Reviewer's Guild : Forum : An open discussion about revie..


[reply] [quote]

An open discussion about reviewing in general

11 Years Ago


So, what makes a good review?

     I think that a good review encompasses a few major points, and should follow simple guidelines.

#1 A good review, I think, starts off the review with positive things about the poem/story.  It should utilize examples directly from the passage and should extend into the realm of interpretation, but only a little (for now).

#2 The hard part.  It comes time to settle down and examine the things that didn't really strike you as all that poetic.  This is really a touchy situation on all points.  Because this involves going deeply into the realm of interpretation, one comes to a point where a poet is unwilling to receive your suggestions ("That's the way it's supposed to be written!" "This is my artistic way of presenting this idea!") and may even become hostile.  So one should always keep in mind what suggestions you're making.  Are you saying "This kinda confuses me but I can get the sense of idea.  Do you think there may be a better way of writing this passage?" or "No, I've heard this before.  Change it." or simply rewriting the poem for them?  Are you backing up your suggestions with reason or advice?  Are you overbearing in your suggestions?  I consider all of these things while writing this part the review.

#3 This is the gracious exit.  I try to become more immersed in the poetry of the piece.  What did I feel when I read this?  What memories did I have?  Did I laugh out loud?  What was my overall reaction and how can I keep this writer changing and evolving.  I don't want to overdo it (they might end up not recieving the benefits and humbling nature of reviewing) but I do want to encourage.  So I try to be a friend here on out; you know, the one that wants to always say "This is the best piece I've ever read"; and try to leave with the sense I wasn't trying to pick on them.  I'm just trying to help.

That's what I think a good review is.  This process become more involved as the piece being reviewed gets longer, so is there any way to shorten this process?

And what are we going to do about publicity?  How is everyone going to know we're responsible for the reviews that we give as the Reviewer's Giuld?

[reply] [quote]

[no subject]

11 Years Ago


There are many different types of reviews, and sometimes I'm a bit lost as to whether I should mark a review as "constructive" or not. Is it constructive to give a review that simply says, "Good job", and nothing else? Why is it a good job? It's basically the same thing to leave a review that says "This sucks" and nothing else. If you can't tell me WHY my work sucks, then why did you waste your own time, as well as mine, by saying anything at all?
Anyhow. Personally, I tend to only review something if I liked it, but if there are things I thought could be better, I point them out as nicely as I can. The most important thing, I think, is to not sound arrogant. I have been the recipient of very arrogant reviews, and they amuse me somewhat, but they're also annoying.
I used to worry about angering people who didn't want my advice, but now I've come to the decision that if somebody doesn't want constructive reviews from strangers, they shouldn't have posted their work for the world to see in the first place.
I guess everybody has their own ideas about what's "helpful" and what isn't. I'm appreciative if someone points out spelling or grammatical errors in my stuff, but sometimes I'll read a piece that is so overrun with these errors that there's simply no point trying to address them all. In these cases, I just state whether I liked the story, and leave it at that.
I don't believe in telling someone "how to write", because I think everyone should write however they want. Another thing to remember is that people write for different reasons. Some write with the goal of being published; others are just in it for fun. It annyos me when a reviewer gives me a list of reasons why my story would be thrown away on the spot by an editor. Who the hell said I was planning on sending it to an editor?? To me, there's only one rule when I write: I must, at all times, be having fun. If not, then there's no point.

So, yeah..."Don't be arrogant". That's my input on the reviewing thing, pretty much.

As for how to let people know who we are, how about putting "Reviewer's Guild" in parentheses after our profile names?
[reply] [quote]

[no subject]

11 Years Ago


Hm, simple, easy and objective.  I like the idea.  We'll mention it to the rest of the group when they get here.
[reply] [quote]

[no subject]

11 Years Ago


 

Thanks for the above.   I'm liking what I hear from you guys......don't have much to add.  I like talking about how to identify our reviews as from us.  I like just 'Reviewers Guild', but really taken with the idea of logo you spoke of, so that eventually we would be recognized by logo alone.  But new writers coming in need to know the RG....

I'm curious about the rest of the group - would love to hear from each of you on the interests thread.....(radian7 & I are personal friends of long years standing)  ...