Story Reviews – Some Thoughts

So, let’s talk today about reviews. Specifically, about things not to do in reviews. (In other words, some things that really boggle the mind.)

For some reason or another, I haven’t received a lot of reviews for my fic that I would call “troll reviews” or “flame reviews” (you know the ones, they start with, “You’re an effing idiot,” and just get more vituperative from there). In fact, as far as I can recall, I’ve received only two. One several years ago on a story I posted to FictionPress (Fanfiction.Net’s “original fiction” partner), wherein the reviewer abused me for not writing like Harlan Ellison. (Newsflash: No, I don’t write like him, because I am not him! In fact, I don’t particularly like his writing style, so I don’t even try to write like him!) And the other one was last Friday.

Now, this is not to say that I never receive negative reviews. I do. (Particularly on my short HP fic Discipline Issues.) People don’t like my stories and feel the need to tell me, or they offer me a critique, or whatever – yes, I’ve got plenty of those. But most of the time, people are at least polite with their reviews to me, even if they don’t like the story. And I have a thick skin when it comes to critiques of my writing.

This person was nowhere near polite, which is part of the reason I’m venting about it here.

Warning: Foul language and lack of common sense below.

The review was left on Edge of the Blade (FFNet/AO3/Here via Fanfic Link), my major Rurouni Kenshin story that has been on hiatus for a few years now. (I’m still partway through Chp. 5 Pt. 2.) It was left as a guest review (so of course, could not be reported).

Yin:F*** you man f*** you! Y the hell did u abandon this? It was the best RK story I’ve read!

Point the First: Rude language does nothing to impress the author that you are a reasonable person. In fact, it simply encourages the author to ignore the review completely (if not delete it for such foulness, as I did).

Point the Second: This person, “Yin”, clearly did not read my author profile. It states there, clear as day: “All stories with ‘WIP’ in the summary are works-in-progress and will (eventually, in some cases) be finished.” (Note that my profile is not at all long.) Edge of the Blade clearly has ‘WIP’ in the summary. (“AU. A hitokiri is a hitokiri until he dies. Kenshin knew and understood this years before arriving in Tokyo. Now, his secret is in danger of being exposed as he battles Shishio. WIP [Saitou and Kenshin friendship]”) Logically, it is therefore not abandoned.

Point the Third: The compliment is nice… but seriously breaks suspension of disbelief considering the rest of the review. Seriously. I don’t update based on reviews – I update based on when I’ve written and reviewed the next part(s) – but if I did, this reaction would discourage me in the extreme. It’s the best RK story this person has read? Then why are you abusing the author?!

In other words, this person seriously lacks any common sense whatsoever. As such, their opinion counts for nothing with me. But all the same. It just… boggles my mind that anyone could think that is at all an appropriate review.

So. Some things that you Must Not Do when reviewing, for your edifying pleasure.

Okay, rant over now.

Will hopefully go back to updating more frequently soon.

‘Later, all!
:} tag

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