My New Rating System
I admit it. In the past I was guilty of bestowing 4.5 for nearly everything I read and reviewed on a certain on-line haven for struggling scribes.
I would shut my eyes to errors in spelling, punctuation, and grammar, instead attempting to find some nugget of gold amid the fecal matter.
Lack of plot, characters behaving in inexplicable, illogical ways, and viewpoint and tenses switching back and forth so rapidly the reader was maimed with monitor whiplash, went unpunished. I still tried to find some redeeming quality, even sinking so low as to give a 4.5 with a review like, "A really great title! Keep writing!"
But no more! The Scribe Wizard of the website reminds members to save those high ratings for truly worthy items. A 3.0 is average. Rate accordingly.
So, henceforth, my ratings will adhere to this policy and, using the criteria shown below, will be administered fairly to those with luggage of all colors:
1.0 = Your item lacked any semblance to writing. Be honest -- the cat walked across the keyboard, creating this miscarriage with its dainty little paws, didn't it? But, because it was twice as good as your normal efforts, you took credit for the piece.
Suggestion: Take up another, easier, hobby. Like rhythmic breathing, or synchronized sweating.
1.5 = This piece is indicative of the school system today -- it sucks. Not your fault. Still, you might have turned out ignorant anyway.
Suggestion: Stay in school. Or at least attend on alternating Wednesdays. And no, school isn't spelled "skool" and yes, "Wednesday" has two "d's."
2.0 = Don't you have something productive you could be doing? Those ear-splitting noises in the background are the cries of your children. You remember, the ones you had before learning how to visit chat rooms and writing websites on the computer? Back before your spouse left. Oh, you hadn't noticed he/she was gone?
Suggestion: There are these things called "jobs." Go get one.
2.5 = With a little more effort this item could be considered "average." It couldn't, however, be considered as anything of a literary nature.
Suggestion: Switch to reading instead of these mind-jarring attempts at writing -- your Muse is severely impaired.
3.0 = Whoopie! You're average! You, and several thousand other members, and many thousands of items, are right where you should be.
Suggestion: Get better. If you rhyme "love" and "above" or "life" and "strife" one more time, I hope Zeus zaps you with a lightning bolt.
3.5 = Shows promise. No, not promise of ever being published, but promise of at least being recognizable as English rather than Sanskrit.
Suggestion: Run for president. You're at least as qualified as Gee! Dubya? Can you say "nuclear" without sounding like you're hawking up a fur ball? Great, you're a shoo-in.
4.0 = Hey, you're somewhat above "average!" Before you get all giddy and rush out to buy stamps to mail those wrinkled, coffee-stained manuscripts, see the definition of "average" above. This means you have fewer than three typographical errors and/or misspellings in your item's description. Someday, by accident, someone may actually read the item itself, or it might be used in connection with a college "drinking" game. If the players take a shot of booze every time they find an error, there will be no need to embalm the corpses.
Suggestion: Don't buy those stamps yet unless you plan on sending a lot of Christmas cards this year. And no, "a lot" is not one word.
4.5 = Very nearly publication quality! Hit the print key on your keyboard. There -- you're published! Remember, if a magazine pays you in "copies" or doesn't pay you at all to use your finely crafted story or poem in their respected publication, then keep hitting that "print" key. Same difference. With a monthly readership consisting of the publisher, his/her wife/husband, a couple of vagrants who found a copy in a "freebie" rack at the bus station and feel that the paper quality is superior to the dried leaves they've been using to wipe their hiney and, of course, you, and every friend, relative and captive household member slow enough to get caught -- these non-paying markets are good only if your ego demands seeing your name in print.
Suggestion: If you're going to write it, get paid for it.
5.0 = Imminently publishable! You have reached the top of the type-written world, the pinnacle of penmanship; the summit of storytelling! Stop goofing off and start sending out manuscripts immediately!
Suggestion: Buy a large filing cabinet to house the rejection slips, and keep your day job because printer ink, paper, envelopes and two-way postage add up. Oh, and there's this thing called "competition." About one in every 550 working-age people in the U.S. either already write for a living or (snicker) want to be freelance writers! The Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't keep records on freelancers (probably because they starve and die before accurate information can be obtained), but this quote comes directly from their website page concerning stats on writing professions: "Thousands of other individuals work as freelance writers, earning some income from their articles, books, and less commonly, television and movie scripts. Most support themselves with income derived from other sources."
But what the heck, you've gotten this far. You've put in the hours, days, and years necessary to perfect your writing to this level, so keep pursuing your dream. You may be among that select few who can earn a living doing something you love -- and would do anyhow -- because you must.
By the way, I am also instituting a "rate that review" system. That's right. I will now be rating, from 1.0 to 5.0, all reviews I receive. This will serve to let reviewers know how I feel about reviews such as, "i realy likked this but i did'nt undertand why the cat clumb the tree in the fisrt place. Can u explaine?", with a number, such as 1.0, rather than by replying, "Of course you didn't understand. It is written in English, obviously a class you slept through during your seven years of high school."
DISCLAIMER: This is a work of satirical fiction. It is not real. It does not necessarily reflect the true opinions of the author. It is not intended to be appreciated, nor even understood, by the humor-impaired. Resemblance to any person, place, entity, animal, or parallel universe is purely coincidental. No Writing.com member was injured or killed in the making of this item.