Reviews for The Feng Shui of Review
Silverleaf of the Forest chapter 2 . 1/4/2012
I'm afraid I'm often guilty of 'meh' reviews. It's rare that they're only a sentences long, but so often they are full of those random 'I like peanut' comments. I am getting better, I think, and hopefully this guide will help too!
Silverleaf of the Forest chapter 1 . 1/4/2012
I never thought about it before, but you are so very right in your opening when you say that "it is ironic that, in a day when so many people would rather talk then listen, so few people review Fictionpress stories yet still clamor to hear commentary on their own work." Huh. I'd blame laziness more than anything else when it comes to my semi sporadic reviews.

Your advice on giving reviews is really helpful, and when I saw it I thought about opening up a review box but decided against it. For me, that takes away from my enjoyment of the story, or, in this case, essay, and I give that a higher priority than reviewing. I usually read through once and then skim over a second time as I review.

What you said about names is also true. In fact, I was drawn to you in part by your name. I wonder what my name says to other people?

On a different note, are you still returning reviews four years after this was published? If you are, I would appreciate you looking at "Rathsmantha."

Thank you!

The-Paigey-Pooh chapter 1 . 11/15/2011
This review on reviews ( to be deviously redundant) is what I hope can meet some of the "guidelines" that you implied! And, quite honestly, I realized how lacklucter some of my reviews have been lately, and I put myself into the shoes of the fellow author recieving them, and thought 'would I be impressed/educated/entertained by this?' ... and came up with the conclusion, that , no, I would not. Thus, I would like to thank you for adressing something that, although disappointingly prominent on the site, is a fairly original issue as of itself.

Best of luck with all of your writing and thanks again for the fantastic wake-up call on my 'reviews' and their quality! :)
Grimpeddler chapter 1 . 11/13/2011
I think you are extremely smart. That sounds like flattery dribble but it's true. I never though about keeping the review window open while I read a story. I think that would take away from the story though; I like to enjoy stories while I read them. Personally, I hate it when I go to return a review (I usually do that) and every story that person has written is sixty chapters long (That has happened many times). Of course, I agree with you though. I hate it more when every story someone has is too short. Boy, I am such a hypocrite for that. XD I get very frustrated on this site because nobody thinks about reviewing; they only think about getting reviews. On , I got about 24 reviews for one of my stories. You wanna know the biggest number of reviews I've gotten here? Three.

This was great to read, and funny too. Please review me back, any story that doesn't have a review would be nice :)
Radielle chapter 2 . 10/17/2011
You know what, I've printed this short essay of yours and stuck it on my writing wall. It's my way to keep what you've said in mind, both when reviewing and reading what others think of my work.

I would welcome the review you've offered in chapter 1, but you don't have to. By the look of your profile, you're as busy as I am these days. Good luck in your work!
Raven of the Shades chapter 2 . 7/26/2011
Wow. Actually, I didn't realize it until recently, but I am a giver of "meh" reviews. Good job on this!

Also- This is kind of a random question, but why did you call it the Feng Shui of Review?
disrhythmic chapter 2 . 7/25/2011
Oh, so brilliant. I agree 100%. I've only been on this site for a few days and I've already met three awesome just from review replies that turned into conversations. :) Brilliant advice.
Nikou chapter 1 . 6/1/2011
Very good tips on how to review. I am brand new to fictionpress, and haven't been writing for a while. It is nice to find so many interesting stories, and it has inspired me to start writing again.

As for the review tips, I have done a lot of reviews for other sites, and have my own formulas for reviews, though it is harder to bring them over to fiction reviews. I firmly believe in not slamming a person even if something is terrible.

Here is my formula:


How to improve

Compliment, and keep up the good work.

Obviously that is the very short version, and it can run into the hundreds of words (especially that middle part... jk). I find it is best if you search hard for a positive BEFORE you start looking at and talking about the negatives. Otherwise they tend to eclipse any positives present.

(BTW my previous review work was for people just learning English, and I would review their written answers to open ended questions designed to utilize the keywords they had just learned. You wouldn't BELIEVE some of the crazy grammar, misspellings, and just plain odd unexplainable word choices I saw!)

So overall, I thought this was an excellent essay, and gave me some brush up on my review skills. This is only the second review I've written since arriving on fictionpress (2 days ago), and it has invigorated my desire to do more.

Favorite tip: Open the review box BEFORE beginning to read and then review as you go along. Duh... Why didn't I think of that before? I've not wanted to do reviews after reading thousands of words because I don't want to go back through looking for the things I vaguely remember wanting to comment on. Great tip. Thanks!
Serendipital chapter 1 . 4/13/2011
Oh! Um...gah! I feel selfish, asking for a review on my story, FREAKS, BUT FAMILY...

I really loved this guide. I've always had trouble with reviews, wiether it was because of not wanting it to sound like a flame, or not being able to give constructive criticism at all. So, here I go...this is, frankly, awesome. I laughed quite a bit throughout it, especially at the 'Sage says' part. You didn't flat-out say that most reviews suck, which I appreciate. Also, you gave some encouragement, which actually helped me with my 'no one reviewed on my story, so I shouldn't even update another chapter' problem. So...thanks. My gratitude is larger than words, so I shall give a nervous 'meep' and leave. Bye!
Loqwell chapter 2 . 3/22/2011
Thank you for writing this; people need it. I also found it helpful in that I try to write decent reviews, and occasionally a simple "Do these couple things," like in your "How to Avoid giving 'Meh' Reviews," is just the push I need to get me where

I need to be. I also want to thank you for mentioning and creating your C2 Community "Pay it Forward." I'll definitely look into that. :]

GeoCorrea chapter 1 . 2/17/2011
I found your essay helpful. I'm new to the site, and I was really at a loss on what to do when reviewing.

First of all, the "why to review", in my opinion, is a must-read for all fictionpress and fanfiction users. The section "How to review" is a really good guide, because (like I said before) many of us newcomers don't really know how to write a good review.

The third part, "how to make the most of the reviews you get" doesn't only helps with reviews, but also with any kind of advice given. Same goes with "FAQS, sort of".

On the last part, I should comment is something many people know and choose to forget. It's good someone's reminding them that.

Finally, I want to thank you for taking the time of writing this. I won't ask you to return the review, unless you happen to speak Spanish.
bravesierra chapter 1 . 2/8/2011
I admit, I was browsing through Google and I was pleasantly surprised to have ended up on this essay.

Lovely essay, and it gave me a lot of advices on reviewing. I have to admit, I'm exactly big on writing reviews for stories because I always end up forgetting what I wanted to write in the process since I tend to have major writer's block when in the middle of writing something very important. And this gave me the incentive that you need to give and take in reviewing. Thanks!
iwillbealwaysadreamer chapter 2 . 12/20/2010
Okay, I'm really sorry if you reply to my last review, and then read this and think 'Oh, but I just explained to you what flames are!' Because I often forget what happens in chapters of my stories, so even though this only has two chapters, I'll definitely forgive you if you forget too! XD So I'm sorry if you just explained it out to me, all long winded, just to suddenly remember that you explained it out in this chapter and I do now know what a flame is. (XD)

And is that irrevelant?

Also, thanks for the advice! I'll most likely be reading it all again (what with my memory!), just to get things sorted in my slightly OCD mind (I might have to make notes), because it's all slowly beginning to slowly disappear already in the confusion of everything that's in between my ears (in that case, there's not much confusion, you can all stop panicking. Is that irrevelant?). So, yeah. XD I don't know what to say now. Should I leave you alone. Well, I will anyway, because I have nothing else to say...

To say I just read up on writing helpful reviews, that wasn't very helpful, was it?
iwillbealwaysadreamer chapter 1 . 12/20/2010
What about things that you would just like to say in response? For example, you were saying about the follow-the-links thing: I do that, where I find a story or essay or whatever that I like and I go to the author's page and maybe read some of their other stuff and review it if it appeals to me, and then sometimes if I've read everything I want to read, I go and have a look at their favourites and read those stories (they've been put on the favourite's list for a reason).

Would the author recieving that (aka, in this case, you) appreciate that?

And, also, I don't get the last bit: is this cliche ending the end of the review or the chapter? What actually is everyone else writing? (Bad reviews?)

Also, what actually are flames? I've asked that a few people now, and I keep getting different answers. Is it where someone reviews and basically says, 'this is crap, I really don't like it, it is a load of * and I hate it and there was absolutely no point in writing so much rubbish whatsoever' and that kinda thing? (I got an annoymous review like that once. It really hit home, so I deleted it, and looked to my good reviews for comfort, and thought about editing or rewriting, and then I disabled annonymous reviews.) Or is it something else? (Someone once said to me that it was where you put all this constructive critisism, trying to be nice and helpful, and then the author replies back stuff like 'are you saying my work's rubbish? I hate you, you're so mean for saying that!' and stuff. I've also been told that it's where someone's too picky with your work, picking up on every single tiny little silly typo and every single tiny grammatical mistake. So what exactly is a flame?)

And now I feel like that's not a very good ending to my review. Ah wells. XD
Mercutioslover chapter 2 . 12/19/2010
I'll fess up, I was totally looking for a different story when the title caught my eye. I'm completely jealous. Titles will never be my strong suit, but I greatly enjoyed reading this. I always mean to review more often on FP and a few other posting sites I'm on and then I never do because I feel like an idiot because I'm a 'meh' reviewer, and I was never sure what to do about it. Cheers!
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