Reviews for Funny People
Dragon made me do it chapter 1 . 6/15/2011
I found this story made an effective point about the writing process - very appropriate for this form! Well done :-)

Opening: the opening to this story is very clear and easily set up the reader into the flow of the story.

It invites the reader to share the frustration of 'the writer' at the absence of reviews for their writing. By being self-referential of the writing process, you can be safe on a fiction reviewing website that you will reach the right target audience.

Hopefully the reader will have the sense to continue reading beyond the writer's initial poorly-thought out assumptions. Here, you set the story up for your protagonist's self-development, to start from a position of ignorance and learn about oneself. Hopefully you can assume that because it is a short piece, your reader will bear with you here.

Writing: This story, as with other of your pieces adds a poetical element to your prose writing style which works very effectively to combine emotion and narrative- and through it to engage both the heart and mind. In the case of this piece, the emotion is not about as serious a subject of some, but is nonetheless they are in the feelings of a writer towards his or her reader and a sense of pride in this process. It then broadens to a sense of concern for and relationships with other people.

Despite this poetic ability, your writing style is not overly flowery, so it makes it easy to clearly follow the story and keep the pace moving.

characterisation: I see two main characters in this piece, the protagonist is the writer, and the other main character is the reader. This story engages the two in a dialogue in which both characters learn from each other, most importantly through the principle of reciprocity.

Even more cleverly, the writer becomes the reader and vice versa as they review each other's work in turn. In a sense, the character of 'the writer' is not the individual person who is writing, but a role that is played by alternate actors, just as is the character of 'the reader'. In a reciprocal system, it is like a game of tag between writer and reader.

For a piece of this levity, your central character shows surprising self-awareness, as they realise the character traits they are irritated by in another person are at large in themselves. Very few people are able to come to this realisation, and you often see somebody criticising somebody else suffering that they too do.

Dialogue: I have mentioned that I see this piece as a dialogue between writer and reader. it might be interesting to bring out this dialogue further so that the fictional 'reader' has more of a voice. Through doing this, the piece might have more of a feel of a Socratic dialectic than a moralistic tale, leaving the reader more open to choose their own conclusions. Perhaps alternative conclusions might be presented.

Theme: this issue cuts to the heart of the viewpoint of an individual within a society - do they see themselves as an individual person or a part of the community. Do they think about what they can give or only what they can get? I think partly this is an age thing, and with maturity people learn to see themselves as a member of society and not just a hungry mouth who is looked after by its mother. Would you say that a number of the people asking for reviews without giving teenagers? mind you, I have got some great reviews from teenagers!

Personally, when I came to fiction press, after uploading my stories, the first thing I did was to start reviewing, and I had done a fair few before I received any. I felt that this was part of my initiation process to allow me to be accepted into the group, as well as my education. By reviewing somebody else's work, you learn a lot about writing style, traps that you can fall into, what sort of ideas have already been put out there in the public domain, how to communicate sensitively and give criticism in a non-hurtful way.

I also learnt, through receiving reviews, that some of the most negative feedback can be the most productive, as long as he can swallow your pride and use it effectively. And you learn through what you want as a receiver of reviews, what to give others - not to just assume the writer knows you liked the piece and to say it explicitly, and to keep the criticism to very specific things that are fixable. As a 31-year-old, I actually feel like an elder in this forum ;-) I have therefore enjoyed being able to pass something on to younger people, even if I am not necessarily more knowledgeable than them on writing.

Conclusion: I think that your conclusion is spot-on and that it brings to the fore the idea that to receive, we must first give. To this you might also be able to add some of the benefits of giving itself (as I have outlined above), or also to make the morality a bit more open to allow the reader to choose how they feel. to receive, we must also have the humbleness to understand what it is that we are receiving in an ego-less way


'...why he could not convince anyone critique his work.' - insert 'to' after the word 'anyone'

Great thinking on this piece, I'm sure a lot of people will appreciate your idea! :-)
Lord Darling chapter 1 . 11/21/2010
You make a good point, endearingly too.
guppylove chapter 1 . 10/4/2010
This echoes true for many people.

It's the same for me as well. But I started out giving reviews before I knew I could even write like everyone else. But my reviews are not nearly as analytical.

I started with fan fiction. It was daunting, but still rewarding even if reviews are few. In my other profile, I promised to try and review as much as I can.

Now it just makes me happy if I could reach at least one person per story.
JuniperRhose chapter 1 . 6/29/2010
Wo! I completely agree with the need to return reviews. It's just polite!

I am sorry if my little author thing offends. :(

It's been a while since I've been on Fictionpress and while I like in theory that they added the "reply to a review" button, I've noticed people use that...and then don't bother to return the favor of reviews. Very rude!
Moon Ribbons chapter 1 . 2/19/2010
Completely true. This piece is great.
AzaleaMija chapter 1 . 1/24/2010
I would have been like Bryan, if you hadn't of assisted me. Thank you!
Ms.Sweet Pea chapter 1 . 1/9/2010
i came across this just randomly and i loved it. very true. i even went as far as searching fp to see if writer such as NotQuiteDemosthenes existed lol. if you dont mind id love it put -If you get a review, leave a review. If you click it, review it. Copy and paste- into my profile!
drink me pretty chapter 1 . 1/3/2010
Very true.

When people ask for reviews in a demanding way,

or if they plea to no end, I am not compelled to

review them. However, if someone simply states that

they are willing to return reviews out of courtesy,

it's a different matter entirely.

Great message, I wish more people would come to

the same realizations as you have.