How 2 B a ttly awsum fanfikshun riter
The One Called Demetra, who has guided you to greatness, and now demands worship.
Part Six: Reaping the Fruits of Your Labor
Look around, young padawan. What do you see? Besides walls and anime character plushies, I mean? That's right. You see an empire. A glorious, fanfictional empire. Sure, you tried to build the first one, and that sank into obscurity. And you tried to build the second one, and that also sank into obscurity. And you tried to build the third one, and that was flamed into oblivion, collapsed, and sank into obscurity. But the fourth one! That one stayed up!
And it is glorious indeed. Engineered to be as appealing and simple as possible so as to generate reviews, it's impossible for anybody to enter it without finding something that appeals to them, be it porn, emotional fulfillment, cheap laughs, the crossing of two popular things, or the ceasing of withdrawal symptoms. Yes, the fanfictional empire is grand indeed—and you didn't even have to experiment with dishonest review-mongering to find the correct formula for it, just by reading this guide!
But all is not well in paradise. Even now as your unimpressive teenage frame sits cackling on the pile of reviews, faves and alerts, there may still be work to be done.
"Whaaat?" you may be asking. "But I'm famous now! What could possibly go wrong?"
Patience, impatient one. There is still the matter of managing and replying to your legions of adoring fans, not to mention the—god forbid—people who aren't adoring fans.
Anyway, let's get started. Now that you've put your money where your mouth is, you are allowed to flaunt the crap out of it. In your profile, add a new section all about your writing. Type out a long, urbane history of everything you ever wrote, including the poem about farm life you wrote in kindergarten. Make sure to be self-deprecating, which is just terribly charming. Do so by saying things like "I wrote my first full-length novel at the age of eight and there were some people looking to get it published, but it wasn't any good so I didn't let them." Be sure to mention any and all awards you've received for your writing. Everything goes. That sixth-grade superlative you got for 'Best Vocabulary'? Counts. That A on that seventh grade creative writing assignment? Counts. That obscure internet fanfiction contest that you got an honorable mention prize in? Counts. Even if none of them are particularly impressive, people will be cowed by the sheer amount of honors you've received and forget that none of them mean anything.
Now that you're famous, you have an obligation to your fans. You have to reply to each and every review. If you for some reason are not refreshing your inbox obsessively after posting a chapter and end up replying to a review late because you had to do something boring (like go to a hospital to witness your grandfather's last moments, ugh) make sure to apologize profusely in the author's notes and express how awful you feel about not immediately getting back to your loyal reviewers.
On the topic of author's notes and obligation, now that you're famous, you have to work hard on your author's notes. Thank every individual reviewer, shamelessly compliment them, and do lots of dedications. Of course your "most loyal reviewer", a girl who left a single smiley face on every one of your fifty 500-word chapters deserves to have an OC named after her and inserted into the story. This is why it's a good idea to write stories with lots of disposable OCs in them—it's easy to give your most loyal reviewers the highest honor of being in your fic. This will flatter them, and make them adore you even more.
Follow these techniques, and you will soon have an army of loyal slaves, who will be useful for when you are dealing with the dissenters—by which I mean, of course, the dreaded flamer.
Let's talk about flamers. First, you need to know what one is. A flamer is anybody who does not like your fic. Here are some example of flames, the type of review left by a flamer.
"u suk cox fag go die"
"ths sucks, learn 2 rite"
"This is terrible. Somebody needs to revoke your creative license."
"I didn't like this very much, you need to work on your grammar."
"I like your plot, but your prose is difficult to get through and your interpretations of the characters are unrealistic and shallow."
"I think this has a lot of potential if you got a beta to polish the mechanics of this."
"Pretty good! I love that song. It seemed a bit rushed though. Maybe add some more about what they're feeling instead of just describing the make out."
"Oh my gosh! This is so great! I love the part where he declared his love and asked her to marry him! EEEEE! This is such a creative well-written story. Update soon! Just a note: direct quotes end with commas, not with periods. That's all. Bye!"
"This story is amazing. Everything in creation has been merely buildup to this moment where you write this masterpiece. I am in awe. I wish to dedicate my life to you and this story. I don't really ship this pair, and you forgot a couple commas, but whatever. LET ME KISS YOUR FEET."
How dare they speak to you like that? You! Who do they think they are? Do they think they have a purpose outside the continued bolstering of your ego? Fools! You'll show them!
A good strategy for dealing with flamers is turning absolutely everything they say back at them. They say you're immature? THEY'RE the immature ones! They say you can't write? THEY'RE the ones who can't write! And they don't know the meaning of the word 'write', either, because clearly you can put words down on a page. Idiots. They say you don't know grammar? Search everything they ever wrote looking for the most minor of grammar mistakes. You're sure to find one eventually. See? Now THEY'RE the ones that don't know grammar!
Of course, these witticisms will only get you on even ground with that monster who dared insult your greatness. Throw in some of these to give yourself the upper hand:
-They have no life.
-They have no friends.
-Their username is stupid.
-Curse words. Use 'em. Too young to know any? Look some up. Don't know what they mean? That's okay! That awful flamer will be impressed by your creativity. Just make sure your parents don't see you looking at them. Then you might get grounded and not allowed to use the computer. Ugh, parents are so unfair.
-They're probably a guy only pretending to be a girl. Or a lesbian. Or both!
-Fanfiction is for fun! It doesn't have to be good! (Although yours totally is.)
And finally, after spending many hours furiously working on a response to a flamer, remember to sign off with a little pleasantry like "Have a nice day! :)" or "Love, [Username]". Just to prove that you're the bigger person.
But just responding to them isn't enough. Now you have to sic your fans on them. Post how hurt you are by this review in your author notes and profile. Give out any and all personal information on them that you have. Subtly direct your adoring fans to their profile. Soon enough your PM box and reviews will be full of sympathy and reassurance, any damage by the flamer now undone. Meanwhile, they'll be inundated with angry fans of yours telling them how mean they are. That should teach them.
But what if they still aren't gone? What do you do then? Easy! Write a hatefic!
You know how writing about a character most people in the fandom dislike being brutally murdered and portrayed negatively will be loved by all? Same principle applies. Write a story in which this awful flamer has a pathetic life and is mean to everybody, which is why they have no friends and are failing out of school and get beaten by their parents and soforth. There. How could anybody take them seriously now? They certainly won't pity fictional-them, oh no. Evil people aren't meant to be pitied. Readers know that. Rub your hands together and cackle, my friend, for you have done good work. Alternatively, you can just write about a fictional you beating the crap out of and humiliating fictional them. Just as cathartic, more direct. People who have also been hurt by this terrible excuse of a human being will love it, earning you yet more fans and reviews.
There. Fiery threat eliminated. Code red over. You can breathe easy now.
So. You are now armed with knowledge. And knowledge, much like AK-47s, miniguns, tanks, automatic weapons, very sharp knives, pistols, revolvers, katanas, daggers, rapiers, scimitars, dirks, short swords, long swords, broadswords, M16s, heavy rocks, a regiment of loyal meatshields, stealth bombers, fighter planes, destroyers, battle cruisers, grenades, sharpened sticks, venomous animals, deadly poison, and cross porcupines, is power. And what do you do with this power of vital importance? You blow it up in everybody's face.
You know what to do. Get out there and rape the writing world with all the knowledge you can muster! Play some heroic music—I recommend Gonna Fly Now, Eye of the Tiger, or perhaps Chariots of Fire—run in slow motion with your pen lifted up high, and spread your wings! I believe in you, my pupil! You won't believe how hard I'm believing right now! I believe in you!
Alternatively, you may choose to turn off your computer, write something of value, and achieve something in your lifetime.
Now that'll be $300 for the lessons, and another $50 for the motivational speech. In cash. Come on, cough it up. I know you got it.