YO! REVIEWERS, WHY NOT LIGHTEN UP!
Subtitle: REV WISDOM 4
When joining www.writing.com many new members will behold golden words onsite which pertain to reviewing. In the meantime, new and classic members alike might want to loosen up, lighten up, if review writing to others is your main addiction. Please don't forget to bring reading skills you carry with you along your adventurous travels across poetry, journals, fiction, short stories and novels. In other words, many gleefully rack up numerous reviews sent to other members (aka original authors of their, ownership/ copyrighted items displayed on wc and on the world wide web.) ... To these truly gifted reviewers perhaps, if you don't mind, please try a tad bit of heed on what not to do. Hopefully, one who reviews may avoid pitfalls evident almost everywhere you look.
Yes, there will be guidelines offered by the worthy. Some are relevant, others are not even feasible. Generally, when we write articles, essays, poetry, fiction or nonfiction, we bring to the table baggage such as logic, life experience, research, former education. We're striving to do our best.
All common sense, of course (above) which should never be ignored. We're not seeking insults, put downs etc.
Seriously, writers aren't flapping outside the pond, awaiting your choice on the way it should be written, if you prefer to re-write correct works. The adjective, arrogance comes to mind immediately. So, let's strive to desist on the I I I want to read .......
I I I want to see ....
I I I think ______ is better.
Boo hoo. Poor reader. Right?
Worse Alert! Lies can really harm an author whose just starting out. Likewise, even anger might surface for more seasoned authors knowing exactly when our words are misinterpreted to suit reader/ reviewers. Writers, dearies, they are pretty much very aware when their paragraphs are not taken seriously. Thus, this plea to lighten up; place more value on the pieces on wc than the rev for those special Pulitzer items.
Stands to reason, not all reviewers fall into the chip-on-the-shoulder file, not by any means. Actually, there is no real reason to be against authors, is there? WC is a writing/ reading website.
One very important portion of writing is organization. So onto the very first matter of business billed in Subtitle: REVIEW WISDOM 4 based on what folks say about reviews they receive. Also, at this time be advised my current short story not counting two months random thinking time is already over fifteen days, generally three hours per diem for a mere 5K word count. So, the stories you're reviewing come with hard work, time, creative muse, eduction or research. The best kindness stodgy stoic revvers can adapt is full knowledge of that fact.
1. CRAFTING REVIEWS VIA GUIDELINE PERKS
Of: Guidelines for reviewing where it is said, repeated ad nauseum. (Supposedly this suggestion is found someplace, also perpetually quoted from defensive, argumentative revvers themselves.)
Namely: "all work needs improvement."
Logically this is irrelevant and probably false. Because not all work by an author, any author either needs nor asks for improvement. Plus, at the outset, guidelines prompt and stem from a suggestive MO for reviweing.
This is the thing. A guideline is a guideline, not a rule delivered by Moses, long before both you and I were babes in hospital nursery wards.
Thus, we may honestly deduce herein, that if rules were made to be broken, guidelines are rather iffy and can be ignored. If one cares to go that route, of course. Standing behind random premises in
currently automatically assume this sister piece which predates the one you're reading now already points out differences for the audience re: a review by definition and an edit.
Granted by definition a review is never rocket science. Okay, it's probably easier to construct a rocket to the moon than have all review pieces align like a stellar re-entry path. So, suffice to say reviewing aint rocket science. Allow factual conscription to apply to your take on the topic.
Be informed, however, a rev is not an edit nor an editorial comment. But since many illustrious, heady revisors, and we know who you are, no hiding your stuff if you use PR .. prefer to combine their comments with corrections then sure we accept that editorial aspects of onsite reviews do exist.
Besides, this aint Braille and we-uns aint blind. WE see those gargantuan, overwordy revs which are almost 100% edits. Many revisors are hellbent on improving works by others due to the guideline fluff --- all work needs improvement.
Now, myself, I like to read the item, point out what is well written. Even laud or linger on key phrases which come off as impressive. These gems are referred to as "keepers." Thus the author. let's call her Joanne of Archery will know these shouldn't be edited into oblivion at the hands of other revvers who may object to the same parts. Which, don't need improvement at all ala setting, plot or character and often clock in as story strong points.
Naturally, PRP boasts a large contention of revisors. These gungho stalwarts of rev philosophy, which they usually defend like a medieval right to seek The Holy Grail, are all about revising perfectly adequate sentences, often for no known reason.
Granted, in some cases a verb sandwich then sprouts upon the page for the author to split in eighths with other authors who also wallow in dicey, delicious re-writes form this type of re-writer-revisor-reviewer.
Unfortunately for some, the revver is not standing outside his window, so one can't throw a bucket of water on him or her. Blatantly obvious also absent are fellow authors who receive these cunning revisor-tactic revs. Neither are other writers sitting snugly, nodding in disapproval at the author's dining room table. No, the author remains alone, on the outskirts of rev society when he receives in his E-mail slot the re-write rev. Which by all common standards, if it were as delectable as the reviewer had laid it on, smeared with ketchup, mayo, lightly dabbed with raw spicy onions, these multiple revisions might feed a starving third world country. All from PubRevPg courtesy of revisors.
lllllllllll SIDEBAR: lllllllllll Just to be a silly. Elmer Fudd phoned the other day. His stuff got slammed, due to pronunciation. Now, he's calling the review-revisor a we-wiser. Elmer swears we-wisers rewind an author's original work. In order to promote their excellent we-wiews, But, is he right? lllllllllllllll
So as a marauding revver don't slice and dice for your own reading ability. Nor for the sake of filling in a trite copy-paste added to your re-write, inclusive of any revs submitted.
Interesting sections where fiction prose authors or poets achieve merit in production of his/ her product deserve better treatment. In sum, the best part should always be kept. It's okay, most authors know this about their work, since it is pretty close to them.
The item is the product. The item is not the author nor vice versa. So now dribble the basketball on court. Some, fantastic revvers who are well credited onsite, and daring improvers in their own right may admit this is true, but probably will hold it against one if their golden calf rev is met with a reply to a rev which kinda runs ... "Hey, are you crazy?"
Author to author, yes, Virginia we may reply to revvers that they're waxing helter-skelter in their critique. We know we owe it to both ourselves, whom produce the product which is akin to what gets sold in bookstores, graces library shelves and is what Literature is all about.
Although take the title: THE FACE OF INJUSTICE IN REV RECEPTION may not be worthy of a library, much like REDUNDANT REVIEWING DICTATORSHIP it is still a product, none-the-less. Not produced or handmade by the reviewer in any sense of the word or meaning thereof.
Imagine now, bereft of time and space, there's an alien going berserk, since this paragraph contains a cliche. So what? The cream of the crop for me is: A copyrighted work belongs to the author. Plus, we should respect ownership and creativity of these items.
Oh, my mouth hurts, hold on a sec. Generally, an aversion to stodgy, sorry. Remember, organization, deep breath. Okay ..
Q: Do prestigious reviewer types tend to be over critical on PRP?
A: Yes. Yes, they do. Teff's POV is that pretty much looks like what they want to do, set out to accomplish all going back to the ridiculous AWNI. Meantime in the age-old quest of aiding our fellow man (other authors who copyrighted the work, poets who posted when their poems were edited and perfected -- any item owner, really) the absolute opposite may go down.
Unless, you are writing the story, how in the hell do you come off as the one to improve it?
A. It doesn't belong to you.
B. You weren't asked to edit it or push so-called improvement into the item nor an author's face.
C. What qualifies you to inflict changes?
D --- Worse, the changes suggested may be superficial and these could be wrong.
Of: D: Wrong advice is bogus, an incorrect --- slapdash, thank you maam
--- overzealous, crapshoot at assistance. Could be because these premises of taking simple guidelines, maybe even misinterpreting same, then using them against authors is the name of the game for some. How they sleep at night is a good question. Yeah, it happens.
Now, RE: typos, we may say -- typo at: ________. Believe it this helps, since small stuff sometimes slides directly under the conveyor belt during spell check. See?
WE are in an age where not all publishers are returning work submitted to them because it breaks grammar rules, doesn't fit categories of ultimately boring enough for the sake of boredom. Boredom is not godlike, it is boring and usually trash, slushpile worthy.
However, publishers accept sentence frags, tense switches, less comma usage. A comma may stand for "is." Three sets of a series can skip the final and. As in "Joanne of Archery submits poems, flash fiction, articles."
So, real live readers who --- keep current at libraries, bookstores, online, magazines, anthologies, newspapers, The NY Times Book Review --- wherever the source of their/ our reading --- might graciously admit what's seen in a Handbook on the English Language CAN BE written around for basic flow of the piece. Shoving at writers low rates & urges of perfection due to punctuation is now-a-days rather groundless. If he/she is realistic enough to stretch, thus simultaneously include the same things publishers are doing daily .... then we can admit things are just fine.
Revving is a blast when one clicks on a new poem and feelings of a discovery encountered ensues. Great FUN! Finding, reading a brand new story online by a favorite or a newly acquainted author. This is fantastic when scripting your take directly to the author. I love it.
Hey, guys & dolls ... Changes are afoot.
BY WHO? Publishers & Publications
WHERE? Anywhere, all over the place.
WHEN? Today, anytime, since William Faulkner stretched his writing into a new punctuation-less style and created voice in writing etc. is one e.g.
WHY? Because Literature evolves from ordinary basics.
WHAT? Onsite items to be reviewed.
Of the peculiar phrase all work needs improvement .... ask yourself and please consider ... BEFORE YOU ADD YOUR 2,000 kb per square inch of nasty critique for the sake of posting a rev to another ... please ...
Examine what wise advice you're dishing out. Are you positive
of your incredible critique?
Answer -- No, not necessarily. Then keep mum. Use another tactic instead in your rev style.
If (AWNI) this be a guideline one hides behind to put down the work of another, that is very shameful.
If this be guideline to dissect a chapter that is fine or close to fine, this is not fair to the original author. Here it also looks like since you didn't write an original of your own, you'll use someone else's work as a spring board, while you smile because you get to write/ compose a review. Hey now, based on another's idea? These quasi worthless reviews are actually based on original words belonging to another writer, honey chiles.
To the latter rev-writer typist, those who get posted, credited and praised for revs (which, darling sure bore me to utter tears on PRP) ... perhaps try something new this month.
Hey, try writing a short story, as opposed to openly making war on same.
Hey, how about a quest for a new IN-Thing onsite? And the suggestions are ...?
Perhaps something besides luxuriant praise, kudos, and shoulder slapping for your grand reviews, review activities, review forums, rev games, rev conquests, rev how to do it rights.
Hey, I know. How about a bit more emphasis on writing how to's, hints in article form, bereft of the entire word review. Can we see more than ten truckloads of thankfulness to authors who do the work, which you simply and altruistically don't actually help at all with cunning mothballs in the mouth reviews.
REV Wisdom 4 shall self destruct in a few seconds, the timer's set. Suppose new rules of the game run .... less sitewide emphasis on reviewing?
Can we ever see new stuff around here? Oh, darlins ... whatever it is, I beg you, please, please make it witty. That's in the dictionary, too. After revise, behind Imperialistic rev conceit.
How about trying a knack for "more interesting" plots, fun reads etc. All this constant rev rules, rev explanation, and deviousness surrounding the edits you pass off as reviewing grow stale.
Meanwhile, check the definition. Realize not all reviews are good reviews. Most crave tons of improvement, to be sure. Uh, oh, here's another comeuppance for you. Are you ready? Not all popular, crowded halls where reviewers lurk, boast this fact. Not all reviewers are good nor qualified reviewers, nor editors. Yup, 'tis true. Obvious actually if perusing PubRevPg.
Let us not discourage authors & readers by dropping them like hot potatoes with words which in many cases should not be delivered to their e-box dooorsteps.
We're novice authors out here, of all ages, from all walks of life. If mistakes are only what you want to pivot on in the improvement category ... my gawd.
Author-to-author, try tossing in a few authorship, writing hints. If you don't know any, researching those is easy enough.
Pertaining to writing ----- Everyday new things come our way. Dropping the ken for strange, one-sided rules of engagement in rev/comments to meet & greet community members instead is certainly one way to fly.
Well, seriously must bid you farewell for now. Shall finish my short story, a work in progress. Have the grand August, oh please do. As you lighten up in rev genre. If you are already like moi, then passing on the lighten up rev/word is a fine, helpful aide for all writers.
Writers read, writers write and writers also write revs, I do. If you care to see some, these are listed on my blog:
And on my forum: "MOFFETT FILES TAKE FIVE"
On PubRevPg you may notice a search box. Type in a user's name, mine is teffom and up will come recent revs sent.
Thanks for listening. Please e-mail me if you have anything to add. Especially if you received a rev you found completely off base, of no value or bogus. Which in effect hurt your work, which is just so very sad. For several years, sympathy for such ridiculous behavior is easily shared author-to-author.
Again, is it finally time to say stand firm? Together we may address and conquer bogus rev spotlights. To the guilty parties: STOP gloating amongst yourselves, if your reviews are not worthy of the ink on this author's keyboard. There's hundreds of us out here and we like our stuff and look forward to the final re-re-re-re-edit, a part of writing in ordinary time.
Gosh, please never forget as authors you own your pieces. A reviewer is a visitor to your digs. Not too many folks enter my house these days since probably rusty barb wire puts them off. When they do enter, if I'm in a rare hospitable mood, they seem to gather their intelligence and seldom suggest changes in decor.
And yes, china cabinets, walls of books, antique typewriters, anti-war posters, my cauldron collection, maps, atlas corner, gilt frames of JFK's photos, the campaign phots of Sen John Edwards, and my very own prolific short story collection all belongs to moi.
THANKS FOR READING!
Cordially, From TEFF