"Okay, I've read your script, and I have a few things to say about it. It needs work, but you've got something going here. I wasn't impressed by the car chases, but those aren't my thing. But I do know that cheesy one-liners aren't really done anymore, unless you're spoofing those kinds of movies, and this isn't a parody. I did like the romance scenes. You should probably expand that relationship. These kind of movies don't do relationships well, and this would help your movie stand out."Flaming:
"Okay, I've read your script, and it's retarded. You should just use it for toilet paper. Nobody likes car chases anymore, and your crappy jokes make Arnold look like Shakespeare. You thought that shit was funny? Oh, the love scenes were good. I always knew you were gay."While flames are designed to put people down, constructive criticism is meant to help an artist improve his/her work. It's rarely shown in fiction, but it is vital to the growth of an artist or writer. This kind of criticism is about being honest, clear, and considerate in your comments. In particular, a respectful tone is crucial in proper constructive criticism. There is no handholding, and this does not mean making only positive comments: it is not constructive to say a bad work is good. Proper critique, however, also avoids unmitigated Brutal Honesty. The ideal Constructive Critic is a master of Verbal Judo: honestly and directly pointing out flaws while simultaneously highlighting strengths and unexplored avenues of a work, all while maintaining a neutral to positive tone. In short, you are trying to help the artist improve both positively and honestly, not shame them into improving. This is very, very hard to do. For one thing, you have to be aware of your biases, and admit them. There are times when you are asked for criticism, but are probably not the best person to be asked about something. For another, you could make claims that turn out to be wrong, even if you thought otherwise at the time. Finally, some simply Can't Take Criticism anyway- beware those showing signs of being Sunny Sunflowers or Wide Eyed Idealists in particular. Yet it's still the form of criticism most likely to actually get results. In fact, most good artists even give this to themselves, hence the phrase "I'm my own worst critic." Things an aspiring Constructive Critic should avoid:
- Snark, Cluster F Bombs, Caustic Criticism, and any use of the work "sucks" outside of the context of describing particle movement automatically transform even the most well intentioned critique into a Reason Why You Suck Speech. And perhaps the most important thing: Don't mock the work OR the author. A critique is not a comedy roast. When you start doing any of these things, most people will think you are trolling them- because you are trolling them.
- On the opposing spectrum, framing criticism as compliment, feigned politeness, and Condescending Compassion are the hallmarks of the equally bad Compassionate Critic. The envelope is different, but the message is the same.