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I received this great quote from a member of http://www.Writing.Com/ who gave me permission to post it. I love it! What we as writers really want is usually a combination of what we say ("I want honest comments, ("tell me what I am doing wrong, I want to learn") and what we feel ("This is a great story, I spent hours writing it and I love it, it is my baby and I want everyone to tell me how brilliant it is.") This is rather hard for the reviewers to deliver, especially when they are also writers and know of this dilemma. Isn't that the truth? We all want our work read, right? We spend a lot of time writing and would appreciate someone taking five of their precious minutes to read and review it. We post the item on review forums, we trail it along behind us in our sigs to get it noticed. How much time would it take for someone to read it? It would be appreciated! Really! And then it's read... "The stupid reviewer didn't know what he was doing! I didn't want that kind of review!" Why do we love to rant and complain so very much about reviewers? If the site only had writers, who would read our stuff? We complain when we get a review we don't like. In our eyes, the reviewer just didn't 'get it'. Then, we complain about not getting enough reviews. Cause and effect? I could make a long list of the things reviewers get flamed for, and I probably will. They're flamed if they give short reviews, long reviews, high rates, low rates. If they have typos in their reviews they shouldn't be correcting anyone else. If they review in a genre they don't write; they are just wrong. My, oh my, I could go on and on. Reviewers are afraid to give five stars to those good pieces they love! Do you know why? Because of the complaining heard all over the place. The reviewer liked this one, had no suggestions to better it, so happily gave it five stars, and said,


"I like this. Good job!" thinking the author would be happy too. Oops! The writer complains; "I didn't want a 'good' review, I don't care about the stars! I need helpful, constructive reviews!" He should have told me what was good with it. This doesn't help me to write good!" Though he's right about being told what's good, the same writer will cry about a constructive review if it includes low stars. This review, I guarantee, will not be deleted. Delete five stars? Never! After awhile, the happy reviewer gets wind of this dissatisfied writer, and his confidence and his spirit drops a bit. He hesitates to rate high again. It must have been the wrong thing to do. Reviewers want to do it right you know. The reviewer tries a new tactic. He leaves praise and helpful, basic comments and three stars. Oops! Now what? The writer complains; "The stupid reviewer didn't know what he was talking about! He didn't understand my style. All he looked at was the punctuation and spelling! I checked out his writing and he had nothing in there I liked. Reviewers should only review in their own genre and they should write stuff that I like!" Advice was given to the writer: If you don't agree with the review, delete it! Okay. The reviewer spent his time reading and writing the review; he can't get his time back with a delete button, but okay. His confidence is taking another hit. He searches for the How-ToReview-With-Confidence article he'd read a few weeks ago. He must have missed something. He knows he can't leave five stars. He can't review that genre because he doesn't write it. Let's see... After some months of receiving rude, ungrateful replies to his work, (and it is work), the reviewer has little confidence left. He can't figure out just what he is supposed to say in a review. He found Honesty and Encouragement were very hard to mix together to please all ego palates. Adding plenty of Splenda stars to bind the mixture long enough to get it read has become the norm. But, Splenda is not real sugar. It only pretends to be as good, and using it was not satisfying to the reviewer. Only one option is left. The button was there all the time! Free for anyone to use. Anonymous reviews! Big Red Double Oops!


"He didn't even have the nerve to leave his name! The coward! He gave me a great long list of stuff he said needed to be fixed and a rate of two and a half stars! He should have told me who he was so I could check his writing out! He probably can't write. He's probably afraid of revenge rates. I know I said I cared more about the review than the stars but... he's a cowardly reviewer! A moron! He should've used his name! I won't fix any of my mistakes now, that'll show him! The mistakes were on purpose anyway! The story is about an illiterate. The stupid reviewer just didn't get it!" Advice given. Delete it! It means nothing. Your time as an author is much more valuable than a reviewers time. Forget it. With no more options left for the reviewer, he quits reading others to concentrate on his own writing. The writer again complains; "My story has been posted for six months. I've had 226 point 3.2 viewers and three reviews! They were from all my friends and my Mom. Man, this stinks! I've spent a lot of time and work on this story. Why do some people get lots of reviews and I don't get any? Where did all the stupid, moronic reviewers go?" Cause and effect? Maybe? There are millions of articles on site concerning reviewing, and who can review. They encourage and promise that anyone can do it. And they can. They just can't do it to everyone's satisfaction. Hey, let's lighten up on the reviewers! They usually are trying to do their best. Reviewing is not easy, no matter what the articles say. They are Writing.Com members too, and they also receive unhelpful reviews. New reviewers are like new writers, they have to learn as they go. Be patient with them. Oh yeah, one more thing. No one owes you a review. My suggestion is, if you want to be read, be nice. Have a great day and Write On!

Harriet is a reviewer of new writers and has written newsletters and articles on the subject of novice writing and reviewing with common sense and encouragement. Her portfolio may be found at http://www.Writing.Com/authors/storytime She is an author on http://www.Writing.Com/ which is a site for Fiction Writing.

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