Author has written 2 stories for Bleach.
Recently I attempted to be helpful to an author on this site by leaving a constructive review. I am not going to name the author or the story because it would be childish and continue drama in which I have absolutely no interest. The story in question was good overall and I was very interested in seeing where the author decided to take the readers. My review started by saying I loved the story (which I do), politely pointed out two grammatical errors, and ended with pointing out something specific in that chapter that I had especially liked. Could have explained better, but did not think I needed to type out the specific sections because I thought the author would know what I was referencing. This is the review I left.
"Loved this chapter! Just to point it out... you said that the cabinet could no longer be used to exit the school, but it could be used to leave the school. Exit means leave. And the other thing - when the twins are about to get detention you were talking about how Sirius helped them, but it looked like you had written one thing, changed your mind, and phrased it differently - but did not completely delete the previous version. Other than that, I loved the inclusion of the Weasley fireworks - brings back Umbridge memories lol."
Now I know that no one likes a flamer and that those people are just rude in general so I make it a point to be as positive as I can be when I review. I also try to be as constructive as possible because as nice and encouraging as it is for someone to say great job or thanks for the update, I do not think that it is something that an author can use to grow. I am of the opinion that this is a community and it is everyone's responsibility to do what they can to help our fellow authors along. The author in question did not see it that way and chose to reply in a very belittling and sarcastic manner. Believing I had somehow been misunderstood I replied in an attempt to clarify my meaning and reiterated the fact that I actually enjoyed the story and was attempting to treat the author like a professional by giving them constructive feedback. To back up my point that I was attempting to be constructive and professional I pointed out that I used to work as a copy editor for a major publication. I did not name the publication because I did not feel it was relevant to my point, but for the record I worked on my high school paper, college paper (where I received a masters in English and a minor is journalism), and for the Chicago Sun-Times. Not - as I was told... "BY THE WAY SOMEONE PAYING YOU 1 PENNY A DAY TO WRITE THEIR HIGH SCHOOL PAPER FOR THEM IS NOT AN EDITING ONE IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD HIRE YOU". This was by an incredible margin the nicest (and most grammatically correct) thing in the whole PM.
The author apparently took great offense to me treating them like an adult and responded with a long, profanity-filled, hate-coated diatribe that was written in all caps to further indicate their (they believed) righteous fury. They then decided to state that the sheer volume of stories on this site that got abandoned (around 30,000 according to them) was due to reviewers like me 'demoralizing authors and ripping stories apart'. The majority of stories that are abandoned are due to the author losing interest, losing their muse, and real life taking precedence. If one review that is positive overall, but points out a few minor grammatical errors is enough to totally demoralize you to the point of quitting writing entirely, then I would suggest that maybe creative pursuits are not for you. Because you do not possess the necessary determination and thick skin to persevere through what is one of the most ego-destroying pursuits in existence - falling not far behind parenthood. They also suggested that I look up what constructive criticism meant. I would post the whole thing (instead of the one line that I did post that did not include profanity or some variation on female body parts) here to let everyone see, but I am pretty sure that it is way more than enough to get an account cancelled.
I would like to take this moment to point out a few things...
First - It is not only stories that you post that are subject to the community guidelines. Reviews, forum posts, instant messages, and anything else you post on or send from this site is also included when they are referring to content.
Second - Authors should expect that not everyone is going to like their stories and tearing into a reviewer who repeatedly stated that they enjoyed the story (and was following) is just dumb.
Third - Constructive criticism is a well-meant critique intended to help someone improve.
FanFiction does not filter content and is an open system that trusts the writer's judgement. However, there is an inherent responsibility that falls to writers as a result.
Here is a list of conducts that should always be observed:
Now, I am not some ruler wielding schoolmarm and I am certainly not a prude. I do not care if people curse, write explicit stories (just put a warning for those people who actually are uptight), write slash pairings (I am a Draco/Harry fan lol), or anything else for that matter. I do not believe in censoring other author's content. If writing a scene that describes child abuse, rape, violence, or even just a mild lemon furthers your narrative then I say go for it and you will never hear or read me complain. If the story or content in question bothers me then I will find something else to read. No harm - no foul. However, there is no reason we cannot all be civil in our communications and the PM's I received were far beyond the limits of what is acceptable or even decent.
I am not reporting the author for several reasons.
First - I am done with this drama.
Second - Even though I will no longer be reading the story does not mean that I should deprive other readers who have not yet discovered the true nature of the author the enjoyment of a story. This is something I would hope others consider before they decide to report an author/story.
Third - As previously stated it would be childish and I do not want to take the chance that someone else would try to have the author's account revoked.
One last note...
Writing is a creative process and like any other creative process (art, music, theatre...etc) it can sometimes be subject to harsh criticisms. Be prepared to fight through the rough patches and defend your work if necessary. Also be prepared to accept honest critique as a useful tool to help yourself improve. If you are only writing for your own enjoyment then there is no need to post your work in a public forum. If you do make your work publicly available, then you are asking others to read and hopefully enjoy your creation. That means that by posting you are seeking some form of validation and there is nothing wrong with that. A lot of our personalities are shaped by the reactions of others. It starts with family (learning right from wrong), continues with friends and adults in positions of authority (teachers, church leaders, parents friends) who teach us what is socially acceptable, and then from adult peers and finding your place in the world.
So, if the opinions of others truly do not matter and you are only writing for your own entertainment then there is no purpose in posting. If you are seeking to entertain, engage, inform, or educate others with your writing then you have to accept that you will sometimes fall short of your goal or that others with disagree with you, be offended, or simply not like your work. Either way, as an artist of any kind you have to develop a slightly thicker skin than that of the average person (or, at the very least, not be incredibly sensitive). Fight the good fight, look on the bright side, always seek to grow and improve, be positive and helpful, and other platitudes as well.
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