概念批评与倦怠,一份指南

Hello. I am Shanor, a junior staff member of the forum crit team (εїз), and I will be giving tips for how I critique concepts and how I avoid critiquing burnout.
你好,我是Shanor,论坛批评小组εїз的成员。我将为大家带来一些关于我是如何批评概念以及如何防止倦怠的建议。

Concept Critiquing:
概念批评

Concept critiquing is extremely important. It gives users a chance to get critique on their ideas before creating a full draft. This lets you have a solid idea before you start drafting a 10,000 word essay, gives reviewers fewer drafts that are conceptually flawed and will need major reworking, even if the clinical tone is perfect (which means your draft could likely be checked out faster) and help site staff save time due to them not needing to delete conceptually flawed drafts (meaning they have more time to help writers improve conceptually-interesting drafts). So make sure to go to the Ideas forum before starting that sprawling space-opera on SCP-682 to make sure you know what the audience wants before starting.
概念批评非常重要,它使一个点子在被写成完整的草稿之前就有机会得到批评。这样你就可以在写你的万字长文之前就拥有一个站得住脚的构思,让指导者少收到一些点子有缺陷、并且(即使有完美的临床腔也)需要进行大量修改的草稿,这样你的草稿也能更快地【被确认/被读懂/合格?be checked out】。并且,由于不再需要去删除点子有硬伤的草稿1,这也可以帮助站务节省时间(这意味着他们有更多时间来帮助作者改进点子有意义的草稿)。因此,在对SCP-682上规模宏大的太空歌剧动笔之前,先去“点子与头脑风暴”区,以确保你在开始之前就知道读者想要什么。

To start out, I will give an example for a piece of writing that is somewhat fleshed out and promising.2 (note here that what you talk about can change depending on the kind of article that is written. Use common sense here. Don't waste time talking about how there isn't an actual anomaly in an idea if the idea is for a tale):
首先,我将举例说明一些充实且很有前途的点子。3(注意,你所谈论的内容可能会根据所写文章的类型而有所不同。按照常识,如果那是一篇故事,就不要把时间浪费在谈论其中是否有确切的异常性质上。):

"I am thinking of an idea about a vampire with the ability to produce ultrasonic waves and fly through rapid flapping of its wings. This item's story will be about how the creature started off as a simple generic vampire in containment, but due to it being dehumanized by the foundation it became more and more like a bat than a vampire. I hope to make it seem like an allegory of how dehumanizing people makes them feel like an animal then a human on equal grounds with everyone else."
我有一个关于吸血鬼的点子,这种吸血鬼具有发出超声波和快速振翅飞翔的能力。这个项目的故事将讲述它是被如何作为一个普通的吸血鬼收容的,但是由于基金会让它丧失了人性,它变得越来越像蝙蝠而不是吸血鬼。我希望让这篇文像是一种寓言,寓意着人性的丧失是如何让人比起平等的他人更像动物。

I personally like to break an idea's anomaly (what the thing is) and story (why the reader should care about this thing) into separate portions. It is easier to follow, and simpler to write.
我个人喜欢将一个点子的异常性质(它是什么)和故事(为什么读者会对它感兴趣)分解为不同的部分。 这样更容易理解也更好写。

  • (1) For the item portion, I like to start by talking about any tropes the item follows.4
  • (2) Then I warn the writer about how and why the trope could make the idea harder to write.
  • (3) After this, I suggest any ideas you would have to fix any big issues you see.

(1) Vampires are a very overused trope both on this site and in popular media. (2) If you write it with this monster, you will have to be much more careful with how you execute your idea, because you don't have an original idea to fall back on. That fact you should feel sorry for them also feels similar to the core sentiment of works like the Twilight series and other popular media. This will make the idea feel far more generic. (3) If you made this being a different, less popular kind of monster (say a were anglerfish), it would make the overall idea feel more original.

By doing this, you give the writer an upfront opinion on the article.

For the story portion I look to see how I react to the idea.

  • (1) I check to see if that reaction appears to be what the writer intended.
  • (2) If it isn't, I suggest ways to change the story to better fit the vibe they want to go for.
  • (3) I then just think about how much I overall enjoyed the story and give any opinions or suggestions I feel about it.

(1) You were attempting to make me feel bad for the creature, but I honestly felt more grossed out than sorry. (2) Possibly you could have the being make vocalizations to add some empathetic qualities. Something like "I just want to see my family. Is that too much to ask for?" (though obviously a little less generic of a quote). (3) But overall, I think the story feels interesting and with some dedication could become very interesting.

After this I check to see how the story, item, and actual anomalous feature(s) fit together.

If I feel that they are disjointed, I take some try to find a way to make them feel more cohesive or I just tell them I can't really think of a way to fix the issue.

I believe having a vampire mixed with a sappy story could possibly feel a bit generic. You may want to make the being start with control over its powers but slowly lose control over time. This would let the being start out as fairly unlikable, but slowly make it into a being you can empathize with.

Finally, I think about my overall opinion on the article.

I look at the culmination of the ideas and see what I like and dislike about it. Then I just give my opinion on the idea as a whole.

Overall, I think this idea has a lot of promise. While it is true you need to work on the actual anomaly and the cohesiveness of the idea, I think you have a lot of potential with this idea with the right execution.

One important thing to note however, is that just because you have finished your first review doesn't always mean you're finished with that idea.

Many times an author with this good of a draft will reply to your review with fixes or questions. You should be ready to look at the what they have changed, and give them your opinions on these changes. This can back and forth for multiple days (and on rare occasions, weeks), so make sure to look back at the Ideas Critique forum to see if they have replied.


How to Avoid Burnout:

So, I have been on this site for a good few months at the time of writing this. Yet other than times when my IRL responsibilities kick up or I am writing something, I am almost constantly the one posting the most on the Ideas Critique forum (other then Zyn on some days. However I don't try to compare myself to someone so completely talented and/or insane). This has been a constant throughout my time on this site and especially as a staff member. This can get a little tedious at times. So I found some ways to avoid burnout and the boredom that can come with reviewing the same 2 sentence threads over and over and over again:

Ask Questions

While you obviously should give critique as well, asking the writer questions helps immensely with getting rid of boredom. You would be surprised by just how many terrible ideas can become interesting with a little back and forth between you and the writer. This helps the writer immensely, and gives you something new (and many times interesting) to read concept-wise.

Critique When You Feel Like It

The easiest way to burn out is to continuously critique. If you don't feel like critiquing for a day, don't. You are only gonna give worse critique if you force yourself to continue. Focus on what you enjoy doing! And if you just can't find time to critique, take a break that day. There will be others who can take over for a day!

Critique What Interests You

If biology bores you to death, don't force yourself to give a full-length critique of an SCP based around biological processes. You may think this is obvious, but there are many users who believe they need to critique everything they can. It's fine to want to challenge yourself as a reviewer, but on a low energy day, you might as well take some time to review ideas that you'll enjoy reading about rather than stressing yourself out.

Take Breaks

If you have just critiqued 6 ideas, go watch a video, read on the site a while, do something to refresh your mind before you start critiquing again. Take your time, you don't have to review multiple threads in succession.

Treat Disagreement as a Possibility

You aren't ever going to have the "best" opinion. So when someone thinks your idea is bad or that they have a better idea, listen and work with it. You will be much less stressed out if you aren't constantly arguing why your idea is superior to someone else's. Integrate the idea into yours if it seems interesting. Try to listen to their disagreements and fix what people think may be wrong or uninteresting.

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