What constitutes a good review?

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  1. JohnCalliganWrites (Member)

    Posted 9 months ago

    I always leave short and mostly positive reviews, and I mostly only review material I like. I just left a couple of short and positive reviews on some new fiction.

    I do a lot of beta reading and feedback in some online critique groups, and when I do those, I give sincere and difficult feedback to help the other person improve their work in the best way that I can.

    On the other hand, I leave reviews mostly because I like something and want to give it my vote of confidence or thank the author. I rarely click anything besides 4-5 stars, if I click at all. I never read long reviews with summaries of the story, although sometimes if a book pisses me off, I'll go read the negative reviews to see if other people agree. I never buy / read on negative reviews. One man's trash might be another's treasure.

    Anyway, I don't begrudge other people for leaving scathing reviews, and I'm sure they can be quite helpful to a writer. For me, personally, there is a big difference between leaving a public review and sending a private critique.

  2. Jim Zoetewey (Moderator)

    Posted 9 months ago

    I agree with you there.

    A critique is useful for writers, but a review is useful for readers. WFG’s focus is on the readers with regards to the public facing list of serials and reviews. The forums end up being more writer focused. If someone wants a critique, this is the place for it—not a review.

  3. Rhodeworks (Member)

    Posted 9 months ago

    I'm sure that they're good reviews but, honestly, when I read 'part of a review swap' and then I see five stars and effusive praise, I just kind of assume it's a dishonest review for purposes of getting a glowing five-star in reply.

  4. Typist Kid (Member)

    Posted 9 months ago

    .-. Reads this. Looks at review given. Looks at review received. "*Oh*,"


  5. Chrysalis (Member)

    Posted 9 months ago

    I'd like to add that I find reviews that clearly only reflect the very first chapter (when there is more content available) extremely unhelpful unless the reviewer disliked it enough to stop after one chapter, and explains why. 'I loved it and want to keep reading' doesn't sound beliveable when only a single chapter was read and reviewed. If you loved it, why didn't you read more before writing the review?

    I'm also confused by reviews that sound like 5 stars but give 4 or less. The not so great aspects should always be addressed unless the story in question really WAS perfect in the reviewer's eyes.

    Anathema, a web serial about the effect superpowers would have on our world. http://anathemaserial.wordpress.com/
  6. jagiunta (Member)

    Posted 9 months ago

    A good review, in my opinion, is all about addressing potential readers and has little to do with the author. It will list likes and dislikes but more importantly why. It's great if someone really liked the protagonist, but it's more helpful to potential readers to know things like how relatable the protag was - or how believable, likable, etc. If the story was exciting and fun to read, maybe the review could elaborate as to how (good pacing, strong dialogue, in depth character development, consistent world building, a satisfying climax and resolution).

    I don't write many reviews myself, but I've seen quite a few. Most of the negatives are looking to vent for time wasted (and spare others their misery), while the positives are looking to share something they really enjoyed.

  7. unice5656 (Member)

    Posted 9 months ago

    @Chrysalis: I am also quite confused sometimes about ratings that don't seem to be concordant with the content of the review. The one I received most recently went, "My priest excommunicated me upon realising I had replaced all of the text in my holy scriptures with a printed copy of this story yet I feel no regret for abandoning his heathen god for this. So I ask you is this story any good?" -4/5.

    I just want to scream, "EXPLAIN YOUR RATING, KNAVE!"

  8. Rhodeworks (Member)

    Posted 9 months ago

    There's definitely been a heap of reviews I've read that are five stars yet the written component isn't exactly five-star glowing.

    It's really because there's only two ratings for most people. Five stars for 'I liked it' and anything below that for 'it fucking sucks and the author is a dumb hack.'


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