I dont appreciate taking my time to solidly review four peoples stories and having someone waste one of my reviews by giving me all one line answers, all similar in content. For example: 'The story seemed nice' 'I really liked the characters' 'I feel all over you did good' What exactly can I take away from this? That the person really had nothing to say and wasted both of our time. I do understand there is a learning curve for new reviewers or that some people review things they dont quite enjoy. But they are obviously here because they want help too, so how can they give me such a half a**ed review and think its ok?
And dont even get me started on the mid chapter reviewers. I have reviewed chapters 1, 6, 7, and 10 for the same story and STILL managed to get a feel for what was going on and comment on the structure of development of that scene. I dont walk in saying 'I dont know where this is taking place' or 'What does she look like? Im lost' Because obviously that was covered in the first few chapters, that I have missed. This is common sense, if you do not have such, please get the f*ck away from me.
Sorry to say, but if you all want an amazing critique then go hire an editor that charges per page, or per word, or hourly. It will be expensive, but it your work will shine in the end. You get what you pay for here. I'm not paying so I don't expect a lot from a review. I'm just putting my work on here until I can afford an editor to clean up my work.
It's not a matter of 'you get what you pay for' that is the core issue here. The real problem is professionalism and respect. Everybody here is a writer of varying level. In a gathering of peers, respect should be given if it is expected in turn. To waste your time and your peers' time by not offering anything constructive to add to the group is disrespectful and unfair to the people who are taking the time to actually try to help each other out.
I agree with RickVilante I don't pay either but I take my time and I go a good job of offering my time, for free, to aspiring writers. Why shouldn't I be treated in kind? Should I go on to tell every bad writer that they suck and not even attempt to help them just because they arent paying me or I'm not paying for this service? No. Its called common decency and as RickVilante said professionalism and respect. If you cant be courteous to others then you shouldn't be on a site where you depend on the help of others.
I feel your pain. It's not that I don't get good reviews---I actually have a problem with the rates I get FOR my reviews. I put time and effort into those, and I don't feel they are "worthless". All of my reviews are rated this way (save one), and only because the stories I've reviewed didn't get an overly high score! I make a lot of grammar corrections through inline comments, and I point out in other places what I think should be changed. That's what a "critique" is. -_-
If you read the guidelines for Review Fuse they dont want you to do that much, instead they want you to point out structure and flaws. But to someone like me whose worst problem is grammar I damn near BEG people to help me out with that stuff. Instead I get people who barely even tell me if they like my story! I also look to see how many reviews someone has given when I get a bad review, its most often their first or second. I haven't given that many but I've given enough to know how much critique and how much editing some reviews need. (Side note:I really don't enjoy getting crappy reviews from people whose comments are barely legible because the person either has a bad grasp of the English language or they just choose to write like an ignorant person.)
I am brand new to this site, and excited with the prospects. Hopefully, those of us who want to work at writing will stick around and help each other out. If we understand that giving thoughtful and detailed reviews will ultimately help us revise our own work, it will make sense. Two thousand words a day!
I am also new to this site, and I definitely understand why you're frustrated. I haven't posted anything or done a review yet, but I would certainly be a bit upset if the reviews I earn are wasted by people giving me one-sentence reviews. I am very thorough with my responses to things, so you can expect that if I review your work, it will be substantial. This is always the case in my college classes. I always put a lot more effort into what I say to people in response to their work than people seem to put into what they say to me. I also try to be careful about wording; I'm not here to hurt anyone's feelings and be discouraging, so I try to be considerate of such things.
First off, I think we need to keep it clean here. I too get frusterated with the following: Reviewers who seem to put little effort and time into it. However, these are usually new members who either learn how to better review or receive enough low scores that they only review other members with low scores. Also with: people who give my reviews that I sometimes put in over an hour's work on a low score because they can't hanndle criticism in its most constructive form. I usually do grammar, especially if it's pretty sound in style, structure, etc. I usualy focus on the style and things though. I will say that keep in my mind that many of the low-effort reviewers may not know that they aren't doing a great job. Perhaps the first time you encounter someone with a bad review, rate them lower and positively tell them why. If you get that same person again with a half-done review, report them (through the proper, private channels, of course). Cussing random people out on a public forum won't help matters. It's caused escalation and people getting kicked off over this same issue before. Review Fuse is about igniting creativity, so please let's keep it like that.
HannaBanana: Here's looking at you kid. I saw your review stats and yes, you are on the short end of the straw, which on this site is not a good place to be. If you wish, I will review, in proper order, anything you wish to submit for me, or anything already posted by you. You will need to tag the chapters (or excerpts) with their name, your name, and my name here on Cummunity so I will go looking for them. Not saying I am expert at reviewing but I do have something to offer. And, here's the best part: you needn't review anything of mine, you have done enough and have earned your plea for help 70 time seven over. How's that for fairness? Who loves ya Baby? (just kidding, that's a line from the old rotten Kojak TV series).
I don't think insulting anyone will help but I did have someone argue with me when I told them that I felt their review wasnt helpful. It was once again a chapter review and all they did was tell me that they were confused due to lack of information....for a chapter 7 submission. I always put a disclaimer at the top of my submissions that since it is a chapter review you can give me grammar and structure help versus critique on the plot. I appreciate all kinds of help, but when you only complain and dont offer help then I am going to tell you that your review was less than helpful and you really need to work on your critiquing skills. We are after all supposed to let a reviewer know if their review was not helpful and they too need to work on that skill. I have given a lot of reviews and I think in all that time I gave a total of 2 reviews with less than 5 stars on any part.
If anyone would like a free review without having to do so in return I am more than happy to offer my services.
I've been on this site for a good while now (I've done 80 reviews and received 128 - membership is nice :) ) and I think the system generally works.
This is from the FAQ:
"However, those being reviewed will be allowed to rate how helpful your review was. We use the review rating as part of the peer matching process. Those who give good reviews are matched with peers who also give reviews."
I find it is generally, but not totally true. I have a "Great" rating but still get one line reviews.
Of the 3 reviews I get from each submission, I find on average one is poor, one is average to good and one is very good to great. It's not 100%, but it is pretty consistent. So to feel I've really gotten the most out of the reviews for my chapter, I usually need to submit at least 2 times (6 reviews), sometimes 3 if I make changes.
For the reviews I give, I tend to put a lot of time into them and try to point out any issues I see, mechanical, plot etc. Some people love it, I've got great responses from RickVilante for example, some people hate it, giving me low scores for my honesty. C'est la vie.
So basically what I'm saying is yes, you're going to get some bad reviews, but as long as you keep giving good reviews, you'll get to the point where at least most of the reviews you get in return will be above average. :)
Medi- I value your and Rick's opinions to heart. The points don't matter as long as you get well thought of feedback from other writers like yourself. The problem is getting that well thought of feedback. Hence premium membership has its advantages.
I'm a big stickler on language. If a writer violates certain rules, I say something; however, I do give praise to him or her when the violation of the rules results in powerful prose. It becomes a question of style at that point between colleagues.
If someone doesn't like the reviews I give, that's fine if they want to give low scores. The prose either stands on its own or not. If writers cannot deal with the weaknesses of their own work and need to argue their score, they are not writers--only hacks.
I was humbled greatly by an Eighth grader who gave me an excellent review on one of my pieces. It was honest and spot on. Even though there is a large difference in age and education, the language and rules were the same. That goes beyond age, sex, ethnicity, education, etc... I love to write. :)
I'll review for you!
yea it sucks. i just got my outline reviewed, and all i got was negative feedback. i came here for INSPIRATION, how to get my story better and improved, not to be told it's a stupid idea and i should simple stop writing it :/ very discouraging. my story is raw and unfinished, and i just was asking someone to help me make it good a believable
I got bad comments for some parts for my story, I mean really, how much dialog can you have in a letter.
If you believe the reviewer did not make an adequate review of your work, then score their review appropriately in response and (politely) tell them why you're giving them a negative score. If they didn't take in the context of your work, then tell them. If they were rude or condescending, then tell them. The system can only filter out bad reviewers if people tell it who the bad reviewers are. Reviewers CAN go back and re-review a work to earn a higher feedback score from the author (I know this because I did it recently).
Coming to the forums and ranting about it is one thing, but remember, by grading your reviewers accordingly, you're actually doing something about their crap reviews.
Don't be discouraged because somebody doesn't like your stuff. You can't and won't please everybody. Honestly, only about three people here like my writing and that's out of a TON of others out there but it's not stopping me from doing my thing. Just keep writing and don't let a few people out of the billions on this planet stop you.
Early on when I first joined review fuse, I ended up having someone review my work over and over, and they were a really terrible reviewer. This person posted all "That was really good" or "I don't see anything that I can critique." That person ended up being the nicest person I've ever worked with. I gave her bad review scores and let her know what I was looking for in a reviewer, and she turned into someone really wonderful to work with. To those of you new to reviewing, in my opinion, these are the points to remember:
1. My goal is to get published. While giving me pats on the back are good for my ego, ultimately, they don't help me edit my work.
2. If you can't find anything to critique, or being critical just isn't your thing, inline reactions are really helpful. If you're wondering something at a point in the story, say so. If you think something is funny or sad, say that. Maybe that's the reaction I wanted you to have, and that's helpful. But what if I didn't want you to be sad at that point or wonder that? Then I know exactly what effect my story is having.
3. I often post a little blurb about how I do reviews in the beginning of the person's work so that they know I tend to be blunt. That way, they know it's me, not them.
4. All that being said, I always find something positive to say about the story. Something specific and tangible.
5. If the work needs a ton of work, rather than driving yourself crazy and critiquing everything, pick one specific area and focus on that. After all, if you have too much to criticize, you'll frustrate both you and your writer.
So, that's my 2 cents on all this. I appreciate anyone who really takes time out to read what I've written and give me the best review possible. When I get a "bad" review, I don't review my reviewer right away. I purposely let every review sit at least overnight to make sure that I'm not taking it personally. After all, if my work was perfect, I wouldn't need all of your help!