A/N: Thanks to Gollummullog, beta and contributor.
Five Afflictions of Online Fiction Writers
There are multiple epidemics among us. Make sure you are not infected!
According to recent medical research, there are five new complaints affecting online fiction writers; that is, writers who join online writing sites who post their passions and plots, laughs and losses, theories and thoughts to a virtual audience. The cause of the ailments listed below is unknown, but after extensive analysis, they have been grouped into five distinct infectious afflictions. When by itself, each disorder might be easily contained; but the five combined are causing considerable mayhem to the fiction-writing world. They are listed here, although not necessarily in the order of severity to the sufferer or damage to the reader:
Those who suffer from this non-contagious disease are generally of young age. The sufferer opens his or her mouth and all manner of imbecility comes forth; however, there is really no excuse for this on a website dedicated to writing. As opposed to speaking, which cannot be erased or edited, a writer has a second, third, and, indeed, an infinite number of chances to correct senseless ebullition after seeing it displayed in plain text. Yet, these sufferers leave it up, as if completely unaware that it is refuse of the most embarrassing sort.
Possible Warning Signs:
"This was a paper I wrote for 5th grade." The sufferer may provide such useless, and often discouraging, information as this. What received an "A" in 5th grade has a 99.9 chance of being sadly wanting here. But, supposing that it really is that .1 masterpiece, the invalid has a better chance of having someone read it if no one knows that it was a 5th grade paper.
"This was a paper I wrote my third time in 5th grade." ...no explanation needed.
"This is really stupid." If the author thinks so, then most will yield to his or her superior knowledge of the work. (This statement can also be a sign of Desperate-ococcus. See below.)
"I worte this aobut my freind" Perhaps the sufferer's "freind" will enjoy it, then, and it should be taken offline, framed, and mailed to him or her. If he or she should hang it on the wall, chances are the writer with Naivetiarrhea will get more feedback than placing it online.
"It's about Jello and a Venus fly trap! Inside joke." If you suffer from this disease, be sure to put this description in your summary… as a warning. Why do writers post inside jokes? If it's only funny to a select few, rest assured, it's going to stay that way.
"LOL! Sally is crying it's so funny!" or "All my friends/my mom loved this!" Would it surprise anyone to find he or she doesn't have the same reaction as Sally? Yet, there are an incredible amount of posts of this nature that bring a reader to tears. Not of laughter, but ofhopeless despair at failing to find someone with a sense of humor above the third grade level.
Good. Most sufferers of Naivetiarrhea have a decent chance of overcoming this affliction. They grow up and learn how to attract an audience with better writing or they lose interest in online fiction writing altogether. The downside of this disorder isthat the online-writing world thrives on these sufferers. Where one sufferer might lose interest, thirty more will join for the fun of it.
This affliction must be patiently borne for the writer's sake. Sufferers rarely respond well to reviews which critique his or her work, however helpful they may be. Often, time is the only treatment available.
Disclaimer: While researching this affliction, no Fictionpress members were harmed during the case studies performed.
A/N: Information on the second disorder will follow shortly.