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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Meggles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jan 2019 at 3:00pm
Originally posted by OnyxLily OnyxLily wrote:

I am new to NYC but do a lot of reviewing. My approach to an individual review is to make it a compliment sandwich:
- I really like the way you...
- in this section, it might work better if you
- overall, I think it’s great the way you..,

I’ll be trying to read and review as widely as possible, partly for the selfish reason that if I manage to get through to R2 (or if not, for next year!) and get another genre I’ve never really written, I’ll have read some examples from others and seen what works! Big smile

THIS. My main rule for giving feedback (and my preference for receiving feedback!) is to be begin and end with something positive.

I also think it’s okay if you don’t necessarily have any critiques. Don’t dig around and find something to criticize just for the sake of having something negative. It’s okay to like things!



Edited by Meggles - 29 Jan 2019 at 3:34pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote jennifer.quail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jan 2019 at 3:23pm
Originally posted by BlackGate BlackGate wrote:

Reviewing is fun. Be constructive but be kind. "Tough love" is not ours to give as we don't have a relationship with the writers, leave that to people who know them and from who they want to communicate at a more regular level. Cruel feedback often says far more about the reviewer than the reviewee, and can send a writer (about whom we know nothing nor their individual battles) into a black place if phrased insensitively.


I would say be civil. But not kind. This is not a business for kindness. Judges and editors don't know care about your mental state or "battles", nor should they. All that matters is the product and someone who can't depersonalize about it probably should not be sharing what they write in public because the public is merciless. It's just work at the end of the day. It's not about you. It's not therapy. No one around is personally attacking YOU. (Well, not now that  one dude is gone and good riddance.)

If there's genuinely NOTHING nice to say, don't say anything. Try for a compliment sandwich even if it winds up being open-faced. Try to lead with positives. Almost everything has something decent about it.

And specifics are always better than either "This was great!" or "This sucked!" (If "this sucked" is all you have to say, don't say anything, that's not helpful in any respect.) "I liked X because Y" is good. Sometimes it's even more helpful to hear what worked than what didn't. "I would have rather seen/I would have done Z because Q" is also good because while it's possible I or whomever you're reviewing thought of that and dismissed it, it's also possible they just never thought of it. It gives them something to ponder. 

HOPEFULLY most people entering this don't require any basic grammar or typo help. If it's reassuring, I have sold five stories in last year or so and all had typos ("leaned" where I meant "learned", or in "Deadhead"'s case I actually had half a sentence where I'd edited part of it out and completely forgot to go back and fill it in.) Even on edits that's not what the editors have wanted ME to fix--they catch that. Everybody typos. Most grammar is pretty basic. Typo point-outs are nice but I would never make that the focus of a comment.

Just don't start things about Oxford commas. That's like a religious war.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote BlackGate Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jan 2019 at 3:32pm
Originally posted by jennifer.quail jennifer.quail wrote:

I would say be civil. But not kind. This is not a business for kindness. Judges and editors don't know care about your mental state or "battles", nor should they. All that matters is the product and someone who can't depersonalize about it probably should not be sharing what they write in public because the public is merciless. It's just work at the end of the day. It's not about you. It's not therapy. No one around is personally attacking YOU. 

I disagree. Kindness is not softness, nor telling someone something that isn't true. Be selective with how you phrase your feedback. I see people jumping in with jackboots too often here, it's of zero help. We are not judges, but that's no reason to act like one in the name of "tough love".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Random Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jan 2019 at 3:36pm
Originally posted by BlackGate BlackGate wrote:

Originally posted by jennifer.quail jennifer.quail wrote:

I would say be civil. But not kind. This is not a business for kindness. Judges and editors don't know care about your mental state or "battles", nor should they. All that matters is the product and someone who can't depersonalize about it probably should not be sharing what they write in public because the public is merciless. It's just work at the end of the day. It's not about you. It's not therapy. No one around is personally attacking YOU. 

I disagree. Kindness is not softness, nor telling someone something that isn't true. Be selective with how you phrase your feedback. I see people jumping in with jackboots too often here, it's of zero help. We are not judges, but that's no reason to act like one in the name of "tough love".


And therein lies the rub, as the Melancholy Omelet would say, just before starting a five page discourse in morbid self-obsession.  Dostoyevsky has nothing on Edward deVere.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GaleGirl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jan 2019 at 3:39pm
Originally posted by JanetM JanetM wrote:

As we wait for the go-ahead share email, brazenly starting a new discussion topic...

There's a SNOW DAY where I live, so a go-ahead email would be pretty sweet right now! I could leisurely read a lot of stories. It COULD come today, right? Anyway, I know this has been discussed, but we do have a lot of newbies (I still feel pretty much a newbie) and I'm always curious about how people review. So I'll go first.

The top 5 of my reviewing style

1. I have lots of good intentions to read and review a LOT of stories.

Then life usually happens. It's my goal to read every night. It's also my goal to write every night, but that also doesn't always happen.  Also, I have a (cool free book involved!) conference on Thursday and Friday already, so I might be already be failing on it.. early. *sigh

2. I start with everyone who posts in my group. 

I was surprised by someone who posted they didn't do their own group. I know they're the competition, but I'm always wowed by what others have come up with on the prompts I struggled with- I mean, I throughly enjoyed. I don't feel like I rage review them. Wink

We're all in this together... and my last round in flash fiction, three people who didn't share moved on! I'd prefer people who posted their stories win. I can then appreciate how they did it and learn. right?
 So "go team!" (Currently we have the most in our group with 5 last time someone counted! Go 55!)

3. I read each story twice.

I feel like that really gives me a better understanding of the story, of course, and I pick up stuff and appreciate things I might have distractedly missed. Note: I really hope the judges do this, too, eh? Also, poor judges! 

4. I look for the stories of writers I have enjoyed in the past and people who have reviewed my story. I read stories in the genre I just got and then try to read a sampling, but honestly, I gravitate toward types of stories I like. I'll try to read more political satire this time.

5. I try to leave helpful feedback, but sometimes I just share that I enjoyed the story, cause that's all I got and I wanted to tell them that I enjoyed the story before leaving. 

When I do leave a more detailed review I tend to point out my favourite parts of the story and then add something that took me out of the story as a reader, if there's something.

What's your top 5? or 10? 

Here's hoping the email came while I was writing this!



Hello Janet, complete newb here. Is it apparent when and where people are posting their stories? Very kind of you to offer, BTW. Where can I find your story?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote roccapia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jan 2019 at 4:22pm
Originally posted by Veralisa Markwood Veralisa Markwood wrote:

This is my first time participating. When I found out writers could share their stories with others, I thought, "No way am I going to do that. No way. No." 

But as I've gotten to know the group on the forum, I'm willing to give it a try. My personal goal for sharing is that anyone who reviews my story will, in the future, say, "Remember when her writing really sucked?!" And I in return, in the future, will say, "I improved - thanks in huge part to you guys!" That will be a fun day, in the future.

In the present time, I don't have a plan for reading except to dive in. Bring 'em on!!


 
I guess it can be scary the first time, because you're putting yourself in a vulnerable position by letting others read what you wrote, but for the most part everyone's in the same boat: we're all trying to improve, and the best way to do it is by both reading others' stories and having others read yours. We learn from other stories in what works (and what doesn't). And when other people read your story, they can tell you what works and what doesn't too. Which is a really helpful way to improve your writing. Probably the best way.


Edited by roccapia - 29 Jan 2019 at 4:23pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote stephenmatlock Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jan 2019 at 4:36pm
Y'all are so methodical and careful.

I just let the voices in my head direct my interests.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stephenmatlock Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jan 2019 at 4:38pm
Originally posted by GaleGirl GaleGirl wrote:

Originally posted by JanetM JanetM wrote:

As we wait for the go-ahead share email, brazenly starting a new discussion topic...

There's a SNOW DAY where I live, so a go-ahead email would be pretty sweet right now! I could leisurely read a lot of stories. It COULD come today, right? Anyway, I know this has been discussed, but we do have a lot of newbies (I still feel pretty much a newbie) and I'm always curious about how people review. So I'll go first.

The top 5 of my reviewing style

1. I have lots of good intentions to read and review a LOT of stories.

Then life usually happens. It's my goal to read every night. It's also my goal to write every night, but that also doesn't always happen.  Also, I have a (cool free book involved!) conference on Thursday and Friday already, so I might be already be failing on it.. early. *sigh

2. I start with everyone who posts in my group. 

I was surprised by someone who posted they didn't do their own group. I know they're the competition, but I'm always wowed by what others have come up with on the prompts I struggled with- I mean, I throughly enjoyed. I don't feel like I rage review them. Wink

We're all in this together... and my last round in flash fiction, three people who didn't share moved on! I'd prefer people who posted their stories win. I can then appreciate how they did it and learn. right?
 So "go team!" (Currently we have the most in our group with 5 last time someone counted! Go 55!)

3. I read each story twice.

I feel like that really gives me a better understanding of the story, of course, and I pick up stuff and appreciate things I might have distractedly missed. Note: I really hope the judges do this, too, eh? Also, poor judges! 

4. I look for the stories of writers I have enjoyed in the past and people who have reviewed my story. I read stories in the genre I just got and then try to read a sampling, but honestly, I gravitate toward types of stories I like. I'll try to read more political satire this time.

5. I try to leave helpful feedback, but sometimes I just share that I enjoyed the story, cause that's all I got and I wanted to tell them that I enjoyed the story before leaving. 

When I do leave a more detailed review I tend to point out my favourite parts of the story and then add something that took me out of the story as a reader, if there's something.

What's your top 5? or 10? 

Here's hoping the email came while I was writing this!



Hello Janet, complete newb here. Is it apparent when and where people are posting their stories? Very kind of you to offer, BTW. Where can I find your story?


Suave has set up a set of posts where you can post the link to your forum story. Go post it there!

When he gets some time today, he'll update the list w/ everyone's story and the link to the forum.

It's quite a sweet deal that he does for the love of the community.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JanetM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jan 2019 at 5:25pm
Originally posted by Cassalass Cassalass wrote:

Maybe you guys can change my mind but I am kind of afraid to read anyone's from my group. (cat 55, sorry Janet!). I don't think I could look at it with out my own take on the prompts clouding my judgement. Not only that but once I get past my research stage I avoid looking at similar pieces so I can't be influenced by them. I might want to do more with my piece as I loved it. I'm just starting out so I would be afraid that I would loose my personal take on life by someone else's unique view. Then I'd loose kind of the integrity of my writers voice. Does that make sense?

I think you'll end up being surprised about how different all of our stories are! (I haven't read any stories yet, but will tonight! ) I hear you on the being worried about being influenced by what you read, but I think that's also what makes one a better writer. (Or else that's what Stephen King says.)

No worries no matter what you decide though! :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JanetM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jan 2019 at 6:07pm
Originally posted by GaleGirl GaleGirl wrote:

Originally posted by JanetM JanetM wrote:

As we wait for the go-ahead share email, brazenly starting a new discussion topic...

There's a SNOW DAY where I live, so a go-ahead email would be pretty sweet right now! I could leisurely read a lot of stories. It COULD come today, right? Anyway, I know this has been discussed, but we do have a lot of newbies (I still feel pretty much a newbie) and I'm always curious about how people review. So I'll go first.

The top 5 of my reviewing style

1. I have lots of good intentions to read and review a LOT of stories.

Then life usually happens. It's my goal to read every night. It's also my goal to write every night, but that also doesn't always happen.  Also, I have a (cool free book involved!) conference on Thursday and Friday already, so I might be already be failing on it.. early. *sigh

2. I start with everyone who posts in my group. 

I was surprised by someone who posted they didn't do their own group. I know they're the competition, but I'm always wowed by what others have come up with on the prompts I struggled with- I mean, I throughly enjoyed. I don't feel like I rage review them. Wink

We're all in this together... and my last round in flash fiction, three people who didn't share moved on! I'd prefer people who posted their stories win. I can then appreciate how they did it and learn. right?
 So "go team!" (Currently we have the most in our group with 5 last time someone counted! Go 55!)

3. I read each story twice.

I feel like that really gives me a better understanding of the story, of course, and I pick up stuff and appreciate things I might have distractedly missed. Note: I really hope the judges do this, too, eh? Also, poor judges! 

4. I look for the stories of writers I have enjoyed in the past and people who have reviewed my story. I read stories in the genre I just got and then try to read a sampling, but honestly, I gravitate toward types of stories I like. I'll try to read more political satire this time.

5. I try to leave helpful feedback, but sometimes I just share that I enjoyed the story, cause that's all I got and I wanted to tell them that I enjoyed the story before leaving. 

When I do leave a more detailed review I tend to point out my favourite parts of the story and then add something that took me out of the story as a reader, if there's something.

What's your top 5? or 10? 

Here's hoping the email came while I was writing this!



Hello Janet, complete newb here. Is it apparent when and where people are posting their stories? Very kind of you to offer, BTW. Where can I find your story?

Hey GaleGirl! (Your name makes me think of the publishing company. You have a big in in Non-fiction?)
I see that you already got an answer to this. There's instruction on the Short Story page. Basically you make a post with the link to your google doc (or whatever) and then you post the link to that thread in your group number's page.

My story is in my signature. I'll return the favour! :)
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