Jump to content

Welcome to HPFT

We are a multi-fandom/original fiction community with roots in the Harry Potter fandom community. We strive to maintain a strong focus on author feedback and inclusive writing. Here on the forums, you can join a house and participate in House Cup events, participate in writing challenges, play games, and much more!

Join the Forums

Check out the Archives

HPFT has a moderated multi-fandom/original fiction archive with an unlimited queue. There you can post your writing, as well as read and review other members' writing. Be sure to stop by and check out our latest featured stories!

Join the Archives

Find us on Social Media

HPFT is active on social media. You can find us and many members busily tweeting on Twitter, join us for livestreams on YouTube, check out aesthetics on Instagram, get sneak peeks on Snapchat, and interact on Tumblr! All our social media links can be found below.

News Ticker
  • THE HOUSE CUP FINALE HAS BEGUN!
  • Keep an eye on the Prefects' Blog for House Writing Award results.
WriteYourHeartOut

Your Preferred Reviewing Method?

Recommended Posts

WriteYourHeartOut

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

Dojh167

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

WindingArrow

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

Aphoride

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
Recent Badges

BellaLestrange87

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
Recent Badges

ImaRavenclaw

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

Alexis Black

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

Alopex

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
Recent Badges

ShazaLupin

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
Recent Badges

Veritaserum27

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

forever_dreaming

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

Stella Blue

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

dreamgazer220

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

just.a.willow.tree

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 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rumpelstiltskin

My review style changes drastically depending on who I'm reviewing (if I know the person), what the mood of the story is, what mood I'm in, if there's a time limit involved (for, like, events and such), and how much caffeine I've had. 

Most generally, I like to do reaction-based reviews, where I read sections in chunks and then go back and write my thoughts one section at a time. It requires a lot of scrolling up and down the page to the review box and back but it helps keep my thoughts together and allows me to give on-the-spot predictions as to what's to come. At the end, sometimes I like to wrap up what I thought of the story as a whole.

If I don't know the author (as in, I've never reviewed for them before/don't review for them often) and I'm not super hyped on caffeine, my reviews tend to be more formal and less reaction-based. I find myself falling back into the college days of peer-reviewing and trying to give thoughtful analysis to the work (which is not how I prefer to review).

If I do know the author or am on a super caffeine high, my reviews are extremely reaction based and you'll (more often than not) see something along the lines of, "ALKDJFLKJD LKFJ OH MY GOD" followed by much shouting (though I do make sure to mix this in with at least some thoughtful responses, because that wouldn't be much a review if it was all shouting and insane squee). 

If I'm identifying with a character, you can expect to find a miniature mention to my own life/mini-story in my review. "Ooohhh, you know, I remember this one time when I..." :P It's probably not something that most authors are expecting mid-review but it's my way of associating with the characters/situations which helps me draw a deeper connection to the story. 

I also tend to get off-topic. And if I'm hungry, there WILL be a mention of food. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FoxPatronus

At first I was like, “Hmm, I don’t feel like I have a method,” and then I reread some of my reviews and realized I definitely DO have my own formula.

 

My first couple of lines are usually a gut reaction to the overall story, like “Ouch, my heart!” if it was angst or “This was so sweet!” for fluff. Then I usually break down the things that stuck out to me about the story that I enjoyed in particular, including favorite lines or devices the author used. And then near the end I address the concerns they specified, if any, and give general concrit. Also note any glaring spelling errors or other major things I would want to correct if it was my own story.

 

And usually I sign off with reiterating that I enjoyed the story, and thanking them for sharing it with the world.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


×