To view this notification widget you need to have JavaScript enabled. This notification widget was easily created with NotifySnack.
Home Tour About Read What's New Help Forums Join Login
My Account
Shop
Save
Support
E
Book
Store
Learn
About
Jesus
  




The HOME for Christian writers!
The Home for Christian Writers!

Forums

This area is only a small portion of FaithWriters. The main site can be joined HERE.
Shop & Save to SUPPORT FaithWriters.
Upgrade to SUPPORT FaithWriters.

A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

General, open discussion regarding writing, getting published, markets, pointers, and other related topics. All are welcome! No advertising, please!

Moderators: mikeedwards, itsjoanne, cori67, Sparrow, beaedwards, RedBaron

Dave Walker
Pencil 1 (1-49 Posts)
Pencil 1 (1-49 Posts)
 
Posts: 29
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 3:29 pm

Re: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby Dave Walker » Wed Feb 12, 2014 4:26 pm

I've thoroughly enjoyed the correspondence on this topic. To be honest, after entering the Challenge for a while, I took the comments, for the most part, with a pinch of salt. It was great to get good positive feedback, but when I realised it was all sugar and spice, it lost its value. The value I received from my writing buddy FAR outweighed any sugary comments, in terms of improving my writing (though not always necessarily my morale). :roll: From what I've read, and from personal experience, developing a thicker skin is part of the learning process in becoming a successful writer. What better place to learn that than in a caring Christian environment?

I would be happy to join in a roster for giving more constructive reviews a la the sandwich method. It would be interesting to see what it does (a) to the number of entries and (b) to the quality of the other reviews.

User avatar
lish1936
Pencil Plus (Over 500 Posts)
Pencil Plus (Over 500 Posts)
 
Posts: 1988
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:21 pm
Location: New York

Re: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby lish1936 » Wed Feb 12, 2014 6:05 pm

From one fellow reviewer to another, welcome to the group, Dave. How exciting!

Blessings,

Lillian
E-Book - Retirement Lane - How to Celebrate Life After 60

Fortunate 500


I write even when I think I can't, because I must. :-)

I love to write. Nothing escapes the crush I have on the written word. I'm hooked on words!!

"Let words bewitch you. Scrutinze them, mull them, savor them, and in combination, until you see their subtle differences and the ways they tint each other." Francis Flaherty

User avatar
Come forth
Pencil 6 (300-499 Posts)
Pencil 6 (300-499 Posts)
 
Posts: 490
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 7:34 pm
Location: Innisfail, North Qld, Australia

Re: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby Come forth » Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:27 pm

Hi guys, we've had a reply from leadership. Unfortunately those replies were on another thread. I've asked them to repost here so that the discussion doesn't become disjointed.

The bottom line, if I am reading it correctly, is that we cannot leave constructive comments on entries unless we have the writers permission. I've left a heavy response to this which I will also repost here and i've requested Bea, Deb and Joanne to jump over here and join in a healthy conversation over all of this.

I just want to say that my intention is not to rock the boat, just to share my honest feelings and discuss this. If the satus quo is to remain I will drop the subject and continue with FW as I have been doing. I will continue to be an FW and continue to enter the challenge; this is not a fight but rather a discussion that I believe, and you guys make clear, is long overdue.

Here is what I posted over there:

Thanks guys for responding, but can I ask a favor. The conversation started on the other thread that I failed to leave a link to (I'm sorry, that was an oversight). but there are five other members involved in this conversation so I wonder if you would re-post your replies in that thread (to save the conversation becoming disjointed). here's the link: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=37868

I wouldn't ask you to do this except I think this conversation is going to go a lot further.

I"m confused about something here. As I read your replies, Deb and Joanne, I get the impression that we are NOT to leave constructive reviews without the writers permission. That needs a LOT of conversation. And, Bea, are you giving us permission to leave constructive comments or are you also agreeing with Deb and Joanne?

I don't want to start an argument, but I feel a healthy conversation on this is very important. I honestly believe that this is counter productive to the site, encourages people to remain weak and defeats the entire purpose of the Challenge if all we can do is leave sugar and not add the spice.

How would a writer cope in the real world of writers (and this site is suppossed to be about EXACTLY that) if they cannot accept a loving comment from a Christian brother or sister? And how do I help my brothers or sisters to grow as a writer if I just continue to stroke, even worse to feed, this disfunction?

To me, I see it like inviting people to enter an exam room where I will give them a little test but never give them honest feedback on how they went. Another ananolgy is to promise to help someone to reach for the stars but only ever applaud without telling them what they could have done to get higher.

Please, I'm not trying to be offensive, but if you tell me I need to do this, then I must respond with honesty and tell you why I think it is wrong. Like I said, I think this needs conversation.

I honestly believe that far more people get upset over the sugary sweetness of it all than those who get upset over constructive, loving correction. Yes, some folk leave because they can't handle being told their name isn't Phillip Yancy, but this great author actually encourages writers to seek critiques which are critical, nit picking and hard to accept; by the way, he also advises want-to-be-writers to avoid asking family and friends for critiques because they will only be too nice and unhelpful.

I think more people leave for the other side.

Please, let's take this over to the other thread so that the others can join in. I'll post this over there.

Blessings, Graham


Again, I honestly believe this conversation needs to happen.

Unfortunately I am really busy preparing for a Christian Seminar this coming Saturday; where I am preaching on the Prophetic nature of Scripture and the coming blood red moons. So I will struggle, but will try, to check back in here over the next two days. I apologize if I've taken the top off a can of worms and seem to be running away; but I will be back.

Blessings, Graham
May we all get eyes to see and ears to hear,
A Revelation of His Word, crystal clear.
Admitting our need to be drawn in,
Less of self, more of Him.

My prayer for us all.
God bless us with the Revelation of His Word, Graham
http://www.shekinahcloud.com/page/page/8464330.htm

User avatar
lish1936
Pencil Plus (Over 500 Posts)
Pencil Plus (Over 500 Posts)
 
Posts: 1988
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:21 pm
Location: New York

Re: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby lish1936 » Thu Feb 13, 2014 11:23 pm

Graham, I'm chuckling because my impression is a bit different from yours. I'm encouraged by the response; despite the cautions that come with it.

To get around having to give constructive criticism to those who ask for it, perhaps Mike can add it to his advertisement of the challenge that's posted on the main site. Below is what's on the site right now, along with my suggestions in red. Just a thought. But I didn't get the impression that the administration was torpedoing the idea.

"Weekly writing contest. Learn to write to word count, topic and deadline. One of many tools to improve your writing skills."

"Weekly writing contest. Learn to write to word count, topic and deadline. To improve your writing skills constructive criticism may occur, unless otherwise requested."

Blessings,

Lillian
E-Book - Retirement Lane - How to Celebrate Life After 60

Fortunate 500


I write even when I think I can't, because I must. :-)

I love to write. Nothing escapes the crush I have on the written word. I'm hooked on words!!

"Let words bewitch you. Scrutinze them, mull them, savor them, and in combination, until you see their subtle differences and the ways they tint each other." Francis Flaherty

tranz4md
Pencil 2 (50-99 Posts)
Pencil 2 (50-99 Posts)
 
Posts: 52
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:16 am

Re: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby tranz4md » Fri Feb 14, 2014 4:31 am

Hello to all posting on this thread,

I just read through this entire thread and I think it's an awesome idea!! I—as a would-be writer—need all the constructive criticism I can get. If you need a writer's permission you can start with me! You have it lock, stock, and barrel. This is exactly why I joined FW's. I want to become a better writer, and although I appreciate comments on my Challenge entries, most of the time they do not offer much in guiding me toward improvement.

Shann gave me some great feedback on last week's topic 'Bookends', and I so appreciate it Shann. Thank you. For example, I didn't know I should start a new paragraph when someone new is speaking. This helpful advice will show up in this week's entry because I made sure to pay attention to that tidbit of information.

I, too, comment on other entries in the Challenge. Most of the time it's more sugar than salt, but I have also commented on things I see that I know for a fact are right in critiquing. I'm nowhere near a professional writer. My punctation and grammar need help. I am in the process of reading over all the posts in Ann's Grammar Basics, and then I will be heading over to Jan's Writing Basics. After I finish reading I plan on participating there as well.

I've been on other Christian forums, and quit them all when I saw the trashing of one another going on there, so I can understand how Shann and Graham feel about being bashed by other FW member's who were upset with their critique, when in fact all they were trying to do was help. But, thankfully as you said Shann, it was only three out of the thousands of critques' you've given.

I am so thankful—to have found FW's—and I have never once run across a single disrespectful comment in the forums here.

So please, with my permission, feel free to use me as an example for those who would cringe from being critiqued. I believe, we all must have teachable spirits in order to be used of God as writers for His glory!

Thank you all for caring about your fellow FW brothers and sisters enough to take your time, and offer your knowledge to help us grow in becoming better writers.

I for one, appreciate it greatly.

God bless~

Wendy B McLain

User avatar
Colswann1
Pencil Plus (Over 500 Posts)
Pencil Plus (Over 500 Posts)
 
Posts: 1057
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 1:02 pm
Location: UK

Re: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby Colswann1 » Fri Feb 14, 2014 9:00 am

Just a brief comment: I've been a member for something like 8+ years and I've never seen beginners flying through the ranks like it is today. So something must be working. :)
Colin Swann

Jesus’ love is constant and never wavers.

User avatar
Shann
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 5711
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:35 pm
Location: Western NY super rural

Re: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby Shann » Fri Feb 14, 2014 1:25 pm

I didn't think they said no don't leave constructive critique, but be aware of it and tread softly. If they truly don't want people to leave constructive critiques, they need to ask me to stop commenting. I feel like God is calling me to help when I can, and by praying, I'm leaving it in his hands, but I can't in good conscience only leave fluff remarks. It defeats the point of the challenge.

I think people have gotten caught up in winning, which is nice and feels good, but our number one reason for writing should be to glorify God or to follow his lead. If he places a funny story on my heart, even though it may not have a Christian message anywhere in it, then I believe he has plans for that story and likely in ways I would never guess.

We need to be kind and encouraging, but also honest. We may have good intentions, but we need to be as honest while being kind and humble. At least that's my belief. I may not always be correct in my feedback, but if it makes a person stop and look up a grammar rule to prove me wrong, then they and I both are learning.

I know in the general submissions there is a place to check if you want feedback or not. How hard would that be to add to the challenge? Make it one of the requirements of entering right below which level you're in. I don't know anything about computers and such, but it seems like it might not be too difficult to do. Of course I know you three are already super busy and I don't mean to add more work to your hectic schedule.
Shann

Shann's Profile

Sometimes God calms the storm; Sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child

User avatar
itsjoanne
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 10143
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2006 9:52 am
Location: West Michigan

Re: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby itsjoanne » Fri Feb 14, 2014 2:18 pm

I want to reiterate what Deb says (even though SHE is the boss, and I'm not LOL) - it's not that you aren't ALLOWED to put criticism - it's just that you can turn people off who don't want it - and THEY (in nasty comments through PM that I have seen but never personally receive) can get nasty about it to those who include the comment.

I posted over in the other thread - and to be honest, I do NOT have time to read through all of this thread at the moment (hope to get to it some time in the next few days - but no promises).

I'm going to repost what I put in the other thread, at Graham's request (you may need context - if so, here's a link to the other thread: viewtopic.php?f=103&t=37873 )

As the Jeweler "Mama," I want to confirm, absolutely, what Deb said. We are STILL around, by the way. We started out with our goal being to leave a comment on every entry (an encouraging one - for the reasons Deb mentioned). When that got crazy (back when we were approaching 200 posts a week, it didn't take long), we changed to making sure every entry had a comment (in other words, we only commented on ones that didn't have any at all.). Thanks to the increase in comments (THANK YOU, wonderful people!), we now make sure every entry has TWO comments - encouraging, sometimes with a touch of constructive.

There are six of us, by the way. We each take a level on a rotating basis, we have one "backup" person who leaves the second comment if necessary, and one person is off a week (or if someone can't do it for whatever reason, we have that wiggle room). With the lower numbers of entries, and you guys helping, it is manageable - but we look forward to challenge breaks almost as much as Deb, I would imagine ;)

I might suggest you do one of a few things: 1. put a thread where people can request this constructive feedback, 2. only leave it for brick throwers who ask for it and/or folks who request it on their entry, or - possibly -3. leave encouraging comments, and add a little aside in the comment that you'd be willing to leave constructive feedback if they ask you, and have them PM you (or post in the aforementioned thread) that they would like it.

Just some thoughts from the peanut gallery :)




Hope to join the conversation at some point :)

User avatar
RachelM
Pencil Plus (Over 500 Posts)
Pencil Plus (Over 500 Posts)
 
Posts: 550
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2013 11:52 pm

Re: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby RachelM » Fri Feb 14, 2014 4:31 pm

Hi guys! Great conversation.

Joanne, I think it's beautiful that you and the other Jewelers go to all that effort to make sure that everyone gets two comments. I had no idea!

Graham, what if we concentrated our efforts on offering constructive feedback for those who really wanted it? We could make sure that everyone that requested red ink in the brick throwing section got at least 2 comments that pointed out ways to improve as well as encouragement.

I know that I would be requesting red ink every week!

Once people knew that they would be getting that type of feedback, I think more would be jumping in on the brick throwing thread.

Wendy, what a great attitude you have! I'm so glad that you are jumping right in on the conversations here.
My FaithWriters profile: RachelM FW member profile

User avatar
lish1936
Pencil Plus (Over 500 Posts)
Pencil Plus (Over 500 Posts)
 
Posts: 1988
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:21 pm
Location: New York

Re: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby lish1936 » Fri Feb 14, 2014 5:55 pm

Rachel wrote:Graham, what if we concentrated our efforts on offering constructive feedback for those who really wanted it? We could make sure that everyone that requested red ink in the brick throwing section got at least 2 comments that pointed out ways to improve as well as encouragement.


Rachel, that might work, but many who have expressed frustration over not receiving substantive reviews, often do not participate in brick throwing. Perhaps your suggestion might work, if we focused more on directing anyone who has submitted to the Weekly Challenge and wants 'red ink' to hop on over to the brick throwing thread.

We could start a brick throwing campaign. :D It's hard to imagine with Deb's post that one could miss it, but apparently some do.

Another idea to consider.

Lillian
E-Book - Retirement Lane - How to Celebrate Life After 60

Fortunate 500


I write even when I think I can't, because I must. :-)

I love to write. Nothing escapes the crush I have on the written word. I'm hooked on words!!

"Let words bewitch you. Scrutinze them, mull them, savor them, and in combination, until you see their subtle differences and the ways they tint each other." Francis Flaherty

User avatar
Shann
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 5711
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:35 pm
Location: Western NY super rural

Re: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby Shann » Fri Feb 14, 2014 6:26 pm

I talked to Mike about including a spot on the challenge submission where the author has to check yes or no to constructive critiques. He's going to try to see if they can do that. I think it'll help a lot. That way we won't have to rely on tossing a brick and will allow us right away to know if person wants feedback. I hope it works. :mrgreen:
Shann

Shann's Profile

Sometimes God calms the storm; Sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child

User avatar
lish1936
Pencil Plus (Over 500 Posts)
Pencil Plus (Over 500 Posts)
 
Posts: 1988
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:21 pm
Location: New York

Re: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby lish1936 » Fri Feb 14, 2014 7:02 pm

Excellent, Shann! :clap That's close to what I had in mine when I mentioned the Home page and trying to inform all who have submitted about the availability of "red ink" comments, if requested. I hope Mike can make it happen This is great because it reaches everyone who has submitted an article, even though it may generate disappointment should one not receive one.


So... looks as if we may have expanded our job. Hopefully other volunteers will come forth to lighten the load. Otherwise, how would you handle it if everyone who submitted checked the "Yes" box? :shock:


Lillian
E-Book - Retirement Lane - How to Celebrate Life After 60

Fortunate 500


I write even when I think I can't, because I must. :-)

I love to write. Nothing escapes the crush I have on the written word. I'm hooked on words!!

"Let words bewitch you. Scrutinze them, mull them, savor them, and in combination, until you see their subtle differences and the ways they tint each other." Francis Flaherty

User avatar
Shann
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 5711
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:35 pm
Location: Western NY super rural

Re: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby Shann » Fri Feb 14, 2014 7:21 pm

Hopefully it will encourage others to do it too. Just because you click yes is no guarantee that you'll get it, but maybe as more people see what constructive critiques look like, then they will be more comfortable leaving them. We still need to be kind and reassuring and point out the good things, but hopefully this is a step in getting the challenge back to what Deb intended when she first thought of it. :D
Shann

Shann's Profile

Sometimes God calms the storm; Sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child

User avatar
Colswann1
Pencil Plus (Over 500 Posts)
Pencil Plus (Over 500 Posts)
 
Posts: 1057
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 1:02 pm
Location: UK

Re: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby Colswann1 » Fri Feb 14, 2014 7:43 pm

Maybe there should be a third option box to tick for writers that want measured feedback: occasional red ink, more pink ink but mostly green ink.
Colin Swann

Jesus’ love is constant and never wavers.

User avatar
Shann
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 5711
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:35 pm
Location: Western NY super rural

Re: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby Shann » Fri Feb 14, 2014 8:21 pm

All day long the words from Garden Party have been running through my head. Of course I should add that you always should please God first.

I think that's why I felt so sad when I thought Deb was saying we can't leave constructive feedback unless they agree. I strongly believe God is calling me to leave feedback right now. I always try to pray and listen before commenting.

I was leaving comments yesterday and saw an article that had a couple of minor things that could be pointed out. I clearly heard God say not this time, just praise so that's what I did. I worry if I miss his voice, especially when I hurt someone's feelings. Although that's tough for me, I have to believe God knows he and my family will get me through the tough time and for whatever reason the person needed to hear what I said.

Many times I don't think the reason has anything to do with writing but is something deeper that I could never imagine. :book2

Garden Party (1972, RICK NELSON)
But it's all right now, I've learned my lesson well
You see, you can't please everyone, so you've got to please yourself
Shann

Shann's Profile

Sometimes God calms the storm; Sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child

PreviousNext

Return to Open Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


© MeasurelessMedia. All rights reservedTerms of Service



Jesus - True for You But not for Me      Website Builder     Build Website     Is Jesus God?    
Does God exist?     Build a writers website     Does truth exist?     Website online in minutes