1. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    The Wallflower Review

    Discussion in 'The Art of Critique' started by Wreybies, Dec 3, 2009.

    Strange, isn’t it, how sometimes a dynamic can create its own momentum and suddenly it seems as if it is running on automatic.

    Such is a dynamic I notice with some pieces submitted here for review. It may be that the subject is popular (vampires - I’m not giving an opinion, just saying) or that the piece has a comedic side to it that lends to an enjoyable read.


    What of the Wallflowers?


    What of those works that shuffle back first to Page 2 (still some hope), then to Page 3 (hope is dwindling), then off to the oblivion of Page 4 and beyond?

    I would urge you… no, not you. Us. I would urge us all to take the time to give attention to the items that have seen less favor, less attention. Fewer signatures on his/her dance card.

    It’s easy to come into a thread that is just rolling with reviews and scan the reviews, cherry picking the things we wish to repeat to the author. Much more challenging is to start from scratch on a piece that has received little attention and give an opinion that is truly fresh and relevant.



    To the Wallflowers:

    Have you looked over your formatting?

    Are you a wall-o-text? (Very hard to read items with no paragraph breaks)

    Have you yourself given cursory, shoddy, limp reviews?

    Are you a 3 Post Wonder?

    Have you made off-putting statements like:

    “Sorry, I know it’s full of mistake.”
    “I didn’t have the time to check it over.”
    “I hate grammar police, read it anyway.”​

    These may be the things you need to spiffy to avoid being a Wallflower.
     
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  2. Agreen
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    Agreen Faceless Man Contributor

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    I agree. I don't review nearly as much as I'd like to any more, but when I do it's almost always going to be something that was overlooked.
     
  3. Kas
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    Kas Contributing Member

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    I also agree. I don't usually review any piece that has already been eviscerated and cast off the balcony, unless I have a very different point of view. It has been a long time since I posted in the review room, though. I have a hard enough time keeping up with private requests, though I am getting caught up, at last. Only three left in the queue!
     
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  4. LadyLazarus
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    LadyLazarus Senior Member

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    I only tend to review things that have three or less reviews. Though that's less about helping people with fewer reviews and more about me hating to repeat what other people have already said.
     
  5. Evil Flamingo
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    Evil Flamingo Contributing Member Contributor

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    I usually only review those that have been sparsely reviewed or if I have something new to add to the table. Useless reviews are infinitely irritating to me (although I think I am a hypocrite in one review I did here), and these repeat reviews are almost as annoying as the "good job" review. If it's great work, PM the person, don't let their piece file into oblivion with useless reviews. This is probably a reason for people to leave the forums.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I don't always read the other critiques first. I do better if I am not influenced by what other people have already pointed out. If that results in duplication, so be it.

    Unfortunately, as a moderator, I don't always have a choice. I've had to at least take a quick glance at the other posts, so I generally know already what kinds of things people have seen. It gets in the way sometimes.

    I prefer to only look at the other comments AFTER I give my initial feedback.
     
  7. Speedy
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    Speedy Contributing Member Contributor

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    Same way. Up to the point of two or three previous reviews.

    I have not reviewed anything in a LONG time, which isnt or wasn't an issue until right about now.

    I am trying to find something to review and its either, been reviewed over the limit i will touch, or completely bore me and i just don't find it worth my time.

    Makes me feel bad on who i am, i don't know...I would love to find that passion in review again. It only helps make one a better writer to a degree.

    *sigh*
     
  8. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    You're not the only one Speedy. A good bit of what made this thread come to mind for me was my own realization that I had slacked off entirely on doing reviews. It was as much a message to me myself as to anyone else.
     
  9. Speedy
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    Speedy Contributing Member Contributor

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    I just don't know how one can get "back into it"

    You don't want to know how many i've spent half and hour on and just gone...."no, no, no" and clicked out of.

    At ifrst i thought whats the point, this person wont get it if they didnt even edit the SPaG through word, then i though nah its poor form on my behalf, then went back the the original though etc etc.

    nd them i'm like, you know what this is just boring..it's like somehow i think i should be reviewing worthy peices (which i know, we all know is stupid), but whats odd is i'm writing lots these days and when i was reviewing before its wwhen i was writing.

    I guess some things go as they come and don't really have answers.

    (Sorry, early morning and i have a few coffee's in my system)
     
  10. Agreen
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    Agreen Faceless Man Contributor

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    I've felt the same way- I think I went a couple of months without reviewing anything. I even felt a bit intimidated by the thought of doing it again, which is a bit silly because I can't think of any really bad experiences I've had reviewing on this site. It probably isn't a coincidence that my time not reviewing was also when I wasn't writing as much as I'd like. As for starting again, it just happened, and it worked for me.

    About not reading other comments first- again, I agree. I prefer to look at a piece with a fresh perspective, without being influenced by what other reviewers have said before.
     
  11. LordKyleOfEarth
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    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

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    I look at wall flower posts differently. Often they are neglected because they are not poorly written, but they are not great either.

    Badly written things are easy to review and often get posts from newish members (I suspect because it is easy to see where improvements are needed, as the author told us at the top of their post with, "I suck at teh spelling and gramer.")

    Well written pieces get lots of support, "Great job", "Loved it", "OMG that was SOOO Funny!".

    Wall flowers fall in between. There are no obvious mistakes, but something is wrong. You have to think. It takes time. That is the problem, the reviewer has to spend some time and effort on it.
     
  12. hoodwinked
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    hoodwinked Member

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    I don't quite understand what a Wall Flower post is. ./me feels silly
     
  13. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The term wallflower (one word, by the way) refers to a person who attends a dance but ends up just standing, lonely and unnoticed, along the wall. A wallflower thread, in this context, is one which stands and waits to be noticed, until it fades into obscurity.
     
  14. hoodwinked
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    hoodwinked Member

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    Thanks, Cogito! I understand now.

    ./me is a goofball
     
  15. Cheeno
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    Cheeno Contributing Member

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    I haven't reviewed here in so long. I actually feel guilty about it, but the truth is I've simply been too busy elsewhere with real-life and what-have-you. I think I'm going to start reviewing again. No, I know I am. Thanks for bringing this up, Wreybies. If anyone wants me to check their work out, just drop me a line and I'll get onto it.
     
  16. writewizard
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    writewizard Contributing Member

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    I avoid this problem by not reading any of the other critiques until after I've critiqued. That way my critique is fresh, origonal, and my own. :)
     
  17. bluebell80
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    bluebell80 Contributing Member

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    I've seen the wallflowers, I've tried to review some of them, but like Speedy said, I'm just too bored with it, or see soooo many problems that I'd go over the post limit and spend 4 hours typing out one review.

    Because I have limited time now, I only read things that I like. I'll give every post a chance by reading the first paragraph or so when it is posted, but more often than not, something about the story doesn't sit well with me. Either the genre is just so over done, or it's yet another emo piece about a self-loathing character trying to off him/herself, or any of the other things that turn me off the piece within the first few lines.

    A lot of times I'll be writing a review and I'll find that I haven't found anything good with the piece at all, that everything I'm writing is negative red. I'll usually close out of it half way through, because I don't desire to be that harsh with people. When I can't find anything good with a piece, I won't review. It's usually just some newbie looking for support, so I don't want to dash their dreams of being a writer by telling them they suck ten ways to sunday. So, I back out of it and decide not to review.

    Guess it's the old Golden Rule coming back to me, "If you can't say SOMETHING nice, don't say anything at all."
     
  18. Fatherof5
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    Fatherof5 Member

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    I agree. One of the real problems is that we tend to either be grammer police or say we love it. Few people seem to comment on the overal feel and flow of the story.

    Also, we need to help more with charactorization. It's the difference between good writing and great writing. I would like to see more charactorization help in the reviews. THAT would help more of the middle-ish pieces you talk about.

    Chris
     

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