What Makes It A Compelling Read? | WritersCafe.org | The Online Writing Community
What Makes It A Compelling Read?

What Makes It A Compelling Read?

A Story 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.

© 2018 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 1 Year Ago


3 of 3 people found this review constructive.

Dr. YumnaKay

1 Year Ago

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



Reviews

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 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Dr. YumnaKay

1 Year 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 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Tony Jordan

1 Year 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

1 Year Ago

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

1 Year Ago

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

;D
First paragraph is so very true. I pesonally try to be as constructive as I can when reviewing peoples work, yes I have been generic with some. But I thnk quite a lot are guilty of doing that.

When I see a good piece, I appreciate the time and effort which has gone into it and try to be as helpful and structured in my review. You are right in saying that nobody would buy a book if it were littered with errors - editors would get a harsh time and authors woold suffer. Writing a book takes an awful lot of thinking, time, patience and a lot of planning too. There are good writers on here which their story deserves much more attention than what it actually gets - such a shame, but hey....

Good piece and good points.

Mark.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

matrixmark

1 Year Ago

Good job...what I mean't was when thats all they put. Putting good job at the end of everything is c.. read more
Dr. YumnaKay

1 Year Ago

Of course!😉

I feel more at ease after putting whatever I think into words and pos.. read more
matrixmark

1 Year Ago

I applaud you. clap, clap, clap.

Mark.
I actually quite enjoy constructive criticism, it helps you grow as a writer I think :) I'd rather know about my mistakes then not, I don't want people reading my stuff & seeing a bunch of mistakes. I strive for perfection if at all possible lol.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Kesha

1 Year Ago

Haha no, it's the name of one of my favorite songs, "Where does the good go" by Tegan & Sara. :) lol.. read more
Dr. YumnaKay

1 Year Ago

That's an interesting name 😉
Kesha

1 Year Ago

Haha thanks :)
I have been to this site a year ago too but I was so frustrated by this exchange system of reviews that I deleted my account.
What you wrote is absolutely right. Tolerance level of writers here is Shrinking day by day..they are not able to take constructive criticism well. They get offended very easily.



Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Dr. YumnaKay

1 Year Ago

I would say, not all are like that. I've been here for the past few months but I've grown quite fond.. read more
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Gee
Thing with reviews of works on here are many are only written to garner a return review, so smoke is blown up far to many arses. Many a time brilliant, magnificent, extraordinary are words applied to bog standard average writing.
Honest critiquing is required, and by the way I'm shite at reviewing, otherwise the average will remain so or perhaps plumb even greater depths ( lows)
Cheers

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Dr. YumnaKay

1 Year Ago

That is one of the other rules i disagree with. Of reviewing people's work to get a review in return.. read more
Gee

1 Year Ago

You're welcome
Hmmmm... I wonder if people should only send read requests once the final draft has been edited to their best ability. Maybe if they informed the reader that it's just an idea in the comments but also welcome constructive criticism, it would help... I personally don't read request, unless it's for my book and that's only because I need the constructive criticism to help improve grammar, spelling, etc.

Sorry for waffling... I hope I helped..


Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Dr. YumnaKay

1 Year Ago

Dyslexia can't stop you from being a writer, Jessie! If anyone has the potential, it's shown by the .. read more
J.A. Blackwell

1 Year Ago

Thanks girl. You're so kind :) of course! I figured you were just ranting lol.

It's .. read more
Dr. YumnaKay

1 Year Ago

I wouldn't be forming opinions about me if I were you but thank you! 😛
I agree! It really .. read more

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Added on February 18, 2017
Last Updated on August 20, 2018

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Dr. YumnaKay
Dr. YumnaKay

Pakistan



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