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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 Come forth » Tue Feb 18, 2014 6:14 pm

Okay, a member sent me a PM suggesting my recent post was an ultimatum and out of place.
She also didn't see any elephant in the room.

I'm sorry if that could be read that way; it was not intentional.

Here is my reply to her:

Hi, my comment is not an ultimatum, but it is a request for a final decision. I guess that may seem like an ultimatum, but ultimatums contain threats, my request does not.

The elephant in the room is simple. If you read Mike's, Bea's, Deb's and Joanne's replies they all give the same message/advice; do NOT leave constructive comments on Challenge entries unless specifically requested. So to do what we want to do, and to solve this problem quoted from the first comment in the thread "A Faithwriter, who is also a friend, continues to share her frustration over the lack of constructive comments on her Challenge submissions" we MUST go against that advice.

I'm not comfortable doing that.


I honestly believe the lack of constructive comments is a much bigger problem and upsets more people than those who get upset by them. If I am wrong I will gladly shut up and continue as is. There is no threat or ultimatum in anything I am saying.

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 mikeedwards » Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:47 pm

Hello,

I am not suggesting that we eliminate comments from the Challenge as Lillian asked at all. We want all of the comments we can get there to encourage writers. We have taken steps just recently to increase the number of comments.

I also do not think anyone said to not leave constructive reviews/critiques. What was said is to be conscious of the fact that some get offended and take that into consideration.

I agree FaithWriters purpose is to help writers grow. This means they honestly need to see what others think of their writing. I am suggesting a manner in which those who prefer to keep red ink critiques private could do so. I am doing this because there are two sides to this discussion. Some people do get offended by them and might be more apt to seek them if we have an option to keep them private. For those who want them and do not care who sees them, red ink and/or constructive reviews can go under the Challenge entry itself. This is where the request for constructive reviews "yes or no" box would be beneficial. We will be adding this as soon as Andrew gets it done.

With that box people will be able to let you know up front what they want. This does not mean you completely ignore their entry. Everyone can use encouragement and pointing out obvious errors would still be fine. Those who said "no to constructive critiques" could still submit it to the critique circle and get private feedback.

As I mentioned, we are improving the circle. We have added a much larger box for people to work in
when giving a critique. We have also added a rich text editor so they can highlight and other things. We will also have Jan Ackerson, Shari Armstrong, Teresa Crumpton, Joanne Sher, Lynda Schab, Toni Babcock and a few others there doing critiques. The circle is very easy to find. The link for it is in the right hand column of the My Account page where most links can be found. http://www.faithwriters.com/myaccount/m ... t-main.php

I think you all have a great idea and are basically on the same page. We really appreciate it. I am giving a green light to move forward as you have planned but with a bit of moderation in the level of critiquing directly under Challenge articles. This is until we can get our "Yes or No to a critique" box in place.

Blessings, Mike
We need God's Grace because of God's Truth.

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Re: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby lish1936 » Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:19 pm

Thank you, Mike, for clearing that up for me. Yeah, for the additional professionals who will be manning the Critique Circle.

May God grant you wisdom for all the decisions you make for this wonderful Faithwriter ministry.

Many 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!!

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Re: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby mikeedwards » Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:07 pm

Take a look at this and let me know your thoughts. This page is live.

http://www.faithwriters.com/myaccount/wc-submit.php

It will ask you to log in to the main site if you are not already. I did this because I have not heard from Andrew and it might work fine.

Blessings, Mike
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Re: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby Colswann1 » Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:16 pm

Mike - will we be still having 'Brick Throwing' with the option of asking for red ink there, like as now?
Thanks.
Colin Swann

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Re: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby lish1936 » Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:47 pm

Mike wrote:Take a look at this and let me know your thoughts. This page is live.



I think it's great, Mike. I would suggest you consider one change. Since "red ink" is an in-house expression, some writers, especially those who are new to the publishing/writing field may not understand the term.

Perhaps---with the potential for (RED INK) corrective comments (ouch), copy...


" If you would like Constructive Critiques (no guarantee) with the potential for RED INK corrections (ouch), copy and paste this after your article in the body box below:"

Because you asked, Mike :D

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

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Re: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby mikeedwards » Wed Feb 19, 2014 5:38 pm

Hey Colin,

Brick Throwing should stay but many people are not aware of it. As Lillian mentioned some people get lost on the site a bit. Brick Throwing is a bit more involved then just asking for feedback below the entry. I added what I have because it seems that many of our regular writers want it.

Blessings, Mike
We need God's Grace because of God's Truth.

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Re: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby Come forth » Wed Feb 19, 2014 7:54 pm

Hi Mike and everyone else,

First I apologize if I have been pushy and really nit picky over this subject; it has been a subject dear to my heart for some time.

But, I am happy to report that I am now on the same page as everyone else and a happy little chap.

Mike said:
Take a look at this and let me know your thoughts. This page is live.


I think it is great and meets the need. Lillian's suggestion, about clarifying what red ink is, is also good.

I'm excited about all of this.

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 mikeedwards » Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:25 pm

Talked with Deb and she is on board with what we have now too.

Thanks again everyone,

Mike
We need God's Grace because of God's Truth.

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Re: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby mikeedwards » Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:48 pm

Everyone who is involved in this project please note that this is the message a member will see when posting their Challenge submission. Please look for one of the two messages and review accordingly. If there is no message I would stay in the middle of the road not being too red inky.

2) If you would like Constructive Critiques (no guarantee) with the potential for (RED INK) corrective comments (ouch), copy and paste this after your article in the body box below:
I Welcome Constructive Red Ink Critiques

If you say nothing you could still receive them as the purpose of FaithWriters is to help writers grow. If you absolutely do not want critical critiques, copy and paste this after your article in the body box below:
Not Looking For Red Ink Critiques On This Piece
We need God's Grace because of God's Truth.

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Re: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby amilli » Thu Feb 20, 2014 5:53 pm

I appreciate the addition or the "little tweak" made for the challenge entry submissions. We are off to a good start, I hope it solve the majority of the problems. :star2
Amelia

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Re: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby tomoral » Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:12 pm

I, for one, am relieved by Mike's addition to the Challenge entries, because I have been in fear of Faithwriter's losing members due to unwanted "other than positive" critiques about their writing. While pointing out what would make a entry better and thus make the writer better, I urge all to keep in mind that authors, especially new ones, may not appreciate their articles being "rewritten" in the style of the ones doing the critique.

I have seen a couple of these instances already, (and no, I won't say which ones) Each writer has their own style. I certainly have mine, and while I have taken other's critiques of my own work and put to use those that corrected my spelling and grammar errors and other things I needed to learn, I have not taken someone else's words and made them my own.

Just saying I hope this is done in a way to not drive members away. Artists are sensitive by nature, after all.

Blessings! Lynn
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Give them shelter from the storms.
Children are our tomorrow
Keep them daily from the sorrow
Of the beasts in life

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Re: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby lish1936 » Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:29 pm

I urge all to keep in mind that authors, especially new ones, may not appreciate their articles being "rewritten" in the style of the ones doing the critique


Lynn, I agree. But I have flashbacks of two manuscripts that I submitted to two major publications that were eventually published. I discovered all too quickly that editors associated with trade magazines LOVE to let you know what changes THEY want. Rewriting is almost a given, especially if you're a freelancer. I still have the originals and the final copies, and I can't believe how much fluff I needed to get rid of to tighten up the article for public consumption.

But you're right, especially since we're not editors, and we're all learning.
I may have transgressed on occasion. :sorry

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

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Re: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby mikeedwards » Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:45 pm

Lynn has a very good point that I know has been discussed a bit already. She also sent me an email and pointed out how writers are artists, and artists are sensitive by nature.

1) Please critique within your own abilities. If you are not certain do not point it out.

2) Consider using the sandwich method of reviewing. Start with a compliment, point out the corrections, end with a compliment.

3) Remember you are critiquing to help the writer.

4) Remember, if a writer wants a more in-depth critique they can go to the critique circle.

5) Pay attention to the writers request. If they request no red ink, please listen.

6) Start a bit slower this week. Many entries had already been posted before we added the new language to the Challenge submission page.

Thanks again everyone.

Blessings, Mike :thankssign
We need God's Grace because of God's Truth.

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Re: A Few Tips For the Reluctant Reviewer?

Postby CatLin » Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:49 pm

I'm late to this party - but since this is my FaithWriters family, I know you'll welcome me. :)

I've just read through this entire thread (yes really) and these were my reactions:
- Yes!
- Cool!
- What?
- That can't be right.
- (no)
- (I'm so sad)
- (teary)
- (encouraged)
- (set back)
- (encouraged more)
- (happy)

About me: I would never have improved, learned, grown, and been stretched to improve if it weren't for the constructive comments on my challenge articles. The FW challenge was my first step into "serious" writing, and because of the help I received from those were kind enough to point out my weak points, I moved from Beginner to Master in a year and a half.

I bristled over a couple of critiques, but that's just the carnal man in me. One time I shared one with my (nonwriter) friend and told her I didn't understand. She read my story, and lovingly told my why the comment was right. I have seriously appreciated very jot and twiddle of red Ink I've ever received. I can't imagine the Challenge with NO constructive comments. I've had entries like that, and, while I enjoyed the accolades, I'd also like to have known why it fell off the charts with the judges.

Kudos to all here -- thank you Shann - and thank you Graham for taking the bull by the horns. I'd invite you to critique my most recent entry, but it was a year and a half ago. :) (but by all means, don't let that hold you back if you feel froggy. Thanks also to Mike&Bea and all you lovely moderators for making FaithWriters better at every turn of the page.

I can't commit to join the official roster of reviewers, but I'm more than happy to try spending more time leaving comments.

Humbly yours,
Cat
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"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes." Psalm 18:24 (The Message)

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