Thursday, November 04, 2010

Physician, Heal Thyself

BLOG: Godyears
AUTHOR: Pythoroshan. Indian. Male. Thirty-ish. Physician. Recently passed his examinations. A bit of a movie and food junkie.

Roshan, I sincerely thought I was going to hate your ass.

I count nineteen reasons why I gasped audibly when I first viewed your blog. That’s how many little useless gadgets and doo-dads are scattered around the perimeter. Although none are particularly intrusive – they don’t prevent the reading of the writing or slow the page loading or anything – their prominent display made me wonder and worry about what sorts of priorities you place on style versus substance.

And now, I am going to peel the curtain back a little on my process for reviewing a blog. I start with a brief scan of the two or three most recent posts. Then I usually look for an About Me page, if it exists, to get a sense of what the bloggers goal in blogging is. (I couldn’t find one here.) Then I survey the volume based on the archives. I then sample a random post or three from various epochs of the archives. And then I decide where to start my review from.

In this case, based on my initial assessment, I couldn’t go more than a year back. Although you’ve been writing for significantly longer than that, I felt that the earliest stuff was not truly indicative of the direction you are currently going in. And that wasn’t fair to you or me. Mostly me.

What I learned along the way:
  • You are a bit of an idealist.
  • You like to write movie reviews. (I don't agree with them, but that's okay.)
  • You hold no truck with caste-based or religious divisions. You see bullshit and call it for the bullshit it is.
  • You are worse than a hopeless romantic – you are a hopeful one. Ugh.
  • You like to eat. (Little references interspersed throughout -- not a single link to use as an example.)
  • You write fiction.
And having read what I did, I have to say, I like you. You’re the kind of guy I’d want to hang out withfun loving, yet can get down to business when that’s the appropriate response. Funny and self deprecating, and yet not a gloomy gus who brings everyone down.

But, for the most part, I found your writing a tad bit turgid and clumsy. Too many posts were a bit of a chore to get through. I was down with what you were trying to say, but you just took too many words to get there. I suspect that you write the way you speak. A lot of people do. I just think that in a lot of these cases, less may very well be more.

As for the fiction, I liked what you wrote, but didn’t necessarily love it. I could probably provide specific feedback on your Guardian Angel piece, for example, with an eye toward tightening it up, making it better, etc. I’m not sure if that sort of constructive criticism is welcomed, so I will hold off.

What to do to improve: Try to write less densefully. Yeah, that’s not a word. I just made it up. But it captures the essence of what I mean. Sometimes this means simply rewording things. Sometimes it means you need to get out the scissors and excise an extraneous concept or two. And sometimes you can get a tad preachy in a way that I think undermines your intentions. Try to avoid that.

Your rating. One star.



Some artful editing and a bit more care in crafting your fiction will elevate this higher. you've got potential, my son.

35 comments:

  1. I found the use of 'flute' instead of 'fuck' in the Godyear story altogether. I mean, 'my dad fluted your mom'? I'm not a prude or anything, but those people are sick fucks.

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  2. Good call, pardner - guy's pretty good. We should have "edit yourself down" scotch-taped to the inside of our submission-sheet.

    "Sight (or site) unseen, you need to edit."

    My next comment will be, like, way super-funnier...

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  3. The flautist11/04/2010 3:54 PM

    El could use a good fluting.

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  4. Speaking of sick fucks, Madame, aren't you the patron-saint of? I think I heard that somewhere...

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  5. I liked him. He is one of those where I would adamantly say, keep at it.

    But yes, editing is a beautiful thing.

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  6. Did we get a spike in traffic as a result of this review?

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  7. We did, but I think the little fat ladies orbiting your mom got themselves laptops.

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  8. I thought the metric was the number of people at our lunch table.

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  9. Nutjobber, merely following Mongolian girl's tips regarding incorporating shit into one's noncoital sexual repertoire does not a sick fuck make.

    But flutes? Every time he said the word flute to avoid saying the word fuck, I seriously envisioned some pretty sick business.

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  10. Actually, I'd hazard a guess that following any of Mongolian Girl's tips does indeed a sick fuck make, and I say that with no small amount of admiration.

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  11. I just wanted to say that I've got a bit of a crush on Scorpio. He's so gentle with those who ask for it... a review, I mean :)

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  12. Nuts4fruits, would your opinion change if you knew Scorpio was really a very literate and well read fifteen year old girl?

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  13. Maybe a candidate for the Eastern franchise?

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  14. scorpio is quite loveable. I bet he's a cuddler.

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  15. @Miss Missives: It would be great if my opinion didn't change. I'm drawn to the kind, melodic flow in Scorpio's reviews so in theory it shouldn't matter if a teenager wrote them. But I have to be honest. My little brain would not compute a virtual crush directed at an underage girl. Perceptions and assumptions overrule logic. I'm such a cliche...

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  16. Pumpkin muffin? Anyone?

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  17. Sick Fuck: Try to steal my pumpkin muffin schtick again and I'll stab you in the fuckin' face, shit in any rusty can you have sitting around, and come visit you with my crow bar the day after your therapist has said you're healed up from the whole ordeal.

    Oh, and Scorp Woper, nice review. I kind of liked him as well.

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  18. P.S. Face stabbing, can shitting and crow bar use are several unique and interesting ways to generate traffic.

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  19. P.P.S. Thanks, Nutjobber, for the small (or not so) amount of admiration for my sick fuckedness. I consider it the best compliment I've received today.

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  20. @nuts -- at the risk of coming across as protesting too much, I'm not always so lovable. See http://iwillfuckingtearyouapart.blogspot.com/2010/09/jidhu-what-jighotta-do.html and http://iwillfuckingtearyouapart.blogspot.com/2010/08/patsy-cline-is-waiting-to-kick-your-ass.html.

    That said, I kinda wish Jacki would allow a re-review. She corrected her venal sins, and would get a much better review, although I still am not a Kylie Minogue fan...

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  21. Your sick fuckitude is beyond compare, my dear Mongolian Girl, and I offer that with, of course, love.

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  22. As far as sick fucks go, I once dated Typhoid Mary. Talk about kinky chicks...

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  23. Typhoid Mary doesn't compete with the serial killer I once had as a boyfriend. He woulda killed her. Dead.

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  24. He seems sweet and nice--just the kind of person you want at the other end of the stethoscope. And I see that you told him the review was up--I bet he actually takes your words to heart because he is, at the core, a storyteller. He just needs some refinement.

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  25. This one chick I dated wouldn't eat the first hatchling. Can you believe that? Kinky!!

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  26. I'd been reading the previous reviews out here, so I'd come here wearing a nut guard,teeth braces and a metal helmet expecting to get 'em all kicked in... I have to say, I kinda feel relieved. Like the guy who escapes from the SAW movie with 'just his leg sawed off'.

    Anyway, thanks for taking the trouble to review it. And yes, critisi.. criticisisi..oh, what the heck, point well taken. I do need to stop rambling and cut down on the words.

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  27. "...he is, at the core, a storyteller."

    I could not agree more, HIF.

    And thank goodness he's decent enough to take a well made point. A breath of fresh air, and hopefully a way for him to get to that core of storytelling.

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  28. Not that I tell stories anymore. I just threaten people

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  29. http://godyears.blogspot.com/2010/11/rippin-me-new-one.html

    just wanted to let you guys know, I've added a link to this post on my site... incidentally, out of curiosity, do many people do that ?

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  30. What I THOUGHT Pythoroshan said:
    "...out of COURTESY, do many people do that?"

    What my answer would have been:
    "NEVER!"

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  31. I did. But I don't remember whether it was out of courtesy.

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  32. Some do, some don't. It depends upon the level of shame they associate with the review, and more importantly, how much they like to be shamed.

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  33. I always enjoy it when they link to us from their rebuttal, in which they inform their readership what a bunch of poopy meanie-heads we are.

    Without, by the way, mentioning that they fucking asked for it.

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Grow a pair.