Monday, September 8, 2014

Cleaning Up After, Um, Myself

Sometimes, not thinking ahead can make a mess of things.  Case in point: my mini-reviews.

See, I started doing them back when I still had plenty of 6-star stuff to get through, when the Fandom Classics that you've all come to know and blindly adore weren't even conceived yet.  As such, the first dozen or so mini-reviews had some pretty major stories in them, because they weren't 6-starred and I didn't realize I might want to "save" them for later.  For example, Hard Reset, The Flight of the Alicorn, and The Keepers of Discord are all scattered in thereabouts.

Now, I could just leave well enough alone, but several times now I've had people ask why I've never reviewed one of those stories (and probably one or two others that I don't remember off the top of my head) or suggest them for me to do a "real" review of.  I mean, it's kind of silly that some of the biggest stories in the fandom don't get on my list, when said list is ostensibly about looking at the biggest stories in the fandom.  And the mini-reviews... I mean, it's not like I don't try when I'm writing them, but those are fics I read casually; the depth isn't there, and my comments are more "biggest impressions" than "here's what did and didn't work for me" (also, no stars.  I know some of you love those stars).  So, I'm looking for some suggestions: what should I do with the big stories that got mini-reviewed?  My options as I see them are:
1) Do nothing.  This is what I've done so far.  Pros: it's the least amount of work.  Cons: see above paragraph. 
2) Throw some of the big stories up on the fandom classics list, maybe in an "other" or "N/A" category at the bottom.  Pros: only slightly more work than #1.  Cons: doesn't really address the issues; more "shunts then to the side, says 'eh, good enough.'" 
3) Re-review the stories as Fandom Classics.  Pros: results in reviews of those stories!  Cons: to do it properly, I'd need to re-read and re-review those stories, which is fine in and of itself (I've re-read plenty of stories for Fandom Classics or 6-Star Reviews), but probably means retreading areas I've already covered.
So again, I'd like to get some suggestions.  Does one of those stick out to you?  Do you have some brilliant alternative (no sarcasm; brilliant alternatives would be welcome)?  If you've got any sort of opinion, I'd love to hear it.


  1. I have a "brilliant alternative". If you want to call it that.

    Why not have a guest author column? Have someone else read through a story you've mini-reviewed and give their opinions and shiny starts. You could even re-post your original review (or link to it) or give a quick blurb at the end where you agree or disagree.

    Why go through all that work when you have a legion of eager writers to do it for ya?

  2. Good God, man. How hast thou become so vexed?

    Make a list (check it twice), and ask for volunteers. and then run a commentary on the end of guest re-reviews so that it still contains your opinion for your blog.

    Kind of a 2.5 with benefits. Everybody wins.


    1. Here, I'll reply to you instead of RT. That's basically like posting first.

      I'm kind of liking this idea. What I might do is collect all the mini-reviews like the esteemed Mr. xJx suggested below (maybe put everything in a new list up top, alongside the 6-star and Fandomc Classic reviews), along with a note that full reviews of any big ones are welcome. Keeps me from getting all recursive, puts everything in an easy-to-find spot, and maybe gets me a couple of things to post with no effort on my part. Well, other than putting together said list, but SOME sacrifices must be made.

      Sound good?

    2. I'm not sure I'm allowed to agree with people. I think it's in my contract somewhere.

      But yes. if you just supply a list of things you've mini-reviewed and let people pick them off if they think they deserve a second look, that's about as much as you can do. I'm sure if there is anything you particularly want to see done, you'll find someone you can cajole into doing it.

      Just, you know, not me. Unless you want a bitter hate-fest.


  3. All I can really say is that I decided not to redo old reviews (from back when I wasn't so regimented about reviewing as I am now) because it would likely lead to an infinite loop of being stuck in the past when I've already GOT a whole lot of past to be stuck in as it is. :B I mean, I did the one, for nefarious reasons, but I could see where it would get me in a whole lot of trouble to keep it up. Sometimes, you just gotta stand on what's been done. I'd go with #2, honestly, if only so you can more easily point people to the reviews.

  4. Honestly, I'd just say stand on what you've got. People are already going to get the impression of what you liked and didn't without the details as to why. If the story piques their interest that much, they can read it themselves and form their own opinions. A few authors might be miffed that they didn't get the long treatment, but hey, them's the breaks. Of course, that's from the perspective of someone who doesn't have a horse (heh) in the race. Nothing of mine in the mini-reviews is widely read enough to warrant being called a fandom classic.

  5. Even if you just added a category under the stars and called it "Mini", then provided a link, I think that would be fine. It's more about finding the opinion than about knowing how many stars it received. It's generally pretty apparent how you feel about the story from that paragraph blurb, but it's digging through the mini-reviews without knowing which one had the review of Big Story Number 12 that's a chore.

  6. Part of me wants you to stick with what you've got, because two reviews for a single story doesn't fit on the big master list. However, the rest of me would love a more long-form treatment of several of the stories you've done as mini reviews. So kind of torn.

    Either way, putting up links to the already done ones on the classics page would be a good idea.

  7. I'm always curious to see you go in-depth with your opinions on a story, and expanding on what you said about some of those big stories in your mini-reviews would certainly interest me. I don't think you have to worry about retreads much, IMO, because there's always more to talk about with a story when you really get into the nitty-gritty of it. Like you said, the mini-reviews are more general impressions.

    I'd go with option three.

  8. 3. These fics deserve proper long-form reviews. From you.

  9. Do a long-form review for a story that you've reviewed before if you want to. If you don't want to, you haven't got much more to say about it.