Re: Negative reviews being censored?

#62


Nestor1079 Wrote:
Commander Wrote: You sound a little out of touch with reality there, buddy.
Not really. 

If you want headpats and hugboxes, go show your work to your friends and family. They're nice, they'll tell you that you did a good job (no matter what you did), pat you on the head, and maybe even put it up on the refrigerator with a magnet to show how proud of you they are. 

But if you want a real review, you have to step out of that comfort zone of happy smiles and chocolate milk into the real world where most of the people who encounter your work isn't going to give a flying fuck about it. 

So how do you grow as an author if your choices are fun-factory hugbox where you can't possibly make any mistakes or an indifferent readership? 

I offer the Tornado Scale for my criticism and critique: 

F1: Moderate Tornado
This is the F value to use if you want people to tell you what parts of the work were good, and maybe which parts could use some improvement. Nothing scathing.

F2: Significant Tornado
Maybe you want a little more than a basic critique. Perhaps you want a few pointers on how to improve. Then you should request your work as an F2.

F3: Severe Tornado
Eventually, a progressing writer will want to learn not just which parts of his/her work are bad, but why they are bad. That writer should then begin requesting their work as F3. This is probably as high as a hobbyist should go.

F4: Devastating Tornado
Only request under F4 if you're confident that you're thick-skinned enough to take it. Expect heavy criticism that doesn't mince words to make you feel good. Newbies are encouraged to try F3 first unless they are very sure that they are up to the challenge of an F4 criticism. I personally do not accept F4 requests that have not been F3'd (and corrected) first.

F5: Finger of God.
Only request this if you actually expect to publish, AND you've been through multiple F3's and F4's.


I offer this C&C technique to people because I have subjected myself to this very same scale on many occasions. Yes, it hurts when someone tears apart your work. It can be unbelievably and utterly devastating when people tear apart your plot holes, mock your tissue-paper MC, and rip apart your threadbare worldbuilding. 
But you can grow from it. Learn from it. Become a stronger, more confident writer because of it. 

Don't be afraid of criticism. Don't be afraid of critique. The point isn't to make you cry (though you will) the point is to point out to you what's broken and how you can fix it. The point is to learn. 
This is not disingenuous, this is not a disconnection from reality. This is reality.
This review was not criticism. This review was not critique. There was nothing in this review that the author of the story could grow from, learn from, or gain confidence from. Stop trying to excuse being a whiny prick as productive feedback.


This is the problem with the internet and with this site in general. Too many people think BS like the review this thread is about ACTUALLY HELPS people.  What the heck is the author supposed to learn from 'this MC is dumb as bricks'? Tell me. Genuinely explain to me what anyone at all is supposed to take from that review and actually fix the flaws in this story.

I don't care whether or not the complaints are valid. They very well may be. But not one thing in this review actually has anything of substance to be gained from.

Re: Negative reviews being censored?

#63

Quote:The fact is that some authors actually do quit after receiving extremely negative/cruel reviews that tear their story apart. Royal Road wants to discourage people from writing reviews that make authors quit.


Can confirm. First time I just quit writing for about a year. Came back tried again. Same thing happened, but that time instead of stopping I left for different writing websites and stopped posting on RR. 

My experience on other sites was very different. They universally had more pleasent audiences. They gave criticism, but they cared enough not to be belittling dismissive assholes about it. It was also just flat out better than Royal Roads critique, turns out if you care enough to frame your critique in a non-antagonistic way then you likely care enough to give an objectively superior and more constructive critique altogether.

That made me realise that Royal Road is just infested with terrible people who use the website as stress relief via abusive vents mixed into reviews. Exactly what OP did and what many people are pretty revoltingly defending in this thread.

I write for free and for fun, why should I have to put up with these abusive people's shit on RR? I'd rather just go elsewhere lol.




Re: Negative reviews being censored?

#65

Nestor1079 Wrote:
Commander Wrote: You sound a little out of touch with reality there, buddy.
Not really. 

If you want headpats and hugboxes, go show your work to your friends and family. They're nice, they'll tell you that you did a good job (no matter what you did), pat you on the head, and maybe even put it up on the refrigerator with a magnet to show how proud of you they are. 

But if you want a real review, you have to step out of that comfort zone of happy smiles and chocolate milk into the real world where most of the people who encounter your work isn't going to give a flying fuck about it. 

So how do you grow as an author if your choices are fun-factory hugbox where you can't possibly make any mistakes or an indifferent readership? 

I offer the Tornado Scale for my criticism and critique: 

F1: Moderate Tornado
This is the F value to use if you want people to tell you what parts of the work were good, and maybe which parts could use some improvement. Nothing scathing.

F2: Significant Tornado
Maybe you want a little more than a basic critique. Perhaps you want a few pointers on how to improve. Then you should request your work as an F2.

F3: Severe Tornado
Eventually, a progressing writer will want to learn not just which parts of his/her work are bad, but why they are bad. That writer should then begin requesting their work as F3. This is probably as high as a hobbyist should go.

F4: Devastating Tornado
Only request under F4 if you're confident that you're thick-skinned enough to take it. Expect heavy criticism that doesn't mince words to make you feel good. Newbies are encouraged to try F3 first unless they are very sure that they are up to the challenge of an F4 criticism. I personally do not accept F4 requests that have not been F3'd (and corrected) first.

F5: Finger of God.
Only request this if you actually expect to publish, AND you've been through multiple F3's and F4's.


I offer this C&C technique to people because I have subjected myself to this very same scale on many occasions. Yes, it hurts when someone tears apart your work. It can be unbelievably and utterly devastating when people tear apart your plot holes, mock your tissue-paper MC, and rip apart your threadbare worldbuilding. 
But you can grow from it. Learn from it. Become a stronger, more confident writer because of it. 

Don't be afraid of criticism. Don't be afraid of critique. The point isn't to make you cry (though you will) the point is to point out to you what's broken and how you can fix it. The point is to learn. 
This is not disingenuous, this is not a disconnection from reality. This is reality.
A little bitter there? 


The best critiques I've ever gotten were from my art teachers. They were relentless in pointing out the flaws of us students and we were eagerly waiting for more criticism so we could giddily ruin hours or days of work just to re-do it all over again because we figured out something we could do better and how we could do it better. That's what good criticism is supposed to do. Point out the flaws, teach us how to detect the flaws ourselves, and then nothing more. Maybe the first couple of reviews we ever got there were padded a bit to ease us into not taking it personally, but then they were just honest critique from people with better eyes. A good, harsh critique is a pure, golden shortcut to growth. Each time someone pointed out a drawing mistake, an anatomy error, a color being off, we got a little bit better at detecting those ourselves and that made us better artists. 

You know what these art teachers never did, ever? Insulted the work. Even during the weekly sessions where students critiqued each other, we usually got dozens of mistakes pointed out to us by our peers, and there were no insults. Zero. A lot of harsh and unforgiving pointers, but the words aimed to harm the artists feelings were zero. The words aimed to make the artist feel better were also zero, though, which is the whole point of objectivity. Insults would have been a waste of time. Who's got time for that in a creative field where people need their self esteem intact and all the time they can get to get into a professional level of skill? No one. No one's got time for that. That's not critique in the first place. Telling me 'this characters arm looks stupid' isn't going to tell me if it's an anatomy error or a perspective error or a shading error or all three of the above. It isn't even going to tell me if it's really an issue with the arm at all, or if what I've actually mucked up is the anatomy of the ribcage and that's why it looks like the arm is attached all wonky. 

Re: Negative reviews being censored?

#66

Haust Wrote: The problem isn't that you criticized the work, it's that you insulted the work. It's not 'sparing' your theoretical niece of newphew to change "your protagonist is dumb" to "I don't see an eastablished reason in this characters backstory to why they would think and act this way, and you could change this by x y z". 

That's the issue here, how you got the point across. If you really want to help a young author grow, you must explain an issue objectively. Did your elementary school teacher ever call your assignments "dumb"? How would you have felt if they did? Would you have been motivated to take their classes seriously in the future or would you just have thought 'fuck this guy'? I can tell you that if adults trying to teach me stuff had said something like that when I was a kid with an attitude, I might've flunked the subject purely out of spite. 

So you've got a crossroads here. You can do what a critique is supposed to do, which is help an author grow, or you could keep to your ways of "I don't care if I hurt their feelings" opinion. What's that supposed to accomplish, though? At that point, it is not a constructive critique.

See this is what I was talking about before. Reviews are not feedback for the author. They are for the reader. This seems to be an absolutely fundamental disconnect that people in these forums have. The review isn't about the author making a not dumb as bricks protagonist, it is about letting potential readers know that if they don't like dense light novel protagonists they won't like the story.

Re: Negative reviews being censored?

#67

sumdumbguy Wrote: There's a very simple solution to all this. Apply the old golden rule, "Treat others the way you want to be treated." Give the kind of criticism you would find helpful and want to receive yourself. If you want people to tell you "this is shit." Then, by all means, tell others their creations are shit but expect to be told something you worked on and took enough pride in to share with the world, is shit. A little common courtesy can go a long way in preventing moderators from having to step in and get flak for doing their job.
Someone told me my story was the worst thing they ever read and I still support reviewer freedom. Reviews are for readers not authors. Although the guy wrote a comment in my case. Golden rule applied. Of course people who say what you say don't actually care about the golden rule.


For you and people like you areguments are soldiers deployed to shut down people you don't like and discarded if they don't win the battle.

You know what causes authors to want to quit anyways? 0.5 and 1 or even 2 star reviews. Should we ban reviews below 3 stars? This argument is in no way consistent. Rating a story one star or two stars doesn't help authors grow. In fact ratings without any comment attached don't help an author in general. Should Royal Road get rid of ratings and require reviews with a minimum word count?

Have some logical consistency. I'm kidding, people who want a hugbox obviously don't care about logical consistency at all.

Re: Negative reviews being censored?

#68

Haust Wrote:
Nestor1079 Wrote:
Commander Wrote: You sound a little out of touch with reality there, buddy.
Not really. 

If you want headpats and hugboxes, go show your work to your friends and family. They're nice, they'll tell you that you did a good job (no matter what you did), pat you on the head, and maybe even put it up on the refrigerator with a magnet to show how proud of you they are. 

But if you want a real review, you have to step out of that comfort zone of happy smiles and chocolate milk into the real world where most of the people who encounter your work isn't going to give a flying fuck about it. 

So how do you grow as an author if your choices are fun-factory hugbox where you can't possibly make any mistakes or an indifferent readership? 

I offer the Tornado Scale for my criticism and critique: 

F1: Moderate Tornado
This is the F value to use if you want people to tell you what parts of the work were good, and maybe which parts could use some improvement. Nothing scathing.

F2: Significant Tornado
Maybe you want a little more than a basic critique. Perhaps you want a few pointers on how to improve. Then you should request your work as an F2.

F3: Severe Tornado
Eventually, a progressing writer will want to learn not just which parts of his/her work are bad, but why they are bad. That writer should then begin requesting their work as F3. This is probably as high as a hobbyist should go.

F4: Devastating Tornado
Only request under F4 if you're confident that you're thick-skinned enough to take it. Expect heavy criticism that doesn't mince words to make you feel good. Newbies are encouraged to try F3 first unless they are very sure that they are up to the challenge of an F4 criticism. I personally do not accept F4 requests that have not been F3'd (and corrected) first.

F5: Finger of God.
Only request this if you actually expect to publish, AND you've been through multiple F3's and F4's.


I offer this C&C technique to people because I have subjected myself to this very same scale on many occasions. Yes, it hurts when someone tears apart your work. It can be unbelievably and utterly devastating when people tear apart your plot holes, mock your tissue-paper MC, and rip apart your threadbare worldbuilding. 
But you can grow from it. Learn from it. Become a stronger, more confident writer because of it. 

Don't be afraid of criticism. Don't be afraid of critique. The point isn't to make you cry (though you will) the point is to point out to you what's broken and how you can fix it. The point is to learn. 
This is not disingenuous, this is not a disconnection from reality. This is reality.
A little bitter there? 


The best critiques I've ever gotten were from my art teachers. They were relentless in pointing out the flaws of us students and we were eagerly waiting for more criticism so we could giddily ruin hours or days of work just to re-do it all over again because we figured out something we could do better and how we could do it better. That's what good criticism is supposed to do. Point out the flaws, teach us how to detect the flaws ourselves, and then nothing more. Maybe the first couple of reviews we ever got there were padded a bit to ease us into not taking it personally, but then they were just honest critique from people with better eyes. A good, harsh critique is a pure, golden shortcut to growth. Each time someone pointed out a drawing mistake, an anatomy error, a color being off, we got a little bit better at detecting those ourselves and that made us better artists. 

You know what these art teachers never did, ever? Insulted the work. Even during the weekly sessions where students critiqued each other, we usually got dozens of mistakes pointed out to us by our peers, and there were no insults. Zero. A lot of harsh and unforgiving pointers, but the words aimed to harm the artists feelings were zero. The words aimed to make the artist feel better were also zero, though, which is the whole point of objectivity. Insults would have been a waste of time. Who's got time for that in a creative field where people need their self esteem intact and all the time they can get to get into a professional level of skill? No one. No one's got time for that. That's not critique in the first place. Telling me 'this characters arm looks stupid' isn't going to tell me if it's an anatomy error or a perspective error or a shading error or all three of the above. It isn't even going to tell me if it's really an issue with the arm at all, or if what I've actually mucked up is the anatomy of the ribcage and that's why it looks like the arm is attached all wonky.
Give me a teacher's salary or a 40k a year art degree and I'll write helpful shit for amateur authors all day. Honestly everyone in this thread needs a reality check. This stuff is getting ridiculous.

Re: Negative reviews being censored?

#69

TenThousandSuns Wrote: See this is what I was talking about before. Reviews are not feedback for the author. They are for the reader. This seems to be an absolutely fundamental disconnect that people in these forums have. The review isn't about the author making a not dumb as bricks protagonist, it is about letting potential readers know that if they don't like dense light novel protagonists they won't like the story.


The incentive for Royal Road not to be okay with toxic reviews is that RR authors will just stop writing altogether or leave for other sites without such a toxic review culture. 

It is actually possible to get across the exact same information to the reader without being insufferable, insulting, and destroying the writers motivation to write for free.








Re: Negative reviews being censored?

#70

Experigon Wrote:
TenThousandSuns Wrote: See this is what I was talking about before. Reviews are not feedback for the author. They are for the reader. This seems to be an absolutely fundamental disconnect that people in these forums have. The review isn't about the author making a not dumb as bricks protagonist, it is about letting potential readers know that if they don't like dense light novel protagonists they won't like the story.


The incentive for Royal Road not to be okay with toxic reviews is that RR authors will just stop writing altogether or leave for other sites without such a toxic review culture. 

It is actually possible to get across the exact same information to the reader without being insufferable and destroying the writers motivation to write for free.








Experigon Wrote:
TenThousandSuns Wrote: See this is what I was talking about before. Reviews are not feedback for the author. They are for the reader. This seems to be an absolutely fundamental disconnect that people in these forums have. The review isn't about the author making a not dumb as bricks protagonist, it is about letting potential readers know that if they don't like dense light novel protagonists they won't like the story.


The incentive for Royal Road not to be okay with toxic reviews is that RR authors will just stop writing altogether or leave for other sites without such a toxic review culture. 

It is actually possible to get across the exact same information to the reader without being insufferable and destroying the writers motivation to write for free.
Explain the star system then? You can get rated 0.5 to 3 stars with no comment at all. Where is the emotional support and craft improvement from that for authors? Do you think authors won't be put off by a 1-2 star advanced review that cripples their story rating, just because the writer doesn't use naughty words?


If people here are so concerned about helping authors improve why doesn't the site have writing workshops with all the pro-hugbox power users giving detailed group feedback?

This is all putting aside how inoffensive that review was. I suppose smart people will just learn to give one star reviews without explaining to the readers why the story should be avoided.

Re: Negative reviews being censored?

#72

TenThousandSuns Wrote: Explain the star system then? You can get rated 0.5 to 3 stars with no comment at all. Where is the emotional support and craft improvement from that for authors? Do you think authors won't be put off by a 1-2 star advanced review that cripples their story rating, just because the writer doesn't use naughty words?



A number isnt a fraction as memorable or as belittling and dismissive as a toxic review, you don't spend time reading someone's nasty vent paragraphs in a number and feeling your motivation to continue writing dropping in real time.

iirc royal road also has something like a weighting system that curbs bad faith ratings, it's not the work around you think it is.



Asking not to be treated like shit when writing literally for free really isnt a big ask, especially when it is completely unnecesary since the exact same information in a review can be gotten across without the toxicity as has been exampled in this thread many many times.


Re: Negative reviews being censored?

#74

TenThousandSuns Wrote: Give me a teacher's salary or a 40k a year art degree and I'll write helpful shit for amateur authors all day. Honestly everyone in this thread needs a reality check. This stuff is getting ridiculous.
Chill, dude. That was my reply to Nestor saying that authors need to withstand review tornadoes. Not necessarily my reply to the OP. 

Re: Negative reviews being censored?

#75
Agree with the point that reviews are for readers. I know I primarily write my reviews for readers based on what I would want to know before deciding whether to read something. It’s also why I read reviews. If I wanted to give feedback just to an author I would DM them, rather than go through the effort of writing a review online. Much easier and much less likely that I would lose everything I typed thanks to a simple misclick (because I am a clumsy idiot and this has happened to me twice and I am still sore about it).

On the subject of being too harsh, I see the irony in a few people giving very harsh feedback to a person who writes (feedback) that can be harsh. Calling people toxic or their work shit sounds like two sides of the same coin to me. The argument for both is usually "that they are and these are just facts". If it helps the person develop some empathy, well done. You helped them grow as a person. Though if the person takes on the harsh feedback, then does that mean harsh feedback is alright and this person has been able to grow as a human being thanks to your harsh feedback? Or do we think that no matter how constructive harsh feedback is (or that we think it is), we should make it as unharsh as possible? In which case should we operate in the manner we champion lest other people call us a hypocrite?

I think it should be recognised that the OP does not go around writing purely negative reviews and I am sure some authors appreciate his positive reviews; maybe even more than some other similarly positive reviews as they know he doesn't just write positive ones for every story he reads. Maybe even some of the authors with negative reviews might appreciate the feedback, if not the tone. I have had teachers that gave valuable feedback in a manner that I detest. I appreciated the feedback even if I hated the delivery method. And it helped me grow as a person. Even if we disagree with him, we should remember this is a real person, not a toxic troll who hates on all authors. I have read positive reviews of his amongst some of the stories on the 'popular' and 'best rated' lists. Some that I disagree with, but that doesn't change the fact that they are still positive reviews he has written.

I would also caution against creating an echo chamber where one blocks out any potential criticism and ends up with a warped view of the world. That way lies the Emperor's New Clothes and people running around in their own delusions. Maybe a more constructive way to criticise the OP for being too harsh would be to rephrase the review to get across constructive feedback to the reader without being insufferable and destroying the writer's motivation to write for free. Show him how you think it should be done, so he can learn from you. Hopefully in a way that gets across the feedback to the review writer, without being insufferable and destroying the review writer's motivation to write for free (and kudos to everyone who has done this, I take my proverbial hat off to you).

Unless we are an eye-for-an-eye kind of people, in which case we should probably expect and not complain too loudly if someone pokes our eye out because of the eye we poked out.

PS: If anyone is thinking of writing a review, I recommend you write one on a word processor first, then only copy and paste it over when you are done. Less likely you lose anything that way, as even this clumsy idiot hasn’t lost anything yet with this method!

Re: Negative reviews being censored?

#76
msng Wrote: giving very harsh feedback to a person who writes (feedback) that can be harsh. Calling people toxic or their work shit sounds like two sides of the same coin to me.



I'm not going to feel empathy for someone who is dumping on an innocent writer writing for free. The writer isn't the aggressor here, they only ask not to be treated poorly for their many hours of hard work and the creation they have put a lot into.

I'd also say trying to equavalise these two things and make them out as being the same is both-sidesism. It is a false equivalence.

I'm open to constructive criticism of a review which as I pointed out has happened in this thread multiple times. "as has been exampled in this thread many many times."

Sadly those have been ignored by people still trying to excuse that kind of behaviour as okay. Yeah...







Quote:reviews are for readers

This isn't a free handed excuse for unnecesary toxicity. At least not if the site wants to retain writers and not breed an expandingly toxic culture.

There is a rule on this for a reason I imagine.



Re: Negative reviews being censored?

#78

Nestor1079 Wrote: If you want headpats and hugboxes, go show your work to your friends and family. They're nice, they'll tell you that you did a good job (no matter what you did), pat you on the head, and maybe even put it up on the refrigerator with a magnet to show how proud of you they are. 

But if you want a real review, you have to step out of that comfort zone of happy smiles and chocolate milk into the real world where most of the people who encounter your work isn't going to give a flying fuck about it.
God I hate this stupid argument.


People aren't supposed to be cruel.

We have words for thoses kinds of people. We call them assholes. They lead horrible, miserable lives that they bury themselves in for being such unrepentant, bitter fools.

Do not justify your own cruelty under the "life isn't fair, life isn't easy" argument. It's a dumb, worthless argument that implies that we just have to put up with bad behavior and bad circumstances.

"Oh, someone's being hateful!" 

"Get over it, sissy, that's real life!"

Life isn't supposed to be unfair. That's why we invented things to improve it. That's why we have farms and cars and planes.

People aren't supposed to be cruel. That's why we tell morons and hateful people to get bent. That's why we as a society mock then and hold them accountable for the hate they bring.

Re: Negative reviews being censored?

#79

MarikoRawralton Wrote: Life isn't supposed to be unfair. That's why we invented things to improve it. That's why we have farms and cars and planes.

The same ones that poison the earth, the air, and leave chemtrails in the sky?
Human tendency to deny the inherent unfairness and cruelty of life leads them to ever strive towards more comfortable and easier life, as the devil whispers impossible promises into their ear. And the price for that is already being paid, as our planet dies under the pressure of human convenience.

...that being said, I totally agree that there is no need to be rude to people on purpose~
Unless one is actively looking to make new enemies. Since it's the internet, a lot of people think they can get away with a lot of rude shit, then bitch when they are disliked or otherwise punished for that....completely ignoring or not wishing to admit that if they said the same things irl they'd receive a similar or even worse treatment. 

Re: Negative reviews being censored?

#80
I was part of a long-running internet community where many of my peers were published authors and professional editors.
Not "internet published", but actual printed books. The editors were professionals that routinely had their hands full of up-and-coming authors. It was actually them that came up with the Tornado Scale form of criticism and critique.
They didn't believe in coddling us, and we had no desire to be coddled.

We wanted to know what was wrong, why it was wrong, and how to fix it so that we could strive to not make the same mistakes over and over again. To refine our talent so that we too could join the elite ranks of published authors.

I see I've made a crucial mistake in my interpretation of this thread and its intent. I was assuming that "reviews" and "criticism and critique" were coterminous. I retract my earlier statements.