Discussion How to ,,judge" a novel/fiction/fan fiction?

Discussion in 'Novel General' started by CDLevit, Dec 6, 2016.

  1. CDLevit

    CDLevit Aspiring water; spark of cynicism; Em&es explorer.

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    I often find myself trying new novels and fictions, but, sometimes, I find myself being influenced by reviews and by what other users/persons think and write and abandon that someting. Sometimes, that is detrimental to my personal experience, sometimes that is of help. I remember how in high school I've used to make my own opinion about a book and only after that to read what critics wrote about it or pay attention to what the classmates or the teacher/s had to say on that subject but, nowdays, I often find that either I don't have the patience to form a personal opinion, either I don't have the time to find the good/bad points of that something. Generally, when I buy a physical book I skimm/browse it and read short paragraphs; when I try to read a online book I mainly read the synopsis and/or the chapters title, but I feel that I can do more, that I can think/analyze more of that work. So, I want to ask you:

    1. What criterias do you use to ,,judge" a novel/fiction/fan fiction?
    2. Can you recommend some online articles on this subject, something like this: http://ziveuniverzity.sk/wp-content...r-How-to-Read-Literature-Like-a-Professor.pdf ?
     
  2. Lithit

    Lithit Desu~'s Little Griffin

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    For one I always like to to be as un-biased as possible when judging a novel and to be very clear about what I don't like and I like. One thing I hate is when I see a review that goes like this "This novel is bad, it has lots of cliches and an OP mc" and I say "great, what cliches are you talking about?" Or "ok, now how have these cliche's negatively impacted the novel for you?" even "What is your definition of an OP mc?"

    My point is, I'm a very scientific person, and I believe that while literature in it's many shapes and forms can't simply be explained semitotically, why you like it or not, damn well can!
     
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  3. Mufarasu

    Mufarasu Well-Known Member

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    I used to be like that too.
    However, with the amount of fictions that wind up being dropped I don't want to waste my time with something that I may or may not like. So, I'll read the reviews and decide if I want to give it a chance based off that. The reviews would have to mention specific points, so they'd be minor spoilers.

    Of course there will always be those few that catch my interest, and I'll read them regardless of what anyone else says.

    A lot of novels I won't read simply because I don't feel the author cares enough about their work. ie: spelling errors in title/synopsis, garbage title, synopsis is basically a summary, and basic spelling errors immediately make not even consider a work.

    EDIT: This is mostly for Web novels and fan fiction.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2016
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  4. ABMAINA

    ABMAINA That One Member

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    The way I judge is pretty simple:

    1. I read it.

    2. I develop thoughts and opinions after reading said novel (they can be either positive and negative it depends on the work).

    If I find a well written review it can sometimes help me to see the other side or on rare occasions completely sway my opinion on it.

    I don't know any helpful links but some of the criterias I judge on are:

    1. Characters
    2. Setting
    3. Plot
    4. Grammar
     
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  5. CDLevit

    CDLevit Aspiring water; spark of cynicism; Em&es explorer.

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    In the end, it's all about knowing your personal tastes? But, can there be more to it? For example, if I read a classic writer like Al. Dumas, H. de Balzac, A.J. Cronin and others, there is a obvious difference between them and what I can read on internet; those writers don't break the immersion, they aren't making major mistakes, they don't try to force on you ideas, toughts and situations. Now, I'm not saying that on internet (and in general) you can't find good books/stories, but, it's pretty hard.

    Are there some instruments that can be used by me (and others) to judge the actual skills of a writer and the quality of his/her book/novel .. ?
     
  6. MangoGuy

    MangoGuy Rambling Mango

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    I think reviews are ways people tell the whole world that they have read the book..nothing less,nothing more. At least in my case.
     
  7. Lithit

    Lithit Desu~'s Little Griffin

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    The thing is, besides grammar, you really can't be at all un-biased, the key is to be as honest with yourself as possible or say nothing (not meaning to be rude) if you can't be. What you should be looking for in a review, is not whether or not they are using big grammar or how well punctuated their sentence is, but if you can see eye to eye with the reviewer.

    An example you read a novel and the review is something like this "I love this novel, the character interactions seem solid, you can really feel the emotion when the characters act and speak, but I think it's over reliance on action is a huge set back" What does the review mean to you as a consumer? "I like character interactions, this novel has that well covered, but also too much action"

    If you are a a fan of or are looking for a novel with good character interactions, this reviewer has told you it can be found here, but also if you are looking for action, this review is also a positive to you. However, if character interactions don't mean shit to you, but you love intrigue, this review has clearly told you nothing and has in fact possibly detracted from your view of the novel. You either look on for another review, or take a chance with the novel.

    As for the question of Judging a writer, as I said above, all you can find out is if you like a certain novel, and consequently, a writers style, besides that, the only other way to judge a novel is by how far reaching it's appeal is. Even this , does not assure you a good readership though.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2016
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  8. Wujigege

    Wujigege *Christian*Generous Penny-Pincher*Comedian

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    We need spark notes for xianxia and its twin xuanhuan
     
  9. ephemeral

    ephemeral sometimes i'm here

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    i look for some kind of originality or uniqueness to a story. i read the synopsis, see how positive its ratings are and read the reviews. most dont make the cut because they're all op mc shows off to everyone and that's it. my latest regret was emperor's domination despite all the positive things people say about it and its hype. it's simply trash to me. it really takes a big push to try something new now. because i'm not interested in trying bland and almost copy and paste novels.
     
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  10. lichdeath

    lichdeath undead meatbun ^^

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    first of all i check spelling and grammar depending on how bad the spelling is i quit i honestly cant bring myself to read a story that has sentences that have over 3 mistakes in it

    then its if i i get drawn into it or not for the first chapters

    and then i decide wether to drop it or not depending on how i remember it (plot holes and stuff basicly i read first then digest it)

    edit ps: yes i know i got no punctuation but i dont care about that
    i think i could read a whole story whitout punctuation....
     
  11. Liyus

    Liyus Laksha's Desu~ Cat

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    Novel, i read anything that don't have the tag: NTR, Tragedy, Yaoi, Reverse Harem.....
    Finction(if original), it's should be completed or the author is writing for at least 6 months.....
    Fan Finction, i don't read them....
     
  12. sufod01

    sufod01 Ghost

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    I read reviews/rating/tags.
    Look the cover (we can discover many things through the cover, most of time i know if i'll love the novel when i look the cover)
    Author's name + other works. (example : i'll avoid Mad Snail's works because it's often in hiatus)
    If it's MTL or not (Machine "assisted" translation it's still okay but i'll avoid full MTL novel)
     
  13. Notaborax

    Notaborax 『Woeful One』『Poet』『Epi's & Azuka's Cat』

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    well how i judge a book, is that does it make sense? is there explantions? does things develop and is still related at least a tiny bit? is it fun? does it excite me?
     
  14. sinyueliang

    sinyueliang 『World Traveller』『Demon Slayer』『Hinokami』

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    After reading I first decide whether I enjoyed or didn't enjoy it and then pick out the points that ruined it/did it for me, things I particularly liked or disliked, blah blah blah. I honestly don't think you have to be oh so picky about critiquing a work. I think it's fine as long as you trust your own opinion.
     
  15. Overclock

    Overclock Well-Known Member

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    I read the worse reviews, good reviews, and the review that is neutral in praise and criticism, and a review that honestly tells me what's it about.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2016
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  16. ZedOud

    ZedOud Well-Known Member

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    I judge from a physics and socio-economic view.

    If your world is at the very least not sustainable (without the author acknowledging it in some way) then, to put it simply, the author's writing is a the level of a hopeless romantic.

    I don't want to read sci-fi or large scale fantasy written by an author at that level.

    Examples: Coiling Dragon and most other Xianxia and Wuxia are unsustainable.

    Counter-example: Desolate Era has the karma system to slow the rate of slaughter and destruction seen in similar stories. Emperor's Domination - no one is really immortal, all of the most powerful people eventually die or whither away. Log of Crazy Lich - the author acknowledges that the world is inherently not stable (many grand scale stories set in a D&D Western style fantasy acknowledge that the world is not stable and will collapse at some point).
     
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  17. Starving Soldier

    Starving Soldier Retired Captain, Marrying Overlyfriendly

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    Being able to judge something all comes down to one thing, experiences.
     
  18. Nyanko

    Nyanko Psychotic Cat Princess

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    I judge it by
    1) Quality of writing/translation
    2) Pacing
    3) Narrative and structure
    4) Originality
     
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  19. Wise old fisher

    Wise old fisher [I am not a potato] [Chorus heresy]

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    read it then form opinion and after that read positive and negative previews and reform your starting opinion better
     
  20. Wujigege

    Wujigege *Christian*Generous Penny-Pincher*Comedian

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    But stories falter midday and more than in a few times especially between arcs in very long stories like in most xianxia