EveKnight75

How do you review?

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In the Megan Consoer thread, Yhitzak brought up a good question that I think would make for a a good topic here.

How do you review a fic? Everyone goes around reviewing fics in a different manner. Do you review every fic or just the ones that leave an impression? Do you review only to give advice? Do you tend to be brief or lengthy with your reviews? What kind of tone do you usually have? What do your reviews usually revolve around?

The list of questions could go on forever. What is your personal reviewing style? Don't be afraid to be honest. We have a pretty good idea of what type of review you like to receive (plenty of threads about that), but we haven't really touched upon this side of things.

---------------

I don't review very often. In turn, I don't complain about receiving a small number of reviews. I don't want to leave one-liners or irrelevant reviews because it's just not me. When I review, I want it to be well-rounded. That shouldn't come as a surprise to you. I don't post comments on threads too often, but when I do post it's lengthy and detailed but relevant. My reviewing style is the same.

I try to say something about every fic I read but that's just not possible for me and there are times I feel slightly guilty about it. Then again, I remember the golden rule. I myself prefer concrit, so that's what I give out. Don't get me wrong - I do try to appreciate the one-liners, but you reach a certain point where "OMG I luv it PLS update!" just grates on your nerves.

There are times when I consider re-thinking my reviewing style but then I receive a PM from someone. On FF, whenever I leave a review on a fic, I almost always end up getting a PM starting off with a huge THANK YOU! These people find it refreshing to read a lengthy, well-rounded review which touches on several different aspects of their fic. They like the fact that there's someone out there who puts that much care into a review and gives them more insight into their own fics and writing style. It's a nice change of pace from the one-liner.

I love receiving those PMs. I also like the PMs where members personally ask me to review their fics after reading a review of mine on another person's fic in the same fandom. It's a great pick-me-up. It helps me realize that there's honestly nothing wrong with my reviewing style. I may leave few reviews, but I make every review truly count and it shows.

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My reviews could be reviewed in and of themselves.

Kee hee hee.

If there were a reward for reviews, I'd win

LOL

(It's my one weakness, and I will burn for it)]

Pride cometh before a fall.

I'm doomed.

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It depends for me. I sometimes leave a one liner saying that I really liked it, please add more (although in different ways!) Sometimes it can be lengthy, depends on other demands on my time.

Other times I may copy and paste my favourite part of that chapter.

I leave off concrit or nasty comments; I don't mind recieving concrit, I'm just a bit nervous handing it out. And if I don't like a fic, I just stop reading it therefore stop reviewing it. I see no rhyme or reason to those that flame.

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I'm usually pretty nice when I review. If I like it I say so if I don't I might give a liuttle advice or keep my mouth shut.

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Usually, I review if the story left an impression. If I feel the need to say something (good or bad) then I do. For the most part, though, my reviews land on the positive side of things... not just "that was good, please write more", but specifically what I liked about the story, or the author's style. I will leave suggestions and what not if I feel the author really needs to hear it (and now that I think about it... don't we all need to hear it from time to time... think.gif hmm... may have to change my style.)

Anyway, I like to hear what people like about my stories (specifically!) and so that's what I leave for others. smile.gif

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Guest Adara

The kind of review I leave depends on the kind of story I read. If the author is just starting off (they usually say so.) I usually leave a "keep it up!", "Just work a little on..." kind of review.

If the author is seasoned, that is to say if they have more than one fic and they've been writing for a bit (one can usually tell by "published" date) I give out a little more of constructive one. I think more of what I liked or disliked, be it pacing, description, characterization that kinda thing. Usually because this kind of writer will accept it and deal well with it in case it isn't all that positive.

Then there's the arrogant, "I'm so great and I want everyone to acknoweledge it" writer. If their story is good I will say so, but I will most definitely pick out what needs vast improvement (not just minor stuff...) and suggest that they should work on that. Mostly it's when writers are "hostaging out" a chapter.

Those reviews are usually cold and to the point, mainly because they obviously don't need me to reassure them, since they've put themselves on a pedestal all on their own! tongue.gif

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I'm one of those that will review a story if I love it, or the author. If there is something in the story that I think needs work I'll email them. I appreciate that myself. If I hate the story I tend to not come back. I will give a "keep going" on occasion, but I try to stay away from it unless I have something else to say. I try very hard not to leave the generic review and always try to put something personal in it. If I can't find something that jumped out at me I won't leave a review - why waste my time and their's? (and I'm rambling on again)

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I do about the same as leonhart29. I love all reviews that I receive. Even the occasional, 'that was cool, more please.' I really love the long reviews though, and I don't mind crit if it's honest and not harsh. Flame anyone?

When I review, I try to say more than the average, I love it review, but I'm not known for really lengthy ones either. Not yet anyway. And, I never, ever flame anyone, even if they deserve it.

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Guest Yhitzak

I like Adara's statement that the type of review left depends on the type of post being reviewed. We're not all looking for the same things in reviews, so this is really a crucial point to make. For the most part, I try to make my own reviews somewhere between what I would look for in a review and what it seems that the author is looking for. I aim for constructive criticism, but that's a funny subject in itself, because one person's CC is another person's flame. Language is everything, really. At least in this capacity. If the author seems to be looking for a 'please update' kind of review, I at least try to add in some reasons why I think the thing should be updated (interesting plot, nice character development, etc. just for examples). Even the most vacuous of us writers like to know what makes a story good or bad. I think.

For the most part, I don't review the things I've read because out of the average six posts I read on any given board at any given time, I'm lucky to find one of them remotely appealing. I really can't justify leaving an unremarkable review for an unremarkable story unless the story is so vastly unremarkable, the author needs to know this. On the same side of this, what's the point in leaving flames just for the sake of leaving flames? In defense of a lot of reviewers, however, a lot of authors don't understand criticism until it comes in the form of a flame. Sometimes, being too nice isn't a good thing.

Something about reviewers that has always bothered me (and perhaps I notice this more because I'm a long-winded ass who writes non-fiction/essays) is their inability to read to the end of a post before responding. I have never left a review before finishing a post with the intention of berating the author for the content of said post (a few cases stand aside, but those were things that were so poorly written, reading to the end would have forced my IQ to drop at least three points). I've always felt that there should be a certain level of respect between authors and reviewers inasmuch as the reviewer should respect the writer enough to finish reading what they have to say before responding to it. If you can't finish the post, click the 'back' button and go on your way. Few things are as irritating as a review from a person who clearly didn't read the post. Even more than the perpetual one-liners.

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I aim for constructive criticism, but that's a funny subject in itself, because one person's CC is another person's flame. Language is everything, really. At least in this capacity. If the author seems to be looking for a 'please update' kind of review, I at least try to add in some reasons why I think the thing should be updated (interesting plot, nice character development, etc. just for examples). Even the most vacuous of us writers like to know what makes a story good or bad. I think.

For the most part, I don't review the things I've read because out of the average six posts I read on any given board at any given time, I'm lucky to find one of them remotely appealing. I really can't justify leaving an unremarkable review for an unremarkable story unless the story is so vastly unremarkable, the author needs to know this. On the same side of this, what's the point in leaving flames just for the sake of leaving flames? In defense of a lot of reviewers, however, a lot of authors don't understand criticism until it comes in the form of a flame. Sometimes, being too nice isn't a good thing.

I appreciate crit reviews, and have gotten a few that have helped me quite a bit. Believe me, I know the difference between a crit and flame. I've been cursed out, only a few times, and no, it wasn't for a good reason. I've had other author friends get death threats of all things. People can be twisted. blink.gif

I review if I liked the story enough. Why, because I like getting reviews myself, and I know other author do too. yes.gif

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I've been cursed out, only a few times, and no, it wasn't for a good reason. I've had other author friends get death threats of all things. People can be twisted. blink.gif

Death threats?? That's insane! I can't think of a single thing someone could wirte that would warrent that kind of hate. I really hope your friends reported those flames. Whoever left them needs some serious help! wacko.gif

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Reviewing depends on many things. Time, for one. I have periods when I do review heavily for a few months followed by a couple of months of sparse reviewing. RL seems to take over sometimes.

Overall, I only review stories which I like and would like to see continued. I am able to review ALL good ones during Heavy Reviewing Periods and only super-good ones or none during Review Draughts. That's why my reviews are almost always positive, I ignore crappy stories.

The only time a cuss word made it into my review was when one of my favorite authors got flamed. It was an ugly flame and I posted my answer to the flamer on the same board and quoted a line out of that flame.

Most good or even great fics won't get reviewed on every chapter. I don't have time to do that. Sometimes good fics turn to crap half way through and won't be reviewed anymore either.

The contents of a review are directly based on the chapter’s contents and how it made me feel. Usually it is pretty spontaneous. I do ask questions in reviews and sometimes make requests. A common request would be to insert character descriptions, because many authors just skip them. Personally I like to visualize things, so some descriptions should be in from the beginning, not in the chapter ten, for example.

Many times I've asked authors to double-space paragraphs and/or told them how to insert HTML code. Ones again, I'd only do that for the stories with a good plot.

I do welcome new authors sometimes and congratulate on their first fic. Not all new ones get that greeting either.

Overall I am a fan of Concrit.

Oh, yeah, I almost forgot about people who blackmail for reviews or use them as currency. There are little clicks that do that and review each other constantly. Well, I would normally ignore that fact and base my reviews on the story itself. However, at the times when I have to choose between a blackmailer and a few equally good authors, the blackmailer will be lowest on the priority list.

Hope that it made sense

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When reviewing, I try to keep a few things in my mind ...

First of all, I don't review all stories I read, only those I really like or those which have a potential to be great but for some reason the author 'forgot' about them. So it's like kicking someone in the rear to make them write further, so to speak. No, I don't leave the flames; if I don't like a story, I simply don't review.

Secondly, I always try to say something personal in my reviews; I think it's nicer for the author to read something that someone put a part of themselves in. A personal comment is just ... special for me.

I always try to say what I liked in the chapter, and ALWAYS make some predictions about the future chapters, that's just my quirk.

Hm ... I try to remember about greetings and thanks for the chapter, after all, someone who posted a good, interesting chapter deserves them.

I don't know if it makes any sense but that's my recipe for a review.

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Guest Alien Pirate Pixagi

I don't review particularly often (mainly 'cause I'm lazy). I review only under particular circumstances:

  • [1]The story was so great it blew me away and I just HAVE to tell the author I loved the story.
    [2]The story was bad, but I could see real potential in the author's abilities.
    [3]The author does something spectacularily stupid that I NEED to comment on (being underaged, thrashing another author for something like giving a concrit or because someone else told you too, plagurizing, excessive story bumping).
    [4]I'm feeling particularily generous that day.
    [5]Makes a referance to a song/show/movie I love.
    [6]Shows an EXTREME lack of creativity (copying something from a movie and just changing the names/genders... argh...)
    [7]Makes the characters incredibly OOC, even though the rest of the story is pretty much fine.

I will point out that most of the time, it's usually 3 or 6 that motivates me to review... dry.gif I need to start loving less popular fandoms...

As of late, when I review I try to be as constructive as possible, pointing out what I liked and disliked. If the author asks for comments on something particular, I try to accommodate. However, and this is where many may disagree with me, unless the author states that a story has a very emotional/sentimental meaning to them (and I see evidence of this) I will not simply give a glowing review because that's what the writer wants. More often then not it's because the author is a shitty writer and they know it, and cover it up by saying "it's just for fun." If that was the case, they wouldn't need to say it and wouldn't get so upset by flames and negative concrit. I have done a lot to restrain myself in reviews in the last year (as many would likely know, I can be an unmitigated bitch when irritated) but I'm not going to silence myself just because some fanbrat can't take criticism for what it is, or can't be bothered to try and improve because they don't take what they're doing seriously.

I hate people. angel.gif

When reviewing a story a really like, I tend to gush and point out all the things I love (and perhaps a few I didn't if I remember them). Often, I find myself stumped and just gush for a bit and state that I can't wait for the next chapter (if the author states there will be one. I'm very studious about that).

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If I've gotten through a story and it's touched me in some way, I'll review it. Usually I'll start by saying something nice -- I mean, I did read the whole thing, right? -- and then get into some details. I will leave constructive criticism if I can think of any, but as a former teacher and tutor, I will try to leave it in a way that doesn't discourage the author. Especially if the story isn't finished yet. wink.gif

Also, I'll make note of the fact that it's not usually the type of story I'll read, if that is the case.

The only time I can recall ever breaking my rule was when Metafrantic finished the "Harry's 7th Year" series... I wrote the most glowing, saccharine review I've ever written. But then, it was exactly how I felt.

If you're heartfelt when you write the review, even if you dislike the story, as long as you're polite and honest and give reasons why you like or dislike it, I think the average AFF writer will appreciate your feedback.

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