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  1. Raven
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    Raven Banned

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    The Advanced Review Process

    Discussion in 'The Art of Critique' started by Raven, Sep 15, 2007.

    For those of you who've just tuned in, here's what it's all about. There has been concern on these boards in recent weeks that the review process on the board isn't all it could be. So, the great experiment is proposed. The intent of this experiment is to provide an opportunity for reviewers to focus their attention on a given story, and for the reviews themselves to be reviewed, in the hopes that we'll all learn better ways to critique!



    The system works as follows.

    Stage One:
    A Story is nominated, and its Author commits to the ARP. The following criteria must apply: the Story must be a complete entity (but may be one of a series); a reasonable attempt at spellchecking must have been made; the Author may not have had any work ARP'd recently (to favour writers who haven't been reviewed yet).

    Stage Two:
    A Moderator (probably Hulls Raven, Cogito) stickies the Story thread for all to see.

    Stage Three:
    The Story remains stickied for one week, in which anyone who wants to may review it. The writer may choose to respond to comments or not. This time period of one week may be shortened if the thread is quiet. (To support the Advanced Review Process, please add a related comment to your signatures!)

    Stage Four:
    The Story is unstickied. The writer has a further week to create (at least) two posts, one (or more) containing a new draft of their story and one (or more) responding to each review, stating where the writer agrees or disagrees with each comment made, and how the comment affected their redraft.

    Stage Five:
    The thread remains available for people to discuss the experiment - what kinds of comment are most helpful? What writing techniques does this writer in particular need to work on? How, in future, does a reviewer determine that need and should do they suggest it?

    And at Stage Four, the process may begin again!
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    This sounds like a very useful experiment. I'm assuming ARP stands for Advanced Review Process.

    I don't see this replacing our current reviews, particularly because on piece and only one piece gets the in depth focus each week, which just won't meet the volume of pieces arriving for review. However, it does serve a vital purpose in improving each participant's reviewing skills.

    The aithor's commitment is crucial to this process. I'd like to propose that the author be at least of Member status, which is to say someone who is not so new to the site that we have a reasonable expectation that he or she will be here throughout the process. Junior members will still receive the standard reviews as Reviewers are able to get to them.

    Lessons learned will be added to our body of recommendations in this, the Reviewing forum.

    Where will this be condiucted?
     
  3. Raven
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    Raven Banned

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    Here in the reviewing Forum. And then when the story is completed it will be stickied in fiction. Until the next review process begins.

    However you're right about the full member status. Whoever commits to this has to be 100% committed otherwise it will not work.

    Its experiemental but I'm hoping as a writing forum it generates interest.
     
  4. Weaselword
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    Weaselword Banned

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    First author to be reviewed should be a mod, probably--someone very experienced at/accustomed to receiving reviews.
     
  5. Domoviye
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    Domoviye Contributing Member

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    Can I offer up one of my stories? I know how to take criticism, and I don't consider any of my stories to be unchangeable pieces of art.
    I also have a bunch that are ready to be reviewed right now.
     
  6. Charisma
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    Charisma Transposon Contributor

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    I like this! I tihnk it's a great idea, Hulls. Like a training program for writers and reviewers. I think it will be a success. And I agree with Cogito on the member part. Of course, the first person could be a moderator, since this is an experiment.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I doubt that is necessary. After all, both the writer and the reviewers will reap a reward from this process, and Raven has already pointed out that the writer will need to commit to the process as part of the selection procedure.

    The selection process will probably be primarily based on the story's qualifications, and I would not like to limit the pool too much.
     
  8. Weaselword
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    Weaselword Banned

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    Do you mean in terms of word-count?

    2,500 to 7,500 words sounds like the right range to me?
     
  9. Raven
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    Raven Banned

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    yes you can.
    Or you could write a new one its up to you.

    All I ask is those that wish to submit one of their stories must be 100% committed please.


    Thank you.
     
  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    From nominated stories (nominating process still to be defined), stories that are reasonably free of spelling errors, are complete, and generally look like good candidates for a comprehensive review. Length may be a consideration, although nothing has been formalized for that.
     
  11. Weaselword
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    Weaselword Banned

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    Sure.

    I think that length would have to be a consideration. There has to be a ceiling (otherwise, when and if my turn eventually arises, I'll post a whole novel!)--so it strikes me that 7,500 words (being about the ceiling value for a "short story" in most publications) is appropriate.

    Whether or not there should be a lower limit is a knottier challenge. But it strikes me that it could be hard to justify the expenditure of time and effort on an ARP for a very short work.

    Hence the suggestion of 2,500 to 7,500 words for a prose piece.
     
  12. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Keep in mind that the selection process at this point is flexible. Several pieces may be nominated, but only one will be chosen at a time. The length will be looked at, but what constitutes a reasonable length is not set in stone. I don't doubt that most stories chosen for ARP will fall into that range, but I'd rather not set too many specifics yet.
     
  13. Domoviye
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    Domoviye Contributing Member

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    Alright I'll wait for the nomination process and enter. If I'm not accepted I'll make sure to review it.
     
  14. Raven
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    Raven Banned

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    The Word limit:

    1,500 to 8.500.
     
  15. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    I'm happy to take part in reviewing, but I don't have any story currently to submit. Is that okay?
     
  16. Raven
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    Thats fine. Both myself and Cogito and Lpspider will decide out of the stories submitted which will be posted. Everyone will get their chance at a story been advanced reviewed well the ones we recieve in submitted form.

    I will open another thread for you to submit you're fiction and from there Myself and Cogito will decide which will be advance reviewed.

    Thank you.






    ~Raven.
     
  17. Scavenger
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    Scavenger Senior Member

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    Here's an idea. What if new members were required to submit one (satisfactory) review to the ARP in addition to one review to one of the other pieces before they could post their work? That way, we know that they've at least had to make some semblance of an attempt at giving a good review, and aren't just trying to dash off a couple lines so they can post their own work?
     
  18. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    As much as I'd like to see new joiners not rush straight to the Review Room to post their work, I see that as a lost cause. The system we currently have gives a good enough indication of whether the new joiner is just fulfilling a requirement to get his or her material up, or whether they are willing to give the process a try.

    I'd nuch rather have people taking part in the ARP if they are serious about improving their reviewing skills. It is an opportunity, and I'd frankly rather not waste my time if someone is only doing it to fulfill a requirement.
     
  19. Scavenger
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    Scavenger Senior Member

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    Okay...but the whole discussion of late has been about people who aren't reviewing well. And the general consensus seems to be that people either just want to get their work posted or they don't know how to give a proper review. The purpose of the Reviewing forum is to help reviewers learn to review properly, right? Give them tips, etc.

    So why not make this ARP jazz more two-sided? So far, it's been set up for authors to get a good chance to really have their piece criticized, and then at the end to give some feedback about the comments they received. In essence, then, this is a process for the writer in which the reviewer helps, but does not get any serious review on their part.

    So why can't we make this a more interactive process? If we have new members posting in depths reviews pretty much as soon as they join, then the more experienced reviewers, who are reviewing the same piece can, in addition to their review, look over the previous reviews and give their insight? So far as I know, we have no process right now that actively responds to reviews, only one that gives hints on reviews yet to be created. In my opinion, that can only go so far. People need examples they can apply what they've learned to, and an active feed-back process provides the perfect way to do that.

    Now, we still face the problem of people who just don't want to review. We'll always have that problem, but then even those people will, by reviewing, get an idea of what is expected of this site, and can even, at that point, make the decision about whether or not they even want to stay. They will get a good look at what is generally expected of people here, and if they are willing to help other people and give substantial reviews, then they will, even if they are eager to have their own work posted. If they don't want to put in that kind of time commitment, they won't. I know this sounds kind of heartless and reminiscent of natural selection, but I think it could help somewhat.

    And now that I've typed all this, I suppose this doesn't even have to be the same thread. We could have two; one for the benefit of the author and one for the benefit of the reviewer, if people are worried about posting a work they want seriously critiqued and it's mandatory that all new members post on it. That way, those authors that want their work reviewed can post in the thread already created, and those who want to offer up their work for an interactive, responsive review process can post in a separate thread.

    ...This has all been brainstorming, in essence, so forgive any inconsistencies, etc.
     
  20. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Not really true. The author certainly benefits from an in-depth review, but the principle benefit if for the serious reviewer to imp[rove his or her ability to review. The fourth stage is the real payoff, where the effectivess of the reviews is discussed between the author and the reviewers (and that should probably be clearer in the process overview).

    Remember too that the author's work is probably also posted in the Review Room to get the same reviews that are currently given. The ARP does not replace the standard review. Whatever we do to encourage members to attempt reviews still takes place in the Review Room. The ARP is more of an advanced reviewing workshop, mostly for reviewers who already are giving more or less detailed reviews but wish to give better ones.

    We will always have a problem with narcissistic writers who want everyone to tell them how great their work is. And they will always be disappointed when they actually receive reviews. They don't tend to stay long, which is yet another reasons that reviewers tend not to go out of their way to review them.
     
  21. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I apologize for not really having launched the ARP yet, but I've been rather busy in my real world commitments for the last few days, and will probably be busy through the rest of this week as well.

    At this point we have three stories nominated for the ARP. If anyone else has a piece to nominate, now is a great time to speak up.

    I would prefer that stories being nominated be posted in the submission thread rather than just a link placed there. It makes it easier to look them over as a set.

    Thank you for your patience.
     
  22. Bluemouth
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    Bluemouth Contributing Member Contributor

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    Advanced Review Process

    It's been awhile but the Mods and Reviewing team have finally gotten somewhere with this ingenious idea.

    The call now goes out to any user on the site (who must be of member status) to submit their story. Now, story is a vague term, so you are more than welcome to submit a chapter in your novel, or even a longer than average short story and, in some cases, an entire novel/novella. The only drawback is that the piece of work must not be longer than 10,000 words (excluding novels/novellas). If you are wishing to submit a novel/novella then please inform me as, while this is possible, the timeframe to receive critique must be extended from what is stated below.

    How does this process differ to what is already provided on the site normally? It's simple. The writer chosen to have their work reviewed will receive special, private, dedicated treatment to their work over the course of a week. Reviewers will then reply with their comments, thoughts and corrections. It is no doubt a valuable process, beneficial to both writer and reviewer alike.

    To have your story chosen for this special treatment, you must make sure that general spelling and punctuation is correct. If you are not certain about this then ask someone or post a segment of the story for review in either the Short Story or Novel Critique sections first. If there are numerous submissions of good quality, then usernames will go into a raffle and the winner will be drawn randomly. There are no biases. Everyone will get their turn.

    To enter a submission for the Advanced Review Process 1, go here. Simply leave your comment of interest and then either post a link to your story, whether it be here or on another site. I recommend http://www.writing.com for posting your larger stories. Alternatively, you can e-mail your stories to Hulls Raven, Cogito, Lpspider, or myself if you feel more comfortable doing so. First entries will be looked at immediately and the winner for the first review will be notified. It is my personal hope the process will get well under way very soon, so make sure you submit early for the chance to get a well-earned, detailed review.


    Please note: plagiarism is not acceptable on this site, nor should it be elsewhere. Any work reviewed, the comments, plotlines etc. will remain confidential between reviewer and writer. We do not condone stealing others' ideas, so this will certainly never happen.
     
  23. JustinaB
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    JustinaB Active Member

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    I have 5 chapters (give or take) of a novel that I would like to submit. I can't submit the entire thing because it would be too many words for this experiment. Does that work?
     
  24. capatrol
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    capatrol New Member

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    I have a story containing 3,623 words titled WHERE AM I? that I'd like to submit for the Advanced Review Process. I see that you say to submit it "here". Where is "here?" Thanks, Capatrol 1-2-08
     
  25. Bluemouth
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    Bluemouth Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm currently busy working on the site Ezine at present, and so this program has once again been put on hold. I track all the submissions so I'll offer you when the time comes around (possibly shortly after Jan. 20).

    Until then, please meet the following requirements:

    - Member status (at least 30 posts)
    - 3 helpful reviews of any writing medium on the site

    I'll be in touch,

    -Bluemouth


    Edit: your story isn't particularly long. Perhaps you could get some opinions in the meantime by posting on the site? If you're looking for a private review then I understand and ask you to bear with me while I get through my current task.
     
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