How to get more positive reviews (what I think works anyway) (27)

1 Name: Sou7h : 2009-09-19 18:55 ID:k91b9Meb

Let me just say that there is guarantee this will work. It may or may not. Actually, most of this is based on what I look for when I'm looking for a story to read, just in reverse. Take away as much or as little as you want from this.

  1. Your summary. This is very important because it's the first impression you give to someone to decide whether or not to bother reading your story. Obviously, you want it short and to the point: try to contain it in one sentence. You should try to strike a balance between revealing too much and too little info. Also make sure you have the right tags (AU, slash/femslash, etc) and that you don't have any typos. Spelling and grammar mistakes say "unprofessional" to me. If you have anything that is completely unique to your story, this is the time to point it out.
  2. Update regularly. By default, stories on the page are organized according to date of last update. If you can keep your story near the top of the first page, you will get a lot more hits as opposed to if it was on the second page or even halfway down the page. More hits means more chances of a review.
  3. Rating. Also by default, the page shows only fiction rated K to T. This means that material rated M won't show up unless someone turns it on. So if it's possible to scale down how graphic your story is, you may want to consider it.
  4. Subject matter. How popular is your category? Your pairing? Yes, you want your story to be original and unique, but some people also like a comfort zone, or only read one type of story.
  5. Length/readability. Big, chunky blocks of black text can be intimidating to some people. The fact is that it looks like work and if it looks like work, most people don't want to read it. Put things in proper paragraphs and don't make them too long. Don't use too many words that most people won't understand.
  6. Overall quality. As painful as it sounds, you may need to take a critical look at your plot. It may be too slow-moving or unintentionally out of character. You may want to consider a beta reader, or editing it further.

Don't lose hope if your fanfic doesn't get many reviews. It can take a while to get reviews, depending on your category. And regardless of the number of reviews you have, it may not reflect the quality of your writing: I've seen some good stories that deserve more reviews and some bad ones that don't deserve the number of reviews they have. Happy writing and I hoped this helped!

2 Name: SeraEris : 2009-09-19 21:45 ID:EKpYmh27

nice points

  1. i totally agree with the summary part. it is important because is the cover of the story. i dont find necessary though to explain if the story is AU or yuri/yaoi because of the fandom im belong to.
  2. the updates are sure the a thing that most of us the writers have to consider a lot. i'm not a fast updater, but i still try to update once in a week. but i dont give a chance to stories that the publish date was back in 2002 and they did an update just last night. i might try it when i have ready everything else. i used to read only complete stories, because i hate it when a story leaves you at a point you want more and they never update again. that is a main reason i rarely have cliffhangers in my own stories.
  3. i will disagree with the rating thing. because it is onother thing that depends on the fandom. the reputation i build as a writer is that i mainly write Mature stuff. i have few T rated stories but they are T rated only because i dont include sex scenes in them :P. also before i started writing i was a reader. so MY own default search :P was for Mature stories only. now im reading everything about them :D. also the to be mention that your story is graphic is not the point. the rating is used to protect the underage readers. so i cant for example rate my latest story that is about rape and raw violence fully detailed at that matter, a T story cause it is not. i even have a warning about that stuff at each chapter and the summary.
  4. i belong to H&M fandom that is really popular. the pairing is cannon. and everything works nice for me so far. when i paired haruka with a man for one of my stories and there was no michiru in the story at all, i got the lowest of hits and reviews ever. it pained me a lot because i had put some energy to that story [one shot actually] and it didnt get the attention i would like it to get. i got few nice reviews though.
  5. sure the readability is an issue. when i see such texts i just copy them to a word file and read them from there. i had one story like that [one of my first ones] that is was, as a reviewer said it "a text wall" i fixed it after that review. and i have really improved at that matter :D
  6. and here you said the most important thing of all. THE PLOT. i like stories when they are full detailed not over detailed though, that you have forgotten what was the plot at the end of paragraph.

i mean i like it when it goes like this:

a. she walked into the room and placed her keys on the wooden nightstand that stood at the right of the bed. then she saw her lover lying on the silk white sheets of they bed...

[well this is how i write :P]

i cant stand when it goes like that:

b. she stepped on the think carpet of their bedroom that they shared since they became lovers. she placed her giggling keys
with a metal-hit-the-wood sound of the brown wooden elegant furniture that was a nightstand, that stood in all its glory next to the bed she shared with her person she loved so much and they shared countless nights of passion and love. when she turned her head she saw her long time partner lying on the silk white sheets that felt like velvet in the touch, and hugged her lover's body so perfectly and nice and ... and ...and...

or like that:

c. She walked in, her lover on the bed.-


i think i made my point clear :P

also there is another thing.

7. writers who want to have loads oh hits and reviews they should know how the readers want the stories to be. what im trying to say is that they should be readers themselves and think how a reader will react to this or that of their stories ;)

8. also be kind to your fans [yes fans] if they review you and read everything you write then they deserve at least a thank you message from you. remember they took the time to review you ;)

3 Name: SeraEris : 2009-09-19 21:52 ID:EKpYmh27

>>2 excuse my countless typos and grammatical errors it is still 7.30 in the morning here :S

4 Name: xxhanzyxx : 2009-09-21 11:57 ID:p02XVwzc

I have written a few fanfics now based on nightwing and posted them on under xxhanzyxx and have had lots of people view my stories but no reviews and dont know if its because i have somehow blocked them from leaving reviews or if people just dont want to review them, but considering there are loads of stories on that site and nearly all of them have had multiple reviews I just wanted to know whats going on as I would love to hear what people think

5 Name: Chris000 : 2009-09-21 20:36 ID:f2SqlZOj

I have the same problem. I have hundreds of hits this month, but no damn reviews! I don't know what the problem is. Do they not like it or are they just ignoring it? They obviously know that it exists reviews...

come on, am I a good author or a bad one?

6 Name: Crimson Cataclysm : 2009-09-21 21:25 ID:8S5TBT+3

I get more emails on story alerts and favorites than review alerts. Even so I can tell that the person enjoyed my work enough to favorite and alert it.

I just come to accept the fact that people are lazy.

7 Name: Chris000 : 2009-09-21 21:40 ID:f2SqlZOj

Eh, you may be right on that one.

8 Name: SeraEris : 2009-09-21 23:48 ID:8EuQh0pm

i have updated twice a story of mine that last months had loads of reviews and alerts and favored a lot and everything
but my last two chapters dont get reviews i got 5 for the 9th chap and im going to see what 10th chap will do

also stories of other authors who usually get a lot of reviews
but these days dont get any

i think at the moment it has to do with free time
since almost all around the world everyone have started school/uni/college etc

9 Name: Flinch-Hayward : 2009-09-22 08:07 ID:O/f6DGUT

Easiest way to get reviews is to work out what the fandom wants, work out what you want to write, and strike a happy balance between the two.

Since discovering Torchwood, I became an instant Jack/Ianto shipper. For several days after Children of Earth aired, everybody was after AU fics that featured Ianto. I wrote one and got lots of hits and several reviews.

Two months later, and my fic (called 'Fourteen', for those interested) still has a large following. I've tried to keep the fic original (i.e. not copying other fics out there), keep to what the fans want, and update regularly.

400+ reviews says it's working so far. =D

10 Name: Ginger Freak : 2009-09-22 10:01 ID:623fHrNw

I think it helps to have a good title for your story cuz personally that's the first thing I look at before I even look at the summery.

11 Name: Azmodai : 2009-09-23 11:19 ID:vHg7N7IS

I know alot of the stories i read i don't leave reviews because there are a hell of a lot of fanficcers out there that treat any review that isn't 100% praise like rubbish and then set all their fans on the person. I know there are those who don't do that but still alot of people don't bother because of that.

Anyway, alot of my stories are on alerts for alot of people who have never reviewed them as far as i'm concerned thats good enough cause that means there are people out there who enjoy reading it and want more.

12 Name: Adelaide : 2009-09-23 13:15 ID:t1x0re7I

Cover basic grammar and spelling. People can't read what's beyond bad grammar. You could have the most interesting story in the world and it wouldn't shine through crappy grammar. If you don't put time into your own story, why expect anyone else to?

If you lack grammar skills and someone to review your work, yes, post on FF. But EDIT THE STORY AS REVIEWS COME IN.

13 Name: Prism0467 : 2009-09-27 06:52 ID:SvHIaAdg

@Flinch-Hayward: seconded.

When Gaara and his siblings returned to the Naruto manga, everyone was excited. I wrote two NaruGaa fics, a two-chapter and a one-shot sequel, in honor of the occasion, and they broke wide (relatively speaking, of course). Not much in the way of hits and reviews, but way more than usual for me, and someone asked my permission to archive them both.

Movie studios do it all the time--they make movies based on what's subject of media frenzy at any given time. No reason why it wouldn't work the same way with fanfiction.

14 Name: RufusTheZebra : 2009-10-22 14:16 ID:5JlJhEJc

I've found that I get quite a few review alerts, but lots of people just put my story on alert and leave it at that. Obviously I still love it when they do that, but I do like a review.

With reviews, if you get a review that is trying to be constructive, don't reply with all guns blazing and go on for hours about how much effort you have put into the story or whatever. And what REALLY annoys me is when authors hold their story to ransom - when they want xx number of reviews before they update. By all means, offer incentives such as bonus material, but don't punish the regular reviewers.

15 Name: Jay5merlin : 2009-10-23 04:26 ID:lxhq6paj

I think it really does depend on the story. I have written 11 stories and although they all get lots of hits they only have on average about 3-5 reviews each. However I have one story that's gone past the 30 mark. I think it does depend on the type of story, as everyone really likes that particular one, but also having lots of chapters helps enormously :) Long stories are more likely to have reviews than one-shots.

16 Name: cally777 : 2009-11-06 00:34 ID:UsMbwqLP

I have recently tried to raise my writing profile, not necessarily to get more reviews, but to increase hits (and hopefully therefore reviews). This is partly because I know the fandom I'm writing for is relatively small compared to my last story (which pretty much "sold" itself.

I've tried posting on bulletin boards (not this one!) concerned with my genre, letting people know I'm writing a fic about something they might be interested in as fans. Hopefully this will seem informative rather than desperate.

The result, so far as I can tell, is an increase in hits, though not yet in reviews. Perhaps more will come eventually.

17 Name: Mangaluva : 2009-11-08 06:42 ID:UDI863fC

A descriptive and grammatical summary always helps. I also agree with keeping spelling and grammar correct- it looks professional, it looks readable. Other than that, it's really just down to your skill as a writer. If a chapter utterly "WOW"s a reader, they'll want to review.

Replying to reviews is polite, either personally or at the end of the chapter (which is what I do). People like getting a mention and they'll probably review later chapters.

18 Name: arwenfairtinuviel : 2009-11-09 13:26 ID:M/UPZmcn

Writing professionally and demonstrating that you have put a lot of effort into your work will undoubtedly encourage a reader to give feedback on your story.

One way to get more reviewers, which I don't think anyone else has mentioned previously, is to yourself read other people's fanfictions (especially in the same fandom as your own works) and review them constructively. Don't beg for them to read your story, as that sounds desperate and indicates that you're not good enough in your own right to get reviewers, but by spreading your name and showing interest in other writers' works, they are likely to take note of you and out of curiosity look at your work. In this way they may review you and you will have more reviews. It's just a tip that has worked for me in the past.

But just by reading all the tips posted on here shows your enthusiasm to please potential reviewers and if you follow the advice it should definitely help your review count!

19 Name: sheechiibii : 2009-11-09 13:33 ID:6puLQnR8

I become rather confused with my review numbers...
My first story I received heaps of reviews; probably at least ten per chapter, which I considered a lot and appreciated.

However my new improved story is lucky to receive two per chapter, yet I have almost double the amount of favourites, alerts and hits on it than the first story. I have absolutely no idea what to do anymore so I just suck it up and continue either way.

I never beg for reviews though...I find it very annoying to read a story where the author leaves a comment at the end saying 'I'll only update if I get (so and so number) of reviews'
I find it really...unprofessional


20 Name: Marth : 2009-11-10 00:43 ID:JJYC+OtS

This may be exclusive to the fandom circles I frequent, but I've found that it's easier to get constructive reviews if you DON'T write whatever's popular at the moment. I get a reasonable number of reviews (maybe 2-3/chapter) despite writing bizarre unpopular stuff, but once, as an experiment, I made a dummy account and posted a story that (a) featured a very popular pairing and genre, and (b) had purposefully sub-par grammar and spelling. The two chapters I put up got, together, something like 40 reviews. Holy moly.

However, they were all the short kind that just said something like "I liked it! Update soon!" Not a single person called me out on my mechanical errors, either. This may just be me, but I'd much rather get a few really good critical reviews than a lot of ices. I know now that I COULD get a ton of reviews if I completely changed the way I write, but it's just not worth it, not to mention super-depressing.

Also, amen to what arwenfairtinuviel said about R&Ring other people's fics. If you feel that you absolutely MUST write a review asking for a review back, make sure that your review is substantive. Even then, it's rude, but nothing makes me less inclined to be nice than getting a review that just says "Your story is good. You should read mine," or something like that.

21 Name: moonphase : 2012-06-05 10:51 ID:3xoNzYDw

I don't get many reviews either. I try not to whine like a bitch about it, but sometimes it's hard not to (lol, I'm such a cry baby!)

Tbf, I've never threatened to not write another chapter unless I get a certain amount of reviews. Once I've started a story it's going to get finished regardless of reviews.

22 Name: moonphase : 2012-06-05 10:51 ID:3xoNzYDw

I don't get many reviews either. I try not to whine like a bitch about it, but sometimes it's hard not to (lol, I'm such a cry baby!)

Tbf, I've never threatened to not write another chapter unless I get a certain amount of reviews. Once I've started a story it's going to get finished regardless of reviews.

23 Name: Yemi Hikari : 2012-06-06 16:01 ID:8rKr/GO+

>>20 - Not to mention there is a person in the Bleach fandom who is trolling for reviews using this method.

>>21 - I choose not to worry about review numbers.

24 Name: moonphase : 2012-06-07 13:02 ID:bAxXBI6u

>>23, I wish I was cool enough to not care.

25 Name: marymagdalen : 2012-06-07 14:57 ID:nHGJUtsw

I think a lot of reviewers just want to be "nice", but personally I'd rather be called out on my mistakes, and take some constructive criticism, than just be told "great chapter update soon"!

I get some really good reviews from some people, but when I look at other fics they've reviewed, they say the same thing even though the other fic is, imo, not that good. And please, don't misunderstand, I'm not saying I think I'm better than everybody else, I only mean they praise fics that are just badly written, bad spelling, grammar, etc, things which I'm totally OCD about - and that makes me wonder if they really mean what they say (see first point above about being "nice"!)

>>24 I know reviews aren't everything, but... me too!!

26 Name: Yemi Hikari : 2012-06-07 22:28 ID:8rKr/GO+

>>24 - I should possibly rephrase that. I do worry about getting reviews because it is nice but I also don't let it upset me.

>>25 - Actually, it is more like reviewers are "scared" to tell people the truth. A lot of the younger writers have been taught "if you have nothing nice to say, don't say it at all". But the thing is that statement doesn't mean what people think it does.

There are a few times I think that, but then I stop and reread the review and remember that a particular person has a certain way of telling someone they need to improve. They also don't have my level when it comes to critique. Which strangly reminds me that I need to go and check for fics featuringthe same subject matter as mine do. I've had a few of these writers who are just starting out and they are very similar to my work. I get the feeling I am going to eventually get someone though that does in fact plagiarize my fanfic.

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