I kept wondering how best it was for me to start this essay collection off. Do I start it with an introduction like I've done most of my other essay collections, or do I not bother? The topic of excuses fanfic writers make for their badly written work can be a sensitive issue for those who critique and those who happen across them splashed in author's notes. They can at times be a frustration to deal with and other times your dumbfounded as to why someone would use that excuse.
This said, excuses and rebuttals should not be mistaken for the same thing. I personally enjoy listening to the young writers I critique actually try and rebut the critique I've left their story. It means that they are thinking and typically these are the writers I get the best response from, the ones that sentences are filled with signs of intelligent thought process when it comes to their writing.
We don't always see eye to eye because they are still learning the ins and outs of creative writing and the fanfiction community and they need to get rid of some misconceptions they have. Hearing it from just one person may not be enough to confirm it is a misconception and things end on a high note with me feeling like they have learned something.
There are those that try my patience, some less then others. I have typically a three strike rule when dealing with younger writers. If the writer shows me disrespect in their PMs three times then they end up blocked. If they want to be unblocked there are plenty of other sites they can contact me at letting me know they have matured, some of which are listed on my profile.
And some honestly do end up maturing. I was contacted through youtube by one young writer who came to realize that getting reviews that simply praise the work but not tell you the truth you need to hear isn't a good thing. We're still on a mutual block of each other though despite being on good terms with each other because that is how we've chosen to respect each other.
Sometimes I give a writer more then three chances and other times I block them instantly. For example, I've had quite a few writers who've replied to the review I left giving me some sob story about how they don't care, only to block me before I can respond in my defense. Sometimes it doesn't occur until after I tell the person that critique is going to come their way whether they like it or not and not just from myself.
Pretty much it involves me not wanting to deal with people throwing tantrums and telling me how mean I am for hurting their feelings. Truth of the matter I am being kind by telling them the truth and what is really hurting their feelings isn't myself, it is the fact hearing the truth hurts. I've received a few reviews that had some pretty stinging critique on here and it hurt, but I certainly didn't cry and whine about it.
Actually, I've had some people accuse me of being unable to take critique when I rebutted each and every one of their criticisms with logical arguments in my author's notes because said person had turned off their PMs and I couldn't give my rebuttals privately. They made a mistake in their review that someone wouldn't have made if they had at least bothered to skim the chapter titles, thus I knew they hadn't actually taken the time to read my story.
In the second review the person didn't bother rebutting my rebuttal, so it can honestly be a two way street unless someone comes out and says the conversation and people who are supposedly critiquing make excuses as well. This guy made it clear though he was a lurker, one who only reviewed when he thought the story sucked. I thus publicly called him out for being a flamer and chewed him out for not leaving positive reviews on stories they actually felt deserved it.
Those who make excuses for their critique will fall into one group, while those who make excuses for their writing fall into that group and another group. Actually, that is a third, but that is the writer who gets upset first because perhaps it is their first serious critique and getting it catches them off guard, but they aren't the ones that bother me.
The first group takes on a bratty attitude that calls people names and/or acts like they are more intelligent then everyone else out there and yet you can rebut every single thing they say. Let me make it clear, if you can't rebut someone's logic they are not acting like they are more intelligent then you, they just currently have the better argument.
Recently I was told by one writer that the tone of my review and PMs was bitchy and my rebuttals were childish rather then them actually coming up with rebuttals against my rebuts. They also called me "hun" despite the fact I am an adult and they are only fifteen. Which reminds me of the fact I blocked one kid on strike two because they choose to disrespect their parents of all people and I told them that they were being blocked for that.
This type of writer tends to have a very bratty OC and/or have complete disrespect for the canon they are writing for. For example, this writer's OC became the hero and got away with treating the hero like dirt and the hero ended up becoming the unjustified bully who was punished for things that didn't deserve being punished for.
The other group is the one that whines and bawls because someone told them the truth. Like the other writer they have a particular type of OC. This one is filled with sparkles, bubbles, and laughter, not to mention it has been Godmoded and everyone loves them. The first I hate dealing with the most, this one I am most worried about because it means they are trying to live in a protected bubble.
Ones writing is pretty much a reflection of oneself. If a writer is going to react negatively to a review you leave, you can tell which direction they are going to lean by seeing which way they lean in their response. Why then take the time to review these stories? Because you don't know if their response is going to be negative or positive. It's the positive ones I look forward to, the ones that make it worth dealing with the others. They make my day because I know I've helped someone.