Reviews for Excuses, Excuses
Loud Silence chapter 3 . 6/23/2013
I wish you would have discussed more about what a Mary Sue. Your essay seems to be on people not wanting to define a word correctly. When it comes to something like a Mary Sue until they're introduced to what a Mary Sue is the writer is most likely not going to catch that he or she has written one. I wish you had focused more on what the Mary Sue rather than people being wrong about the definition.
Lolitroy chapter 68 . 6/15/2013
Agree, agree. Hahaha, I don't think every story with lots of reviews has an author cliqued up with others, maybe it's just... luck, or something. People like the story, maybe.

But I agree with all your other points.
NadeshikoLove1224 chapter 71 . 6/9/2013
That's a part of headaches beyond believe. The review system isn't just for reviews that favor your work. Eventually you will be struck with Concrit. PMs aren't the best place to post your opinion cause the author could simply delete the review sans looking at the PM.

You should revise this chapter. You have a lot of spelling and grammar mistakes within it, I'm sorry to say.
Artura chapter 69 . 6/8/2013
I find this one in particular very interesting. I've read a few fanfics where male gay characters are completely emasculated. I've also come across some where the character's personality is changed completely, based entirely on the fact that they are gay.

For example, in the Sherlock fandom, there's a lot of shipping of John and Sherlock. In some, writers fulfill their wish of them being together but change their personalities because they are gay. For example, Sherlock is quite a clinical, almost cold (not unemotional exactly, but more of a brain than a heart). However, once he and John establish a relationship, he's not only completely effeminate (as is John), but he suddenly becomes overly cuddly, clingy, jealous and wants to basically have sex at every opportunity. And it just isn't realistic. It is something that happens a lot, I've noticed; writers changing character's personalities simply because they are gay. You've touched upon the character bashing in love triangles a bit already, but I'll mention that it happens a lot in slash fics, too. Like in the Merlin fandon. If you have valid reasons to dislike Arthur's wife, Guinevere, (as I do), fair enough. But I find it annoying when writers basically bash her simply because they ship Arthur and Merlin, and completely change her character to make her whiny, cruel and childish. That's simply terrible writing.

On the flip side, I've also seen a lot of fics where female writers are uncertain of how to write male characters, but rather than making them effeminate or emasculating them (like they do with gay characters), they do the opposite and comply to basically every stereotype. In some stories it can work, but most of the time it seems unrealistic and contributes to poor standard of writing.

I know this review is getting ridiculously long and I don't blame you if you've stopped reading, but I feel the need to also add something about female gay characters in fics. It is an issue that, as a comfortably bisexual woman, can be insulting for me.

I haven't found it so much in fanfictions, but in original works on this site, it occurs quite frequently. Lesbians are written in quite a masculine "butch" manner, both in appearance and mannerisms, and also in personality. Bisexual women are written in an extremely feminine, overtly sexual way. I've seen so many stories on here where in a relationship, one woman is the "butch" male figure and the other is the pretty, feminine "wife" figure. A lot of writers who aren't sure how to write a lesbian dynamic write it with one woman being the man and the other being the woman; basically, they try and write a normal, heterosexual relationship but with homosexual characters. While all relationships are, of course, different, I find that this just does not work in stories and can make a story impossible to read simply because it is unrealistic.

Again, sorry for the long review. Keep up the good work with the essays, they are remarkably helpful to use when improving writing skills and quite entertaining too to those who have also experienced certain writers! :)

- Artura
Dark Blue Butterfly chapter 6 . 6/7/2013
I only got this far on your facinating essays (i'm at work... heh...), but i shall continue to read them at the most oprotune moment. i'm not sure i spelled that right, but you get it. This is actually the first thing i've read on this site, i've known about it for years, but i'd never checked it out before now. I agree with your stance on people needing to grow up. Honestly, i stopped reading Fanfictions and such because of these same reasons, i would try to help someone and well, they don't take critique well, as you've said. I can't say i'm the best writer in the world, i know i'm not. Anyway, i simply wanted to tell you that i enjoyed reading this. though i still am not quite sure what a mary sue is... i've never actually heard that term before. i'll have to look it up. Thank you for this post. :)
Lily F. Lux chapter 71 . 6/6/2013
'Here is one cold hard fact of life. No bodies perfect. Every one makes mistakes. On the flip side their are going to be people butter then you. You will be judged based on how those people perform as well as how you all so perform. People aren't reguired to tell you where you messed up privately, you very well can be called out publically. Particular when there is objective meaasurement of the snandards envolved and the best ends up being measudered out. When you fail to achieve qreat success, or even reasonabel success at what you do, people well notice your mistakes. It is with in there writes to point said mistakes out.'

Corrected, I believe this paragraph should be:

'Here is one cold hard fact of life. Nobody's perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. On the flip side, there are going to be people better than you. You will be judged based on how those people perform as well as how you also perform. People aren't reguired to tell you where you messed up privately; you very well can be called out publicly, particularly when there is objective measurement of the standards involved and the best ends up being measured out. When you fail to achieve great success, or even reasonable success at what you do, people will notice your mistakes. It is within their rights to point said mistakes out.'

Then it's quite fitting, isn't it, what I'm doing now?
Guest chapter 68 . 6/5/2013
Note how similar the following two quotes are:

"don't let anyone put your writing down, write whatever you want to write".
Attrib. Yemi Hikari in an impression of a certain reviewer type.

'I disapprove of what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it.'
Not actually Voltaire but rather someone writing about him. If certain sources are to be believed (well, TV Tropes'es Beam Me Up, Scotty page at least), the original was even nearer to the first quote.

Now, regarding your follow on statement that "it's their story, what matters is if the person tries their best", I've never come across a story where I thought the writer wasn't trying their best (except those done by trolls). In most cases I don't think it's entered the reviewers' heads that the writers weren't trying their best either.

Yes, there are people who copy/paste other people's work and they should be reported but I find them few and far between. I've also noticed that when their reviewers found out the work they were reviewing was stolen, they turned to bashing the copier quickly enough.

Enjoyable and good (in the technical sense) are not the same thing. People basing their review on how much they liked something are not going to care about how technically good it is. Take Transformers 2 and the Twilight series. Are the works (to put it delicately) not technically flawless? Most certainly. Are people allowed to like it? Also most certainly.

I agree that decent stories don't get enough reviews though. I've noticed that all non-romance stories seem to repel reviewers and when they do get them they're usually to 'encourage' the writer to add romance. My personal favourite came a 'slice of life' fic (I think that's the term) from the Power Rangers fandom, but seems to have been taken down. Paraphrasing, 'what did you put that monster in for, I so wanted [them] to kiss'. Note that not only are monster attacks a staple of Power Rangers, there was no suggestion that the scene it was interrupting was heading towards a kiss, and as it claimed to be canon compliant, that would have been highly unlikely.
Kommissar chapter 10 . 6/4/2013
[These people are the strongest proponents for the ability to delete signed reviews which says that the real reason most people want to delete reviews is so they can hide the fact their story got a negative review even if their story deserved it.]

Not to mention that they'll mention something like 'If you have anything to say about my work, PM me. Don't leave it in a review' which means they don't want others reading what is, to them, a negative review. Yet people learn by reading other people's feedback. So if the author doesn't want to learn, that doesn't mean the person reading the review also doesn't want to learn.
Kommissar chapter 4 . 6/4/2013
This also goes into the 'well if you don't like it, don't read it', which as you've covered, it's hard to not read something when it's in your face. AND how can I know I don't like it if I don't read it through? Of course, it's a circular argument. It's also one of those things where people who use the excuse I mentioned will also say 'you only read one chapter! You can't know the quality of the story by one chapter!' Really, what they're saying is what you mentioned 'If you read my story don't bother telling me how badly written it is'.
Kommissar chapter 3 . 6/4/2013
[So then why do people keep insisting that the term has multiple meanings? I think it comes down to the fact they didn't like being told the truth and that their writing needs work. However, I've also seen some young writers confuse reality and believability as being the same thing,]

Ah yes, the 'well, it's subjective!' or 'It's my opinion!'

Really, these are fun to read. Sorry if I'm not writing much, but there's little to critique in your critique (aside from citing sources, but I can see that'll be difficult with FP's format).
Kommissar chapter 2 . 6/4/2013
[Which brings me to the hypocritical part of the whole, "I do not like strangers telling me what is wrong with my stories." These same people who are bothered by strangers leaving negative reviews on their stories are not bothered by the fact complete strangers leave positive reviews gushing praise over their stories. Thus this excuse amounts to an attempt by the writer to censor reviews they themselves do not like.]

Heh, I was about to make this comment but I see you've gotten to it already. This really feels more like an excuse to complain about receiving feedback from a nonfriend who would most likely sugarcoat everything.

What I like about the analysis so far is how professional it sounds. It flows nicely, doesn't sound like a rant, and has very good points.
NadeshikoLove1224 chapter 70 . 6/3/2013
I'm liking the latter chapters. This one in particular, I did get that from an author about not liking kids. Wow, that hurt SO much.

Anyways, I do have a story, a rather recent story about the if you don't like it, don't read it crappy excuse. There was an author that entered the fandom not too long ago and posted up a fanfic. It was pretty good, a tad bit purple prosey but good. Read it, scoped out her profile a bit and found out she was TWENTY ONE (emphasis on the age.) I reviewed for the same of the question she brought up, giving my viewpoint only on the cannon couple dynamic and the new character that has changed up their relationship. Other reviewers have posted up she copied the story from another writer since the beginning had very close relations to the other fanfic.

Some odd time later, she posted up an author's note for a chapter. Yes, she broke the rules for the site and shame on the 21 year old. She adressed the others that told her by using "if you don't like it, then don't read it" variant of that excuse along with telling what will happen for the conclusion of her fanfic, yet the story is marked "Suspence."

Major Red Flag. What 21 year old that has a "degree" and has been on the site for 4 years would write that? Oh and also write that she has a "very big" following!

Oh did I tell the author off. Really bad ego and acting too young for her age along with giving away the events of her fanfic. Received a message, which also placed more suspicion on her 'cause she couldn't tell concrit from flame. After another message, questioning her age, action and if she read it clearly she decides to get high and mighty bragging about her vet degree, her high school diploma (really, what college/uni graduate brags about their HS diploma) along with her trying to give me a lecture on growing up and telling me to kiss her ass along with telling me that she's blocking me (which she believes that would scare me. I'm SHAKING!) What was the oddest, dumbest thing: she also added that she's an English Major.

...

... ...

... ... ...

I laughed. Oh that was the funniest thing I've read. To end the story short, a couple of PMs later she blocked me and I blocked her, she posted another chapter with a cyberbully AN and she didn't get very pleasing reviews. She ended up deleting her fanfic.

The author lied about her age, lied about her "job position", bragged about her following and broke a fanfiction rule. That's the thing that disgust me and all over the worst qualities of the fanbrats I've faced. It isn't the story that was the huge problem, it was just her. Too bad.
NadeshikoLove1224 chapter 63 . 5/26/2013
Darn! I'll finish off what I last posted:

PARODY! Did the chick read the genres before understand the fic. It was meant to be odd and to exaggerate. The reviewer is pretty much saying: "Please don't writer a character that way because I LOVE that character and I don't want them to be treated that way!"

Lovely

I can tell if was from biased opinnon 'cause she had no merit of proof. I would except misunderstood for that situation, not a useless biased opinion.
NadeshikoLove1224 chapter 62 . 5/26/2013
The worst review is doing it out of spite when you get down to it. Why don't they try reading another fanfic if the one in particular isn't your forte?

There is another type of bad reviewer: one that compares another writers work to yours. I had that yesterday with an anon who told me to read somethin that he/she loved, liked my fic and wanted to she which one she liked the most. At first she chose me, the hours later she chose the other writer. I deleted ALL of the post 'cause I consider them spam and the reader ended up spamming the other writer, begging her to post the final two chapters of her fic. I don't like when people compare one writer's works to another. It's okay when the works belong to the same person, but give a logical opinnon and reason to back up your wording.

There was another bad review from one of the guys I beta for the co-write we made that made me question the brain cells for the chick. She told him not to make a character "vain and annoying"... The whole point was to MAKE THE CHARACTER VAIN AND ANNOYING! It was a PARODY and the character speaking from the different version wasn't far from the personality of the fic. The reviewer left another one on another writer's fic telling them to make a character "hateable" because their her favorite character and it would make the story easier. This story is also a PAR
plainfaced chapter 1 . 5/24/2013
Thank you!

I see a lot of stories that look like they have potential but people are so sensitive and can't seem to understand that it is their work we're critiquing not them. I just cannot put up with such emotional immaturity.
On the other hand, it sickens me when I see people just praising the entire thing instead of actually leaving comments that improves the author's writing.
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