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Long VS Short?

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Thu May 26, 2011 9:56 pm
freewritersavvy says...



The only problem I would ever have with long chapters is if they impose too much information on the reader. I like starting simple, then working up to greater complexity, rather than starting in a complex plethora of characters and being expected to stomach all of it from the start.


I suppose, to me it depends on the story. I like things where I can't quite understand the whole plot until the end....or even after the end. Things like (I know its a movie but still....) Inception intrigue me. However, I do agree that information dumping sucks! Finding the right balance of information is what writing is all about.
I write for myself not for my readers. If I enjoy reading what I have written then someone else in the world is bound to like it. What one person likes another will hate. I can't please everyone so, I will write for myself and let everyone else argue about whether or not it was good.
As for expectations, I guess I would have to ask who is expecting what from you? And why do you try to rise to those expectations? (Sorry, the inner psycho analyst is coming out today. :/)

I believe that is just something to complain about, some people just want to find anything wrong with a post in order to criticise it, it is the same with spelling where you get those who just do that to provoke an argument.
Because of both of these, the terms "TL;DR" and "grammer nazi" are used frequently on the internet.


I don't mind people pointing out my mistakes or giving me constructive criticism. What I mind is people imposing their opinions onto my work. (Which is quite different then giving me opinions about my work.)

To clarify the above: It is one thing to say, "Your story needs more description." or "Your grammar and spelling are incorrect." or "Have you thought about adding _________?" It is quite another to say, "It should sound like this________ because that is what I like better." or "It was too long so I only read half of it and here is my opinion on your whole story." or "I don't like it when your character did ___________."

Perhaps it is only semantics to some people. For me, if I am going to review something I try to point out things that will be helpful to the writer and only give my opinion about the story as a whole. If it is so bad that I can't find anything nice to say about it.... I keep my mouth shut!

The majority of people who review here at YWS are quite nice and very honest. I can't thank my reviewers enough for all of their help. My writing has improved drastically because of you guys. The few people who I found annoying I simply ignore.

Okay, KJR, why did you do that?! I just started watching Lost and you are spoiling it! I like Charlie! He dies? Say what? NOOOO!!!!! LOL, *Sigh*

When I find myself reviewing a chapter of a novel on this site and everyone complains about it being too long and how they don't have time to read it or can't save their spot...Why don't they just open a new tab? That way their spot is saved and they can continue to surf the web and come back to the chapter later!


This should be put in reviewers tips or something! What a brilliant idea! Or, if I may add to it, if you have to leave your computer simply go up to the left hand corner of your screen and hit favorite or bookmark (depending on your web browser), the page will then be accessible at the click of a button, all you have to do is scroll down to where you left off.


If they are going to complain then maybe just maybe they just like to complain and be miserable? Maybe they are dieing for attention? Or maybe they want to sound superior and sound like they they have a higher intellectual grasp on the subject? I don't know :/ But it is not only a waste of their time, but a waste of the writers time as they can learn nothing from the review.


Thank you! It is a waste of time! (I was going to say that in my last post but of course you said it here.) I would like to add that it also puts a very negative outlook on the reviewer. If you review my work and spend half of your review ranting about length I am not going to be very accepting to anything helpful you might have said. (And if you are just ranting so you get more points I see that as cheating and I do not like cheaters!)

~FW~
http://www.isiseiyr.com
~When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world. ~ George Carver

Writing...they claim it is a dangerous occupation... 'they' have no idea!




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Fri May 27, 2011 3:09 pm
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Mongererofspoons says...



freewritersavvy wrote:
"It should sound like this________ because that is what I like better." or "It was too long so I only read half of it and here is my opinion on your whole story." or "I don't like it when your character did ___________."

I hate those people, i mean seriously, why review something you have not even fully read? And another thing, this site is about helping others with their stories, they can do what they want!
/Rant, just had to throw that out there :x




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Fri May 27, 2011 5:40 pm
freewritersavvy says...



Mongererofspoons wrote:
freewritersavvy wrote:
"It should sound like this________ because that is what I like better." or "It was too long so I only read half of it and here is my opinion on your whole story." or "I don't like it when your character did ___________."

I hate those people, i mean seriously, why review something you have not even fully read? And another thing, this site is about helping others with their stories, they can do what they want!
/Rant, just had to throw that out there :x


Your allowed to rant :) .
If someone reviews something they should have the courtesy to at least read the whole thing!

~FW~
http://www.isiseiyr.com
~When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world. ~ George Carver

Writing...they claim it is a dangerous occupation... 'they' have no idea!




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Fri May 27, 2011 5:45 pm
kjr5horses says...



Mongererofspoons wrote:
freewritersavvy wrote:
"It should sound like this________ because that is what I like better." or "It was too long so I only read half of it and here is my opinion on your whole story." or "I don't like it when your character did ___________."

I hate those people, i mean seriously, why review something you have not even fully read? And another thing, this site is about helping others with their stories, they can do what they want!
/Rant, just had to throw that out there :x


Your allowed to rant :) .
If someone reviews something they should have the courtesy to at least read the whole thing!

~FW~[/quote]

YAY! People that have the same opinions!
"Me I'm dishonest but a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly its the honest ones you have to watch out for because you can never tell when they are going to do something incredibly...stupid." ~Capt. Jack Sparrow




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Fri May 27, 2011 9:28 pm
Rosey Unicorn says...



"It was too long so I only read half of it and here is my opinion on your whole story."


Hold it. Since WHEN is this considered "imposing your opinions on a work"?

When a reviewer says a work was long, they have a reason to say this. Have you ever noticed how when a work isn't that good, everything feels like it's dragging, and when a work is good you don't notice how long it is? Have you ever thought that maybe, just maybe, people are saying "it's long" because they started reading and they lost interest because there was no reason to keep reading— which would be the author's fault? Or what about if the reviewer still does a long critique? Is that because they were lazy in reading, or did they simply get enough content for a full review from just what they read?

We're editors. Not readers. The difference between the two is: readers simply read for pleasure; editors go in with the intent to review. They want something that'll grab their attention quickly and hold it. If it starts dragging, they either click the back button, or, if they're feeling nice, go in and say what needs improvement to make it feel less long.

If people are reading for pleasure, then they'll just scan whatever they want and follow your advice. Just read and not care about length. If they really want to gush, they'll leave a review. However, if they're going in for a review, they're wanting something that shows promise, or that is in need of reviews.

They're not teenagers with short attention spans and just looking for things to complain about. Saying "this is too long" is one way of saying "you need to be really interesting to post something that long, and right now you're not doing a very good job." Don't discount their advice just because you think they're lazy. The fact they didn't click away and actually spent the time to tell you how you can get more reviews and improve your story proves they are not.

And another thing about the publishing industry: Did you know that editors, to get through the number of manuscripts on their desk, will only read as far into a work as they are interested? Most of the time, this means just the opening paragraph or the first half of page one. If at any point it feels long or loses their attention, they slip it right back in the envelope with a slip of rejection.

Do you know how many pieces there are on YWS that need reviews? A lot. It's not really practical to dedicate all your time to one piece. And reviews make YWS run. Because of this, YWSers are more akin to editors than readers. Only, instead of rejecting a work, they take the time to make the work better so editors are less likely to reject it down the line.

So next time you get a review saying it's too long, look at their advice. Look at the pace of your story. Is there a reason besides a wall of text for readers to be saying "it's long"? And really look at the work. Don't just assume all readers will be so dedicated to your work they'll read all of it. Harsh reality: they're not. They're just looking through stories for something that catches their attention or is in need of reviews. Pat yourself on the back you got their attention enough for them to review in the first place.

Now start looking past who you think your reviewer is and turn them into editors. Your audience. Why are they not reading? It's probably not just because of length.
You know you're a writer when you're not alarmed at hearing voices in your head, you can't read a book without analyzing it for plot & characters and you consider something you nearly killed yourself to write the most rewarding.

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Fri May 27, 2011 10:34 pm
freewritersavvy says...



My dear friend, I think you missed something.... perhaps more then one something.

"It was too long so I only read half of it and here is my opinion on your whole story."

Hold it. Since WHEN is this considered "imposing your opinions on a work"?

Someone who gives an opinion of what they think should change without reading the whole work is #1 being rude & #2 Trying to impose upon the author what they would do if they were the writer.

Impose= Force (something unwelcome or unfamiliar) to be accepted or put in place: "the decision was theirs and was not imposed on them". From dictionary.com

When a reviewer says a work was long, they have a reason to say this. Have you ever noticed how when a work isn't that good, everything feels like it's dragging, and when a work is good you don't notice how long it is? Have you ever thought that maybe, just maybe, people are saying "it's long" because they started reading and they lost interest because there was no reason to keep reading— which would be the author's fault? Or what about if the reviewer still does a long critique? Is that because they were lazy in reading, or did they simply get enough content for a full review from just what they read?

If people think a story is dragging on, perhaps they should say, "Hey, your story is too slow. Could you pick up the pace?" Instead of saying, "It's too long!" Say what you mean. Simple idea.
I never insinuated that anyone was lazy. If someone thinks a story is too long just because of the quantity posted (not because the story itself is dragging on), then why read it? Why review it? Why bother?
It is impossible to give a full review if you do not read the full work. All you could give would be a partial review because you only read part of it.


The first and most important thing you need to do as a reviewer is to give the work a close and thorough reading, reading through at least twice, in order to determine what the author’s intention was and how each part of the work was meant to contribute to that overall intention. Quote from = http://www.poetryresourcepage.com/resources/tips.html

However you could say:
There is no right way to write a book review. Book reviews are highly personal and reflect the opinions of the reviewer. A review can be as short as 50-100 words, or as long as 1500 words, depending on the purpose of the review. Quote from a variety of sources.


We're editors. Not readers. The difference between the two is: readers simply read for pleasure; editors go in with the intent to review. They want something that'll grab their attention quickly and hold it. If it starts dragging, they either click the back button, or, if they're feeling nice, go in and say what needs improvement to make it feel less long.


An 'editor' is the job title of someone who supervises writers, reads and corrects their work, assigns stories, or other duties.
A 'reviewer' is a critic, someone who writes about books, movies, products, restaurants, et cetera.

For my part I want 'reviews not 'edits'. I give 'reviews', I want 'reviews' and I intend to leave the 'editing' to the 'editors'! (On side note, I am not paying you to 'edit' so please, if you want to 'edit' feel free, but know it is not what I am looking for. I accept that I make mistakes. Everyone does. I take responsibility for my mistakes, if you point them out of course I will fix them.)


They're not teenagers with short attention spans and just looking for things to complain about. Saying "this is too long" is one way of saying "you need to be really interesting to post something that long, and right now you're not doing a very good job." Don't discount their advice just because you think they're lazy. The fact they didn't click away and actually spent the time to tell you how you can get more reviews and improve your story proves they are not.

Again, say what you mean. Do not make your readers guess at what you might be insinuating, its rude! Helpful hints are always welcome. Complaints, not so much.

And another thing about the publishing industry: Did you know that editors, to get through the number of manuscripts on their desk, will only read as far into a work as they are interested? Most of the time, this means just the opening paragraph or the first half of page one. If at any point it feels long or loses their attention, they slip it right back in the envelope with a slip of rejection.

Do you know how many pieces there are on YWS that need reviews? A lot. It's not really practical to dedicate all your time to one piece. And reviews make YWS run. Because of this, YWSers are more akin to editors than readers. Only, instead of rejecting a work, they take the time to make the work better so editors are less likely to reject it down the line.

Goody for them. They don't give reviews on what they don't like! (Did this not just prove my point?) If you would like to write "REJECTED" after the stories you think are to long, I am good with that. (You might have to ask the others though, because it seems like it would be easier to just skip reviewing it.)
If you truly are writing a review to help someone improve, then great! Why are you being defensive? Everyone loves you, if that is what you do.

So next time you get a review saying it's too long, look at their advice. Look at the pace of your story. Is there a reason besides a wall of text for readers to be saying "it's long"? And really look at the work. Don't just assume all readers will be so dedicated to your work they'll read all of it. Harsh reality: they're not. They're just looking through stories for something that catches their attention or is in need of reviews. Pat yourself on the back you got their attention enough for them to review in the first place.

Now start looking past who you think your reviewer is and turn them into editors. Your audience. Why are they not reading? It's probably not just because of length.

I do look at their advise, (else I would not have posted this topic). I do not care if people read all of my work or not. What I care about is that if they review, they at least have the respect to read it all! If they don't have that respect then I don't want their review, their help, or their opinion!
I write for myself not for my audience. If my audience does not like what I write I will find a new audience! (There are lots of people in the world.)

Summery:
If you are writing reviews with the intent of helping people, then you are my friend and I respect what you say even if you give me a harsh review.
If you write a reviews based off half of the story because you lost interest then, I find that rude and disrespectful and I will treat your review as such! If you loose interest, don't bother to review my work!

Sincerely,
~FW~

P.S. If this hurt your eyes because it was so long & if it failed to grasp your highly developed intellect and imagination I am sorry. If you just scanned it, I think I made some very important points that might help you to give better reviews to peoples work in the future, so you might want to go back and read it. Just a thought....and it would be polite since I read your post that was mostly defensive for no reason, since I believe you are a very good reviewer. :D
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Sat May 28, 2011 1:36 am
Kyllorac says...



Your sarcasm is not appreciated. Kindly tone it down and accept the posts in this thread for what they are: honest opinions. You are not winning any supporters by ridiculing and disparaging those who have different opinions than yours.

That said, I agree with Rosey that there is merit to those reviews that point out that a piece was too long. They aren't the nicest reviews to receive, but if you can set aside your emotions, they enable you to go through your work again and pick out the sections that make it drag. I have yet to see a reviewer who went through the effort of writing a rather extensive review that says "I had to stop reading this" NOT explain why they couldn't finish reading the entire piece; odds are, they pointed out exactly why they felt the piece was too long, but you may have missed it on first read-through of their review.

As far as rereading is concerned, the quote you took was from a poetry site. Reviewing poetry and reviewing prose are quite different:

Poetry tends to be much more condensed and constructed with allusions and symbolism. In order to adequately review a poem, rereading is an absolute must as poetry reviews involve analysis.

In sharp contrast, prose tends to be longer, much longer in the case of novels, and rereading a work multiple times is simply not always feasible. Considering the backgrounds of most members and that most novels on here are never completed, a novel must be absolutely excellent to warrant a rereading, much less a rereading for the purposes of reviewing. In addition, many of the members here are young, meaning they may not yet have learned how to articulate what they want to say as clearly as you might like.

Keep your expectations realistic, and you'll have a much more fruitful and satisfying experience on the site.
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Sat May 28, 2011 3:45 am
kjr5horses says...



*sighs* Why is it that when we are all getting along and agreeing with one another that you green people (Aliens *syfy music starts to play*) start the argument all over again? When everyone is agreeing and understanding each other! We dropped the subject, we were just having a nice conversation and PMing each other and then you two people came in and dramatically started the whole thing again!

It sounds to me that you guys are the ones that won't let anything go and are over reacting. (*Waves hand in the air* Lets have an over reacting party here!!!!)

Your sarcasm is not appreciated. Kindly tone it down and accept the posts in this thread for what they are: honest opinions. You are not winning any supporters by ridiculing and disparaging those who have different opinions than yours.


Okay...*sighs*....no sarcasm? Hmmm....it sounds to me that we were just stating our honest opinions, and throwing in a few corny jokes here and there but who doesn't do that? Honest opinions, you are saying that we need to accept the posts as they are honest opinions. But we are accepting them as honest opinions. Not only are we accepting them, we are giving our honest opinions as well!

It is you that appears to NOT accept these honest opinions. Instead you get on to us about sharing them and giving our different ideas and opinions.

As for winning supporters, we are not trying to. Instead we are just stating our ideas and honest opinions. But if I must say we have gained a few supporters so your claim is false. If you are going to respond to a thread why don't you read the whole thing so that you know that what you are saying is true and valid.

Keep your expectations realistic, and you'll have a much more fruitful and satisfying experience on the site.


We are being realistic, it is impossible to give a review that helps the writer in any way if the reviewer has not read the whole work. If I recall correctly, when one goes to give a review on the right hand side of the screen is a check list that helps the reviewer.

1. Did I give a general impression?
2. Have I explained my points?
3. Did I say why I liked or did not like it?
4. Have I proofread my review?
5. Will my review help the author improve?

I find that when I read reviews or receive one myself, the reviewer checks off the first 4. Few check of 5. Most do not. YES I want your general impression, and YES I want you to explain your points thoroughly, YES I want to know what you liked or disliked, but what I really want my reviewer to do is to simply help me improve! I DON'T just want to hear your personal thoughts, and no I don't want to here nothing but complaints. But I want to IMPROVE not just hear your personal (And not always honest) opinions! I want to learn something from the review!

Anyways, please don't take offense, get your panties all knotted up, cry over spilled milk! Why am I saying this? To hurt your feelings?No of course not! I am simply and realistically giving my most honest opinion.

Honestly,
~KJR~
"Me I'm dishonest but a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly its the honest ones you have to watch out for because you can never tell when they are going to do something incredibly...stupid." ~Capt. Jack Sparrow




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Sat May 28, 2011 3:58 am
freewritersavvy says...



Kyllorac wrote:Your sarcasm is not appreciated. Kindly tone it down and accept the posts in this thread for what they are: honest opinions. You are not winning any supporters by ridiculing and disparaging those who have different opinions than yours.

That said, I agree with Rosey that there is merit to those reviews that point out that a piece was too long. They aren't the nicest reviews to receive, but if you can set aside your emotions, they enable you to go through your work again and pick out the sections that make it drag. I have yet to see a reviewer who went through the effort of writing a rather extensive review that says "I had to stop reading this" NOT explain why they couldn't finish reading the entire piece; odds are, they pointed out exactly why they felt the piece was too long, but you may have missed it on first read-through of their review.

As far as rereading is concerned, the quote you took was from a poetry site. Reviewing poetry and reviewing prose are quite different:

Poetry tends to be much more condensed and constructed with allusions and symbolism. In order to adequately review a poem, rereading is an absolute must as poetry reviews involve analysis.

In sharp contrast, prose tends to be longer, much longer in the case of novels, and rereading a work multiple times is simply not always feasible. Considering the backgrounds of most members and that most novels on here are never completed, a novel must be absolutely excellent to warrant a rereading, much less a rereading for the purposes of reviewing. In addition, many of the members here are young, meaning they may not yet have learned how to articulate what they want to say as clearly as you might like.

Keep your expectations realistic, and you'll have a much more fruitful and satisfying experience on the site.


I am honestly sorry if you found my sarcasm annoying. I guess I find it a bit sarcastic (or perhaps ironic would be a better word) for people to say Short Stories are too short and Novels are too long. Perhaps it is just me. If that is so, I am sorry it bothers you.

For the record I am not trying to disparage or ridicule anyone. I am merely pointing out my honest opinion of how I would like my work to be reviewed. (Which is how I review others work. That do unto others thing...)

I agree with Rosy as well. If someone tells me "Your piece is dragging and you could leave out this, this and this." I will most certianly look at what they are talking about! If all they say is, "It's too long and it made my eyes hurt." Then how does that help anyone? (Most of the people who mentioned length gave an average review not an extensive one.)

Yes, the quote was from a poetry site but that was not my point. My point is when reviewing, read the whole work (at least once). (That goes for poetry, shorts, novels and all written work, in my honest opinion.)

Oh, and I know..... I only read something twice if I liked it! That goes for poetry, short or novel. My point was that the reviewer should at least read through the whole work once so that they can get the entire feel of the chapter/story/poem. It is only polite. (And I believe a very realistic expectation.)

Yes, most of the people here are young. Not to young to learn. Isn't that the point? How are they supposed to learn proper review etiquette if no one explains how to properly give a review?

I am realistic. I honestly & realistically expect that if I can read through someones entire post then give them an honest review then so can others. I have given honest reviews (here and other places) that are not all roses. (Mostly I am nice and only review the stuff that I find really good. There is only so much time in my day and I invest my time in what I find worth while.)

My point of starting this thread was not to start an argument. It was simply to ask what I should expect and to point out how ridiculous it is to me (aka= my honest opinion) that some people complain about short stories being too short and those same folks complain about novels (more specifically novel chapters) being too long.

Most people on YWS do not even mention length in their reviews and most people read the whole posted work. However, at the time I started this thread I was extremely new (a few days) to this site. I had seen quite a number of length complainers and a few "I did not finish it" folks in a row. I started wondering if it was the norm. I know now that it is not. That still does not change my honest opinion that I think people who say such things (without explaining why) are rude. No matter the age, rude is still rude.


I think I should point out that two separate topics are being talked about here.
#1 ~ Reviews about the length of posts.
#2 ~ Reviewers that only read half a post then don't say anything that will help the author improve. (This does not apply to those that actually put something useful after "I could not finish it because..." ) *For the record I have read both.*

Honestly & realistically yours,
~FW~
Last edited by freewritersavvy on Sat May 28, 2011 4:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Sat May 28, 2011 4:06 am
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freewritersavvy says...



One more thing.....

For the record I still honestlythink Rosy is a fantastic reviewer! (I enjoy reading your reviews. :) ) Still don't know why you were being defensive? A bad day perhaps? Everyone has those so no harm done. :)

I accept everyone's opinion :) (Honest or not)

*A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still* ~A quote I live by *
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Sun May 29, 2011 12:10 pm
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Rydia says...



I think that's a good post to end this on. *Locked*
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