Every story gets them. To some authors, they're pleasing. To others, they make you want to rip your hair out. Here's how to deal with them.
Good reviews offer praise. They make you feel good that someone else who is a fan likes your style or shares your views. When someone reviews (whether it be good or bad) it is common courtesy to reply back. You don't need to get all technical about it. A simple 'Thank you:)' would suffice.
Most stories deserve good reviews, but some get BAD reviews. If you get one, or two, or loads... just chill. It's not the end of the world. Here's the dos and don'ts of reacting…
-DON'T go to their page and give all of their stories bad reviews.
-DON'T change your profile and username, going into hiding is NOT the answer.
-DON'T become emo, cut yourself, and refuse to ever touch a pencil again.
-DO reply to their review and promise to work on it.
-DO keep your profile name the same, no one likes a chicken.
-DO keep writing. Take writing classes. Lengthen your skills and use the suggestions given by the reviewer. Odds are, others felt the same way and will appreciate your ability.
Where do I sign up to quit?
Nowhere, honey. DON'T NOT GIVE UP ON YOUR READERS! You may have not updated for awhile and think, "Oh, they won't notice if it's gone" or if someone says one bad thing, say "That's it. I must suck!" Either way is a bad path down the road to depression not only to you but your readers. Readers do notice when you don't update but they wait anyway. And if you have more than 5 reviews from people who like the story, I'd say go for continuing it unless they're reviews don't have any suggestions – are 100 positive. I can honestly say, though, if you've attempted, maybe, a few romance stories that happened to turn out like lemur barf, there's a little warning flag going up. Romance obviously, then isn't your thing. I can guarantee there are enough romance-ficcers here to fill Ba Sing Se. Maybe attempt action fics, or angst, or even a horror story – you maybe even could try a corny humor story (like what I'm attempting right now).
The Importance of Acknowledgement
Now, I understand you can't go through and reply to every review, especially if your story is lengthy – one person may review 14 times for one story – but at least read them. Take what they say to heart. Well, okay, not all of it, because some fans are full of applesauce. But for those who offer wholesome advice, instead of just writing "That sucked!" and instead "This is – sorry – really bad. The plot is unclear, and the spelling and grammar makes it harder to read", thank them for their honesty and work on your weak points. That's what reviews are for; praise, tips, and an idea of your level of writing skill.
When YOU Review:
Ignore the term 'flame' because the meaning has been so sliced up it's like a microscopic paper snowflake. Basically call it as negative or positive. If you like the story, say "Great story! I loved it!" and if you didn't, state that and explain why.
So, how am I doing so far? Experienced authors, tips for the next chapters? Suethors, hilarious complaints to make you sound more ridiculous? I ask you to take the time and review, because I would LOVE to hear your thoughts.