Reviews for Essay on Fiction Writing & Writers
JDFly chapter 1 . 5/8
A very readable essay. The final paragraph cinched it. That's exactly why I continue to write. All my stories have less than 100 reviews (some of them way less) but my most popular, The Tutor from Hell, is only 3 short. Keep on writing.
KayteaMathematics chapter 1 . 9/7/2017
Wow, that was a pretty good essay I would say. And I can see the logic of where it comes from.
I personally started off with the mindset that you have written in the last paragraph. I decided to post to this site for myself, otherwise I would never have written anything that I have. And most of it hasn't been updated in a long time because I don't feel like working on it, but still I want to maybe go back to it.
But I can see your point and I totally agree. I do find myself more willing to work on a story if I know others are reading it. So even though I write for myself, the few (very few) reviews I get are encouraging.
Thank you for this insightful essay, even if it had been years since you posted it. :D
Aster Lawrence chapter 1 . 7/13/2016
"You should always write first for yourself; write what you care about. But you shouldn't write only for yourself. One of the biggest mistakes wrriters make is to fall into the trap of either-or thinking: either I write what I care about, or I write what will sell. This is a false distinction, born of the old romantic notion of writing in a garret and suffering for your art. Always try to write something that you care about and also think will appeal to an audience. Your writing should mean a lot to you personally. But writing for an audience makes it a lot easier to do what you love."
-John Truby, The Anatomy of Story.

This whole thing is just so damn relatable. In the world of yaoi and smut shit I ventured to write an Attack on Titan/Shingeki no Kyojin story with an actual plot and mystery solving, with an OC in a central role since I took the time to create a whole AU, which only got reviews from my friends who I continuously advertised to the story about. Even one review per chapter is enough for me to write, all I upload are rough drafts which I will edit to my fullest capabilities later (been trying to get into med school and all soo much studies and shit). It was the fact that other stories, some other literal trash was more preferred by the fans that I just quit and put it on hiatus. Eventually I ventured to write here because, why not? Even now I post a first person story to save time and further my skills in character development. Give it a read *shameless advertisement* haha. Stay frosty~
Daniel Kozaki chapter 1 . 2/26/2015
Hello, dropping by!
I think Patterson was not thinking of fan-fiction when he said those.
Fanfiction has much higher traffic than Fictionpress, you know. -w- But I choose Fictionpress because of how it's more focused on feedback and improvement, and there's the chance of being published for real if you write an original story.
Lol'd at the class system. That's basic truth that any sensible people would've realized by now.
Still, actually I'm no longer that crazy for reviews right now. I'm actually more concerned at seeing myself grow better and fit for publication. Finishing a story. Noticeable improvement in prose and storytelling. That's what I'm aiming for. Reviews work as bonus, or outside help to point out what I need to do to improve.
I don't aim to be in the rich class. I aim to finish at least one story, something that I'll be satisfied with to send in to an editor.
And what Loli said.
Kei-kei Yuki chapter 1 . 9/26/2014
Wow! This is so true! I was use to think like that, but after failing so many time, I started to train myself so I could become a better writer. I first start off with fanfiction, and after failing so many fanfiction I finally wrote a story that got me in the 100 or more section, but once I enter fictionpress, it was like all the training and improving was for nothing and I deleted my story, and this happen about 4 or 3 times, until I said forget it! I'm posting this story up on Fictionpress don't matter how many little reviews I get, and maybe I can touch other people hearts, don't matter how little the crowds is!

This was a lovely essay, and I really felt touch reading it!
heartworkmechanics chapter 1 . 8/31/2014
I saw the message you left in my inbox and I decided to pop by on your page. Being honest as you asked, none of the stories' summaries posted are really my thing, however where you wrote a bit about yourself and your policies attracted me. I really enjoyed just reading over it. You have a good voice in my mind...I hope that doesn't make me sound crazy. Well then, afterwards, I really wanted to read something of yours. I am glad I did! This really encouraged me to write again. My point of view is refocused! Thank you very much! I wish you big pounds of luck for your upcoming works!
Lolitroy chapter 1 . 6/22/2014
I think you're wrong and right at the same time.

You're right because most of us dream of something bigger, being published, being recognized. Most of our works will never have 7000 reviews like others, even if they're brilliant, even if we put our hearts on it. But being recognized is not only a matter of us. It is also a matter of others. If others like your story, you'll be recognized. And what do people generally like? You guessed it. Romance.

It's a matter of looking at popular fiction today. What does it have that lesser books lack? It does not only depend on the genre, but also the audience. In FP, most of the audience ranges in the teen years. Most are girls. What do teen girls like to read, speaking in general? Romance.

And not just any romance, but romance they can fantasize with, romance they can identify or even insert themselves into. That's why it's the romancit stories here that are above 1k reviews and the more action-based stories that are less popular in general. It's a sad truth. You can write what you want, but they can like what they like. And what they like could not be what you write. Of course, there's also execution and all that jazz, but even then I've seen stories with hundreds of reviews and a hollow storyline or stereotypes instead of characters just because features a group of popular tropes.

But we can't complain, either. I'm sure very few writers here actually drift out from what they like and click on stories that may not be their cup of tea just to see how it's like.

And for what you're wrong... I don't know you, but not having review in one chapter doesn't mean you're failing. And ONLY 6 reviews? I'd be lucky to get one measly comment every time I update. Readers are not obliged to review, anyway.

But I loved the message at the end. I agree with it completely.
"He who writes what other people write can be a good author but never an artist."
ZekeFreek chapter 1 . 4/21/2014
Good essay.

I think there are a few more factors that play into how stories succeed or fail, but you've covered the bases pretty well.

Two factors I think play into it are that getting reviews is kind of like a really slow snowball effect. It's hard to get them when you have none or very few, but the amount tends to increase exponentially with more dedicated readers.

The other factor that I personally have noticed is simply a filtering issue with FictionPress. My on-going series is rated M. It has to be, it has loads of mature content. But M-rated stories are not listed by default, so I feel I'm missing out on a lot of potential readers. Just something to consider.
YveBushido00 chapter 1 . 4/13/2014
It's been a while since you uploaded this but I'm glad I'm found this. Really, it's a very introspective piece that analyzes the FF and FP communities from both a distanced perspective and as a reader/writer on both sites. I'm sure that most readers can relate. If were going to add anything, I would've liked to have seen what you thought made a story attract reviews more than others. Is it content? Story? Genre? Characters? Writing style? Atmosphere of the story? Luck? Or dumb luck?

Either way or none, I can certainly empathize. The most one of my poems ever got is a whopping 11 views. Over on FF, my Canaan fanfic gets a bunch of views but rarely gets reviewed by unique readers. I gave up trying to get reviews a while ago. I just post stuff online and hope people read it and am pleasantly surprised if someone ever reviews. Friends are always great to inspire a writer if they review your story, especially if they're a writer someone met online.

I think we just have to stick to it. Whatever happens, please keep writing. I knew before I started writing that it was a lonely hobby. If a writer depends on reviews for motivation, then writing becomes that much more lonely.

I hope you see this review. I always review when I read a poem or story and I wish others would as well. Again, this piece was insightful and covered all bases while at the same time being very honest. Beautiful job.
Writing Giraffe chapter 1 . 4/13/2014
Holy crap, I want to post my crappy story now O.O

I'd write a long review but I'll keep it concise /maimed

You've got a good essay here with relatable situations and nice metaphors to boot. I've heard the same concept over and over again in other essays and in quotes, but yours really struck at me. In Fanficiton, I suppose I started out a bit iffy after my 6-chapter story only got 7 reviews, but after posting a Naruto one-shot and receiving 7 reviews, you could say that my confidence boosted up a bit. But like you said, writers write for themselves, not to garner reviews. In fact, the only reason I'd want to garner reviews is to get feedback on my crappy writing.

But now I think, "Hey, even if my writing is crappy, I have all the elements there that I love. So screw it!"

Another thing that plays into the success of writers and their stories could be one's popularity itself. More often than not, a story posted by a popular writer will get checked out even if said story is awfully similar to another one in the archive (and the latter is seriously overlooked).

All in all, great essay! I'll be posting my story sometime this week because of you. And yes, advertising is not me... I feel ashamed just thinking about it :P

Ookini! You've earned yourself a reader ("u")
R'ddle chapter 1 . 5/4/2013
So it was written back in 2010. I don't know if the author is still here, but I'll review, anyways. Just want to let you know that I was really able to feel the message you tried to convey. I can relate. Four years, I put my love for writing aside, 'cause I believed it was not worth it, anymore. Readers don't appreciate it, at the very least. But, then I also came to realize that fact, I should write not to impress others but to EXPRESS what is inside me. Though, no one would care, at least it help me feel at ease. So I decided to try again, not for them, but for myself.

This one piece of essay is really great, sweetheart. Good thing you posted it. ;)
Hug-Chan chapter 1 . 6/8/2012
Apparently, I can't log in, so I'll review as an anonymous user.

I was clicking around the forums when I saw this. I decided to read and it was a very good decision on my part

You're essay pretty much strikes the heart of it all. Most writers are under appreciated for making really original plots. Then, when I see a fic that has a lot of reviews, sometimes there story just seems so...cliched, but with a lot of flair.

I try reading and reviewing everything, but if I don't have the time to or I'm just lazy, I'll story alert it and wait until next update. That's how I've gotten my reviewers anyways. But then again, sometimes it doesn't work. I remember a time I asked a writer I found to be pretty good to review my story. They ignored me and posted another chapter of their story... ):

But I do find myself writing for the joy of it (most of the time). I usually want to see how my story will grow and evolve then read it back.

All in all, this is the most beautiful and true essay I've read in a long time...great job!
incognitoTEA chapter 1 . 3/5/2012
Nice essay, I have read very few on Fictionpress but of all of I feel this one had the most heart and reached out to me. I can see many valid points in your essay and like the comparisons you made with the employers and money.

I agree with you, every reader should write not for the fame but for the joy of writing and improving you passion. Many people forget this key fact and begin writing just for the attention. I wish you luck on your future stories and hope you will never give up your skills. Gambatte!
Fairy225 chapter 1 . 12/31/2011
Ahaha, I love the authors note within the authors note (essay, bah whatever). I think you've done an amazing job with this essay, and after reading, I feel guilty for reading and not reviewing. Generally though, I do read it all then review it, so I guess it isn't too bad...

But still, if it were up to me, I think that this should be something that everyone reads, whether they are an experienced fiction dweller, or a newcomer. It would save a whole lot of stressing and fakery. It'd probably keep people from getting massively discouraged from their work, and discontinuing. And committing to writing things that they have little to no interest in.

Because I'm someone who writes very little, I think I will now being reviewing a whole lot more than I have done in the past.

Thanks for that.

- Fairy225
Kyre Crow chapter 1 . 5/11/2011
Hey. I know what you mean, I've got an account on FFNet, and the most reviews I've ever gotten is two or three outside of one friend who knows on that site. But I completely know what you mean; it's so much harder here. As you were saying, readers pick and choose what they want to read, and some of us just don't appeal too much to them. I've been on this site for about a year and have barely gotten any reviews; but I try to review everything I read, because I know how much I hate it when people read my stories and just move on.

About that last paragraph, I got so discouraged that I almost gave up writing, but then I decided I would write, just for myself. Just not post until I feel I've made it the best I can.

You know, I've never really thought of reviews as the sort of "money" that fanfic and ficpress authors earn; you've opened my eyes to a brand new way of seeing things. I think I'll be keeping that in mind whenever I read anything on this site from now on.

I think I remember seeing a punctuation error somewhere, but I forget where since I didn't write it down before I finished reading this. But this is very good, in terms of grammar and punctuation.

Fox Trot 9, I think you did a very good job of getting your point across. The way you wrote it wasn't detached at all, you really put your emotion into your work, so good job. And thank you for being brave enough to post this.
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