Thomm Quackenbush, author


Reality Check Issue #8 (Detail Central)

The Good

If you want to write a well-organized critical response to a story, then you should read this. As a result, your writing will appear bland, ensuring that no one will care what you say.

The Bad

I break most of these rules on a regular basis. K'Arthur, in turn, likely hates me. Thus, I must destroy K'Arthur on the time-honored stage of Mortal Kombat. I call dibs on Johnny Cage.

The Review

Rules are fun. Dictating rules to others is a tad pompous. It has always been a desire of mine to pass my knowledge onto the next generation of potential writers. K'Arthur, with the backing of Livejournal -- the place where writing goes to die -- teamed together and formed a list of etiquette regarding the art of criticism.

To understand the reviewer we must first peak into his mind, and wonder to ourselves why everything he write has this superior tone attached.

Once I find a story, I check the reviews there first. Why? To see how the reviews were received. If someone left a well-written critique of the work and either the author or the author's friends appeared to "defend" it, I will skip it because it's been made painfully honest that this individual doesn't want critique, just an ego boost.

This is why you must crush them. Crush them and their pathetic little dreams. When they respond poorly to your obviously superior critiquing ability, you must find where they live and burn their house down as you read your review over a megaphone. This will teach them not to disregard your teachings. First comes the respect K'Arthur, then the money, after that the calf sacrifices begin. Feed the flames with the blood of virgins.

Do discuss characterization, setting, plot, details and dialogue. Show the author you actually paid attention to the story and understood it.

Paying attention and understanding most modern writings are two vastly different things. I saw how that writer wanted me to care about his main character, I just don't understand why they went with the headless midget as their protagonist. That just seems a tad odd.

Do point out grammatical/spelling mistakes, but be polite about it. Calling someone an idiot is not acceptable behavior.

I completely agree with K'Arthur, whose name is grammatically correct. Calling people an idiot is indeed wrong. Fortunately, this problem goes away when you hit the Thesaurus button. K'Arthur is an idiot for not knowing about the Thesaurus button.

Don't use your own review board to thank your reviewers or to have discussions with your "muses." Use email or a blog site.

Stalk anyone who has the misfortune to stumble onto your work. I'll keep that one in mind.

Your Moment of Insanity

"Keeping these points in mind, I'll say that the easiest way for me to critique someone's work is to make notes as I go and then summarize them or make a list. Just like writing, you'll have to develop your own 'style' when you review, but the aforementioned tips should still apply, since most are common courtesy."

Your Musical Moment Provided By Strong Bad

Burninating all the people in the thatch roofed cottages. Thatch roof cottages and the Trodgor comes in the NIGHHHHTTTT!!!

Stevehen J. Warren is a trained professional in dealing with the crap society churns out. If possible, do not attempt to engage any crap you may find. He mocks it so you don't have to.

If you have a movie, picture, website, friend, game, book, fan fiction, or toilet you would like me to see, or crap all over, please inform your friendly webmaster and include your name and the name of the crappee. The numbers are open and we have trained professionals waiting to receive your call.

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