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Reciprocal Reviews

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=35593
Printed Date: 25 Feb 2021 at 6:23pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 12.03 - http://www.webwizforums.com


Topic: Reciprocal Reviews
Posted By: MuffinMom
Subject: Reciprocal Reviews
Date Posted: 27 Jul 2020 at 4:15pm
I'm curious what people are finding is typical for reciprocal reviews. I've read and reviewed 12 stories, and I've had 2 reviews. Technically, 1 review was not reciprocal, so I'm actually averaging 11 reviewed stories and 1 reciprocal review. 

Because this has been a problem for me in the past, I tried this time to mostly review for people who promise to reciprocate. Probably about half of the stories I've reviewed have said that. 

I was wondering if this might have had something to do with the fact that I waited about a week or so before even posting, because I was waiting until I had time to make sure I could take time to review other stories as well.

I'm not complaining, just genuinely curious. What does everybody else see as far as people reciprocating reviews?


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https://forums.nycmidnight.com/topic38382_post406611.html#406611" rel="nofollow - Short Story 2021: The Final Rose



Replies:
Posted By: kolohe
Date Posted: 27 Jul 2020 at 5:28pm
I do find that there's an initial sort of "feeding frenzy" when everyone is first able to post with a big taper after that. I've generally had very good luck with people returning my reviews, but I end up tending to leave more than I receive (I think on average I do at least 30 reviews for other each round, sometimes more if I can make the time). I've never tracked the exact return rate though.

Now I'm intrigued and am heading to read your flash though! Smile


**EDIT: okay so I got curious and went to look. I  left somewhere in the neighborhood of 55 reviews on other stories for round one of flash, and I've received around 40 reviews on my story. I do have particular forum members whose stories I actively seek out because A) I think they're very talented and like to see what they come up with, and B) I know they're very active on the forums, which boosts the likelihood of getting a response. So that might skew my numbers a little bit.



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Flash C3: https://bit.ly/3o8x3lT" rel="nofollow - A Ferry-Tale Ending (Comedy)
Short Screenplay C2: https://bit.ly/32TspiK" rel="nofollow - The Endlings (Sci-Fi)


Posted By: manifestlynot
Date Posted: 27 Jul 2020 at 6:11pm
I 100% believe that the reason is waiting to post. The first day (usually a Tues or Wed) is definitely a feeding frenzy, as kolohe said, and the weekend after is usually quite busy. But with the other contests going on and the plethora of stories, people stop checking back as often after that. I'll go read yours now though!

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Short Screenplay Ch3: https://forums.nycmidnight.com/topic37889_post400203.html#400203" rel="nofollow - A Failure
Short Story R1: https://bit.ly/3rfhlG7" rel="nofollow - Just the Same


Posted By: chrissie0707
Date Posted: 27 Jul 2020 at 6:13pm
I personally am BEHIND on returning reads and reviews, but that in no way means I'm not going to get there. I'm just not getting there as quickly as I usually do. 

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MF Final https://forums.nycmidnight.com/topic39051_post413219.html#413219" rel="nofollow - Awakening
SSC#1 https://forums.nycmidnight.com/gp-152-in-the-eye-draaamaaa_topic38306.html" rel="nofollow - In the Eye


Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 27 Jul 2020 at 6:14pm
I fully intend to return reviews for everyone, but I'm a slow reader, so it's been hard. My timeline is to get it done before the next round!! 


Posted By: DanielleDahl
Date Posted: 28 Jul 2020 at 12:05am
I posted late too and have zero feedback :(
I will definitely review anyone who is so kind as to read mine lol! 


Posted By: sdre017
Date Posted: 28 Jul 2020 at 12:49am
I'm happy to reciprocate reads! :)

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https://forums.nycmidnight.com/topic38643_post407714.html" rel="nofollow - 2021SS Lancelittle's Mission


Posted By: vanwijk88
Date Posted: 28 Jul 2020 at 1:39am
I sometimes try to avoid reviewing people who have lots of reviews already (although I might give the stories a read!) since other forum members might have more to gain from a review. The flipside of that is that less active people are, on average, less likely to return review. 

Reviews take time too. I spend about 30 minutes average each time because I try to pick two specific things to praise and then two pieces of constructive criticism at minimum. This can be harder for some stories than others. 

Also, I have been that person in the past who didn't return review. :/ Life got busy for me during the second round of the SSC 2018 as I was moving countries for university. I tried to make up for it in this round though by checking my old 2018 story and reviewing everyone's FF who submitted this time, and reviewed me back then. Obviously some people who reviewed me back then don't seem to be around in this competition though, so I still feel a bit guilty about that... 


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FFC 2020 R2: https://forums.nycmidnight.com/topic36055_post377738.html#377738" rel="nofollow - 250 Beats per Minute (Thriller)

"I intend to live forever or die trying."


Posted By: Alex Grey
Date Posted: 28 Jul 2020 at 5:11am
There's story behind every story - if people have not reciprocated, the most likely reason is that life has happened to them! They may well get round to it eventually - there is often a surge when the next round/challenge is looming.

I, and other NYC regulars, do look out for stories that have had zero reviews and make sure that we leave a review - that tends to happen when we're up to date with our own returns and visiting our old friends and favourites. Be patient - post it and reviews will come. :-D


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SSC 21 R1 https://forums.nycmidnight.com/topic38430_post406756.html#406756" rel="nofollow - Cendrillo & the Quantum Fairy Godmother



Posted By: Jhill
Date Posted: 28 Jul 2020 at 8:48am
Originally posted by DanielleDahl DanielleDahl wrote:

I posted late too and have zero feedback :(
I will definitely review anyone who is so kind as to read mine lol! 

One thing that might help is putting a link to your forum post in you signature. Then people can more easily find your story. If you go into your member control panel, you'll see an option to edit your profile. There's a box for your signature--copy your forum post URL and paste it into that box. Make sure to use your forum post URL, not the link to your story. :)




Posted By: nod1v1ng
Date Posted: 28 Jul 2020 at 9:33am

As everyone has said, there's always a taper in participation. And for some folks, the very next weekend was screenplay, then the next was micro. So even people who promised to return might be slow if they are busy. Usually, the week or so before the next round there is an upswing of activity again.

If you drop a review on someone who already has 4 pages of comments, it might take them a while to get back to you as well. Most people will start their return reviews from the top. It's easy to do a bunch of micro returns in a day. It's slower for flash--I always read each story twice before commenting, so it take more time. Short story takes even longer!

Leaving reviews for people who are more active in the forums is likely to up the probability of getting a return. The higher number of "points" under a user's name means they are an active user (points correlate to how many posts they have made.)

Getting on the Master List early and having the link to your forum post in your signature help.

Another point - if people are relying on email notifications to let them know they have new reviews, that can be an issue. You'll see a note on the email that says: There may also be other replies, but you will not receive any more notifications until you visit the forum again.

A lot of people miss this and don't log in and then stop getting notifications. Then they show up to the forums a week later and are surprised to find a whole bunch of reviews they didn't know were there! 

Still, bottom line is the more you review the more likely you will find people who will return. Many folks find that the longer they hang around here they find a group of writers who are good at returning, whose work they admire, and whose reviews are helpful and they seek those writers out first....





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https://bit.ly/3qOyjvd" rel="nofollow - Micro C3
https://bit.ly/3jf4EZ9" rel="nofollow - SS C1


Posted By: MuffinMom
Date Posted: 28 Jul 2020 at 11:21am
Originally posted by DanielleDahl DanielleDahl wrote:

I posted late too and have zero feedback :(
I will definitely review anyone who is so kind as to read mine lol! 

I'll go check yours out, either tonight or tomorrow!


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https://forums.nycmidnight.com/topic38382_post406611.html#406611" rel="nofollow - Short Story 2021: The Final Rose


Posted By: MuffinMom
Date Posted: 28 Jul 2020 at 11:22am
Originally posted by kolohe kolohe wrote:

I do find that there's an initial sort of "feeding frenzy" when everyone is first able to post with a big taper after that. I've generally had very good luck with people returning my reviews, but I end up tending to leave more than I receive (I think on average I do at least 30 reviews for other each round, sometimes more if I can make the time). I've never tracked the exact return rate though.

Now I'm intrigued and am heading to read your flash though! Smile


**EDIT: okay so I got curious and went to look. I  left somewhere in the neighborhood of 55 reviews on other stories for round one of flash, and I've received around 40 reviews on my story. I do have particular forum members whose stories I actively seek out because A) I think they're very talented and like to see what they come up with, and B) I know they're very active on the forums, which boosts the likelihood of getting a response. So that might skew my numbers a little bit.


Thanks for reading mine! I think you're right - being late to the party was part of my problem. I'm looking forward to reading yours!


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https://forums.nycmidnight.com/topic38382_post406611.html#406611" rel="nofollow - Short Story 2021: The Final Rose


Posted By: MuffinMom
Date Posted: 28 Jul 2020 at 11:24am
Originally posted by nod1v1ng nod1v1ng wrote:


As everyone has said, there's always a taper in participation. And for some folks, the very next weekend was screenplay, then the next was micro. So even people who promised to return might be slow if they are busy. Usually, the week or so before the next round there is an upswing of activity again.

If you drop a review on someone who already has 4 pages of comments, it might take them a while to get back to you as well. Most people will start their return reviews from the top. It's easy to do a bunch of micro returns in a day. It's slower for flash--I always read each story twice before commenting, so it take more time. Short story takes even longer!

Leaving reviews for people who are more active in the forums is likely to up the probability of getting a return. The higher number of "points" under a user's name means they are an active user (points correlate to how many posts they have made.)

Getting on the Master List early and having the link to your forum post in your signature help.

Another point - if people are relying on email notifications to let them know they have new reviews, that can be an issue. You'll see a note on the email that says: There may also be other replies, but you will not receive any more notifications until you visit the forum again.

A lot of people miss this and don't log in and then stop getting notifications. Then they show up to the forums a week later and are surprised to find a whole bunch of reviews they didn't know were there! 

Still, bottom line is the more you review the more likely you will find people who will return. Many folks find that the longer they hang around here they find a group of writers who are good at returning, whose work they admire, and whose reviews are helpful and they seek those writers out first....




All great points. I think you're exactly right on every single one of them.


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https://forums.nycmidnight.com/topic38382_post406611.html#406611" rel="nofollow - Short Story 2021: The Final Rose


Posted By: MuffinMom
Date Posted: 28 Jul 2020 at 11:25am
Originally posted by sdre017 sdre017 wrote:

I'm happy to reciprocate reads! :)

I'll give yours a read sometime tonight or tomorrow! Looking forward to it.


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https://forums.nycmidnight.com/topic38382_post406611.html#406611" rel="nofollow - Short Story 2021: The Final Rose


Posted By: Seacore
Date Posted: 29 Jul 2020 at 2:02am
I think one factor is this archaic forum build.

There are far more advanced forum builds out there that are more user friendly and intuitive, including methods of prompting users when their story has been reviewed. Yes, some of that functionality exists here, but it's buried and hard to use.

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SSC R2 H2 - https://bit.ly/2Rpm2Od" rel="nofollow - Jetsam
SSC R1 H128 - https://bit.ly/2RAsItk" rel="nofollow - Truth and Fire


Posted By: jennifer.quail
Date Posted: 29 Jul 2020 at 9:35am
Originally posted by Seacore Seacore wrote:

I think one factor is this archaic forum build.

There are far more advanced forum builds out there that are more user friendly and intuitive, including methods of prompting users when their story has been reviewed. Yes, some of that functionality exists here, but it's buried and hard to use.

I don't think notifications are a problem (you can do that if you want on this software, not that I ever do on this or any forum as notifications are incredibly annoying) but the search function, coding, and even its ability to handle traffic is laughably archaic. When I started doing this contests the first thing I noticed was "Wow, this is running software I remember websites with forums using back when I was in grad school with dial-up." 


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SSC2021 R1 Gr 56: https://forums.nycmidnight.com/topic38378_post406599.html#406599" rel="nofollow - Terra Nova


Posted By: nixie
Date Posted: 29 Jul 2020 at 2:48pm
Originally posted by Seacore Seacore wrote:

I think one factor is this archaic forum build.

There are far more advanced forum builds out there that are more user friendly and intuitive, including methods of prompting users when their story has been reviewed. Yes, some of that functionality exists here, but it's buried and hard to use.

Free software / get what you pay for.

That said - it's worth remember that we aren't paying for this forum, either - it's a courtesy thing that NYCM provides, and then gives us permanent access to. So - *we're getting what *we paid for too ;)

That said https://flarum.org/" rel="nofollow - Flarum is out in beta, and i keep hoping... (cuz omg the ability to tag your post with group, challenge, genre, object would eliminate Master Lists forever....)


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FFC Ch1: https://tinyurl.com/y5jzco8q" rel="nofollow - Dance of Death
FFC Ch2: https://tinyurl.com/yysy9br3" rel="nofollow - The Liberation of Ammarius Regulus


Posted By: MuffinMom
Date Posted: 29 Jul 2020 at 6:20pm
Originally posted by DanielleDahl DanielleDahl wrote:

I posted late too and have zero feedback :(
I will definitely review anyone who is so kind as to read mine lol! 

I'm trying to find your story, and I did a search on your username, but I haven't found it. If you can post it to this thread or IM it to me, I'd still love to review it!


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https://forums.nycmidnight.com/topic38382_post406611.html#406611" rel="nofollow - Short Story 2021: The Final Rose


Posted By: Seacore
Date Posted: 29 Jul 2020 at 8:14pm
Originally posted by nixie nixie wrote:

Originally posted by Seacore Seacore wrote:

I think one factor is this archaic forum build.

There are far more advanced forum builds out there that are more user friendly and intuitive, including methods of prompting users when their story has been reviewed. Yes, some of that functionality exists here, but it's buried and hard to use.

Free software / get what you pay for.

That said - it's worth remember that we aren't paying for this forum, either - it's a courtesy thing that NYCM provides, and then gives us permanent access to. So - *we're getting what *we paid for too ;)

That said https://flarum.org/" rel="nofollow - Flarum is out in beta, and i keep hoping... (cuz omg the ability to tag your post with group, challenge, genre, object would eliminate Master Lists forever....)

The case that we aren't paying for the forum doesn't hold much water given the expense and size of this competition. A small fraction of the fees could be easily invested into better infrastructure.


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SSC R2 H2 - https://bit.ly/2Rpm2Od" rel="nofollow - Jetsam
SSC R1 H128 - https://bit.ly/2RAsItk" rel="nofollow - Truth and Fire


Posted By: jennifer.quail
Date Posted: 30 Jul 2020 at 10:31am
Originally posted by Seacore Seacore wrote:

Originally posted by nixie nixie wrote:

Originally posted by Seacore Seacore wrote:

I think one factor is this archaic forum build.

There are far more advanced forum builds out there that are more user friendly and intuitive, including methods of prompting users when their story has been reviewed. Yes, some of that functionality exists here, but it's buried and hard to use.

Free software / get what you pay for.

That said - it's worth remember that we aren't paying for this forum, either - it's a courtesy thing that NYCM provides, and then gives us permanent access to. So - *we're getting what *we paid for too ;)

That said https://flarum.org/" rel="nofollow - Flarum is out in beta, and i keep hoping... (cuz omg the ability to tag your post with group, challenge, genre, object would eliminate Master Lists forever....)

The case that we aren't paying for the forum doesn't hold much water given the expense and size of this competition. A small fraction of the fees could be easily invested into better infrastructure.

I was going to say, given the comparatively-astronomical fees this competition charges compared to others, with only the top couple finishers getting a high payout, most of the prizes being software downloads, and the allegedly-professional feedback being of limited to no value most of the time, and their pushing the forums as one of the 'benefits', updating it something more stable might be a reasonable use of their entry fees. If they can afford to make donations for show, they can use that percentage to think about an upgrade instead. 

(Seriously, actually FREE boards I've been using for years have updated their platforms.) 


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SSC2021 R1 Gr 56: https://forums.nycmidnight.com/topic38378_post406599.html#406599" rel="nofollow - Terra Nova


Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 30 Jul 2020 at 2:46pm
Am I the only person who loves this forum's setup? More complex forums confuse me, like NaNoWriMo's, for example. I can't use their forum to save myself. I say, thank goodness this forum is arranged as it is! But that's probably just me! Embarrassed


Posted By: azhcanedition
Date Posted: 31 Jul 2020 at 1:32am
For me, I guess I would like to have my story be good enough that it causes people to comment or review first, then I will definitely return the favor.   
 
I admit that I have some misgivings about reviewing first for a reciprocal.    I overthink and run worse case scenarios in my head (anxiety issues).    It's nothing anyone has actually done, but I fear an almost strange bias that sinks in.  
For example, if I'm commenting about any kind of errors that a fine tooth comb is run over my story and I get the sugar coated equivalent of a failing grade on a school paper. 


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FF20 CH1 GR118 https://forums.nycmidnight.com/ch1-gr118-collective-thoughts_topic35209.html" rel="nofollow - Collective Thoughts


Posted By: Jhill
Date Posted: 31 Jul 2020 at 6:46am
Originally posted by Zelda Zelda wrote:

Am I the only person who loves this forum's setup? More complex forums confuse me, ...

I'm with Zelda on this one. :)


Posted By: jimiflan2
Date Posted: 31 Jul 2020 at 2:16pm
Originally posted by azhcanedition azhcanedition wrote:

For me, I guess I would like to have my story be good enough that it causes people to comment or review first, then I will definitely return the favor.   

The problem with this is that there are just SO MANY good stories to read, how will people pick your story out of the many to read. The one thing you see time and again is “I came for the title and wasn’t disappointed” / “your title really grabbed me”
 


Originally posted by azhcanedition azhcanedition wrote:

For example, if I'm commenting about any kind of errors that a fine tooth comb is run over my story and I get the sugar coated equivalent of a failing grade on a school paper. 

I don’t think this will happen with this group. I think you will get good solid critiques, but the crowd here are very friendly


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https://tinyurl.com/34xkcwqd" rel="nofollow - SSC R1
https://tinyurl.com/y43pvzg3" rel="nofollow - MFC250 R2 https://tinyurl.com/pkxz6oqw" rel="nofollow - R3


Posted By: fioOxf
Date Posted: 31 Jul 2020 at 4:31pm
Originally posted by DanielleDahl DanielleDahl wrote:

I posted late too and have zero feedback :(
I will definitely review anyone who is so kind as to read mine lol! 

Have a snoop at the 'for newbies' post and pop a link to your forum in your signature - at the moment, you don't have it there, as far as I can see, and it's the best way to get return reads when you've left reviews on stories  https://forums.nycmidnight.com/this-is-for-all-you-new-people_topic12975_page1.html" rel="nofollow - https://forums.nycmidnight.com/this-is-for-all-you-new-people_topic12975_page1.html  

As for me, after a lockdown involving 3 rounds of short story, two of micro and a screenwriting, I've been taking time off the forums. When you have that many reviews to return, it just feels too onerous. I'm starting again now, and I usually have a burst the last 10 days before the results come out. I know I'm not the only one... 
My experience definitely isn't 'leave 11, get 1'. It's more like 'get 2 for every 3 or 4', which is good enough for me... 

Right. Time to get back to some return reads ;)


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SSCh1 Best Ever Election Soundbite
https://tinyurl.com/yyuo42n4" rel="nofollow - SSCh2 Finding Alma
https://tinyurl.com/yxtwhojb" rel="nofollow - SSCh3G3 The Last Gift for Milena


Posted By: jenspenden
Date Posted: 06 Aug 2020 at 9:12pm
I've been doing NYCM contests since 2013, and my review habits have changed over time. For a while, I participated with the feeding frenzy and went crazy reviewing stories the first week or two after each round. I used to review about 100 stories/round (er, minus the later rounds when there are fewer participants/stories). 

Nowadays, I take my sweet time returning reads, lol. It's not that I won't, it's just that I have learned we have over a month (sometimes longer) to return reviews. So, what's the big rush? I just don't kill myself to review/return reviews like a madwoman anymore. I generally spread them out up until the next round.

Of course my new method means I don't get nearly the number of reads I used to, but it's okay. I still get what I want out of the contest (fun challenge, reading great stories, meeting other writers). Smile


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https://bit.ly/3qOyl71" rel="nofollow - FFC Finals: Nicht Loslassen
https://bit.ly/3janYH2" rel="nofollow - SSC R1: The Bird and the Bea


Posted By: Anansi
Date Posted: 07 Aug 2020 at 4:20am
Speaking personally, I have a bit of a reviewing frenzy in the first week - then life somewhat gets in the way - and am slower to return reviews - but always return all reviews before the next round. Even single sentence ones. 

As others have pointed out, if you miss that initial frenzy - you will probably get less reads. 

Usually I get about 75% of reviews returned. 

The only exception to this was the final round of Flash last year where I got about 20% of reads returned. That was irritating. A final round phenomenon maybe. Less people. 

Right. Now to catch up on my reviews.



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https://bit.ly/2YELbYA" rel="nofollow - SS21 - R1: Dead Together

https://bit.ly/3mfZ5u7" rel="nofollow - MF250 - R1: Forbidden Fruit

Will return all reads. Thanks!



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