General Etiquette > Techno-quette

Online reviews for fanfiction and original fiction

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--- Quote from: Lynn2000 on December 08, 2012, 08:52:17 PM ---
--- Quote from: Adelaide on December 08, 2012, 05:56:23 PM ---<snip>

--- End quote ---

First, congrats on getting your writing out there! I write a lot but am way too chicken of criticism to post anything publicly. :)

Second, I think I would leave out the first sentence of your original wording. I know it's disappointing to think, "Yay, reviews!" and in reality it's only one line each, but I think requests for updates and other questions show a lot of interest in your work, which is itself complimentary. Kind of like asking for a second helping of the dinner you've made--they wouldn't ask for more if they didn't like it.

--- End quote ---

Thanks. :) I mostly put out fanfiction stuff (I'm working on a Skyfall story) because I don't like posting original content as much.

And I suppose it's flattering, but would you suck down a dinner, turn to the cook, and quickly say "Well, when's dessert?" or "When can I get more?" without saying thanks first? I'd also like to add one more piece of information. A lot of people who do this are repeat offenders. They'll literally post "Please update soon!" within ten minutes of every single chapter being uploaded. (Though I am having this problem less on my current story, where people include at least two words before they say "Update soon!")

This may just be a "me" problem though. I've asked a couple of other people about it and they are of the "meh, let it go" mindset. It's just that when it happens on every chapter, as SOON as it's posted that this starts to wear thin.

This happens to me from time to time, and it drives me nuts.  You liked my story?  Great, I appreciate that!  What did you like about it?  You disliked my story?  I'm sorry to hear that.  What was it that you disliked, and is there room for improvement?  I don't even tend to count those as reviews, because it seems to devalue the time and effort that went into the story/chapter I just posted, and makes me less excited to continue.

It does sound rather weird, and I can see how it would get annoying. But it's real people taking the time to write something, right? (Even if it's only a couple of words.) It's not, like, spambots or something else that seems shady, is it?

I guess I'm coming at it from the perspective of someone who really appreciates the effort and creativity of fanfic--I've read some truly amazing stuff over the years, that dwarfed any "real" books I've read and sometimes even the quality of the original movie/TV show--but who is REALLY terrible at giving feedback.  :-[ I've probably been reading fanfic for fifteen years or more and have contacted an author in some way maybe half a dozen times. So, even someone writing "post an update!" seems to be making more of an effort than I do. I can see how it would be kind of off-putting, though--I would start to picture someone angrily standing over me while I desperately scribbled away...

On the site you use, is there any kind of discussion forum for general issues? Maybe what they need is a thread about "review etiquette" in general, to figure out what the site's expectations are.

I think this is pretty normal in the fanfic world, so you'll probably be a lot less frustrated if you just decide to take it as a compliment. 

I wouldn't include the "I've been getting a lot of messages like this lately, but please don't tell me to update or ask me when my next update is going to be. I'm in graduate school and I'm very busy right now, so my updates are going to be sporadic for awhile." note.  To me it does come across as a bit rude and ungrateful for the positive comments.  I probably wouldn't bother coming back to check on your work if I read a note like that, so you might wind up losing readers.

Tea Drinker:
I don't leave "please update soon" notes, but I am glad of the "kudos" feature on Archive of Our Own, because often I don't have anything more to say than "I liked this." Sometimes I do, and then they get notes like "Cool, I especially liked the character adding notes to Tess of the d'Urbervilles," but more often it's either a bare "I liked this" or clicking the "kudos" button, or nothing.


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