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Thread: Video Reviews???

  1. #1
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    Default Video Reviews???

    (Posted this in the wrong section before. Derp.)

    Here's the situation:

    You read an amazing fan fiction and you have plenty to say about what you liked and didn't like. You have plenty of comments to make about the pacing, style and grammar. You know that the author would benefit and grow as a writer from your comments.

    But you can't be bothered typing up a review.

    I would be interested in making my review just a straight up ramble to a camera talking about what I liked and didn't like. From this idea alone, plenty of advantages and disadvantages spring to mind. The facelessness of this forum would be over and usernames would become people. Also, those of us with less technical knowledge would be able to give their opinions in a more fluid way. The old style of "I really liked X" comes off as lazy and bland in a review but if you could speak about what you liked it would make the review more authentic and valuable to the author.

    Of course, I wouldn't be too keen on a friend of mine finding my review and posting it on Facebook. I'm not the coolest guy around but I'm a little embarrassed about writing fan fiction and I don't need the hilarious drama right now. I'm seriously considering creating video review for fan fiction I've really enjoyed but haven't gotten around to typing something up for yet.

    Video reviews, the future of fan fiction or a concept more frail than a lactose intolerant baby???

    Opinions? Comments? Vicious criticism? Racial insults?
    Lol.

  2. #2
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    It's not a bad idea and could still benefit the author, but it wouldn't be as effective as typing up a review. When you type up a review, you could quote and reference particular passages from the actual story itself and address them directly, pointing out any flaws along the way or anything that impressed you. With a video review, you can't do that as well. Sure, you could see the person speaking and you would get more in terms of body language, but tackling the finer details is tougher.

    A text-based review is also more visual than a video one, and a person doesn't have to watch the video again to go back and reference what was said earlier, which is something a struggling writer might need to do. But, if you really just want to give an overall reaction as to what you thought of the story, what parts impressed you, what parts you feel could have been improved, and not really dwell too much on the nitty-gritty details like each individual spelling or grammar mistake or the wrong use of a particular word, then a video review could do that pretty well. You would gain the advantage of being able to express body language, tone of voice, and other aspects as well. But again, I still think you gain more from typing up the review, pointing out the good and bad parts with quoted passages, and posting it for both present and future reference without having to load it up again on Youtube.

    Also, don't be ashamed to be writing fan fiction. A lot of people scoff at it and are obviously missing the benefit it provides to both readers and writers. It helps to improve your writing immensely and you get a better idea of what peoples' expectations are in terms of proper spelling/grammar, diction, sentence composition, metaphorical use, and the like. Knowing and understanding that can help you immensely with school and work. Heck, I'm happy to say grinding myself with fan fiction writing helped me earn a perfect 6.0 (90th percentile) on the Analytical Writing Assessment portion of the GMAT, and it helps me earn As on class essays, reports, and presentations. You learn a lot of neat tricks and discover what impresses people in terms of description, attention to details, and conveying your points across. Not to mention if you're hoping to one day become a published author, writing fan fiction is a good place to get started on how to compose a fictional story using an already existing franchise or idea as a launchpad. Once you feel comfortable enough, then you can move on to ultimately creating your own original idea from scratch.

  3. #3
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    Personally, I'd much, much rather get written reviews than video reviews.

    For one thing I don't like playing sound in general: I only watch videos when I feel a very great need to or when I can safely mute the audio. I'm always around other people with my laptop and I loathe bothering others with what I'm listening to - I could stand up and get my headphones every time, but usually I just can't be bothered.

    And for another, video is just a format much less suited for reviews than text. As Avenger Angel points out, it's hard to properly quote and reference passages; unless you practice the review several times in front of a mirror before recording the video, you're going to have a lot of extraneous "uh", "er", repetition, etc., and even without those, it's going to take way, way longer to watch a video review than to read an equivalent text review, because people read faster than they speak. (And if you do talk very fast, chances are I'm not going to parse half of what you're saying, because English is a second language to me and while I'm fluent at reading and writing it, I'm not quite as good at understanding it spoken as a native and often trip over sentences that are some combination of fast, unclear, and an accent I'm not used to.) It doesn't feel like time well spent to watch a video of a person sitting somewhere saying words aloud that I could have read in a tenth of the time; when I'm directed to a video that's all just a person talking, my first thought is almost always that I wish I had a transcript and could just read it and be on my way.

    Maybe if you've got a huge amount of emoting about the story going on, it's something better shown in video, but that would be a rare case.
    Last edited by Dragonfree; 29th December 2012 at 9:08 PM.

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  4. #4
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    There's also the factor that it's really inconvenient for the author to respond to. Sure, it might make things easier on you as a reviewer, but when you post a link to your review onto a story, how exactly is an author supposed to reply to individual points of what you had to say? "Oh, at the 3:54 mark, you made a comment about my characters, and I just want to respond to that"? There's also the problem that Dragonfree mentioned (that I'd like to expand on right about now). Putting things to audio puts you at risk of being misunderstood, either because you're speaking too quickly, the audio quality isn't as good as it should be, you have an accent, or the author isn't native. It's much easier on the author if they read a text review.

    Don't forget that a writing community is primarily a community as well. The author needs to be able to respond to reviews easily in order to engage in a dialogue with the reviewer. If the author can't respond to a review, then the conversation is one-sided, and that rather defeats the purpose of having a community.

    If you did it on a separate website where that's just sort of what you did (a la Nostalgia Critic), then it'd be one thing, but I don't think it'd work as an actual response to a story.

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