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TOPIC: Reviews
#110355
Reviews 1 Year, 7 Months ago Karma: 5
Hello again everyone,

Thank you for the warm welcome to this community. As I've done this in other communities that I've been a part of, I wanted to ask if there was a reviewer's guild type of thing on this site. I'm more of a reviewer than a writer and my reviews can get pretty long and in-depth. It's something I really like doing, and I have yet to meet an author who hasn't enjoyed having their work looked at with love and attention.

If there is something like this, then could someone point it out? If not, maybe it would be interesting to make something like it? It doesn't have to be a separate "guild" or whatnot. For example, on WDC we used to have "review raids" where we spent a couple of days leaving detailed reviews on various works [usually one or two a day]. It was fun for me, but then again I could just be extremely strange.

If this idea is silly, feel free to ignore it
 
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#110356
MissKatt
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Re:Reviews 1 Year, 7 Months ago Karma: 32
As a writer, I can say that I absolutely adore long reviews. I enjoy when people go in depth about a chapter and tell me what was lacking or what evoked an emotion. I like reviews that make me think

As for a review guild, to my knowledge, we don't have one. The person who would know most about that would be our lovely Wiccan. She knows this site inside out!

-MissKatt
 
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#110357
Kyndred Raven
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Re:Reviews 1 Year, 7 Months ago Karma: 22
As one who has personally experienced the thrill of your reviews, I would like to vote a yes for this idea. I hope that's not biased...
 
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#110358
Chie
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Re:Reviews 1 Year, 7 Months ago Karma: 75
There is a reviewer's guild around here somewhere or at least used to be, I'm not really sure how active they are at the moment since I'm not a member myself. ^^;

To join the guild, click on the a Groups tab on the menu bar above (between Forum and Members tabs). In there, you'll find Dokuga reviewers guild in the general category.
 
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#110359
Kyndred Raven
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Re:Reviews 1 Year, 7 Months ago Karma: 22
Chie wrote:
There is a reviewer's guild around here somewhere or at least used to be, I'm not really sure how active they are at the moment since I'm not a member myself. ^^;

To join the guild, click on the a Groups tab on the menu bar above (between Forum and Members tabs). In there, you'll find Dokuga reviewers guild in the general category.


Very interesting! I might give that a try myself, though I don't know how good of a reviewer I am. Part of me wants to return the kindness a lot of readers have shown me here by leaving reviews on my story
 
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#110360
Chie
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Re:Reviews 1 Year, 7 Months ago Karma: 75
I knew I'd seen banners sometimes on people's profiles how their stories had been reviewed by the guild, but it took me a moment to find them. ^^: I must have stumbled on the groups tab at some point myself, but having been around for years things tend to kinda blur together.

Feel free to check them out, but like I said I don't know how active they are these days. People tend to come and go.
 
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#110361
Re:Reviews 1 Year, 7 Months ago Karma: 5
Thanks for the pointer, Chie. I just followed your directions and found a group like this. It does seem like these groups are semi-active but that's understandable considering how life is so hectic for everyone these days
 
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#110362
Chie
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Re:Reviews 1 Year, 7 Months ago Karma: 75
No problem, glad I could help!
 
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#110369
WiccanMethuselah
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Re:Reviews 1 Year, 7 Months ago Karma: 184
If you managed to read through the Rules/ToS, you might have noticed that we do have some rules regarding reviews. The following is a tutorial on what you can, or cannot, do when leaving reviews on our site:

http://www.dokuga.com/forum/34-authors-tools/51608-dokuga-authors-tutorial-reviews#51608

Most of what's in there is pretty much common sense stuff... be constructive, no flames, that sort of thing.

As far as the Reviewer's Guild goes, I know that Hairann had a baby last year, so she's been pretty busy being a mom-type lately. She does check the forum on occasion, though, so I'm sure, if she sees this, she'll weigh in with what's going on there.

~~Wiccan~~
 
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\"The foolish and the dead alone never change their opinion.\"
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#110370
Re:Reviews 1 Year, 7 Months ago Karma: 5
WiccanMethuselah wrote:
If you managed to read through the Rules/ToS, you might have noticed that we do have some rules regarding reviews. The following is a tutorial on what you can, or cannot, do when leaving reviews on our site:

http://www.dokuga.com/forum/34-authors-tools/51608-dokuga-authors-tutorial-reviews#51608

Most of what's in there is pretty much common sense stuff... be constructive, no flames, that sort of thing.

As far as the Reviewer's Guild goes, I know that Hairann had a baby last year, so she's been pretty busy being a mom-type lately. She does check the forum on occasion, though, so I'm sure, if she sees this, she'll weigh in with what's going on there.

~~Wiccan~~


I have to admit that when you put that link there, I thought that I might have broken one of the rules. After looking over that list, I feel much better and really relieved.

Thank you for letting me know all this information I'll patiently wait
 
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#110371
WiccanMethuselah
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Re:Reviews 1 Year, 7 Months ago Karma: 184
The Unfashionable Thief wrote:


I have to admit that when you put that link there, I thought that I might have broken one of the rules. After looking over that list, I feel much better and really relieved.

Thank you for letting me know all this information I'll patiently wait


Oh, no! I'm sorry... didn't mean to alarm you!! Just so you know, we communicate privately through the PM system whenever there's a rule problem. Calling people out publicly just causes way too much drama, plus it's really kinda rude. So... rest easy!!

~~Wiccan~~
 
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#111020
LightoftheWest
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Re:Reviews 1 Year, 5 Months ago Karma: 1
Hi!

First of all I want to thank everyone who have come to my profile and is loving my work I really appreciate those who left reviews but it seems like most of you are lurkers and are not really appreciating the story that I took a really long time of coming up with.

So I have been here for a while and have been writing stories and finally had found a successful plot and people seem to love it. However just because I get a lot of readers doesn't mean its the best story so how do I get people to leave reviews ?

Thanks,
LightoftheWest
 
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#111028
TamashaToko
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Re:Reviews 1 Year, 5 Months ago Karma: 4
I've been writing fanfiction for a long time and crave reviews so maybe sharing my experience can shed some light even though I'm no expert.

Note: If you're ever down at reviews just look at your views and hits and let that encourage you, but I'm not going to pretend anyone is above caring about the number of reviews.

So I'll just say a few things about my fics so hopefully find a pattern or answer

I got really bummed around 2010 because I wrote a Sess/Kag fic called the Summoner that probably was at my peak of writing and story telling skills. The few reviews I got told me what I believed which was that it had been my best work being about 20 pages per chapter leaving a lot of character and story development. On paper it wouldn't look like it for it barely had any reviews (tho all the reviews were really encouraging).

Then we got Marriage of Convenience, which on fanfiction.net currently has 2000+ reviews (keep in mind this is ff.net so a few hundred of those are probably just reviews saying 'good story update soon plz' and that doesn't really happen on Dokuga) which makes it my top rated fanfic and something I should be proud of. Not really the grammar is below standard as is the out of character motivations that happen again and again. So why does it have so many reviews?

It has 50+ plus chapters which are all 5 pages long and all end with sort of a cliff hanger. Of course the more chapters you have the more reviews you will have, that's a given. Cliff Hangers at the end of a chapter get people frustrated and wanting the next chapter so gets them to reach out and share their encouraging frustration at you to get the next chapter out.

There are also certain story beats that people will always love and respond to. MoC had Sess and Kag married right away as that is sometimes more interesting to read than the 'will they won't they' song and dance that make people impatient (cause if it's posted on Dokuga we all have to hope they get together) and could write your chapters off as uneventful. The first fanfic I did well with (that I also consider badly written) was Baby Blues where the plot was literally 'a magic spell makes Kagome pregnant with Sesshoumaru's child'. That and MoC are similar in the way I believe they attracted readers by jumping right into a situation where the characters are forced to deal with each other.

That's just my opinion on plot = reviews and that isn't quite helpful as it's your story and you should write whatever you want instead of worrying about what the Sess/Kag audience is dying to read. This is for fun we aren't getting paid for it.

My latest fic Dragonsbane is very much a 'will they won't they' song and dance (spoiler alert they will) and much different than the other fics I mentioned in that way. Looking at the reviews per chapter I got a lot of reviews where I simply asked questions in the author's notes. I didn't ask for reviews or a plot for the next chapter but instead asked what the readers would have thought if things in the chapter had gone differently and asked if I made the right decision. I got a lot of thoughtful reviews on the matter, so maybe that's a good tactic to start using to engage your audience in discussion is to start one by asking what they thought about certain choices you made in your writing process and their opinion on it.

I wish more people would leave reviews and message the authors and ask questions. Answering questions is fun and if we can take the time to write fanfiction we don't get paid for there would be no way we could be upset by answering messages about our hard work.
 
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#111031
Pyreite
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Re:Reviews 1 Year, 5 Months ago Karma: 57
I agree on all points in all posts to the topic.

The only thing with reviews, even the in-depth ones, is the mount of foreshadowing that the readers' miss. I mean the clues are there, but they skip over them like rocks on a riverbed. I always end up giggling when my readers in their reviews suggest plots as to what's going on from their own perceptions. It's wonderful and has given me that little bit of satisfaction that comes with 'I know something you don't know! Do dah! Do dah!'.

I know it's horrible, but it's really fun to keep your readers on their toes.

~ Pyre
 
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#111039
Rinku
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Re:Reviews 1 Year, 5 Months ago Karma: 7
I agree with many of your points, Tamasha. Some of my older fanfics were not so great grammar/plot-wise but garnered attention due to some of the methods you mentioned (cliffhangers, forced companionship etc.). I am even editing a few now lol Like any writer, I appreciate a thoughtful review that is honest and detailed. It's always interesting to see your work through someone else's eyes; a fresh perspective. I always have stamped the old read, rate and review under my author note; a habit from ff.net XD

As for read count, I'm satisfied with any number because at least someone took the time to entertain my imagination
 
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Last Edit: 2016/03/06 02:59 By ForgottenHero-Rinku.
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#113410
Kyndred Raven
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Re:Reviews 6 Months, 4 Weeks ago Karma: 22
I know this topic is super old, but a friend of mine called my attention to it so I decided to drop my two cents here (again) but some months down the road.

Reviewing is such a controversial thing. Ask yourself, would you want one review where someone gives you great advice and input or ten reviews with "update soon!"?

Honestly, I love any and all reviews. Read counts are great, but they don't tell me much. People could just be clicking then leaving half way through a chapter, and I have no way of knowing what I did right or wrong.

It took me a long time to get past the insecurity of too little reviews. Now I'm just happy if people fave and follow on FF.net because that means that yes, they liked it. I've tried telling myself that I'm writing FOR myself, and that me posting these stories is a way of sharing my world rather than self-validation (which I still feel I need sometimes despite my best efforts to convince myself otherwise).

Am I a good writer? Are my stories compelling? Would you read my book if you found it on a shelf? These kinds of little fears are what have kept me from sending my novels in to be published. Maybe I hope that more reviews will help me get past those fears?

I used to be a part of a reviewer's guild on WDC a long while ago. It was fun, and reviewing other people's work taught me a lot about my own. However, lately I'm guilty of not having enough time to read other people's work because I'm spending all of my time writing my own. I think a lot of other writers here can sympathize with that.

As for the plot formulas suggested above: I agree. Instant bonding is probably a lot more popular than developing a relationship. But, I haven't really found any ideas to write about where I would consider that possible or interesting (for me personally) to write about. I adore character development and character growth. I also love building the relationship itself within constraints of canon. So I guess that means I won't ever experience a huge and quick rush of reviews, but that's ok

I appreciate every single review just as much as I appreciate every single read that I see pop up on my stats page. This really is a difficult point for every writer. The most I can say is: write for yourself because only then will your writing continue to grow and shine.
 
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#113415
Chie
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Re:Reviews 6 Months, 3 Weeks ago Karma: 75
Perhaps a little off topic but I have a few things I want to say regarding this "Write for yourself" school of thought... I've seen a lot about this all over the internet, often in conjecture with advising people not to take the lack of reader responses to heart and while I understand and appreciate where the sentiment comes from, my opinion differs.

To me, writing for yourself means that YOU are the writer and it is YOUR story; you're not a puppet swaying on a string according to your readers' whims.

In the past, writing my first few fics I often brainstormed a lot with my friend. Now looking back, I can't help but to wonder how much of that story is actually mine.

Not saying there's anything wrong with brainstorming either, just that there is a danger; that if you listen to other people's opinions/suggestions/whatever too much, you might end up writing a story you no longer recognise as your own.

As for reviews, I believe that stories need an audience.

If I was writing purely for my own enjoyment, I could just hoard my stories in my desk drawer like a dragon, and be content without them ever seeing the light of the day.

But I'm not content with that, I feel compelled to share my stories. Finishing a chapter makes me happy, uploading it for my readers to enjoy makes me happier still!

Maybe some people can write for themselves in any sense of the word, but I want my stories to be read.

The things is, with sharing your story with an audience, it is rather natural and automatic to wish to see the audience respond to your story. In fanfiction world, the simplest response would be a fav/follow or a review.
Therefore I don't think wanting reviews is shameful or a matter of asking for validation. (And even if it was - everyone wants to feel appreciated. EVERYONE.)

So my opinion on the matter is this: there is nothing wrong with wanting your stories to be read and enjoyed. Because that is what stories are for. And remember to always take all writing advice with a grain of salt because not everything works for everyone!
 
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Last Edit: 2017/01/27 10:02 By Chie.
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#113419
Kyndred Raven
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Re:Reviews 6 Months, 3 Weeks ago Karma: 22
Chie wrote:

Therefore I don't think wanting reviews is shameful or a matter of asking for validation. (And even if it was - everyone wants to feel appreciated. EVERYONE.)

So my opinion on the matter is this: there is nothing wrong with wanting your stories to be read and enjoyed. Because that is what stories are for. And remember to always take all writing advice with a grain of salt because not everything works for everyone!


I sincerely hope you didn't take what I wrote as insinuation that wanting reviews is shameful. I absolutely didn't mean it that way, and if it sounded like it, I apologize.

I only meant that self-confidence as a writer is very important, and reviews (both quantity and content) aren't solid proof or disproof that you are doing something wrong or have less talent than someone else.
 
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#113421
Chie
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Re:Reviews 6 Months, 3 Weeks ago Karma: 75
Kyndred Raven wrote:

I sincerely hope you didn't take what I wrote as insinuation that wanting reviews is shameful. I absolutely didn't mean it that way, and if it sounded like it, I apologize.

I only meant that self-confidence as a writer is very important, and reviews (both quantity and content) aren't solid proof or disproof that you are doing something wrong or have less talent than someone else.


Of course not! I do agree with self-confidence being important; when you're putting your hard-wrought words out there into the world you need a thick skin! And it is true that the number of reviews says nothing about how good the work itself is, because popularity is a VERY poor measure of quality.

I'm sorry you felt I was accusing you of anything, it's not you, it's totally me.
I'd see people advocating how you should write for yourself and I'd feel bad -- this pinprick of guilt, for caring so much for reviews or feeling discouraged because I wasn't getting much of them... And I'm tired of feeling like that so I wanted to speak out in case there was someone else out there, like me, feeling bad because they weren't able to fully follow this advice, people who'd want to write for an audience rather than just for themselves.

So I guess in the end this was just about me not having a thick enough skin after all. I deeply apologise for any inconvenience.
 
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Last Edit: 2017/01/27 15:30 By Chie.
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#113426
Kyndred Raven
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Re:Reviews 6 Months, 3 Weeks ago Karma: 22
No no no, please don't apologize! I agree with everything you said!

I'm one of those people that doesn't have enough of a thick skin. I want to write for myself, but of course I want to share my writing too...unfortunately, sharing makes me feel vulnerable, and when I don't get responses back, I feel sort of...hollow?

I got my first ever flame/harassment comment on FFnet today, and I was surprised that it didn't destroy me like it might have in the past. I think I'm slowly moving into the stage where self-confidence is coming into play and where a single person who might want to ruin my day or my determination can't do it with a few words.
 
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#113430
Chie
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Re:Reviews 6 Months, 3 Weeks ago Karma: 75
I'm really glad to hear that! Gaining self-confidence really is an important thing.

I got my first ever proper flame few months back too, anon hate of FFnet, calling me names and all. It made me laugh, so much, I had to show it around to my friends. Such a childish and silly thing to be insulting to someone purely because you dislike the pairing they're writing about. -shakes her head-

I do understand what you mean though, in my other fandom, I'm lucky to get as many as two reviews for a single chapter... and that's on FFnet, in AO3 I've got one, not even very nice, review for a fic that's 13 chapters so far.
Especially in the beginning that was very discouraging, being new to this fandom and being spoiled by my lovely sesskag readers. But I managed to push through that, and I cherish the few reviews I do get even more. It also helps that my beta readers seem to be enjoying the story, so at the least I have an audience of two!
 
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#113434
Kyndred Raven
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Re:Reviews 6 Months, 3 Weeks ago Karma: 22
That's really great! I know the feeling of writing in a small fandom. I play a lot of otome games and lately I've had the itch to write a fanfic or two in that particular fandom. Needless to say, getting even 300 reads is amazing, not to mention kudos or whatnot (on AO3). But it is encouraging when even a couple of people fave or follow.

Then comes my itch for writing escaflowne fan fiction >_> and that fandom is practically dead. Why do I always seem to pick the fandoms that have already survived the initial fan stampedes and are now just nostalgia? Maybe I'm just behind the times?

Sadly, I don't have beta readers. I did at one point, but I lost him to life lol

I can definitely appreciate having at least one or two people reading my work. At least that way, it feels like all the effort is worth it.

What's your username on AO3? Maybe we can be friends on there? No pressure, of course, to tell me that. Just a suggestion
 
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#113435
Chie
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Re:Reviews 6 Months, 3 Weeks ago Karma: 75
Eh, it's a corner of Harry Potter fandom so it's not exactly small? ^^; I guess I just don't stand out much there?

But small/dead fandoms are definitely a challenge.

It's easy to lose betas to life, that's happened to me too in the past. At the moment I have three betas - one who reads my sesskag stuff and two for my Harry Potter fics. Working with two betas took some getting used to, but I really wanted to have a British beta since it's Harry Potter and set in the UK and I don't want to accidentally be using American lingo. My English is a little mixed up since it's my second language.

This is my AO3 account. Not sure how to be friends on AO3, but I never say no to new friends!
 
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Last Edit: 2017/01/28 14:04 By Chie.
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#113438
Kyndred Raven
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Re:Reviews 6 Months, 3 Weeks ago Karma: 22
Thank you for sharing that! I've subbed to your account. When I get some more free time, I'd love to read your HP stuff. I love Harry Potter, though my choice pairing isn't very popular xD

English isn't my native language, either, actually I'm from Russia!

This is my AO3 account ^_^
 
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Last Edit: 2017/01/28 16:17 By kyndred_raven.
 
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#113446
Chie
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Re:Reviews 6 Months, 3 Weeks ago Karma: 75
Russia, eh? Looks like we're neighbours then, I'm from Finland.

I subscribed to you as well. :3
 
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