Short Works Rating
FLUFF REVIEWSThread Started December 18 at 1:54AM
<< Thread Modifed December 18 at 2:11AM >>
I actually posted this on 'profile thoughts' but decided it was probably more valid to post on the forum and get other's opinions.
I really hate the expression 'fluff reviews".
The fact that someone has gone to the time and trouble to review one's work is great effort within itself.
We have over 400 plus supposedly active writers on FanStory so there are a lot of posts to read.
Sometimes small poems such as haiku and 2-4-2 and 4 line poems make it hard to reach the minimum words that are allowed as a review. Obviously there are many methods and techniques used by reviewers to reach that minimum allowable word count for short reviews:
Repeating/ rewriting the verse in your comments
Summarizing the read with other words meaning the same thing
Embellishing with big metaphorical words
Explain to the author what poetic techniques have been used
There is only so much one can say on poems with 3 lines
no matter how hard one tries
Please don't be offended with reviews and reviewers that might use these techniques to 'fatten' or lengthen the review.
Everyone tries very hard to give credible reviews with all works but sometimes it is hard to reach the minimum allowable limit of text.
Reply on December 18, 2017 09:36 AM
Well said. I agree.
With FS being an international site, one never knows the level
of ability of the reviewers. To condemn a review & call it 'fluff' is unacceptable.
Everyone needs to be more accepting of others' reviews. Only if they are
attacking or written as a revenge should one be upset & take action.
To those who desire 'perfect' reviews, it ain't gonna happen here. Not
all on this site are 'professional' writers. If one desires those kind
of reviews that professional writers produce, then look elsewhere--maybe
your editor. Congratulations if you have an editor. If so, then maybe
you can respect that ALL had to start somewhere--yes, even you!
As the song goes, "Don't worry, be happy."
Reply on December 18, 2017 12:51 PM
Hate to break it to you folks but fluff reviews do exist and they are pretty easy to tell...
When you get the exact same review from a reviewer for several different pieces of your work, what else would you call it?
Then when you check and find out they've given the same review to countless other people, what do you call that?
Time to see things for what they actually are. Padding, or waffling are different things. If there's is no substance to a review, it is fluff.
There is a difference between a positive or glowing review and a fluff review.
Reply on December 18, 2017 01:53 PM
I am not speaking of reviews like you stated Gman.
I am speaking of those who really try, but still are not
perfect. I know you mean about 'fluff.'
Reply on December 18, 2017 02:15 PM << Modifed December 18 at 5:39PM >>
What exactly is a "fluff" review....is it because one doesn't go deeply into the piece, discuss the form, point our any mistakes...What is it that makes for a "fluff" review.
I've seen this discussion before, and I'd rather like to believe that most of us do the best we can...at least I do, and I just don't think I'm alone...Also, I've written poems using some forms that some may not even know. and are not easy to write...yet they give fine reviews on the essence of the piece and how they liked it...what's wrong with that..nothing as far as I'm concerned...I appreciate that someone even took the time to read something I post. and one can see that many people read and never post a review.
If we're talking about the ones's that cut and past their reviews, then someone should let Tom know..but I've seen some writers with large fan lists also use just about the same words in a review...sometimes its hard not to do so..
I think all this talk about the "fluff" review actually stops some people, it has stopped me, especially in reviewing stories...I don't want to waste my time reading a piece, when I don't know all that I should to give a good review...or whether the writer will be annoyed if I miss something...and lately I don't even want to read a piece and say how much I enjoyed it...forfear of being classified as one that only gives "fluff" reviews.
There is no rule that says we must be able to give reviews that meet some specific criteria, that's why we have some writers that excel in doing that...I have to agree with Jan...
Should everyone that reviews know all the forms used, should they be as experienced as some, that's just not going to happen, and I think we just have to get used to that.
Just Some Thoughts!
Reply on December 18, 2017 03:30 PM
Right On! MrsMajor!
Brett Matthew West
Short Works Rating
Reply on December 18, 2017 05:53 PM
Which is worse, snide comments and cheap shots or fluff reviews? Fluff reviews can be ignored. Simple as that. Just saying.
Reply on December 18, 2017 07:02 PM << Modifed December 18 at 7:03PM >>
Reply on December 18, 2017 07:07 PM << Modifed December 18 at 7:08PM >>
You are right Brett. 'Fluff' reviews can be ignored even if the reviewer believes s/he is writing a proper review. Some just don't 'get it', while others just 'take the money & run.'
For those that write snide comments/reviews and/or take cheap shots they only need to look in a mirror & see the source--themselves. You are right those kind of reviews are very hurtful. But no one can police reviewers. It all adds up to the kind of people they really are.
So 'fluff' reviews wins!
Reply on December 18, 2017 07:08 PM
Snide comments, cheap shots, and fluff reviews...can all easily be ignored...once recognized...
Short Works Rating
Reply on December 18, 2017 08:35 PM << Modifed December 18 at 8:42PM >>
To me, looking at things from a prose writer's perspective, a fluff review is one that's the minimum length and consists of generic comments with no reference to the contents of the post.
For example, something like "Good characterisation," is positive, but something like "I liked Kenrhys because he made me laugh," is much better because:
1) It tells me the reviewer read the story because they've referenced a part of it. (When a review is very generic it does make me wonder.)
2) It tells me that in this scene I managed to get an aspect of Kenrhys across--something I can use to build on.
In the same way, something like "I didn't like the bit where X did Y because it seemed fake" is equally as useful, because it tells me I've got that bit wrong.
So, for me, a good review is one where I can take something specific from it--positive or negative. Where a reviewer tells me how it made them feel, or if they laughed at a specific point, or connected to a character, etc. It doesn't need to be long: as a writer, part of learning is taking these short comments and figuring out what you did/didn't do to trigger the reaction.
And as a reviewer, asking yourself those type of questions, and explaining the answer as best you can to the writer, also helps you improve as a writer too. It makes you look at why a specific thing you read touched you, or put you off, or bored you, and that will lead to your improving your writing as a result.
If, on the other hand, as a reviewer, you simply think 'good characterisation' without asking yourself 'why?' what are you learning from your time spent reading and reviewing? What are you gaining from your time beyond those member cents?
If the reviewer and the writer gain nothing helpful beyond a fuzzy warm feeling or a few cents from a review, then that, to me, is when it becomes fluff.
A review can be positive, give that warm fuzzy feeling, and still be useful by simply mentioning what made the writing good (try to be specific) and why.
The more detailed, the better, but if you don't feel confident giving detailed reviews and/or don't have time, then pointing out those one or two positives/negatives can make a big difference to the writer you're reviewing.
Almost forgot: the other thing which I find helpful is when a reviewer story asks me why so-and-so happens, or how the magic works, etc because it:
1) Forces me to make sure I know the answer, even if it's not something the reader has been shown yet.
2) Tells me I haven't gotten the details across int he way I'd thought. (If its a regular reviewer asking. Someone jumping in at chapter 30 isn't going to know everything, which is one of those things.)
On the flip side, what isn't good is jumping in at chapter 30 and then rating down a star because you don't know what happened in chapters 1-29.
-1- 2 3
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