I’d like to share a quote from a wonderful fanfic writer. I will not post her penname, although some of you may recognize this quote from having read her stories in the past. I loved what she wrote in one of her A/Ns so much that I felt compelled to share it here on my profile page:
“Here's a tweet I saw today that I thought would be good to share: Take a moment to remember that there is a person behind every fanfic and twitter. It gets forgotten easily. Readers, remember that writers can actually see the ugly comments that you make, and writers, remember that readers can see the ugly comments you make. Writers are not obligated to change their fic just because you like to be ugly and rudely opinionated (things that should be shared with others via DM/PM/IM/you get the point)... and writers, readers are not obligated to review - appreciate their words. Sorry, there has just been such ugliness in the fandom that we all love lately, and I just felt like it needed to be said.”
I have never understood the so-called “guest reviewer,” who is basically just a reader who has logged out of his or her account and revisited the story to post an untraceable review. There are so many writers who are out here sharing their beautiful imaginations with the world for our FREE reading enjoyment. These people have lives—REAL lives that they put on hold temporarily just to be able to share their imaginations with us. Some of what they share may sit well with us; some of it may not. But here’s the beautiful thing: There are countless other stories that we can read if we don’t like something about a particular story. There is absolutely NO reason to flame a writer, whether it’s the writer’s writing style, his grammar and/or spelling skills, or his overall plot bunny. All we have to do is simply slide up to the upper right hand corner of our laptop screens and click on the little red box with the little white “X.” Simple, yes? There is no need to sit down and think of all the rude comments that we can make. There is certainly no reason to take the coward’s route and post as a “guest reviewer.” And if there is something that we feel we MUST say about the writer’s work—that we KNOW could be taken negatively—why not save the writer his embarrassment and communicate privately? Just a few extra clicks is all it takes.
We have lost so many writers and fics in the fandom, whether the writers are pulling their own stories or just deleting themselves from FF altogether, and most of it is because of reader negativity, hatred, and cruelty. So I close with this plea: Readers, please respect these real people who are brave enough to share their writing with us. At the end of the day, this is supposed to be all in good fun, yes?
Best wishes to all.