Review Challenge

9 years ago | G.S. Williams (Member)

So I took a few months off from reviewing because I was pretty busy with family stuff and my own projects and sometimes you just need a break from reading. Well, as much as sometimes I need a break, I also go on binges because I love books.

Mid-way through my binge of reading lately I realized that we have unrated listings going back several pages, and it looks like there are over 90. Some of them are dated 2009, which is just crazy that they've sat there that long with no one reviewing them, while some stories like TOMU have thirty, forty or fifty reviews. Granted, some stories are popular -- but these others don't even have one.

I'm going through the first few chapters of as many as I can, just so every writer who has had the courage to share their stories with us has some sort of opinion on their work. I can tell pretty quickly if something is fairly solid or if it needs more work, so I'm going to move fast and highlight the ones that seem most promising. Hopefully I'll find gems like "The Third Person" that I want to read from beginning to end, but we'll see.

My challenge to the community is this: I'm going to keep going, until all the unrated stories have at least one rating. Whether I do all 90plus on my own or other people help me is up to you. I think every writer deserves a review, that's the whole point of the site -- but by no means do I think mine should be the dominant opinion on the WFG's listings.

However, when only one of the editors has had a review in the last 42 days (because they have busy lives and responsibilities too!) it's up to us as the community to give every writer a fair chance. Just read one chapter of a story a day, if that's all you have time for, and let's get the unrated listings up to date.

Read responses...

Page: 12


  1. Chris George (Member)

    Posted 9 years ago

    Having just received my first review (from Gavin, no less) and written my first review on this site, I already feel it is important to make sure everyone knows their stuff is being read and considered, so I'm up for this challenge. We'll see how many I manage...

    Shadow - Monsters, Machines and Mad Scientists
  2. ubersoft (Member)

    Posted 9 years ago

    I posted a while back that I felt guilty about not being able to get as involved with this site as I feel I should. I started posting PMB in January and the last chapter is going up in nine weeks, and I've only just now begun posting reviews.

    Unfortunately in this economy (and in my profession) free time is something you have to fight for, and it's been largely taken up with my own efforts. I'm pretty sure that's the same for everyone else as well. BUT... I am finding more time to read and I've taken a few steps towards contributing. I'll try to do more!

    I confess didn't consider the possibility of only reading a chapter or two and reviewing that. I held off on reviewing the Legion of Nothing until I reached the end because, I told myself, there was always the faint possibility that Jim would suffer a tragic brain-eating insect infestation and his story would tank. I didn't think it was likely, but I felt I had an obligation to make sure. ;-)

    Curveball (Updating)
    A Rake by Starlight (Updating)
  3. G.S. Williams (Member)

    Posted 9 years ago

    @ Seraph -- welcome aboard!

    @ubersoft -- If a story is really rough in the first few chapters, where you sense that your snap decision is going to be 2 stars, is there really a point to hanging in to the end?

    And with stories you enjoy -- I tend to mark 4 stars and come back later to update when lot of time has gone by or they complete their series. Then I can update to 4.5 or 5 stars and give a comprehensive look. I don't give those out a lot, because so many stories are ongoing -- so it's safe to give a really enjoyable story a brief review and check back later. I just think it's impossible to review EVERYTHING by reading every single chapter, there's not enough time -- save it for the ones you like best.

    But every writer deserves at least a glance and a review, instead of nothing at all.

  4. Rick (Member)

    Posted 9 years ago

    I have time constaints stopping me from doing this as well in the short term. My situation might change at the beginning of September, so I might be able to join in then. I don't see that joint superhero thing taking off in the next few weeks, so I just need to hope that nothing else appears to take up my time.

    Knowing that you can edit your reviews later is a bit of a relief since some stories do radically change as they progress (especially ones with large plot twists in the middle).

  5. ubersoft (Member)

    Posted 9 years ago

    So how do you specifically view only unrated listings on the site? I know there's a "recently vetted" link but I can't find anything that leaps out at me for unrated works.

    Nevermind, I found it:

    Curveball (Updating)
    A Rake by Starlight (Updating)
  6. Chris Poirier (Moderator)

    Posted 9 years ago

    Hi all,

    FYI, the unreviewed list is actually incomplete, at the moment. To be honest, I forgot I'd built that feature, and so, when I added the ability for editors to add notes to new listings, didn't think to update it. I'll look into redoing it today. The actually list is much longer, and the current list will contain none of the unreviewed stuff that an editor rated better than average.


  7. Chris Poirier (Moderator)

    Posted 9 years ago

    Okay, I've updated the unreviewed listing. 268 unreviewed listings in all, now sorted by average editorial rating and listing date.

    Note that you can add "unreviewed" to any section URL. For instance:

    Let me know if you notice any weirdness with it.

  8. ubersoft (Member)

    Posted 9 years ago

    Chris, what do we do if we stumble across a listing that appears to no longer exist or may have been hacked? Is it appropriate to post a short "review" mentioning this, or is it better to contact you directly about it?

    I followed the link to Buono's Tale ( and the latest posts appear to be in Russian, the chapters of the story itself are returning 400 Bad Request errors... it looks like an abandoned site that got hacked.

    Curveball (Updating)
    A Rake by Starlight (Updating)
  9. Chris Poirier (Moderator)

    Posted 9 years ago

    Please just email feedback at webfictionguide. I'll update that listing now.


  10. Verydien (Member)

    Posted 9 years ago

    I have actually been around WebFiction for over a year now, but never had the guts to put up a review, since I don't know if my opinion would be of any help and because I don't have much time to sit and read as much as I'd like too. But today I did my first review (hopefully it's decent and helpful) after reading this thread. It motivated me to take action, because I myself am under the list of unreviewed from users (I do have an editor review :D), and there's no point in waiting for everyone to come to me if I don't go out there and help move it a long.

    I don't know if I'll be able to do many other reviews, but I feel that my one might move it forward if not a little. :)

    Shadow's Light: a dark fantasy webseries
    "...Would you choose to save the lives of those who abused you, or witness and bring upon their demise?"
  11. MadHacktress (Member)

    Posted 9 years ago

    Jacquelyn, I just read your review; and my review of your review? 4.5 stars. :D (5 stars except for a few grammatical errors)

    I have written a few reviews, but I'm not sure how helpful they are because I'm bad at "reviewing" and good at "this is what I thought-ing". So the reviews are basically helpful for people who like what I like. When I read the more well rounded reviews that others write I realize how simplistic and narrow my own are and that makes me less inclined to risk being the only reviewer of something (since the number of reviewers is scarce and I'm crappy at it).

    Anyhow, again, well done in your review. You should write more of them if/when time permits! :)

    Dramatic Webseries: Emerald Heights -
  12. Chris Poirier (Moderator)

    Posted 9 years ago

    And it just made the home page. ;-)

  13. G.S. Williams (Member)

    Posted 9 years ago

    I am really pleased to see people getting involved, and the way everyone is encouraging each other. I just want to say that "this is what I thought-ing" is VERY HELPFUL in reviews because then people who "like what you like" will know what you like and be able to rely on your opinion. And people who hate what you like will be able to read the stuff you hated reliably -- the more of yourself and your style you put in a review, the more people will relate to your opinions.

    I don't think any review is really "crappy" because what ANY review does is increase community involvement -- every person who gets involved encourages someone else to get involved. And, at worst, if a review is "crappy" it might inspire someone else to go take a look because they agreed and think more should be said, or disagreed and think it needs to be emphasized.

    I think all the participation is great! Thanks everyone.

  14. M.C.A. Hogarth (Member)

    Posted 9 years ago

    I admit I lost heart for reviewing when three of the webfiction projects I was reading (and enjoying) stopped being updated--two just seemed to vanish for no reason, and the third, the author lost interest and went to work on something else. :P

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