1. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Reviews Are Opinions!

    Discussion in 'The Art of Critique' started by Cogito, Oct 18, 2007.

    Whether you are an author or someone writing a review, you are bound to encounter reviews you don't agree with.

    The thing to remember is that every review is an opinion. It isn't personal, and don't make it personal! As a writer, you get to decide which suggestions work for you, and which ones don't. As another reviewer, you can offer a dissenting opinion, as long as you keep your response respectful.

    You may think the reviewer in question suffers from a craniorectal infarction - but don't say it.

    Focus on the writing, and express your thoughts about that. Not about the author, and not about the reviewer. If you have an issue with the formatting that affects readability, such as the lack of spacing between paragraphs, or a font or color scheme that causes you eyestrain, mention it but don't dwell on it - it isn't part of the content.

    This will all help to keep the reviewing process a cooperative quest for excellence, not an adversarial process.
     
  2. Kit
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    Kit Contributing Member Contributor

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    Soom good, sound advice as usual there. Just to add, it is important to remember that if you are reviewing something you shouldn't review to promote a reaction. By all means, say what you think - but if you're there just to flame something, don't bother. Whilst we're not asking you to totally sugar coat something, you shouldn't be agressive, thoughtless or tactless either.

    "This is rubbish."
    "I don't think this is any good."

    Yes, these are about the content. No, these are not helpful. Do try to be helful with your reviews, give a reason. If you can, then try and mention positives as well as negatives. The point of reviewing is to improve a writer and their work, not break them.
     
  3. InPieces
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    InPieces Senior Member

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    I agree. A review is always bias, and if you really dislike a genre (for example, i strongly dislike romance) and you review that genre, its bound to be a little more harsh than if you reviewed a genre you like.
     
  4. Charisma
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    Charisma Transposon Contributor

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    I think one should be neutral, and not to take any discrimination, let it be religion, race, gender (if any) to heart, instead review the success or failure of that work in explaining its prejudice, as impartially as possible. It is very true that one shouldn't feel offended by someone else's point of view. However, if you want to learn more you can always discuss but politely. And like Kit603 said, vague and abrupt statements don't help.
     
  5. AWR
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    AWR Member

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    Whilst I am not sure I am confident enough to review other people's work, I am really enjoying reading other people's reviews. I find it very instructive, particularly where reviewers differ. It's shows how different works resonate with individuals. Interesting what some think is important in the construction of the work as well.

    Its a good part of this forum.
     
  6. pegasi_quill
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    pegasi_quill Member

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    Course it is, AWR :). Reviewing is a vital part of writing. I mean, how can one possibly hope to improve without being able to review?

    Reviewing develops our skills at spotting and fixing problems, be they language related of issues with the story itself, plot/characters whatever. So, by reviewing other people's work, we ensure our own writing will improve. I mean, it's seems less likely you'll make a mistake you've spotted in somebody's else's work just the previous day, now, doesn't it?
     
  7. Cobra517
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    Cobra517 New Member

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    No doubt. Do not ever flame the reviewer--that's a BIG, BIG mistake.
     
  8. scribbledhopes
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    scribbledhopes Member

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    I have always tried to take harsh constructive critism constructivly and give Constructive critism gently.

    The critics job is to instruct and advise not to crush, the writers job is listen to what is said, and decide if it is good advice but respect the critic at all times.

    Not and easy thing to do.
     
  9. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    Okay....here goes....my first actual correction or critique of someone else's writing...are you ready?

    Coqito - you said "...suffers from a craniorectal infarction..."

    Instead of "infarction", I believe the proper term is "inversion". The root term "infarct" actualy referes to dead tissue resulting from insufficient or absent blood supply resulting in necrosis. A creative alternative might be "craniorectal impaction".

    Okay folks, did I pass your "review" criterion? LOL!

    .....NaCl
     
  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    (from infarct. (n.d.). The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Retrieved May 12, 2008, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/infarct)

    Trust me, I meant infarction, caused by the cranium obstructing the rectum! :)
     
  11. Steve Benson
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    Steve Benson Senior Member

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    You have to remember though that the classic "I like it." is probably the most useless thing ever. If that's all your going to put as a reveiw, don't even bother at all. It's nice to add to a series of minor edits though. But for god's sake, don't run around the forum posting fluff statements just so you can post your own work!
     
  12. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Well, is there any room here for a moderate viewpoint?

    Of course a review that mentions nothing about the content, the heart of one’s writing, is going to be a bit off-putting. But I think it’s a bit out of turn to tell members to ignore reviews that correct grammar or punctuation. A poorly constructed piece of work is a difficult piece of work to read and will, more often than not, turn the reader away within a few lines.

    If the piece matters to you, if it matters that someone gets to the heart of what you are trying to express, then it should matter that you present it well. No?
     
  13. ChimmyBear
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    ChimmyBear Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have to agree with Wrey here. I truly believe punctuation and grammar matter. How could one just dismiss or ignore a reviewer because they make mention of it? I don't want to waist my time on nit picking a piece of work, but a gentle reminder and perhaps an example, are a necessary part of the review...in my humble opinion.
     
  14. Steve Benson
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    Steve Benson Senior Member

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    Yeah, it's kind of embarrasing submitting a technically flawed peice to something important or to a teacher as homework, so technical editting is very much so welcome. At least in my eyes.
     
  15. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    While I agree that you shouldn't ignore grammar tips given, I think that what was meant by the comment that you can ignore a review was as follows.

    I have just reviewed your work. I have told you what I do and don't like. I have told you where I feel that you could improve upon it. I have pointed out that the grammar in certain areas needs work, etc...

    But you read my review and you think..."excuse me miss high and mighty but where do you get off telling me that the way my character is described should be changed?"

    or

    "You uptight sod! My imagery has nothing wrong with it and that stanza was fine!"

    It is in those cases where we mean you can ignore a review. A review is just a opinion from another person and by no means are you forced to do what a reviewer suggests. But it is good to think about it. Just depends on the kind of review that is offered really.

    <hope that helps>
     
  16. Gloom Kitty
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    Gloom Kitty Banned

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    I agree with what’s been said so far. However there is one issue I would like to bring to light and yes I do remember the use of tact whilst stating this. Most people who write, write to eventually become a published author. I’ve had enough rejections to pretty much know some of the things an editor doesn’t like trust me. I try to review in a standard that an editor might. I agree on sharing what I did enjoy about what’s written as well as what’s not. But a writer cannot flourish in his or her skills if she doesn’t get the truth about what isn’t to good about her or his writing.
     
  17. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    You are correct Kitty.

    The train of logic in this thread is somewhat disjointed because a very crassly written post was removed which basically stated, “Ignore all people who try to correct your grammar or punctuation.”

    My post and Chimmy’s agreement to my post were speaking to said removed post.
     

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