Nikki Guerlain's picture
Nikki Guerlain from Portlandia is reading Necronomicon Book Three April 3, 2012 - 3:10pm

cowboy up.

Matt Attack's picture
Matt Attack from Richmond, Va. is reading As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner April 3, 2012 - 3:20pm

I was thinking like this.....

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz April 3, 2012 - 4:04pm

@Hopkins, all art is subjective, but certain themes do have universal appeal. Plus, I am not sure how, but this thread lost it's way somewhere...

 

Doggy style.

 

Nick Wilczynski's picture
Nick Wilczynski from Greensboro, NC is reading A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin April 3, 2012 - 4:14pm

I don't grade or vote on style. When I do LBLs for a piece that I have a lot of stylistic disagreements with I try to note that whenever I comment on something that might be style.

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz April 3, 2012 - 4:23pm

I know what you mean @ Nick, and I don't 'grade' on style either--but it pretty much determines the success or failure of a piece for me--or a pieces impact. And impact is everything in art.

And I am not talking about taste or preference here.

Not about like or dislike.

To me style transcends that. Style, in writing or any other form of self-expression should provide a glimpse into the artists soul. It is something that is felt, but cannot be grasped. It is there, right in front of us, but it cannot be seen or heard.

It is both intangible and palpable. A sensation?

I shouldn't have smoked that joint. 

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. April 3, 2012 - 4:28pm

Nikki: i wasn't butthurt i just misjudged the openness of this forum to the kind of fic i like to write

You haven't submitted anything, have you?  What makes you think this forum isn't open to your fiction?  

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz April 3, 2012 - 4:31pm

Oh, it is open. Butthurt open. Open with spread-wide cheeks open. Flaps flared open. Pink and sluicy.

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz April 3, 2012 - 4:38pm

I love quadruple posting.

I also love it when I smell brackish passion.

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like April 3, 2012 - 4:39pm

@CP - The coolness of that giant balloon animal assuages the confusion caused by its existence.

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz April 3, 2012 - 4:44pm

@Hoppy: I know! I love those fuckers. You know, he actually sold the first one for less than it cost him to produce it, which at the time was like $1 million, I think. I might be wrong about that. But for sure he sold it for less than production cost. I think that is cool.

Nikki Guerlain's picture
Nikki Guerlain from Portlandia is reading Necronomicon Book Three April 3, 2012 - 4:48pm

howie- other than my WAR piece i haven't submitted anything.

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like April 3, 2012 - 4:48pm

less than it cost him to produce it, which at the time was like $1 million

Goddam, what's it made of?  Is the fabrication itself the bulk of the cost?

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like April 3, 2012 - 4:53pm

Also @Matt -- I didn't mean to contribute to the derailing, just wanted to throw a little gravel on the rabbit trail

Nick Wilczynski's picture
Nick Wilczynski from Greensboro, NC is reading A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin April 3, 2012 - 4:56pm

Is that anything like throwing rocks at trains?

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like April 3, 2012 - 5:03pm

^Ha!  Might be if you're the one trying to keep order.  I meant it more like "turning a momentary divergence into something slightly more permanent."  But it should be its own discussion, I guess.  Then again, these threads always spin out at some point, it seems.  It's not always me.

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz April 3, 2012 - 5:03pm

Oh, they all get derailed sooner or later.

But I will keep it short. The dogs are made of stainless steel and then polished to a mirror finish. I think the polishing part alone is really expensive.

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like April 3, 2012 - 5:05pm

Just... one... more...

what's the artist's name? then I can just go read about it

Nikki Guerlain's picture
Nikki Guerlain from Portlandia is reading Necronomicon Book Three April 3, 2012 - 5:07pm

jeff koonz i think.

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like April 3, 2012 - 5:11pm

Koons, thanks!

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters April 3, 2012 - 5:26pm

I have had a few hours to think over this.

I guess the point I want to make, is that there is only one person who should decide if a review is good or bad, and that is the author who is reviewed (or obviously the site admins, but let's leave them out of it, right?).  I don't like calling out "new people".  The site is six fucking months old.  We're all new people, except Jacks, because he got that tattoo, so that sort of added some years to his account. 

Generally, I'd like to see less bitching about what other people are doing or how they are doing it.  Or if you must bitch - do it privately so the whole world doesn't have to be subjected to it.  This is not an elite club with a finite number of people allowed.  We want people to participate, and complaining about "new" reviewers is going to make people hesitant to join in. 

Okay, now, can we please go back to talking about sex?  I've had a long day.

Boone Spaulding's picture
Boone Spaulding from Coldwater, Michigan, U.S.A. is reading Solarcide Presents: Nova Parade April 3, 2012 - 5:34pm

Can style be workshopped?

Concept: reviewers can lead author to similar styles, or inform authors of similar styles, or refer to a style like some other author/author's work.

Structure: lots of great peer-review advice there - readers, the objective audience. Here is where most clunkiness is revealed...

Characters: reviewers can point out thin spots or under-developed characters (which should improve, not detract/distract from the story).

Dialogue: peer-review reveals shallow/clumsy/heavy-handed/insincere dialogue.

I find, from reading reviews of all submissions (because I've only workshopped one and only posted one to PandaMask's Rough House) that I get best insights from the Structure and the Dialogue comments. I think a Style section would be helpful, actually...as far as the peer-reviewers' comments about how it improved or detracted/distracted from the reading.

[I'm sorry there was so little sex in this post - I have a headache...]

Liana's picture
Liana from Romania and Texas is reading Naked Lunch April 3, 2012 - 5:34pm

Nikki, I did realize after I wrote those things that it was kinda bitchy and mean, but I didn't get a chance to come back and say it differently because I was gone the rest of the day.

I wasn't criticizing your writing at all. Really. It was just that I was taken aback by what you said, or at least this is what I heard: people who take writing too seriously and aren't writing or reading just for fun are dinosaurs. Of course that's reductive. I was in no way suggesting that you should leave Litreactor?? I'm not even such a regular here, who am I and what say do I have except as much as you do?

This site is made of many people with many different tastes. Some people do like "heavier" lit, but there's room for them and there's room for any other kind. Don't take me as the voice of anyone else but me.

Plus, I've been irritable these last few days and I found myself yelling at a bunch of people, so you happened to come in the line of fire.

I'm not usually a bitch. Maybe I need some good sex.

 

Jimothy Scott's picture
Jimothy Scott from Canada is reading The Anatomy of Story by John Truby April 3, 2012 - 5:38pm

@ Avery and Laina
I'm currently single and sporting one ;)

PandaMask's picture
PandaMask from Los Angeles is reading More Than Human April 3, 2012 - 5:40pm

Ah snap.

Bekanator's picture
Bekanator from Kamloops, British Columbia is reading Ugly Girls by Lindsay Hunter April 3, 2012 - 6:01pm

I haven't been on the workshop in a while.  Are the reviews really as bad as some of you are making them out to be?

Like Avery said, new users need to learn, and usually when I get a "I thought it was great but maybe you could elaborate on ______" kind of critique, I usually shoot a reply asking them further questions about the story.  It's sparks them to think a bit deeper after they're done reading.  Real feedback isn't just about telling the writer what to do better, it's about engaging in the details of the story, especially the characters. 

Everybody has their own review style in addition to writing style.  Howie digs into the technical details of the writing and literal meanings.  Chester gouges your story apart and suggests alternatives to make it really pop.  Bill spends his time and dissects characters.  That's the whole point of the workshop.  The feedback works as a collective.

Usually if I review a story written in a style that doesn't necessarily appeal to me, I still try to give feedback based on elements that may have appealed to me.  (If there were none, then I clearly am not the right person offer suggestion.)  I realize that in a place like this you gotta have your face burned off a few times, but my personal rule (like Danny) is to have at least one good thing to say.

Nikki Guerlain's picture
Nikki Guerlain from Portlandia is reading Necronomicon Book Three April 3, 2012 - 6:01pm

oh Liana. it's all coo. i take nothing personally. but when there is friction it is the perfect opportunity to address things. in groups of people, many times there's contempt that builds up because nobody wants to talk about the elephant that's in the room. i like to bring those things to head because if i like a place i want to keep liking the place and see it grow not fizzle out because nobody's talking about things/avoiding conflict. that said, i'm not a conflict hound but do call it as i see it and very much appreciate when people do the same. even as you did. there's nothing wrong with standing up or stepping down it's all part of the process of being direct and forthcoming.

that said, i believe a writer can grow much faster if people are brutally honest to the writer about their work. it pisses you off yes but then you really look at what you did and whether you can back it up. now some may argue that this may discourage a writer early in his infancy but honestly if and when this happens, you are doing that person a favor because it takes an incredible amount of tenacity to persevere as a writer and if you can't bullhead your way through brutal honesty because it's discouraging to you probably don't have what it takes to be a good or even decent writer. but maybe that person would be great at ceramics. or maybe something else.

back to style, you can critique style- most definitely and give the writer heads up when they are being heavy-handed, too purpley etc ... if it's all about communicating images to build a story in a reader's head then anything that gets in the way (even style) is detrimental to the story.

so yeah. i think i'm going to make some pork chops ...

PandaMask's picture
PandaMask from Los Angeles is reading More Than Human April 3, 2012 - 6:09pm

Each time I see Portlandia next to your name. I think Pandlandia?

Stacy Kear's picture
Stacy Kear from Bucyrus, Ohio lives in New Jersey is reading The Art of War April 3, 2012 - 6:09pm

As a new person I will tell you I would rather someone rip the shit out of my piece of work than review. I am very aware of my limitations as a reviewer but the site is set up so that you must review to put up work. I have read article's on critiquing and have read many quitiques and LBL's. I have reviewed as little as possible on here because it's intimidating. I don't want to be wrong and look like an ass. So I have read a lot of work on this site and never reviewed it for the very reason that was mentioned I don't want to be ostracized, called out or killed.

PandaMask's picture
PandaMask from Los Angeles is reading More Than Human April 3, 2012 - 6:15pm

You wouldn't be. You put forth the effort. I've seen your reviews.

Bekanator's picture
Bekanator from Kamloops, British Columbia is reading Ugly Girls by Lindsay Hunter April 3, 2012 - 6:15pm

@Stacy: You'll be perfectly fine as long as you read the story and have an opinion about it.  Be a dick but don't be an editor.

Nikki Guerlain's picture
Nikki Guerlain from Portlandia is reading Necronomicon Book Three April 3, 2012 - 6:15pm

That's pretty funny panda! Go for it Stacy! What's someone gonna do to you? Nothing!!! Just be honest. :-)

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters April 3, 2012 - 6:15pm

"I have reviewed as little as possible on here because it's intimidating. I don't want to be wrong and look like an ass. So I have read a lot of work on this site and never reviewed it for the very reason that was mentioned I don't want to be ostracized, called out or killed."

See, and this is what I would like to avoid.  I think I reviewed something my first day here, because I have zero internet fear, but I'm the exception, not the rule.  I don't want people thinking they aren't good enough for whatever reason.

Stacy - feel free to review whatever you want.  And if you still feel weird, you can review whatever you want of mine.  I promise not to kill you. 

I want my reviews to be BRUTAL - and if no one wants to review, then how am I gonna get my masochistic urges out? 

Nikki Guerlain's picture
Nikki Guerlain from Portlandia is reading Necronomicon Book Three April 3, 2012 - 6:17pm

I like you more and more each day Avery. And not just bec you are sexy and of jumblies! :/)

Nikki Guerlain's picture
Nikki Guerlain from Portlandia is reading Necronomicon Book Three April 3, 2012 - 6:22pm

Beka what do you mean don't be an editor? I'm just curious because if a persons goals are to get their work good enough to get in front of an editor then having that mindset should be a good thing. I'm sure we are prob on the same page but I'm confused by your comment.

Bekanator's picture
Bekanator from Kamloops, British Columbia is reading Ugly Girls by Lindsay Hunter April 3, 2012 - 6:23pm

I want my reviews to be BRUTAL - and if no one wants to review, then how am I gonna get my masochistic urges out?

Uh, Craigslist.

Bekanator's picture
Bekanator from Kamloops, British Columbia is reading Ugly Girls by Lindsay Hunter April 3, 2012 - 6:30pm

@Nikki - Editors don't offer feedback.  They read a story and make a decision.  There were a few guys over at The Cult that were all high and mighty about their reviews.  This one time I had a guy tell me, 'Your theme is cliche and overdone.  Write about something that isn't cliche and overdone.'  That's something an editor would say. He didn't offer any suggestions on how to inprove the story I was workshopping, and that's the whole point of a workshop.

Stacy Kear's picture
Stacy Kear from Bucyrus, Ohio lives in New Jersey is reading The Art of War April 3, 2012 - 6:30pm

As for commenting on style it can be helpful. If someone says your story is reading like a teenage soap opera and that is not your intent. Not only not your intent but horrifying to hear, that's good to know so you can try and fix it. (thank you Howie)

Nikki Guerlain's picture
Nikki Guerlain from Portlandia is reading Necronomicon Book Three April 3, 2012 - 6:36pm

Beka I see what you mean now. I don't think that putting only that is good. But I do believe that would be a completely reasonable thing to put in a review along with other comments. If its true it hurts but ... Sometimes the person is just being asshole. It's food for thought.

Bekanator's picture
Bekanator from Kamloops, British Columbia is reading Ugly Girls by Lindsay Hunter April 3, 2012 - 6:39pm

I'm with you.  Cliche is bad.  Point that shit out, but also give some suggestions.  Anybody who joins the workshop for the sake of tearing other people apart is wasting money. 

There are plenty of other places for people to mock shitty writing.

Liana's picture
Liana from Romania and Texas is reading Naked Lunch April 3, 2012 - 6:48pm

Nikki, It's true that I'm more sensitive than I should be. Thing is, I love to write but I don't love the "writing scene" because even if a site like this may be filled with people who want to help each other, the "real world" is cruel and not necessarily because it's too honest. It's more about mediocre people kissing each other's ass, and the small, unknown person has to be 10 times better and more persistent if you're gonna compete with the nice little family they have at the top. 

That's kind of unrelated though. Just thinking of reasons to be bitchy.

Ok, ready to go to sex talk now. Enough whining from me for one day.

Nikki Guerlain's picture
Nikki Guerlain from Portlandia is reading Necronomicon Book Three April 3, 2012 - 6:48pm

coo beks same page.

you know this whole dialogue is a good thing even though i'm sure some people will be like DRAMA but you see this is how you process and clarify things, work through things, etc. it's a sign of a healthy environment. how would've we known stacy could use a little bosltering to start reviewing if it hadn't been brought out by this conversation. it's not drama, it's communication yo.

Nikki Guerlain's picture
Nikki Guerlain from Portlandia is reading Necronomicon Book Three April 3, 2012 - 6:52pm

@liana totally know what you're talking about. no ass kissy here if that's not apparent. everyone has a different disposition. im not sensitive so if i see something i don't like i can try to change it, accept it, or leave. i left the cult for the reasons you state. i don't want to see this forum go that direction so i just try to keep my eyes and the lines of communication  open.

that said, show me your tits.

R.Moon's picture
R.Moon from The City of Champions is reading The Last Thing He Wanted by Joan Didion; Story Structure Architect by Victoria Lynn Schimdt PH.D; Creating Characters by the editors of Writer's Digest April 3, 2012 - 6:52pm

Dammit!!! WHat happened to the sex talk?!!! ;)

Nikki Guerlain's picture
Nikki Guerlain from Portlandia is reading Necronomicon Book Three April 3, 2012 - 6:53pm

well pull your dick out moon. works both ways.

R.Moon's picture
R.Moon from The City of Champions is reading The Last Thing He Wanted by Joan Didion; Story Structure Architect by Victoria Lynn Schimdt PH.D; Creating Characters by the editors of Writer's Digest April 3, 2012 - 6:53pm

that said, show me your tits.

- Now we're getting somewhere. 

Bill Tucker's picture
Bill Tucker from Austin, Texas is reading Grimm's Fairy Tales (1st Edition) April 3, 2012 - 6:54pm

Just to throw a little more insight on here, I think there's also a fear of "not reviewing enough".  This may sound douchey, but I've experienced people (not here, on the other site I review on) who are afraid to review something they really liked because they don't have much to say about it.  Again, not sure if this happens here, but the point of a critique is to feed and help the artist. You can do so by pointing out sections of a story that didn't work for you and you can also do so by pointing out the stuff you loved.  Both are equally helpful in giving artists what they need to improve and, more importantly, keep writing!

I'll admit to having read something on here, loving it and thinking, "Crap, I don't have much to say.  I don't want my comment labeled as "Not Helpful", so I guess I won't leave a comment."  The system we have here is actually pretty brilliant, but I think it may also have a subtext of people becoming over-critical, perhaps needlessly.  Again, I'm not fishing for compliments but it's something to think about when cruising the workshop looking for stuff to review for points.

In my opinion, as long as your comments are honest, helpful and most importantly kind to the person whose work you're reviewing, they are all Very Helpful in my book.  There are too many people out in the world who like nothing more than to destroy your artistic dreams, be it getting published or just spinning a good yarn,  Writers workshops like this should be a haven to share your work in a comfortable and supportive environment while honing your skills at the same time.  In my estimation, so far so good here on LR but it seems like this is a bit of a hot topic, so there you go!

Back to my Scotch.

R.Moon's picture
R.Moon from The City of Champions is reading The Last Thing He Wanted by Joan Didion; Story Structure Architect by Victoria Lynn Schimdt PH.D; Creating Characters by the editors of Writer's Digest April 3, 2012 - 6:54pm

Rock out with my cock out. Been waitin for you to jam out with your clam out...

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters April 3, 2012 - 6:54pm

Drama: I went to get a beer out of the fridge and I actually broke the bottle.  I might have cried a little. 

What I said above - totally drama free.

R.Moon's picture
R.Moon from The City of Champions is reading The Last Thing He Wanted by Joan Didion; Story Structure Architect by Victoria Lynn Schimdt PH.D; Creating Characters by the editors of Writer's Digest April 3, 2012 - 6:56pm

Amen B. Tucker...

Bill Tucker's picture
Bill Tucker from Austin, Texas is reading Grimm's Fairy Tales (1st Edition) April 3, 2012 - 6:56pm

Shit....sorry, I forgot we've switched topics to sex.

 

 

Clit.   And i'm out.