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

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Lisa_Who View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Lisa_Who Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Random Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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. 


Edited by Random - 06 Feb 2019 at 1:24pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote nod1v1ng Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote thesaura73 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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!


Edited by thesaura73 - 06 Feb 2019 at 1:25pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (6) Thanks(6)   Quote Alex Grey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote PrestonLeytonNelson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Noel Alcoba Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Noel Alcoba Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (5) Thanks(5)   Quote LaissezFaire Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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.


Edited by LaissezFaire - 06 Feb 2019 at 4:10pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Random Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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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