A Few Reminders about Reviewing
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 19

Thread: A Few Reminders about Reviewing

  1. #1
    Moderator AceTrainer14's Avatar Forum Head
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Posts
    4,227
    Blog Entries
    5

    Default A Few Reminders about Reviewing

    Hello Workshop!

    I am sure many of you by now would have seen some of the many review discussions and games that have gone on these past few months, ranging from AetherX's brilliant lesson on writing them to the debate over flaming and criticism, as well as our new games such as the Review Game, the Workshop Quiz and old favourites like the Review Exchange and still lingering Beta Reader.

    The reason why one of my main priorities since becoming forum head has been the idea of reviews is because reviews, quite simply, help make the whole concept of fan fiction go around. We all love writing, creating new plots and characters, reinvisioning the regions and villains in our own way, but it can all seem a bit pointless at times if we don't think anyone is actually reading our work.

    Feedback and reviews can do wonders for any story. The author gets a boost from knowing someone is enjoying their work, they can get feedback about what may need improving or what might not be working, therefore improving their story, and, in return, the author may check out your story and give you some feedback. It can be quite depressing for any author if it appears as though no one is reading their work while other stories get ten in depth reviews for every chapter that gets posted.

    I am not saying that we all write essay long responses for every single chapter analysing every full stop and exclamation mark. There is seriously nothing wrong with just posting "Hey Bob, I really loved this latest chapter of Generic Journey Shipping Fic #167. I liked your portrayal of Red in this chapter, and I cannot wait to see what happens with him and Green when they get to Pewter City!" There seems to be some thought that these don't matter at all, but it is nice to let the author know you are reading their story and enjoying it, and you can always do a more in depth review later on that gets into the nitty gritty. If you can manage the time to read the story, a few extra seconds to post a line or two of feedback will do you no harm but could make a world of difference to the author.

    And while the games and programs to help with reviewing are still there, it should not be a case of it being that the other person has to read your fic if they want a review from you. The whole system kind of fails if you try and make all of your reviews into a chance for you to get more feedback as well: simply share your own thoughts and let people choose if they want to review your fic or not, don't try and force anyone into it when you only have two lines to say about their fic anyway. As I said above, chances are that the person will return the favour in their own time anyway.

    So essentially, spread the love around folks! If you read a story, post a line or two at the very end and make the author's day, don't wait around for someone else to do it or until they return the favour first. We all want reviews, and people always complain about no one reading and reviewing their story, but you can't complain if you aren't getting out there yourself and giving people feedback as well. Just remember to not be a flamer and be considerate if you are going to point out a mistake or something (as long as your review isn't just "Here's a typo I found" : that's not feedback, that is being pedantic and irritating, everyone knows that). There is nothing stopping you from posting a little bit of feedback when you read a story, so don't think that it will go unappreciated: just share your thoughts, and together we can make the Workshop a happier place for all :)

    ^^^^ The GalacticVerse Bibliography (Thanks to Blazaking for Banner) ^^^^

  2. #2
    ◓Gypsy Vanner Horse Kyuuketsuki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    The Old World.
    Posts
    2,245
    Blog Entries
    330

    Default Re: A Few Reminders about Reviewing

    As a writer and occasional reader, I must say that I agree with this. Even just a few lines letting the author know that you are reading can be immensely boosting in spirits. I recently got a review on fanfiction.net that basically said: "I like this story. I like how you do your characters.", and another review at Pokémasters that basically said the same thing, and both were very lifting in spirits.

    And stories that get comments usually seem attracting to other readers, because it has to be somewhat decent. It can help the author, and it can push them to write much better things in the future, and put more effort into their stories, which just means a better reading experience for you, really. Because English is my second language, I found reading to be the best help for me when I started writing. My earliest writings were horrible and filled with plot holes, and I improved more by reading books than I did by reading boring guides of where commas and other punctuation marks go, even though those were very helpful.

    Inspiration can be found when you're just reading some story, even if it is unrelated to your own. Many times, I would be reading something and suddenly get an idea of how a scene I couldn't write before should go.

    So read, comment, and you'll end up benefitting yourself whether you're a writer or a reader.

  3. #3
    Secret Sword of Justice Kelleo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    3,238
    Add Kelleo on Facebook
    Visit Kelleo's Youtube Channel

    Default Re: A Few Reminders about Reviewing

    I agree with this too, AT. I'd love to review more myself, but my problem is figuring out exactly what to say, whether I enjoyed what I read or not. I don't want to just say "Hey, I think this story's awesome, great job!" I find reviews like that rather irritating, so I don't give them to others. I want to elaborate a bit more on why I thought it was awesome and all, but I can never figure out exactly how to put it or how to address any issues without sounding confusing or something.

  4. #4
    Moderator AceTrainer14's Avatar Forum Head
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Posts
    4,227
    Blog Entries
    5

    Default Re: A Few Reminders about Reviewing

    There is nothing wrong with just saying that @Kelleo, that is basically the point of this little reminder. They may bother you, but you don't know how much of an effect it could have on the author, especially if they get few other reviews for that story or they are a beginning writer. You don't need to specifically say "Here are all the points I liked" or anything, you can just say something specific you liked and move on. And if you can't find a way to word the issues properly, don't mention them! There are plenty of other people who will probably point them out instead, and if everyone goes "YOU DID THIS WRONG!!!!" that could be very upsetting for the author. Just say you enjoyed it, make the author's day and move on :)

    ^^^^ The GalacticVerse Bibliography (Thanks to Blazaking for Banner) ^^^^

  5. #5
    ◓Gypsy Vanner Horse Kyuuketsuki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    The Old World.
    Posts
    2,245
    Blog Entries
    330

    Default Re: A Few Reminders about Reviewing

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelleo View Post
    I agree with this too, AT. I'd love to review more myself, but my problem is figuring out exactly what to say, whether I enjoyed what I read or not. I don't want to just say "Hey, I think this story's awesome, great job!" I find reviews like that rather irritating, so I don't give them to others. I want to elaborate a bit more on why I thought it was awesome and all, but I can never figure out exactly how to put it or how to address any issues without sounding confusing or something.
    Then just say simple things like: "I like [character name], in my opinion, their best quality is their care for others, even if it can be a weakness at points!".

    You really don't have to elaborate much. More often than not, an author will jumps to conclusions and interpret your message correctly than not understand it at all. If you worry about sounding confusing, then again, the writer will know what you mean, and they know more than their readers, so they will most likely get the right message from your comment, even if other readers don't.

    You might even inspire other readers to have their own thoughts, and other readers' comments might inspire your own comments and how to word them.

  6. #6
    Secret Sword of Justice Kelleo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    3,238
    Add Kelleo on Facebook
    Visit Kelleo's Youtube Channel

    Default Re: A Few Reminders about Reviewing

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyuuketsuki View Post
    Then just say simple things like: "I like [character name], in my opinion, their best quality is their care for others, even if it can be a weakness at points!".

    You really don't have to elaborate much. More often than not, an author will jumps to conclusions and interpret your message correctly than not understand it at all. If you worry about sounding confusing, then again, the writer will know what you mean, and they know more than their readers, so they will most likely get the right message from your comment, even if other readers don't.

    You might even inspire other readers to have their own thoughts, and other readers' comments might inspire your own comments and how to word them.
    Oh, I see. That sounds like an idea. But then I also never know how to say I didn't enjoy a story. I don't want to offend or hurt the author. So in that case I usually say nothing as well.

    @AceTrainer14;: Well, see, I feel that that kind of review is boring and not very helpful. Sure it's praise and all, but wouldn't you like to know WHY your readers think your story is so great? WHAT made them enjoy it so much? I certainly would. If there's one thing I DID learn from people that gave me harsh critique, it's that simple praise like that is useless. But this is just how I feel. xP

  7. #7
    ◓Gypsy Vanner Horse Kyuuketsuki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    The Old World.
    Posts
    2,245
    Blog Entries
    330

    Default Re: A Few Reminders about Reviewing

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelleo View Post
    Oh, I see. That sounds like an idea. But then I also never know how to say I didn't enjoy a story. I don't want to offend or hurt the author. So in that case I usually say nothing as well.

    @AceTrainer14;: Well, see, I feel that that kind of review is boring and not very helpful. Sure it's praise and all, but wouldn't you like to know WHY your readers think your story is so great? WHAT made them enjoy it so much? I certainly would. If there's one thing I DID learn from people that gave me harsh critique, it's that simple praise like that is useless. But this is just how I feel. xP
    Everyone wants a long, detailed review, just like how everyone wants praise. Even I can get upset at just simple lines, but when you go 10 or more chapters without anything, they can be the best you've ever gotten; knowing that someone is reading your story and liking it is a great motivator. Not every review has to be detailed and show you exactly what to improve; expecting that is foolish, and someone gushing over a scene can be more satisfying than nothing at all.

    My previous example: "I like [character name], in my opinion, their best quality is their care for others, even if it can be a weakness at points!".

    From that, a writer can get:
    • That they are portraying the character correctly if it is canon, and that it's a well-developed character if it's an original character.
    • If the character is canon, the reader either already likes them, or they like the character because of your story.
    • The writer is portraying the character's relationships correctly.
    • The character has a weakness that can be their strength. The reader is obviously interested in that, and it can be a storyline for that character.
    • The reader can jump to certain assumptions without them seeing far-fetched, so the writer's way of writing has been successful in inspiring certain aspects without detailing them.


    That line can be a detailed review with a lot of fluff, but the underlying message is the same. If the reader can't find their words, then the author is surely to find them.

  8. #8
    Secret Sword of Justice Kelleo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    3,238
    Add Kelleo on Facebook
    Visit Kelleo's Youtube Channel

    Default Re: A Few Reminders about Reviewing

    I never said anyone had to give me a long, essay-like response. It's just like you and AT say, simply saying "I liked character x and such because ____" is just fine. xP

  9. #9
    Let's get funky! Gama's Avatar Former Head Administrator
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    London
    Posts
    4,151
    Blog Entries
    68

    Default Re: A Few Reminders about Reviewing

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelleo View Post
    @AceTrainer14;: Well, see, I feel that that kind of review is boring and not very helpful. Sure it's praise and all, but wouldn't you like to know WHY your readers think your story is so great? WHAT made them enjoy it so much? I certainly would. If there's one thing I DID learn from people that gave me harsh critique, it's that simple praise like that is useless. But this is just how I feel. xP
    Yes, I would prefer reviews that gave a little more reasoning. If the choice is between that and a one line review that says "Keep up the great work! I'll be reading!", I'll choose the more detailed review.

    However, if the choice is between "Keep up the great work! I'll be reading!" and nothing, I'll definitely choose "Keep up the great work! I'll be reading!". While it is true that it is worthless in terms of improvement, it means a lot to me to know that people are reading and like my work, even if they aren't sure how to verbalise their reasoning, or even just don't have time to do so.

  10. #10
    Moderator AceTrainer14's Avatar Forum Head
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Posts
    4,227
    Blog Entries
    5

    Default Re: A Few Reminders about Reviewing

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelleo View Post
    @AceTrainer14;: Well, see, I feel that that kind of review is boring and not very helpful. Sure it's praise and all, but wouldn't you like to know WHY your readers think your story is so great? WHAT made them enjoy it so much? I certainly would. If there's one thing I DID learn from people that gave me harsh critique, it's that simple praise like that is useless. But this is just how I feel. xP
    This reminder isn't to discuss the merits of those types of reviews, I am largely saying that if you read a story, there is nothing stopping you from giving some sort of response even if it just a one line "Keep up the good work!" review. A review of a single chapter or of only a few should not be something you fret too much over. Even if you think they are worthless or boring, the author will probably still appreciate them, especially if they have no other forms of feedback. If you received no reviews for an endless amount of chapters, wouldn't you appreciate getting something as small as that?

    ^^^^ The GalacticVerse Bibliography (Thanks to Blazaking for Banner) ^^^^

  11. #11
    Clarion of Revelations Feliciano's Avatar Social Media Editor
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    Olivine City, Johto
    Posts
    7,202
    Blog Entries
    168

    Default Re: A Few Reminders about Reviewing

    Quote Originally Posted by Gama View Post
    Yes, I would prefer reviews that gave a little more reasoning. If the choice is between that and a one line review that says "Keep up the great work! I'll be reading!", I'll choose the more detailed review.

    However, if the choice is between "Keep up the great work! I'll be reading!" and nothing, I'll definitely choose "Keep up the great work! I'll be reading!". While it is true that it is worthless in terms of improvement, it means a lot to me to know that people are reading and like my work, even if they aren't sure how to verbalise their reasoning, or even just don't have time to do so.
    ^ THIS.

    Honestly my writing ego has been wallowing in the mud for ages now, and even just seeing that someone has left anything on one of my stories is a massive boost.
    ~ 3DS Friend Code: 5300-9399-4530~

    Heart of Crystal - a Crystal Nuzlocke challenge story
    "He had it comin'! He had it comin'! He only had himself to blame! If you'd've been there, if you'd've seen it, I bet you you would have done the same!"

  12. #12

    Default Re: A Few Reminders about Reviewing

    If you've read something here, anything, and ESPECIALLY if you like it, replying in ANY capacity is invaluable.

    I mean, a "like" is nice, but a comment that's little more than as "I like the main character" or "i like the way you described the battles", or "this is a really imaginative idea and I want to see more" can easily mean the difference between someone just posting one or two chapters and vanishing, and feeling appreciated enough to fine tune and persevere to the point where they actually complete a more ambitious project or continue writing short story type fics.

    Even if you don't feel "qualified" to give in depth constructive criticism, or don't feel like picking apart something like a grammar teacher (which actually isn't necessarily always called for), replying contributes enormously to the culture of the little creative subcommunity going on here.
    Last edited by SuperTrainStationH; 2nd April 2013 at 08:45 PM.

  13. #13
    Secret Sword of Justice Kelleo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    3,238
    Add Kelleo on Facebook
    Visit Kelleo's Youtube Channel

    Default Re: A Few Reminders about Reviewing

    Quote Originally Posted by AceTrainer14 View Post
    This reminder isn't to discuss the merits of those types of reviews, I am largely saying that if you read a story, there is nothing stopping you from giving some sort of response even if it just a one line "Keep up the good work!" review. A review of a single chapter or of only a few should not be something you fret too much over. Even if you think they are worthless or boring, the author will probably still appreciate them, especially if they have no other forms of feedback. If you received no reviews for an endless amount of chapters, wouldn't you appreciate getting something as small as that?
    I suppose that's true, yes. I see your point now.

  14. #14
    Brock's Pikachu LightningTopaz's Avatar Moderator
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Pokemon Stadium
    Posts
    5,788
    Blog Entries
    52

    Default Re: A Few Reminders about Reviewing

    Even just asking "I noticed you did X, any reason why?" allows the author to explain why they took the approach they did, especially if the reader doesn't get it at first
    My URPG stats: Maya's status

    SuBuWriMo status: 28,103 words in all!

  15. #15
    Moderator AceTrainer14's Avatar Forum Head
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Posts
    4,227
    Blog Entries
    5

    Default Re: A Few Reminders about Reviewing

    Considering we have gotten such a good response for this, I do hope to see everyone getting more involved :)

    ^^^^ The GalacticVerse Bibliography (Thanks to Blazaking for Banner) ^^^^

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •