Okay, that wasn’t working. The thing is, the star rating is too useful for me when I look at a list of books I’ve read (or dnf’d). It turns out that I use the gradients as a short-hand for evaluating an overall feel for a series or an author and digging into the reviews themselves for the details is a pain. So I’m revising my policy as follows.
The biggest change I want to make is that I won’t indulge in the passion of a rant. This will probably disappoint current fans and followers and I’m sorry for it. There’s a place for passion and a shared catharsis with fellow-sufferers who can bond over stumbling into something they dislike. And humor in general, but particularly wit, is at its most entertaining when aimed at something we consider deserving. But it’s one thing when coming from an outsider with no stake in the market and something quite different when coming from the inside. By becoming a writer, even those things aimed solely at the work, and not the people behind it, can have the edge of a personal attack.
My star ratings will be as honest as I can make them and reflect my personal experience with a story. Low ratings aren’t intended to be a punishment of the author or work. They’re a simple summary that turns out to be useful for my own purposes and any aggregating that sites use from there aren’t anything I can do anything about. I hate that some fans will see low ratings on things they love and go all search-and-destroy about it, but there’s no cure for crazy on the interwebs. If someone is offended because I dissed their one true love, I’m sorry for it and they have all my sympathy. But I can’t alter my reality for their sake. I’ll include as much specificity as I can for clarity, including partial stars and any rounding I might do to arrive where I did. And I’ll do my best to keep it kind, but will break for clarity and honesty when kindness isn’t useful to future-me.
Allusion and simile will be used to illustrate rather than to entertain. This is my kryptonite because I love coming up with a way to illustrate a point that pushes it into the absurd while still maintaining relevance—it entertains me and feedback suggests others find it entertaining as well. That said, there’s no reason illustrative allusions cannot entertain. It’s just that the primary purposes won’t be because something struck me as funny.