Writers Anonymous
Writers, come in. Talk about your stories, problems, any advice you need, critique, etc. You don't have to be good, you just need to want to write! Fanfic or original fic writers, all are welcome. Read the rules before posting or risk Rhea's displeasure.
New Follow Forum Follow Topic
Page 1 .. Last Next »
arfarfasdfghjkl

I just wanted to ask this. I reaaaally feel bad about a review that I received. I'm just new here so I'm not used to it. especially harsh reviews. Like "Look at this crap" and "What the hell is she talking about" And something like that. Sorry. i just feel bad about it. my friend motivates me to write these. i try to write but then i received this review. I'm losing my confidence, even if i'm just a newbie here.

9/24/2012 . Edited 9/24/2012 #1
Aspiring Hobby

Its all right! Don't worry. Over here there are many types of authors and so some may like your work and some may not. But the best thing to do is to learn from those reviews and try harder. There is no need to lose hope. You can always write again the chapter and replace it.

Also it would be better if you would not review your own story even for replying some one else's review. You can always get back at them through PM.

9/24/2012 #2
yiranY

Nope but I wouldn't give a crap of any bad reviews unless they are logical.

Giving your examples, I would just leave it (or delete it if it really bugs you). If they actually point out what's wrong then get a friend(s) or something to check if what they're saying makes sense, and improve if it does.

(Still don't get why people get offended by random strangers on the Internet... but that may be me being kind of sociopathic.)

9/24/2012 #3
JadedPhoenixBurning

Looking at your reviews, I'd say they are very mild compared to some that I received when I was a newbie. They were VERY abusive; so abusive that the site FINALLY removed them from my boards. How ever the group that took me on as their special project didn't let that bother them since they simply just stalked me off site. Since this forum has to keep the language rated T I can't post half of what was said to me in messages that I received through reviews, PM's, messages on my blog and on other sites that I frequented at the time. Basically though, I believe that such harassment divide the hobbyists from those that have a true desire to write. Hobbyists will give in and stop writing, the writers grow a thicker skin and push through until the trolls lose their interests in the writer and move on to the next newbie.

As for how to receive the actual reviews, ignore the fact that the person used no tact. Instead, ask yourself what could have prompted the reviewer to leave that message. Is your plot well thought out? Are there obvious errors that should have been caught in editing? Does the dialogue fit the characters and story? These are just a few things to ask yourself. Basically, take a look at the story as if you did NOT write it yourself. Sometimes a reviewer may not be articulate in their review since sadly many in our modern day culture resort to being crass much faster than we should so being polite is no longer as common as it should be. Still, just because the review is hurtful does not mean that it can not be used to learn something from it.

9/24/2012 #4
arfarfasdfghjkl

Thank you for your replies. You cheered me up. I guess I should use them to try harder and make better stories. :)

9/24/2012 #5
Corinne Tate

One of the things I hate about this site, is the way it seems to be "Open Season" on writers. In posting a story, we all take the chance that someone won't like it for any reason, and then open up with both barrels. Some think that this site should only be for good, serious writers, and they try to drive away anyone who doesn't fit their idea of "good."

But there is a learning process that has to happen before we reach "good." I have come to understand that novice and newbie writers do indeed make a lot of mistakes. But they are just like me, in that they've got ideas that are just itching to be put in print and shared.

If I can't be helpful or encouraging in a review, then I just back out of the story, nice and quiet. When I do read and review, I am a harsh (discerning) critic, but anything I criticize is meant to help the writer, not tear them down. I've offended writers who mistook advice for flames, and their "don't like, don't read" attitude marks them as childish and ignorant. Being unwilling to learn is offensive to me.

Report anything over-the-top abusive. Absolutely ignore anything personal. Try not to respond, but especially try not to respond in anger, in author's notes, or by reviewing your own story. They really don't care about your response, unless they're looking for a new mark to troll.

Even bad reviews can offer good advice. If they're specific about what is "crap," then maybe take a look at what they're barking about. Also note, that there's really nothing you can learn from empty praise. I have learned a ton more from negative reviews, than I ever learned from those who liked my work. More than half the time, the negative reviewer was right, and I had messed something up.

I tend to have tactful reviewers, who respectfully point out my problems. But I've read other review boards that have the written equivalent of bug spatter on them. Those reviewers only shame themselves in my opinion. I keep my negative reviews up, and as I improved, I can now laugh at them, or even thank them.

Some will tell you to grow a thicker skin. That takes time, and you might quit before that happens. But published writers give some great advice on criticism: The story is not you, it's not your baby, nor your soul. Don't think of it as something so precious, but more like a product. If people don't like it, then maybe you have to improve your product. It's in no way a reflection on you personally.

9/24/2012 #6
Aspiring Hobby

Well said guys!

9/24/2012 #7
Rantaid
does their angry reaction also count? i got plenty.
9/24/2012 #8
MasterFeign
If it's backed up with evidence as to why they are angry, then it can be good. Though I have yet to receive an especially critical review of my work. I did have to delete one anonymous review because the review was a copypasta of some over the top swearing and death threats for simply posting in another forum...
9/24/2012 #9
Ragnelle

I'be never gotten bad reviews, though I have gotten critical ones. Corrine's advice is good, though: you are not your work. Making that separation can be difficult, especially at first, but it is very helpful, not only when it comes to writing, but in life.

I do know how painful it can be to get critic, even critic that you know is meant well. I had my 'training' in growing a thick skin in RL, and it was hard. But the teacher I went home crying from, was also the one I kept coming back to, because she had something I needed to learn. However hard that learning was. Talent is 90% hard work.

9/24/2012 #10
cathrl
I guess I should use them to try harder and make better stories.

Absolutely. Take what's useful and ignore the rest.

'Useful' may not be complimentary. It might not even be polite. But if it does anything at all, keep hold of that. Imagine what the content of the review would have been if it was polite. Maybe it's recommending you use spellcheck or sort out your punctuation (I haven't looked at your reviews, I'm just guessing here). Maybe it's pointing out a site rule you'd missed and you're in danger of having your story deleted by admin. Maybe it's saying that all your sentences are really long, or really short. All these are useful pieces of information which you can use to improve.

Even if it's just the experience of how you felt when someone was really horrible to you, or scared you, or made you feel inadequate, you never know when experience of that feeling might be useful in your writing.

And it's always good to feel smug if someone who was trying to upset you ended up accidentally being useful :)

9/24/2012 . Edited 9/24/2012 #11
negativefeeling
It happens to be that I have just one story written and hadn't many reviews, although I've seen many that are offensive and not just saying that the story is crap. As far as I know, in RL I had to learn to accept critiques even if they pointed out something really painful, or even shameful. It takes a lot of time to leave aside the feelings of anger or upset, but it makes you good in time when you can take all the "bad" reviews and work them out to improve your stories. Also I have a motto that is "treat others as you want them to treat you". If I can think of a concrit to improve a story I like, I'll give it. If I don't like the story, I stop reading and leave.
9/24/2012 #12
taerkitty

I'd rather see a negative review than no reviews. ;) I'm serious - the most self-confidence (and therefore, drive to write) sapping aspect of FP/FF is when I post something I've sweated out and get ....

silence.

9/24/2012 #13
That Way

I agree that a negative review is better than no review. At least you know you made some impression with at least one reader if they feel the need to comment.

The only time a negative review is a big concern for me (beyond just looking at how the review might help me reevaluate my writing and find ways to improve) is when multiple readers who have been giving me positive feedback suddenly have nothing but negative things to say about my latest chapter/story. To me, that's a warning sign I may've bungled my portrayal of characters and events compared to previous material, possible without meaning to.

I know with my longest fic, I did a massive revision mid-story (actually it was right before the climax) and retconned several events. The response was overwhelmingly negative compared to the reviews I'd been getting beforehand. However I was aware that changing events mid-story was a recipe for disaster that most readers wouldn't be happy with the change. But I went through with it anyway because I felt it would make a better story for someone reading it all the way through the first time. It may not be popular with my established 'fanbase', but I was focusing on the fact that the story will hopefully be archived here for years to come and be read by many new readers down the line. So I just took the negative response as evidence that I needed to work that much harder to show WHY I felt the changes made a better story overall and why I felt they were necessary. And I think by the end I succeeded.

9/24/2012 #14
taerkitty

Look at Lucas. I loath the prequels, and shudder each time he 'reissues' the Luke&Leia trilogy because he has visited some 'improvement' upon what is a cornerstone of my youth.

Above is probably a negative review. However, it's only an opinion. He's doing what, in his mind, advances the art, better captures his vision of the story. He's confident in it, and he will continue to tinker with it.

(Of course having millions in the bank does tend to help one's self-confidence...)

9/24/2012 #15
Miss Shad

Oddly, I've never gotten a "bad" review. I've gotten constructive criticism, but that's about it. Maybe it depends on the fandom?

9/24/2012 #16
That Way

I'm sure that plays into it quite a bit, not only the size/age of the fandom and its members, but also its general acceptance for deviations from canon/fanon.

Also writing about hotbutton/controversial topics (abortion, underage pregnancy, r***, sex, sadism, infidelity, drugs, etc.) seem to be big instigators of 'flames'.

9/24/2012 #17
JadedPhoenixBurning
Oddly, I've never gotten a "bad" review. I've gotten constructive criticism, but that's about it. Maybe it depends on the fandom?

Actually, some of the "Bad Reviews" that some are mentioning just might be Constructive Criticism. Not all writers seperate the two. There are many on the site that don't take Concrit well and consider anything that is not positive as a bad/negative review. I'm glad to see that you know the difference.

9/24/2012 #18
taerkitty

I suspect it depends on how rabid the fan, how egregious the genre-UNconvention, and the general pissy-ness of the reader.

I would imagine a bad review is one where the reader/reviewer is actively trying to flame the author. "Look, stop writing already. You're ruining my childhood. You have no idea what the canon is about, and you're trying to force-fit it into the Care Bears (assuming this isn't CB fanfic, that is...)"

This could have been for any fic, any chapter. It doesn't show any sign the reviewer actually read the work. For all we know, the reviewer may have left himself logged in, and a 'friend' is trying to sabotage his account as a 'funny'.

I can see strongly-worded reveiws, such as, "Look, I know you mean well, but this character is strongly het and in no way would pair up with this other character. I mean, look at episode X of the canon. Maybe you could call it an AU in your summary, but you're basically undoing the character if you keep this up." That's disagreeing, but (in my eyes) it's not being disagreeable.

Another form of a bad review is the dreaded:

This is great. Please post more!

But we all know that already...

9/25/2012 . Edited 9/25/2012 #19
Phalanx

The ones that always get my goat is the ones where they go: "Nice story hey you should write a new story about X and Y doing Z instead of this one, it would be so much awesomer!" *facepalm*

9/25/2012 #20
Wispr

I've gotten several in the past and yeah they suck but at least back then if you felt harass you could block them. After getting several nasty anonymous reviews due to not being able to block them I simply pulled my stories. Repeatedly getting flamed anonymously rather kills the fun of posting on FF.Net.

9/25/2012 #21
Corinne Tate

Oh yes Phalanx, in my book the worst ones are those who complain you're not writing the story they want to read. They say nothing about my writing, only that I haven't made a psychic connection with them! Go away, learn to write, write your own story, and leave mine the heck alone!

9/25/2012 #22
LMRaven

Some of the best reviews I have gotten were critical; pointing out where the story can be improved even though I may not always agree. I am a firm believer that a good concrit offers criticism of the story and doesn't bash the writer.

@Corinne Tate, I have also had my share of reviews where they want the story to go in a different direction than the one I am writing. I look at those the same way you do.

9/29/2012 #23
aBlue Gillespian

Another form of a bad review is the dreaded:

This is great. Please post more!

But we all know that already...

This one is my personal worst. I really hate this kind of reviews, but it seems that a lot of the reviews I receive are like this. I personally would rather have a "bad" review pointing all my mistakes, than something that doesn't tell me anything about what the person who read the story thinks apart of wanting to read more. Unfortunately I have received very few constructive reviews and one of them was only after I joined this forum and asked for it. So I suppose it depends on what you see as bad and how much you are prepared to hear about your story and learn. If you post only to be told how good your story is, sure you will be offended by someone telling you that is not all that good.

9/29/2012 . Edited 9/29/2012 #24
Phalanx
@Corinne Tate, I have also had my share of reviews where they want the story to go in a different direction than the one I am writing. I look at those the same way you do.

I always tell those reviewers they are totally allowed to write a fanfic based on my fanfic if they want the story to go a different direction and I will not only NOT protest, I'll even be encouraging and link to it when it's up.

Interestingly, I've never had any takers.

it seems that a lot of the reviews I receive are like this. I personally would rather have a "bad" review pointing all my mistakes, than something that doesn't tell me anything about what the person who read the story thinks apart of wanting to read more. Unfortunately I have received very few constructive reviews and one of them was only after I joined this forum and asked for it. So I suppose it depends on what you see as bad and how much you are prepared to hear about your story and learn. If you post only to be told how good your story is, sure you will be offended by someone telling you that is not all that good.

Well to be honest I think part of the problem lies in the review culture here in FFN. Many authors seem to take any kind of negative comment, concrit or not, nicely-worded or not, personally as an attack on them. I had a reviewer point out a typo to me before, and it was prefaced with so much apology and 'Sorry I hope you don't mind please don't get angry' I was rather astounded. I found out after assuring them I wasn't miffed at all that they'd done the same thing to another author before and gotten flamed quite badly, which explained the nervousness.

After a helpful reviewer gets flamed by an irate author who couldn't take any criticism, or by a gaggle of the author's lickspittles, or both when the author whines in their tumblr/LJ/forum and the poor reviewer gets stalked and harassed and revenge-reviewed, I can see why reviewers might get hesitant to leave anything longer than a one-liner in the future. It's very sad and one of the things that makes me break out the sarcasm/bombastic vocabulary/ego-deflating lance when I see an author acting that way.

I am actually very lucky in that I have several very wonderful and regular reviewers following my fics, but I will admit I also did take some active steps to encourage them to leave concrit, such as short A/N's promising not to flame if they say negative stuff (i.e. "Guys, you are totally allowed to tell me when I mess-up or if you don't like something). I also give quick thank you shout-outs to people who do manage to point out mistakes. Once the readers followed me for a while and noticed that I don't flame even for harsh concrit (well, as long as it doesn't cross the line to personal attacks), they stopped being shy about reviewing and I noticed an increase in the number of those kind of 'deeper' and critical reviews.

Just sharing my experience. I'm not sure if it works in all fandoms but the results are here if you are curious how effective this method is.

9/29/2012 #25
Wispr
I am actually very lucky in that I have several very wonderful and regular reviewers following my fics, but I will admit I also did take some active steps to encourage them to leave concrit, such as short A/N's promising not to flame if they say negative stuff (i.e. "Guys, you are totally allowed to tell me when I mess-up or if you don't like something). I also give quick thank you shout-outs to people who do manage to point out mistakes. Once the readers followed me for a while and noticed that I don't flame even for harsh concrit (well, as long as it doesn't cross the line to personal attacks), they stopped being shy about reviewing and I noticed an increase in the number of those kind of 'deeper' and critical reviews.

Now that is a really cool idea and thanks for sharing!

9/29/2012 #26
BiscuitDude

I always approach criticism's with an open mind. If they've taken the time to read my story and properly critique it then they deserve my attention, otherwise I don't bother.

9/30/2012 #27
Aspiring Hobby
I am actually very lucky in that I have several very wonderful and regular reviewers following my fics, but I will admit I also did take some active steps to encourage them to leave concrit, such as short A/N's promising not to flame if they say negative stuff (i.e. "Guys, you are totally allowed to tell me when I mess-up or if you don't like something). I also give a quick thank you shout-outs to people who do manage to point out mistakes. Once the readers followed me for a while and noticed that I don't flame even for harsh concrit (well, as long as it doesn't cross the line to personal attacks), they stopped being shy about reviewing and I noticed an increase in the number of those kind of 'deeper' and critical reviews.

Thanks a lot for sharing this idea of yours with us @Phalanx. I may try that out.

:)

9/30/2012 #28
prismdreams

I think even a boo is a reaction as long as the reviewer talks about what they didn't like plot-wise, word structuring or ways to make it sound better. When it gets personal it takes the fun out of writing. Nobody here is a perfect, spot on writer. We all derive our style from our idols and the books we read anyway.

9/30/2012 #29
xSweetBubbleTeax

Aww some people are just ignorant jerks that don't care who they hurt. I've gotten negative reviews before to and trust me it really does hurt especially if you worked hard on your story and so proud of finally getting it done especially if it's your first time writing a story. I'd say to ignore the flamers and continue writing, it can be very difficult but if writing is something you love than work hard at it and show those 'reviewers' (If you can call flamers reviewers?) that they can't bring you down :) ...Sorry if this was no help to you arfarfasdfghijk but just keep trucking along :)

...and did Fanfiction bleep out the word 'hard' or am I the only one not seeing it O.O I just said 'Especially if you worked hard on your story'

9/30/2012 . Edited 9/30/2012 #30
Page 1 .. Last Next »
Forum Moderators: Rhea Silverkeys Rowena DeVandal, Maryilee, ODST-127, cathrl, AbCarter
Rules:
  • Forums are not to be used to post stories.
  • All forum posts must be suitable for teens.
  • The owner and moderators of this forum are solely responsible for the content posted within this area.
  • All forum abuse must be reported to the moderators.
Membership Length: 2+ years 1 year 6+ months 1 month 2+ weeks new member