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Fractured Illusion

@Squash

I agree with the misuse. And it certainly makes me as a reviewer feel like I've wasted my time when the author sits on a high throne, but review replies also show which people won't get anything out the reviews. This way you know not to bother with them anymore.

Just say thank you or ask to clarify, dammit

Quoted for truth.

Well, it could also be to, as Onar mentioned, get to know the author and mention something unrelated to the story. (Ie, reviewer says "This reminded me of This-Book" and author replies "If you liked that book then I think you ought to read That-Book because it's even better". Or something like that. Yeah.)

@Lefty

What? Shame on you! Mod of RG yet never review replying? Why I'd never! :p

5/2/2008 #91
Imalefty

hahaha, i, too was here before review replies. i didn't even know they existed until someone review-replied me. and then i was just like: oh, a reply! O_O

so uh, i guess i just haven't really replied to reviewers. i'm going to try to start replying now... :) so uh... bear with me. XD

-Lefty

5/2/2008 #92
Midnight In Eden

I love them. They're great for clarification (not whining) and to extend a thanks. I'm so used to them now that I get a bit :( when I don't get a reply.

5/2/2008 #93
Imalefty

aaagh, now i feel bad for not replying.... T_T how do you guys keep track of who you've replied to?? O.o?

-Lefty

5/2/2008 #94
Fractured Illusion

You should feel bad! :p

But after you have replied, if you try to click it again, it will say "You already replied to this person, like, duh." or something to that effect... It keeps track for you! :D

5/2/2008 #95
Imalefty

oh for real? O_O

awww, i feel so guilty now. I'M SORRY EVERYONE WHO'S REVIEWED ME!! I LOVE YOUUUUUU!!! XD

-Lefty

5/2/2008 #96
rassoodock

you know who gives the most absolute worst reviews ever? your best friends. seriously, i hate having my friends read my work. they are automatically biased to tell me that it's grand and wonderful and what not. i mean sure, i love my friends and all, but they can't review worth shit. does anyone else have this problem, or are your friends open with you and tell you when you suck eggs? you know who else sucks are reviewing? your parents. my father doenst read my stuff at all (then again, i dont see him very often) and all my mom ever has to say about it is that it's well written, but my subject matter is too dark/depressing/angry/sinful/profane. honestly mom, i dont want jesus to read my writing. what does he know anyways? he got killed off halfway through the most one-sided, obvious and contradictory book in history.

so, is it just me, or can no one you know in real life review correctly?

5/3/2008 #97
Fractured Illusion

so, is it just me, or can no one you know in real life review correctly?

I do believe that the people that doesn't like you very much would be good critics :p Problem would be to get them to read it for you, though... but with some money, maybe? Hahah. To be honest though, I don't share my "work" with my real life comrades and whatnot, so I wouldn't know. But I imagine either of the folling reactions:

1) wow, this is kinda cool, keep it up

2) haha, what kind of crap is this? get a job!

^^; Yeah. This is why FP exists, haha.

5/3/2008 #98
Imalefty

ahahahaha... my friends have me "review" their work all the time, since i'm actually brutally honest... ^_^;; i always warn them, though... if they give me their work, they can't get mad at me for giving them an honest critique. XD

i gave my fictionpress profile link to a few of my friends (not expecting much)... i wouldn't normally share my work with people i know, but when they ask me what i do in my spare time (since i don't go to dances and stuff, they assume i have loads of free time XD) i tell them that i write... which leads to them wanting to read it... they generally don't help THAT much in the way of concrit. that's okay, though, since i'm getting it here! :D

-Lefty

5/3/2008 #99
Otseis Ragnarok

so, is it just me, or can no one you know in real life review correctly?Well, I only know one person in real life who gives expert reviews.... Everyone else is sub-par at best...

5/3/2008 #100
angel953

I h8 review replies...lol they annoy me to .......

5/3/2008 #101
rassoodock

i need more friends. the only person in rl who gives me good and honest reviews in my boyfriend. everyone else just...can't.

5/3/2008 #102
Midnight In Eden

so, is it just me, or can no one you know in real life review correctly?

I have a few friends who are fabulous at giving con crit not least of all because they know my style and aims intimately. I'm friends with a lot of writers - poets, novelists, screenwriters - who are all about furthering their writing and as such, know that if they give me good con crit I'll return the favor.

Plus I've just formed a poetry collective with a few friends - very handy for getting solid feedback.

The only time I give my work to non-writers (my partner for example) is when I'm worried something isn't clear enough. Otherwise, it's just an exercise in futility.

5/4/2008 . Edited 5/4/2008 #103
KnittingKneedle

I know I couldn't because pretty much everyone I know in real life has zero interest in writing...so they would read it, and nod or probably just get bored of it...also I'm terrified of my friends seeing elements of themselves in characters, which always seems to happen unintentionally

5/4/2008 #104
Esther Jade

No-one in my real life is good at technical things but my boyfriend (when I can persuade him to read my stuff) is good at spotting plot holes and character problems. He is very picky about what he reads so he's always happy to tell me what he doesn't like. He just gets so stressed out by reading my stuff because he wants to give me detailed feedback that most of the time he doesn't even want to.

My mom, before she died, was also really helpful both at technical and plot/character stuff. She'd been a copywriter so she would always print out my stuff and then cover it in red pen. She'd never written fiction so there were lots of things she couldn't help me with but what she did know about she was very helpful with. Plus she was my mom so she would always spend however long it took to read and go over my stuff.

5/4/2008 #105
rassoodock

the sad thing is i have writers in my friend circle and my family. apparently, i had a drunk poet great uncle on my mom's side, my mother used to be a poet, two of my closest girlfriends are writers and another girlfriend of mnie is an avid reader, with an english teacher for a mom. i did, however, spend two weeks at slippery rock u last summer at an arts academy. i took college level writing classes with a bunch of kids my own age, and they were pretty damn good at reviewing. fp can be great and all, but sometimes you get the "OmFG!!!!!!!111111!!!!!!!!!! UR wr11tING RoX!!!!!!!!!!!111!!!!!!!!! r3v13w miN3 N3x7!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" or the typical "yeah, it's good" i think i'm going to force my mother to read my writing and give me an actual review. she already dissed me at the art show... what about english/writing teachers? are they any good, or do they have to follow their school guidelines? i have an old enlgish teacher of mine in my neighborhood, maybe i'll give him a try...

5/4/2008 #106
Fractured Illusion

When I wrote a stories for class, my teacher never really gave me any good reviews. All substantial I've learned is from the internet, haha (in constructing a story/getting tips from reviews, I mean). Maybe because my teacher was bad, I dunno.

It was back in 10-11th grade, by the way. With my experience, I wouldn't recommend it. She was just "Ah this is good. But there is a type/odd wording. A-". Not valuable at all. At least not to me since I wanted to improve. The crappiest writing I've ever done got A's and such. Blech.

5/4/2008 #107
Midnight In Eden

I never got any good feedback from my old English teachers, mostly because they didn't know a whole lot about poetry in a way that would help me.

University lecturers and tutors on the other hand are much more helpful - I think being in the Creative Arts faculty helps. I find that the best feedback comes from people I know well and who are on a similar level to me, both in terms of proficiency and style. I do like getting "cold" feedback from various people but the best comments I've ever received are from fellow poets.

5/5/2008 #108
angel953

My English teacher is really good at giving con-crit. She's not at all afraid to tell you if something really sux. She's quite honest and blunt. To most people, she comes off rude, but it is helpful to me.

Otherwise, I only know one person who can review well.......She is a much better writer than I am though....[thats probably why...] she's the one who actually got me started on this site........

5/11/2008 #109
Voxvocem

I prefer reviews from people I don't really know well. they provide an objective view to my work. my friends would be too supportive of me, and/or know too much about my story anyway...or, if they did critique me, I'd feel like they were insulting me. from someone I don't know, I can see what a casual reader would think of my story, as, in essence, that's what they are, and I would be less offended at an in-depth critique.

I also really like review replies, but I consider myself a sucky reviewer. :[ I'm really tolerant of stories as long as someone has a decent plot and writing style, so I can't really pick out some stuff to help them on. alas.

but if I get a review I consider very helpful, I always reply. some people can get confused at what something meant, too, and mentioned it in their review, so I like using that reply to thank them, clarify some things, and tell them what suggestions I'm going to put into action.

5/12/2008 #110
Sercus Kaynine

The most important thing to me in a review is, as Imalefty said all the way back at the beginning of this post, being specific. That really helps a lot. Was there a particular metaphor or joke that caught your eye? Cite it to the author so they know what the readers like. Is the plot not making sense? Tell the author what you're confused about. As obvious as some problems and strengths may seem to you, most of the time the writer isn't certain.

Another thing, on concrit this time, let's say you find tons of problems with the authors story and you tell them so bluntly. Well, why not tell them how to fix it? Think the characters are bland? Which ones? Did the author give slight hints of the characters' personalities? If so, tell them of some things to go off of. Even a "friendly" reminder to spell-check helps a lot. What good is pointing out the flaws of a story when the author doesn't know how to fix them?

I know that sometimes you feel that some people on this site have no writing ability, but if you want the reader to actually take your advice, you have to make them want to take it. You could leave a review full of concrit, but if it's all put in a negative tone, come on, do you really think this upcoming, inexperienced, probably not that emotionally stable author is going to listen? I don't. Try to make yourself seem helpful, if not complimentary.

As for the review reply topic that's been going around, I think a review reply is kind of a nice way to say "thank you" to your reviewers. It's also a helpful tool when you're not sure what your reviewer was trying to say and want to clear things up.

Well, that's about all I've got for now.

5/17/2008 #111
Fractured Illusion

This is a question to those who write poetry, mostly.

I know I like concrit: spelling, plot, characters. The works. But how about you guys? You who write poetry? How different is it for you? Is critique as important on pieces that are supposed to be from the heart?

6/2/2008 . Edited 6/2/2008 #112
Midnight In Eden

Trust me to get in first :P

Firstly, my stance is that poetry comes from the same place as prose - creative passion. I really dislike it when people write cliched poetry only about their lives and think it's publishable. Yes, it's called confessional poetry and yes Sylvia Plath was a confessional poet but her work wasn't trite or cliched and she worked very hard to make it publishable instead of falling back on dull imagery and phrasing.

People seem to think of poetry as some sort of outlet to vent and I'd say that's only justifiable when it's private poetry, which is one of my big distinctions. There is public poetry and there is private poetry. The latter is the poetry you write to vent about your life without caring about how an audience would perceive it. The former is where you're aware of an audience, not necessarily writing for them but aware that your work will be read and critiqued.

Thus I pretty much critique every poem like it's a "public" poem. That means looking at structure (stanzas, line breaks, enjambment), imagery, phrasing, punctuation, spelling, grammar, word choice and the poem as a whole. I feel that critiquing a story is different but not completely alien to critiquing poetry. It's easier to look at the poem as a whole than a story and you don't need to focus so much on a plot or character development (though when looking at epic pieces like ballads, it becomes more necessary).

I also believe that poems take a number of drafts until they're finished. I'm still editing and workshopping a suite of poems that I started writing eighteen months ago. So yeah, critiquing poetry is as important as critiquing stories for me.

6/2/2008 #113
Fractured Illusion

People seem to think of poetry as some sort of outlet to vent and I'd say that's only justifiable when it's private poetry, which is one of my big distinctions.

I wish more people on this site had that sort of distinction between private poetry and public poetry, haha. Would also be easier for the reviewers, to know if they really should be commenting on it or not. But your approach to it is good: assume they're public unless stated otherwise.

I suppose I've always had that assumption that poets are more sensitive to critique since it's supposed to come "from the heart" more or less.

6/3/2008 #114
Kyllorac

I agree with Meve. There are (or should be) two types of poetry: private and public. Sometimes private poetry can become public poetry, but not always. Personally, I'd never publish private poem anywhere a person could read. If they comment harshly on it, it feels like a personal attack, which isn't fair to the reviewer because they did not know of the emotional investment I had in the poem. That, and I don't like baring my heart to people I don't even know.

As such, for the poems that I do publish, I want detailed critiques. The more people tear them apart, the happier I am.

Also, depending on the poem, I'll leave a detailed critique, comment upon my impressions of the poem, or not review at all. Usually, commenting about your impressions of the poem is a safe middle ground if you're unsure whether or not the poem is "private". The author still gets some of the feedback they crave without being offended, though the quality of the feedback may not be such as if a real critique had been given.

6/7/2008 . Edited 6/7/2008 #115
LucienofShadow

The mistake many people make is that they write private poetry, and seeing as it perfectly suits their feelings at the time, think it's a masterwork which ought to be shared with the world. Or they want to share their despair/joy (usually the former) with the world, so they post it. And if they ignore it for a month, and no one comments on it, and they come look at it when they're in a different frame of mind and some time has past.

This actually happened to me recently. I was cleaning out my old room in my mother's house and, behind a set of drawers, I found a poem I'd written. Not sure when, could have been high school, junior high, or even earlier. In any case, it was from the POV of a computer trying to understand society and, at the same time, help everyone with their homework, breaking down at the end of the poem. The poem mimicked the famous Snow White line 'Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all.' only with 'Computer, Computer, in/on the (insert something that will rhyme here).' It was absolutely awful, but I have little doubt that when I first wrote it, I tried to share it with all my friends.

6/7/2008 . Edited 6/7/2008 #116
Johannas mirror

Mmmm, I fall in the middle on this issue. I agree that there is some poetry written for the author alone, but isn't the point of writing comunication? And, in poetry, I try to give as much of my insides to the outside people as I can. I want critique, I love critique, but I still put a lot of my personal emotion, my inner whatever down. Often I do this and post, making me a private poetry poster I suppose. However, I've always thought that that was somewhat...the point.

Hrrrm...I'm not sure if I explained that properly...

6/21/2008 #117
tabiscus

I think concrit is that much harder for poems, because they do come from the heart and a lot of them contain so much symbolism. It's the reason I've never really tried to review them, unless it's to fix the grammatical issues and whatnot. Not to many people want criticism on theirs, because ( i agree) they can be extremely sensitive about it and take it as a personal hit. And, of course, many people use writing as a way out or a way to vent...no, maybe they shouldn't necessarily put it up for public view, but I think that's what make a lot of poems that much more powerful: the raw emotion.

I've always been terrified to write poems, just because it seems like an entirely different world from just stories, and it's a lot more personal and more difficult.

Er, i think i might've either just restated everything everyone said or gone off on my own rampage...either way, these are what i agree with.

6/25/2008 #118
nequam

Fourth, DON'T WRITE IN CHAT SPEAK... PLEASE! Even if what you're saying is quite intelligent PLEASE don't type it in chat speak. Chat speak simply weakens the review - it makes it seem as though there wasn't any thought put into the review.

Irony;

iro·ny Pronunciation: \ˈī-rə-nē also ˈī(-ə)r-nē\ Function: noun Inflected Form(s): plural iro·nies Etymology: Latin ironia, from Greek eirōnia, from eirōn dissembler Date: 1502 1: a pretense of ignorance and of willingness to learn from another assumed in order to make the other's false conceptions conspicuous by adroit questioning —called also Socratic irony2 a: the use of words to express something other than and especially the opposite of the literal meaning b: a usually humorous or sardonic literary style or form characterized by irony c: an ironic expression or utterance3 a (1): incongruity between the actual result of a sequence of events and the normal or expected result (2): an event or result marked by such incongruity b: incongruity between a situation developed in a drama and the accompanying words or actions that is understood by the audience but not by the characters in the play —called also dramatic irony, tragic irony

I would drop it kiddo, you are woefully out classed...

7/5/2008 #119
Fractured Illusion

I would drop it kiddo, you are woefully out classed...

Excuse me, person, what point are you trying to make here? You quote a chunk of text copied and pasted, and give us this vague line. And you suggest Imalefty is outclassed in any way? By whom? You?

Am I to take it you are for reviews being completely in chatspeak?

7/5/2008 #120
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