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Writers Against Bad Reviews! : Forum : What do you consider a good re..


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What do you consider a good review?

8 Years Ago


One of my friends said today "There is no such thing as constructive criticism. Only criticism." It made me so mad that I wanted to give up and never review anyone again. This friend has messaged me before about my reviews on her stuff, saying I'm wrong. Now, I can be pretty harsh (with prose, mostly, not so much with poetry) but I assume that's what people want. That's why you have people look at it. IBut maybe I'm doing it wrong? Not that I can think of any other way to do it, but many of my friends on here say they want real reviews, and help on improving thier writing, then get offended when I do it. I genereally copy and paste things that i find that need fixing and correct it for them, tell them where techniques need to be improved on, and where things worked well. It's just the way I do it. How do you guys give your reviews without offending everyone you come into contact with?
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Re: What do you consider a good review?

8 Years Ago


I personally like a review that tells me what I did wrong, and how I can improve. Also, I like to be shown where I did right. Everybody likes that pat on the back. And that leads me to my first rule of editing: If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything. Literally, if you can't find something to tell the writer they did right or well, then don't leave any critique at all.

Secondly, I will quote areas of bad grammar/spelling with corrections, unless the work is riddled with them, in which case I'll tell the author they need to check their grammar/spelling.

I do mention plot holes and inconsistencies and flat out impossibilities. I do try to offer suggestions on how to fix these if I can.

I tend to leave over all plot and technique alone. Really only skill can fix those. I have gotten somebody very upset once doing this and have decided to leave it alone in the future.

Very important, check the writer's profile page. Many writers here are under 18. Although some kids want real reviews, most just want an adult who is not mom to tell them they can write. In this case I fix grammar and spelling and otherwise only mention the positives about their works. No positives, no review.

Although I'd like to think that everybody here is like me and wants the harsh critiques that will help me make my stories the perfection they could be, many are still children at heart and just want to be told they're the best. Remember Big Al. Keep in mind that you will offend and upset people and be prepared to offer a heart-felt private apology, delete the offending message and block/make a mental note of the author so as to avoid them in the future.

That being said, the occasional "Good job" is nice, especially if you do a lot of editing on a particular author. Once in a while, that really can feel uplifting to hear, especially when it's from one of us hard a****.
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Re: What do you consider a good review?

8 Years Ago


I like reviews that tell me what I'm doing wrong AND what I'm doing right.  The more specific, the better.  "The scene where the protagonist finds out about her brother's new job was confusing because I thought she already knew, according to what she said to him on the telephone" is MUCH more helpful than "The plot didn't make sense."  It is helpful when someone catches a typo (everyone makes them sometimes), although it is NOT helpful when someone makes dozens of "corrections" to my grammar that are themselves flat-out wrong.  (This happens more often than you may realize.)

Basic reader feedback is helpful, but it needs to be THOROUGH.  You don't have to know a lot about writing as long as you pay attention to what you read.  Always look at the author's notes before reviewing.  (It is the author's responsibility to HAVE notes for reviewers.  If you don't say "Ignore the grammar for now and focus on the flow of dialogue," you have no right to find fault with a review for addressing grammar problems.)  If the author has specific questions, answer them.  Answer them with more than a simple yes or no, even if they are yes-or-no questions.