Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: April Activities 2012

  1. #1
    'Til the end of the line Ravenclaw
    Unspeakable
    Kill the Spare
    ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Ganking demons
    Posts
    2,067

    April Activities 2012

    Hello, and welcome to SPEW Buddies! If you've never participated in this before, SPEW buddies is an activity in which you are paired up with a fellow SPEWer. You both review each other and then participate in a character chat, an example of which can be found here. You can conduct these chats either by IM or by PM (total word count should be at least 500 words between all characters); the IM chats should be dialogue only and the PMs written like letters, as illustrated in the chats thread. Which you choose to do is up to you.

    If you're interested, please sign up in this thread by no later than the end of the day (US Pacific Time, GST -8) on April 23rd.
    Jess WritesJess DrabblesJess DuelsJess PoetsJess Draws



    Gorgeous banner by Dinny / Evora.


  2. #2
    'Til the end of the line Ravenclaw
    Unspeakable
    Kill the Spare
    ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Ganking demons
    Posts
    2,067

    April Discussion: Luck of the Draw

    We've all done it. Anyone who says otherwise is a dirty liar-pants.

    What?

    Why, I am referring to starting a story with the intention of reviewing it, only to decide against leaving a review at all. Naturally, we try to read things we think we'll like, sometimes gauging this solely by the table of contents, so it's only natural that not every story we start lives up to what we thought it would be. Sometimes, either out of determination or dedication to finish what we've started, we forge on to the end of the story. Then there's that little white box, asking for comments. Yeah…

    What we will be discussing is quite straightforward: To Review or Not to Review.

    One of our primary missions as an organisation is to review constructively with the intention of helping the author. However, not many SPEWers delve into a full-length review for a story if they have lengthy amounts of concrit, as it's immensely challenging to purport oneself positively whilst posing a laundry list of things that didn't work quite right. And, for the most part, it tends to be advisable to only review stories which one has more positive things to say than negative. However, I have seen a number of examples where a reviewer was able to offer quite a bit of concrit but still leave a positive, helpful review.

    What I want to know is:

    TQ: How do you decide where the balance is between too much critique?

    TQ: How much is 'too much' for you?

    TQ: If you read something with the intention of SPEW reviewing it, what factors (either good or bad) would make you opt out of leaving a SPEW-length review as compared to a shorter one?

    TQ: Do you review things if you have too many nice things to say about them?



    As always, for this discussion to count as your Monthly Activity, you must ask and answer one TQ and post in this thread by no later than midnight US Pacific Time on May 15th.
    Jess WritesJess DrabblesJess DuelsJess PoetsJess Draws



    Gorgeous banner by Dinny / Evora.


  3. #3
    'Til the end of the line Ravenclaw
    Unspeakable
    Kill the Spare
    ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Ganking demons
    Posts
    2,067

    April Feature: Victory Day

    As you all (hopefully) know, the Second of May is a special day in the Harry Potter universe, as it is the day that Voldemort fell and wizarding Britain was released from his tyranny at last. And, as that date falls smack dab in the midst of our review period, I would like to honour that date with our April feature.

    For this month, I would like to see you all go review a story or poem that takes place during the Battle of Hogwarts, culminates at the Battle of Hogwarts, or takes place on the anniversary and reflects upon that time. MNFF has a number of excellent works that delve into that genre, and a number of them have been written by the members of SPEW themselves.

    If you have trouble finding one or one that you feel comfortable reviewing, feel free to poke this thread and ask your fellow SPEWers to point out some good ones. I know of a slew of good ones myself, as it is one of my absolute favourite genres in fanfic.

    Here are some starter topic questions (TQs):

    TQ: Battle oriented subject matter tends to stray toward either dark/angst or raw emotion. Does this present any challenges while reviewing?

    TQ: Do you find yourself 'fact checking' someone's work in battlefic?

    TQ: Battle stories are prime ground for background characters to shine, such as Neville and even Percy. Do you have a preference in this respect to reading stories about major characters or more minor ones to fill in the missing pieces, as it were?



    As always, for this discussion to count as your Monthly Activity, you must ask and answer one TQ and post in this thread by no later than midnight US Pacific Time on May 15th.
    Jess WritesJess DrabblesJess DuelsJess PoetsJess Draws



    Gorgeous banner by Dinny / Evora.


  4. #4
    Seventh Year Gryffindor
    Being Chased by Singing Dwarves with Valentines
    Maple_and_PheonixFeather's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Behind my piano
    Posts
    701
    Count me in!
    GRYFFINDOR PRIDE!
    Avvie by me, banner by TM_Wandstick.
    It matters not what one is born, but what they become.Don't let your praying knees get lazy, and love like crazy!

  5. #5
    Clone Club Hufflepuff
    Unspeakable
    Ultimate Chess
    Padfoot11333's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    On the other side of the galaxy
    Posts
    357
    Sign me upppp!
    Lily Writes ♥ alisonhendrxes blogs ♥ @lilysinsistence tweets



    banner by theopaleye | avi by me

  6. #6
    Time Traveler Slytherin
    Unspeakable
    Setting Off Fireworks in Potions Class
    iMusic17's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Where the Wild Things Are
    Posts
    618
    TQ: If you read something with the intention of SPEW reviewing it, what factors (either good or bad) would make you opt out of leaving a SPEW-length review as compared to a shorter one?

    I always look for a story I enjoy, but where I can find something to critique, but also something I found really interesting. (for example, one I'm doing this month is a Rose/Scorpius, where a cherry tree is symbolistic) I like pieces with symbols, because it gives something to discuss, but if it's nearly perfect or very bad I don't want to review it, for the risk of squee-ing/being too harsh. I also like doing one review for someone I know, but also spreading the SPEW love to someone else.

    I guess I'm looking for a perfect balance. I also tend to review more in the Marauder/Hogwarts eras so canon can be discussed as well as characterization.

    TQ: Do you review things if you have too many nice things to say about them?

    Generally, no. In that case, I either maintain my usual silence or leave a shorter review, because I don't think it could do the story justice in one. Normally I can find at least one crit for each fic, but with some fics it's hard. Certain authors, too.


    New TQ: Do you ever SPEW-review chaptered stories, or mainly one-shots?
    my page
    Beautiful avvie by Nadia (magestic_ginny), and banner by TM_Wandstick.



    No matter what anyone tells you, words and ideas can change the world.
    (The Dead Poets Society)


    Ellie

  7. #7
    'Til the end of the line Ravenclaw
    Unspeakable
    Kill the Spare
    ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Ganking demons
    Posts
    2,067
    All right, as there are two of you, this is super simple.


    Maple ♥ Lily



    Have fun, ladies!
    Jess WritesJess DrabblesJess DuelsJess PoetsJess Draws



    Gorgeous banner by Dinny / Evora.


  8. #8
    Ebil Lieutenant Ravenclaw
    Enemies of the Heir, Beware...of the Petrified Cat!
    babewithbrains's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    London
    Posts
    553
    TQ: How do you decide where the balance is between too much critique?

    I usually go with the seventy-thirty rule -- if I like seventy per cent of a story, then I'll review it. Too much critique is anything over thirty per cent. I find that, if I criticise too much, I can come across as overly critical and even possibly condescending, which is never my intention, but it might seem that way. Which is never good.

    Also -- there's something quite disparaging about receiving a crit-heavy review. I think all authors would want to know that *something* was right and not everything needed to be criticised, lol.

    TQ: If you read something with the intention of SPEW reviewing it, what factors (either good or bad) would make you opt out of leaving a SPEW-length review as compared to a shorter one?

    Oh, when it's too good. That happens so often for me. Like with lucca4's/Ariana's Reveries and Butterflies, as well as the opaleye's/Julia's Maps. They're two amazing stories that have rendered me so speechless that I haven't been able to leave a review for fear of sounding gushy. Like, not even a short review.

    TQ: Do you review things if you have too many nice things to say about them?

    I do, yes. I recently reviewed Equinox Chick's/Carole's Coup de Foudre, and there was literally nothing I could pick on. It was just such a fab story. However, as well as this, it was kind of Carole's birthday, so I of course did not want to add crit to a review on her birthday, though, as I said, there was nothing I could criticise anyway.

    Do you think some of these reasons (a story being too good, too bad) affects part of the reason why some stories don't get as many reviews as others?

    Do you consider a story to be "successful" if it receives a certain number of reviews?

    Beautiful banner by the lovely Pooja/Ginny Weasley Potter.


    Keep calm and carry on my wayward son.

  9. #9
    Fourth Year Ravenclaw
    Searching for Neville's Toad
    MissMeg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Pemberley
    Posts
    97
    TQ: How do you decide where the balance is between too much critique?
    It depends. I've written reviews that are almost entirely critique. However, I will not post the review if it's mostly critique and I can't get the tone right. If I'm writing a review that's critique heavy, I try to mention things that I thought did work and to get across that I really liked the story. Honestly, if I liked the story I'm much more likely to give a critique heavy review (assuming I have the time—if it's the day before the reviews are due, I'm probably going to give a more complementary review). It takes a whole lot more energy and time to write a review heavy in critique, and I honestly find critique heavy reviews much more helpful, and often flattering, than ones that are almost entirely praise. If someone is willing to put the time and energy into giving a long critique of my writing, I'm flattered that he/she thought I had enough potential to go to that effort. If I'm writing a review that's critique heavy, I try to mention things that I thought did work and to get across that I really liked the story.

    TQ: How much is 'too much' for you?
    As I already said, I don't have any problem with reviews that are almost entirely critique. It's too much when the tone of the review doesn't feel helpful and begins to feel negative. When in doubt, I try to tone down the wording of the critique so it's not quite so strong.

    TQ: If you read something with the intention of SPEW reviewing it, what factors (either good or bad) would make you opt out of leaving a SPEW-length review as compared to a shorter one?
    I generally don't leave shorter reviews. It's partially a time thing: my short reviews tend to turn into long reviews, and I don't have enough free time to write long reviews for every story I'd like to review. If I can't come up with enough things to say that are backed up with reasoning for the review to be SPEW length, I probably would leave a shorter review (assuming I have time). If I can't find anything what-so-ever that I liked about a story and I know that there is no way the tone of the review will be polite and positive, I won't review. Although, if I can (and have time) to give a review for a story that I didn't like, but I think the author has dedication or potential or whatever, I may try to review it. I know when I first started out (before I was on mugglenet), I really could have used a SPEW review to shove me in the right direction (because my writing was pathetic). But, again, if I don't feel the tone of the review was positive, I wouldn't post it.

    TQ: Do you review things if you have too many nice things to say about them?
    If I have a lot of time to devote to the review, then no. I probably would opt for something that I have more critique for and would leave a shorter review. I do, however, have a list of stories that I could gush fairly eloquently over for the months where I have very little time to review (i.e. I have two or three reviews to write in the three hours before the deadline…)

    TQ: Do you ever SPEW-review chaptered stories, or mainly one-shots?
    I've written a SPEW length review for a couple chaptered stories, but I mainly review one shots because there's less material to focus on, so it's easier to pick a couple points. If I review a chaptered story I will usually review just one chapter at a time and will review just that one chapter rather than the entire story as a whole.

    New TQ: Do you leave reviews only for authors that you know or who are well known or do you try to review newer authors?

    -Meg

  10. #10
    Seventh Year Gryffindor
    Lockhart Removed My Bones!
    welshdevondragon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    London/ Newcastle
    Posts
    593
    How do you decide where the balance is between too much critique?

    If I know the author, and I know they want critique, then I feel much more comfortable giving it. If I do not, then it’s harder to judge, but usually I think as long as critique is phrased constructively, not just saying why something didn’t work, but what could be done to make it work, and balanced out by positive comments, then it’s fine.


    Do you review things if you have too many nice things to say about them?


    Yes, although I’ll rarely leave SPEW reviews for them. Last month I reviewed two excellent stories, one of which is, in my opinion, one of that author’s best, and it was incredibly difficult not to verge into squeeing. Usually if I have nothing critical to say about a story, I won’t SPEW review it. The exception is if it has a lot of reviews already, or I know the author is no longer active.

    Do you think some of these reasons (a story being too good, too bad) affects part of the reason why some stories don't get as many reviews as others?


    If a story is bad full stop then you can’t really review it, and I never would. If a story is too good, then you might be too incoherent to review immediately, and therefore leave it, and then forget to review. I hate doing that, and feel guilty about not reviewing a story that I admired and gave me a lot of pleasure.


    Do you consider a story to be "successful" if it receives a certain number of reviews?

    If I’ve written it, then yes. A story, regardless of how good I thought it was, is really judged when other people read it. However my most successful in review terms (based on one-shots/ as longer stories usually have more reviews etc) are ones that I do not consider my best. I expect for two reviews for an one-shot, and one review per chapter for a chaptered fic, but obviously, ha, prefer more.

    NEW TQ: I know since the archive glitch it’s difficult to tell at the moment, but if an author responds to a review and critiques your comments, would you respond back?
    Banner by Minna.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •