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Discussing: Review Etiquette Query

Review Etiquette Query

I like to think my reviews are fair.

I like to think I am not a fanboy for X/Y/Z/etc.

I like to think that the comments I leave- be they criticism or praise- are what are asked for in the FAQ.

However, I am currently re-evaluating being a reviewer.


Being told "if you didn't like it, maybe you shouldn't have reviewed it" by an author who disagreed with my evaluation of their work.

(These are not the exact words used, I grant you, but more how I translated the feedback to my feedback.)

Perhaps I'm over-reacting.

But perhaps I'm not.

Any of you folks out there care to comment?



Re: Review Etiquette Query

Short answer - Authors are human and thus can say really dumb things. Your call on what you want to do about it.

Long answer - You've just rejected someone's work. Rejection hurts, even if it is accurate and delivered in an impersonal way. Not many people deal with rejection in a rational way (I know I don't) especially right when it happens. The temptation is to refuse to recognize anything legitimate in the criticism, to turn the critical evaluation back on the critic (You're stupid, you're biased, you only said this because you hate me, you shouldn't read what you know you won't like, it's YOUR fault that you don't like my work, etc.). Most authors, no matter how they feel, know to take a deep breath and resist that temptation. Some don't.

I every reason to believe that your review comments are acceptable, Aruthir, because I would be informed AT ONCE if there was something obnoxious in them. Whether I would agree with your judgments is a different question and frankly irrelevant. You are being solicited for your considered opinion on work X, not for my opinion or an opinion that meets with an author's approval. You alone cannot deliver a judgment about a story. It takes nine people to read, reflect and judge.

Turning the situation around, if you are not able to read responses from authors that strongly (and perhaps impolitely) reject your judgment on a story creating the same space for acceptance of rejection that every author is supposed to provide, then you should reflect on whether reviewing is something that suits your temperament and adds to your enjoyment of the site. It's an individual judgment - much like a review - and only you can say what your decision should be.

So, if you want to continue to review, please do. If you don't wish to continue reviewing, please don't. In either case, it's entirely up to you.




Re: Review Etiquette Query

Thanks for the feedback, Anglachel- both the long and short versions. I shall continue to review- I shall just cease to give reasons as to why I approved/rejected the piece.



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