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7 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
Review of To Shenandoah  
Review by Jewel
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
This was one of the most beautiful stories I've ever read, wonderfully written, vivid, sensual with excellent integration into the historical background. It gave me goosebumps.

I almost never rate anything a five. I've broken this rule twice before and am happy to do it again.
Review by Jewel
Rated: E | (3.5)
I do sense a bias towards high ratings here. Sites like
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speak to this bias and the frustration of some writers at receiving useful critiques. What can I do with a 4.5 accompanied by "interesting" ot "good"!

I've been an active member of this site for almost two months and it took me over a month to become confident enough to rate what I read any lower than 3.5. Before that, I was either ratings at least 4 or not rating at all. When I started posting items of my own, I noticed that constructive negative feedback or even just negative feedback was more helpful to me than high ratings, so I began to rate more honestly. I have received more than a few e-mails thanking me and also e-mails that are defensive and even angry, but then one of the advantages of on-line communication is the freedom to ignore.

Here are some things I would have liked to see covered in your piece:

- The importance of a review or a comment to accompany a rating. A comment only takes a moment or two but can be very helpful to a writer.

– Don't rate items that you haven't read to the end or include a comment explaining why you stopped reading. As a writer, I would benefit from reviews or comments that explain why a reader lost interest in my work.

- You advise giving positive as well as negative feedback. In most case, if you've read the entire item, you have some interest which translates into a positive comment, BUT I don't agree that straining oneself to include positive feedback to balance the negative is warranted or even useful.

– In response to "I'd feel disliked if I gave negative feedback", I would like to have seen a reminder about the anonymity option.

- I disagree with your point about "If you can't rate honestly, don't rate at all." As a member of this community, reviewing is an obligation. If you want to receive, you give as well. Isn't that what being part of a community?

-Regarding whether a person wants an honest rating: I do not find that simply making an item ratable indicts a desire for honest ratings. (Anything I read will get one from me anyway}

-I would also have liked to see this point stressed: The reactions you will get outside of writing.com from publishers and agents will most definitely NOT be overwhelmingly positive. Wouldn't you rather hear it here in a supportive atmosphere?

-Regarding the rating system: I don't agree with your comment and think that changes or clarifications in the current rating system would be helpful. Unexplained scales are very subjective and easily misinterpreted. I thought your descriptions in "comments in a box" were extremely useful and that the site would benefit from descriptions that indicate what the ratings are intended to mean at the point that ratings are given. You may not want to include this so as to keep the box small. A link to "explanations of ratings" could be used to avoid this.

- Who is giving the ratings: If there are no comments, a writer has no idea who gave the ratings. An option to " contact me for additional information" or "I do not wish to be contacted” would be useful at least to me.

Thank you for adressing important issue. I am trained in psychometrics. For what it's worth, what we do with positive bias in questionnaires is add rating options as the poise end of the scale which in this instance would translate into: 4.0 , 4.25, 4.5, 4.75 and 5. I realize that you may not want to di this. If my training can be of any use to you please feel free to use me. I'd love to see the distribution of rating responses.

I would like to thank you for this wonderful site. It is truly a godsend!
Review of Warned  
Review by Jewel
Rated: E | (4.5)
This short poem about the lure of a woman is a beauty.

Elliot is a true poet. His verse reads like a song. You can sense the thought that went into each word. This is NOT prose separated by commas in short sentences! He is also a master of sound, of rhythm and his words feel good on your lips as any good poetry does.

In this particular poem you can feel the intensity of the rush with which the character is swept up, despite his better (?), more rational instincts. The emotion you are left with is intense. I was sorry when the poem ended!

If you love a good erotic poem, read this one. Then read the others.

Review of Assassin Mavi  
Review by Jewel
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
This first chapter of the book Assasin Mavi creates the scene very well and engages the reader immediately. The action is quick-paced and descriptions are vivid and well written. All in all, what I've read makes me want to read more.

I also liked the way in which you introduced the main character. The reader can easily visualize her, but enough details are omitted to maintain interest and curiosity. I found myself wanting to know more about why she had come to Eden, what she had run away from. I assume that this will be addressed in later chapters

There were a few (really very few) instances, where sentences were either repeated or could have been clearer. Here is an example. You say that she was hungry and hadn't eaten the day before and then say it again a few paragraphs later.

There are a few points places where the language could be smoother (again just a few) An example is the last sentence of the chapter: "Assassination paid well it seemed". I'm not sure whether it is incorrect but sounds awkward. Here are a couple of possible alternatives. "It seemed that assassins were well paid." or " Apparently, assasins were well paid."
On the whole, the writing is excellent and involving.

More than a few details in this chapter remind be of Norman's Gor books (such as guilds of assassins). I wonder whether you are are familiar with them and whether you might want to limit these parallels especially if you have plans to publish this.

Review by Jewel
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
I am a staunch believer in the separation of ideology and art, but am happy to acknowledge an exception when I see one. This poem makes a strong social statement and also works as art - holding the reader in it's emotional grip. The words were all used, but there was no sense that they had been "forced" in any way.

I am wondering whether the fact that I agree with your point of view had an effect. I don't think so. The punchline ending ( where the 'demon' is only revealed on the last line) helps there. Of course, unless you write I pro-school poem, I'll never know for sure. Rereading it, I think that if I were staunchly pro-school in it's current form. I might have experienced some anger at the end, but then that's an emotion too. Better anger than apathy!

Anybody who has either gone to school, has or has kids or cares about what goes on around him or her should read this. (There, did I get everyone?) It makes you feel and it makes you think

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