Review Priorities

I've done a dozen or so reviews since I joined up and intend to do more. Initially, I focused on the stuff that hasn't been reviewed yet, specifically, the oldest of those. My thinking was that these were the stories that would benefit the most from a bit of attention. Recently, I realized that the majority of these stories either weren't very good or had been long abandoned. This leads me to wonder what the superior method of targeting reviews would be. Should I focus on the ones that actually request a review? Get the newest stuff? The least popular or the most popular, where would a review do the most good?

Ha, I went through the exact same process at one point and came to the same conclusion. Another thing I tried for awhile (with Palladian) was to review every new thing that was posted. That was impossible.

I'd say, keep on reveiwing stories with no or few reviews, but only those who meet your criteria

- Actively updating or complete, on a site that looks like it's being maintained

- Sparks your interest in some way. No point forcing yourself to read stuff that just isn't your thing.

- Doesn't turn you off right at the beginning due to aggravating site design or lack of proofreading

I also advocate reviewing authors who are actively participating in the forums or writing reviews themselves, because you know they are engaged and will take note of your review.

Thanks for the reviews; they're fun to read!

I agree with Fiona, here. I also think you should occasionally go through the newest additions and pick one or two that pique your interest and review them. Newer serials could always use the reviews, after all!

Personally, I think that web fiction that has been updating with a regular schedule for a few months or more might be best suited for a review. As long as only a handful of posts have been made, it's fairly hard to get a good impression of a story. And after a few months you can usually tell if a serial is going to survive long term in terms of updates. Serials in particular seem to develop fairly slowly.

On a related note, my story is going to undergo some dramatic changes with the end of the fifth and sixth arc. Any reviews prior to that point wouldn't be able to cover the full scope. I'm going to assume that the same is true for other serials as well.

I for one would love to see a "reliability index" on listings, based on total updates, gaps between, regularity of schedule, as well as X updates in last 30 days.

The reliability of serials is something I'm pretty opinionated about, and that opinion was something that drove me to be as consistent as I've been with Worm and Pact. When serials in general are less consistent, it hurts the perceptions of serials. I've heard people say that they wouldn't read my story because web serials don't tend to finish. Having a list would go a long way to help that impression.

That said, I'm not sure I agree with Alexander. A reliability index would be great, and I'd certainly benefit, but in terms of the work put in for potential gains, I don't think it's something that would be that great an asset at this point in time, for the effort it would take.

Story pages on WFG already show a list of the last several updates for stories, I assume that comes from RSS feeds. Pact, for instance, updated yesterday. The listing for the Surprising Life and Death of Diggory Franklin shows it has been on hiatus since July 2013. I think the only useful thing you could add to listings that aren't updating is total chapters - and, like Wildbow said, that might be more work than it is worth. I think there's a big difference between a story like Diggory with some 500 chapters not updating versus a serial with ten chapters that has also stopped.

But new readers would do well to stick with regular updating serials or complete stories, both of which are shown on story pages. That's really the most relevant information.

I personally would do reviews based on participation in the community, and personal interest. There's too much out there to try to take in all of it. I used to regularly work through the oldest unreviewed stories and there's a reason they weren't getting reviewed by their audience - they weren't that good.

Once in awhile I found an overlooked gem in the slush pile. It's like panning for gold ;-)

FYI Not all stories that are updating show latest chapters on their page, as they don't all have RSS feeds enabled.

Some kind of chapter or word count would be nice to see. I've started several stories that I've liked, but just aren't long enough to have really developed yet. It's frustrating, because I know that for some of them I'll forget they exist before they reach a length that would let readers truly enjoy them. I believe Muse's Success lets the author, or anyone I guess, submit info concerning the story's length and such. Maybe if the author had more direct control of their link page here it might take some of the load off the editors? Then again, WFG is both more popular and more enjoyable, at least to me, so borrowing from Muse may not be a great idea.

I'm probably retiring the stated update frequency in the rewrite. It isn't reliable. Hoping to react to actual updates (via RSS or some other mechanism), so the data is correct instead of merely a statement of intent. Maybe can also do something about a estimated word count or progress indicator.

Seems like the word count would be tricky given that most serials are broken up but definitely something I know I'd like