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Q. I noticed your username. Are you Dutch?
A. Yes, I am part Dutch. I don't speak the language, though.
Q. Can I use or share your art on deviantART or other sites?
A. Not without modifying it in some way, not without asking me first, and not without crediting me. It is forbidden for you to post or use it without my permission or credit. I have the right to report deviations posted or used without my permission or credit.
Certain pieces of mine may not be altered. Please, no matter the circumstances, always be sure to ASK BEFORE USING in case the piece may not be used.
For other sites: you may NOT post the artwork itself, ONLY the URL, and you MUST credit me.
If anyone sees a piece of mine posted elsewhere without crediting me, PLEASE send me a link! Much appreciated, you guys!
Q. Can you critique my work?
A. Yes! Traditional, some digital, and literature. Note me.
Interested in critique? Scroll down to the 'Critiques' widget for more information!
Q. Are you a penguin?
Hey, want a critique? Note me! But first, please refer to my rules and instructions:
Link to deviation(s).
Let me know the specific areas you'd like me to focus on. (Examples: "Is the dialogue realistic enough?" "Any grammatical mistakes?" or "Is there some way I can make this paragraph more fluid?") These will be very helpful!
Be sure to specify whether you would like harsh critique or gentle criticism. (I don’t want to make anyone angry with too-harsh criticism.)
Ask any questions you might have, just to get them out of the way.
Be patient! I will respond to let you know I received the note and clarify anything. I probably won't get to critiquing right away.
Things I WILL NOT critique:
-W.I.P.s (work in progress)
-Low quality images (where I cannot clearly see the piece)
-Pornography/fetish/pairings (I decide whether or not it counts.)
-Derogatory work (Racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. or promotes/supports these themes. Again, I decide whether it counts. For your own reference, you can visit FAQ #12: deviantART doesn't allow 'Hate Art', 'Hate Speech' or 'Hate Propaganda', what is this?.)
-Actual violence, blood, or dead things.
-Pieces so poorly done (no effort was put into it) that they cannot be considered finished work
I critique both premium and regular members, so it's not a problem if you don't have the critique option enabled!
All critiques are free, but I'd appreciate a thank you or llama!
If I turn your work down, check the above list of things I don't critique. If I turned it down and it's not on the list, contact me via note with a link to the deviation!
All critiques are based off personal experience/opinion. I don't have a degree in art/literature, so keep in mind I don't know everything!
If you have questions regarding why I do not critique a certain type of work or whether or not your work falls within the criteria, please don't hesitate to me!
Ever think there must be a better way to beef up your writing than to spill on for pages and pages? There is. To use an idiomatic expression, the devil is in the details. Now let’s get specific.
Think about playing ‘Mad Libs.’ They often ask for you to fill certain spaces in with nouns. But what they don’t specify is whether these nouns are abstract or concrete.
What is an abstract noun?
According to Google: “[An abstract noun is] a noun denoting an idea, quality, or state rather than a concrete object.” Some examples: Bravery, candor, jollity.
You can’t touch abstract nouns or perceive them with any of your real-world senses, although you’re able to see evidence of them. (You cannot hold sadness, but you can physically perceive the qualities a sad person may exhibit.) These can also be abstract adjectives: brave, candid, and jolly.
What is a concrete noun?
Google found me the following definition: “Concrete nouns are things that you can experience through your five senses: sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch.” Some examples: A cat, light, the moon.
You can touch and physically perceive concrete nouns, whereas abstract nouns are the ghosts of the noun community. You can only tell they’re there by the things they leave behind.
How does this connect to beefing up my writing?
Abstract nouns are vague ideas that can have many different connotations and definitions depending on the context and depending on the reader. Concrete nouns, however, have specific definitions, and allow the reader to more easily create an image in their mind.
For example, which sentence evokes more meaning to you?
She was very tall.
Her high heels caused her to tower several inches over his head.
Chances are, you more easily visualized the second sentence. In the first sentence, you only had the idea she was tall. Height is an abstract concept because it raises questions like: Tall compared to what? How tall? Tall physically or tall as in having a lot of confidence? In the second sentence, you can visualize her high heels raising her up and get a general idea of how tall she is, making this character that much easier to see.
This doesn’t sound like it would add much to your writing. After all, you say, tall is tall. What difference does it make how specific it is?
A lot of difference. It’s been shown that characters people can more easily visualize are the ones that they tend to identify with. Even if you’ve never watched your uncle die in a plane crash, you would be more likely to identify with a character’s struggles if they say their uncle ‘perished after his plane hit a mountain’ rather than simply saying ‘he died.’ Seeing the smoke billow out as the plane falls, hearing screams, it all contributes to the level of connection you have with this character.
But I like abstract nouns. They’re easy to use and good placeholders for when I don’t have time to write a full description. Can’t I still use them?
Of course you can. I agree, they’re good placeholders, but placeholders is all they should be. If you’re only using them because you don’t feel like writing out something detailed and specific, perhaps you should think more about the level of work you’re willing to put into your writing.
The thing is, abstract nouns are perfectly fine to use once and a while in your writing, but they aren’t as powerful as concrete descriptions. Chances are, your readers will have more difficulty identifying with your character if you rarely use specific terms, and this may cause issues with the reader being able to work out the character’s intentions.
The dangers of specificity
You’re treading on dangerous territory if you over-explain everything. Sometimes it’s easy to get carried away and put in every single little detail, treating your reader like they’re an alien that has never experienced any Earth events. You need to give the reader a bit of credit and allow them to work things out on their own. There’s nothing wrong with implying things every once and a while.
There’s also the trouble of tiring descriptions. It’s all well and good to have a detailed description, but professional writers know how to say more with less. If you go on for paragraphs and paragraphs with description, it’s going to get exhausting to read. Often it’s best to condense a longer sentence into a shorter one by using synonyms. For example, ‘his antique, rustic, low house with a large porch’ can be made into ‘his antique, rustic bungalow’ and have the same effect on the reader with fewer words. It’s key to find the right balance between detailed description and simplicity. Remember, a little can go a long way. And when it comes down to paragraphs and paragraphs of description, don’t be afraid to cut some parts out.
Going from vague to specific: a quick how-to
Alright, so you understand what needs to be done. Concepts usually need to be replaced with descriptions and physical things. But how to do it?
-Try working from personal experience. For example, describing a character as ‘strong’ has twenty billion (not really) different meanings. Use what ‘strong’ means to you. Is strong seeing your grandfather walk without his walker for the first time in years? Is strong spending eight weeks trying to break a world record for cup-stacking? Is strong attending protests for that law for equality you need passed, despite what your parents think?
-Tap into your five buddies: The senses. Try to imagine what this scene smells like, looks like, sounds like, etc. Frequently exercise your senses to keep them sharp and ready to use, and you should always be looking for opportunities to use any of them in your writing.
-Keep a quick reference list of common abstract concepts and use it when you’re editing. This way you’ll more easily be able to locate them. If it feels like it needs to be changed to a concrete description, circle it. (Or box it, underline it, mark it however you want.)
Emotions are abstract by nature (as I said above, you can’t hold sadness.) and often need to be further emphasized. They’re the most commonly used abstract nouns, but that doesn’t make them any more powerful to read. It’s important to describe the emotion rather than stating it.
For example, simply saying ”His mother was depressed” holds a lot less meaning than when the emotion is demonstrated: ”His mother stayed in bed for hours most mornings and didn’t bother to brush her hair.” This one is much more easily visualized, and the reader can tell what’s going on without it needing to be explicitly said. There are several things to keep in mind when writing emotion:
-Actions What is the person doing? What are they not doing? This mother is acting lethargic, not caring about how she looks, which are both signs of a person being depressed.
-Dialogue What are they saying? What are they not saying? Language is an important method of expression, so keep in mind the things your character chooses to express.
-Appearance Their facial expression, clothes, hair, etc. tell a lot about the person’s mood.
-Body language Write about their hand motions, the way they walk, their posture, and how ‘open and confident’ they’re acting. It’s helpful to check out different studies about the relation of mood and confidence to body language.
BlueThe world is big. He can tell. From his height, he sees the ground as one would see a movie screen. A bit too far away. A canvas to be projected upon. The height is just enough to take away the very awareness of height. The one chip in the brain which programs us to be careful has shorted out. This is not height, it wrongfully confirms to him.
It is cold and the wind is much too pushy, reminding him of standing against the rail of a ferry as it coasts inland. He connects the base of his palms to his temples and pushes them back, stretching the skin around his eyes into a squint to accommodate the wind. His surroundings blur until it is uncomfortable to bear, and he moves his palms forward over his eyes to warm his eyelids up.
He struggles to breathe as the wind forces its way rudely into his nose and lungs, stealing his breath. He must put his head down to root through his pockets, not sure if what he is looking for is actually there, doubting his ability to remember to stock his coat,
My Hollow'Yellow stems,'
The Hollow said,
'Upon the meadow white.
The grass is new,
A veil of dew
Conceals the green from sight.'
'And tipped, the stems, is gold,'
She whispered in my ear.
'Oh, what a play,
A grand array
Of light come once a year.'
She took my hand in hers,
The Hollow glaucous bright.
And so we raced
So quickly paced
From shadow into light.
The meadow lay before us
And Hollow breathed a sigh.
She left my hand,
Walked forth to stand,
And lept into the sky.
There floated my dear Hollow,
A grin across her face.
Bathed in sun,
She laughed and spun,
She shattered into stardust
As sunlight shrank to dusk.
The day was done,
My friend was gone,
The night upon me brusque.
I don't forget adventures,
How simple they may be.
And it will stay,
The special play
Of Hollow dear and me.
(A.K.A. the Big Long Bulleted List Where You Learn More Than the Average Person is Comfortable Knowing About Me While Staying a Safe Distance Away Armed With a Shiv.)
I am an ASPIRING artist.
That means I'm decent, but worship my artistic superiors.
Critique exchanges welcome.
I am capable of giving critiques for literature and traditional art.
I would love to critique your work! If you need feedback on a piece, just ask in the comments down below with a link to the deviation. (Notes are also convenient.)
I do not charge for critiques, but a simple thank you or llama is appreciated.
I always return llamas.
I reply to MOST if not ALL of any comments you leave for me. I might be a bit slow, but wait patiently!
If you feel some compelling force to...
Insult my artwork, please maintain it in a critique-like fashion. I want to be able to improve from my mistakes.
Accuse me of stealing, I will assure you that ALL of my artwork is my OWN creation and I would benefit from seeing a link to the alternate version.
Preach, I can understand everyone has an opinion. But if it is insulting or degrading to me, or if you are stubbornly objecting to me in some way, whether it is for your religious belief, societal standards, or simply your jacka**ery, I don't care and I will promptly block you.
Spam, and this is assuming you are not a spambot, I will politely kick your butt off my artwork.
Apologies in advance for rude comments!
Feel free to block me, or just tell me to shove off. Unless you totally deserved it. Then you should go die in a hole.
Warning: dark thoughts.
Violent and unstable, do not feed!
Beware of Grammar Nazism.
Paintings in watercolor and acrylic
Polymer clay sculptures
Short stories and vignettes
And other various things
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