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12 Days of Reviewing



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Fri Nov 30, 2018 8:21 pm
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ReviewBuddy says...



12 Days of Reviewing


This December, YWS has not one, but two Review Days! So amidst the fun and holly jolly, @ReviewBuddy and the Better Review Bureau would like to invite you to take part in The 12 Days of Reviewing. Every other day will feature both a Review Tip and a Review Challenge for you to consider from December 1 - 23.

And if you complete any of the challenges we're willing to give you 100 points for your effort! To claim your points, just post in this thread any time during December. Make sure challenges are completed after the challenge has been posted (we won't accept a review you wrote in September). Challenges will be posted every other day on this forum and on ReviewBuddy's wall. Also, everyone is welcome to participate, whether you're part of the BRB or not!

So grab your keyboard and find some Hot Cocoa! It'll be a great reviewing season! :santa:

Spoiler! :

If you have any questions about the challenges or comments on the Review Tips, you can post in this thread. Also if you are interested in joining the Better Review Bureau - please reach out to @alliyah, @LadyBird, @Kale, or @BiscuitsLeGuin - we'd love to have you join us!


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The first Reviewing Challenge & Tip will be posted tomorrow!
"We're reviewing everything to see how we can do it better, faster, and more efficiently."
-David Neeleman
  





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Sat Dec 01, 2018 6:29 pm
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ReviewBuddy says...



Welcome to the first day of the 12 Days of Reviewing! Here's your first set of Review Challenges and Tips - don't forget to comment below if you complete the challenge! And watch for our next challenge December 3rd.

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Review Challenge:
Two perspectives is always better than one right? Well most of the time! For today's challenge use a link for a Knowledge Base article in your Review. Don't forget to claim your points for the 12 Days of Reviewing Challenge!

Review Tip:
The Knowledge Base on YWS is filled with helpful Review Tips, but did you know it also has a lot of tips about writing in general? Rather than just offering your explanation for a concept like "Info Dumps" or "Rhyming" you can link to these resources to give the writer extra perspectives. When using the Resource Links though, always make sure the "what", "why", "how" are clear! You can mention what the Resource is about, why you're giving it to them, and how they might utilize it.

Resources from Knowledge Base:
Spoiler! :

Here are some of my favorite resources from the Knowledge Base - be sure to browse all the different entries though, since there's a lot of wisdom there.
* Show and Tell by @CastlesInTheSky
* Writing Rounded Characters by @eldEr
* Specificity in Poetry by @alliyah
* Secret Treasures of Poetic Devices by @Hannah
"We're reviewing everything to see how we can do it better, faster, and more efficiently."
-David Neeleman
  





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Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:52 pm
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ReviewBuddy says...



Here's day two of the 12 Days of Reviewing, the next tip will be up on December 5th! Be sure to post below if you are able to complete either of the challenges. Today's tip comes from a guest-opinion, @mellifera (an adept prose reviewer and also part of the resource crew - who was willing to help a Raccoon out. If you have a tip to be considered, please send a PM my way. Happy Reviewing!

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Review Challenge:
Sometimes on reviewing we get stuck into just reviewing pieces that we can find simple issues with, or get in a habit of only reviewing a particular type of work. This can be good in developing particular areas, but you can also grow by stepping outside your comfort zone! Today's challenge is to review something you normally wouldn't! If you generally review poetry, choose a short story or a piece of prose. If you generally review novel chapters, why not try lyrics or an essay? Choose something challenging, and then let us know you completed the challenge in the thread below!

Review Tip: No Piece is Perfect Tip by @mellifera
"This article in Knowledge Base is super helpful when you get intimidated by more experienced writers. But no piece is perfect, not even published works (now, having been reviewing here for two years, I start mentally critiquing books now while I read). There’s always something to comment on: characters, plot, pacing, level of interest, description, parts that were confusing to you, and so on. You can always find something in a piece and challenging yourself is good! And don’t be afraid to ramble about your thoughts on the piece, or maybe you have a prediction, say something! Maybe you point out something that was meant to be hidden until later, and maybe the writer wanted exactly that reaction- they won’t know unless you tell them. Even suggesting something you’d like to see is helpful (I honestly love hearing what people would rather see or rather not see in my writing)."
"We're reviewing everything to see how we can do it better, faster, and more efficiently."
-David Neeleman
  





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Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:22 pm
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alliyah says...



I completed Challenge 1 so far - the Knowledge Base Link challenge - with this Review - work/virgilross/Ivory-Woman-How-Your-Lips-Scarred-Me-142674#c661541 and I referenced Discovering Your Voice this article.
maybe i make up colors for poetic cadence, but i don't think i can ever love someone who doesn't understand that teal is a different color than dark cyan
  





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Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:13 am
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Vulcanite says...



Wappy lets review as much as we can. :D
Vulcanite Gliding over Amacratis!
Some will say that she seldomly fly's over the green room, and drops reviews were ever she lands!
Happy Writing Everyone! :wink:
  





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Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:42 pm
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ReviewBuddy says...



Thanks @EagleFly and @alliyah! Let's keep those reviews coming! We're on Day 3 now, so post if you complete any of the challenges to claim your points! Also you can use this thread to comment on any of the challenges so far.

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Review Challenge:
For today's Review Challenge, change up your review format, by utilizing a Review Template from one of the resources listed below! You might find a new way of Reviewing, or learn things about why your own style is effective or ineffective.

Review Tip:
Changing up your reviewing style can be an excellent way to practice covering materials in new ways. While the format of the review is always secondary to the content, it does ultimately make a difference! When coming up with a review template for normal use - some things to keep in mind are: 1) Positivity - ending on a "happy" compliment note, will feel good for the writer. 2) Organization - think about if you were trying to edit the work referencing your own review - are the quotes and suggestions hidden, or easy to find? 3) Space - even if you have the biggest critique about subject A, but spend 7 paragraphs on subject B, it might communicate to writers that subject B is the most serious issue - consider your language and space you take in a review.

Review Template Resources:
Spoiler! :

* @Tenyo's Review Template Collection
* Better Review Bureau's Review Template File

And adding quote markers, colors, and italics to your review is a fun way to help keep you organized - here's the Book of YWS Codes to help you out with those.
"We're reviewing everything to see how we can do it better, faster, and more efficiently."
-David Neeleman
  





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Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:48 am
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rosette says...



I completed Challenge 3 with this review: https://www.youngwriterssociety.com/work/AriannaC/A-Message-From-God-142735?c=661701#c661701 !
On earth I long to be like Him
  





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Fri Dec 07, 2018 6:26 pm
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ReviewBuddy says...



Thanks for participating @rosette! Sending your points now! :) Here's Day 4 everyone - and the next post will be December 9th of course.

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Review Challenge:
Since today's tip is poetry related - here's your review challenge for the day. Write a poetry review where you use three different poetic devices to structure your review topics. For example, you could have one section be about metaphors, one about imagery, and one about rhyming or word-choice.

Review Tip: from alliyah
When reviewing poetry, the first thing you'll notice is probably the formatting. The stanza and line breaks, the capitalization, the way the words are aligned on the page. As a general poetry reviewing tip, don't forget that there isn't one way to format poetry. Rather than saying that the formatting is "right" or "wrong" try to comment on what the effect of the formatting decision left you with. For instance, the lack of capitalization, made me feel like the speaker was informal or self-conscious. Or the right-aligned text, made me feel like the speaker was troubled.

Poetic Technique Resources:
"We're reviewing everything to see how we can do it better, faster, and more efficiently."
-David Neeleman
  





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Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:36 pm
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alliyah says...



Completed challenge 4! :) work/HannaLynn/Remembrance-of-the-Lost-142850?c=661811#c661811
maybe i make up colors for poetic cadence, but i don't think i can ever love someone who doesn't understand that teal is a different color than dark cyan
  





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Sun Dec 09, 2018 1:37 am
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EditorAndPerks says...



We can complete challenges out of order, right? I hope? XD

Anyway, I completed the third challenge (review format) with this review:
work/kostia/Better-than-nicotine-142406#c661824

---

Well, I'm reviewing again for some reason XD.

I finished Challenge 1 with this review work/Archangel/Joker-Missed--Finally--Chapter-8-139896?c=661839#c661839 by putting the article: Antagonists and Villains.
"You know that I can't / Show you me / Give you me"
- The Truth Untold (BTS)
"Please give me a remedy / a melody"
- Jamais Vu (BTS)
"The lights illuminating your eyes / They're the me from now"
- Inner Child (BTS)
  





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Sun Dec 09, 2018 7:41 pm
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ReviewBuddy says...



Nice work @alliyah & @concord! And yes, of course you can tackle challenges in any order you'd like - as long as the qualifying review is written after the challenge was posted.

Here's day 5!


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Review Challenge:
For today's challenge you don't need to write a review, instead you must recieve a review! There's a good saying that applies to multiple subjects, "to write good poetry, you must read good poetry" or "to write good music, you must listen to good music" - in theory the same applies to reviewing! So today, go over to the Will Review For Food Thread and step right up and ask for a review (make sure to read the rules on the thread first). This isn't so that you can start copying someone else's style of reviewing, but is simply to give you more ideas from hopefully a great reviewer on what a review can include!

Review Tip:
Here's some general tips about using the Will Review For Food thread:
* Make sure the thread you're asking for a review from is active (have they written a review in the last month, are there 5 other requests they still haven't responded to?)
* Read the introductory post in the person's thread so that you know what works they are willing to review
* Consider reading reviews by the person you're requesting a review from so that you know what to expect
* Make sure to mention if you'd like a specific type of feedback, most reviewers are willing to be flexible in their style to get a review that will be the most helpful for the writer
* Follow-up after the review is written, and thank the reviewer!

Resources on Will Review For Food
Spoiler! :

If you haven't heard of Will Review For Food, the basic premise is that you ask other Reviewers on their thread if they'd be willing to review your work.
* WRFF Rules, Guides, and FAQs
* If you're uncomfortable asking someone specifically, you can also use the General Request Repository
"We're reviewing everything to see how we can do it better, faster, and more efficiently."
-David Neeleman
  





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Tue Dec 11, 2018 4:02 pm
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ReviewBuddy says...



And we've made it half way through the 12 Days of Reviewing as today is Day 6! :santa: Today's tip was contributed by one the General Lit moderators, a wonderful prose-reviewer, @concord!

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Review Challenge:
Today's challenge is pretty straight-forward. Review a "Middle Chapter" from the Green Room, using the review tip below!

Some Middle Chapters from the Green Room:
Spoiler! :


Review Tip: Reviewing Middle Chapters, Tip by @concord
"Middle-chapters can seem scary. I myself get a little nervous trying to type out a review, especially if I haven't read any or very little of the previous chapters. A good way to start off any prose review though is to pick a few topics you want to discuss. For example, choosing to discuss how you felt about the main characters and whether they made sense or seemed well-rounded is a fine way to help the writer, as this gets them thinking about whether or not that character seems well-defined. In addition, I would recommend to lay off grammar notes unless they're very distracting, as I think questions about flow and plot itself are more helpful to a writer, especially in the middle of their novel. One last thing would be to go over someone's plot, and if it seems well-defined or your overall thoughts about it."

Resources For Reviewing Middle Chapters:
Spoiler! :

Some nice Knowledge Base articles include Antagonists and Villains for talking about characters, and
Strengths and Weaknesses for talking about what someone does great in their chapter!
"We're reviewing everything to see how we can do it better, faster, and more efficiently."
-David Neeleman
  





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Tue Dec 11, 2018 6:39 pm
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FireSpyGirl says...



I did a short review on The Hero's brother, 8.2.
"Those moments when your in so deep, it feels easier to just swim down"

"I'm erasing myself from the narrative. Let future historians wonder how Eliza reacted when you broke her heart
  





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Thu Dec 13, 2018 6:42 pm
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ReviewBuddy says...



Thanks for completing the challenge @FireSpyGirl! :) Today we have some really important tips, that I am very excited about. Day 7 is all about kindness and gratitude in reviewing. What a perfect topic for the holiday season! Today's tip is written by Poetry Crew member and frequent poetry-reviewer @alliyah and be sure to check out the KB resources under the spoiler as well for some other good resources.

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Review Challenge:
Reviewing not only improves the writing of both the author and reviewer, it can also facilitate friendships and ongoing conversations of feedback! For today's challenge, rather than write a review, all you need to do is practice gratitude! That's right! Look at the reviews you've recently received, and pick one that was particularly helpful and highlight it in the Review Testimonial Thread . What a great way to share some holly jolly joy!

Review Tip: Reviewing with Kindness by alliyah
For reviewers who have a genuine interest in helping the author, reviewing with kindness isn't just something that's polite to do, but is essential to getting your point across. When a point is made with sarcasm, arrogance, or putting down the writer, then the author (who likely put a lot of effort into their work) is going to be put on the defensive. When someone is feeling attacked, they are not likely to listen the advice you have to say. When you're unkind it can appear that you are really attacking the author, rather than critiquing the work and that's not good way to get your point across, no matter how "right" you are.
So how does one be "kind" in a review? It doesn't mean that you don't give criticism! But tone and context is everything. Try to always tie the criticism back to the work itself - like "I found the speaker annoying because x, y, z" or "I felt the pacing was off" rather than putting the criticism on the author ie. "you're annoying when you complain about x, y, z" or "you write too quickly". There's a subtle difference there that is really important.

Other Quick Kindness Tips:
Spoiler! :

* Do Include a Greeting in your review - a good way to establish a positive tone
* Do Include some Positive Comments - if your critique is so harsh, that the author decides to stop writing altogether, then you have not accomplished the goal of reviewing.
* Do be Genuine - giving false compliments isn't kindness, and generally are not helpful.
* Don't Assume the Author's Language Proficiency, Intelligence, Age or Disabilities based on their work - it may be appropriate to ask, but do not assume any of these.
* If you're Review is just Debating the Points rather than Evaluating the literary merit, mark it as a comment, because it is not a review.
* If you're in a Bad or Angry Mood - Review Later! Don't take your anger out on the author.
* And very importantly - Keep an Open Mind! Literature is ultimately very much up to interpretation, you are welcome to give your thoughts, but remember you likely aren't an expert, nor do you create the rules for poetry or prose - take a stance, note your opinion, but keep an open mind.


Knowledge Base Kindness Resources:
Spoiler! :

* How to Respond to Critiques by @Elinor is a fantastic article to read, that can help you facilitate good reviewer/writer relationships. And also has some advice relevant for when you receive a review that isn't very kind.
* Tough Love or Just Being Mean by @LadySpark is a nice article to read if you're not sure where the line is drawn between honesty and cruelty. A good reminder for reviewers and authors alike!
* Reviewing: The Gentle Way finally, this article by @Tenyo is an invaluable resource for reviewing kindly, it also has good tips for people who might be hesitant about writing critiques because they don't want to seem overly critical. Use these tips, to find how to review the "gentle way" while still having substance in your review.
"We're reviewing everything to see how we can do it better, faster, and more efficiently."
-David Neeleman
  





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Sat Dec 15, 2018 5:12 pm
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ReviewBuddy says...



Happy Holiday Gift Weekend YWS! A review is a great gift to give and to recieve, why not check out today's challenge and tip! Our Day 8 tip was written by @mellifera.

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Review Challenge:
Grammar and spelling are occasionally really important to bring up in a review, but they're not the entire piece. Like the saying goes, "you can't see the forest for the trees". So today's challenge is to try writing a review without a single comment on grammar and spelling! Try to make it a couple paragraphs if you're able, and don't forget to make a post on the main page if you complete this or any of the challenges to claim your points.

Review Tip: tip by Mellifera
Unless the writer is specifically requesting it/polishing off a piece of work, or there is a consistent issue, please don’t comment on every grammar mistake. For the most part (however, not all), there’s a lot of first drafts on YWS looking for help. But grammar or technical structuring advice isn’t helpful, because most likely, as a first draft, it’s going to be rewritten. As someone who posts novels (and shorts, but I’ve had less issue there), I’ve gotten so many amazing reviews and most of them don’t help me one bit because they’re filled with technical editing stuff and I’m rewriting everything. As a reviewer, I’ve gotten more positive reception on my reviews since I relied less on these technical things and focused on plot/character/thoughts/etc. Don’t use grammar/structuring/spelling errors/etc as a crutch, because it’s hard to break that habit and it’s not very helpful overall (unless, like I said, the writer is looking to do line edits/polish things off). However! If you notice a consistent problem, I would absolutely mention it (I had no idea how painfully reliant I was on commas until several people brought it up to me on here- now I know and can apply this to my writing).
"We're reviewing everything to see how we can do it better, faster, and more efficiently."
-David Neeleman
  








It had a perfectly round door like a porthole, painted green, with a shiny yellow brass knob in the exact middle. The door opened on to a tube-shaped hall like a tunnel: a very comfortable tunnel without smoke, with panelled walls, and floors tiled and carpeted, provided with polished chairs, and lots and lots of pegs for hats and coats—the hobbit was fond of visitors. The tunnel wound on and on, going fairly but not quite straight into the side of the hill —The Hill, as all the people for many miles round called it—and many little round doors opened out of it, first on one side and then on another.
— JRR Tolkien