Critical! Super Effective!!

What’s this?  Another blog prompt?  You’d think I’d start actually doing this on more…consistent basis!


Again, using the Boldly Reading discussion thread, it got me thinking about the hope of generating more reviews. So here’s your short and simple blog prompt: what do you like to see in a review of your work? what do you comment upon yourself in a review? has a received view changed your opinion on a story you wrote or were writing? and finally, has a review sold or warned you off another author’s story?


Reviews, reviews.  We all crave them.  Why else do we write?  Sure, I enjoy getting the ideas out of my head and in print, as if making my dreams into something more tangible, but I love when other people read my work and enjoy it.  Sure, not everyone likes what I write, and let’s be honest, I’m not a huge fan of a lot of other writing out there (Sorry, but it’s the cold hard truth).  There are probably a few people who have read maybe one or two of my things and had to shake their head, put it down, and say “I can’t read this anymore.”  It happens, and I’m certainly not offended by it.

My vision of Star Trek is very different from yours.  It’s just a fact of life we as writers label “creative differences.”  And it’s great.

I love to see positive reviews of my work.  I love when people just pile praises upon praises.  Every now and then I get a negative review, and I have to try and see things from the reader’s perspective (which isn’t always easy for a very proud man to do, believe me).  I like to see when people who read my work picked up on little “easter eggs” that I throw in here and there, or realize why I did things a certain way.  It makes me giddy knowing other people could see into my brainz as I worked.

I am the worst about leaving reviews for other people.  I can safely say I have read maybe four times as many stories as I have left comments on them (before the ficlet flashdance, at least.  I tried hard to keep up with that).  Part of my problem is that I’m still one of the “newer” faces around here, which means many of the stories I’m trying to get into have already been read and reviewed by MANY people.  It’s a little…off-putting, trying to come up with something to say that hasn’t already been said by three or four other people already.  More often than not, I just leave it alone rather than repeat what’s been said.  What do y’all think?  Do you care if you get a couple reviews that all look pretty much identical?

When I first arrived, I wrote USS WHISTON, a piece for a monthly challenge that asked to explore the JJ-Verse and the fall-out of Nero.  In that story, in the opening scene, I had the chief of security of the ship pull his phaser on his bumbling roommate.  And, when the roommate continued to make noise, he flipped the phaser from stun to kill to threaten him off.

I got at least one review that basically said “WTF?  How can he get away with something so undisciplined?”

And I thought about it, and the person was absolutely right.  It shouldn’t have happened.  He should have been strung up by his toes for it, in fact.  So, I have actually taken that input into account while writing part 3, GHANGWL.  The opening scene shows the chief reprimanded, and banned from operating anything more than a hand phaser pending “remedial weapons training.”  That’s probably the best example of using a review to help shape the next piece of the story that I’m writing.

As for turning me away from a story?  I haven’t seen any reviews that would do that to me (yet?), since most everyone on the site is actually pretty positive.  It’s pretty cool.

That does it for that prompt!  That was fun!

15 thoughts on “Critical! Super Effective!!

  1. I remember noting that he’d used his phaser and set it on kill, but I honestly didn’t think anyone else would SAY anything. And then I kind of lost track of that when everything else started happening with the story.

    It was quite an engaging tale, though.

    It’s always been Ad Astra policy, at least typically, that to get reviews, you give ’em. If you ever feel like motivating yourself to actually speak (AND get reviews), join the Squaredance! We can always use more folks.

    1. Heh, I thought the Squaredance was closed! I might look into in a few weeks; not right now though. Don’t have the time for it right now. Maybe on my business trip coming up.

      1. Oh be sure to get caught up in it. A great way to get a good sprinkling of other author’s works and to share your own.

  2. Good post, TS. I feel the same way about reading other fanfics; it’s very easy for me to get turned off to a piece and I’ll end up not finishing or leaving any trace that I’d read it in on form or another.

  3. Actually, I know that I review a lot but trust me that I have a similar disproportionate read count to review count because there is much I read quickly and intend to get back to or start with the the intention of reading and getting stuck in proper at a more appropriate time.

    More reviewing of other stories doesn’t necessarily mean more reviews for yourself. However, participation is what counts – whether through reviews or in the forum discussion – or as you’ve discovered TS with the Round Robin. But it would be remiss of me to not encourage you to throw in a review, even if it is more of the same, because it can all help an author finding it difficult to believe their story has merit and value.

    And even cold hard truth reviews have their value. As you note, sometimes a comment can strike you and make you reappraise that that you’ve taken for granted or see things simply in a new light.

    1. I dunno, Kev, I am way more amiable about reviewing other people who have taken the time to read my stuff. I honestly do ignore people who have ten stories and reviews, but never R&R anyone else. In my mind, that’s basically asking for ALL THE COOKIES and not sharing ’em.

      1. Trust me Steff, there are days I feel like taking down some reviews for that reason. I mean, sometimes people don’t even check out my stories despite my avidly reading theirs.
        But hey, I suppose I get it. Mine doesn’t interest them or isn’t good enough and so I shrug and try to move on.
        And there’s always that delete button on the reviews should I ever change my mind! 😉

  4. Reviews? Never give ’em. 😉

    I think what helps is when people have questions, and that might work for longer, older pieces that it seems everybody and his brother has already read. At least I like questions. If enough people are asking me about something, that’ll draw some attention, to realize how to fix the problem in future fics, or even address it in a sequel, maybe even as a retcon.

    1. I can definitely understand fixing things in future stories, or in sequels even…but retcons I avoid like a plague. Nothing makes me more…frustrated and angry as a reader than a retcon. We’d do it in RP settings in STO and CoH because we all type at different speeds; it wouldn’t make sense for me to have said something while we were waiting for another character to say something, and we’d say “ah, ok, disregard that then, hang on” and then continue with life. Retconning a story, after it’s already been done and put out…just seems wrong to me. *shrug* I dunno. Maybe I’m just weird, lol

  5. Getting reviews is something that I’m really looking forward to. I don’t think I’ve evolved enough yet as a writer to be able to critique the works of others, and I hope getting them will help me be able to give them.

  6. Not sure I can add anything new to the previous comments,

    though, when I have the same problem you in the archive that the story got a lot of prior reviews, I tend to try and acknowledge while my comments might retread old ground, the author will be please to see another review which tell him that the comments it wasn’t just one person who though that.

    though if there lots of good comments I might just leave a ‘slip of coffee’ review to acknowledge I read it (even if I now know Jespah doesn’t like them).

Comments are closed.