. But to me, there's a point where the thing is done, and... it's just done. There's no going back. When I post a "Fifteen Minutes," barring some kind of major mistake or accidental omission, I generally consider it done. When someone publishes a book, it's done. All the criticism in the world isn't going to allow you to change it. You may mentally revise it for years and wish you could make changes, but basically? Nothing you can do about it. So to me, there's pre-release constructive criticism, and there's post-release literary (or "literary," if the parody thing in question... isn't) criticism. It's observational criticism, rather than constructive. I mean, yes, I can still learn for the future from it, but "This sucks," as vague as it is, might actually indicate that I need to change something before I release a work into the wild; after I release it, "This sucks" can't really help me.

So: 1) Am I crazy for thinking of it this way? 2) Am I being really unreasonable for thinking that leaving, in essence, "This sucks" as feedback is kind of unnecessary when a piece is finished and done? I guess what I'm thinking is... if you don't like something, go tell someone else you didn't like it, but don't tell me? Are you so dissatisfied with your (free, in this case) entertainment that you have to inform me? You couldn't just walk on by? Were you afraid that I was feeling too good about myself, or something? Or is it important to let people register their dissatisfaction, rather than just going, "Well, it's awful quiet out here, that must mean something"?

(Disclaimer: I actually thought that parts of the Cloverfield piece were weak, but kept moving rather than obsess about it, because there were parts that I felt really did work. I don't need rainbow pony hugs or anything. I am really truly trying to figure out if I have a spoiled, irrational mindset about criticism here. I'm actually kind of expecting y'all to tell me that I do, because it might help me suck it up.)


From Smadronia, another way to help someone that doesn't involve money: "A girl in Texas needs blood and platelet transfusions for the next 9 months, and her insurance won't cover all of it. If you donate blood, you can specify she gets credited for it, which will allow her to get more transfusions. It's something like every 2 pints donated in her name will get her a pint of blood." More info here.

From agentsculder: "Attention Rebellious Jezebels!" Awesome.

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