Hermione's Guide to Writing a Good Review
Summary: Hermione muses on what makes a review good and if she should start posting a story of her own.
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Hermione absentmindedly chewed on the end of her quill. Recently, she had become a bit obsessed with reading fanfiction during the holidays, when she had access to a computer.
However, the number of absolutely useless reviews and downright offensive comments disturbed her. She had played with the idea of perhaps posting a small fic herself, but the at times rude, overly demanding readers were a huge turn off.
Hermione loved to bury herself in all those different versions of her favorite childhood stories. If she liked a particular fic, the teenaged witch usually took the time to write a comment in the small section provided on the site. Because she didn't want to offend anyone, even if the story may have been a bit below average, Hermione still gave the author a little polite feedback. How else would they improve?
Either way, Hermione avoided useless comments which were just aimed to insult the author. Those were simply a form of cyber bullying - something the witch could absolutely not stand, no matter what form it took. If she had trouble understanding a certain part, the witch just pointed it out, without additionally offending anyone. Or so she hoped anyway.
She also never wrote just "update", "update soon", "write", or variations thereof. That sounded hopelessly demanding and rude. If it had been Hermione receiving those sorts of comments, she would have updated extra slow. Just to be contrary. Even with an alibi "please", those reviewers came across as slave drivers.
Everyone knows writing takes time and dedication. But mostly time. For research, plotting, more research, writing, editing...
After all, fanfiction writers do not earn money with their stories and usually either still go to school or uni if they are not already working. Some certainly enjoyed a healthy social life, which would consume even more time. Why would they sacrifice all their spare time of their 'real' life for fanfiction-fans that could not appreciate the work which went into their posts in the first place?
Honestly, it's simple logic! Author enjoys him-/herself, then gets polite reviews = more motivation = more posts.
Hermione also thought that if one couldn't be civilized or positive, then one should just keep one's opinion to oneself. She certainly always started by mentioning something she had liked in the story, before going over something she had disliked. Even if the majority had not been that good.
Besides, reading a fic without interpreting it was just stupid. The Lyrical I never matched the author's identity anyway. And fictional characters remained simply characters in the end; one had to distance oneself from their issues or simply stop reading if one didn't like the happenings. After all, there was always someone who didn't like what a few others adored. That was still absolutely no reason to attack anyone in the guise of feedback. Honestly!
Taste differed - a great thing!
Hermione thought the best reviews were those that were unique. Sometimes, the comment was funny, sometimes straight-forward and sincere. Often, they pointed out something the reader had enjoyed especially much, but also a helpful hint or playful tip for small improvements.
The young witch loved to read through those funny ones and usually ended up helplessly giggling. (Thankfully Ron and Harry would never know.)
Hermione tended to leave reviews she would have liked to receive herself - which often were answered by the author. How many others could say that?