Tuesday, October 4, 2016

How to be polite in a review

This does not mean that we should become ruthless and insensitive. There are right ways to say all this without being gratuitously hurtful. As you can imagine not everybody is well suited for reviewing, especially well-founded review.  Some people take it personal, as a mistake that will not let them improve. There are other people, however, who see the review as help, who understand it. Those writers are the ones who take their work seriously and try to raise the quality of their writing. They are grateful for the reviews.

The moment your reviews reach this level of sincerity you will find people who will return the favor by reviewing your work the same way.  You will discover the weak points in your writing and you will be able to work in improving them.

I am not saying that technical text analysis is not useful or important but I think it is not a priority. The story should tell something in a way that it becomes worth reading it in the first place; after that you can change some words, add some commas and semicolons.

It is true that sincere reviewing is very hard to achieve and master. You always have to be careful not to let your own personal taste, style, egotism, envy, passion, and loyalty into your preferred genre.

What is really helpful is to have someone who just reviews your work like that. Even if that person is not a technical master. It will obviously be an opinion only and different people will tell you different things but to develop a criterion about how to react to reviews is an essential part of the process of becoming a good writer.

Of course it will hurt whenever anyone tells you that your story did not move them or they felt it was shallow. Just do not take it personal and consider whose opinion this is (and their intentions). I remember how frustrating it was when everybody was telling me that everything I wrote was (technically) perfect but I knew something was missing. Since I review I have become a better writer. 

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