Solaris

Lack of reviews.

Lack of reviews - like them or hate them?  

158 members have voted

  1. 1. Lack of reviews - like them or hate them?

    • I hate them, makes me want to pull my stories!
      52
    • I love what reviews I got from my readers even if there isn't many.
      84
    • I don't really mind, as long as people read my stories.
      18


Recommended Posts

Indeed. Main reason I stopped reviewing!

I try to review every story I read even if I don't finish reading it. I always give praise were deserved and concrit if needed and if they don't want it or like it then can shove it up their asterisks/semicolon. I live for concrit but I'll take any review I can get, though I have never been flamed :P

Edited by Aysha c.c.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Indeed. Main reason I stopped reviewing!

I can understand that, but kind of like, "It takes one bad apple to spoil the bunch," what you're essentially doing by no longer reviewing, is punishing those of us who would like to know if there are problems, or merely if you just like the story in general, or a particalar item in said story, and so, that isn't really fair. I know I'd given up updating my story here for a while, because practically no one out of the 1,000+ hits in the past year could bother to put up ANYTHING to let me know what they thought of my story. I mean, for all I know, those 1,000+ people are/were reading the first chapter and thinking, "Boy, this writer SUCKS, and this story SUCKS, I'm not reading any further!" So, why should I then waste my time updating, or even continuing to write this story any further? Yes, writing for yourself is all well and good, and if you can do that on a permanent basis, great, I'm thrilled for you, but honestly, I do like to know what people think! I guess that's an insecurity of mine. At any rate, after a year of not updating, someone FINALLY left me a review, and they wanted more, and I thought, "Wow, OK, SOMEONE actually likes it, so OK, I'll put up another chapter." So I did, and have I heard anything after getting another hundred or so hits since the update? Nope. Yet, there are other authors who have the same amount of chapters or less, and have three times the hits I do, AND have ten or more times the amount of reviews I do. So, that, once again has me thinking, "Well, I guess I was right the first time, and not many people are liking my story. Good thing I haven't wasted any more time on it, and I've moved on to writing my original stories that I hope to have published one day." Of course, if no one seems to like my fanfiction, it does leave me wondering if I'll ever have anyone interested enough to want to publish my novels, in spite of the fact that I've been published already, twice in a literary journal. I'm just the type of person that depends on feedback, both positive and negative, and if I receive nothing, that leaves me assuming the negative, and that my writing sucks, so why bother? Not all of us are strong enough to stand by our writing, and write no matter what people think. I wish I could, but that's just not me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do understand your point of view and I can definitely sympathise, but you've got to see it from my side as well. There's only so much drama you can take from people before you feel the urge to sod it all. Reviewing is a thankless job that nobody pays you to do. I'm sorry that people like you have to suffer along all the assholes, but that's the way the world works. Maybe one day in the distant future I'll work up the will to review again, but I can't speak for anyone else in my same position. A lot of people get burnt for good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love to know what people think. I adore reviews, and I especially adore people who take the time to tell me what works and doesn't work in my story, so I can improve. There's always room to improve, in my opinion, and no one is ever perfect. I'll also be the first to admit that I don't review as much as I should, but I'm hoping to get back to reviewing when things calm down.

But even when I don't get a single review, I write because the stories want out. They're not going to give me a moment's peace until I write them. Being a writer isn't a choice for me. It's how I make sense of the world, by seeing life through that lens and trying to capture it, however feebly and ineptly. I can't force people to read my work, or to review it, but I do hope that on my very last day on this Earth, I manage to write something. If nothing else, I'll at least have been true to myself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going to be honest, I’ve been avoiding this thread like it's nuclear waste because it's the kind of thing that can lead to serious rants and some very hurt feeling but, after today, I decided to add my two pennies to it (and Apollo is checking those pennies to make sure I don't step over the line with this rant).

For those on here that don't know, I've been an archive moderator since '08 and seen a lot of things over those years so I can quite honestly say that, despite what someone asserted, it's not a few bad apples that have ruined reviews for most everyone but a whole lot of them rotten apples that have killed it! That's no joke, folks! And the biggest problem with getting reviews is the authors themselves. They are the ones that have, bluntly, made it to where so many are out and out scared to leave a review of any kind for anyone. It's sad, but it's true! I know people are going to argue with that assertion but hear me out.

One very shining example of this happened today. A few days ago, I was working on doing my ten reviews for AFF's Review Association (for those of you that don't know what that is we go in and review stories each month that have none. Our reward for that? We get a banner. Nothing else. If interested, they are always accepting members-plug over, back to rant...). It's been a few days since I did it so I didn't think anything of it until I woke up today and was getting ready for work. Checking the standard pages I do when I get up, I found that one of the beings I left a review for reported me for it! Now, being a mod, I know what the difference between what a flame and concrit is. I also know where the line is drawn and don't even step close to it. If I feel something I’m saying is too harsh, I get BW or Apollo to check it over for me to see if there isn't a way to soften up what I said or to ensure that I didn't step over any kind of line with it.

The review in question wasn't even one I had to do that with. It was nicely worded, slightly blunt but not overly so, giving the issue, a link about how to fix the issue and how what was done affects the reader when trying to read it. I started and ended the review with positive things about the story. Nor did I rip the thing apart. But, still, I got reported for it and there was a long rant from the author about the whole thing basically saying I need to quit pretending this is a professional writing site or Hollywood and stop leaving those kinds of reviews. I was... STUNNED. Then I laughed my ass off! Am I mad about it? No, I thought it was funny as hell! Am I in trouble for it? No, because I did nothing wrong and I didn't flame or attack anyone. Is this odd? Yes and no. It's odd that I got reported but these kinds of tantrums over concrit reviews are quite common. There are plenty out there, more than just a small handful of them, that want nothing but fandpoodling OMGWTFILUFFIT reviews and for you to say nothing else though they ask for reviews.

Other examples are just as bad. Plenty pimp the hell out of their stuff all over and ask for reviews but when you give them an honest one, they just delete it and don't bother to fix any of the issues you pointed out even if you give them a very easy way or solution to fixing what is wrong. Talking to Rogue, another member of the RA, we figured out that we are running about 50/50 with reviews we leave. About 50% stay up and the other 50 either get rid of the review or out and out delete the story (this month's 5 I did serious concrit for has resulted in 2 reviews already being deleted and one reporting me for what I had to say so you can see this is not an exaggeration). That is sad but true. And, generally, they all but beg for reviews in the story, the thread in the forum to promo the story or elsewhere. But if you don't just gush, they get rid of it. How many times are you going to go through with this until you give up? It generally doesn't take long before you throw your hands up and say 'I give' then quit. It get's worse though.

Though many of you might think I’m joking (I can assure you, I’m not), it goes downhill from there. Like I said at the beginning, I’ve seen a lot over my time as a mod and a common thing to happen is the flame baiting by authors. BW and I have both had this happen to us because we're mods and the author didn't like something we told them to change. We've had them say something in the story then had their readers go after our stories with reviews that are intended to be retaliatory and bombing our ratings. And if they'll do it to a mod, who knows what's going on and how to handle it, you can damned sure bet they do it to reviewers that say something they don't like! They have too, many, many, MANY times.

They leave a butt-hurt, whiney ass AN about how someone was so mean to them in a review or that they think they should just stop writing because of something that is said then BAM the reviewer gets nailed. It happens more than you think, folks! And if you think it's just younger authors that do this, think again! There are plenty of older ones that do the same thing. This, more than anything, has made it to where people are afraid to leave a review. Would you want attacked because you were honest or were giving feedback to someone that's not mean but intended to help them improve what they do? The majority of you would say no to this but it's what happens. And plenty have seen this so they back off and say nothing rather than be on the receiving end of that kind of flaming. That results in people not reviewing. Since this has gone on for years, the end result is what you see now; reviews are minimal. If someone gives one, it's just standard fanpoodling OMG update soon or something like that.

So, know what? You want to bitch and complain to someone about this? Go find the authors that do this bonehead stupid stuff, and more I didn't mention, and let them know because they are the ones that have killed the reviews for the rest of you more than just the readers that never bother.

Edited by Danyealle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll also add to Dany's statements (and Apollo's welcome to smack me if I step over the line, but she knows that :D)

There are those who come into the Shoutbox here on the forum and practically beg for reviews. They constantly complain about how they get none. Now, sometimes, they really don't. Sometimes they have one review for every 200 or so hits on their story.

One of the ones that really didn't have any reviews, I reviewed two of hers. Her response was to delete one of the stories completely, and delete my review on the other.

Tell me, as a reader, how I'm supposed to react to the fact that when you beg for reviews, and I leave you one that isn't, as Dany said, an "I luff it" review - and your response is to delete it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

*shakes head* These writers apparently have NO idea just how much time and work goes into a concrit review. I have spent over an hour on some of my concrit reviews, it depends on the number of errors and how long the chapter is. I try to make them as professional as I can because the purpose of these reviews is to help the author improve their writing skills. Nobody is going to spend that kind of time on someone who can't appreciate it.

You get one solid review and cry FLAME? The writer should be sending the reviewer flowers for taking the time to read their story and for writing a review meant to help them grow in the craft!

If all a writer wants is fluffy reviews, they should put an author's note at the start of the story saying: Praiseful reviews only.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm really sorry to hear all that, girls, but at least it makes me feel better to know I'm not alone. I used to think I was the one that was wrong. I was the asshole, being too negative or too blunt or not saying enough positive things. I used to try and try to get it right, because I really wanted to help someone get better. But I kept failing and failing. Eventually I just blamed myself.

I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who had the exact same problem, even if it's kind of a little late for the realisation. :)

Edited by Shadowknight12

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

*shakes head* These writers apparently have NO idea just how much time and work goes into a concrit review. I have spent over an hour on some of my concrit reviews, it depends on the number of errors and how long the chapter is. I try to make them as professional as I can because the purpose of these reviews is to help the author improve their writing skills. Nobody is going to spend that kind of time on someone who can't appreciate it.

You get one solid review and cry FLAME? The writer should be sending the reviewer flowers for taking the time to read their story and for writing a review meant to help them grow in the craft!

If all a writer wants is fluffy reviews, they should put an author's note at the start of the story saying: Praiseful reviews only.

Bless!

Funny story - I received a mod review the other day and was devastated that I couldn't find an address to send flowers!! I had no idea where to send my profuse and overjoyed thanks for being noticed. It was one review but it was a major "SQUEE!" moment. I'm sorry, I don't care if its an expected custom it was an honest review and I'm taking the time to take what has been said on board.

I love praise. Its built into the human condition. Actually, its built into the social mammal condition - I've trained dogs and horses and I work with special needs kids and I promise you there are some personalities out there that would die of starvation and thirst if they had a choice between sustenance and praise. Its essential. It kills me when I read something I can't offer praise on. Concrit yes but actual praise... sometimes its nearly impossible to provide without omitting the truth which really, boiled down, is on the same par as lying. :blush:

Something I find difficult with reviewing is the problem of 'So, what does the author want to hear?'. Okay, yes praise but... what else? My fear of reviewing is much like my fear of commenting on a friend approaching my and saying 'how do I look' without context. If they're dressed in jeans and a jacket and they're going to a wedding well... not so good but without context... fine...? Covered to the extent society dictates, appropriate for the weather, reasonably fashionable and tidily presented? Reviews that are vague 'Good story, nice work' feel cheap. Okay, yes, praise - yay - but I hunt stories to entertain me. I can't leave a review for a story I skip out on half-way through because I lack interest in the content on a personal level, it would do the author no service at all. Even worse for an author to get a review on a story I have no investment in. If I say something like 'I got to the part where x and y went to the shops, lost interest and flipped over to twitter' I don't have anything for the author to reflect on other than I have symptomatic ADHD.

If I read a WIP and make it through more than one chapter I will leave a review of encouragement but I prefer PM conversations where I can interact with an author. "I liked this but this seemed a little unclear, was that intentional?" This kind of back and forth interaction is so much more satisfying than a public review - and I can dig out the author's intentions. "I write for myself and I like to a little ego stroking." is very easy, "Great story *pat pat pat* good for you *pat pat* keep up the good work *pat pat pat*" where as "I'm not sure if this is right, I glossed over this, I got lazy here and this part I guessed... they do that thing, right?" is so difficult to glean without discussion, and I feel publicly going through something like that is the rude option - especially when I like to site references and refer to further reading with things that need improving. Of course, if the author believes they are perfect in every way and their story is a work of genius I'm not the best person to disillusion them... I reference my advice because I do so much research of my own and a PM out of the blue - "Yo, your story could use some improving, here's the list." is confronting. I'd be confronted by it. Particularly if it was in an area I wasn't interested at that stage in reflecting on, or its part of a set up for something further down the line like fore-shadowing. A reviewer deserves to be thanked and appreciated for taking the time, not sized up in a hostile 'Excuse the f*ck me??' kind of way. Of course, it all comes down to wording but blunt bitches like me always get the short message wrong.

I remember receiving a text message from a complete toss-pot - seriously, the kind of person you wish you could go to their mother, slap her and say "You should have swallowed, you selfish cow, now we all have to suffer" - that said "I don't like the tone of that last message." And all I could think was "Tone. REALLY? A three word message with the depth and sophistication to have a tone??? F*ck me, I'm amazing." but it has made me more cautious. I'd hate to rile up a complete stranger with my 'tone'!! Especially when I just want to pay if forward and spread the wordsmith love! So I err on the side of caution and when in doubt, I say nothing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I say something like 'I got to the part where x and y went to the shops, lost interest and flipped over to twitter' I don't have anything for the author to reflect on other than I have symptomatic ADHD.

:rofl:

Seriously, though, I have gotten bored in stories, and I do tell the author that. Because if it's not entertaining, then I'm not going to keep reading. I don't say "This is boring!" That would be ASKING to get hammered.

What I do say, generally, is where and why I lost interest. I think that's helpful to an author - especially if they are actually trying to hone their craft.

Now, before I leave the story, I ask myself if it's because I'm thinking about something else and it's plaguing me that my mind isn't focused on the story at hand? And when that's the case, I leave it for a while, then come back. If it holds my attention the second time, then obviously, that's not something on the author - that's on me and life in general.

And, no, SK, you're not alone. I stopped reviewing for the longest time having to do with a girl in the Netherlands over on FFN. I say girl, because she couldn't have been more than nineteen. At any rate, I didn't appreciate being hammered in my PM box every time I logged on to FFN by her - and eventually some of her friends - over leaving her a concrit review. I had to block them all (which thankfully there is such a feature to keep them from harassing me in PMs). But I didn't resort to that right away. I started out by trying to explain to her that I was trying to help her hone her skills, especially given that English wasn't her first language and she was choosing to write in it. Regardless, there was either some break down in communication, or there was a refusal to understand said communication.

Eventually the new friends (or sock puppet accounts, what have you) stopped PM'ing me. And while I kept reading other authors, I didn't dare review anything else - my god, if that's what happens on one concrit review that was NICE, heaven help me if I left something slightly more abrasive. I'm a blunt person and tend to be a bit sharp unintentionally.

When the RA started up, I figured this site is for adults (first of all) and the archive doesn't have a PM feature, so I'm not going to get slammed like that. Everyone that keeps harping about a PM feature doesn't realize, that's one of the things I actually like about this site - I don't have to worry constantly about blocking someone - and all of their friends - because I left them a review they didn't like. If it's added, it's added, and there might be a serious decline in the number of meaty reviews I leave.

Like Slayitalldown, I'm not fond of leaving "Good job!" and that's it on a review. I feel like I cheated that author. I do my damnedest to actually tell the author what was good about it. What did I like? What was done well? What was about this story that kept my interest all the way through? After all, I got all the way to the review button, so something must have intrigued me. But to be completely honest, when you see even those reviews -the ones where you told them what was good about their story - disappear from a review board.... well, that's when you're ready to throw in the towel.

Still, I try to leave a review if I read it. (Not if I clicked on it to check for site-related stuff - sorry, but your hit count will go up without a review for that.) Even if I know (or strongly suspect) that the review won't be there in five hours.

But like Dany and rowdy both said: if you only want praise, say that in an AN at the top, so I can click the back button and find something else to read.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sometimes I quietly wish there was a simple system built in where you can score out of ten for a story you've read or a poll: "Liked it", "Didn't like it", "TL;DR", "YAY PORN!" and "We need to talk." to shortcut the anxiety of trying to say something you don't want to be attacked for!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Other examples are just as bad. Plenty pimp the hell out of their stuff all over and ask for reviews but when you give them an honest one, they just delete it and don't bother to fix any of the issues you pointed out even if you give them a very easy way or solution to fixing what is wrong

OK, I can see where most of the post is coming from but these couple of lines made me go 'uh-huh'?

Yes, getting upset a reveiw isn't pure praise, and then deleted the review and/or fic is annoying and childish. On the other hand this part of your post seems to assume that if you give a concrit review the original author is somehow obliged to change it and make the fixes you demand in the review.

I mean in the case of typos or wrongly used words that's fair enough you'd think the author would want to change those. But in the case of bigger stuff like plot points or story elements why on earth should they have to listen to you?

Don't get me wrong, reviews should be able to leave honest constructive criticism with out where of flaming or reporting or the author throwing a hissy fit. But author's should be able to look at a review and make their own decision on whether to follow its advice or not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, Daye, I was talking about basic issues such as typos, not capitalizing and things like that, not huge, story changing or rewriting issues. These are things most of of go DOH! Alright, let's go fix kinda things. And most of them will tell you they have no beta so these are the kinds of things people want pointed out so they can be fixed. The other stuff is something else entirely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Danyealle's post rang so true.

I think there are two separate issues.

There are many super-sensitive authors who take the slightly criticism as a personal attack. Their stories are their babies and when they say 'please review' they mean 'make nice comments about my baby'. Telling them that their story has faults is heard as 'your baby is ugly' and they either get incredibly upset or retaliate.

Then there is the problem of being online. Some people don't have a personal code of conduct. Give them anonymity and they behave abominably. They get a kick out of picking on people. Sometimes they dress it up as retaliation. Sometimes they don't bother to do even that.

I don't think the review system is for concrit anymore. I think it serves two main purposes:

  1. It encourages the author to keep writing. I say this from personal experience. I am writing the last story in a series on this site. It is a lot of work and, like all writers, I sometimes love it and sometimes wish I had never started. I know I wouldn't still be going if it wasn't for the readers who review. Some review for every chapter, every Wednesday and every Saturday. THANK YOU! Other reviews come out of the blue and are equally welcome.
  2. Sometimes authors use it to garner ideas about ways forward

Even if the review system is only fulfilling these limited purposes, I would still encourage readers to review because it is so encouraging for a writer to make contact with readers.

I think authors who are serious about concrit get a beta. If they can find one. Mine, Small Fox, is wonderful.

Don't get me wrong, I am happy to receive concrit. If I feel the reviewer has a point I try to act on it. It can be really useful. I have had extensive PM exchanges about issues some reviewers have brought up and such discussions have changed the way I write.

But I am 52. I have been a technical writer. I am used to working with editors who do not hesitate to tell me that what I am writing does not come up to standard or why my bright idea doesn't conform or will not work.

Edited by mannahpierce

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Liked it", "Didn't like it", "TL;DR", "YAY PORN!" and "We need to talk."

I support this. Especially the last two. :D

See, I'm one of those people who don't always leave a review. I try to, to some extent, because I also write and I remember getting one review for every 5000 words I wrote, at first (which I chalked up to the fact that I didn't jump right into the smut ;P). Yes, it was sparse. Yes, I was insanely excited to finally see that count rise. So I know how important feedback is, even if, like BronxWench said, I write because the stories want out and not primarily because I am looking for fans.

At the same time, a lot of times I read stories that... don't inspire me to say anything. Stories I keep clicking on when they come up, but that I wouldn't remember to search out. What am I supposed to write? "Um so that was alright... not offensive... will probably click on it again, if I have time... didn't provoke any sort of thought"-?

Is it really my responsibility as a reviewer to find something, anything, to say, no matter what? Isn't it my responsibility as an author to write something that will animate people to speak up? And if I really really can't seem to do that, isn't it up to me to find and ask people behind the scenes what it might be that makes my story so unmemorable?

Then there's another thing- if I read a story and think I wouldn't even know where to start with concrit, I don't leave any. This may come across as selfish, but I read to be entertained, not to find work. If I'm going to spend lots of time trying to help people -and I do- it's going to be spent on real people in my life, not on a stranger's story that needs help with grammar and spelling and formatting and pacing and realism and not being too generous with the drama ladle and seems like it's half-hearted at best, anyway. This may be harsh, but I think it might be true for a lot of potential reviewers- as an author, I'm not entitled to making strangers do my work for me, and if their review would start with a deep sigh and a whole page of notes, they might choose not to leave one.

Of course the people posting in this thread obviously don't need help with their spelling and grammar and spacing, so this part might not apply to anyone here. But it's there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll be perfectly honest. I have had the oh-so-delightful experience of being attacked personally for my role as a moderator. It's stupid, and childish, and not what I expected from people on this site, but I tend to give people more credit than they deserve, it seems. Apparently, not only did these bullies never bother to actually read the Terms of Service and Content Guidelines that they agreed to when making their account, they find it unreasonable for us to expect them to actually comply with it.

Although we now use a separate moderator account for our work here, I don't think I'm alone in remaining reluctant to expose myself to the bullshit of retaliation reviews. While I'm intelligent enough not to take the content to heart, I'm also hampered in how I can respond because I am a mod for the site, and even in my "personal" role, what I do and say reflects on the site as a whole. I know that standing up to bullies works, but I can't do that, and silence only encourages that particular form of vermin, whereas I'd rather hold up a mirror and force them to confront their own blindingly evident inadequacies.

Even worse, they help to alienate readers and authors who would otherwise leave reviews that were meaningful and contained useful concrit. I enjoy being told what worked, but even more so, I want to know what doesn't work. I will never improve if I don't know where I'm lacking, and I'm not delusional enough to think I don't have vast room for improvement. I particularly resent losing the gorgeous and invaluable concrit from ShadowKnight, and the blunter but no less cherished concrit from wanderingaddict. They kept me going when I started writing here, and I've taken their advice to heart, to my great benefit.

The utter nadir, though, is seeing writers with talent and potential crushed by bullies who unleash the full fury of their minions on someone who dares to leave a less than fanpoodling review. It's not in my scope of authority, but I'd cheerfully ban those bullies without a moment's hesitation. I never permitted my children to throw tantrums in public and if certain users want to behave like children, I'm more than happy to administer swift parental response. Being an adult comprises more than just having reached a certain chronological benchmark.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At the same time, a lot of times I read stories that... don't inspire me to say anything. Stories I keep clicking on when they come up, but that I wouldn't remember to search out. What am I supposed to write? "Um so that was alright... not offensive... will probably click on it again, if I have time... didn't provoke any sort of thought"-?

Is it really my responsibility as a reviewer to find something, anything, to say, no matter what? Isn't it my responsibility as an author to write something that will animate people to speak up? And if I really really can't seem to do that, isn't it up to me to find and ask people behind the scenes what it might be that makes my story so unmemorable?

Then there's another thing- if I read a story and think I wouldn't even know where to start with concrit, I don't leave any. This may come across as selfish, but I read to be entertained, not to find work. If I'm going to spend lots of time trying to help people -and I do- it's going to be spent on real people in my life, not on a stranger's story that needs help with grammar and spelling and formatting and pacing and realism and not being too generous with the drama ladle and seems like it's half-hearted at best, anyway. This may be harsh, but I think it might be true for a lot of potential reviewers- as an author, I'm not entitled to making strangers do my work for me, and if their review would start with a deep sigh and a whole page of notes, they might choose not to leave one.

Thank god for the honesty of this thread. I think I'm finding some peace!

I'm a guilty author - :hiya: - for the sin of "she'll be right". I'm looking into it but my enthusiasm to 'cross it off my list' and post a chapter as a measure of accomplishment outpaces my social responsibility to 'get it right the first time'. Part of my attitude is arrogance - its fanfiction, come on, the odd mistake? Pfft! I can't see any! - and the other is simply a reluctance to make someone else endure the mass of words I produce in chapter for free! I'd rather get it right myself but who can improve with that mistaken idea?? Its a conundrum that I'm hoping a kind-hearted and eager reviewer will take a minute to help me rectify.

I'd rather find a reader who read the story and thought "Its good but it could be better... hey, author, a word!" which is why I unashamedly post sans beta. I am looking for a beta and I do check as many times as I can to get my chapters are good as I can alone but as Bronxwench said - not delusional and there is always room for improvement... the more vast the more desirable! Its just that on the other side of 7K+ words, I'm at a loss and just have to hope and pray that by casting my story into the ether something will come of it.

I try to do the same when I read but I am also a guilty reader, I like to be entertained but I don't rely on fanfiction to entertain me so I am fussy, I am hard to keep interested and I lack a great deal of sophistication as far as reviewing goes. Unless they come up with a code for "Its good but I didn't stick through it because I got a notification on FB, KTHNXBAI." or a polite way of saying "More porn. Srlsy, all your characters did was talk. Someone set something on fire or drop their pants and call me when its done." I'm a just not going to be able to review every story I peruse. No one likes hearing "Its good but it could be better, figure it out and get back to me." and for that very reason, I'm not keen to say it. Writers get frustrated when you can't back up what you're pointing out and honestly, I'm spontaneous and more likely to forget I wrote something before anything comes of it. This kind of scattiness doesn't really fly with many people and while I'm not getting the desired reviews on my own story I'm busy trying to figure it out for the next chapter - selfish and unkeen to start throwing chips to the seagulls while I'm starving for a feed myself. After all, I don't just want a beta, I want a beta in my fandom who reads and writes. Same with reviewers, I would prefer the reviewers who can offer a bit more but I have learned to accept that I won't get back what I can't give so I give where I can. I just don't like being expected to like something that is updated if I read once and enjoyed on the day. With no investment in a story I tend to be "unreliable" later down the track when my mood shifts. "I just posted a new chapter!" they'll tweet me and my response will be positive but not much more than "Good for you!". Beta reviewing, you get the good stuff. Review-reviewing? School-yard rules: "Show me yours then I'll show you mine!"

I am trying to network but there are going to be days when I just can't give like I wish I could and they are far more frequent than days like this when I have all the time in the world to ponder the mysteries! Its not fair because I know writers want to be rewarded for all their hard work, just like I do, and that a little positive boost can have a massive chemical reaction with the muses and produce copious words because it happens to me. I like the chemical reaction - share the love, free and without guilt I say - but how to turn that into positive concrit without getting dragged into a relationship? I haven't found a short cut - POST IF YOU HAVE!!!

Its a lot like one-night stands.... "I don't need your name and your number and your life story, honey, I just said you were good in bed. There's the door. Good luck with life."

Edited by Slayitalldown

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Then there's another thing- if I read a story and think I wouldn't even know where to start with concrit, I don't leave any. This may come across as selfish, but I read to be entertained, not to find work. If I'm going to spend lots of time trying to help people -and I do- it's going to be spent on real people in my life, not on a stranger's story that needs help with grammar and spelling and formatting and pacing and realism and not being too generous with the drama ladle and seems like it's half-hearted at best, anyway. This may be harsh, but I think it might be true for a lot of potential reviewers- as an author, I'm not entitled to making strangers do my work for me, and if their review would start with a deep sigh and a whole page of notes, they might choose not to leave one.

This is where I often see on cleanup the review that says "You might be best served to obtain a beta. As is, this piece is somewhat difficult to read."

And, honestly, that review is enough. You don't have to go through the whole thing if it made you cringe that much. You've told the author (though very bluntly) that they have a good deal of work to do. They can choose to listen to you or not. But I bet you, nowadays, that review would quickly be deleted.

Apparently, not only did these bullies never bother to actually read the Terms of Service and Content Guidelines that they agreed to when making their account, they find it unreasonable for us to expect them to actually comply with it.

One of the minors we recently deleted actually said this: "Normal people just click I agree. They don't actually read it, ya know."

(Not going to tell you how much that made my blood boil. I'm just not.)

It's the concept of accountability - no one wants to be responsible, and if I didn't read it, then you can't hold me liable. Absolutely incorrect, and completely flawed in premise. But that's the thought process. This is why it's actually printed in the driving manuals when you have to take the test: "Ignorance of the laws of the area you are travelling in does not make you any less liable for violations. Be sure you know the laws when travelling between counties, and out of state."

Even worse, they help to alienate readers and authors who would otherwise leave reviews that were meaningful and contained useful concrit. [ ... ]

The utter nadir, though, is seeing writers with talent and potential crushed by bullies who unleash the full fury of their minions on someone who dares to leave a less than fanpoodling review.

Hear, hear! I've said it before, I'll say it again: heaven help you if you walk into one of the larger fandoms and read a story by an author with a large fanbase and don't like something that author did. It's like someone posting an Anne Rice fanfiction - you get hounded to the point that you're ready to call your ISP and tell them to disconnect your service.

Review-reviewing? School-yard rules: "Show me yours then I'll show you mine!"

So who gets to start it off then? Chicken-egg syndrome. (And here comes the debilitatingly blunt side of me) If you want better reviews, you have to leave better reviews. Because if all someone is getting is "good job!" or "you need a beta" and no other feedback, that's all they're going to leave for someone else. And when someone is new to the community, and that's all they see, that's all they're going to leave.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So who gets to start it off then? Chicken-egg syndrome. (And here comes the debilitatingly blunt side of me) If you want better reviews, you have to leave better reviews. Because if all someone is getting is "good job!" or "you need a beta" and no other feedback, that's all they're going to leave for someone else. And when someone is new to the community, and that's all they see, that's all they're going to leave.

Noobs who are wary survive their first days in the jungle... LOL!

I didn't explain that as well as I should have, I meant in established lines of communication - I find that writers are super eager to phish for reviews but less eager to reciprocate. I end up feeding the beast and starving myself and it gets tiresome really quickly! Part of the reason I don't leave short reviews is I don't want them in return but when I've left a detailed review and then I get phished for compliments on new chapters, I get a little snarky and retreat into silence.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Noobs who are wary survive their first days in the jungle... LOL!

I didn't explain that as well as I should have, I meant in established lines of communication - I find that writers are super eager to phish for reviews but less eager to reciprocate. I end up feeding the beast and starving myself and it gets tiresome really quickly! Part of the reason I don't leave short reviews is I don't want them in return but when I've left a detailed review and then I get phished for compliments on new chapters, I get a little snarky and retreat into silence.

Or, you are hounded to beta for that author. :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now