Today I had a writer accuse me of seeking attention. To be exact, their words were "I hope you enjoyed your attention seeking for the day." Now... what may have brought on this comment from this writer? I'm going to admit here that I called the writer out for having a major ego problem. They also use words like "crusade" and that my replies were rudely put. What though would have driven my to tell the reader that they had a problem with their ego though?
Here I'm going to admit that I normally feel that calling a writer out for having a major ego problem does in fact cross the line. This particular case I don't feel it crossed the line and they only managed to prove to me that their ego problem exists. Everything I said went over their head. No... it didn't go over their head. It is more along the lines they didn't feel my critique applied to them, that their work was above the criticism I give to other people with the same problems.
Because according to them they know what they are doing.
Except they don't. Again though, what brought about me calling them out for their ego problem? Here are the words that set me off... well... there was something in the previous review that didn't help either.
"I'm doing less harm than a **** of a lot of other writers round here."
I'll tell you the real reason why I think they are above criticism as well. Looking at their profile which hasn't been updated for a long time they say they're going to college for Creative Writing. Not... creative writing, but... Creative Writing. Does this mean they know what they're doing. No. They managed to prove to me that they didn't know what they were doing. Actually... it was really irritating that they kept accusing me of saying things that I never said.
Perhaps despite their being only one chapter up they know what they are doing.
Well... no. At least I have reason to not believe so.
This writer managed to tell me exactly what they were doing. I flat out told them that the changes they made to the canon characters were not small changes only for them to tell me that "[they] say small changes to characters because [they] will be closer to the manga than [their] other Bleach story [initials removed] which has enormous and drastic difference to the manga, for all the cast". (Can I add that fic butchers canon as well and doesn't even try to make it realistic?
Can I add this was after I brought up the cause and effect issue which they never addressed? Well... they told me the story would follow a non-linear story telling format, but that didn't address my question was how the writer could make such a drastic change that would change everything in the storyline and still have things go down as they are in canon right before the future parts.
Actually... you know what is really annoying. The story I critiqued doesn't bother to change canon in the ways it would change because of their what if. The story I didn't critique changes canon in ways that it would not be changed. The writer has absolutely no sense of cause and effect when it comes to writing and yet keeps trying to insist that they actually do have an idea of how cause and effect actually works.
Can I also mention the fact they tried telling me that the reason they called their story an AU was because the story was "not canon" or "non-canon". For those who know that should already send up warning bells, and for those that don't... a good AU will be "in canon" and not "non canon". A writer claiming their work is "non canon"... well, it's also a good view on how they possibly feel about canon.
And hows that?
They think that they are free to do what ever they want with canon and that there are no rules.
But is this the case with the writer?
Yes. I think it is.
They did a good job trying to deflect my criticism. First... they tried deflecting it to me being one of those people who nitpick AUs. Then they tried blaming my critique on the fact I wanted the summary to tell me what happens, when I didn't. They also gave me a rewrite of their summary to prove that I was wrong, only to end up proving me right.
No... seriously... I told them that their summary was misleading and had nothing to do with the plot of the first chapter. They told me in their first PM that it was a "what if A happened" kind of story, but when they rewrote the summary for me it was a "what if B happened", thus giving away a major spoiler to their story. Well... it really isn't that major of a spoiler as it was obvious where they would have that element from the chapter they had written.
The thing is they went from one thing to another really fast despite the fact there was no connection.
The last way they tried deflecting my criticism was to bring up the fact they were following a non linear story format with their story. I'm not sure why they thought that would prove what they were doing. It doesn't matter if the story was non-linear or linear either. Actually... if they're going to school for creative writing, why did they explain that they were going to switch off between the past and future in their chapters instead it was following a non-linear format.
I guess it was because they were "[using] terms loosely" as they said.
Um.. again, no. First they tried using the term AU as if... well... they felt I should excuse the problems in their story because it was in fact an AU and then they whined about me being one of those people who nitpicks AU stories. Yeah... that says a lot, but hopefully more on that in a bit. My response was to tell them that an AU is not a catch all for problems in the fic. Actually... I made it clear that an AU story only covers what would naturally be in an AU story.
Well... they then told me that "[they] used AU as the simplest term to mean 'non-canon'"...
Seriously... AU and non-canon do not mean the same thing and I told them under no simple terms that they mean the same thing.
Their response? To tell me they were just "[using] terms loosely" 'cause... to put their words nicely, they didn't think anybody would care. Yeah... no. And this person is supposed to be going for creative writing at college? Actually... someone took the time to leave critique on their story and they thought they could be flippant with the terms they used?
Speaking of the critique... I didn't mention the fact it consisted of four sentences. One of these sentences was about how I liked the idea from their summary, another asked them how far along they were in canon and then went into what someone should know if they were current with canon. Turns out they are current with canon.
Which makes things honestly worse. I mean, it is one thing when the writer doesn't know the canon because they aren't current and another when they don't know canon because they missed something they shouldn't have. I'm honestly not sure how much of the problem though is from them missing something, or because they don't care.
No... seriously. Here I come to the "non-canon" part. Non-canon means the story doesn't bother to pay attention to canon. Some people mind you try to label stories as strictly canon and non-canon, but by doing that all fanfic is non-canon because it's not written by the original writer. When talking about fanfiction though and what is "canon" and "non-canon" it is specifically refering to which works are compliant with canon and which ones are not.
Yup. They admitted that their story was not compliant with canon by using the words non-canon.
Some people may be thinking here that the writer wasn't actually meaning to say that their story was not compliant... but, well... this isn't someone who is ignorant of the way fanfiction works. They even by their last PM admitted that I was right about many of the things I said. On top of this there is particular group of people who use the words "non-canon" to describe there work.
The group that describes there work this way believes in the theory that there is no wrong way to create art. They also believe that it doesn't matter whether you explain the changes you make in a fic or not. It is all right to make any change you want because that is part of artistic freedom... doing what ever you want.
Can I say that this theory has been thrown out the window by many people and is seen as an ego trip on the part of people who subscribe to said theory.
Actually... it is seen as a method for them to excuse the issues on their fic... another way to say they are above criticism. Because you know... they're just that creative. I wish to quote something from mugglenet and their AU page.
"Question: I have been rejected for canon errors. Can I call my story AU and then post without trouble?" And their answer? "Answer: An alternative universe story is not an excuse to be non-canon compliant. It isn't acceptable to place an AU warning on a piece of fiction and then not worry about canon any further. AUs define the canon they have disregarded specifically and with reason."
This writer tried using AU as an excuse for their work to be non-canon compliant in their first reply. They've told me that their story is clearly defined as an AU without a tag, but truth of the matter it is not. I wouldn't have asked the question of whether they were up to date with the canon if they had actually managed to define the canon they were disregarding well.
They also admitted they were doing a twist because they can, not because said twist could actually work out. Actually... speaking of it not being well defined... they tried telling me the story was a "what if story", but their "what if" changed twice. They also made changes not because it would be something that would happen to occur because of the "what if", they were doing it because they could.
There is no exploration with their story, just doing things because they could. Yeah... that's not how an AU works.
But back to their comment about me seeing attention for the day. I found the story because I was searching for a very particular type of fic. I read it and I left a review. I then moved on not caring if the writer responded or not. Not only did they choose to respond, they tried brushing off my critique as having no merit because... those who critique issues in AUs are just nitpickers and thus their critique has no merit.
Did they not expect me to respond?
Did they not expect me to respond to any of their fallacies?
This writer liked shifting the blame from themselves onto the reader. First blaming me for nitpicking, then blaming me for wanting their summary to tell me what would happen in the story and finally telling me I'm just seeking attention. Which came after they said that "a lot of what [I said] is right, but the entirety of it is rudely put."
Yeah... defensive much?