How to Review

By Juno Magic

2. How to Phrase a Review

It is not only important what we criticize, but how we phrase a critique. It is very important that our critiques are not only nitpicky, accurate and comprehensive, but that they are

tactful and

We have to remember that if we want to give constructive criticism, our comments have to reach the author. No matter how right we are about a misplaced comma, about misspelled Sindarin, about vague characterizations or "purple prose", if the author feels threatened and insulted by our comments, she won't listen to us, she won't change a thing about her story, but instead she will only get into our faces about "flaming" her.

Based on "The Diplomatic Critiquer" by Alan Burt, I have composed a list that contains suggestions which may be helpful to engage in a constructive and effective process of communication between critiquer and author. It should be taken as a reminder of how problems of communication and other obstacles that can be overcome to ensure a smooth and successful review process.

When we write a review:

About the Author

JunoMagic - who is JunoMagic? And why JunoMagic?

Juno - that penname was graciously granted by one of the author's cats. Magic - although the author does believe in magic, especially in the magic woven with words and songs and stories, the magical part of the penname derives simply from her e-mail address.

Speaking of that e-mail address: the author can be contacted at "Juno_Magic at magic dot ms".

If there are any comments or questions, please drop a line! In a letter to the editor of the 'Observer' Tolkien wrote "I am as susceptible as a dragon to flattery". The same can probably be said for most writers! JunoMagic at least thoroughly enjoys answering questions about her writing and constructive criticism aka "concrit" are vital for any author wishing to improve, so that is always welcome, too!

"The Lord of the Rings" has been in Juno 's life since she was five years old and her mother grew bored with what was regarded as "appropriate bed time tales". Twenty-four years later Juno discovered "online fan fiction" and was immediately fascinated.

More information about Juno's stories and the author herself may be found at her website: "Juno's Magic" and at her LiveJournal: "Juno's Magic: To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield." (quote from Alfred Lord Tennyson).

When she is not JunoMagic, the author is at home in a small Franconian village with her husband and two cats. She has a professional qualification in law, a bachelor degree in political sciences and history and is currently working as a freelance writer.

"How to Review"
© Juno Magic