What Makes It A Compelling Read?

What Makes It A Compelling Read?

A Chapter by Dr. YumnaKay
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Discussion And Opinion

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We all want to be appreciated. We all have ideas which we want to share and ask people's opinions about our works. But are we as willing to accept criticism over it? And by criticism, I mean, the constructive ones, not the trollish ones which have been quite a fun thing for some people around here. 

Sending read requests would mean, asking people for their opinion and see how they perceive your work. In regards with writing a story, I find it quite disconcerting when I receive a read request but with an author's note saying "ignore grammar mistakes". How on earth is one supposed to grow when they aren't even willing to accept the errors in their writings? While we can agree that we all have numerous ideas, but does that make you a writer? Forming ideas in words is what makes you one ( and I'm not saying it because I think I'm one). I for one, don't review works as a writer, I do it as a reader.

I have just one thought: Would we ever care to buy a book, be it fiction, poetry or nonfiction, if it had a whole amount of mistakes but of course with a lot of wonderful "ideas"? I think we wouldn't want it even for free. 
So, what makes it a compelling read? A good flow, an understandable write ( and this isn't about using good vocab either) and the need to approach it as a reader. Try reviewing your work as a reader before asking others to do that. And in keeping an open mind about it.

I agree, we sometimes write just for venting and ranting about, but in doing so, either we shouldn't be sending read requests or mentioning in the author's note about the context of it. It would really help a lot if the real writers here could be distinguished from "the just for fun" ones.



© 2017 Dr. YumnaKay



Author's Note

Dr. YumnaKay
This wasn't written as an angry retort or something. Just musings.. I would be glad if you came up with differing opinions regarding it :)

My Review

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This is an interesting write. I personally don't mind it when a writer says "ignore grammar mistakes," but they better not expect many views or reviews when doing so.

As for what makes a compelling write, I disagree with you to an extent. You said that a compelling write must be "understandable," and I kinda disagree. I'll put it like this: I've read many works on here that I didn't understand yet were able to evoke emotion in me. I've also read pieces where the lack of understanding was the reason why I didin't like it. That being said, I have to understand the poem to an extent: If I know (or at least think) that a writer is trying to be vague or obscure to create a desired effect, then I'll usually enjoy the read; but if I feel like the writer is trying to be clear and coherant yet fails to do so (thus making his or her work difficult to understand), then I'll usually (if not always) dislike the piece. It all depends on how I perceive the writer's intent (that being said, the intent must be clear, but the actuall write itself doesn't have to be).

I really agree with your point that a compelling write keeps the reader in mind. After all, readers are, of course, the ones who will read it.

I enjoy constructive criticism, but I really hate it when a review is too vague and abrupt. In the same way that a compelling write must keep the reader in mind, a good review must keep the writer in mind. That's why I like to use examples in my reviews; they allow the writer to get an idea of what I saw wrong with the piece. For example, if a review says "You should work on structure," then the writer has no clue what that means. It could mean grammatical structure, the structure of the story line, the versification (in poetry), etc. But if I say "You should work on structure; it will help your poem flow better. Try to keep the syllable counts uniform throughout each line. For example, in line 3, you could add a one-syllable word to make it flow better with line 4." In that review, the writer knows the issue that I'm addressing, which makes it much more helpful. I also enjoy telling not only what I see wrong with a piece, but also the steps the writer can take to fix the issue, as seen in the review above.

And lastly: Richard (the writer on the top reviewers page) has an essay/article about reviewing in his blog. If you haven't already, I suggest reading it.

- William Liston

Posted 9 Months Ago


3 of 3 people found this review constructive.

Dr. YumnaKay

9 Months Ago

William, thank you for sharing your thoughts here.
Perhaps, understandable wasn't the right .. read more



Reviews

Hi I was,delete my previous comment . I feel it it was maybe too sharp.i will be more talk about reviews how they are done here. One type is super sweet reviews. Where e everything is great but is not explain what and where. Lately I can see here lo of hateful review and,writing. Like there is,some war in between writers here. Also I can see here lot of abusive poetry special about women. Also lot of buying of young writers I just wonder why this haters are here and why they hate us.

Posted 2 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

WRITER-----------POET

2 Weeks Ago

Hi maybe i am too sensitive. For me personally is very strange when somebody use F or words. Specia.. read more
Dr. YumnaKay

2 Weeks Ago

I think you're right in that. Personally experienced the same regarding giving reviews but we really.. read more
WRITER-----------POET

2 Weeks Ago

Yes thank you too.
I love this. It's a justified rant done with good taste & a gentle spirit. I feel more tolerant toward those who have not mastered English, but I still agree with everything you say. Mistakes just aren't tolerated if you want to make serious money by writing (as a perfectionist technical writer for 30+ years, I laugh at those who state a goal of being a big famous writer, but too thin-skinned to even tolerate my softly-stated suggestions!) Anyhow, you've hit just the right note here, becuz being too harsh would turn away those who need to read this & really grasp it. Good job adding to the value of this website.

Posted 3 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Dr. YumnaKay

3 Months Ago

I've always valued critics from you or anyone sincerely doing that around here being not a master in.. read more
I see someone has stirred emotions here

Posted 7 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Dr. YumnaKay

7 Months Ago

More thoughts than emotions...
I don't do that many reviews on here but when I do - I try to differentiate between the "creative" side and the emotional response I get... and the "technical" side - ie the structure and the editing.

The creativity is much more important, because the technical side can always be sorted out later. But I do think that "writers" need to learn the technical aspects if they ever want to become "authors"!

I confess I did give a one star book review on Amazon just because the self published author clearly didn't know what the word edit meant. so many errors I gave up after a few pages!

Posted 9 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Dr. YumnaKay

9 Months Ago

That is exactly my point!

Thank you for sharing your thoughts here, ajmilton!
.. read more
This is an interesting write. I personally don't mind it when a writer says "ignore grammar mistakes," but they better not expect many views or reviews when doing so.

As for what makes a compelling write, I disagree with you to an extent. You said that a compelling write must be "understandable," and I kinda disagree. I'll put it like this: I've read many works on here that I didn't understand yet were able to evoke emotion in me. I've also read pieces where the lack of understanding was the reason why I didin't like it. That being said, I have to understand the poem to an extent: If I know (or at least think) that a writer is trying to be vague or obscure to create a desired effect, then I'll usually enjoy the read; but if I feel like the writer is trying to be clear and coherant yet fails to do so (thus making his or her work difficult to understand), then I'll usually (if not always) dislike the piece. It all depends on how I perceive the writer's intent (that being said, the intent must be clear, but the actuall write itself doesn't have to be).

I really agree with your point that a compelling write keeps the reader in mind. After all, readers are, of course, the ones who will read it.

I enjoy constructive criticism, but I really hate it when a review is too vague and abrupt. In the same way that a compelling write must keep the reader in mind, a good review must keep the writer in mind. That's why I like to use examples in my reviews; they allow the writer to get an idea of what I saw wrong with the piece. For example, if a review says "You should work on structure," then the writer has no clue what that means. It could mean grammatical structure, the structure of the story line, the versification (in poetry), etc. But if I say "You should work on structure; it will help your poem flow better. Try to keep the syllable counts uniform throughout each line. For example, in line 3, you could add a one-syllable word to make it flow better with line 4." In that review, the writer knows the issue that I'm addressing, which makes it much more helpful. I also enjoy telling not only what I see wrong with a piece, but also the steps the writer can take to fix the issue, as seen in the review above.

And lastly: Richard (the writer on the top reviewers page) has an essay/article about reviewing in his blog. If you haven't already, I suggest reading it.

- William Liston

Posted 9 Months Ago


3 of 3 people found this review constructive.

Dr. YumnaKay

9 Months Ago

William, thank you for sharing your thoughts here.
Perhaps, understandable wasn't the right .. read more
This has raised some interesting opinions, all of which, I find valid within their own point of view. One aspect appears to be missing, however. Should this site be solely for "serious" writing, or could it also be a source of relaxed recreation.

As one who is unable to comprehend , or interpret the more obscure "messages" in much of the poetry, I avoid commenting, as the fault probably lies with me, not the writer.
If, however, the content appeals to my concept of style, humour or philosophy, I will give it my accolade. I am prepared to accept corrections in my work, but academic criticism is so subjective that it is meaningless to a purely recreational writer ,such as myself.

'Perhaps I'm offering a slightly narrower viewpoint, but writing (and reading )is not always an academic exercise.


Posted 9 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Dr. YumnaKay

9 Months Ago

No, it isn't narrow. I wholly agree with you. Writing serves as a coping mechanism (as it does for m.. read more
Norman223

9 Months Ago

I think that these people write as catharsis and consider that anything less than sympathy or praise.. read more
Dr. YumnaKay

9 Months Ago

Well you, sir, have the right idea about these things. Thank you for taking the time.
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FIN
# On Receiving Criticism

Your work doesn't define you; you are ever evolving. Approach the analysis of a piece objectively: remove all aspects of personal attachment and scrutinize from such a stand-point. Use logic: if the reasoning behind any written choices made can be justified within the English language; even if others have offered their opinion, it becomes up to the writer to decide which direction is the best to go; if it cannot be justified, accept the critique as part as the evolutionary process of a writer.

## Recap
1. Your work doesn't define you.
2. Approach objectively (not subjectively).
3. Use logic.

Too many people approach analysis and criticism with their emotions, rather than objectively with logic. Reviews and the receiving of them are purely a logical action--the mind. If one understands this, no feelings will be hurt; and evolution of the writer is possible.


# On Reviewing

With that said, there are ways to approach individuals with a higher level of care. I prefer (when someone critiques my work) to be simple, blunt and straight-forward: (go for the throat) let's get this over with; I want to learn and evolve (and I've stuff to do.)

That is one way to approach, another is with a lighter touch and more careful wording (as careful as you can get it, without raising emotion); you wouldn't tell your four year old daughter "she f***ing sucks at art and should give up." Be kind. Be respectful. Be gentle, if one doesn't know the writer's (being reviewed) emotional maturity.

With that also said, it leads me into the *type* of reviewers "whom are arrogant" that can't handle any back and forth and take such as a battle, rather than an intellectual conversation attempting to land upon a solid decision. Which causes the same amount of emotional turmoil, yet this time within the reviewer, instead of the writer.

Reviewing and receiving a review carries interesting qualities to look upon.

In both cases, "the softer individuals" (getting reviewed;) and "the arrogant individuals" (giving reviews) haven't matured enough to critique and receive constructive criticism in such respectful or non emotional ways; they become too emotional... attached to their review or work. Hence emotions stir inside them both, unnecessarily.

One cannot look solely upon the writer; but also the reviewer, in order to come to a consensus on how to approach such.

It really is an art form; one must truly understand people in order to be able to gauge the level of response an individual can handle; and it also pertains to self control, as a reviewer, to not become too attached to their expressed criticism and be open for a discussion. (I know I do not take anyone's word blindly; so if I see holes in the critique, I'll express them).

Much love,

LR

Posted 9 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

FIN

9 Months Ago

And this is in response to the single question,

"But are we as willing to accept cri.. read more
Dr. YumnaKay

9 Months Ago

I totally agree with you regarding maturity and emotional level of the writers. Some of us just aren.. read more
I find a compelling read is something that hits several of my notes.
It usually begins with a title or a referral or a subject. Actually more these days with a subject. I 'know' I will enjoy certain reads because of the mood I am in. I never read anything that someone else says I simply must. And of course I have read something by that author before.
A small story. I was walking through my local town some years ago and a voice said quite close to my ear, "Read Ulysses". I of course thought of Homer first of all. I was still quite young and had not heard of Joyce. I actually joined the library then and there and in looking for references I found James Joyce. He has now had more influence on my thinking and writing that so many others. So perhaps another part of me knew. Or perhaps it was the collective unconcious that told me. Who knows?
I think that some of us on here can be that small voice for others. I think we probably are already within our cliques.

Posted 9 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Dr. YumnaKay

9 Months Ago

I like reading new authors and writers here as well. I agree, title is the first thing that really g.. read more
I agree - there's far too much sycophantic behaviour for the sake of a like return.
It been that way since - well - for a long time but it is a kind of bonding thing too Yumna.
Friends fear losing friends on here I feel, for the sake of a truthful review. Many review groups have been set up to address this problem. There are loads of them !!
The thing is, the Cafe used to have a cafe (i.e. a forum for chatting) but it was overrun by trolls and so people began to use the review sections to fulfill the role that the Cafe forum used to fulfill and it kind of snowballed from there.
It does get out of hand and like it or not it will always be part of the WC.
That's my tuppence-halfpenny's worth...
:))

Posted 9 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Tony Jordan

9 Months Ago

Haha - you mean you enjoy insulting me to see if I can 'bat away' the jibes - like a favorite uncle .. read more
Dr. YumnaKay

9 Months Ago

Hahah wouldn't even dream of it, Uncle Tony 😂😂😂
Tony Jordan

9 Months Ago

Bah ! kids these days....no respect ...

;D

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Added on February 18, 2017
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Dr. YumnaKay
Dr. YumnaKay

Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan



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