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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!

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Re: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby amilli » Sun Feb 16, 2014 6:14 pm

This is a powerful discussion indeed, some very valid points are presented here.

In the opening thread, where the reviewers guidelines are originally listed, there is one in particular that caught my attention and also encapsulate the backbone to a good critique. "Be Well-rounded." Don't leave only positive comments or only negative comments, but a combination of both...which is in essence, the "Sandwich" method (My favorite).

But let me be honest. Some entries are really written well, with the exception of a forgotten period at the end of a sentence, a comma in between a list, or an end quotation. Is it really that important to point out "1" such error in a review on a well written article? When it is clear that mechanics is not a weak area of the writer? Sometimes just saying "This is a great article," is just enough.

I do agree with you Graham, giving a good critique is time consuming. That is why I totally support Shann's idea of adding a critique option to the Writing Challenge. If everyone select that option, then it is clear that "fluffing" is ruled out.

Having the critique option attach to the writing challenge will also ensure that all levels get a fair chance of getting red ink, because I don't think most beginners know about the Brick throwing. I notice that it's mostly persons from the Advance and Masters levels throwing bricks. Which brings me to my next point. I am scared to critique articles at the Masters level :oops: . Yes, yes, I know my opinions are welcome, but that doesn't take away from the "social norm" if I may, or the obvious hierarchy difference.

Committing to reading entries each week is very thoughtful. Though I"m not in a place to make that commitment, I definitely set aside some time to critique several articles. Mostly from the beginners level; that's my idea of paying it forward. I remember when I was there and I got the support and critiques of seasoned FWs. It made a difference in where I am today. So I try to go in and critique as much as possible, making sure to end with "Keep writing."

With all of that being said, I really appreciate this thread and I am greatful to FW in general for creating such a unique place to accommodate budding writers with Christ's love.
Amelia

My writing is a passion, not a hobby!

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Re: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby Come forth » Sun Feb 16, 2014 7:55 pm

Thanks for joining in the conversation, Amelia. the more folk get in to this, I believe the more we all benefit.

You say:
Is it really that important to point out "1" such error in a review on a well written article?


If you wrote an article that was really good, proof read it a thousand times and missed that one mistake that was so simple to fix, and just before you sent it world wide a friend said, "Hey, that should be a capital 'I' shouldn't it?" (or something similar) wouldn't you appreciate that?

Even at Masters level (wonders of wonders, am I there :lol: ) it is so easy to miss the obvious and i really appreciate it being pointed out. I plan to use all of my writing somewhere for the Lord and all the help I can get to make them look professional is appreciated.

Also I want to say that I really think for this site to achieve its purpose and for the Challenge
to be an effective tool in that purpose, then the 'social norm' needs to change. I think that's one of the problems. The Lord spoke to one guy through a donkey, I know darn well he can speak to me through a beginner. If Saul can become Paul by being knocked of his high horse, please, throw some rocks and knock me off mine.

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

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Re: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby Come forth » Sun Feb 16, 2014 8:05 pm

Lillian said:
As our Coordinator, what do you think about trying to elevate the conversation here, so that we don't have to address every adverse reaction to comments made?


I think that's a great idea. Folks, if you are in disagreement with a constructive review that you received, please take it up with the reviewer first. Discuss it in 'love' with each other and please feel free to PM someone else if it isn't going smoothly; we are all in this together.

Lillian also said:
1) Post samples of anonymous reviews from the Challenge that demonstrate the sandwich approach.
2) Post samples of anonymous, negative responses and discuss how one would handle it.
3) Post a sample fiction and non-fiction article, and give each reviewer an opportunity to write a critique using the sandwich method, followed by a corporate discussion. We would use Faithwriter's Guidelines as well as those posted on this site.


I really like the last one and the one which will be 'guidelines and ideas just for reviewers'.

I've got to go out now, but I'll do something with these ideas and put up a roster for this coming weeks critiques when i get 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

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Re: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby amilli » Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:08 am

"Knock you off your horse huh!" :rolling But I agree, we do have to make an effort to break down the class/status barriers and level the playing field when it comes to critiquing.

However, the point I was making about commenting on minor details, is to drive home the fact that constructive criticism is suppose to promote future development or help to improve. Pointing out a minor typo that is obviously a mistake, will not make the author a "better writer" so to speak. It doesn't matter how good we are and how many persons proof read, sometimes an error gets by...accidents happen. But it shouldn't be a main focus in the review. OK, I'll shut up now :book2
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Re: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby tranz4md » Mon Feb 17, 2014 1:31 am

Come forth wrote:If you wrote an article that was really good, proof read it a thousand times and missed that one mistake that was so simple to fix, and just before you sent it world wide a friend said, "Hey, that should be a capital 'I' shouldn't it?" (or something similar) wouldn't you appreciate that?


Come forth wrote:it is so easy to miss the obvious and i really appreciate it being pointed out.


Graham, was this intentional to drive home your point? :eyes

God bless~

Wendy

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Re: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby Shann » Mon Feb 17, 2014 5:35 am

I totally disagree about pointing out technical things. Those little details do make a difference, not only in respect to what Graham mentioned, but also because many people don't realize that okay should be written out or both letters capped or that when using Mom as a name it should start with a capital letter if being used as a name, but lowercase if it has an article in front of it.

I also can't tell you how many times writers don't that when using dialog that when someone else starts talking there should be a new paragraph or that punctuation goes inside the quotation marks.

On my last story I had asked for red ink and in my mind that includes typos. Only one person (one of the last ones out of 10 reviews or more) pointed out the wondering should have been wandering. I never saw it because my brain read what I meant. I was delighted that it was pointed out. It does help me be a better writer.

I also never knew that there were two kinds of compliment until a FW pointed out that I meant complement with the e. I always thought they both were spelled the same.

Likewise, I've pointed out to people the difference between pique, peek, and peak as well as rein and reign and rain. As a critiquer, I have no way of knowing if it's a typo or if the person doesn't know the difference.

Plus many people will take challenge articles and place them for sale in general submissions or submit it to a magazine. By pointing out technical things, it could mean the difference in a piece being accepted.

I agree if the person needs an example of showing not telling, tightening sentences, or writing dialog, I'll point that out over a typo, but since crafting is part of the criteria the judges use, I will point out typos or punctuation to help not only the author, but anyone reading the comments.

Constructive critiques come in many forms. :D
Shann

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Re: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby lish1936 » Mon Feb 17, 2014 6:40 am

:sleep :sleep
Hey, Guys, Please wake me up when we start to focus on the larger picture. :sleep :sleep

Good night,

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Re: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby itsjoanne » Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:54 am

I do want to remind you guys of one thing that I was reminded of recently (that had slipped my mind until I heard it): any comment you leave on a challenge entry is there PERMANENTLY. Yes, if you really want a comment taken off, I think (correct me if I'm wrong, someone who knows) it can be removed. But otherwise, it will ALWAYS be there.

As people who MAY want to get their work published outside of FW, and who might send a prospective editor or writer or whatever to their FW profile, and then to a challenge entry, serious critique might not be what you'd like those "higher ups" to see. A sandwich comment is one thing. All that "pointing out" might be another.

Perhaps, if you're going to be giving a substantive critique, a private message might be a better place to put it, especially if they don't specifically request it. And maybe even if they do. Remember, other than the "four freebies," everyone who enters the challenge DOES have private messenger.

And, by the way, this is NOT a "moderator command." It's just Jo, sharing her thoughts/concerns. :thankssign :rockon Love your hearts. :grouphug2

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Re: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby lish1936 » Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:20 pm

This one woke me up. :D

Early on, that was one of my concerns, and why I originally opted out of "red ink." However, it occurred to me that any articles I might want to use as some sort of portfolio could be copied and pasted into another file with just Faithwriter's rankings appearing at the top.

Is that an alternate solution, Joanne? If it is, then no worries. Also, I'd like for Deb or Mike to weigh in as to whether the comments could be removed, because even the middle layer of that sandwich qualifies as "pointing out." :D

Blessings,

Lillian
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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

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Re: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby itsjoanne » Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:55 pm

Sorry, Lillian. Not sure what "that" refers to. Copying the page without the comments? Something else?

lish1936 wrote:Is that an alternate solution, Joanne? If it is, then no worries.

Blessings,

Lillian

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Re: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby lish1936 » Mon Feb 17, 2014 2:47 pm

Yes, copying and pasting to another file, and then submitting that file to a would-be publisher, etc.

Lillian
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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

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Re: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby itsjoanne » Mon Feb 17, 2014 2:56 pm

I can't see why it would be a problem, other than the hassle of doing it as opposed to just providing a link. :)

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Re: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby Come forth » Mon Feb 17, 2014 6:58 pm

Hi Joanne, I really want to thank you for joining us over on this thread; you input will be great.

You said:
A sandwich comment is one thing. All that "pointing out" might be another.


Now is a good time to remind us all that we are not into 'pointing out'. A heap of negatives is something we have already agreed is wrong. The sandwich method is what we are looking for and support.

I've never worried about negative comments on my articles, but it raises an interesting point.

There appears to be a conflict of interest. On one hand we enter the Challenge to learn and grow; therefore constructive critique is an essential and powerful tool. On the other hand we use our entries to promote our skills to the 'higher ups' referred to by Joanne. In this case there is a good case for removing the critiques.

I'd like to see Mike and Bea come in on this too. I have already asked them to join this thread. Is it possible for the critiques on entries to become viewable by only the contestants/members and for potential buyers to see only the entry and placing result?

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

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Re: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby Colswann1 » Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:26 pm

I can't see much wrong with the way things are. Newcomers come in here and make rapid progress, like our Graham did. If the status quo is not broken, why mend it?

I know I have been a slow developer in here, and I see some beginners, these days, reaching in a few months what took me years. We have been blessed by wonderful commenters like Shann and others and in my opinion things are working fine. :)
Colin Swann

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Re: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby tomoral » Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:41 pm

:roll: I have to say most of my advancement here at Faithwriters has been due to comments from Shann, Lillian, and other veteran writers who helped me tremendously. If the higher-ups like my article, they will like it whether or not the comments are all flowers. That's the opinion of someone who has only been here a couple of years, and I'm stickin' to it!
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