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Victimized by a Nasty Drive-by Review? Take Heart.

Printed From: NYC Midnight : Creative Writing & Screenwriting
Category: GENERAL DISCUSSION
Forum Name: Creative Writing Corner
Forum Description: Discuss NYC Midnight Creative Writing Competitions or Creative Writing in general.
URL: https://forums.nycmidnight.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=20586
Printed Date: 17 Oct 2019 at 9:01pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 12.03 - http://www.webwizforums.com


Topic: Victimized by a Nasty Drive-by Review? Take Heart.
Posted By: SEHBicycle
Subject: Victimized by a Nasty Drive-by Review? Take Heart.
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2019 at 7:02pm
As you read the critique a peer writer left for you, don't be hurt if you see a harsh critique. Don't question if you're a writer. Don't give up. Above all, don't hold back your work.

I've already IMd the reviewer; and it was not a person who reviewed me, but rather others. I'm posting here so that those who feel the sting of harsh reviews might not throw in the towel on sharing their work.

It takes trust to share your work with others. It's a huge step. It can be the missing piece in developing your own writing. We each need to find the writers who inspire us to dig into our creativity, who collaborate with us on our writing and push us to new depths as a writer, who beta read our competition story when THEY are in the competition. In my experience, there are many writers who critique in this category. They call out the good, the bad, the "meh," in our writing. They ask questions, they offer suggestions; they try to put their finger on why they had a reaction they had. You'll have mixed feelings after this review, but don't let doubt weigh you down. You ARE a writer. You had the COURAGE to enter this competition.

The next category are the quick positive reviewers, pumping us up and telling us how great the story is, how much they loved it. They don't tell us why, they speak in generalities. We all like that kind of review, but it doesn't help us push the story to its next level. Let yourself be buoyed by this review, but keep pushing yourself to grow as a writer.

Then we hit the dangerous reviewer. After we finish their critique, we feel like the victim of a nasty drive-by-reviewing. We're injured; we're bewildered; we're angry; and so many emotions. When we ask questions of that reviewer, we often get excuses that show this is a bully. It's a writer pretending to be helpful when discord and disheartenment is what they desire to sow.

Be wary of, and leery of, the writers who gave us this fully negative review. They love to use easy words, like "dumb" or "stupid" for decisions we made in our writing; they bash us for using a trope, when so much writing LIVES on tropes--it's the story we TELL that makes it a story. They may couch their harsh review as:
  • "This is the real world."

  • "I don't have time to call out the good stuff when there's bad stuff to fix."

  • "Look at amazon reviews. You don't see people calling out the bad and the good."

  • "I'm not the type to blow sunshine up your butt."

  • "If you can't take it, you don't belong here."

  • They tell you how many books they've published, or all the short stories they've had purchased, or their experiences with editors, as if their way of reviewing must be right, because look how far they've come.

Great for them, that they're in the stage where they're submitting. This FORUM critique is not for a story you sent to an editor. It's for a story you trusted your peer writers with, to critique with what we think works, what we think doesn't. We had 8 days, or 3, or 1, to write it. We can critique without being embittered A-holes.

When you're the victim of that drive-by-reviewer, please don't let the experience make you question whether you're meant to be a writer. Don't pull your story from the forum.

We are all at different stages when we enter this competition, and there's nothing wrong with that. If you love writing, of you've wondered what it would like to write your stories and have others read them, PUT them on the forum. It's supposed to be a safe first step. Often, it is.

Try your hardest to TRUST again, if you're a victim of that drive-by-reviewer. We're not all like that. Many of us have made our share of mistakes in critiquing, and we learn from them. We become better critiquers. This drive-by-reviewer type, however, doesn't desire to change. One PM exchange is all you need to confirm, it's best to back away slowly. Find a different reviewer.

Good luck to everyone in this competition; good luck as you continue to grow as a writer. And don't throw in the towel because of that bully reviewer. I'm starting this thread not so that we can bash reviewers. I'm doing it for affirmation. I would not be where I am in my own journey if not for the wonderful writer friends I made on this very forum.

You are a writer. And thank GOODNESS you are not that bully writer!


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Shari
https://tinyurl.com/y5o2adfx" rel="nofollow - The Sunrise of My Dreams, FFC ch2 Gr13
https://tinyurl.com/y3pgqryn" rel="nofollow - Blown-Gasket Blues, FFC ch1 Gr13, 4 pts



Replies:
Posted By: chrissie0707
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2019 at 7:09pm


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FFC#2 - You Make Your Own Luck
Micro#1 - https://forums.nycmidnight.com/topic23749_post302312.html#302312" rel="nofollow - One More Day


Posted By: Random
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2019 at 8:11pm
Some people say much more about themselves than the subject of conversation.  It's just a fact of life, and applies to more circumstances than just writing competitions.   This is where I do tell people to grow skin and consider the source rather than the content, because life is too short to dive into the mud after them.

Or, as my favorite half-arsed American once said, "You never reach your destination if you stop to throw stones at every dog that barks along the way"


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Posted By: OnyxLily
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2019 at 8:20pm
Well said! I haven’t had the misfortune to encounter one of these yet, and thus far have found the forum to be a safe and supportive place. 

It’s amazing though, how one “this sux” can stay in your head way longer than three “I love this”s, even though neither is backed up with specifics.


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Posted By: CathyM
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2019 at 8:23pm


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Posted By: Lisa_Who
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2019 at 8:24pm
Originally posted by OnyxLily OnyxLily wrote:

Well said! I haven’t had the misfortune to encounter one of these yet, and thus far have found the forum to be a safe and supportive place. 

Me neither, and this is might be the most public (well, semi-public) safe and supportive space I think I've ever posted on...the most negative review I've gotten to date, I think I could only even classify as "lukewarm." :)  hmm...now I feel like I've painted a target on my poor little story.


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Posted By: nixie
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2019 at 8:31pm
Originally posted by OnyxLily OnyxLily wrote:

Well said! I haven’t had the misfortune to encounter one of these yet, and thus far have found the forum to be a safe and supportive place. 

It’s amazing though, how one “this sux” can stay in your head way longer than three “I love this”s, even though neither is backed up with specifics.

One of the terrific things about this forum is that the vast majority of people value the opportunity to share with other writers without having to feel "in competition" with the people around them. 

Every now and again, someone comes along who feels the need to try to dominate, to make themselves feel important, special, or competent by showing *themselves how much better they are than the people around them.  

It's my experience that such people don't enjoy this place for long.  

The open, supportive nature of the folks here (like the OP's note above) also tends to result in that kind of BS being called out.  Politely, privately - maybe both - and then with less patience or indulgence - til it reaches a point where they aren't getting the rewards for it any more and they move along to make themselves feel important at the expense of a new group of people. 

While the cozy feel of this forum has given way a bit with the last few years' massive growth, I still see folks working to keep the integrity and security of it intact.  Keep doing that, y'all. Make this place as safe and welcoming for every new participant as it has been for us over the years. <3

~Nix


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Posted By: LaurieH
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2019 at 8:40pm
In the contest being held now, there are over 4000 entries. Of those 4000, probably 1/10 - 1/4 will be posted. That's 400-800 stories. (Probably closer to 400, but I'm optimistic.)

That's a lot of stories.

Now, I do know that there are some people who have nothing better to do than to be mean to random people for kicks. They thrive on it. But they do it for the reaction and, frankly, the reactions to perceived nastiness on this forum aren't worth it for a professional troll.  I've belonged to forums where the trolling is rampant, nasty, and have people virtually frothing at the keyboard.

I haven't seen that here.

Therefore, isn't it more likely that what you have perceived as a 'nasty drive-by reviewer' is actually someone who is trying to help?
  • They took the time to read the story.
  • They took the time to review the story.
With 400-800 stories to choose from, why would this person single you out?

Isn't it better to know that what you have written needs work, even if the wording of the critique is not gentle?  I'd much rather get this type of review than the rejection letters from magazines saying, "Sorry, but your story isn't what we're looking for."  Because what does that tell me? Diddly squat. But if Nasty Reviewer, Esq. says, "Sorry, your story doesn't work for me because this, this, and this didn't make sense to me," well, that's actually helpful. Much better than the overly gushing "OMG ur story is so gud!!11!!!"

Oh, there are a lot of people out there who could stand to learn a bit of tact. But, remember this, also:

The written word does not take into account facial expressions or tone of voice.

When a reviewer writes a review, it's highly possible that the tone of their mind voice, and their facial expression as they are writing the review, would make the written review a lot less harsh. But that cannot be conveyed in words.

I had someone report me to my boss because I 'disrespected' her in an email.  My boss said that my email could have been worded differently. But, at the time, in my mind's voice, it sounded fine.

So, before you take a 'nasty drive-by review' the wrong way, remember that it takes time to write these reviews. And if this person took the time to tell you what you may have done wrong, they are trying to help.


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Feedback will be returned to the best of my ability.
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Posted By: Zelda
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2019 at 8:50pm
If anyone has a problem with anything I've said in a review, then let me know! Don't be all passive-aggressive and start threads about it. I'm easy to reach, and you know where to find me! Geez. 

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Posted By: Random
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2019 at 8:53pm
Originally posted by Zelda Zelda wrote:

If anyone has a problem with anything I've said in a review, then let me know! Don't be all passive-aggressive and start threads about it. I'm easy to reach, and you know where to find me! Geez. 


Calling me a festering malignant gobutit on a fornicating old sow might have been a little much, but honestly I had to agree with the really harsh comments.

Big smile



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Posted By: Zelda
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2019 at 8:54pm
Originally posted by Random Random wrote:

Originally posted by Zelda Zelda wrote:

If anyone has a problem with anything I've said in a review, then let me know! Don't be all passive-aggressive and start threads about it. I'm easy to reach, and you know where to find me! Geez. 


Calling me a festering malignant gobutit on a fornicating old sow might have been a little much, but honestly I had to agree with the really harsh comments.

Big smile


Holy crap. Are you mad at me? This is news. 


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Posted By: Random
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2019 at 8:58pm
Originally posted by Zelda Zelda wrote:

Originally posted by Random Random wrote:

Originally posted by Zelda Zelda wrote:

If anyone has a problem with anything I've said in a review, then let me know! Don't be all passive-aggressive and start threads about it. I'm easy to reach, and you know where to find me! Geez. 


Calling me a festering malignant gobutit on a fornicating old sow might have been a little much, but honestly I had to agree with the really harsh comments.

Big smile


Holy crap. Are you mad at me? This is news. 


Oh, goodness.  Seriously?  I mean, seriously?

Nothing on this board does more than amuse me.  That's why I come here.  This is recreation.  The big emoticon was there for a reason.


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Posted By: SEHBicycle
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2019 at 8:58pm
Originally posted by LaurieH LaurieH wrote:

<snip>Isn't it better to know that what you have written needs work, even if the wording of the critique is not gentle?  I'd much rather get this type of review than the rejection letters from magazines saying, "Sorry, but your story isn't what we're looking for."  Because what does that tell me? Diddly squat. But if Nasty Reviewer, Esq. says, "Sorry, your story doesn't work for me because this, this, and this didn't make sense to me," well, that's actually helpful. Much better than the overly gushing "OMG ur story is so gud!!11!!!"


Thanks for your thoughts, LaurieH. In reality, I'm not the victim on this one. A friend was. When I looked into the posts this person puts out, it's clear this is a reviewer with a chip on the shoulder. I can't imagine how I would have reacted in my first contest here if I got some of the "crits" this person is putting out.

I get, exactly what you're saying, that they took time to read. When I IMd this person, I heard that person's views--points I paraphrased above. I can't know what's going on in their life; but I will call out bullying behavior when I perceive it.

Thanks, again, for making your points, all valid.

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Shari
https://tinyurl.com/y5o2adfx" rel="nofollow - The Sunrise of My Dreams, FFC ch2 Gr13
https://tinyurl.com/y3pgqryn" rel="nofollow - Blown-Gasket Blues, FFC ch1 Gr13, 4 pts


Posted By: Zelda
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2019 at 9:01pm
Originally posted by Random Random wrote:


Oh, goodness.  Seriously?  I mean, seriously?

Nothing on this board does more than amuse me.  That's why I come here.  This is recreation.  The big emoticon was there for a reason.

Sorry!! Panic/paranoia attack!! Just trying to regulate my breathing a bit!! Please don't be offended! 


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Posted By: SEHBicycle
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2019 at 9:02pm
Originally posted by Zelda Zelda wrote:

If anyone has a problem with anything I've said in a review, then let me know! Don't be all passive-aggressive and start threads about it. I'm easy to reach, and you know where to find me! Geez. 


I don't believe you've reviewed me, and if you have, thanks in advance, and I'll see it whenever I look at my post next. I chose not to name the writer whose pattern I saw in reviewing others. I IM'd that writer, and I felt like I was on the end of a massive 'writer-splaining' bad behavior away.

I want this as a post for those who HAVE received drive-by reviews to take some hope away from their experience, rather than pain.

Thanks for popping by.

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Shari
https://tinyurl.com/y5o2adfx" rel="nofollow - The Sunrise of My Dreams, FFC ch2 Gr13
https://tinyurl.com/y3pgqryn" rel="nofollow - Blown-Gasket Blues, FFC ch1 Gr13, 4 pts


Posted By: chrissie0707
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2019 at 9:05pm
I truly, really, and genuinely appreciate the positive vibe here in the forum, and the intention of these last few threads. But it is already causing in others what similar caused in myself last SSC.

There are a lot of forumites out there who are trying to giving positive, helpful, constructive feedback. And sometimes, when they see these threads, it sparks some anxiety that the thread was written about them. It happened to me last year, so I know it's a very real thing. I actually stumbled upon a thread about negative feedback in which I was singled out in comments as people tried to deduce who was responsible for the OP's concerns. (I wasn't, but still.)

In short - it sucked.

So while I COMPLETELY understand the intention, there ARE unwanted side effects of these types of discussions, where those super small few who are the issue aren't willing to read and get this message anyway, and some of those who are out there trying to help their fellow writers might end up feeling discouraged from doing so.

Just some food for thought, in these general discussions.

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FFC#2 - You Make Your Own Luck
Micro#1 - https://forums.nycmidnight.com/topic23749_post302312.html#302312" rel="nofollow - One More Day


Posted By: Zelda
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2019 at 9:06pm
Originally posted by chrissie0707 chrissie0707 wrote:

I truly, really, and genuinely appreciate the positive vibe here in the forum, and the intention of these last few threads. But it is already causing in others what similar caused in myself last SSC.

There are a lot of forumites out there who are trying to giving positive, helpful, constructive feedback. And sometimes, when they see these threads, it sparks some anxiety that the thread was written about them. It happened to me last year, so I know it's a very real thing. I actually stumbled upon a thread about negative feedback in which I was singled out in comments as people tried to deduce who was responsible for the OP's concerns. (I wasn't, but still.)

In short - it sucked.

So while I COMPLETELY understand the intention, there ARE unwanted side effects of these types of discussions, where those super small few who are the issue aren't willing to read and get this message anyway, and some of those who are out there trying to help their fellow writers might end up feeling discouraged from doing so.

Just some food for thought, in these general discussions.

God bless you!! Clap


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Posted By: SEHBicycle
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2019 at 9:10pm
Originally posted by chrissie0707 chrissie0707 wrote:

<snip>
So while I COMPLETELY understand the intention, there ARE unwanted side effects of these types of discussions, where those super small few who are the issue aren't willing to read and get this message anyway, and some of those who are out there trying to help their fellow writers might end up feeling discouraged from doing so.<Snip>


Thanks for that thought. I'll see if I can find a place to slip in near the top that I IMd a person whose pattern I saw in reviewing others. I've tested plenty years. Our rule was "2 is a coincidence, 3 is a pattern." Six, to me, cemented, a pattern.

Thanks for giving me this perspective to undestand the complexity of trying to be supportive, and then having a gut-check side effect for other critiquers.


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Shari
https://tinyurl.com/y5o2adfx" rel="nofollow - The Sunrise of My Dreams, FFC ch2 Gr13
https://tinyurl.com/y3pgqryn" rel="nofollow - Blown-Gasket Blues, FFC ch1 Gr13, 4 pts


Posted By: Lisa_Who
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2019 at 9:12pm
Originally posted by Zelda Zelda wrote:

If anyone has a problem with anything I've said in a review, then let me know! Don't be all passive-aggressive and start threads about it. I'm easy to reach, and you know where to find me! Geez. 

HA, I just finished my Review These Now If I Haven't Already! spreadsheet and I know your name showed up on it as one of my reviewers...let's see what hellspawnish comment you threw at me...

You need to tighten up your writing a little.

HOW COULD YOU SAY SUCH A THING TO MEEE.  

(Well, you and at least 5 other reviewers.  But that's irrelevant!)

Big smile

I'm sorry.  I love semicolons.  I love my ability to pile 100+ words into a single, yet STILL GRAMMATICALLY 100% CORRECT sentence.  Because I think if I let two related thoughts be forever separated by a period, they'll both wither and die and I'll be left heartbroken? 

Seriously, this is like, the third post or something about harsh reviewers...I am sort of surprised I haven't encountered any yet.  My story (as exampled above) did have some nice, glaring flaws that anyone could've used to mercilessly shred it if they'd really wanted to. 





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Posted By: Zelda
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2019 at 9:22pm
Thank you, Lisa_Who! I have no idea how I could've become so paranoid! (Although I do deal with clinical paranoia, so that could be a clue.) I just never want to hurt anyone's feelings! And on the same side, I never want anyone to hurt mine! It's all a tough balancing act! I flew into a panic and literally quit breathing. I'm sure everything will be fine once oxygen returns to my lungs! 

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Posted By: Lisa_Who
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2019 at 9:22pm
Note:  Just to make sure that nobody thinks Zelda is heartless for telling me to tighten up my writing a little--she also said it was "too freakin' cute," "pleasant, upbeat, carefree, adventuresome, and light and fluffy! All great in a romantic comedy!" AND she took the trouble to pull out one of my sentences and carefully parse it into more digestible chunks to show me exactly what she meant. 

In other words, Zelda = Dream Reviewer. Heart 


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Posted By: Zelda
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2019 at 9:24pm
Originally posted by Lisa_Who Lisa_Who wrote:

Note:  Just to make sure that nobody thinks Zelda is heartless for telling me to tighten up my writing a little--she also said it was "too freakin' cute," "pleasant, upbeat, carefree, adventuresome, and light and fluffy! All great in a romantic comedy!" AND she took the trouble to pull out one of my sentences and carefully parse it into more digestible chunks to show me exactly what she meant. 

In other words, Zelda = Dream Reviewer. Heart 

HeartHeartHeartHeartHeartHeartHeart


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Posted By: nod1v1ng
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2019 at 9:26pm
Originally posted by Lisa_Who Lisa_Who wrote:


I'm sorry.  I love semicolons. 


Don’t be sorry. I’ll fight anyone who tries to take my semicolon. 

WinkLOL


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Posted By: Lisa_Who
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2019 at 9:28pm
Originally posted by nod1v1ng nod1v1ng wrote:

Originally posted by Lisa_Who Lisa_Who wrote:


I'm sorry.  I love semicolons. 


Don’t be sorry. I’ll fight anyone who tries to take my semicolon. 

WinkLOL

"Don't be sorry; we'll fight anyone who tries to take our semicolons!"


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Posted By: chrissie0707
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2019 at 9:30pm
Originally posted by Lisa_Who Lisa_Who wrote:

Originally posted by nod1v1ng nod1v1ng wrote:

Originally posted by Lisa_Who Lisa_Who wrote:

<span style=": rgb251, 251, 253;">
</span>
<span style=": rgb251, 251, 253;">I'm sorry.  I love semicolons. </span>



Don’t be sorry. I’ll fight anyone who tries to take my semicolon. 

WinkLOL


"Don't be sorry; we'll fight anyone who tries to take our semicolons!"


I think I told my best friend during a recent beta read "you love semicolons more than your fiancé."

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FFC#2 - You Make Your Own Luck
Micro#1 - https://forums.nycmidnight.com/topic23749_post302312.html#302312" rel="nofollow - One More Day


Posted By: Random
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2019 at 9:42pm
Originally posted by Lisa_Who Lisa_Who wrote:

Originally posted by nod1v1ng nod1v1ng wrote:

Originally posted by Lisa_Who Lisa_Who wrote:


I'm sorry.  I love semicolons. 


Don’t be sorry. I’ll fight anyone who tries to take my semicolon. 

WinkLOL

"Don't be sorry; we'll fight anyone who tries to take our semicolons!"


All your semicolon are belong to us.

You have have the dots, but I'm taking the commas.  If you ever want to see then again send 10,000 erudite words in a plain brown wrapper to...


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Posted By: Random
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2019 at 9:48pm
Originally posted by Zelda Zelda wrote:


Sorry!! Panic/paranoia attack!! Just trying to regulate my breathing a bit!! Please don't be offended! 


Offense cannot be given, only taken.  It's not a popular truth, but it's still a truth.

Personally, I can't be bothered.  I'm a little bummed that I went to so much trouble composing a Pythonesque insult and you didn't get it, though  Big smile


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Posted By: topangarose
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2019 at 10:37pm


SEHBicycle : HeartHeartHeartBeerHeartHeartHeart  YES!

When a reviewer causes writers to actually remove their stories from the review forum, their review is neither appropriate nor helpful.


Random:  Your Pythonesque insult did not go unappreciated!



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Posted By: SakuraHime
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2019 at 10:52pm
Originally posted by Random Random wrote:

Originally posted by Lisa_Who Lisa_Who wrote:

Originally posted by nod1v1ng nod1v1ng wrote:

Originally posted by Lisa_Who Lisa_Who wrote:


I'm sorry.  I love semicolons. 


Don’t be sorry. I’ll fight anyone who tries to take my semicolon. 

WinkLOL

"Don't be sorry; we'll fight anyone who tries to take our semicolons!"


All your semicolon are belong to us.

You have have the dots, but I'm taking the commas.  If you ever want to see then again send 10,000 erudite words in a plain brown wrapper to...

Zero Wing reference for the win! Also, I share your passion for semicolons. 

I just wanted to pop by and reiterate that I appreciate this discussion so much. And I also wanted to offer assurances to Zelda (love the name!) and everyone else who's commented thus far that from the reviews I've seen, you're doing everything perfectly. If this discussion started because of the person I think it may have, it's not that constructive feedback is an issue; the problem is when someone is overly negative without providing ANY positive thoughts. We know constructive feedback is necessary for growth (jeez, way to speak for everyone), and we look forward to that. 


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Posted By: sootfoot5
Date Posted: 06 Feb 2019 at 2:57am

I think something that this person forgets is that writers work together and get leads for places to publish their work, they beta each other's stories and novels (and I don't just mean during a competition!) and they just generally seek each other's advice.  I'm sure this individual doesn't believe any help is needed. Ahhh it is a lonely world for this kind of person!

Who here is going to assist this the cruel reviewer?  Let the volunteers speak up in this thread.  


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Posted By: LaurieH
Date Posted: 06 Feb 2019 at 8:01am
Originally posted by SEHBicycle SEHBicycle wrote:

Originally posted by LaurieH LaurieH wrote:

<snip>Isn't it better to know that what you have written needs work, even if the wording of the critique is not gentle?  I'd much rather get this type of review than the rejection letters from magazines saying, "Sorry, but your story isn't what we're looking for."  Because what does that tell me? Diddly squat. But if Nasty Reviewer, Esq. says, "Sorry, your story doesn't work for me because this, this, and this didn't make sense to me," well, that's actually helpful. Much better than the overly gushing "OMG ur story is so gud!!11!!!"


Thanks for your thoughts, LaurieH. In reality, I'm not the victim on this one. A friend was. When I looked into the posts this person puts out, it's clear this is a reviewer with a chip on the shoulder. I can't imagine how I would have reacted in my first contest here if I got some of the "crits" this person is putting out.

I get, exactly what you're saying, that they took time to read. When I IMd this person, I heard that person's views--points I paraphrased above. I can't know what's going on in their life; but I will call out bullying behavior when I perceive it.

Thanks, again, for making your points, all valid.

And yet you didn't get what I was saying.

Everyone reviews differently. Everyone. I think I found the reviewer you are talking about, and honestly, I see nothing wrong with the reviews except for the fact that they aren't coddling the reviewee. Either that or I have the wrong person, I dunno.  

Even all the bullet points you listed as excuses for why a person reviews the way they do are fully valid bullet points. I didn't realize it until you pointed them out that in any review I get where I don't like the criticism, I go through many of those points in my head. And if I care to go back to my story, I adjust it accordingly, while mentally thanking the person(s) who pointed out the flaws.

What you seem to be saying, at least in what my little brain is comprehending, is that any review that points out the flaws in a story is a "nasty drive-by review" whether the comments are helpful or not.

So, someone posting, "Your story sux," is a nasty drive-by review.  

Someone posting, "I read your story, and I didn't understand this, this, or this, and couldn't figure out what the character's motivation was, so you may want to make it clearer. But the worldbuilding was nice," is a nasty drive-by review.

Someone posting, "Oooh, I loved your story, great job!" is a good review.

Color me strange, but I'd much rather have the second nasty drive-by review.



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Posted By: LaurieH
Date Posted: 06 Feb 2019 at 8:03am
Originally posted by Random Random wrote:

Originally posted by Zelda Zelda wrote:


Sorry!! Panic/paranoia attack!! Just trying to regulate my breathing a bit!! Please don't be offended! 


Offense cannot be given, only taken.  It's not a popular truth, but it's still a truth.

Personally, I can't be bothered.  I'm a little bummed that I went to so much trouble composing a Pythonesque insult and you didn't get it, though  Big smile

I got it, and laughed and laughed and laughed.

And I've given up all my semicolons for emdashes.


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Posted By: Drib
Date Posted: 06 Feb 2019 at 8:48am
Great thread on an important topic.

(This answer got much longer than I anticipated. Apologies. Clearly, I need an editor...)

First things first: none of us have paid our fellow writers to post their stories. That anyone chooses to post their story for us to read is a free, added-value privilege that we should all appreciate - and acknowledge when we respond to their stories.

That being said, I assume (dangerous thing, I know) that most of us post our stories because we've done the hard yards of sweating under a deadline to produce the best we can and most of us are desperate to find out what 'ordinary' readers think of what we have written.  (By 'ordinary' I mean people who encounter our work like they encounter other writing, perhaps writing that they have bought. People who don't know us and so have few filters between them and our work).  As writers we want to know, is it good? Or at least good enough to stand up in the eyes of a stranger?

So we'd like some feedback.  Feedback about whether the story worked.  Feedback about what a strange reader thought was good.  

And feedback about what could have been better.

And this is where the landmines are.  

As a reader, it's damned hard to provide good, specific, actionable feedback about what we like in a story. Not without drifting into gushing empty compliments. 

But it's really easy to find things we don't like - and complain about them. And easy to make complaints specific. And easy to cast them down from our keyboards as if our critique was the voice of God issuing holy writ to a hapless prophet on a mountain top. (Whoops. Runaway simile).

It's easy, and, if this is all we do, it is lazy.

And here's the thing: humans are hardwired to pay attention to criticism much more than praise. Five times more. That means that one piece of negative feedback hits with the force of five pieces of positive criticism. 

If we get more than two or three negative crits, that can be devastating. It can completely destroy any sense of pride in what we have written or belief in what we could write. It could stop us from trying again, ever. And that should fly in the face of the reason we are here.

For many of us, putting our writing out here in the Forum is something that makes us vulnerable. Perhaps we've never shown anyone our writing before. Perhaps we've never told anyone we'd like to write before. Perhaps we think - for whatever reason, a bad teacher, a throwaway comment from a sibling - that we shouldn't be arrogant enough to think anyone will like our writing. Perhaps we hope we are taking the first step towards our dream of being a writer.

Yet we're putting something out there that many of us think of as a reflection of ourselves. And when someone crassly kicks our writing, they are kicking our dreams.

So negative crits can hurt, and hurt badly.

And yet we still we want to find out how we can do better.

So what's a reviewer to do?

All I can speak to is what I try to do. Sometimes (often) I fail. But I try.
  • Thank the person for posting the story. At the least, they've given me something that's engaged me and that's worth being grateful for.
  • Find something that I valued and enjoyed in the story. Something specific, so that if they did it again, that would be good.
  • Find one thing that I think could be improved. There may be more things I could crit, but what would be my purpose in doing so?  When I present my crit, I try not to claim any more authority other than that of being a reader.  I point out the thing I think could be improved, perhaps explaining why it didn't work for me.
  • Then I find something else I liked. Again, something specific.
  • Then something overall about the story I enjoyed or valued. There is always something. Always.
That's it.  I know they're going to focus on the negative crit - that's what we all do - but I've done my best so they don't feel bad about it.

This works for me - and, I hope, for the readers who have allowed me to read their work. I know other folk think about reviews differently and offer feedback in other, often brilliant, ways. 

But it is easy to spot a review motivated by an honest desire to appreciate and help, versus one that that has been written to make the reviewer feel good at the expense of the writer whom they are critiquing.

Let's not be those reviewers.

This competition is a tough gig. Everyone has worked hard to produce the best work they could. I see that my role as a reader is to recognise their effort, support what they have achieved, and offer a little help how, in my opinion as a reader, the story might work a little better, for them to improve.  It's not about me or showing off my knowledge - it's about their writing. 

And it's about showing the respect I would have others give me.



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Posted By: Smith Corona
Date Posted: 06 Feb 2019 at 9:45am
Originally posted by LaurieH LaurieH wrote:

What you seem to be saying, at least in what my little brain is comprehending, is that any review that points out the flaws in a story is a "nasty drive-by review" whether the comments are helpful or not.

Someone posting, "I read your story, and I didn't understand this, this, or this, and couldn't figure out what the character's motivation was, so you may want to make it clearer. But the worldbuilding was nice," is a nasty drive-by review.

What I see people here saying is that getting only the negatives is hard on most writers, especially new ones, so it's important to balance out constructive criticism with acknowledging what did work for you in the piece. I think your example above does this - it points out that character motivation is an issue but acknowledges that worldbuilding worked well. The writer gets a suggestion on where to focus in editing but also gets the encouragement of knowing that they were successful with you as a reader in other areas.




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Posted By: thesaura73
Date Posted: 06 Feb 2019 at 10:00am
I feel uncomfortable reading a thread that is focused on one person's style of critique without knowing what actually happened (as I agree with Random, offense is more taken than given). In FFC someone gave my story a very thoughtful review that in my hypersensitivity I could barely stomach reading when it came through my inbox. I gave it a couple days and read it through again and realized that it was entirely complimentary! So even the nicest, well-meant and constructive reviews can be taken the wrong way if you are feeling sensitive enough at the time it's reviewed. 

Maybe this person feels it is respectful to give honest criticism on par with what you would get in the "real world." It seems more respectful to trust others' intent than accuse them of bullying (can also be a matter of perception). If it's who I think you are talking about, I don't see that person as bullying at all (not because of their critiques on my stuff, but because I see it throughout the forum and I look forward to reading those reviews). 


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Posted By: Smith Corona
Date Posted: 06 Feb 2019 at 10:05am
Originally posted by Drib Drib wrote:

When I present my crit, I try not to claim any more authority other than that of being a reader. 


Very much agree. I have had to learn to let go of my, "Oooh, you're my project! I'm going to fix you!" attitude that flares up when I beta or review. It's easy to engage that side of my brain, because it's fun to let my creative side start making connections and building ideas off of someone else's raw material, and I'll be honest, it feels good to feel like an authority.

I try to replace the "I'm going to help this writer fix their writing" impulse with "I'm going to be honest but gentle about what didn't work for me so that they can take or leave it." If the writer keeps getting the same feedback on a piece, I trust them to figure out that it's an area to revisit; but then, I could very well be the only one who reacted to a piece the way I did, in which case, listening to my opinion probably wouldn't help the writer in edits. 

For example, in a recent review, I let the writer know that I had anticipated their twist and had an idea on how they might want to edit to make it harder to guess; yet the next person to review commented on how they never saw the twist coming. If the writer gets more feedback about the plot twist being too apparent, I"ll have helped make the case to revisit it; but if they get more feedback that that wasn't the case, then my advice really isn't that useful, so I think it's best that I present it humbly - after all, it's not an objective "flaw" of the piece, just my perception. No need for me to present it as wisdom from on high.

If you're newer and feeling overwhelmed by reviewer opinions, just know that if you keep writing (and especially if you join an online writers group and get used to betaing and being beta'd), you'll develop more confidence, and future critiques will be easier to take. I can honestly say that, while it does still sting when I get negative feedback, that feeling passes much faster than it used to, and i"m able to consider the suggestion more objectively. Keep at it, and you'll find your confidence!

Write on!


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Posted By: Eggcorn
Date Posted: 06 Feb 2019 at 11:30am
Originally posted by LaurieH LaurieH wrote:

Originally posted by SEHBicycle SEHBicycle wrote:

Originally posted by LaurieH LaurieH wrote:

<snip>Isn't it better to know that what you have written needs work, even if the wording of the critique is not gentle?  I'd much rather get this type of review than the rejection letters from magazines saying, "Sorry, but your story isn't what we're looking for."  Because what does that tell me? Diddly squat. But if Nasty Reviewer, Esq. says, "Sorry, your story doesn't work for me because this, this, and this didn't make sense to me," well, that's actually helpful. Much better than the overly gushing "OMG ur story is so gud!!11!!!"


Thanks for your thoughts, LaurieH. In reality, I'm not the victim on this one. A friend was. When I looked into the posts this person puts out, it's clear this is a reviewer with a chip on the shoulder. I can't imagine how I would have reacted in my first contest here if I got some of the "crits" this person is putting out.

I get, exactly what you're saying, that they took time to read. When I IMd this person, I heard that person's views--points I paraphrased above. I can't know what's going on in their life; but I will call out bullying behavior when I perceive it.

Thanks, again, for making your points, all valid.

And yet you didn't get what I was saying.

Everyone reviews differently. Everyone. I think I found the reviewer you are talking about, and honestly, I see nothing wrong with the reviews except for the fact that they aren't coddling the reviewee. Either that or I have the wrong person, I dunno.  

Even all the bullet points you listed as excuses for why a person reviews the way they do are fully valid bullet points. I didn't realize it until you pointed them out that in any review I get where I don't like the criticism, I go through many of those points in my head. And if I care to go back to my story, I adjust it accordingly, while mentally thanking the person(s) who pointed out the flaws.

What you seem to be saying, at least in what my little brain is comprehending, is that any review that points out the flaws in a story is a "nasty drive-by review" whether the comments are helpful or not.

So, someone posting, "Your story sux," is a nasty drive-by review.  

Someone posting, "I read your story, and I didn't understand this, this, or this, and couldn't figure out what the character's motivation was, so you may want to make it clearer. But the worldbuilding was nice," is a nasty drive-by review.

Someone posting, "Oooh, I loved your story, great job!" is a good review.

Color me strange, but I'd much rather have the second nasty drive-by review.



Hi LaurieH,
I've been following this thread from the start, but it seems  you've misunderstood what the OP was saying, and thus there is no argument here.

You both seem to feel negative criticism is necessary. You both seem to feel the more info you have about why something didn't work, the better. And you both seem to appreciate where a reader may be coming from.
And, you both seem to feel that "hey this was great" is nice but not very useful.

All SheBicycle was saying -- and we had a serious problem with this last year -- is when a reviewer comes into a story simply to say "this sucks, I don't get it, I could have done it better because I've published X stories so  clearly I could have," and chooses to use derogatory language while leaving out much if not all constructive advice AND also leaving out anything they liked about the story to boot -- The original author may feel hurt.

Actually, and this is really more toward everyone (not LaurieH specifically) what a few people seemed to have missed about the OP is that this ISN'T ABOUT THE REVIEWER.  It was about the author and how they should feel and respond to such a review.

There was no advice given on how to write a good review, no chiding for reviewing in this manner (at least not directly). It was about "Hey, if you're a new writer and this happens to you -- it's okay. You're still a good writer. Take Heart."

I mean, the title of the post literally says that.

However -- I do appreciate that people who are already worried if they're leaving good reviews or fretting over how others may react to any negative advice may freak out and think -- oh no was this me!? That's normal. However, I think with the exception of having said that the reviewer in question had already been contacted, the very specific examples given should have helped put that off.

And I also appreciate it may seem passive aggressive if don't know SheBicycle and the reviewer have already talked or that it wasn't even SheBicyle's story in question. But she's clarified that.

Hope this makes sense.

In short, while some may take issue with the unintended side effects of this post, it doesn't seem like anyone really disagrees here. We'd rather know something doesn't work than be told simply "it's good" and generally we would like to know why without being needlessly insulted or patronized.

Where we may differ is that some of us aren't bothered by overly negative language or being patronized, but that some authors, especially new ones to the forums, may remove their stories and never post again because of something like that. And this post is all about trying to make them realize they shouldn't let that get to them.

You can certainly infer that you should try not to leave that type of review. That's an obvious subtext.
But no one is saying they don't want to know why their story didn't work.





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Posted By: LoboGal26
Date Posted: 06 Feb 2019 at 12:14pm
Originally posted by LaurieH LaurieH wrote:

In the contest being held now, there are over 4000 entries. Of those 4000, probably 1/10 - 1/4 will be posted. That's 400-800 stories. (Probably closer to 400, but I'm optimistic.)

That's a lot of stories.

Therefore, isn't it more likely that what you have perceived as a 'nasty drive-by reviewer' is actually someone who is trying to help?
  • They took the time to read the story.
  • They took the time to review the story.
With 400-800 stories to choose from, why would this person single you out?
-----
So, before you take a 'nasty drive-by review' the wrong way, remember that it takes time to write these reviews. And if this person took the time to tell you what you may have done wrong, they are trying to help.
Agree
Originally posted by OnyxLily OnyxLily wrote:

It’s amazing though, how one “this sux” can stay in your head way longer than three “I love this”s, even though neither is backed up with specifics.
I don't trust glowing, gushing reviews that don't offer critique...because writing something on a compressed schedule is bound to have some rough spots...and a gusher usual hasn't taken the time to really think about the story.

Originally posted by SEHBicycle SEHBicycle wrote:

Victimized by a Nasty Drive-By Review? Take Heart.
"Victimized"...interesting word choice...(?)

To me, an even bigger 'nasty' move is to look at a story and not take the time to review it. Is the synopsis not exciting enough? Is it a matter of 'judging the book by the cover'? Is the subject matter too controversial, too trite, too cliche, too uncomfortable, too not-your-style to even want to read and comment?
And maybe could someone explain the compulsion to read and comment on a story that already has over thirty comments? Is it a matter of wanting to be part of the "cool kids"? Doesn't a story with less than five comments deserve the same consideration...and respect? Maybe one of those stories could be just as fascinating as the one that's on fire, but it's buried on page 40 of the forum, and all the writer can hope is that the beleagured judges can offer helpful critique because their peers can't be bothered.

We're only days into the first round, with many weeks to go, so there's the chance these stories will be read and reviewed but as past challenges have proven that's probably not going to happen ...reviews are bound to drop off significantly this week, then ramp up again in late March as we all start thinking about the results of the judging, so...

Yeah, a 'nasty review' is hard to take; any kind of criticism is tough, but like many people here, I'd much rather have honest, tough critique than get no reviews and wonder what I'm doing wrong or why my story has been ignored.


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Posted By: nod1v1ng
Date Posted: 06 Feb 2019 at 12:42pm
Originally posted by LoboGal26 LoboGal26 wrote:


And maybe could someone explain the compulsion to read and comment on a story that already has over thirty comments? Is it a matter of wanting to be part of the "cool kids"? Doesn't a story with less than five comments deserve the same consideration...and respect? Maybe one of those stories could be just as fascinating as the one that's on fire, but it's buried on page 40 of the forum, and all the writer can hope is that the beleagured judges can offer helpful critique because their peers can't be bothered.

While I get what you are saying, I would also gently remind new folks that you get what you put into this forum. The best way to encourage people to read your story is to review others. A high percentage of folks around here prioritize return reviews and that "cool kid" with a lot of comments might just be an active user. 

Of course I'll admit, it's sort of human nature to be curious as to what all the fuss is about when you see one of those threads with lots of comments... Our silly friend TimG didn't need one more review on his outrageous poem, but I HAD to read it to satisfy my curiosity, then felt it was only polite to drop him my thoughts afterward.

That being said, I spent my reviewing time yesterday sorting through and reading stories that hadn't had any comments on them yet. Most of them were writers that were new to the forums, but in varying skill levels, from novice (self described) to clearly more practiced. Regardless, I very much enjoyed reading all of their work. 

It is an important distinction - a story with no reviews is by no means a measure of quality. However, it is likely an indication of forum activity....


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Posted By: nickofnight
Date Posted: 06 Feb 2019 at 1:04pm
Those defending harsh feedback, the kind that contains no positives, seem to be failing to account for how it impacts budding writers (or ignoring how it does) and saying 'well I'm ok with it'. But as a community we shouldn't be ok with it. It can damage new writers or put them off completely. At least pick some positives to cushion the blow and to encourage them to keep writing. Not only that, it's a very ineffectual form of feedback as people don't respond well to it, in general.

As for the comments that just throw shallow praise: I'm not a fan because I think they can inflate the writer's ego to a point they feel they can brush actual critique aside as it's a minority voice. But the truth is most of us don't know how to critique well. And that's understandable -- it's not an easy thing to do. It requires learning and practice and takes time to do. I'm still practicing and feel I've got miles to go. New writers aren't all going to know what to look for, or be able to analyse why a story works (or not). These comments are mostly to let the writer know the person read and enjoyed it, and we (me) should cut them some slack.  



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Posted By: Lisa_Who
Date Posted: 06 Feb 2019 at 1:20pm
Originally posted by nickofnight nickofnight wrote:


As for the comments that just throw shallow praise: I'm not a fan because I think they can inflate the writer's ego to a point they feel they can brush actual critique aside as it's a minority voice. But the truth is most of us don't know how to critique well. And that's understandable -- it's not an easy thing to do. It requires learning and practice and takes time to do. I'm still practicing and feel I've got miles to go. New writers aren't all going to know what to look for, or be able to analyse why a story works (or not). These comments are mostly to let the writer know the person read and enjoyed it, and we (me) should cut them some slack.  


Yep, more of my reviews are stinky by this standard, than not...I think I'm going to be a better and better reviewer as I go on though!  


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Posted By: Random
Date Posted: 06 Feb 2019 at 1:23pm
Originally posted by nod1v1ng nod1v1ng wrote:


It is an important distinction - a story with no reviews is by no means a measure of quality. However, it is likely an indication of forum activity....


I've had 4 tabs on my browser occupied with posts and stories that, as of the time I created the tab, had no reviews.  There are a number of reasons my comments haven't been posted yet, but its more about time than willingness to comment, or ability to find something admirable about the story.  I haven't met one yet that didn't have room for improvement in my tiny little world.  There are things about Heinlein and Asimov I would do differently. 


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Posted By: nod1v1ng
Date Posted: 06 Feb 2019 at 1:23pm
Originally posted by Lisa_Who Lisa_Who wrote:

Originally posted by nickofnight nickofnight wrote:


As for the comments that just throw shallow praise: I'm not a fan because I think they can inflate the writer's ego to a point they feel they can brush actual critique aside as it's a minority voice. But the truth is most of us don't know how to critique well. And that's understandable -- it's not an easy thing to do. It requires learning and practice and takes time to do. I'm still practicing and feel I've got miles to go. New writers aren't all going to know what to look for, or be able to analyse why a story works (or not). These comments are mostly to let the writer know the person read and enjoyed it, and we (me) should cut them some slack.  


Yep, more of my reviews are stinky by this standard, than not...I think I'm going to be a better and better reviewer as I go on though!  

Like anything, reviewing is a skill and any skill must be honed. All we can do is keep practicing!


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Posted By: thesaura73
Date Posted: 06 Feb 2019 at 1:24pm
Originally posted by nickofnight nickofnight wrote:

Those defending harsh feedback, the kind that contains no positives, seem to be failing to account for how it impacts budding writers (or ignoring how it does) and saying 'well I'm ok with it'. But as a community we shouldn't be ok with it. It can damage new writers or put them off completely. At least pick some positives to cushion the blow and to encourage them to keep writing. Not only that, it's a very ineffectual form of feedback as people don't respond well to it, in general.
 
It's kind of hard to say what is being defended when "nasty" or "harsh" is a matter of opinion. I don't think refraining from compliments is nasty or harsh, and sometimes I don't want any praise, but these are my issues (not any single reviewer's). I say that as a budding writer.
 
At the same time I also definitely feel every piece has something to praise. Maybe some people do not give (many or any) compliments because they can see the story already got lots of compliments, maybe on the same thing they would have commented on....But it would be boring if we were all the same.
 
 
No one can control how another person gives reviews but everyone individually can control how they accept or perceive the feedback they are getting. Which I think was the original intent of this whole thread but I got distracted by the individual reviewer being (kind of) called out. Sorry!


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Posted By: Alex Grey
Date Posted: 06 Feb 2019 at 1:28pm
This is an interesting thread -I teach communication, including giving and receiving feedback.

Feedback belongs to the giver - it is a reflection of their views and says a lot about them.

Because feedback belongs to the giver, the person receiving it can make a choice whether or not to believe it, accept or and/or act on it. Control over the impact of feedback belongs to the receiver.

I'd encourage anyone who has felt squashed to remember that feedback given does not make it the truth, it merely reflects the reality of the giver (which may or may not be valid - that is for the receiver to decide). It's also worth remembering that there are many famous people who have given the metaphorical finger to poor feedback and been successful anyway!

I've enjoyed the forum reviews and, so far, it's been a positive experience - "may it be so for you"




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Posted By: PrestonLeytonNelson
Date Posted: 06 Feb 2019 at 1:41pm
Left this on another thread, but I think is relevant here--I haven't been on the receiving end of any feedback I've perceived as hurtful, but I also have somewhat thick skin but am super cognizant that not everyone does, especially when it comes to something so personal as our own writing.

I think the reminder here is a good one--obviously no one likes malicious/mean feedback, but more than that, our intended tone doesn't always translate over text, so we should be careful not to write reviews that can be misconstrued as hurtful or malicious, when what we want to do is encourage/help.

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FF2019Ch2Gr80 - https://bit.ly/2mqjcfj" rel="nofollow - Sk0rched Earth - Crime Caper


Posted By: Noel Alcoba
Date Posted: 06 Feb 2019 at 2:24pm
Originally posted by Lisa_Who Lisa_Who wrote:

Originally posted by nod1v1ng nod1v1ng wrote:

Originally posted by Lisa_Who Lisa_Who wrote:


I'm sorry.  I love semicolons. 


Don’t be sorry. I’ll fight anyone who tries to take my semicolon. 

WinkLOL

"Don't be sorry; we'll fight anyone who tries to take our semicolons!"

Semicolonoscopy's are fine. It's the prep the night before that's killer.


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Micro Ch1/Grp21 https://tinyurl.com/yx8mca2f" rel="nofollow - More Than You Know


Posted By: Noel Alcoba
Date Posted: 06 Feb 2019 at 2:34pm
I agree with Alex Gray that feedback belongs to the giver and is a reflection of them. However, if that reviewer is the kind of audience you are targeting, then hopefully you evoked in them the kind of emotional response you were going for.  If they find something that needs improvement, take that critique as a gift.

There is no single work of literature that appeals to everyone: some people don't like Lord of the Rings, some people like Fifty Shades. If a Heinlein fan loves your sci-fi, but it's trashed by a Stephanie Myers fan, take heart.

Everything in context.  Not all reviews, or reviewers are created equal.

Then again, some reviews are more equal than others Wink




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Posted By: LaissezFaire
Date Posted: 06 Feb 2019 at 3:32pm
The kinds of "negative feedback" addressed in the open post are not merely negative. They are rude, callous, and non-constructive.  If a person is questioning whether they have hurt someone's feelings by accident, they likely have not written the kinds of posts being discussed.   It's all good.

The posts in question (and it has happened prior years not just his one)  come in various forms, but the general themes (like song titles) are:

"Sorry, I couldn't find anything I liked about this." (not even one word)

" 'A' in your story was boring.  'B' in your story didn't make any sense and is so cliche'.  'C' in your story totally put me off.  That's all I have to say about that." (good luck you'll need it)

"There was not one thing I read that was original." (here let me list them all)

"I only read this because I had to." (and I really hated it)



I am glad that most people have not had to experience a post like that, especially someone new or getting back into writing.  If I see a post like that I make it a point to review that story if I haven't already.  If I have given feedback already, I have privately PM'd people to let them know that such sentiments are rude and best ignored (someone did that for me in 2017 and I am still forever grateful because I was not in a good place at the time).   If I happen to get a rude post I will not return the review because by I know I will not be able to be objective and I won't PM because it's not worth my time (or frankly, anyone's time IMHO)

There's an obvious difference between constructive negative feedback and douchey sh*tflinging.


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FixSig


Posted By: Random
Date Posted: 06 Feb 2019 at 4:21pm
Originally posted by LaissezFaire LaissezFaire wrote:

The kinds of "negative feedback" addressed in the open post are not merely negative. They are rude, callous, and non-constructive.  If a person is questioning whether they have hurt someone's feelings by accident, they likely have not written the kinds of posts being discussed.   It's all good.

The posts in question (and it has happened prior years not just his one)  come in various forms, but the general themes (like song titles) are:

"Sorry, I couldn't find anything I liked about this." (not even one word)

" 'A' in your story was boring.  'B' in your story didn't make any sense and is so cliche'.  'C' in your story totally put me off.  That's all I have to say about that." (good luck you'll need it)

"There was not one thing I read that was original." (here let me list them all)

"I only read this because I had to." (and I really hated it)



I am glad that most people have not had to experience a post like that, especially someone new or getting back into writing.  If I see a post like that I make it a point to review that story if I haven't already.  If I have given feedback already, I have privately PM'd people to let them know that such sentiments are rude and best ignored (someone did that for me in 2017 and I am still forever grateful because I was not in a good place at the time).   If I happen to get a rude post I will not return the review because by I know I will not be able to be objective and I won't PM because it's not worth my time (or frankly, anyone's time IMHO)

There's an obvious difference between constructive negative feedback and douchey sh*tflinging.


I don't think I've ever seen a review like that here.  I've seen people denigrated en masse because <someone's> story didn't win top honors, and anyone who knows anything about writing knows <someone's> story was, hands down, the best thought out with complete character arcs and nobody else in their heat has a clue, but nothing specifically targeting an author.

However, I did crack myself up reading this.  Makes me want to write a review:
"There was an 'and' on page two that wasn't too bad.  The 'but' on page three was nice; I generally like 'but's, though.  The 'a' in the last paragraph didn't leave me nauseous, either, but I was gagging through the rest of the story.  I only read it because I had to.  Evil umpa-lumpas from Bradyland put toothpicks in my eyes.  I couldn't help but notice every word in your story has shown up in other stories, even 'bergschrund', which can be found in a dictionary if you look.  None of your words were original.  I can't understand why the main character was named 'Bob'.  That didn't make sense to me.  Also, the part about it raining.  Why did it rain?  You never explained that.


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Posted By: Lord Xoon
Date Posted: 06 Feb 2019 at 5:46pm
I wouldn't mind a couple of nasty drivebys, as long as they actually read the thing and are being honest.

Beats nothing.


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Posted By: SEHBicycle
Date Posted: 06 Feb 2019 at 7:20pm
Thank you to everyone who has given their time responding. I've caught up on the thread. As several have realized, I wrote this as a message of affirmation for writers who feel they've been a victim of a drive-by-reviewer. I should have realized I'd reach a secondary audience, reviewers. I'm sorry that I've made some fearful of critiquing. If you've never left a 100% negative review, you're not the type of reviewer I fear newer writers receiving.

The harsh reviews I pictured as leaving a writer hopeless are, as some have posited, those without any positives. They are often belittling in word choice. Even if the critique does call out specific things to fix, the overarching message it's easy to receive is that we suck; we should quit writing. I'm wowed by the writers who are capable of receiving that 100% negative review and applying the advice.

I try to follow the positive-negative-positive critique model. I believe that gives me the best chance of reaching a writer. I've made my mistakes over the years, including in this forum. I refine as I learn from others how to be a better critique partner.

I would not be where I stand in my writing journey if not for the critiques, the support, the ideas from the writing community. Many forum members have supplied me with constructive criticism over the years. Thank you.

Happy editing to all upon receiving your reviews. And me? It's time to dive back into the novel.

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Shari
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https://tinyurl.com/y3pgqryn" rel="nofollow - Blown-Gasket Blues, FFC ch1 Gr13, 4 pts


Posted By: paulene.turner
Date Posted: 06 Feb 2019 at 9:27pm
Well put SEHBicycle. It's striking a balance between critiquing honestly and kindly. It's what is known as constructive rather than destructive criticism. A hard hard thing to do.

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Posted By: nixie
Date Posted: 06 Feb 2019 at 10:04pm
Originally posted by nickofnight nickofnight wrote:

Those defending harsh feedback, the kind that contains no positives, seem to be failing to account for how it impacts budding writers (or ignoring how it does) and saying 'well I'm ok with it'. But as a community we shouldn't be ok with it. It can damage new writers or put them off completely. At least pick some positives to cushion the blow and to encourage them to keep writing. Not only that, it's a very ineffectual form of feedback as people don't respond well to it, in general.

As for the comments that just throw shallow praise: I'm not a fan because I think they can inflate the writer's ego to a point they feel they can brush actual critique aside as it's a minority voice. But the truth is most of us don't know how to critique well. And that's understandable -- it's not an easy thing to do. It requires learning and practice and takes time to do. I'm still practicing and feel I've got miles to go. New writers aren't all going to know what to look for, or be able to analyse why a story works (or not). These comments are mostly to let the writer know the person read and enjoyed it, and we (me) should cut them some slack.  


This.  

We are not editors, accepting and rejecting submissions.  We are not the reading public. We are not here to "toughen people up" or teach them some dismal view of the "real world" based in our own editorial rejections.  We are writers, and posting in this forum is an opportunity to receive knowledgeable feedback from other writers.  It's our function here to *support* other writers.  That *does include giving honest feedback that will often include things that are hard to take.  But - since we are doing it to *support our *colleagues (as opposed to undermining a competitor), that forthright feedback should be delivered with some heart and consideration.

And yes - sometimes, folks who are just leaving a line of praise are folks who don't yet know how to crit.  But they read. And they tried. And by reading other crits of the same story, they will learn how to express the "thing they didn't know how to articulate" - and in so doing, will deliver better crits next time, and better still the time after.  In the meantime - they read. they said something. they left a comment, which will generate a return crit most of the time. Which will teach them both how to better crit and how to write better.  This is a self-expanding circle. They'll grow into helpful crits - sometimes, we just have to water that seed and wait. In this case, that comes in the form of "appreciating the attempt" and drawing them into our circle by responding with honest, supportive crit in return.


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FFC Ch1: https://forums.nycmidnight.com/topic22540_post284621.html" rel="nofollow - Weep No Longer, Angel


Posted By: JingleBells
Date Posted: 07 Feb 2019 at 12:06am
Originally posted by Lord Xoon Lord Xoon wrote:

I wouldn't mind a couple of nasty drivebys, as long as they actually read the thing and are being honest.

Beats nothing.
z

Yours is next on my "to read and leave a nasty review on" - get ready My Lord!

But seriously - my 2 cents worth.

Last year's NYC SSC was the first time I ever posted something I wrote on a forum for others to review.  I'm 52 and had never shown anybody (husband of 30 years included) anything I had written.  So .... big step for me.

My first review was harsh - it was 100% negative and pretty dismissive.  I was so cut up.  But then I read my story again, and every bit of that criticism was spot on.  The tone of the criticism may have been harsher than intended, because in my sudden emboldened state - I AM GOING TO POST MY STORY FOR OTHERS TO READ!!! - I actually posted the link to my story on my first reviewer's own story thread - so yeah, I kinda gate crashed her party.  So on top of the well deserved criticism, I was inspired to make sure I never do that again.  It must be akin to crashing a fellow surfer's wave.

But my point is, read the criticism and apply it to your writing.  Either accept it, or don't.  Continue writing.  Continue accepting reviews, or don't.  It is your decision to put your writing out there.

PS - I think I know who this thread is in reference to - and I'm sure others do too - and, if you are reading, I have had reviews from you and I totally appreciate your honesty and the fact that you have taken the time to read my story and let me know your thoughts.  I wouldn't like to see a whole negative thread about the feedback I give, by invitation, to my fellow writers.   This reviewer will no doubt know that this thread is directed at them by virtue of the fact that they have received a personal message about it.  I would be so crestfallen if I had taken the time to review and offer suggestions, only to see that I am now the subject of a negative thread.

I HAVE TO EDIT THIS TO MAKE IT CLEAR THAT I DON'T THINK IT IS IN REFERENCE TO ANY OF THE REVIEWERS ON MY CURRENT STORY - PLEASE NO NEED FOR PARANOIA, WHICH A THREAD LIKE THIS IS UNDOUBTEDLY GOING TO CAUSE IN A LOT OF MY FELLOW WRITERS/REVIEWERS.



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https://forums.nycmidnight.com/topic20924.html" rel="nofollow - Read R2 A DEADLY DESCENT


Posted By: Zelda
Date Posted: 07 Feb 2019 at 1:21am
Originally posted by JingleBells JingleBells wrote:


I would be so crestfallen if I had taken the time to review and offer suggestions, only to see that I am now the subject of a negative thread.


No kidding. I still have no clue who this "mean reviewer" is, but I feel sorry for him/her being lynch-mobbed like this. I'm against it. People have feelings. I don't want to spend as much time on this forum any longer. 

No, please! I'm not trying to incite more rioting. My sole purpose here is to support whoever's at the heart of this thread and go on record as saying I think it's wrong. Can we just walk away from it now? My blood pressure needs to come back down. 


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Posted By: thesaura73
Date Posted: 07 Feb 2019 at 1:31am
Originally posted by Zelda Zelda wrote:

Originally posted by JingleBells JingleBells wrote:


I would be so crestfallen if I had taken the time to review and offer suggestions, only to see that I am now the subject of a negative thread.


No kidding. I still have no clue who this "mean reviewer" is, but I feel sorry for him/her being lynch-mobbed like this. I'm against it. People have feelings. I don't want to spend as much time on this forum any longer. 

No, please! I'm not trying to incite more rioting. My sole purpose here is to support whoever's at the heart of this thread and go on record as saying I think it's wrong. Can we just walk away from it now? My blood pressure needs to come back down. 
I totally agree! Thank you and Janet for expressing so well what I was uncomfortable with.


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Posted By: nickofnight
Date Posted: 07 Feb 2019 at 2:02am
Quote
No kidding. I still have no clue who this "mean reviewer" is, but I feel sorry for him/her being lynch-mobbed like this. I'm against it. People have feelings. I don't want to spend as much time on this forum any longer. 

People do have feelings and I think that's why this thread was started.  Other people may want to spend less time here due to the feedback they have received. As you say, you don't know who this person is, as most of us don't. Although I agree with your sentiment, and personally think a pm would have sufficed, a thread that quickly turned into forum etiquette is hardly a lynch mob. 


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Posted By: Heartstart
Date Posted: 07 Feb 2019 at 5:30am
Accepting feedback can be be a funny thing, can't it? I once had a friend - who like me, is also an aspiring writer - call me in tears. She was doing an online creative writing class, and her instructor had completely torn apart the story she had submitted. Put it under the microscope, analysed every paragraph, sentence and word, explained in very specific terms why it didn't work. 

My friend sobbed: "She (the instructor) made me feel like crap, like I couldn't write!" 

All I could think of was "Gee, I'd love to receive such a detailed critique of my work!"

That said, my friend is definitely the type of person who benefits from a softer approach. Eg: "Hey, I can see you put a lot of effort into writing this, and it's really creative premise, but have you thought about doing 'XYZ' to make it stronger?" 

So I reckon that how harsh a review is, can be a matter of perception. It really helps to bear in mind that most of the time, a tough review isn't challenging your worth as a person (unless they say something like "This sucks, and you're dumb, and you should give up writing forever!" In which case, that is one to ignore!). 



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https://forums.nycmidnight.com/r3-nightmare-at-six-feet-below_topic21229.html" rel="nofollow - R3 Nightmare at Six Feet Below


Posted By: LaurieH
Date Posted: 07 Feb 2019 at 7:44am
Originally posted by nickofnight nickofnight wrote:

Quote
No kidding. I still have no clue who this "mean reviewer" is, but I feel sorry for him/her being lynch-mobbed like this. I'm against it. People have feelings. I don't want to spend as much time on this forum any longer. 

People do have feelings and I think that's why this thread was started.  Other people may want to spend less time here due to the feedback they have received. As you say, you don't know who this person is, as most of us don't. Although I agree with your sentiment, and personally think a pm would have sufficed, a thread that quickly turned into forum etiquette is hardly a lynch mob. 

may not be a lynch mob, but I know that I've stopped giving reviews because of the fear that I will be called out, no matter how anonymously, for not living up to other peoples' standards.

But, because I owe reviews to all the nice people who've reviewed mine, I'm going to have to get over it. And I will. 


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Feedback will be returned to the best of my ability.
Micro https://bit.ly/2B3vApK" rel="nofollow - Alien Abduction
FFC 2019 R2 G11 <a href="https://bit.ly/2komW06" rel="nofollow">A Hair Raising Ev


Posted By: nickofnight
Date Posted: 07 Feb 2019 at 8:22am
Hey Laurie. OP mentioned someone who was leaving feedback with no positive aspects and in a negative way, to multiple people. I don't feel it's about living up to people's standards, as much as it is about common courtesy on a forum like this. I understand people are hurt by this topic, but so are people at the receiving end of that type of feedback. I think as a community of budding writers, we should strive to be positive with each other.

As I said elsewhere, I don't think this thread needed to call someone out, and simply discussing feedback etiquette would have been more fruitful -- but OP wanted to show some writers some support, and I get that. 




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Posted By: Kavitha911
Date Posted: 07 Feb 2019 at 8:37am
Love this!

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[https://forums.nycmidnight.com/challenge-1-group-77-the-assignment_topic22770.html] The assignment (Spy)


Posted By: nixie
Date Posted: 07 Feb 2019 at 10:18am
Originally posted by wrote:

No kidding. I still have no clue who this "mean reviewer" is, but I feel sorry for him/her being lynch-mobbed like this. I'm against it. People have feelings. I don't want to spend as much time on this forum any longer. 

Reminding people of community standards is hardly a "lynch mob."  Given the choice between having a writer flounce off in a huff because they think that being reminded not to be a total ass to everyone around them is mean, and having multiple writers crawl away and give up writing because some self-involved jackass pissed on their nascent ambition in order to feed an overdeveloped ego - I for one will protect that newbie every time.

Lets be really clear here:
1. The OP didn't call anyone out. She merely posted a supportive reminder to newbies that as this place gets bigger and more crowded, sometimes jackasses are included in the herd, and their braying shouldn't be given too much credence. (Kind of the opposite of "taking a simple supprtive post and twisting and amplifying it until it is being melodramatically described as a lynching) 
2. The OP offered (minimal, non-identifying) info later on, only to reassure those who "wondered" if she were referring to them
3. The OP contacted the person first, and made an effort to gently and respectfully remind them that we aren't here to sh*t on other writers - that's not what this community has chosen as its standard. She received a reply clearly indicating that the individual didn't give a rat's ass about the other writers here.
4. I also contacted this individual, who is being referred to in other venues as "the new Mattrick". I also received a giant "f**k them, not my problem" in response.

So:
1. Y'all could consider getting off the OPs ass, or at least not making up bullsh*t to blame her for, that she clearly did not do/say.
2. You can consider whether you have gained by being here as a writer, because of the supportive and collegial environment that others created, and instead of comparing the people trying to maintain that to racist murderers, you could consider supporting them in not allowing entitled narcissists to take away from newer writers the benefits you all received when you arrived here. 

I realize that "accountability," "recognizing that in order to benefit from a collective, you also incur a return obligation to that collective" and "thinking of the interests of the group rather than just oneself" are a bit out of style in the current era, but they are concepts which have value. If we would all like to keep receiving the benefits of this secure and supportive environment, we incur the related duty to teach those values and priorities to new arrivals and, when individuals decide those standards don't apply to them, to let them know that's not OK. Those things were done - privately, respectfully, and supportively. And rejected. Whereupon, a public statement was made to let those impacted by that ass-hattery know that "this isn't what we are about" and encouraging them not to let it get them down. That's how such a community is maintained.  Those who didn't do a thing about it could consider *thanking the OP for doing the work rather than pillorying her.


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FFC Ch1: https://forums.nycmidnight.com/topic22540_post284621.html" rel="nofollow - Weep No Longer, Angel


Posted By: nixie
Date Posted: 07 Feb 2019 at 10:23am
Originally posted by nickofnight nickofnight wrote:

Hey Laurie. OP mentioned someone who was leaving feedback with no positive aspects and in a negative way, to multiple people. I don't feel it's about living up to people's standards, as much as it is about common courtesy on a forum like this. I understand people are hurt by this topic, but so are people at the receiving end of that type of feedback. I think as a community of budding writers, we should strive to be positive with each other.

As I said elsewhere, I don't think this thread needed to call someone out, and simply discussing feedback etiquette would have been more fruitful -- but OP wanted to show some writers some support, and I get that. 



Great sentiments, as usual, Nick. Probably wasted here, as that user has already expressed her disappointment, in other venues, when her deliberate efforts to stir drama here didn't succeed, suggesting that her comments on this thread are likely not designed to contribute so much as to fan flames, and see if she *can succeed at creating drama this time around.

I guess, with NYC growing the contest so fast, a bit of that kind of childishness was inevitable...


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FFC Ch1: https://forums.nycmidnight.com/topic22540_post284621.html" rel="nofollow - Weep No Longer, Angel


Posted By: toddplunkett
Date Posted: 07 Feb 2019 at 11:42am
We are not editors, accepting and rejecting submissions.  We are not the reading public. We are not here to "toughen people up" or teach them some dismal view of the "real world" based in our own editorial rejections.  We are writers, and posting in this forum is an opportunity to receive knowledgeable feedback from other writers.  It's our function here to *support* other writers.  That *does include giving honest feedback that will often include things that are hard to take.  But - since we are doing it to *support our *colleagues (as opposed to undermining a competitor), that forthright feedback should be delivered with some heart and consideration.


Thank you for highlighting the various roles of writers and reviewers. I don't write to publish. I can only imagine what it must take to face rejection at the hand of an editor. What interested me in the competition is that writing is fun and the deadline seemed like an enjoyable challenge. Everyone probably wants something different from a review. I like when reviewers offer a fresh perspective. Seeing what exists in my mind in one way from a different vantage point is always interesting.
When writing reviews, no one benefits from complete agreement. All praise and no suggestions don't advance technique or the story. At the same time, a voice is better received when it is established you are trying to help the person. I try to always include both positive and an alternative way to look at an aspect of the story.
As a first time participant, I want to thank everyone for an enjoyable experience.


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Posted By: nixie
Date Posted: 07 Feb 2019 at 11:55am
Originally posted by toddplunkett toddplunkett wrote:

Thank you for highlighting the various roles of writers and reviewers. I don't write to publish. I can only imagine what it must take to face rejection at the hand of an editor. What interested me in the competition is that writing is fun and the deadline seemed like an enjoyable challenge. Everyone probably wants something different from a review. I like when reviewers offer a fresh perspective. Seeing what exists in my mind in one way from a different vantage point is always interesting. 
When writing reviews, no one benefits from complete agreement. All praise and no suggestions don't advance technique or the story. At the same time, a voice is better received when it is established you are trying to help the person. I try to always include both positive and an alternative way to look at an aspect of the story.
As a first time participant, I want to thank everyone for an enjoyable experience.

I'm so glad that you had a good experience.  Over the years, this forum community has worked hard to make that the norm. <3 

The most common justification I have seen people give, over the years, for being jerks with feedback is that they are somehow 'preparing' people for what editors will do to them. In addition to the fact that "this isn't the experience all of us have had with editors" it's really important to remember that not everyone is here to "write to publish,"  so I really appreciate your specific mention on that. :)

Our goal is to help the writer improve their writing. We do that by letting them know what they are doing right *and* what they can be doing better - without malice, and not as an attempt to make ourselves feel superior by highlighting someone else's perceived inferiority. 

I think, in the main, we achieve that. The OPs goal was to make sure that the exceptions don't drive new writers away or make this place feel less safe and supportive to them than it has to all of us over the years. This forum and its community have had a huge impact on so many of us as we work our way from "tinkering" to being published - it's important to remember that is still the majority experience - and to work to ensure it stays that way. Some of my best writer-friends connected with me in this place, and I am immensely grateful for the friendships I have forged here!  I hope it is the same for you and every other newcomer who walks through the virtual doors of this place. :)


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FFC Ch1: https://forums.nycmidnight.com/topic22540_post284621.html" rel="nofollow - Weep No Longer, Angel


Posted By: Rae Chell
Date Posted: 07 Feb 2019 at 12:11pm
I'm new here, so this is just my 2 cents (take it or leave it). I joined this contest to get my creative juices flowing again after many years of not writing because I worked a very stressful and time-intensive job. I am now unable to work (PTSD) because of that job and now stay at home and raise 2 very busy young children. I joined the forum To hopefully learn tips and tricks from other writers, and try to enjoy the whole contest experience. To someone like me, really harsh criticism could be hurtful to my mental health - just another viewpoint on this topic. Constructive feedback where it shows both positive and negative (as many have mentioned) is fine, but if someone were to just essentially Shi@$ on my story, it would really bother me. I havent posted my story as I wanted to sit back and see how it all works here, and maybe work up the courage to post if I made it to next round... And I'm not sure i will post (or advance for that matter!! Haha). But i have really enjoyed reading the few stories ive managed To find time to read. And ive made sure to leave a token of feedback, a handful of lines, so the author knows I read it and i let them know what i enjoyed. I quite frankly dont have oodles of time on my hands To write a huge review like some folks suggest/outline here... I barely find tome to write anything or even do the dishes some days. And now im also reading that "simple" reviews arent fully valued either (at least thats the impression ive garnered by several posts here). Well all i wanted to share is that everybody's lives are different, and maybe that simple review was a big effort from that person. And that maybe sometimes people need To Remember its the thought that counts. To those that leave wonderful thorough reviews, you are to be commended, for real - its wonderful! But if I ever decide to post A story and I get any kind of review - even if its just a short "hey I really enjoyed your story and liked how you did _____, so good job!"... that to me is a bonus & i will be thankful and flattered. It means someone is reading my story and liking it, which is at the end of the day, all i want to achieve as an author. This was not written out of malice, but is just presented as food for thought from another perspective. I wish everyone all the best and good luck in the competition!! 

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- Carpe Diem -


Posted By: Lord Xoon
Date Posted: 07 Feb 2019 at 12:19pm
I think we're talking about 3 different levels:

1) Positive + negative (I liked x, y didn't work for me because . . .)
2) Negative only (y didn't work for me because . . .)
3) Insulting, with or without critique (this story sucked because . . . )

I could be wrong, but I think we all agree that 1) is fine and 3) is not.

In my opinion, 2) is fine also if it's honest and informed, but I think that this thread is only really about number 3)

Is that fair?

People in category 3) probably deserve to be called out a little. We're not just trying to improve our writing here, but also our reviewing and critiquing. And part of that is trying to get from category 3) up to category 2) and maybe even category 1)


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Posted By: LaissezFaire
Date Posted: 07 Feb 2019 at 12:19pm
Quote Nixie: We incur the related duty to teach those values and priorities to new arrivals and, when individuals decide those standards dont apply to them, to let them know thats not ok. Those things we're done -privately, respectfully, and supportively. And rejected. Whereupon, a public statement was made to let those impactwd by that add-battery that "this isnt what we are about" and encouraging them not to let ir get them down. That's how such a community is maintained.

Yes and yes.

It is never okay, in any context, to be cruel because you can't spare 15 seconds and a dozen words to be courteous.  No one is saying to blow smoke up anyone's tailpipe, but there's no need to replace said smoke with rebar.     I seriously question the motives of any person who begins a critique by expressing one of the "themes" I mentioned.   It takes no energy to not post and let it go.   

To defend such behavior (category 3 as Lord Xoon put it is akin to saying: "Oh, sure they stuck you with a sewing pin on purpose, but at least they took the time to notice you and there isn't even any blood. I bet it doesn't even sting much. Now you are prepared for the unexpected. Don't forget to look back on this moment and appreciate it one day."

Just. No. 
Call it out every single time. Because being in category 3 (deliberate, unapologetic callousness) is a conscious choice.


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Posted By: nixie
Date Posted: 07 Feb 2019 at 12:23pm
Originally posted by Rae Chell Rae Chell wrote:

This was not written out of malice, but is just presented as food for thought from another perspective. 

Didn't sound malicious at all.  Sounds like you are *exactly the kind of person most of us were when we arrived here, and are asking for exactly the same respectful interaction that we value. I hope you'll consider posting your story so that we can enjoy it, and so that you can benefit from the feedback of other writers!


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Posted By: nixie
Date Posted: 07 Feb 2019 at 12:25pm
Originally posted by Lord Xoon Lord Xoon wrote:

I think we're talking about 3 different levels:

1) Positive + negative (I liked x, y didn't work for me because . . .)
2) Negative only (y didn't work for me because . . .)
3) Insulting, with or without critique (this story sucked because . . . )

I could be wrong, but I think we all agree that 1) is fine and 3) is not.

In my opinion, 2) is fine also if it's honest and informed, but I think that this thread is only really about number 3)

Is that fair?

People in category 3) probably deserve to be called out a little. We're not just trying to improve our writing here, but also our reviewing and critiquing. And part of that is trying to get from category 3) up to category 2) and maybe even category 1)

This. Exactly this, Xoon.


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Posted By: nixie
Date Posted: 07 Feb 2019 at 12:31pm
Originally posted by LaissezFaire LaissezFaire wrote:

It is never okay, in any context, to be cruel because you can't spare 15 seconds and a dozen words to be courteous.  No one is saying to blow smoke up anyone's tailpipe, but there's no need to replace said smoke with rebar.     I seriously question the motives of any person who begins a critique by expressing one of the "themes" I mentioned.   It takes no energy to not post and let it go.    

Heart

Originally posted by LaissezFaire LaissezFaire wrote:

Just. No.  
Call it out every single time. Because being in category 3 (deliberate, unapologetic callousness) is a conscious choice.

Yep.  Which means a person who doesn't realize they are causing harm can *choose to do it differently if someone lets them know.  A person who continues to do so after they have that knowledge - is being malicious.  When we do not call out malice, we tell those people - and, more importantly, folks just stepping in to the community - that such malice is OK and a part of our environment. 

I have never seen a public callout/acknowledgement of poor behavior in this forum that was not preceded by multiple efforts - usually from multiple people - to have the conversation privately and gently.  I have consistently seen that this community first seeks to educate the individual, and only when they decline to learn does any public affirmation of our values - and rejection of that malice - occur.  

Again - that's how such communities are maintained. 

(but didja have to quote my post *before I got to my real keyboard to edit?  It has ALL of my 'typing from the phone" typos - including the fact that my auto-correct apparently does not recognize 'ass-hattery' lol. )


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Posted By: LaissezFaire
Date Posted: 07 Feb 2019 at 12:34pm
Originally posted by Rae Chell Rae Chell wrote:

But i have really enjoyed reading the few stories ive managed To find time to read. And ive made sure to leave a token of feedback, a handful of lines, so the author knows I read it and i let them know what i enjoyed. I quite frankly dont have oodles of time on my hands To write a huge review like some folks suggest/outline here... I barely find tome to write anything or even do the dishes some days. And now im also reading that "simple" reviews arent fully valued either (at least thats the impression ive garnered by several posts here).! 


Welcome :)
You'll find that while newbies are encouraged to not be afraid to give more detailed feedback, it doesn't mean short "rah rahs" are not appreciated.  You'll find that even the most verbose among us also raise the pompoms.Handshake  Last year I couldn't critique at all. It happens.   So it's not that simple reviews are not valued, it is simply saying, "Hey, it's okay to give a longer one. Your opinion has value. Go ahead and try if you want. If you don't know where to start here's how..."

We are also all humans following our nature.  So, if a person is a writer who wants to attract more robust feedback from a broader group, it helps to provide more detailed feedback. To get; you give.

Immerse yourself in the stories portion of the forum.  The unfortunate threads like this one are not the norm here. Though the bumps do stand out more than the smooth rides don't they?


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Posted By: Rae Chell
Date Posted: 07 Feb 2019 at 12:47pm
Originally posted by nixie nixie wrote:

Originally posted by Rae Chell Rae Chell wrote:

This was not written out of malice, but is just presented as food for thought from another perspective. 

Didn't sound malicious at all.  Sounds like you are *exactly the kind of person most of us were when we arrived here, and are asking for exactly the same respectful interaction that we value. I hope you'll consider posting your story so that we can enjoy it, and so that you can benefit from the feedback of other writers!

Thanks nixie. Thats good to hear. Smile


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- Carpe Diem -


Posted By: fioOxf
Date Posted: 07 Feb 2019 at 12:52pm
Originally posted by Rae Chell Rae Chell wrote:

I
I joined this contest to get my creative juices flowing again after many years of not writing because I worked a very stressful and time-intensive job. I am now unable to work (PTSD) because of that job and now stay at home and raise 2 very busy young children. I joined the forum To hopefully learn tips and tricks from other writers, and try to enjoy the whole contest experience. To someone like me, really harsh criticism could be hurtful to my mental health - just another viewpoint on this topic. Constructive feedback where it shows both positive and negative (as many have mentioned) is fine, but if someone were to just essentially Shi@$ on my story, it would really bother me. I havent posted my story as I wanted to sit back and see how it all works here, and maybe work up the courage to post if I made it to next round... And I'm not sure i will post (or advance for that matter!! Haha). But i have really enjoyed reading the few stories ive managed To find time to read. And ive made sure to leave a token of feedback, a handful of lines, so the author knows I read it and i let them know what i enjoyed. I quite frankly dont have oodles of time on my hands To write a huge review like some folks suggest/outline here... I barely find tome to write anything or even do the dishes some days. And now im also reading that "simple" reviews arent fully valued either (at least thats the impression ive garnered by several posts here). ... To those that leave wonderful thorough reviews, you are to be commended, for real - its wonderful! But if I ever decide to post A story and I get any kind of review - even if its just a short "hey I really enjoyed your story and liked how you did _____, so good job!"... that to me is a bonus & i will be thankful and flattered. It means someone is reading my story and liking it, which is at the end of the day, all i want to achieve as an author. This was not written out of malice, but is just presented as food for thought from another perspective. I wish everyone all the best and good luck in the competition!! 

Hi there,
As a person recovering from anxiety/mild depression (and that's the first time I've said that out loud in a public space), I did post my first story last summer (Flash..). There were moments the reviews were hard to read (and I had no 'all negative, this is crap' reviews at all), but....and it's a big, important 'but' (with one 't')...... the amount of support and the good vibes more than compensated for any glumness on my part. Some of the reviewers took pains to say 'no, I disagree' with some critiques and a dialogue evolved, a dialogue between the reviewers, my brain and my story. A friendly dialogue. I reworked the story in December, based on some of the comments, and submitted it for an anthology. I have no idea whether it'll be accepted or not, I doubt it, but that's not the point. The forum allowed me to build on my work and to feel (even more) proud of it. It didn't score, when the judges' results came in, but that didn't matter. Some of the original reviewers returned to my forum to say they were surprised, not to chuck in the towel... And when the time came, I wrote a second story, posted, even wrote a Non-compete for the third challenge. I'm not a masochist, I can be very fragile, as we all can, but I choose to take good from the forum - we all can. 
A back-and-forth of opinions like this particular forum/thread doesn't happen on your own story forum, so there isn't really any clashing of opinions that might raise stress levels. And there really aren't many negative people. I've spotted maybe 1.5 across three competitions, and, like all of us, they have their better and worse days.

As for short reviews, I agree, they do help. They help us smile (cheesy though that may sound, if you've had a bad day, a smile goes a long way). I suppose busy people (as we all are) who want to rework and revisit their stories only look at the longer reviews when it comes to getting pointers for improvements, but, yes, a short review is also written by someone who not only took the time to read the story but to leave a hello. 

I do hope you post and gain from it. I think I've gained too much from the forums Wink - can't keep away! It feels safe, and as it feels safe, I worry less about writing, so am better at it than back in summer. I've also made friends here, on three continents and chat to someone from here most days. No-one wants you to 'fail'; everyone wants you to do well. That's also why the beta system on here works. And in most cases, if we get knocked out but our forum pals go through, we're happy. 

F




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Posted By: Rae Chell
Date Posted: 07 Feb 2019 at 12:53pm
Originally posted by LaissezFaire LaissezFaire wrote:

Originally posted by Rae Chell Rae Chell wrote:

But i have really enjoyed reading the few stories ive managed To find time to read. And ive made sure to leave a token of feedback, a handful of lines, so the author knows I read it and i let them know what i enjoyed. I quite frankly dont have oodles of time on my hands To write a huge review like some folks suggest/outline here... I barely find tome to write anything or even do the dishes some days. And now im also reading that "simple" reviews arent fully valued either (at least thats the impression ive garnered by several posts here).! 


Welcome :)
You'll find that while newbies are encouraged to not be afraid to give more detailed feedback, it doesn't mean short "rah rahs" are not appreciated.  You'll find that even the most verbose among us also raise the pompoms.Handshake  Last year I couldn't critique at all. It happens.   So it's not that simple reviews are not valued, it is simply saying, "Hey, it's okay to give a longer one. Your opinion has value. Go ahead and try if you want. If you don't know where to start here's how..."

We are also all humans following our nature.  So, if a person is a writer who wants to attract more robust feedback from a broader group, it helps to provide more detailed feedback. To get; you give.

Immerse yourself in the stories portion of the forum.  The unfortunate threads like this one are not the norm here. Though the bumps do stand out more than the smooth rides don't they?

Thanks Laissez faire. That makes sense. Yes, you're right the bumps on this thread has definitely kept it in the forefront. Haha. 


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- Carpe Diem -


Posted By: nod1v1ng
Date Posted: 07 Feb 2019 at 12:54pm
Originally posted by Rae Chell Rae Chell wrote:

And now im also reading that "simple" reviews arent fully valued either (at least thats the impression ive garnered by several posts here).

I can't speak for everyone, but I hope folks agree that this isn't true. 

There are lots of reasons why someone might not give a detailed review. Could be as simple as no time. Maybe they're not super experienced or confident and impostor syndrome is dragging them down. Perhaps, they only have one small teaspoon to give today. And if they are down to their last spoon, and still want to give it to me, who am I to denounce that it's not enough?

Sure, folks who are looking to improve their craft enjoy detailed reviews, it helps us learn. But I, for one, have no expectations aside from common courtesy. Reviewers are voluntarily offering up their very precious time. 

"Hey, I loved this - awesome job!" might not give a writer any insight on what they might be doing wrong (or right!), but knowing that they connected to a reader in some way, has value.

I encourage you to read, comment, and connect with folk at your comfort level. <3 


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Posted By: Noel Alcoba
Date Posted: 07 Feb 2019 at 12:59pm
I've learned a lot from the critical reviews.  Shedding light on my personal blind spots is invaluable, and should be part of any writer's growing process.  

That said I do need to speak up for reviews that are all positive.  Sure, they may have the unintended effect of stroking egos, and might shield budding writers from problem areas they need to work on. But I would not dismiss them altogether because they definitely have their function, and not just as vapid cheerleaders or well meaning distributors of participation trophies.

Writers know what a lonely and sometimes thankless journey writing can be.  We are constantly plagued by that voice that says, "What the hell are you doing?  You call yourself a writer?  Who's going to read this crap?  You're wasting all your time and it won't amount to anything!"  And we have to fight back by saying "This is what I want to do.  I have a story to tell.  I need to create.  I need to express myself."

The all-praise reviews have their place, reinforcing that inner voice that says "Yes, you CAN do this, no matter what people think. So what if it might be crap, at first.  You're WRITING!  Don't give up!" 

Fine, that's kind of the cheerleader part.  But still, writers need other writers to cheer-lead them on.

And let's not assume the all-glowing reviews are insincere.  They could be coming from the kind of readers you are targeting.  They could be pointing out something magical in your writing that you need to keep conjuring.  They are the customer telling the baker, "These are AMAZING donuts, please make more!" (sorry I'm hungry right now).

Positive reviews, when sincere and honest, tell the writer: you have an audience for what you're saying.  You have a story that people will want to read.  If you give up now, your future readers will be the poorer for it.  And you'll be stuck driving a forklift, counting the days till retirement, wondering what could have been, as you eat that day old donut.


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Posted By: nixie
Date Posted: 07 Feb 2019 at 1:01pm
Originally posted by fioOxf fioOxf wrote:

[QUOTE=Rae Chell]I
 That's also why the beta system on here works. And in most cases, if we get knocked out but our forum pals go through, we're happy. 

One of the most incomprehensible miracles of the joint isn't it?  All of my NYCM stories are beta'd - by a group that mostly consists of other contestants (with a few 'jut not competing this round" NYCMers and one or two folks from elsewhere).  They are the most supportive crew, and we're always excited to cheer one another one, applaud the successes and salve the bruises. 

FWIW, I am aware of at least a half dozen folks here who suffer from anxiety, and a few more who deal with other mental health challenges.  It's a heavy weight, and can make even thoughtfully-worded crits tough some days.  I think you are spot on that the ability to engage, dialog, and explore with others makes that much easier to process and the feedback easier to use. <3 

And yeah, on a rough day, those one liners that just say "omg i loved this so much" can make all the difference - including making it easier to read the next crit down with all the 'stuff to work on' in it. :)


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Posted By: Smith Corona
Date Posted: 07 Feb 2019 at 1:03pm
Originally posted by nod1v1ng nod1v1ng wrote:

"Hey, I loved this - awesome job!" might not give a writer any insight on what they might be doing wrong (or right!), but knowing that they connected to a reader in some way, has value.


100% this. I've never walked away from a compliment on my writing feeling anything but good and encouraged to keep on writing.


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Posted By: chrissie0707
Date Posted: 07 Feb 2019 at 1:03pm
Originally posted by nod1v1ng nod1v1ng wrote:

Originally posted by Rae Chell Rae Chell wrote:

And now im also reading that "simple" reviews arent fully valued either (at least thats the impression ive garnered by several posts here).


I can't speak for everyone, but I hope folks agree that this isn't true. 

There are lots of reasons why someone might not give a detailed review. Could be as simple as no time. Maybe they're not super experienced or confident and impostor syndrome is dragging them down. Perhaps, they only have one small teaspoon to give today. And if they are down to their last spoon, and still want to give it to me, who am I to denounce that it's not enough?

Sure, folks who are looking to improve their craft enjoy detailed reviews, it helps us learn. But I, for one, have no expectations aside from common courtesy. Reviewers are voluntarily offering up their very precious time. 

"Hey, I loved this - awesome job!" might not give a writer any insight on what they might be doing wrong (or right!), but knowing that they connected to a reader in some way, has value.

I encourage you to read, comment, and connect with folk at your comfort level. <3 


For sure. #Nailedit

Please don't think those types of reviews/FB aren't valued at all, because they ARE. They help with that "Hey! Look what I just did!" burst of enthusiasm that I hope everyone feels upon submitting a story for these comps. It's instant gratification to read those, and heart-warming, and I don't think anyone will say otherwise. I think the only points made were that when some writers here DO go back and collect forum FB to begin editing and tweaking a story for something more, the detailed posts are the ones they go to. Honestly, when I'm copy/pasting FB for those purposes, I sometimes skip over the "loved it!" part of of the review. But that doesn't mean it doesn't still make me smile to read it again, and that doesn't mean it isn't appreciated.

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Posted By: nixie
Date Posted: 07 Feb 2019 at 1:05pm
Originally posted by nod1v1ng nod1v1ng wrote:

Originally posted by Rae Chell Rae Chell wrote:

And now im also reading that "simple" reviews arent fully valued either (at least thats the impression ive garnered by several posts here).

I can't speak for everyone, but I hope folks agree that this isn't true. 


Those one-liners have been described as not being "helpful" - in the context of growing or improving your writing.  That's a very different thing from "not valued." 

I think we all value when someone takes the time to read our work, and all gain something that we, as writers, need when someone says "I love this!"  I'd caution against interpreting "not helpful"  - in a conversation specifically about how critiques offer value - as a generalized statement that they have no worth.  Context is everything for that one - and those words come from the very narrow context of 'how crits from other writers contribute to our growth."

Nod, I'd venture to say that the vast majority of folks in the forum agree with you, based on my own anecdotal experiences here. :)


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Posted By: manifestlynot
Date Posted: 07 Feb 2019 at 1:36pm
I know I’m not the only one to sit through a writer’s workshop where your story gets torn to bits by someone out to prove him or herself, who then hands out an out-of-context chapter of an unfinished novel and argues with any kind of criticism.

That’s the person I always think of when I think about “nasty drive by reviews.” I haven’t received any myself here, but I did receive one last year that was very critical of a piece I was pretty proud of (and had received other positive reviews). It had sweeping generalizations and judgments about my knowledge and experience with writing, and I won’t lie, it affected me. I did start to wonder whether this was the actual truth and whether everyone else in my writing journey has been blowing smoke.

But I decided that I didn’t agree with that review. Not because it hurt my feelings (it did) but because I believed it wasn’t accurate. I didn’t take the feedback, which was my choice as a writer. I moved on with my own confidence that it was pretty good. And I got 15 points for it, so there you go, lol. 


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Posted By: redhart
Date Posted: 07 Feb 2019 at 4:23pm
Originally posted by nod1v1ng nod1v1ng wrote:

Originally posted by Rae Chell Rae Chell wrote:

And now im also reading that "simple" reviews arent fully valued either (at least thats the impression ive garnered by several posts here).

I can't speak for everyone, but I hope folks agree that this isn't true. 

There are lots of reasons why someone might not give a detailed review. Could be as simple as no time. Maybe they're not super experienced or confident and impostor syndrome is dragging them down. Perhaps, they only have one small teaspoon to give today. And if they are down to their last spoon, and still want to give it to me, who am I to denounce that it's not enough?

Sure, folks who are looking to improve their craft enjoy detailed reviews, it helps us learn. But I, for one, have no expectations aside from common courtesy. Reviewers are voluntarily offering up their very precious time. 

"Hey, I loved this - awesome job!" might not give a writer any insight on what they might be doing wrong (or right!), but knowing that they connected to a reader in some way, has value.

I encourage you to read, comment, and connect with folk at your comfort level. <3 

Thank you for saying this^^^^ 
Last year was my first time writing and competing, so my feedback was very simple. When I read this year that some people don’t like the ‘Great job, good luck!’ feedback, I was equal parts ashamed, embarrassed, annoyed and frustrated. This year I have tried to be a bit more constructive, but I still might only find time, energy or inspiration for a succinct review.
I nearly gave up writing a few months ago, but being involved with a couple of great, supportive groups I pulled through.
So if you need encouragement when these forums slow down, look for a group to be involved with. There is a thread on here if you need inspiration. 


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Posted By: nixie
Date Posted: 07 Feb 2019 at 5:10pm
Originally posted by redhart redhart wrote:

Last year was my first time writing and competing, so my feedback was very simple. When I read this year that some people don’t like the ‘Great job, good luck!’ feedback, I was equal parts ashamed, embarrassed, annoyed and frustrated. This year I have tried to be a bit more constructive, but I still might only find time, energy or inspiration for a succinct review.

You do what you can reasonably do.  Folks who don't have the grace to be grateful - the problem isn't on your end. :) 

Yes, most of us probably find more-detailed feedback 'more helpful to our journey as writers" - but anyone who can't just smile and be thankful that someone appreciated their story has a tough road ahead as a writer. ;)

Originally posted by redhart redhart wrote:

I nearly gave up writing a few months ago, but being involved with a couple of great, supportive groups I pulled through.

Good for you!  And good call - a strong circle of supportive writers is the best answer to most writer-problems, *especially the ones that make us think we want to not-write. <3


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Posted By: paulene.turner
Date Posted: 07 Feb 2019 at 5:26pm
I think it's good to have short encouraging reviews as well as long, detailed 'constructive' (rather than destructive) reviews. The small dose of 'well done' or that was awesome is a great thing for we writers who - let's face it - don't exactly suffer from an overload of compliments in our chosen vocation. People, in general, are more likely to comment on the bad than the good, so a bit of simple praise is great for the writers' soul. As is, of course, a really close, well-constructed critique. 

The human psyche is geared up, too, to pay more attention to criticism than compliments. It's a cave-man instinct to be on the lookout for potential danger. So we need quite a bit of the good to counter-act some of the hard-to-swallow-even-if-true crits. So those simple positive reviews have an important role to play here.

And sometimes when I'm reading, I just can't think of any constructive criticism. I might know something is not working, but I don't have any useful ideas for a writer on what exactly is wrong or how to fix it. In those cases, I still give what praise I can and move on. At other times, I may find a clear pathway of thought for why something isn't working, in my opinion, and have some ideas on how it could be improved to offer up - for what they're worth. 

As in reviewing, as in life, things can't be perfect. But we have to keep trying, to find ways to support each other as writers- either through encouragement or by offering ideas to help. Always, though, in a spirit of construction, never in trying to put someone down to elevate ourselves. Don't we have enough of that behaviour in the outside world.  Let's keep our enclosed writers world one with more elevated goals and tone!



 


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Posted By: Lisa_Who
Date Posted: 07 Feb 2019 at 8:11pm
Originally posted by Smith Corona Smith Corona wrote:

Originally posted by nod1v1ng nod1v1ng wrote:

"Hey, I loved this - awesome job!" might not give a writer any insight on what they might be doing wrong (or right!), but knowing that they connected to a reader in some way, has value.


100% this. I've never walked away from a compliment on my writing feeling anything but good and encouraged to keep on writing.

Very relieved to hear you both say so :D but I AM working on giving more detailed reviews, not just "I really liked your story!! :)


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https://forums.nycmidnight.com/topic23317_post295988.html#295988l" rel="nofollow - FF2019 R2 The Annex (ghost story)


Posted By: nixie
Date Posted: 07 Feb 2019 at 10:18pm
Originally posted by Lisa_Who Lisa_Who wrote:

Very relieved to hear you both say so :D but I AM working on giving more detailed reviews, not just "I really liked your story!! :)

True: You'll learn how to do that - or, really, "how to spot and articulate the things you want to talk about" with practice.  Give it time.  

Also True: And even then, sometimes a one-liner is all you will leave.  It's all good. :)  

Also Also True: Then one day you will be the page-of-crit reviewer who totally changes someone's understanding and gives them a writer-breakthrough

Also Also Also True: Your best work (in terms of crit) will then end up being given in one-line and one-paragraph commentary as someone's beta reader. 

Time. Practice. Exposure.  And you will get all of that here :)


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Posted By: Josh
Date Posted: 07 Feb 2019 at 10:22pm
Great Job all for hashing out all the different reactions many had and boiling it down to what really matters - We are a writing community and each and every one of us knows the struggle. So we all appreciate any and all support we receive from each other while are more than willing to give it back!

I read this whole thread in one sitting, and it was a wonderful experience to see how the emotional rollercoaster twisted and turned post after post until finally a mutual understanding and respect for all opinions was reached. 


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Posted By: Zelda
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2019 at 12:15am
Originally posted by Josh Josh wrote:


I read this whole thread in one sitting, and it was a wonderful experience to see how the emotional rollercoaster twisted and turned post after post until finally a mutual understanding and respect for all opinions was reached. 

You've spoken prematurely. 

I have no respect for many of the opinions expressed herein. I've already emailed NYC Midnight and asked them to remove me from the forum. I'm unhappy with all of this and wish to wash my hands of it. This forum just isn't my scene. I wish I could make you all realize that lynch-mobbing is unacceptable. "Oh, we're not lynch-mobbing. We're discussing forum etiquette." You know what? You can take that forum etiquette and shove it up your Censored. That's what I think of your forum etiquette. You grandstanders can have this place all to yourselves, because I'm out. I don't need any of you. 


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https://forums.nycmidnight.com/g14-r1-act-adv-summer-memories_topic24013.htmll#296081" rel="nofollow - Microfiction fun!


Posted By: Josh
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2019 at 12:31am
Originally posted by Zelda Zelda wrote:

Originally posted by Josh Josh wrote:


I read this whole thread in one sitting, and it was a wonderful experience to see how the emotional rollercoaster twisted and turned post after post until finally a mutual understanding and respect for all opinions was reached. 

You've spoken prematurely. 

I have no respect for many of the opinions expressed herein. I've already emailed NYC Midnight and asked them to remove me from the forum. I'm unhappy with all of this and wish to wash my hands of it. This forum just isn't my scene. I wish I could make you all realize that lynch-mobbing is unacceptable. "Oh, we're not lynch-mobbing. We're discussing forum etiquette." You know what? You can take that forum etiquette and shove it up your Censored. That's what I think of your forum etiquette. You grandstanders can have this place all to yourselves, because I'm out. I don't need any of you. 

I may have not spoken for you I will admit, but overall my observations do hold true. 

Unfortunately, your reaction and decision, though understandable and total valid for you, does nothing to further your points or help change what you see as a wrong being done. 

I, for one, am sorry you couldn't find a way to resolve your disagreements with others in a less reactionary way. 


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Posted By: Zelda
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2019 at 12:56am
Originally posted by Josh Josh wrote:

I, for one, am sorry you couldn't find a way to resolve your disagreements with others in a less reactionary way. 
Up yours, Josh. 


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Posted By: Zelda
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2019 at 1:06am
Anyone else want to play? I have no patience for equivocators, snarks, or people who blow smoke. 

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Posted By: Zelda
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2019 at 1:16am
Originally posted by SEHBicycle SEHBicycle wrote:


Thanks for your thoughts, LaurieH. In reality, I'm not the victim on this one. A friend was. When I looked into the posts this person puts out, it's clear this is a reviewer with a chip on the shoulder. I can't imagine how I would have reacted in my first contest here if I got some of the "crits" this person is putting out.

I get, exactly what you're saying, that they took time to read. When I IMd this person, I heard that person's views--points I paraphrased above. I can't know what's going on in their life; but I will call out bullying behavior when I perceive it.

Thanks, again, for making your points, all valid.

So, we should publicly shame her and gang up on her? 

Originally posted by sootfoot5 sootfoot5 wrote:


I think something that this person forgets is that writers work together and get leads for places to publish their work, they beta each other's stories and novels (and I don't just mean during a competition!) and they just generally seek each other's advice.  I'm sure this individual doesn't believe any help is needed. Ahhh it is a lonely world for this kind of person!

Who here is going to assist this the cruel reviewer?  Let the volunteers speak up in this thread.  

Obviously the person deserves to be shunned Amish style. 


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Posted By: Zelda
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2019 at 1:28am
Originally posted by Josh Josh wrote:

Great Job all for hashing out all the different reactions many had and boiling it down to what really matters - We are a writing community and each and every one of us knows the struggle. So we all appreciate any and all support we receive from each other while are more than willing to give it back!

I read this whole thread in one sitting, and it was a wonderful experience to see how the emotional rollercoaster twisted and turned post after post until finally a mutual understanding and respect for all opinions was reached. 

Kiss-up. Pig


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https://forums.nycmidnight.com/g14-r1-act-adv-summer-memories_topic24013.htmll#296081" rel="nofollow - Microfiction fun!


Posted By: taaaylor
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2019 at 1:53am
Oh I dearly hope I've misread your tone and you're just making a very elaborate joke, Zelda.

If you're not joking... see you, I guess, lol. I think you may have a valid point, but no one can hear it around all that spite and fire.


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Posted By: nickofnight
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2019 at 2:03am
This is the most immature behaviour I've seen on this forum. You're incredibly hypocritical and hyperbolic. And you don't need to wait for NYCmidnight to remove you from the forum - just hop on your broomstick and leave. 

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Posted By: Opi
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2019 at 3:13am
Originally posted by Zelda Zelda wrote:

Originally posted by SEHBicycle SEHBicycle wrote:

Thanks for your thoughts, LaurieH. In reality, I'm not the victim on this one. A friend was. When I looked into the posts this person puts out, it's clear this is a reviewer with a chip on the shoulder. I can't imagine how I would have reacted in my first contest here if I got some of the "crits" this person is putting out.

I get, exactly what you're saying, that they took time to read. When I IMd this person, I heard that person's views--points I paraphrased above. I can't know what's going on in their life; but I will call out bullying behavior when I perceive it.

Thanks, again, for making your points, all valid.

So, we should publicly shame her and gang up on her? 

Originally posted by sootfoot5 sootfoot5 wrote:


I think something that this person forgets is that writers work together and get leads for places to publish their work, they beta each other's stories and novels (and I don't just mean during a competition!) and they just generally seek each other's advice.  I'm sure this individual doesn't believe any help is needed. Ahhh it is a lonely world for this kind of person!

Who here is going to assist this the cruel reviewer?  Let the volunteers speak up in this thread.  

Obviously the person deserves to be shunned Amish style. 

I’m honestly not sure why you think this is such a witch hunt... So far as I’ve seen in this thread, no names have been named. As someone that’s pretty new to the forums, I certainly wouldn’t be able to identify someone off of as vague a discussion as this one. Perhaps you’re substituting someone in that isn’t actually the <heavy quotes> “target” </heavy quotes> of this thread into it, seeing as you mentioned a “her”. 

In fact, your mention of “her” is the most specific I’ve heard someone get in this thread about the anonymous “drive-by reviewer”. How that could be construed as a witch hunt is beyond me.


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https://forums.nycmidnight.com/topic23500_post297238.html#297238" rel="nofollow - Justice Served


Posted By: fioOxf
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2019 at 5:13am
Gosh.

Tea, anyone?


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Posted By: redhart
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2019 at 5:56am
Originally posted by fioOxf fioOxf wrote:

Gosh.

Tea, anyone?

When writers have a forum LOLLOLLOL


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