I love Inkvite. I’ll keep saying it until the day another portable, online, collaborative writing iPhone app breaks onto the scene.
Some folks are mad at me though. I gave their Inkvite entries 1 star, and they felt compelled to send me messages telling me to get off my high horse, and that maybe Inkvite isn’t for me, and such and such, and such and such, and blah blah blah.
I know how it feels. I had thin skin once myself. Hell, I still do, if you can find the right spots on me. So, if anybody is curious (though really it’s just to kind of lay out the system for my own benefit), this is how I rate entries in the Inkvite library:
1 star: This goes to attention whores and whiners. Any story whose title includes “CONTEST!” or “All About Me!” or “Plans for my next story!” gets this. Childish complaints about poor reviews or app faults get this as well. These are not stories. These are self-serving blog entries, and they get in the way of the good stuff. The people who post these wastes of time will argue that they’re “appealing to their fans,” but I think they’re just young ‘uns making the same mistake all young ‘uns make: overestimating their size in the Internet ocean.
2 stars: This is a rare one. I don’t usually give this rating. If I do, it’s to those stories written with budding, rudimentary skill. The last thing I want to do is damn a writing sprout with faint praise, though, so I’ll usually just avoid rating their stories at all.
3 stars: The teacher’s rating. I’m no English major, but I’ve read enough to know when a story’s got technical problems. Missing commas, run-on sentences, inconsistent tense (this is a big one), and conflicting collaboration can put serious drag on a good story. I give three stars to stories that have the engine of creativity chugging inside them, but which glare with niggling errors, like a muscle car with a bad paint job.
4 stars: This is my most common rating. It goes to stories that are written with skill, thought, and care. I know that the limitations of the app make writing a masterpiece a rarity, but when a writer has fun putting together a good story, the reader can tell. Those writers always get 4 stars from me.
5 stars: I give five stars to stories that do things I can’t do. There’s a lot of things I can’t do, so I give these out a lot. I greatly admire the writer who makes a story laugh-out-loud funny, or end with a clever twist, or develop into a unique scenario. Such admiration supersedes any other gripes, so even if a surprisingly smart story has grammatical problems, or ends with a sickening plea for followers, I’ll still give it a 5.
I know. Getting a bad review for anything can hurt. I know that. So here’s my ironic solution: don’t read ’em. Have fun writing, make good stories, and if that isn’t reward enough for you, the fans and followers you’re hoping for will still show up eventually. But you have to trust that your work will speak for itself. We can’t all be PewDiePie – and by God, what a horrible world it would be if we were – so you really shouldn’t waste your energy putting brand before production.
That being said, I still believe in speaking one’s mind. The world – and that includes me – still has to speak up about what it likes and what it doesn’t, so I’m going to keep putting up my reviews. You don’t have to agree with them. You don’t even have to look at them. I don’t mind. After all, my true philosophy is that we should really just be happy doing what we love to do.