Teen Ink on Twitter
I've been thinking about doing this for about a week, and I hope people get something from it.
I recently saw that over seventy people have viewed my novel Merlin. Yet, only two people have posted comments. This really bugged me. Yet, the more I thought about this, the more I realized I often read a TeenInk novel without giving feedback. So I starting following these rules:
1. If you read a novel, post a comment. It can be as simple as 'I read this, and I liked it', or it can be a full on 'I think this a a really great book! I think you've put a lot of work into it, and it shows!' ect.
2. Even if you don't like a novel, comment!
3. If you don't like a novel, be very carefull you don't hurt the writer's feelings. Always add something positive in.
4. If you notice the writer made a mistake, somewhere in the middle of the comment, simply say (I'm using Shira from Fablehaven here): "I noticed that you said Shira had long green hair. In the book, she has short blue hair." Don't mention it again. Also, don't put it in at the begining or the end of the comment. At the begining, it makes the writer feel like the first thing you noticed was the mistake, and at the end, it feels like you're trying to get the last word in.
5.If you want to writer to read and comment on your book, at the end of the comment start a new paragraph and say, "I hope you'll read and comment on my novel/book/short story/poem. Don't keep mentioning it.
That's all! I hope you got something out of this!
I like your rules. I've been using other writing sites and in those other ones they are very serious about their reveiws. No offense to Teen Ink and it's readers but I do think that the people here don't always give the best reviews on people's work. I feel like there is too many nice, short reviews that aren't that satisfing. I mean think about it would you want someone to comment " I really like this! Keep up the good work!" on a novel that you've poured your blood, sweat and tears into? I wouldn't and quite honestly would want more. If they've taken the time to read it then why can''t they take to time to reveiw it honestly. Which means telling them what they liked and didn't like. Rip the story apart and be frank with the writer about stuff thyey need to work on. They wil thank you in the end and may even return the favor. I see too many people giving a lot of empty "hey, nice job" reviews and I call them empty because anyone could say that. If I wanted someone to tell me that aboutmy work I'd ask my mom. I want people to stop being scared and take thier time to focus on giving honest helpful reviews. You don't had to be harsh but overlooking mistakes on something that could be better just because you are afraid of hurting the writer's feelings is riduclous. Ireally wish people here would be more concrned on getting and giving good reviews. I would rather choose quality over quantity anyday. I think other people should too.
^ I try to do all of the above, but keep my criticisms shorter, since long comments don't seem to be very popular on this site.
And yes, more people should start doing this. We need more in-depth discussion about our literature and writing technique, and less of that competitive social mindset of "getting the most likes", or whatever jargon kids these days (I don't use facebook, so this is valid) are using. I'd love for every comment on my work to give me something I need to improve on.
Okay, now here I am with reality. People probably don't have all the time in the world to read a work, since most of us are preoccupied with homework, studying, etc. This leads to the aforementioned "empty review", syndrome that seems to be infecting the site. We simply don't have enough time to read, analyze, and express our sentiments in a well thought-out response. This is also a reason why novels don't recieve as much attention as short stories. From personal experience, getting comments on a novel is much more difficult than getting comments on a short piece, since people just don't have the time to read several long pages of words.
Lastly, no offense to any teenink authors, but I just don't think there are that many skilled writers on the site, to the point where they would be qualified to review other people's work. I don't consider myself to be qualified for over half the work posted on this site, and I (note the bias) consider myself to be a skilled writer (you can read my work and judge that for yourself).
I'd write a conclusion summarizing my main points, but I think the message is clear enough.
I support this.
I agree with everything that you've said and I'm now trying to give honest reviews. If I'm honest I will say that it does take a lot of work to give good reviews to people because of time or whatever but I try to do it because I know that it is what I want. I want someone to give me the best advice on my work and not vapid comments. I know that people don't have time and I really don't have any either but I still try. I'm sure that over the summer people will have more time to review more people's work. Also, if peopl are truly serious about writing I think that they should appericate long reviews over short ones but I haven't seen anyone on here object to this.