critique - yes, no, positive, negative? (21)

1 Name: Yemi Hikari : 2010-08-01 00:14 ID:d/KDg79f

I noticed that, while we have threads on 'weird reviews' and 'best flamer', we don't have a thread, for out there responses that we recieve from people we leave reviews from. I will be upfront, that I am a critiquer, and write reviews so that writers can become better writers. To me, critique, and flaming are two different things. Also, I want people to feedback to me, if they find something I need to immprove upon in my reviews.

Some people say that they don't want critique, because they don't want their reviews to say anything negative about the work. However, the site guidelines clearly state 'not all reviews will strictly praise the work' and 'if someone rightfully criticizes a portion of the writing, take it as a compliment that the reviewer has opted to spend his/her baluable time to help improve your writing'. To note, the very next guideline, says the reviewer must respect the writer.


Well, recently, I got a response back about a story I reviewed. Not in one place, did they tell me how my review was offensive, and I couldn't go back and check, because they had deleted the fanfic. Yet they claimed that I was slandering the person.

They started off, by threatening bodily harm if they ever met me, because I left such a message in a young writer's mailbox. My first thought was, if I ever met them in real life, and they tried to do something like that, I would take them to court.

They then went off about how it was co-written, and how his nephew typed up the story, and how he posted it as is, because his nephew was so proud of it, and that was why it had the bad lines. It might just be me, but if I was helping someone with a fanfic to post online, I would be a lot more helpful then they were.

And the kicker is, they knew that the fanfic was bad. Said that they had planned on removing it, so that they wouldn't get negative reviews like mine. When someone says this, I always question why they go and post stuff to the internet in the first place?

They also said they weren't looking for input. Except, when someone says this, I always wonder, why is it that someone goes and posts something, so it is public, and can get reviews? If they don't want imput, then what they want is praise. But if the fanfic is bad, you can't request strictly praise.

Let's just say, we blocked each other.


That was the worst... the other responses that I've gotten were...

  • When I called out someone for plagerizing DDR (Diamond Dust Rebellion), I had their friends say that they weren't plagerizing, because it wasn't word for word. For those who don't know, plagerism does NOT mean word for word. The story was in fact though, pretty much a word for word retelling of all the action sequences and dialoge from the movie, and they just slapped in an OC. I did a word count, and most of the story wasn't theirs. They rather cliqued together, and threatened to gang up on me, so I didn't push the subject.
  • The second one, was when a preteen, who wasn't supposed to be on the site, got mad because I called her ignorant. I had used the word in the context, not as a slur or demeaning word, but in it's correct context, and had said that she had made mistakes due to her ignorance of things. (aka, lack of knowledge). Later on, I found a review she left for someone elses fanfic that I had critiqed, telling them not to listen to me, because I had called them ignorant, and she used it in different context then I had. Now that, is slander.


And before people ask, no... I haven't received retalitory reviews for the reviews I leave, except for some anon. ones. That seems to be a big worry, and why some critiquers review under a false account.

2 Name: ... : 2010-08-01 04:43 ID:1TX6BN2B

If one hopes to be a decent writer one day, one should desire honest criticism. If one doesn't care how awful one's writing is, but insists on posting it, one should do the world a favour and jump off a bridge.

3 Name: Jen : 2010-08-01 05:51 ID:ZXqg9M8L

I crave critism. I know that I'm def. not the greatest writer around, and I do honestly enjoy praise, but I'm still young and I know that I probably make mistakes, whether they be big or small.

When I leave reviews, I'm a tad more positive than I normally am (you could call me a negative person), and I some critique. Only one person has ever gotten mad at me for it, and well... have you heard of YGO DM/GX/5D? She had characters from each of those series, and they are set several years apart, daring each other. How could I not critique that? And she didn't even state it was AU.

I am thinking of creating another account just to critique. to be honest, most of the stories in my fandom really need much work, especially in the OOC part.

>>2 Oh, how many fanfic authors do I know that I want them to jump off a bridge...

4 Name: Crimson Cataclysm : 2010-08-01 09:32 ID:G0TOnPOd

I give criticism, although it's mostly the kind that nitpicks any grammar/spelling mistakes and typos. And to be honest, I really wish people would give me that kind of criticism as well, but mostly I get "some errors, but good job!" But...where ARE the errors? Because now I am looking frantically throughout the whole fic trying to find whatever mistake I made.

5 Name: Yemi Hikari : 2010-08-01 09:47 ID:d/KDg79f

>>2 - I don't know so much about wanting them to jump of the bridge, so much as I want them to grow up.

>>3 - The advatage of having a secondary account, is the fact that people can't retaliate and spam your stories. But as I've said, the only ones I've recieved are anon ones.

A disadvantage of having a secondary account, particularly if you keep two persona seperate entities, is there is the belief by some, that if you don't write, you can't say anything about writing.

  • I think the fact I have so many stories, is one of the reasons that I possibly don't get retaliation though.
  • The other is, looking at a good deal of my reviewers, some would likely retaliate. Not persay flame, but they would likely also give the person a good hard knock.
  • When I first started, I started in fandoms that critiquers were many

Another disadvantage behind a secondary account is if you do keep your fanfics secret, people think that you might be trying to bully. However, I do know a few decent, non-flamers who happen to have a good reputation for their critique, but most are flamer accounts.

Another note, OoCness is something that runs rampant in any fandom. The number of people who think it is all right, to change a canon characters personality boggles me.

One time I read a Bleach fanfic, where the characters were in an AU setting, and Hitsugaya Toshiro was acting like a normal person for his age or for a teenager. If you know Bleach, he's a child genius, and doesn't think like a normal kid, and tends to shy away from people naturally.

Well, the person who wrote that fanfic came back with the reply, hey, it is a AU, so I can do anything I want. At that, I went bztt wrong. If you are writing an AU and the characters are themselves in name/looks only, what you have, isn't fanfiction, it's original work desquised as fanfiction.


I also just remembered a rather funny reply, from a joint account. I believe they were twins. The person who wrote the fanfic replied with a major rant and that I was wrong. I then defintly went and logically explained how her logic didn't work. The next day, I got a responce back from her sister, who told me that I had done a good job with explaining things to her sister. Not those exact words, but I usually don't get responces back like that.

6 Name: Bitch Goddess : 2010-08-02 17:05 ID:nqJARDYI

Personally, I ask my readers to leave me contructive criticism on my stories because it is my desire to please my readers. I very rarely get alot of this, mostly praise, but when I do get it I always take it into consideration. If it is about spelling or grammar (rarely, but I have had a few fubars that I needed to fix) I always go and fix it, if it is something about the actual plot or characters I always think it over and try to apply it to the story in my mind and if it works I'm very likely to use it, if not I still thank the reader and apologize that I couldn't use their idea.

>>1 I agree that their is a HUGE difference between a critique and a flame. I hate flames and flamers, and ask that anyone who wants to give a negative review on my story to give me some critique on how I can make it better. I try never to flame (I can only think of one time that I left an actual flame) and always offer constructive criticism to an author who's story is lacking. Surprisingly, I've never had negative retaliation from someone who's story I've critiqued. Actually, 3 of the stories I've critiqued over the last year I am now betaing and have become friends with the authors.

I think if someone can't handle critique then they shouldn't write. Every author receives criticism. Even published and famous authors.

7 Name: Yemi Hikari : 2010-08-02 18:43 ID:d/KDg79f

>>6 - I actually like doing that too. I remember that critique was a big deal for me, on my first chaptered fanfic. I had an amazing anon. reviewer, who helped me with some of the spelling and gramatical stuff, that I hadn't quite mastered when I first started moving.

I also LOVE using people's ideas to add onto my stories. Sometimes, it is for that given story, or a side story, or a completly different one.

I too have only once left an actual flame, and that was when I kept cutting down the review, and to which I appologized to the author. I offer writers the chance to point out to me how I can improve on my reviews, and I offer to take a look at other people's reviews, to see if they are flames for people... because fact is, I've talked to some people, and they simply don't know.

I also don't concider telling someone off, to be more respectful a flame either though. I am not talking about, telling people they can't write slash, but when people use someone elses character as a personal hormonal play toy, or they character bash, I speak up, because that definatly isn't right, or respectful. I also speak up on sensitive issues, like the fanfic that had George Bush nuke all Redwall, or another fanfic that the author said they were writing a fanfic about drugs, to help people on drugs, and people who've fallen victum, but truth was, the tone of the story mocked the problem, more then anything else.

I've become good friends with some of the people I've critiqued, some I beta for, or discuss things with.

I don't think that people who can't handle critique, shouldn't write. I do though, think that they shouldn't put it out there, where people can see. It isn't fare to say, I only want praise. And unfortunatly, I have had some people say, why can't you just PM it to me. One person I agreed to give a short review on their chapter, and leave the rest via PM, but truth is, don't remember who they were.

8 Name: Yemi Hikari : 2010-08-11 17:50 ID:d/KDg79f

bummed I just left a review for a person, that was more lecture about not growing as a writer, then critique on their fanfic. The person has been writing for four months, and has written over twenty fanfics. I'd left advice on a BUNCH of their other fanfics, a couple of months ago, and over time, but I've been ignored, because her fanfics got eaten up by the rabbid Toshiro/Momo fans. However, now she's moved onto other pairings, is bragging about writing so many fanfics. She breaks site rules, wrote a sequel to one fanfic, BEFORE asking the other author's permision (she got it afterwards). Not to mention, quite a few of her fanfics BREAK site rules.

Actually, the fanfic was for a pairing I REALLY like, and I loved the summary. I clicked the link, and was bombarded by text problems. I also got slammed with Toshiro/Momo as a pairing. I don't mind it as a pairing, so long as the right character development is there. But, this writer seriously treats it as if it is canon/should be canon. shudder

9 Name: ScifiSOS : 2010-08-11 18:28 ID:c/egPlmY

I like constructive criticism, giving or receiving. Only few don't like my criticism but so far I only had four respond back to me (one in a vulgar way while the other two appreciated that I found it entertaining but not great and explained to me the certain aspects I pointed out while the last one thanks me for actually giving advice).

But for the most part I hardly ever get criticism. I had to go as far as saying 'look you can critisize me, I won't get mad. Have fun and be a b*tch about it.' I was joking of course but this one reviewer made me LOL because she did it all in good humor asking me if she was b*tchy enough while putting a ;3 sign. Other than that I only got at least some criticism on my one-shots and rarely my stories.

10 Name: EmeraldPenguin : 2010-08-12 11:44 ID:xa5xKfDd

I like getting criticism because it means people care enough to want to improve my work; something which is always good. However there is the line where flames come in which obviously are never nice. Although I don't get much of either so I have to rely on my beta to get on my case over things which I love her for.

It always makes my day when people get hyped up and make a big deal out of receiving constructive criticism; I find it funny when people can't see that people are trying to help them.

11 Name: EmeraldPenguin : 2010-08-12 11:45 ID:xa5xKfDd

I like getting criticism because it means people care enough to want to improve my work; something which is always good. However there is the line where flames come in which obviously are never nice. Although I don't get much of either so I have to rely on my beta to get on my case over things which I love her for.

It always makes my day when people get hyped up and make a big deal out of receiving constructive criticism; I find it funny when people can't see that people are trying to help them.

12 Name: Zura : 2010-08-12 18:57 ID:5tNVV2vb

I prefer the reviewers that call you on your BS or mistakes. If you can't see when you're sucking at something in particular, how are you ever going to find out?

13 Name: Yemi Hikari : 2010-08-12 22:02 ID:d/KDg79f

>>12 I want to say thank you for saying that. It goes back to the whole thing I brought up earlier. Because she gets so much PRAISE for her fanfics, from gusher reviews, she hasn't made a single effort to improve.

14 Name: KatonRyu : 2010-09-02 22:10 ID:QcfBC9D8

I always ask for criticism because I want to improve. Hardly ever get it, though. Usually I just get praise, which is nice, but criticism would be very welcome too. Sometimes I realize I do something wrong, but leave it like that because altering it would screw up the story beyond repair, but mostly I like to do things right.

15 Name: Anonymous : 2010-09-03 00:03 ID:HSO8T/+7

If I have serious criticism, when a fic needs some SERIOUS work on it then I PM them. They're less likely to bitch about it if it's on their review page. I want people to improve and actually take advice, so that's my idea of making sure they pay attention to what I have to say.

16 Name: Galadriel1010 : 2010-09-22 07:36 ID:McTjnl3Z

I got a fantastic piece of concrit from a reviewer I'd already come to know and like, and it was absolutely wonderful. I seem to be quite a popular writer, and I've never had anything but praise in the public reviews section, so to get something by PM that was so thoughtful and inciteful and helpful was such a boost.
I've actually opened up a post on my LJ asking for signed or anonymous constructive criticism. Don't know if anyone will bite yet.

17 Name: Yemi Hikari : 2010-09-23 01:16 ID:XqHjrkUO

>>16 - Getting people to critique and beta isn't something that is easy. I am willing to give it a go, though I don't read slash, and don't feel I am the best to give a critique for that, or for fandoms I don't know. I critique characterization, plot, as those are my strong points.

I critiqued someone recently. They happened to have written their first fanfic. It was a rather bad Harry Potter Sue. They recieved a LOT of negative feedback. This was one of those sparkly Sues, which have grown to be rarer and rarer.

It started with one review, explaining that the reader didn't like the character, as the character lacked flaws. The Suethor's response was that their character was flawed, pointing out things that really weren't flaws.

More reviews came after that, more in depth critique. A few people went a little over board. About a few days later, the Suethor deleted her fanfic.

She now blames us who critiqued her for her swearing, and the fact her ego got hurt. Not to mention, she's twelve years old. If there is something that wins negative sympathy points for me, it is blaming others, and being underage for the site.

18 Name: TheNightShadow4 : 2010-09-28 12:04 ID:GrcpWkrg

I like critiques. It means not only are people reading my stories (always a plus!), but that they're paying attention and not just skimming.

As a reviewer, I used to just leave the standard "Nice story," or "Good job." Lately, I've been breaking that habit by trying to point out exactly what I like about said story. I'm not that comfortable pointing out mistakes, since I make so many my self.

The only time I did that, I'm a bit ashamed to admit it turned into a semi-flame. The author made a comment that basically said victims of sexual assault were "used" and that no one would want them. And no, it wasn't a character talking or part of the story itself; it was just a tasteless joke. I know its fanfiction and I shouldn't take things so seriously, but I also feel like there's a line in the sand you shouldn’t cross.

19 Name: Yemi Hikari : 2010-09-28 15:26 ID:XqHjrkUO

>>18 - Is it though, really a flame when you call people out for doing things like that? I called out one fanfic which had the characters of a particular fandom doing drugs, simply because the author said they thought the fanfic would 'help people who are suffering from an addiction or people who've felt the brunt of it', but not in those exact words. However, going into the fanfic, the author then used some of the worst druggy sterotypes out there and I flat out told them that while they thought they were doing something good, they were actually weren't. Sure, my words had a bite to them, but I didn't ever tell the writer NOT to write the fanfic. I simply hinted tha tehre was a better way to write this subject that is more tasteful. I personally wish more readers, when they see this kind of thing, would stand up to this.

20 Name: TheNightShadow4 : 2010-09-30 10:14 ID:GrcpWkrg

>>19 Yeah, I think you're right, but I still feel kind of bad. I shouldn't have reviewed when I did because I was angry.

I did get a reply, but I don't remember much of what she said because it was oddly worded and confusing. The gist of it was, I think (key word), that it was ok for her to write stuff like that because it's fanfiction. And she keep bring up that she was still in school, which I have no clue how that related to the topic at hand.

21 Name: Yemi Hikari : 2010-09-30 17:10 ID:XqHjrkUO

>>20 - If I had recieved that kind of response from her, I would have flat out told her the truth. No serious fanfic writer or adult would ever take her seriosly. Sure, it might be fanfiction, but it has standards too.

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