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Battle Tactics: Reviewing the Unreviewable



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Tue Dec 17, 2013 8:58 pm
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Tenyo says...



To The Knights, Civilians and Vigilantes of the Forums.



Some battles are harder fought
than others. Some trials taller
than any you've faced before.
You'll need a variety of tactics
and a sturdy steed to conquer the most
foreign territories- and discipline and humility-
to earn the respect of those
who will become your most treasured allies.
We were born to be amazing.





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Reviews: 515
Thu Dec 19, 2013 5:23 pm
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Tenyo says...



Index:

:arrow: General Wisdoms
:arrow: Short poems
:arrow: Emotional Cliche's
:arrow: Chapter 679
:arrow: Good, but dull...

If you have any additions or requests, feel free to PM me and I'll add it in!
Currently Awaiting: Children's Fiction
We were born to be amazing.





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Reviews: 515
Thu Dec 19, 2013 5:29 pm
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Tenyo says...



General Wisdoms

:smt003 Remember to check the Yes/No box to make sure it counts as a review.

:smt003 Add, don't subtract. It's better to say 'try using a word beginning with A' rather than 'don't use a word beginning with B.' The latter closes doors without opening others, and if you slam too many doors on someone's face, they're going to stop knocking.

:smt003 People make typos. If someone puts a quotation mark in the wrong place, that doesn't mean you need to waste time typing out an essay on quotation marks- just note it down. It's only if that person repeatedly makes the same mistake that you can safely assume there's something they don't quite understand.

:smt003 Learn from it. By taking the time and effort to read someone else's work and find a solution that suits them, you're going to increase your own diversity of understanding, which is key when finding perspective on your own writing and coming up with your own solutions.

:smt003 You don't have to like it to appreciate it. In fact, that's an important part of being a writer. There is no perfect way to write a sentence or structure a chapter. Diversity is important and by learning to appreciate the way other people do things you're increasing your repertoire of ideas and techniques you can use in your own work. You're learning variety and discipline, and you need both to be a great author.

:smt003 Be humble. Please be humble. Having the knowledge of all the things they're doing wrong doesn't make you always right. You don't have the key to unlock their inner talent. Your certainties won't make them certain of anything- in fact often they'll make you look stupid. In many cases there is no right and wrong, your aim is to advise and to encourage to the best of your ability.

:smt003 People matter more than points. Ultimately it's a person on the other side of that screen. Sometimes a person will write a really enjoyable piece of work and there's nothing wrong in showering them with praises. Being overly critical just to get the max amount of points isn't fair. It's not just words you're tearing apart, it's their self confidence, and no matter how great your ability to review it should never outweigh their desire to write.

:smt003 Don't forget your sandwiches!
We were born to be amazing.





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Reviews: 515
Thu Dec 19, 2013 5:30 pm
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Tenyo says...



Short Poems


Short poems are hard to review because there isn't much there. The thing to remember is that every word counts. Allow yourself to over analyse the use of every word in the poem.

:smt003 Encourage the writer to use different kinds of punctuation and sentence structure to eliminate them. When you've only got thirty words in a poem, you'll want to use as few 'and's, 'the's and other little ones that will dilute the text, and in poetry it needs to be as concentrated as possible.

:smt003 Short poems are hard to write, so always remember to show appreciation for the hard work and effort.
We were born to be amazing.





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Thu Dec 19, 2013 5:30 pm
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Tenyo says...



Emotional cliche's


Conveying emotion isn't simply a matter of describing it, and when you've been ploughing through page after page of 'my heart is broken like a vase because someone so carelessly knocked it over', the words all blur into one and it gets a bit depressing.

:smt003 What makes these poems interesting is when it gets personal, so encourage the writer to include some more personal (to them or to their narrator) images, like 'my heart broke like grandma's vase- the old, carefully polished surface lay in splinters across the dusty, terracotta floor.'

:smt003 Recommend some brainstorming to ease them away from the ready-to-reach cliche's and into more unfamiliar domains that will make their writing more unique.

:smt003 Opening up is hard, and posting the fruit of your pain up for criticism is harder, so a little admiration for their courage in whatever has happened can go a long way.
We were born to be amazing.





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515 Reviews



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Points: 25682
Reviews: 515
Thu Dec 19, 2013 5:30 pm
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Tenyo says...



Chapter 679


It's so hard to jump into a novel straight in the middle and make sense of it- and if you can't make sense of it then how do you review it?

:smt003 For me, the best characters never get overly familiar. In each chapter there is something new to learn about the characters, or some old familiar trait that makes me smile in its new context. You may be jumping in at chapter 54, and remember that some character development may have already gone on, but you can still encourage the writer to keep the characters vivid and three dimensional.

:smt003 You're never too far into the novel to get the basic techniques of grammar and punctuation right. Sometimes if it's a longer novel I'll go back and skim over previous chapters just to see if there have been any stylistic changes in the persons writing, or any prominent things that need work on, then I'll explain them as best I can.

:smt003 Don't forget to praise them for sticking with their project!
We were born to be amazing.





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Thu Dec 19, 2013 5:31 pm
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Tenyo says...



Good, but Dull...

Sometimes things have good grammar and a wide vocabulary and all that jazz, but there's just something about them that makes them dull and uninspiring. In these cases it can be hard to offer advice.


:smt003 Some people are scared of controversial or undersirable topics, and so in their attempt to please everyone they leave out the strong flavours that some might not like and end up with a beautifully baked, dairy free gluten free nut free spice free sugar free fat free cake that tastes like cardboard. Recommend that they throw something they're passionate about into their work, or challenge them to have one of their characters justify something immoral.

:smt003 In other cases the work has been sliced and diced and chopped so much that all the good stuff has been taken out in a desperate attempt to make it perfect. Encourage the writer to write as fast as they can until they're not thinking any more, and not to worry about what the raw, uninhibited version of their story looks like.
We were born to be amazing.








I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart; I am, I am, I am.
— Sylvia Plath