Re: Should authors also read and/or review fictions?

#1
The question ^^

As an author, I always freeze up if I want to write an honest review that is anything less than 100% stellar. Which honestly, if I were to give my own fiction an honest rating, it would be like, 3 or 4 stars (at least until I finish the edits haha). To a lesser extent, I think before every comment, is this okay for author Kieran to say? 

What should an author do...  All honest reviews? Only positive reviews? Only 3+ star reviews? (Personally, almost everything is 3+ stars to me and nothing is ever sub 2 stars.)
Is it a good idea for authors to interact with other fictions on their author account, or should they have a separate account for reading on RR?

Re: Should authors also read and/or review fictions?

#2
i have also pondered on this question for a while
i prefer to write things that make everybody smile
while i value honesty and feedback i can use
it'd make me sad to hurt somebody with my views

i like leaving feedback here, when authors come and ask
that way it's a more relaxing and straightforward task
maybe once i've gained a little confidence to judge
i'll start leaving ratings without fear of someone's grudge

DrakanSweat

Re: Should authors also read and/or review fictions?

#3
I've had the same dilemma. My solution to it was simple. When I did review swaps, I always said that I would officially post reviews that are 3.5 stars or up. For anything below that, I would PM the author with my points and wouldn't rate the story officially at all (unless the author insisted on me posting it). I believe that like that the author gets a chance to correct their work without the burden of dropping down the ranking. It might be unfair but, in my opinion, if the work is really that much of a garbage, there are always more than enough people who would gladly shoot it a 1-2 star ratings. You can call me a coward or a soft-hearted idiot but I sympathize with my fellow authors and I like giving them a chance to improve without crushing the future of their work.  

Re: Should authors also read and/or review fictions?

#4
I like to think I'm an author, and I also like to think I'm a reviewer. Don't really see any reason why I can't be both.

I think I've made the most reviews on this site, so I think I can attest to it not being that much of a problem overall. And about the account/alt dilemma, I recommend putting everything onto a single account. Gives you more overall credibility.

Honestly, the lowest score I have ever given a story on this website was 3.5, and I'm still thinking about going back and changing out of the principle behind it. Others might call be a bad reviewer because of this approach to it, but I see it as a good way to go forward. This is an amateur writing site and should be treated as such. A 5/5 on RR is not the same as a 5/5 from Brandon Sanderson.

hope it helps

Re: Should authors also read and/or review fictions?

#5

Ariana Wrote: You can call me a coward or a soft-hearted idiot but I sympathize with my fellow authors and I like giving them a chance to improve...

No, that sounds like the right thing to do! Especially as writers, I think that it makes sense for us to be more attuned to the craftmanship of writing and try to be more helpful in that regard. I would call you a nice person, at least!

DrBuller Wrote: This is an amateur writing site and should be treated as such. A 5/5 on RR is not the same as a 5/5 from Brandon Sanderson.

I totally hear you there, not only because it's an amateur writing site, but also because the nature of serialization results in a rougher story unless we had something completely finished, edited, and set to publish. I don't know if anyone can realistically do that for a web serial--that's literally what publishing a book is.

I may or may not have looked at your guys' reviews to get a sense of how some more experienced authors have navigated this....
DrBuller, you do have so many reviews. I noticed how you write what you think about the fiction, even if it is a critique, but you still give high star ratings. That way you can be honest while not hurting the author with the stars, at least.

That has given me a lot to think about and I think answered my concerns at least (I am an easily swayed person). Basically, normalize those star ratings across the upper bin of ratings, but still be honest and nice.

Re: Should authors also read and/or review fictions?

#7

DrBuller Wrote: Honestly, the lowest score I have ever given a story on this website was 3.5, and I'm still thinking about going back and changing out of the principle behind it. Others might call be a bad reviewer because of this approach to it, but I see it as a good way to go forward. This is an amateur writing site and should be treated as such. A 5/5 on RR is not the same as a 5/5 from Brandon Sanderson.



Well, sure.  When there's a real gem of publishable quality on this site, my written review will go up to 7 stars even if I can't actually give that many stars.  That's maybe two or three of my written reviews (I'm in the 90s somewhere).

And, yes, this is an amateur writing site, but there are some really terrible pieces of amateur writing on here.  The one that always comes to mind is this story where I wrote a one-star advanced review here; while 59 people downvoted it, 95 people have upvoted it. That's got to mean something, right?

Re: Should authors also read and/or review fictions?

#8

luda305 Wrote: ...but there are some really terrible pieces of amateur writing on here.

Yes. I just read your review and it was very in-depth... not a negative review that is being upvoted just because it was short and funny. Definitely means something.


That's the one thing that concerns me about all-positive ratings. If I write reviews, I don't want to give something I legitimately think is terrible 4 stars when I'm using 4.5 stars for good stuff and 5 stars for amazing. I feel like to some extent I would be doing those good and amazing stories a disservice.... (No idea if this even matters--do people check out a specific reader / author's reviews to find something to read?)

Yet because this is my author platform, do I even have any business writing more critical / constructive reviews at all? (I'm trying to be not-amateurish about engagement on a site that I think is great! Personally, I would like to make a career out of this one day so I'm striving to be professional.)

I think this might come back to what Ariana Vivoni said about messaging the author / deciding not to leave the review...
(I'm so easily swayed that I'm confused again, as evidenced by this ramble haha)

Re: Should authors also read and/or review fictions?

#9
I don't vote on anything that's 3-stars or less unless I was asked for the review. I also write reader focused reviews, meaning I word my review in such a way that it's like I'm talking to a buddy of mine about the book I'm reading. I don't leave feedback in the reviews. I learned the hard way to do feedback only when asked and only for specific areas of interest. I'm not an editor, so taking the time to comb through everything, especially for new-to-writing storytellers, is a master class on writing - it's just monumental in its undertaking.