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Young Writers Society
How To Get More Reviews
Fri Jan 10, 2014 1:35 am
Note! These aren't guidelines to make your work better or more popular- that all depends on how well you write and how much you put your heart into it. Mostly this is to increase awareness, make it easier to read and to encourage feedback.
Being part of and engaging in the community is going to be your most valuable tool.
It's courtesy on YWS to review someone when they review your work, so if you follow this format and others do to then simply by reviewing someone else you're likely to get more.
The Will Review For Food forum is a place where people offer reviews. You can check out different threads to see which one suits your work. Some people review particular genres, or give speciality reviews like grammar or plot doctoring. Don't forget to check if the person asks for a return favour.
Alternately, you can start up your own thread and offer reviews in return for reviews on your own work.
Find a writing partner who you can exchange chapter-by-chapter reviews with- that way you get to work with someone who knows your style of writing, and where you are strongest and weakest.
. If there's something in particular that you're struggling with you could ask for specific advise instead of getting a review. Taking the time to help others will also encourage return favours.
. People who enjoy your style of writing are likely to check out your portfolio.
Interesting titles will catch peoples eyes more than the basic ones, but that's not all there is to it.
Make sure your work actually has one. There's no excuse for it.
Avoid annotations in the title.
Albeit (don't have a better title)
Desperate (pleaze review!!)
won't attract too many viewers.
Keep chapter titles neat and tidy.
will get you more reads than
Asto Ri -((((Chapter Three + Four)))),
Take advantage of the option to include a work description.
The length you choose to write your chapters and stories is completely up to you, however there are some things might help when posting them on the forums.
The ideal length for a piece of fiction (posted on the forum) is between 500 – 2000 words, depending on the content. If it's dialogue heavy then make it more like 800-1500.
Less than 500 and you're likely to be read (or skimmed) but there isn't really enough text to review. Shorter pieces are also harder to really get into and enjoy.
Upwards of 2000 and it's getting hard to focus, since your reader is going to see one piece as one scene or chapter of a book. Many people are put off by large chunks of text, and reviewers will find it a much heftier task.
Poetry however is different, there is much greater stylistic preference influencing the length.
Seven lines or less is going to be hard to review because, like with fiction, it's simply not enough to really sink your teeth into.
The upper limit is very lax, and depending on how concentrated or dialuted your poem is, you could probably get away with fifty lines.
Stanzas are important, and having more than ten lines in a single stanza will loose your readers attention.
Presentation and format
You may be tempted to play with the formatting to make your work stand out, but we use plain text because it works.
Keep everything neatly aligned to the left. When reading it gives a static point for the eyes to return to at the end of a line and so overall is easier to read.
Break up your paragraphs. Huge blocks of text are painful to read. It's harder for the eyes to keep track of the words and harder for the mind to keep hold of all the pieces of information at once.
Links and Information
When I review someone's work I always appreciate those who go through the effort of adding links and summaries. It makes things easier for me, and also tells me that this person cares that I'm reading it.
If you're writing novel chapters it helps to add in a link to the first and previous chapter at the beginning of your work.
You can also include a quick summary of the relevant characters and plot so far and put it in a spoiler, like so;
Abi: Main character who has just far discovered her father was a vampire.
Ben: Abi's gay best friend who has a crush on her brother.
Carl: Her missing father.
Last chapter Ben borrowed Abi's car for an emergency (late for a concert) and ended up nearly hitting someone in the road and crashing it. Ben doesn't know, but that person in the road was Carl.
If you're writing a poem or short story that's part of a series, you can add a 'You might also like' option at the bottom of your post.
There are various ways to advertise your novel on YWS. It's not good practice to spam people with links to your work, but a few subtle hints never did any harm.
Post a link on your wall- people who like your work will follow you, so by posting a link and a tagline you're letting them know that you've done more work.
Add a link to your work in your signature- that way if someone decides to repay a review they know exactly which project you're working on.
Hope this helps!
The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book.
— Samuel Johnson
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