Friday, August 05, 2005

Well gee whiz...

I joined a critique group in yahoo for posting book reviews for critiques and comments. I just joined a few days ago and was welcomed nicely and the one review I have posted so far I had four different people look at and comment on. And I was reminded about five times by different people to not take critiques personally as the purpose is to help improve what we write and people can take or leave suggested changes. Keep in mind I was reminded about this many times before I ever posted any reviews of my own.

I looked over all the comments made on mine, took no offense to any of the comments as all of them were valid and after I posted my review I caught a bunch of mistakes I don't normally make anyhow, so I knew I'd have comments on those at least. I read through all the comments and took the ones I liked and tossed the ones I didn't. I was also told upon joining that everyone participates or is expected to participate, meaning everyone should at least edit someone else's review once in a while and I had no problems with that. Well several reviews came through and I picked two at random to critique.

I ran through them just like I do the ones for reviewers for LR and had comments here and there, mainly grammar or spelling, or suggesting ways to combine a couple sentences in to one. The only thing I mentioned in them that I thought MAYBE was questionable but decided to post anyhow, saying it was "only a personal preference of mine, and not necessary to change but..."

Well I got a message today, not even a private one, but sent to the list that I took some offense to.

It was a "maybe no one told you but..." And I was informed I was making unnecessary changes (um, they were all suggestions that as I was told, people can take or leave), trying to force MY voice on to them and altering the voice of the reviewers. Well, I for one try very hard NOT to change anyone's voice or style, but try to help improve what they wrote by suggestions. In fact I'm very insistent with the editors at LR that they also be careful to not make changes to a specific person's writing style or voice. And here I'm accused of doing what I work very hard NOT to do? And I was told that grammar rules are flexible. oh and apparently I write like a robot. I was told that the style I was trying to "force" on others is devoid of emotion and robotic. Yes that is exactly what they said. Apparently I'm unemotional in my writing because I prefer to not write reviews and say "I liked this" or "you'll like that." Yes the method I use, that everyone at LR uses is more impersonal because we say "this reviewer thought" or "readers will love" but that's a more professional sounding technique which we utilize at the site and actually a lot of magazines and such and other websites use as well.

I thought we were supposed to make suggestions to help improve others' reviews. If this particular person who e-mailed me thought I was being nasty, then she should have e-mailed me privately, not sent it to the list. This person said she's "reviewed my critiques and listened to feedback" and then went in to all of the above. What feedback? About my comments? There hasn't been any! There have only been like two messages since I posted the two reviews I was commenting on and they were totally unrelated to my messages. They were other people's comments on reviews posted.

I haven't even replied to the message that was sent to me through the group cuz it made me so mad. I'm debating whether or not to even bother replying to it.


At 1:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My comment is simple and true. I have improved greatly by being at LR. Yes, I have my own, “Voice,” that comes across when I write a review, but I have learned the most, by emulating you. What I mean is, I studied from your past reviews and from there, crafted my own style. Your high regards from the writing community as a whole, speaks louder than any pettily comment another might make.

So, take to heart and stay true to one’s craft…

Warrior of Words

At 7:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do you feel about the group now that you've been on it for a while?

At 10:07 PM, Blogger Kelley said...

Thanks WOW for the kind words. I actually could have sworn I replied to this already but my comment isn't showing up so maybe I imagined it all. LOL I really appreciate you saying what you did and it pleases me to no end that you think so highly of LR and what we all do there. Thank you very much.

At 10:11 PM, Blogger Kelley said...

After the whole thing happened on that list, the person who originally was concerned by the comments I made to her review contacted me privately and we talked things all out and everything was good between the two of us. The person who made the comments to the list has not said a word since about the whole thing and actually I'm not sure they've posted anything at all since then. I've sent in several reviews since then and always good constructive comments back. Some I use, some I don't. I've also since posted comments on several reviews of other people and no one has complained about them or has been upset by them.

At 6:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment goes to anonymous who asked," How do you feel about the group now that you've been on it for a while?"

I love it; I am given the freedom to have my own voice and self-expressions. The ladies of the group are mature and extremely helpful. What more can a reviewer ask for?

The authors are important, but so are the readers, and that makes for a great review site, in this reviewer's humble opinion.

Warrior of Words.


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