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Evil Cupcake
Velcome to Soda's Magic Counseling!
Uh, we mean Scoreboard.
We Hereby Christen This Community ... 
6th-Nov-2007 04:45 pm [concrit, flames, reviews]
Today we just want to start off with something that you should already know, but may not. This is basic. If you plan to review other people's work or post your own, then you need to know a few things. Ergo, today's lesson for the archive will be: Pointless reviews, constructive reviews, harsh constructive reviews, flames, and the differences thereof.
By definition, a flame is not a harsh review, but rather a worthless review that offers no help and usually directly insults the author in question, moving beyond the story -- which is also mercilessly mocked. That is unacceptable. Why? Because the story is what's up for critique. Say whatever you want about that. Be as nice or as mean as you want. But personal attacks are low and unnecessary. They say more about your character than about the author.
We'd like to take a moment to point out that discretion should be used when deciding what can be considered a "personal attack;" don't take everything offensively.
The difference between a flame and a harsh constructive review is that, though you may find it difficult to pick out just what advice they were giving if it's particularly scathing, the latter is still constructive criticism. Take it or leave it, but recognize it for what it is. If you set your huffing, puffing, and crying aside long enough to find it, then, however you may resent the manner in which they gave it, you'll find either suggestions or at least mentions of things that could stand for improvement, so you know what to look for.
Want to see the difference? Go ahead. We dare you.
You may not like NOADS, but consider them a blessing in disguise if they review your story. Note: We said review and not flame. You're catching on, right? Please, tell us you have.
Just objectively look at a Flame Rising flame:
May I ask you a personal question? Yes? Su-f.u.c.k.i.n.g-perb. Here we go: What did you smoke, snort, or otherwise spray up your nose that made you think that you could write?

I am curious.

It must have been something damn good. Spray paint? Lighter fluid? Acid? Because you have to know that no normal human being believes the douched-up excrement you posted for all the world to see is actually a good story. No normal human being tells the English language to bend over, grab its ankles and wait to be violated by the horrors you call “writing”. No normal human being thinks that people on a fan fiction site want to read something that diarrhea out of my dog’s a.s.s could write better. And no normal human being thinks that getting “omg! u r such a go0od wrighter!11!1!” reviews from inbred circus freaks *actually* makes them a good writer.

Therefore, I must conclude that you were pretty f.u.c.k.e.d-up on something to post it here.

At least, that’s what I hope, if I am to have any faith left in the rest of humanity.

In case you just can’t see the message behind my philosophical ramblings, I’ll put it into words even you can understand:


Tell you what -- I'll even throw in another for good measure:
What is fucking wrong with you that you think people want to read this douched-up shir?

A severe head injury?
People in your family marrying their cousins for too many years?

Or are you off your meds?

Because, fucktard: It’s time to get back on ‘em!

The only other douches that like this ** are cracked-out, toothless inbreds like you. Do humanity a favor, and go play in some heavy traffic next time you think about telling the English language to bend over and grab its ankles, will you?



Notice a pattern? Good. Now, our advice is that if you receive something like this, ignore it. It's probably a good indication that you should address certain negative aspects of your story, though, and for that you should find someone whom you trust to give good, solid advice without dressing it up. But as for the review itself? Just leave it the hell alone. It'll just burn ya. Remember: you don't want anything to do with that flame. It may upset you or it may spur you to improve your story, or maybe both, but don't go crying to anybody about it. Nobody will care. Many will laugh. You will feel dumber by the end.
So just drop it.
Now compare that to a NOADS review: http://www.fanfiction.net/r/3825936/0/3/ 
Doesn't seem so bad now, does it? We're just sayin', you don't have to like it, but at least recognize it for what it is and don't go calling it a flame when it's not. Or they will find you.
And what of the pointless sunshine-blowers? Yes, our pretties, we'll get to them.
Proceed with caution:
Please note, class, that it is obnoxiously in all capital letters. For the love of all things unholy, WHY? Aha, see? We can do it, too. But we know that it's wrong, and for that we apologize to the gods of grammar, because we have respect for the English language.
We will admit, however, that we're impressed with their spelling. Sure, it's a hopelessly short review, and sure, they didn't hurt their brain trying out any big words ... Where were we going with this? Ah, never mind. Yet we dock them another point for their lack of punctuation. We assume they were in a hurry.
Misspellings? Check. Slaughter of punctuation? Check. Caps? Check. Irrelevancy? Check.
We will now prove to you that it is, indeed, possible to provide an even shorter review -- and to misspell words in the only damn sentence:
omg..itsPony..ino it..omg omg omg..update soon
And then there's the ever-popular and -present:
this is good (occasionally this is god)
Thank goodness -- were it not for their approval, dozens of unconfident writers would have quit the craft entirely! They've saved the day! Hurray for their opinion carrying so much weight that it sways our tender hearts and puts us on Cloud Nine!
We would also like to take a moment to apologize for the flagrant abuse of exclamation points. You see what sunshine-blowers do to us?
*deep breath*

Our personal favorite?
We kid you not. Whoever crafted that must have an extraordinarily short attention span.
And last? Well, people generally prefer constructive reviews that offer positives, because, of course, we all like to have our egos stroked -- especially when it's being simultaneously knocked back a few notches. Most people don't like to be the butt of a joke -- unless they happen to also have fantasies that involve safe words, but we won't get into that here -- when they're not in on it. Yet they want to improve, and you don't have the heart for snark, so what do you do?
Well, you apply this formula, of course:
Positive + negative + positive = an even, rounded review. (No, we weren't at the tops of our respective math classes. Why do you ask?)
We have the opportunity to offer solid writing advice and maybe even help along the next batch of up-and-coming writers. Why would you waste that? So here are some things that you may want to think about the next time you click that little button:
    Be sure to say something about the actual story/chapter. Whoever you're reviewing would like to know that you actually read their story.This sounds like a no-brainer, but it's astounding how many reviews there are that lack any indication of actually having read what they're claiming to enjoy.
    Give examples. Say you liked this specifically. Say you didn't like that. And then tell them why.
    Don't just talk about yourself.
    Someone's review page is not a message board -- which lends itself to another topic: review etiquette.
And we're spent.

Got anything to add? Comment. We'd love to hear from you.
7th-Nov-2007 02:41 pm (UTC)
this is good.
The 'ino it' bit reminded me of a Britslang word, which I hate, for 'isn't it; innit.
Irrelevancy? No real feedback? Check :p

I think this is a great article for both recognising concrit and advice on how to review.
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