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.


© 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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Featured Review

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 3 Years Ago


3 of 3 people found this review constructive.

Dr. YumnaKay

3 Years Ago

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



Reviews

I shut off my read-request option a long time ago. I think I've sent out a total of two of them. I once put in my two cents about that pesky phrase regarding grammar too. I think people just want compliments. They're eager to get that adrenaline rush and don't care about how they write. They're under the impression the ideas are good enough. I like your take on this. Nice one. :)

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Dr. YumnaKay

1 Year Ago

Ah, I haven't turned off my RR, but I like reading anyway whether or not I review, but yeah, I don't.. read more
Here's a question for you: Do you think it is better to explain the meaning of a poem in the description, or to leave it open to interpretation?

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Dr. YumnaKay

1 Year Ago

I appreciate your thoughts in the review below and do agree too about the sharing of ideas part esp... read more
ellemorell

1 Year Ago

I tend not to explain my poems at all. The ultimate is when someone really gets it, but it doesn't a.. read more
I think people write for different reasons, not everyone cares about formatting and being grammatically correct, but more about the sharing of ideas held within the words themselves. I hear your point though, and personally I enjoy both elements. I rarely send read requests and I never leave a review unless the piece has really struck me in both content and the way it has been crafted.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Yes, I largely agree with you. I do find it off putting when it starts with the ignore grammar mistakes request. Generally I'm not keen to read the piece. I do feel that the writer should make an effort to correct any mistakes. I don't quite understand why spelling mistakes are left when WORD will highlight any mistakes. I do have several provisos regarding grammar. First, the writer's first language may not be English, and secondly they may not have the technical skill or education to put it right. There is another issue that is the corollary of this and that is that readers seem to ignore the most blatant errors and give a glowing review. In one case the title was wrongly spelled and no-one seemed to notice. Surely we should be trying to help each other constructively.
Thanks for your thoughtful views on this and lets hope that it makes a few others think.
Regards,
Alan

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Dr. YumnaKay

2 Years Ago

I agree with your point regarding the reviewers here leaving a glowing review. That almost seems to .. read more
This is an honest approach regarding writing and reviewing. You elucidated that there is infact another angle in this, the reader. Reading as a writer, your work seemed 'ok' but as a reader, you were indeed compelling. As a reviewer I don't comment anything, as I myself don't consider me a better reviewer.

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Dr. YumnaKay

2 Years Ago

Well, I'm glad you found my work ok (something which I have still trouble accepting). I don't call m.. read more
aarpee1234

2 Years Ago

Please do not take my 'OK' as demeaning or anything otherwise. What I want to impress upon you is th.. read more
Dr. YumnaKay

2 Years Ago

Actually, I think as a reader we expect a lot. A writer would know what he or she is looking for and.. read more
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 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Dr. YumnaKay

2 Years 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 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Dr. YumnaKay

3 Years 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 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Dr. YumnaKay

3 Years Ago

That is exactly my point!

Thank you for sharing your thoughts here, ajmilton!
.. read more

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

Pakistan



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