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Why does "The Group" have so much power on this website?

#1
I have been using this website to read fan fiction for awhile... Now there is this review group called "The Group" that is going around trashing everyone's stories...

I would like to know why this group has so much power on this website? Now with another writer leaving this website because they have a review by this group, again I would like to ask... Why does this group have so much power? Is it ran by site admins?

RE: Why does "The Group" have so much power on this website?

#2
6/5/2015 3:15:36 AMdon_tr Wrote: [ -> ]I have been using this website to read fan fiction for awhile... Now there is this review group called "The Group" that is going around trashing everyone's stories...

I would like to know why this group has so much power on this website? Now with another writer leaving this website because they have a review by this group, again I would like to ask... Why does this group have so much power? Is it ran by site admins?

To clarify, and I'm not a Group Member in any way, but the Group has no power. The only thing separating them from every other review is that their's is a different color. The Group also has a set of rules that they follow. Also, they do actual reviews. They give critiques, and not "This is good, keep going 5/5". Granted, there is some bias in there, but that is how it is with all reviews.

As for The Group trashing people's story's and then the author leaves, that's on the author. If the author can't take criticism then it is on them, and it is well within their right to leave or stop writing. But no one is forcing them to do anything. Why can't they just ignore it? Or better yet, why can't they look at the reviews and say, "Hey, every bad review mentions that my characters are bland, maybe I should fix that." And no, although the Group does answer to the Admins, as we all do, they are not run by them. 

RE: Why does "The Group" have so much power on this website?

#3
They don't have more power than any other user, they simply give their opinions. It is authors and readers who give them power, because they acknowledge what they write.  
The only thing that distinguish them from the rest, is that their review was colored in blue, something that we now changed to a simple emblem under their name.
The reason why they have that, is because we identify them as a "Guild" of sort.
They have tough recruitment process, they have their own rules, they put a lot of effort in what they do, and they are dedicated.
Any other group can contact us, if they also want to make a "Guild" but, they need a legit reason or theme.

I not as an admin, but as a reader, do highly believe, that people like "The Group" are highly needed, if even one author, find use in what they do. THEN IT WAS ALL WORTH IT.
On the other hand, the authors that quit, are the ones at fault, they had followers and fans, and they decide to drop everything, for what? because of 1 review? because they have been hit with a dose of reality?
Why doesn't the author say, why the review is not true? instead of just bashing the concept of criticizing?
Not everyone likes some stories, and members of the group, just like every other member out here, have the right to state their opinion.
The authors should be glad, to get reviewed by the group, for someone to go out of their way, to state exactly what is wrong with a story, giving the author a chance to pinpoint the issues and to fix it.

RE: Why does "The Group" have so much power on this website?

#4
The Group doesn't really have extra power. Their review stars are weighted just the same as other reviews. Yes, there are people who read their reviews and then decide not to try particular stories, but that's true of all reviews.

If an author does not want a review from them, he/she can write it in a note at the top of their first chapter/prologue (This is something I think should be written somewhere official for new members who don't know about it).

While I don't agree that harsh reviews that focus on the negatives far more than the positives are the way to improve story quality and encourage budding authors, I have no respect for people who quit just because of that. When you get a negative review, there are basically two proper responses. One, you think the criticisms have a point, and use them to improve, or two, you disagree with them and ignore them.

RRL is a great audience for particular kinds of fiction compared to more generalized sites like FictionPress. There is a not-insignificant faction that agrees with you about The Group, but it's not worth leaving the site for.

RE: Why does "The Group" have so much power on this website?

#5
From Dragon child of thunder reviec by the group
Style: 0.5/5
Very lacking in structure and consistency. Prose and tone of story is very low quality. Lack of descriptions and details make the story a very unimaginative one. Bad erotica.
Story: 0/5
No solidly backed goal. No quality relationship introduced. No reasoning behind the MC’s growth in power or his understanding of abilities. No serious studying behind concepts to make abilities even logical.
Grammar: 0.5/5
Problems persist through the fic. Bad punctuation. Low quality of writing. Lack of desire to fix problems is also quite bad.
Character: 0/5
Plain MC with a mix of emotions with very little backing to them. Mass of side characters with a mess of weakly constructed personalities. Relations between the MC and females is extremely one-sided and unreasonable. Messy introductions to new characters and descriptions of them tend to lean towards a desire to ‘show off the trophies’ (females) rather than depict the actual person.
Overall: 0.5/5
Please contact me if you wish to speak more about your story.


How is this anything but trashing someones story a score of 0,5 in grammar should be alot worse then when im writting something (something barely readable). And a story score of 0,5stars come one I wont say that the story is awesome but I cant see anything but trashing an authors project by those scores.

RE: Why does "The Group" have so much power on this website?

#6
I believe, that many , readers and authors alike, view "The Group" in a completely false light. I, for one, appreciate their efforts alot and believe, that they provide a stellar analysis of the fictions, which they review.

Now we have quite a handful of people here, who allege "The Group" of having too great an influence on the site, which supposedly is unfair. That's complete nonsense and those, who say that, are totally biased towards them, simply ranting in favor of their favourite novel. The members of "The Group" are no different than others. Period. Being in "The Group" is nothing but a label, that stands for quality reviews by devoted members of the community, who follow a mostly fair and objective rating system.

People, who think, that "The Group" is harming the self esteem of the authors by giving them a 0.5 rating, give them way too much credit. Saying, that tossing around a 0.5 on an amateur fiction site is a bit overboard, that is a valid point, true. But you have to see the greater picture here. Many claim, that 0.5 ratings destroy the fictions, like for example "Dragon Cild of Thunder", but it's nonsense. The votes of "The Group" weight no more than any regular vote. Instead you should weigh that 0.5 rating of an in-depth review, with countless valid points, against hundreds of the scores à la "Your story good i like it MC so badass haha 5/5". I mean gimme a break here. That 0.5 doesn't mean a fart and the rating system is broken anyway.

The reviews by "The Group" provide nothing but an excellent list of points for an author to work on. It is something, that I personally, as an author, would dream of, since none of my readers give me any points to improve on. I have been practically begging on "Reddit" for some outsiders to help this brother out.

Those authors, who grow a heavy heart after reading the review on their fiction and decide to leave the site, those are nothing but people with a weak resolve. Nobody, who seriously tries to improve, will feel disdain for "The Group". They are nice people, who took their precious time to sift through a trashy novel of many chapters, so that an author could get an honest and unbiased opinion of their work. Read the last lines on their reviews and you will see, that they even offer to consult the author and discuss things further. I am saying this again, but authors, who feel insulted, they are nothing but praise whores, who want to keep getting mindless words of encouragement and, even with 600 ratings, keep track of all upvotes and downvotes. In the end, they lose themselves in figures and become delusional, thinking, that somebody is out for them, trying to mass manipulate their votes, so that instead of 1000 upvotes, they only get 999 (OH MY F*CKING GOD).

Seriously guys, get your shit together. There is no need to look for faults in "The Group", just because the fictions, that you like so much, got scrapped or moved out of RRL. Sometimes it's not even happening out of spite for RRL, but for other reasons. Positive reasons. Some might have decided to start all over. Many fictions, who reached a great word count, they often are broken beyond repair and fixing the errors would require a total tabula rasa.

"The Group" is not some political faction guys. There is no need to trash them, when they are just simple users of RRL, who happen to focus on reviewing stuff. In the end the ones, who harm RRL the most, are the mindless users themselves, who have absolutely no class and run their heads with a power saving mode.

You all realize by now, that I fully support "The Group", but I see no fault in it. All I can say, in case one of "The Group" reads this, is, that they do an outstanding job and that they should keep up the good work. Those, who are tired of those votes of "How much did you enjoy the novel?", instead of actual reviews, they surely appreciate you just as much as I do.

Cheers, 'tis your humble Cr3d1tz.

RE: Why does "The Group" have so much power on this website?

#7
Overall, I have to agree with Cr3d1tz's post.

From an analytical standpoint, the groups reviews are generally very well done. Though with one exception, I to some degree disagree with aspects of the group's reviews, but that is a matter of personal opinion. The group has their opinions, and if you disagree so be it. With the exception of a grammar, and even grammar to a limited degree depending on whether you follow modern, mid-1900s or 1800s conventions, everything is subjective. Now concerning grammar, every time they have completely trashed the grammar that I have seen, the grammar has been so atrocious as to be nearly an insult to the reader and the author's own work. That most certainly includes the review that seems to have everyone up in arms.

However, good or bad, everyone who is writing here should welcome honest reviews. I like seeing detailed reviews. Whether or not I agree with the content, it is going to make me think about what is good and bad in my writing. Unfortunately, I don't have many for what I have posted yet. (I feel your pain Cr3d1tz.) Despite my work here being a draft copy, I would not mind seeing the groups opinions either, even if they want to come after me with a hatchet.

You can obviously ignore the trashing vengeance reviews that certain people do, because they are in huff someone did not bow down and lick their feet over their story. That is just babies being babies.

Edit:
Cr3d1tz since you are begging .. er, asking .. for reviews so nicely, I put you on my reading list. I'll try to do a review for you when I have the time, just take it for what it will be: my opinion.

RE: Why does "The Group" have so much power on this website?

#8
Why does "The Group" have so much power on this website?

The Group does not have any power. The only thing you might consider powerful is the blue box that outlines their reviews. Another thing you might think powerful is that the Group review rises to the top of fictions quite quickly, that is because people take notice of it and thumb it up or dislike.

The Thumb up and down dislike system works like this if its thumbed up, the review goes higher in the order and if it's thumbed down, it will move down in the order. So, the Group reviews rise to the top quickly because it has more thumbs up than other reviews, what does this say?
This says most people who read the Group review like it.

Even more, you might find powerful the word quantity. That is actually written word for word, the writer behind the review writes that all! Anyone else can write that much or even more so, so the quantity that might come across as powerful, it isn't. It's just a large number of words.

So to conclude, the Group has no power.

RE: Why does "The Group" have so much power on this website?

#11
6/5/2015 3:15:36 AMdon_tr Wrote: [ -> ]I have been using this website to read fan fiction for awhile... Now there is this review group called "The Group" that is going around trashing everyone's stories...

I would like to know why this group has so much power on this website? Now with another writer leaving this website because they have a review by this group, again I would like to ask... Why does this group have so much power? Is it ran by site admins?

i don't know but frankly most of the reviews i've seen by the group are just the works of absolute pricks. any single problem in the story and they'll drop it down to a .5 in no time flat. attacks in your fantasy setting don't make perfect scientific sense. POINT 5. forget a few commas, POINT 5. have a character that so much as thinks about having less than normal amounts of emotions POINT 5. i don't know what they use to grade these stories on, but honestly i wish they would just stop. waste of space that does nothing useful. critiques are needed when they are fair, but if every single mistake(many of which even professional authors do.... i mean seriously. if the attacks have to make perfect sense on a scientific basis to be good then like 90% of my favourite fantasy novels are f'ing gone) gets you a flat out 0 then it's just being an a-hole not a critique. stories arent going to be perfect, there will always be a few flaws... that's why we have 2 star-4star ratings.

the group needs to take a chill pill or preferably just gtfo. useless and harmful existence on the reviews i've seen so far.



also just to make a point, someone earlier mentioned the dragon child review and that's a perfect example. the grammar in that story was NOT a .5 level. it wasnt great and if you are harsh i can even see going as low as 2 stars, but idk wth caused them to go all the way to the bottom. as for story being 0, god forbid any story have a bit of intrigue. the story is connecting together as it goes along, as of now the clear goal is gaining power for revenge(tried and true story), the motives of the enemy are partially revealed, and where the antagonists came from is likely to start coming to light later. There really wasn't that big of a problem with the story and it had about as much direction as you would expect from a xianxia related title... and yet that ended up in a 0.

i read through their entire review, and will agree that they identify quite a few things i'd agree with, and some i wouldnt, but honestly even if i accepted all of those as real the ONLY part that should have dropped down as low as it did would have been the story rating....... and that one was just completely wrong as the story is as strong if not stronger than 99% of all xianxia i've read. pay attention to the story style xianxia often slowly reveals the story details(usually in bursts), it doesnt throw it all out there at once.

RE: Why does "The Group" have so much power on this website?

#12
Don't know wether to laugh or to cry, to chuckle or weep, but keep in mind, this dude thinks he's l33t, yet  his head's in the gutter, prolly too deep.

#ShitpostsGalore

u mad?


Nah, now seriously. I think, that the poster above has a too narrow outlook on this topic. Using the 0.5 scores as a valid argument , that I can't understand. As I have once mentioned already, those scores mean absolutely nothing, when weighing against all those hundreds of unwarranted 5/5.

Just as you can say, that "The Group" has gone  overboard by dropping the rating to 0.5 for a minor mistake, how can you warrant someones 5/5 with a mere "good story haha". I implore you to get real. Your arguments are weak, that is my opinion so to say. Nobody has to agree with me. I have already made my poiint in the earlier post, so that's that.

RE: Why does "The Group" have so much power on this website?

#13
6/6/2015 8:46:14 PMCr3d1tz Wrote: [ -> ]Don't know wether to laugh or to cry, to chuckle or weep, but keep in mind, this dude thinks he's l33t, yet  his head's in the gutter, prolly too deep.

#ShitpostsGalore

u mad?


Nah, now seriously. I think, that the poster above has a too narrow outlook on this topic. Using the 0.5 scores as a valid argument , that I can't understand. As I have once mentioned already, those scores mean absolutely nothing, when weighing against all those hundreds of unwarranted 5/5.

Just as you can say, that "The Group" has gone  overboard by dropping the rating to 0.5 for a minor mistake, how can you warrant someones 5/5 with a mere "good story haha". I implore you to get real. Your arguments are weak, that is my opinion so to say. Nobody has to agree with me. I have already made my poiint in the earlier post, so that's that.

difference is that the "good story" people don't pretend to be professional about it. your reviews mean nothing if no matter what any mistake is a .5 or a 0. you need to make use of 1-5 stars appropriately or you're just a troll. if you want to act like a real critique then rate the story like one.

also rating the story as a 0 before it is finished is an odd thing. honestly if you're being professional about it the rating on story should never be above 4 or below 2 until the story is completed. authors have different styles and many of those styles entail hiding important details of the story until later.... don't know how the story can be a 0 when the story is nowhere near completed. Not to mention the story actually did have a pretty strait forward goal. dude had his race/family wiped out by people who want to use them for batteries, dude tries to get revenge. just because the overall plot is simplistic atm doesnt mean it's not going to get deeper, and it certainly doesnt mean to just throw a 0 rating at it.

RE: Why does "The Group" have so much power on this website?

#14
6/5/2015 9:17:10 AMRezy Wrote: [ -> ]From Dragon child of thunder reviec by the group
Style: 0.5/5
Very lacking in structure and consistency. Prose and tone of story is very low quality. Lack of descriptions and details make the story a very unimaginative one. Bad erotica.
Story: 0/5
No solidly backed goal. No quality relationship introduced. No reasoning behind the MC’s growth in power or his understanding of abilities. No serious studying behind concepts to make abilities even logical.
Grammar: 0.5/5
Problems persist through the fic. Bad punctuation. Low quality of writing. Lack of desire to fix problems is also quite bad.
Character: 0/5
Plain MC with a mix of emotions with very little backing to them. Mass of side characters with a mess of weakly constructed personalities. Relations between the MC and females is extremely one-sided and unreasonable. Messy introductions to new characters and descriptions of them tend to lean towards a desire to ‘show off the trophies’ (females) rather than depict the actual person.
Overall: 0.5/5
Please contact me if you wish to speak more about your story.
How is this anything but trashing someones story a score of 0,5 in grammar should be alot worse then when im writting something (something barely readable). And a story score of 0,5stars come one I wont say that the story is awesome but I cant see anything but trashing an authors project by those scores.

First of all, how dare you. I do not agree with the scores The Group gave to that fic, true, but how dare you cut up their review and post just the last lines, just to make your point.

Their review has 60 LINES, and you posted just the last 10 to pretend "they are just trashing" FFs.
The stars they gave was harsh and unfair, yes. The content of the review was not. The review itself was concise and direct. It was constructive. Not only the guy who wrote the review pointed out the problems, he also offered solutions.

The review also has the line "Please contact me if you wish to speak more about your story."
You could call the review unfair, say the person who wrote is pretentious or arrogant, but what you can not do is make things up to fit your agenda. If I hand't gone out of my way to actually look at the review in the fiction page, I would have believed that The Group review in question was really just that in the quotations above.

Plus, I've read that FF and I dropped it. The revieiw is harsh but it isn't wrong. It is just yet another "MC is given super powers for no reason other than stroke of luck, has no idea how they work and just gets stronger chapter after chapter with no explanation and women rain on him because why the hell not".

If anything, there was more work involved in the writing of that one review than in any chapter of that fic. And the way the author answered to it, by throwing a tantrum, personally attacking the reviewer was incredibly childish.

RE: Why does "The Group" have so much power on this website?

#15
6/7/2015 12:08:13 AMNaoSou Wrote: [ -> ]
6/5/2015 9:17:10 AMRezy Wrote: [ -> ]From Dragon child of thunder reviec by the group
Style: 0.5/5
Very lacking in structure and consistency. Prose and tone of story is very low quality. Lack of descriptions and details make the story a very unimaginative one. Bad erotica.
Story: 0/5
No solidly backed goal. No quality relationship introduced. No reasoning behind the MC’s growth in power or his understanding of abilities. No serious studying behind concepts to make abilities even logical.
Grammar: 0.5/5
Problems persist through the fic. Bad punctuation. Low quality of writing. Lack of desire to fix problems is also quite bad.
Character: 0/5
Plain MC with a mix of emotions with very little backing to them. Mass of side characters with a mess of weakly constructed personalities. Relations between the MC and females is extremely one-sided and unreasonable. Messy introductions to new characters and descriptions of them tend to lean towards a desire to ‘show off the trophies’ (females) rather than depict the actual person.
Overall: 0.5/5
Please contact me if you wish to speak more about your story.
How is this anything but trashing someones story a score of 0,5 in grammar should be alot worse then when im writting something (something barely readable). And a story score of 0,5stars come one I wont say that the story is awesome but I cant see anything but trashing an authors project by those scores.

First of all, how dare you. I do not agree with the scores The Group gave to that fic, true, but how dare you cut up their review and post just the last lines, just to make your point.

Their review has 60 LINES, and you posted just the last 10 to pretend "they are just trashing" FFs.
The stars they gave was harsh and unfair, yes. The content of the review was not. The review itself was concise and direct. It was constructive. Not only the guy who wrote the review pointed out the problems, he also offered solutions.

The review also has the line "Please contact me if you wish to speak more about your story."
You could call the review unfair, say the person who wrote is pretentious or arrogant, but what you can not do is make things up to fit your agenda. If I hand't gone out of my way to actually look at the review in the fiction page, I would have believed that The Group review in question was really just that in the quotations above.

Plus, I've read that FF and I dropped it. The revieiw is harsh but it isn't wrong. It is just yet another "MC is given super powers for no reason other than stroke of luck, has no idea how they work and just gets stronger chapter after chapter with no explanation and women rain on him because why the hell not".

If anything, there was more work involved in the writing of that one review than in any chapter of that fic. And the way the author answered to it, by throwing a tantrum, personally attacking the reviewer was incredibly childish.

a cliche doesn't mean that it needs to be dropped to 0. plus like many people have said the story has a xianxia feel to it..... if he didnt randomly power up by chance at times it just wouldnt be right. the reviewer deserves to be attacked. i wouldnt have complained if they went down to 1-2 stars in some areas, but strait out flat lining that story is ridiculous. the reviewer should be ashamed honestly, one of the least unbiased reviews i've ever seen on this site.

tho i grudgingly admit they had some constructive criticism throughout it... in fact if they werent being so abrasive i would probably like them. they need to start using some appropriate ratings so it doesnt come off so negatively, that way people would probably listen to their constructive criticisms more.... plus they wouldnt get downvoted to the bottom for the obvious reasons of a completely unfair rating.

RE: Why does "The Group" have so much power on this website?

#16
I think both the people "for" The Group and the people "against" The Group agree on certain things; they're only disagreeing with each other because of the extremes.

1, The people "for" The Group support it because it offers constructive criticism, unlike many of the reviews on this site. Mind you, there ARE still plenty of other people who write detailed reviews. I just went through the current reviews for my fiction and counted 57 one-liners (e.g. "I love it keep writing"), 68 paragraphs (a few sentences that point out at least a few aspects of the story liked/disliked), and 13 full reviews (commented on every sub-rating).

2. The people "for" The Group support it because it takes the time to read and review the less popular fictions and give those readers constructive criticism. Often, people won't bother reviewing stories they don't enjoy because they don't want to waste their time, or they don't want to be mean. Very laudable. We should encourage all of our readers who have free time to pick a random story every week or so and give a detailed review (maybe offer a badge for leaving enough full reviews?).

3. The people "against" The Group do not like the way their reviews are worded to mostly/only focus on the negatives. An argument for this is that they don't "waste time" on the stuff that works, but I disagree. Not only should criticism say what needs to be worked on, it NEEDS to point out strong things a writer can build off of. Having a list of everything that sucks is not helpful because that means there's no foundation at all to the writing. Another part of constructive criticism involves giving examples of how a certain aspect can be improved. I realize that this kind of thing takes extra time and thought, but without the "constructive" part of the criticism, there's no point in leaving a review in the first place.

4. The people "against" The Group do not like the extremely low ratings that their reviews leave. This whole "subtract for every mistake" protocol is ridiculous. Ratings are out of 5 stars, with 1/2 star increments, so they are basically out of 10. Star ratings should be like a grade, A, B, C, D, and F. If a story is average, the star rating should be a C, 2.5 or 3. The only time something should be 0/5 is if it completely does not make sense, for instance if the grammar is completely illegible or the characters constantly act out-of-character.

I hope I have outlined the two sides of the argument clearly, and we can resolve these issues without name-calling. You can support The Group and still agree that their review protocol can be improved. You can dislike The Group and still acknowledge what they're trying to do.

I personally think that they can change to fix points 3 and 4, becoming a popular group with everyone on the site, not just half. It is highly possible that they won't, and I will just continue on as a writer on this site who writes "I would not like a review from The Group" at the beginning of my stories.

RE: Why does "The Group" have so much power on this website?

#17
No one here have really come through with a proper explaination of "Why does The Group have so much power on this website", or just mentioned that they have no real technical power.
The thing is, if they did not have any more power than the rest of us, we would not be sitting here and discussing it.

The question is then, what kind of power do they have, because it is apparently not technical power. The answer is surprisingly simple, they have a powerfull 'Image'.

This image puts a tremendius weight behind every review they do, which is the actual manifistation of their power. Because of such weight, their reviews are noticed by many people, which causes many people to have an opinion about their reviews, giving either tumbs up or down. This means that any deviation from equal amounts of up and down votes will get blown up numerically. So if say 54% likes and 46% hates it, if 50 people votes it will give a sum of +4, while most other good reviews might at most get like 5 ups and 1 down. Since the ordering of reviews is purely base on this sum, they will be significantly overvalued, shoot to the top of list of reviews, which means it will be noticed by more people looking at the fiction, which will enlargen the phenomonon and cause it to be more of a trend setter about that fiction.

How did they gain such a powerfull image? Well for me there are 3 main parts to it:
1)
They were marked with blue. This is really important, much more than you may thing. The reason is, that on many forums it is only authorities for that forum which will mark their entire text with some color, as a sort of seal of authentication. In this case there is a special value in the color blue, since it is often associated with authority (think police uniforms, police blinking lights and so on). This means that many people will persive them as having been granted some exclusive authoritive on reviews (and hence why this thread even got started), and this will be the basis of their image.

2)
This is strengthed by posts on the front page dealing with them. This is not something that happens to every random reviewer, and it causes people to take notice of them. We are taking about building reknown, and any puplicity will cause people to be more know, no matter whether it is good, bad or neutral about it. This enforces their position as something special.

3)
They make sure to identify them clearly as such in every single review they do, and will somehow come off as having an attitude of "I have been given holy mandate to do this, and you should feel gratefull that I have bestowed my pressence upon thee". I am not entirely sure how they give off that air, all I can say is that it has such an effect on me. Note that the part where they clearly identify themself, with the "This is a review by a member of The Group" is rather clear, it is the attitude I am not able to clearly pinpoint the source of.

This should be sufficient to understand that they actually hold quite a lot of power, and that it will be fairly hard for a single individual to do much about them. It does not really matter if we just pretend they are some random person reviewing, because there will be others that does not, and it will color their opinions and their reviews too (even if they are not concious about it).

One might ask themselve whether it is good they have so much power, and whether they have too much or too little of it.

-------

My personal opinion upon The Group is that I like their stated goal, and I too would like to see more usefull and constructive reviews on this site. However, most of the reviews I have seen from them have not been very constructive, in fact I would instead classify many of them as destructive (which critisims that only points at negative effects is equavalent too). Technically desctructive critisim is when one writes the critique with the intention to harm the work, prestige, self-esteme, and so on. Since I have even heard members talking about busting some authors unreal bubles of self-esteme with their reviews, then such reviews will by definition be destructive.

As you may imagine, such destructive critique is bad, and the fact that they are backed up by this huge image of 'The Group' makes it that much worse. Some authors get a lot of their motivation to write from knowing that people appreciate what they do, just look at some authors' author notes. What happens to such an author when they are delivered an authoritive proof that what they are writting is a piece of utter garbage, that needs to specially delivered the chemical processing plant for destruction? Oh, it is quite simple, they will be hurt in some way, and mostly their belief that what they are doing is being appreciated will be shaken, and as such their motivating will be damaged, so they might not write as much, or completly fall below the threshold and put writing fiction (the single one or at all) on hold for an indefinite time.

One might say that stating that "authors who quit because they cannot take such utterly harsh critique" is discriminating against authors who's prime motivation is knowing that people appreciate their work. Sure they may be weak will, but let us face it, almost all the authors on this site a amatures, and they are motivated to write and put up their blood, sweat and, tears for us to freely read by many different things.

It should be said that my opinion about this is heavily colored by the reviews I have actually seen. There may be plenty of good reviews by The Group out there, that a perfectly reasonable, and very constructive. It is just not those reviews that show up on the fictions I have looked it.

-----

So how does one go about doing constructive critique, which is what I think we really need.

For The Group, the first point is probably a need to cut back on the "You should be honored to be pissed on by us" attitude. Just because someone sits down and uses a lot of time to read some fiction to build a solid case for flameing does not mean that whoever it is dirrected at should feel honored by it, and it certainly does not give that person right to project a "Holier than Thou" attitude. Please, it is paifull to read such reviews, no matter whether you agree with whatever is written in them or not.

A good piece of constructive critique needs to be delivered in a good form, it needs to state the situation well, and it needs to help with improving upon that state. Let us take them in that order (not that it is in order of importance, it is just components):

The form:
The form of critique is there for a phychological reason, mainly it is there to make the reciever imprint and seriously want to use whatever it is you point out. The best way to do this, is by having the reciever get a good impression about the critique you have come with. This is because it will make the reciever will tend to accept the problems you point out, instead of trying to fight against them.
How does one give a good impression. The base is simply the tone in ones critique, if you have a tone of trying to help and overall behave nice, then you are a good way. There will be negative things you have to say, so you will need to find a way to put the forward in a delicate way, so as not to hurt the reciever.
A good technique is the "sandwhich method", where you package the negative things inside something positive. Basically it works like this. You start out with something positive, so that the reciever starts out with a positive outlook on things. Then you go for all the not so good stuff, and before you finish off, you end with something else that is also positive. The ending then ensure that a "good taste in the mouth" is left after reading all the negative things, and voila the entire things leave a much better impression, even though you might have said a lot of negative things in between. This uses that we mostly are colored by the ending and beginning of something.


The state:
For describing the state, one needs to describe both what is good, what is bad, and what could use some more work. This is important, because improving on things require that one priortieces, otherwise it will simply become too much at once, and one will fail to get any real results.

To do this well, one need to put the different aspects on a fitting scale, which allows one to clearly see what is better and worse, and how the overall state is. It should be noted, that many of the reviews on this site are notoriously bad at placing their rating of something on a good scale. If you end up at one of the extremes, or very close to one of them, then your scale can generally be considered bad. I could go into a long talk about information theory, statistics and so on here, but let me instead come with a simple parallel. Imaging that you have to weight something on a weight. Would you trust the weight if it stayed at 0 when you put something on it, or jumped strait to the maximum that the weight could handle. No, right. Because the real weight of the object would not be inside what your weight can meassure, and as such that measurement will be almost useless. Even if it was sitting at the very close to the edge of this amount, one can typically make the case that the weight should not be well made to meassure those edge cases eighter (because if it was the scale would just have been extended).

So we need to put things on a proper scale, and we need to address both the good and the bad parts. It should be noted that addressing both parts also has a lot to do with how the critique is percived. If one acknowledges that there are both some good and bad parts, then one will be percieved as someone with a honest opinion instead of a work of flaming. It is also easier for the reciever to accept that some aspect of their work has a lot of serious problems, when it they know is just some aspect of it, and not the entire thing.

The help:
This is the key of what makes constructive critique become constructive critique. There simple needs to some idea to how to work with the problems. You do not need to supply the solution, because there may be many solutions to some problem, especially in creative works. Say, if you think that the plot is moving way to slow for your taste, you might not want to say "you need to speed up the plot", but instead something like "you might consider speeding up the plot, or adding something to make us feel the plot is progressing". Let us face it, it is not the critiques job to tell the reciever what it should be (in creative works), but instead tell them of things they could do to make it better. In general, for every point that you deem should have some work to improve it, one should try to come up with some ideas on how to go about it. You might not be able to figure out a way to improve all the aspects, but you should atleast try to think a little bit about it, and there should atleast be some helpfull parts in there.

If you provide no helpfull points, then you cannot really call it constructive critique, and if all your points are a "you must do this", then you will come off as an arrogant person, who think they know how everything should be. Therefor it is strongly advisable to mostly just try to point in the right dirrection, and let the reciever decide exactly how to actually solve their problems.

RE: Why does "The Group" have so much power on this website?

#18
6/7/2015 1:14:27 PMNinetails Wrote: [ -> ]No one here have really come through with a proper explaination of "Why does The Group have so much power on this website", or just mentioned that they have no real technical power.
The thing is, if they did not have any more power than the rest of us, we would not be sitting here and discussing it.

The question is then, what kind of power do they have, because it is apparently not technical power. The answer is surprisingly simple, they have a powerfull 'Image'.

This image puts a tremendius weight behind every review they do, which is the actual manifistation of their power.  Because of such weight, their reviews are noticed by many people, which causes many people to have an opinion about their reviews, giving either tumbs up or down. This means that any deviation from equal amounts of up and down votes will get blown up numerically. So if say 54% likes and 46% hates it, if 50 people votes it will give a sum of +4, while most other good reviews might at most get like 5 ups and 1 down. Since the ordering of reviews is purely base on this sum, they will be significantly overvalued, shoot to the top of list of reviews, which means it will be noticed by more people looking at the fiction, which will enlargen the phenomonon and cause it to be more of a trend setter about that fiction.

How did they gain such a powerfull image? Well for me there are 3 main parts to it:
1)
They were marked with blue. This is really important, much more than you may thing. The reason is, that on many forums it is only authorities for that forum which will mark their entire text with some color, as a sort of seal of authentication. In this case there is a special value in the color blue, since it is often associated with authority (think police uniforms, police blinking lights and so on). This means that many people will persive them as having been granted some exclusive authoritive on reviews (and hence why this thread even got started), and this will be the basis of their image.

2)
This is strengthed by posts on the front page dealing with them. This is not something that happens to every random reviewer, and it causes people to take notice of them. We are taking about building reknown, and any puplicity will cause people to be more know, no matter whether it is good, bad or neutral about it. This enforces their position as something special.

3)
They make sure to identify them clearly as such in every single review they do, and will somehow come off as having an attitude of "I have been given holy mandate to do this, and you should feel gratefull that I have bestowed my pressence upon thee". I am not entirely sure how they give off that air, all I can say is that it has such an effect on me. Note that the part where they clearly identify themself, with the "This is a review by a member of The Group" is rather clear, it is the attitude I am not able to clearly pinpoint the source of.

This should be sufficient to understand that they actually hold quite a lot of power, and that it will be fairly hard for a single individual to do much about them. It does not really matter if we just pretend they are some random person reviewing, because there will be others that does not, and it will color their opinions and their reviews too (even if they are not concious about it).

One might ask themselve whether it is good they have so much power, and whether they have too much or too little of it.

-------

My personal opinion upon The Group is that I like their stated goal, and I too would like to see more usefull and constructive reviews on this site.  However, most of the reviews I have seen from them have not been very constructive, in fact I would instead classify many of them as destructive (which critisims that only points at negative effects is equavalent too). Technically desctructive critisim is when one writes the critique with the intention to harm the work, prestige, self-esteme, and  so on. Since I have even heard members talking about busting some authors unreal bubles of self-esteme with their reviews, then such reviews will by definition be destructive.

As you may imagine, such destructive critique is bad, and the fact that they are backed up by this huge image of 'The Group' makes it that much worse. Some authors get a lot of their motivation to write from knowing that people appreciate what they do, just look at some authors' author notes. What happens to such an author when they are delivered an authoritive proof that what they are writting is a piece of utter garbage, that needs to specially delivered the chemical processing plant for destruction? Oh, it is quite simple, they will be hurt in some way, and mostly their belief that what they are doing is being appreciated will be shaken, and as such their motivating will be damaged, so they might not write as much, or completly fall below the threshold and put writing fiction (the single one or at all) on hold for an indefinite time.

One might say that stating that "authors who quit because they cannot take such utterly harsh critique" is discriminating against authors who's prime motivation is knowing that people appreciate their work. Sure they may be weak will, but let us face it, almost all the authors on this site a amatures, and they are motivated to write and put up their blood, sweat and, tears for us to freely read by many different things.

It should be said that my opinion about this is heavily colored by the reviews I have actually seen. There may be plenty of good reviews by The Group out there, that a perfectly reasonable, and very constructive. It is just not those reviews that show up on the fictions I have looked it.

-----

So how does one go about doing constructive critique, which is what I think we really need.

For The Group, the first point is probably a need to cut back on the "You should be honored to be pissed on by us" attitude. Just because someone sits down and uses a lot of time to read some fiction to build a solid case for flameing does not mean that whoever it is dirrected at should feel honored by it, and it certainly does not give that person right to project a "Holier than Thou" attitude. Please, it is paifull to read such reviews, no matter whether you agree with whatever is written in them or not.

A good piece of constructive  critique needs to be delivered in a good form, it needs to state the situation well, and it needs to help with improving upon that state. Let us take them in that order (not that it is in order of importance, it is just components):

The form:
The form of critique is there for a phychological reason, mainly it is there to make the reciever imprint and seriously want to use whatever it is you point out. The best way to do this, is by having the reciever get a good impression about the critique you have come with. This is because it will make the reciever will tend to accept the problems you point out, instead of trying to fight against them.
How does one give a good impression. The base is simply the tone in ones critique, if you have a tone of trying to help and overall behave nice, then you are a good way. There will be negative things you have to say, so you will need to find a way to put the forward in a delicate way, so as not to hurt the reciever.
A good technique is the "sandwhich method", where you package the negative things inside something positive. Basically it works like this. You start out with something positive, so that the reciever starts out with a positive outlook on things.  Then you go for all the not so good stuff, and before you finish off, you end with something else that is also positive. The ending then ensure that a "good taste in the mouth" is left after reading all the negative things, and voila the entire things leave a much better impression, even though you might have said a lot of negative things in between. This uses that we mostly are colored by the ending and beginning of something.


The state:
For describing the state, one needs to describe both what is good, what is bad, and what could use some more work. This is important, because improving on things require that one priortieces, otherwise it will simply become too much at once, and one will fail to get any real results.

To do this well, one need to put the different aspects on a fitting scale, which allows one to clearly see what is better and worse, and how the overall state is. It should be noted, that many of the reviews on this site are notoriously bad at placing their rating of something on a good scale. If you end up at one of the extremes, or very close to one of them, then your scale can generally be considered bad. I could go into a long talk about information theory, statistics and so on here, but let me instead come with a simple parallel. Imaging that you have to weight something on a weight. Would you trust the weight if it stayed at 0 when you put something on it, or jumped strait to the maximum that the weight could handle. No, right. Because the real weight of the object would not be inside what your weight can meassure, and as such that measurement will be almost useless. Even if it was sitting at the very  close to the edge of this amount, one can typically make the case that the weight should not be well made to meassure those edge cases eighter (because if it was the scale would just have been extended).

So we need to put things on a proper scale, and we need to address both the good and the bad parts. It should be noted that addressing both parts also has a lot to do with how the critique is percived. If one acknowledges that there are both some good and bad parts, then one will be percieved as someone with a honest opinion instead of a work of flaming. It is also easier for the reciever to accept that some aspect of their work has a lot of serious problems, when it they know is just some aspect of it, and not the entire thing.

The help:
This is the key of what makes constructive critique become constructive critique. There simple needs to some idea to how to work with the problems. You do not need to supply the solution, because there may be many solutions to some problem, especially in creative works. Say, if you think that the plot is moving way to slow for your taste, you might not want to say "you need to speed up the plot", but instead something like "you might consider speeding up the plot, or adding something to make us feel the plot is progressing". Let us face it, it is not the critiques job to tell the reciever what it should be (in creative works), but instead tell them of things they could do to make it better. In general, for every point that you deem should have some work to improve it, one should try to come up with some ideas on how to go about it. You might not be able to figure out a way to improve all the aspects, but you should atleast try to think a little bit about it, and there should atleast be some helpfull parts in there.

If you provide no helpfull points, then you cannot really call it constructive critique, and if all your points are a "you must do this", then you will come off as an arrogant person, who think they know how everything should be. Therefor it is strongly advisable to mostly just try to point in the right dirrection, and let the reciever decide exactly how to actually solve their problems.

Not once, has The Group adopted a "Better then you" stance. Such an image, is entirely in the perception of a reader and not something they spread. Though some people may perceive such a image in their reviews, I haven't seen any sort of stance.

Any sort of "Power" that The Group wields, is given by the readers and nobody else. Originally, and even now, the only difference is a visual thing. And any and all "Guilds", would get the same kind of treatment.

If someone wanted to create a "Guild" of writers who wrote a specific Genre, they would be able to. And they would be allowed to have their Logo on their works.

The Group is a "Guild" of Reviewers, that's all it is. The Group Logo is simply there to say "I'm part of this Guild" and that's all. Do note that literally anyone can join "The Group", if they so desire.

Also, do remember that the Members of The Group are amateur authors themselves and not professionals.

Now, The Group has some flaws. That's undeniable. They are not perfect. But the members of The Group are striving for improving their reviews, and giving pointers on how things can be improved or what mistakes are being made.

As for the form and method of the reviews, they differ between each and every member. The Reviews by The Group are written by INDIVIDUALS, and not collectively.

On the subject of criticism, I can say that The Group is not being "Destructive" about it. Though I can agree that it is harsh, I cannot agree on it being "Destructive" in nature.

Now if they were being "Destructive" like many people believe, they would not be attempting to offer methods and solutions for improvement. If the reviews were written to be "Destructive", we would have long ago removed The Group.

Argos's method of pointing out the negatives, though it isn't the best, it isn't a bad method of reviewing. It directly shows the author, the flaws they have. It may come off as insensitive, but it directly gets to what is wrong.

It seems to me, that Argos's view is of the "If it ain't broke I don't need to tell them to fix it" sort of nature. Though some may not like it, it's direct and to the point on the flaws that can be fixed.

And it is actually quite difficult to "Point them in the right direction" like you said. The author, may want to improve a direction the reviewer doesn't know. In actuality, it is much easier to tell the author where not to go in terms of writing.

The is no "Right" writing style, but there are many "Wrong" ones. Does this sound contradictory? Well, it isn't.

The truth is, that there are countless styles in which you can write something well. Some stories even require their own unique style.

However, there are some very outstanding points with "Wrong" writing styles. Here are some examples of what a "Wrong" writing style does to the story.

First, is that they detract from how much the story can be enjoyed. 
Second, they make it difficult to read. 
Third, the time sequence and timeline become difficult to understand and/or is vague.

RE: Why does "The Group" have so much power on this website?

#19
Spoiler :
6/7/2015 6:44:30 PMReshiMael Wrote: [ -> ]
6/7/2015 1:14:27 PMNinetails Wrote: [ -> ]No one here have really come through with a proper explaination of "Why does The Group have so much power on this website", or just mentioned that they have no real technical power.
The thing is, if they did not have any more power than the rest of us, we would not be sitting here and discussing it.

The question is then, what kind of power do they have, because it is apparently not technical power. The answer is surprisingly simple, they have a powerfull 'Image'.

This image puts a tremendius weight behind every review they do, which is the actual manifistation of their power.  Because of such weight, their reviews are noticed by many people, which causes many people to have an opinion about their reviews, giving either tumbs up or down. This means that any deviation from equal amounts of up and down votes will get blown up numerically. So if say 54% likes and 46% hates it, if 50 people votes it will give a sum of +4, while most other good reviews might at most get like 5 ups and 1 down. Since the ordering of reviews is purely base on this sum, they will be significantly overvalued, shoot to the top of list of reviews, which means it will be noticed by more people looking at the fiction, which will enlargen the phenomonon and cause it to be more of a trend setter about that fiction.

How did they gain such a powerfull image? Well for me there are 3 main parts to it:
1)
They were marked with blue. This is really important, much more than you may thing. The reason is, that on many forums it is only authorities for that forum which will mark their entire text with some color, as a sort of seal of authentication. In this case there is a special value in the color blue, since it is often associated with authority (think police uniforms, police blinking lights and so on). This means that many people will persive them as having been granted some exclusive authoritive on reviews (and hence why this thread even got started), and this will be the basis of their image.

2)
This is strengthed by posts on the front page dealing with them. This is not something that happens to every random reviewer, and it causes people to take notice of them. We are taking about building reknown, and any puplicity will cause people to be more know, no matter whether it is good, bad or neutral about it. This enforces their position as something special.

3)
They make sure to identify them clearly as such in every single review they do, and will somehow come off as having an attitude of "I have been given holy mandate to do this, and you should feel gratefull that I have bestowed my pressence upon thee". I am not entirely sure how they give off that air, all I can say is that it has such an effect on me. Note that the part where they clearly identify themself, with the "This is a review by a member of The Group" is rather clear, it is the attitude I am not able to clearly pinpoint the source of.

This should be sufficient to understand that they actually hold quite a lot of power, and that it will be fairly hard for a single individual to do much about them. It does not really matter if we just pretend they are some random person reviewing, because there will be others that does not, and it will color their opinions and their reviews too (even if they are not concious about it).

One might ask themselve whether it is good they have so much power, and whether they have too much or too little of it.

-------

My personal opinion upon The Group is that I like their stated goal, and I too would like to see more usefull and constructive reviews on this site.  However, most of the reviews I have seen from them have not been very constructive, in fact I would instead classify many of them as destructive (which critisims that only points at negative effects is equavalent too). Technically desctructive critisim is when one writes the critique with the intention to harm the work, prestige, self-esteme, and  so on. Since I have even heard members talking about busting some authors unreal bubles of self-esteme with their reviews, then such reviews will by definition be destructive.

As you may imagine, such destructive critique is bad, and the fact that they are backed up by this huge image of 'The Group' makes it that much worse. Some authors get a lot of their motivation to write from knowing that people appreciate what they do, just look at some authors' author notes. What happens to such an author when they are delivered an authoritive proof that what they are writting is a piece of utter garbage, that needs to specially delivered the chemical processing plant for destruction? Oh, it is quite simple, they will be hurt in some way, and mostly their belief that what they are doing is being appreciated will be shaken, and as such their motivating will be damaged, so they might not write as much, or completly fall below the threshold and put writing fiction (the single one or at all) on hold for an indefinite time.

One might say that stating that "authors who quit because they cannot take such utterly harsh critique" is discriminating against authors who's prime motivation is knowing that people appreciate their work. Sure they may be weak will, but let us face it, almost all the authors on this site a amatures, and they are motivated to write and put up their blood, sweat and, tears for us to freely read by many different things.

It should be said that my opinion about this is heavily colored by the reviews I have actually seen. There may be plenty of good reviews by The Group out there, that a perfectly reasonable, and very constructive. It is just not those reviews that show up on the fictions I have looked it.

-----

So how does one go about doing constructive critique, which is what I think we really need.

For The Group, the first point is probably a need to cut back on the "You should be honored to be pissed on by us" attitude. Just because someone sits down and uses a lot of time to read some fiction to build a solid case for flameing does not mean that whoever it is dirrected at should feel honored by it, and it certainly does not give that person right to project a "Holier than Thou" attitude. Please, it is paifull to read such reviews, no matter whether you agree with whatever is written in them or not.

A good piece of constructive  critique needs to be delivered in a good form, it needs to state the situation well, and it needs to help with improving upon that state. Let us take them in that order (not that it is in order of importance, it is just components):

The form:
The form of critique is there for a phychological reason, mainly it is there to make the reciever imprint and seriously want to use whatever it is you point out. The best way to do this, is by having the reciever get a good impression about the critique you have come with. This is because it will make the reciever will tend to accept the problems you point out, instead of trying to fight against them.
How does one give a good impression. The base is simply the tone in ones critique, if you have a tone of trying to help and overall behave nice, then you are a good way. There will be negative things you have to say, so you will need to find a way to put the forward in a delicate way, so as not to hurt the reciever.
A good technique is the "sandwhich method", where you package the negative things inside something positive. Basically it works like this. You start out with something positive, so that the reciever starts out with a positive outlook on things.  Then you go for all the not so good stuff, and before you finish off, you end with something else that is also positive. The ending then ensure that a "good taste in the mouth" is left after reading all the negative things, and voila the entire things leave a much better impression, even though you might have said a lot of negative things in between. This uses that we mostly are colored by the ending and beginning of something.


The state:
For describing the state, one needs to describe both what is good, what is bad, and what could use some more work. This is important, because improving on things require that one priortieces, otherwise it will simply become too much at once, and one will fail to get any real results.

To do this well, one need to put the different aspects on a fitting scale, which allows one to clearly see what is better and worse, and how the overall state is. It should be noted, that many of the reviews on this site are notoriously bad at placing their rating of something on a good scale. If you end up at one of the extremes, or very close to one of them, then your scale can generally be considered bad. I could go into a long talk about information theory, statistics and so on here, but let me instead come with a simple parallel. Imaging that you have to weight something on a weight. Would you trust the weight if it stayed at 0 when you put something on it, or jumped strait to the maximum that the weight could handle. No, right. Because the real weight of the object would not be inside what your weight can meassure, and as such that measurement will be almost useless. Even if it was sitting at the very  close to the edge of this amount, one can typically make the case that the weight should not be well made to meassure those edge cases eighter (because if it was the scale would just have been extended).

So we need to put things on a proper scale, and we need to address both the good and the bad parts. It should be noted that addressing both parts also has a lot to do with how the critique is percived. If one acknowledges that there are both some good and bad parts, then one will be percieved as someone with a honest opinion instead of a work of flaming. It is also easier for the reciever to accept that some aspect of their work has a lot of serious problems, when it they know is just some aspect of it, and not the entire thing.

The help:
This is the key of what makes constructive critique become constructive critique. There simple needs to some idea to how to work with the problems. You do not need to supply the solution, because there may be many solutions to some problem, especially in creative works. Say, if you think that the plot is moving way to slow for your taste, you might not want to say "you need to speed up the plot", but instead something like "you might consider speeding up the plot, or adding something to make us feel the plot is progressing". Let us face it, it is not the critiques job to tell the reciever what it should be (in creative works), but instead tell them of things they could do to make it better. In general, for every point that you deem should have some work to improve it, one should try to come up with some ideas on how to go about it. You might not be able to figure out a way to improve all the aspects, but you should atleast try to think a little bit about it, and there should atleast be some helpfull parts in there.

If you provide no helpfull points, then you cannot really call it constructive critique, and if all your points are a "you must do this", then you will come off as an arrogant person, who think they know how everything should be. Therefor it is strongly advisable to mostly just try to point in the right dirrection, and let the reciever decide exactly how to actually solve their problems.

Not once, has The Group adopted a "Better then you" stance. Such an image, is entirely in the perception of a reader and not something they spread. Though some people may perceive such a image in their reviews, I haven't seen any sort of stance.

Any sort of "Power" that The Group wields, is given by the readers and nobody else. Originally, and even now, the only difference is a visual thing. And any and all "Guilds", would get the same kind of treatment.

If someone wanted to create a "Guild" of writers who wrote a specific Genre, they would be able to. And they would be allowed to have their Logo on their works.

The Group is a "Guild" of Reviewers, that's all it is. The Group Logo is simply there to say "I'm part of this Guild" and that's all. Do note that literally anyone can join "The Group", if they so desire.

Also, do remember that the Members of The Group are amateur authors themselves and not professionals.

Now, The Group has some flaws. That's undeniable. They are not perfect. But the members of The Group are striving for improving their reviews, and giving pointers on how things can be improved or what mistakes are being made.

As for the form and method of the reviews, they differ between each and every member. The Reviews by The Group are written by INDIVIDUALS, and not collectively.

On the subject of criticism, I can say that The Group is not being "Destructive" about it. Though I can agree that it is harsh, I cannot agree on it being "Destructive" in nature.

Now if they were being "Destructive" like many people believe, they would not be attempting to offer methods and solutions for improvement. If the reviews were written to be "Destructive", we would have long ago removed The Group.

Argos's method of pointing out the negatives, though it isn't the best, it isn't a bad method of reviewing. It directly shows the author, the flaws they have. It may come off as insensitive, but it directly gets to what is wrong.

It seems to me, that Argos's view is of the "If it ain't broke I don't need to tell them to fix it" sort of nature. Though some may not like it, it's direct and to the point on the flaws that can be fixed.

And it is actually quite difficult to "Point them in the right direction" like you said. The author, may want to improve a direction the reviewer doesn't know. In actuality, it is much easier to tell the author where not to go in terms of writing.

The is no "Right" writing style, but there are many "Wrong" ones. Does this sound contradictory? Well, it isn't.

The truth is, that there are countless styles in which you can write something well. Some stories even require their own unique style.

However, there are some very outstanding points with "Wrong" writing styles. Here are some examples of what a "Wrong" writing style does to the story.

First, is that they detract from how much the story can be enjoyed. 
Second, they make it difficult to read. 
Third, the time sequence and timeline become difficult to understand and/or is vague.
they often don't give advice on how to improve it, plus like i said before by flaming every story down to a 0 they do nothing but cause backlash and mess with the authors confidence for no good reason, their mannerisms do in fact contain quite a bit of loftiness in a lot of the reviews(especially the flat line ones) they will often completely bash aspects of a story, even complaining that they don't exist at all, when anyone who bothers to read could identify otherwise.


basically regardless of what you say i've seen about 7 or so reviews by the group.... i've only seen 1 that was worth anything and came across like a real critique. the rest was just loosely disguised flaming with a sole purpose to put others down. basically i think there are probably 1 in 5 members of the group that actually care about giving an appropriate review, and 4 out of 5 that get off on bursting authors bubbles... something that has no place in a rational practice of critiquing.

unrelated side note, that hestia sig looks really good o.o

RE: Why does "The Group" have so much power on this website?

#20
Seems there is a new post on The Group and its reviews. Here are my thoughts TG and their power as well as other things about them:

1.) Well, they have power as Ninetails has said. It is like an indirect power,what i would like to think of as Presence. Them simply EXISTING makes them have that indirect power in a odd way. TG was created with the idea of helping authors with their stories by giving quality reviews as feedback as well as encouraging others to make thought out reviews to help improve an author's writing skills. A collective of people was needed to consider what is and what is not part of a quality review. It is not surprising that there are some who approve of their particular reviewing methods on the idea of helping authors become better at writing. Of course, there are those that exist on the other side thinking the particular reviewing methods TG have are biased and unfair.  Those are the ones that think the reviewing methods should be changed to a more fair and more approachable review so the review does not appear to be a hatefest on any particular author's story.

Both of these sides are 100% valid thinking. The problem is when people rationalize into the irrational and go to the far ends of these sides.
1.) To think the site is better off without TG, or more the idea to have a community to give a long length in depth review of their work, is a terrible idea. If we continued with that, im sure some people reading would review the work. But it would be far more likely the author would not consider their review as much as they should,as they would likely be getting 5/5 0% feedback reviews such as "5/5 BADASS MC! ME LIKEYS!".That kind of review only serves to not only boost an ego of an inspiring amateur writer into the realm of ignorant, but also has no feedback on what could be done to further their stories crafting skills.

2.)To think the TG reviews are a word of god and that nothing they say is ever wrong is also trying to rationalize but going irrational. The TG is still a relatively new idea with it's implementation  still getting tweaked and thus is entirely possible for what was to clearly interpreted as good and bad are still being looked at. TG reviews, being only about 24, are still too low to make a good baseline in making a fair review. It takes time to read and time to analyze  things like good ideas that were implemented badly in the story with a few ideas on how to make it better and all the stuff implemented well in a story.  Doing all of that while also appearing to both readers and authors as a fair review of the work. I'm sure there will be some that will always argue a review from TG isn't fair, but i think most that read something that seems mean but it judges the work fairly will not downvote TG reviews into oblivion.

I do have to say my thoughts on the Dragon Child of Thunder review though. I will openly admit i have not read this particular story and will not likely plan to (See Kyrenox's review, mainly the commas for periods and word structure. Two  important things to me as a reader) so i have no way to know if Argo's overall score review is accurate. The work is readable however(as much as i dislike irregular structure), with more brain cells working to auto translate what the author is trying to convey. At the least, it probably should've gotten a 2.5. as it is readable but not streamlined out. Would not be surprised if style character and story were judging far too low as well. But alas, as i have said i have not read the work so i can not give a reasonable perspective on this matter.

For any of those interested, here is a google spreadsheet of all TG reviews i found, with links added to the stories and some general info on each(things like reviewer, authors name, ratings).

The Group Reviews Collection
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