Jump to content
HPFanficTalk
  • Announcements

    • abhorsen.

      January Bulletin   12/31/2017

      January's bulletin is up! It includes information about recent staff/prefect bumps, the upcoming FROGS, some special awards, and more! You can check it out +here.
WriteYourHeartOut

Your Preferred Reviewing Method?

Recommended Posts

There are a handful of ways to leave a review. I've noticed that many reviewers tend to use a similar method with each person they leave a comment for. Some use a criteria list that they fill out with every response, others like to open with criticism and end on a list of positive things, and some - like me - prefer the Sandwich Method, in which you begin and end a review with positive things while sandwiching the criticisms in between.

 

I'm certain there are other methods, so tell us about yours below!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My reviews are much more stream of consciousness. I write my thoughts as I go, giving my reaction to things in a sort of real time. I know a lot of other reviewers will read from start to finish and then compose their overall thoughts, and I like to think that it is helpful for readers to receive different forms of reviews. I think my reviews tend to include more small stuff than others, which can range from lines I thought were particularly funny or compelling, to things I didn't understand or am nitpicky about. I do try to be aware of if I am saying too many nitpicky things in a row, but generally my way of commenting on things in order naturally mixes in the praises and criticisms, which helps it feel like I'm not laying down a bunch of negativity all at once or vice versa. I don't consciously do the sandwich method, but I generally try not to start or end on a negative note. For me this method is more genuine than looking for specific criteria, unless it is requested. I've gotten reviews along the lines of "Grammar - check. Characterization - good. Plot - well done. Nothing more to add," and I would much rather hear what really stands out to somebody about my story than how it measures up in any categories.

 

I also ramble a lot, but people don't seem to complain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I generally start by gushing- what I liked, how I noted 'what they did there' and how I think it plays into the story, general thoughts, a bit of fan-girling.

 

Then I leave my list of technicals- Things here and there as I went that didn't make sense, grammar mistakes, punctuation, canon errors (if FF), ect, (usually noting whether or not these mistakes did anything to take from the story) before wrapping up with a last comment about the story overall.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tend to start any review by talking about characterisation - what I liked and didn't like, anything I found interesting - or by commenting on the unique set-up of the story or the style or anything which I really felt I needed to comment on (mostly to avoid forgetting to say it later, haha). Then I generally move onto the writing in general, the style and the format of it, if there were any grammar issues/etc., and then about what I'd like to see in the future (if it's a chaptered story) or what I really liked and the kind of impression it left me with.

 

Like Dojh167, I don't like ending on a negative note, or giving too much criticism, even if it's constructive, because it's easy as a writer to feel overwhelmed I think, so I always end on something nice, to sort of counteract any negative comments.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just kind of ramble on. And on. And on. Et cetera. I tend to focus on characters: what their reactions are, their characterization, how I feel about them, things like that.

 

At the end of the review I point out any spelling or grammar errors that I noticed before finishing with a short message, usually telling the author that I'll be back soon or something similar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tend to ramble on about how good your story is. If there are a lot of corrections, I'll fit them in somewhere among the beginning or middle and end with all of my compliments. If there are only one or two mistakes, I'll mention them at the end before leaving one last nice comment. I take things I liked from the story, and always try to find stuff you could improve on. If I have lots to say, I leave a really long review. On really good/amazing/awesome stories, the review will either be short or long, because I either have no words, or way too much THIS IS AMAZING to say. I pretty much say a million times how awesome the story is (I think I've said that a million times) and then I usually close by saying either yours sincerely, sincerely, or with great admiration,

-ImaRavenclaw

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm more like Dojh in that I start with the stream of consciousness approach. I'll gush and question as I read the story.  Then once I'm done with the reading, I'll go back to note any glaring errors (spelling, etc), and gently nitpick. I try to end all reviews positively because even if the tale isn't my cup of tea or had major issues, the author took that leap and posted it out there. A little encouragement can go a long way and there are days we all need that encouragement to to give us the strength to carry on writing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tend to read all in one go and write the bulk of the review at the end--but I frequently scroll down to make notes about something if I think I might forget it or if it stood out particularly to me for some reason.  If I'm finding myself making a lot of notes, my review winds up being more the "stream of consciousness" style.  I don't necessarily follow a particular structure, although I like to end on a positive note.  If I am reviewing for a request, I do make an attempt to be more structured if the author has asked me to comment on specific things.  Mostly what I talk about are my overall impressions, things I liked or found interesting, things that maybe made me think of something that had never occurred to me before, comparing with other stories I've read that have similarities (usually when I like the story more than I expected because of that), what I think might happen next.  Whatever comes to mind as I am reading or thinking about what I just read.  I think I tend to focus on the characters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like most people I tend to do more the stream of conscious type review, mainly because if a fic/chapter is several thousand words long I'll have forgot a lot by the end of it but also because I feel like it makes my reviews longer. If I just read it all and then put a review at the end I struggle to get a paragraph, it's just "great fic...loved X and Y.." which I don't like leaving people.  It just feels really generic, and a bit of squealing/capital letters is always good! :P I'm also really positive, even though I love it when people leave CC on my work, bar the odd spelling error, I don't tend to leave it in reviews. I just try to be nice and point out the good things! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Review Categories

During our site-wide reviewing event, I was fortunate to receive many, many lovely reviews.  It got me thinking about all of the different reviewing methods that are out there.  I found myself giving quirky, fun nicknames to the different types of reviews that I've gotten over the years.  Feel free to add to the list!  

The Super-Excited - This review contains lots of exclamation points!  AND CAPS!!  The sentences are short and it usually starts or ends with:  "WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?!"

The Fly-By - This is when a reader binge-reads a whole set (or maybe ALL) the chapters in your story, but takes the time to write a short note at the end of each one.  Isn't is lovely to log in to the archive and see 5 new reviews?!

That Special Reviewer - This is the long, detailed review that you get from that special person who always finds your new chapters and jumps one them.  You know what I'm talking about—when you post a new chapter and just wait... and wait... and wait... until they've seen it and had time to leave a review.  :hearteyes:

The Play-by-Play - I love these reviews.  The reader is reviewing while they are reading their story and asking questions, and then when they find the answer, you can feel their emotion at how your words affected them.  Gah!!

 

So, whaddya think?  Do you have a favorite "type" of review that you've received?  Do you have a certain type of review that you usually leave? Can you add to the list and come up with others?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the “That Special Reviewer”. Some people say my work has left them speechless so they can only leave a short review because they’re too stunned to write a long one... those are always nice :)

I’ve realized I tend to review as if I’m analyzing the piece for an English class, so usually latching onto the piece’s thematic idea and going crazy with my analysis of character development, literary devices, etc. sometimes I forget to actually tell them, flat-out, that their piece was great hahaha... though I think that the analysis itself shows that the piece made me think a lot and that I noticed all these things and how they connect to the theme indicates paying close attention while reading—often bringing up points that the author wanted to make or even hadn’t realized they were making. 

So idk that’s another approach for reviewing if you’re good at that sort of stuff :) 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the type of review I leave depends on the story. But generally, my reviews are a combination of reactions to particular things, and sometimes philosophical thoughts about something I noticed in the chapter, and what I thought of the chapter overall. If I offer CC, I tend to do it in the middle, because as previous people have said it's nice to start and end on a good note. I also tend to be a bit more focused in requested reviews, because usually people are looking for specific things and so I address all of those. But yeah - a little of everything :P

 

In terms of what reviews I like to receive - honestly I just love the fact that everyone reviews in a different way, because it means that sometimes I get the stream of consciousness where people react to certain things, and sometimes people read the whole chapter before remarking on their opinions on it as a whole, and I really like that mix of a little of everything.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

love getting reviews from 'That Special Reviewer'.  I try my best to leave them in exchange as well to that person if I read something of theirs, but it's just so flattering and amazing that they've spent so much time thinking about my story and putting that much effort into the review.  Of course, I love any and all reviews I get -- sometimes the short and sweet "This is so good!" are more than enough to motivate me to post another chapter or keep working on a story and make my day. But yeah, I love receiving 'That Special Reviewer' the most. 

In terms of reviews I give, it seems my method is pretty similar to Kristin's. It depends on the story, and back when I had a review thread, it also depended on if it was requested or not.  The requested reviews I always took more seriously, especially since that person usually asked for specific feedback on something, and tended to treat reviews similar to comments I would leave in my creative writing workshops.  Start with positive, any constructive criticism in the middle, and end with an overall note about the story as something positive.  I always try to find (and it doesn't take much, tbh) at least a few things I like about the story and make sure I point them out, even if the review tends to lead more on the honest constructive criticism. 

If I'm reading multiple chapters at a time, my reviews will be a more condensed version of this.

In general, though, it's almost always positive feedback, reactions, sometimes stream of consciousness, and a positive note on the overall story. Someone told me once to think of reviews as conversations about the story, and that's helped me immensely with the way I write reviews.

But all reviews are so great. :wub:

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't really have a process, I think.

Though, one thing I have discovered since the snowball fight is that I have severe short-term memory. As I'm reading a chapter, I'll take notice of something really cool, and I'll continue reading and continue squealing over parts I really love. At the end of the chapter, I start writing the review, and sometimes I submit it before I've realized that literally the only thing I've mentioned in my review is the last thing I read.

So what I've started doing is, as soon as I get to a part that I really like, I stop reading, scroll quickly to the bottom of the page, make a quick note in the review box, and then return back to where I was in the story. Rinse and repeat, throughout the entire chapter.

By the time I finish reading, there is a (very crappy) outline of what I should write, and I just elaborate and ramble and flail from there.

Edited by just.a.willow.tree
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
UA-79258518-1