I believe that as a reviewer, If one is willing to write a story and accept reviews from his readers, then the author should be willing to be open minded for constructive criticism, and not just take blind praise.
If I took the time to actually read a story to it's finish and actually enjoy it, then I obviously HAD to care enough about it to review it, and give the writer my opinion (Yes everyone is entitled to having an opinion, regardless how some may think not), so with that said, I tell it as I see it, without the blind praise, and thus give direct criticism and my opinion where it is due.
95 percent of reviewers on Fanfiction.net leave blind praise without giving advice to help the writer improve. I am not one of those individuals. as I said, I hope for each author to aspire and do their best and improve with the hopes they can become professional writers making excellent stories for their readers to enjoy. A very noble goal I hope for them to achieve.
Now I don't want to confuse anyone with the intent that praise and compliments aren't ALL pointless as that is not what I'm trying to say. But go to any story and look for a review and if you see 8 out of 10 times of something consistent of the following
"This story is teh awesome! moar!"
And that is what I'm referring to as blind praise in which the reviewer read the story, may or may not have seen any issues, and simply declare it as the god of fanfiction.
I consider a good review that one that acknowledges the good as well as the bad. After all we all want the author to make a better story right? So as a reviewer one should put in the effort to explain these aspects and help point them out to the author in a properly constructed review.
There is a difference between, open hostility and flames, blind worship and endless praise, just as there is a difference between open-minded constructive criticism with the hopes the author becomes something great other then empty praise without comments to the story itself regardless of who may have wrote the story.
There are people who don't realize that I simply tell it like it is. I respect any aspiring author to do their best and write the story they want to write. (If a author expects to improve his works and try to their best, then they should be willing to go that far and achieve such success. But to ignore criticism is just being close-minded and shows that they are insecure of taking criticism at face value.)
However I also understand that fanfiction is a hobby to some, and there are those that do this as strictly as a hobby and nothing else, and don't intend to become professional writers. This is fine as everyone is entitled to right of the time they spend on doing something they enjoy. However would you not agree to at least put more then half hearted effort into writing a story so that not only does the author themselves get the satisfaction of creating an enjoyable story, but doubly make such a story in that the readers enjoy it and spread that kindness of enjoying such a story back to the original author.
Which brings me to...
The things that I HATE the most on Fanfiction dot net
(The reviews, stories, and names of authors have been omitted which spurred me to make this list)
1) Authors who think their writing is perfect and criticize other authors work. This even more.
These are the Authors who denounce other people's works in their own stories putting their own work on a pedestal above everyone else. These are the same authors who attack their readers just for providing constructive criticism with the intent to help them. I bring this point especially to authors with stories with a word count less than 20,000 and less than 500 reviews and attack another author's story which is has over a hundred thousand words and 1000 plus reviews in their author's notes.
2) A story containing a super powerful Original Character or Self Insert as a main character that basically magically fixes everything making every conflict or issue in the story non-existent. aka Mary Sue / Gary Stu
I think this is perhaps one of the worst things for a story. Not only does it crap all over the original source material but it's a cheap cop out to give less reason for the Author to allow the original cast to grow. Also it implicates the original cast of characters are not capable enough to handle their own problems, unwilling to learn by trial and error and also experience. I find stories with this sort of quality to become extremely boring rather quickly and is usually causes me to stop reading it entirely.
3) Authors who let their dislike of a particular character, warp the perspective of the story they write and make this character interactions, mannerisms, and personality act in a fashion goes beyond a semblance of a canon personality without reasonable justification. (i.e Character Bash Fics)
I don't mind turning a character in a story into a villain, or allow an unfortunate series events happen to a particular character, However when it happens, over and over, repeatedly without reasonable build up or explanation for these events or for a character to act that way in the process comes across as a cheap copout. Making a character act contrary to their canon personality just for the sake pointless bashing comes across as rather amateur hour. I read for the sake of a good story, not for self indulgent fantasy that an author puts their most disliked character through the most ridiculous unrealistic situations. In my 10 years on fanfiction dot net, I've seen countless potentially good written fictions get ruined because of pointless character bashing.
4) Using intentionally misleading summary or character pairings to trick or fool your readers.
I understand going into a story knowing what is going to happen ahead of time can ruin the potential suspense or surprise and this can often spoil the story. However using a trap summary or incorrect character listing or pairings to lure people to read your fiction just get a bunch of hits brings to question the authors confidence in the story being able to stand on it's own. I'd hope the majority are reading for the sake of an entertaining and good story, Not for the sake of a pairing.
5) Creating a story for the sake of a character pairing and not a story for the sake of actual quality reading material.
I find this to be a poor excuse at creating extraneous character relationships without actual character growth or development, for the sake of making a story without substance or plot. I tend to avoid these stories because lack of creativity or inspiration.
6) Replacing 1 for the word "one" or typing thx in place of "thanks", Or using chatspeak or other internet slang in the actual story itself for it's actual dialog. (LOL, J/K, ROLF, etc for example)
If you want to create an actual literary work, you better damn well be sure you take it seriously more then simple chat room conversation and actually write a "STORY". The amount of effort you put into a story will inevitably determine the amount of enjoyment readers will get out of it. Showing almost no effort such as this will assure the story is failure from the very beginning.
7) Writing a story based on a series but having none of the characters act like they are from the universe they come from. The characters personalities being made up by the author, who didn't even bother to keep a semblance of personality from the original characters, Or rather tried to write a story after simply watching one episode / reading one page from the source material they came from and decided that was enough research to create a story based on these characters and/or universe.
It's one thing for characters to grow and evolve and change over time, or have them act a certain way because it is dictated for the story for a legitimate and logical reason behind it. But it's something entirely else to make up completely original personalities that are nothing like the original characters they are supposed to be based on doing things and acting out of character for no unexplained reason behind it. It's like the story is filled with nothing but actors, acting as the roles they are supposed to resemble but aren't truly who they are supposed to be. You could easily change the setting of the story, change the character names, and one would still be unable to tell the difference.
8) Because it happened in the original story, The same must also happen in the fanfiction.
While I do believe the original canon to a story is important, HOWEVER there is a reason why it's called FAN FICTION, well actually two reasons in my opinion. Reason One Fandom Fiction - The story is written by fans for the original series to create their own twist and interpretation on how it events happened, in the sake of a WHAT IF scenario. Reason Two Fantasy Fiction - Because Fantasy is something that comes from the imagination, given the writer free reign of creativity. I feel that while Fan Fiction is a way to express personal feelings on "How I wished things would happen" I still think any author who writes fan fiction needs to also give respect to the original author they are basing their fiction on. Why bother writing a story on a universe If you cannot or will not appreciate the work that is the foundations and universe you are basing your story on. It's just something you should think about as a writer.
9) Author's who cannot accept any sort of criticism or review that is against their story, They think their story is perfect and can do no wrong. There is no difference between a FLAME and CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM in these individuals eyes. To them any sort of advice to improve is treated as a flame regardless how the advice was given.
If you are receiving a lot of reviews in your story about spelling errors, ruined plot line, characters doing things in the story for no explained reason or logic behind them, and other such messages. You should actually take time to evaluate what your reviewers are saying and actually realize that they are trying to actually HELP YOU. If you cannot take a contrary opinion or willing to help yourself improve as a writer then you will never be able to create an even better story. There is nothing good that comes from ignoring the reviews you are given that would only lead to your story being fleshed out and overall becoming an even more quality fanfiction.
10) Author's who constantly and repeatedly mix up their homophones, making their story rather annoying to read.
There, Their, and They're are three different words with it's own unique definition. Just the same as Two, Too, and To. See and Sea. Hear and Here. Write and Right. Weather and Whether. Peace and Piece. Plane and Plain. Know and No. Knew and New, and I can go on and on with this. A Dictionary and Thesaurus are an Author's best tools at his/her disposal. It's one thing to write a quality story but when it's filled with similar sounding words that are don't have the proper meaning they are supposed to have, shows the lack of understanding of the English language. And having knowledge of the language is extremely important as it goes hand in hand with grammar and as well creative writing and literary works when writing a story or even fanfiction for that matter.
11) Author's who hold their stories hostage for reviews / threaten to take their story offline due to lack of reviews.
It's one thing to be inspired and motivated by reviews to keep writing, however demanding a perquisite of a certain amount of reviews or review begging should be unnecessary. Let me ask you these questions "Is your story good enough to be warranted to receive reviews from those that reviewed it willingly instead of you demanding it? Would you actually care about your readers feedback rather than the number of reviews associated with that story? If you were to break down all of those reviews you received, How many of them are legitimate feedback carefully written that produced honest to goodness constructive criticism from those that actually enjoyed your story for what it was worth, and from those not simply reviewed for the sake of the story continuing and not actually putting thought into the review because you dictated as such?" Just think about that for awhile.
If you need to beg for attention (reviews) to feed your ego for the sake of writing, then your story is mostly likely not worth reading or reviewing anyways.
Annoyances in Naruto Fanfiction / Fanon
I read a lot of Naruto fanfiction. In fact I'd say in the Anime / Manga section it takes up the largest portion of story space on FF dot net, and unfortunately due to the insane popularity of Naruto fiction, there are several things that have become glaring issues over time, to the point that some of the fanon is treated like it was canon.
1) Naruto being physically abused by mobs and villagers when he was a child.
This has NEVER happened in canon and there is very little precedent for it. Yes Naruto may have been ostracized and given cold looks and mostly ignored, but he was never assaulted by mobs or received physical abuse. The ONLY incident would have been Mizuki and he planned to steal the Forbidden Scroll anyways.
On one hand, Gaara was violent due to the fact his very own father sent assassins in attempt to kill him because he considered the sealing a failed experiment, because of Gaara's poor treatment caused him to react VIOLENTLY towards people who would do physical harm to him. If Naruto was physically abused and assaulted, Naruto would more then likely ended up the same as Gaara and just the same also retaliate against anyone who do him harm.
2) The Civilian Council
While the Civilian Council in itself DOES NOT exist in canon. The most common cliche of the civilian council is having the power to influence the Hokage's decisions. The fact that the Hokage is a military dictator whose power is only second to the Fire Daimyo makes any story that uses the Civilian Council undermine the Hokage's authority seems very out of place and unusual.
There IS however an Elder Council in canon who basically have an advisory role to the Hokage (Homura and Koharu, and Danzo to a certain extent), in the sense they can give advice but not give direct orders or demands. http:// naruto. wikia. com/wiki/Konoha_Council (remove spaces)
I find it pretty pathetic that some people think the Hokage's role as the most powerful ninja in the village is little more then a figurehead with no real power, which brings me to my next point.
3) The Kage's constantly dealing with "paperwork"
Yes I'd expect the Kage's to deal with deciding which missions are assigned to which teams, and keeping control of an active roster of all known ninja as well controlling all military matters and giving orders. However there are far too many stories which make the Kage's act little more then office workers. Remember people, we are talking about the most powerful ninja in the village, a role which I'm sure that was earned with constant training and battle, not just lead and make decisions all day.
The Kage's being delegated to dealing with "paperwork" goes against the point of the Kage needing to constantly maintain their edge in battle to be viable for that role of most powerful ninja in the village. One does not keep their power and skill by being forced to sit on their ass all day and stamping papers and reading reports, if fact I'd be more inclined a Kage would have secretaries to deal with most of this crap.
4) ANBU being portrayed pathetically weak
Kakashi Hatake was ANBU, Itachi Uchiha was ANBU, Tenzo / Yamato also is ANBU, nearly every single instance of ANBU in canon is reputed them being extremely high level in regards to skill and ability. These individuals are considered the ELITE for a reason. I find it pitiful that there are fiction writers that portray these elite level ninja having worse skills and ability than run of the mill Genin and Chunin, ridiculously to the point of them being fit in the moronic fanon role as cannon fodder.