You are what you write. Illusion and Reality...I reside in between. Where are you?
|I have a meme as the front cover on my big computer that says: "THE WORLD IS ABOUT TO CHANGE." Day to day conspiracies are proven or exposed as true and absolute facts turn out to be intentional and manipulated lies. So in our wonderful, protected world of writing.com, a little conflicted confusion about reviewing is welcome and satisfying to receive some focus.
Now my experience is mostly limited to being a member of the long-lived writing group of WYRM. I came into the group as a published novelist, but soon learned that I had a great deal to learn about writing a novel. See, there's different levels of being a Newbie, which is true within all of the writing.com world. Just like that distracting real world we actually live in—there is a different story for/about every single individual.
My education began and continues to this day from the in-depth reviews I receive from group members. I learned early-on that it takes a long time. Reviewing a novel means, on average, an in-depth review of one chapter every week for twelve or twenty or forty-some weeks. You learn a lot about the author and how they write. And if a writer reviews your novel, they are no longer a stranger. There were all the elements of story presentation and character development that I had never considered before. There were new structual and technical rules about writing fiction I had never learned about before.
I guess, the point I'm making here is that if you (the novelist) don't open yourself up to receiving in-depth reviews within this community of writers, you'll never really know if what you've done has merit or potential. The other side of the same relationship is that novelists should review other writer's novels. Learning, understanding, imagination and artistic skill is a two-way street. Sometimes awareness is a painful assimilation, but with friends it's easier.
There is value in the two-sentence review that says, "I loved your poem." It serves as a confirmation by a reader and is an encouragement to write more. But the writer is still on their own. And the same goes for short stories.
For a solution to the delima of short acknowledgement/encouragement type of reviews and the detailed, often lengthy in-depth reviews, one has to cross a wide river. I could see a separation, especially for novelists and serious short story writers. What if the in-depth reviewers are listed and catagorized separately?
How such a thing would work? I have no idea. A box to check that directs the static submission as being eligible or agreeable for an in-depth review? WDC has detailed menus for layers of choices. Some discussion is necessary for something like that. There is that huge gap between 150 words and over 1,000 words.
Another idea is the Reviewer Ratings. IF they were done by the number of original words in the review (not counting any copy-paste). That might have an earth-shattering effect. More discussion necessary. Still, I believe the review types should be simply separated.
I've done some reviewing outside of WYRM and a number of those books did get published. Each one I spent close to a year reviewing their chapters, and learning all the time about my own writing. Inside WYRM I've lost count of how many books and stories I've reviewed. I've loved every minute of the process. So now I'm rambing and will stop now.
Best to all,