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Of reviews and knowledge Part 1

This article is subjective based on my own experience and thinking. It's fine if you think differently.

Reviews. Something every person who writes has wanted at some point in his or her career. Reviews to see if the piece of text they have written is good enough, to see if they can earn the public and, who knows, maybe get famous, well known, and have success.

But there is something that people seem to forget when asking for a review. And I say this also to the myself-of-the-past. Reviews are subjective. Yes, just like this text that you are reading right now.

But, can you ask for an objective review? Most likely no. Because the commentary that is let in a review is how that person perceives the piece of text. And that text can be good for someone and bad for others. And there are countless examples I could name but I promise I'll stick to a few.

Certainly, if you ask for a review about a text that tells a science fiction story to a person who dislikes science fiction, he's most likely to say that it's bad. If you ask for a review from a person who only likes fast pacing writing and your text looks like the Illiad, he will certainly say that it's bad. If you ask for a review from a person who can't stand theatre and your text looks like Shakespeare, it's going to say that it's bad. Even if there are certain individuals who can see the quality in a text of a genre or style that they don't particularly like, this is not very useful at all.

Let's talk about grammar and orthography. Maybe you can think that this topic is certainly objective because it cannot be subjective the fact or “writing badly”. It cannot be acceptable. Well, in this I might agree, but there are some exceptions. Until very recently, I thought that writing adjectives after nouns in English were incorrect until I read La Morte d'Artur, where I read many times about the Table Round. Is this wrong? If it is, then the whole book is bad writing. But it's not. It's poetry.

So well, yes, it's objective if you read a text and it's so poorly written that you can't even understand, but not because of things like the previous example, but because of incorrect use of words or bad formatting. But I think any person who writes seriously would take care of these things because it's very basic.

So the final question is, why should you ask for a review, and if you do, what should be the questions you ask about it? That's actually very hard to answer. In my opinion, I came to the conclusion that most reviews are useless. And I don't mean just beta-reader reviews, but also reviews left on websites. But at the same time, this might be because people don't ask the correct questions and also people don't answer the correct questions, or answer correctly. For example, why should someone who dislikes slow-paced fantasy say that a slow-paced fantasy book is bad because whatever? For a review to be useful, it must be directed to the people who enjoy that kind of story. Don't take seriously the review of your love story that comes from a person who doesn't like reading love stories. The stories should make people feel, but that doesn't mean that they must make all people feel. You might feel crime books, and others might feel horror. It's a matter of preferences. It's subjective. Just like reviews.

If you want to do a review, always think about the kind of people who can enjoy these stories. The most useful reviews I've read are when they say “if you are looking for a fantasy story, this is very good” or “if you are looking for a faithful adaptation, this is very bad”. Because yes, reviews are not only about books. Also films, paintings, sculptures... art. Think about the people who can enjoy that particular piece of art, and that's how to make a great review.

And what to ask people to get reviews? Well, that will be content for the second part of this post coming soon.

Article by: Anamura.

Nov. 11, 2022, 4:58 p.m. 1 Report Embed 4

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Arthur Lake Arthur Lake
I really appreciated this I'm not a writer, I'm a reader of much and many. So informative. 👍
May 30, 2023, 04:07