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It's only fair.
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TOPIC: It's only fair.
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It's only fair. 8 Years ago Karma: 1
I've noticed something that's bothered me for quite a while. The reviewing of fanfiction.

A lot of people that read fanfiction get upset or aggravated when author's request reviews. What is the problem with that, really? A lot of writers spend hours, weeks, even years writing fanfiction for their enjoyment as well as their readers, they don't get paid for it or anything.

The one thing they seem to want most is reviews of their hard work. I really think that is a small, simple request in the face of all their hard work. So what exactly is the problem with writing a few words pointing out what you liked or didn't like about their stories?

I just don't understand it.

Another thing that irritates others is the request of a certain number of reviews for the next chapter. Again, I see no problem with that request.

Even though a writer won't public make that request because of rules, some authors won't update until they get the number of reviews they want.

I was talking with someone else about this and they said that an author should look at the number of hits they get and be satisfied with that. I think that is silly. Hits tell you absolutely nothing about what readers think of your story.

For example: say an author has one thousand hits, what that author doesn't know is if half of those people read the first chapter and quit.

A hit can't tell you whether a person has read the story completely, likes it or if a person clicked on it, read a few lines and stopped reading. That's where a review comes in.

Reviews tell an author if their story is liked, what their strong points are, where their weaknesses are, how they can improve as a writer, mistakes that need to be fixed, just about everything. That is why reviews are so important. An author doesn't want to sit there and waste time writing poorly and how can an author know if the readers don't tell him or her?

It doesn't make sense.

I know some readers know the importance of reviews and usually the ones that do understand are writers themselves. Most of the people that get irritated by the request of reviews are people that have never published a fanfiction themselves. I've seen the work that goes in to writing, to write a good story every word, every detail must be extensively thought out.

Asking for a review is only fair.

I really think people need to show a little more respect for the people that bust their butts for readers like us and ask for so little in return, you know?

I would like to hear anyone else's thoughts on this topic.
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Last Edit: 2010/08/09 03:27 By Sessysmaiden.
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Shrine Girl
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Re:It's only fair. 8 Years ago Karma: 22
I have to say that I actually disagree with what you have stated. Being a writer myself, I do understand how reviews on one's work can help with wanting to write and can provide great motivation for the writer.

However, I believe there is a huge difference between a writer asking for reviews and demanding reviews.

I have no problem with writers asking the readers to review.

However when a writer holds the story hostage and says 'I won't update this story until I get this amount of review per chapter' it really gets under my skin and I really dislike it.

Because for myself, I see writing as a way to escape from everyday worries, I see it as a way to write something that I would want to read and as something where I can just write and get my focus away from whatever is bothering me. Which is why I got into fanfiction in the first place, and you know I'm happy if I get one review per chapter, if one person writes a thoughtful review on how they felt about the chapter or the story. Even if it does have some advise on how I can improve, actually I ask for advice. Because I know I'm not a perfect writer and have a lot I can improve on, so I'm happy that anyone even reads my story let alone bothers to review.

I also understand that some people just don't know what to say, and that's fine if they don't want to review.

But when writers demand reviews, it makes me feel like they are kind of disrespecting those who read their story. Or I guess disrespecting isn't the right word, ungrateful might be a better word. I think that they have some high image of themselves and their stories were they think they are suppose to have a large amount of reviews. Personally, I would want people to review my story because they want to not because I made them. It makes me think that they are like 'Oh my stories are so great, I'm so great. So if you guys don't give me what I want, I wont allow you to read anymore'

Which doesn't seem right to me.
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Last Edit: 2010/08/09 03:43 By PRVN.
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Re:It's only fair. 8 Years ago Karma: 1
I disagree with that to some extent. There are certain ways a writer should request a review, yes, but I don't think they do it because they have a high and mighty opinion of themselves. I think it comes from pure and utter frustration.

Writers write because they enjoy it, but that is not the only reason why they write, if it was no one would actually publish their work. They'd be content with writing to themselves.

But the fact that a story is publish is because the writer wants to know if their work is good or if it's crap. They want to know what readers actually think, they want to know if someone will actually read it.

Refusing to continue writing because of lack of reviews is not them thinking they're high and mighty, it is them putting a stop to wasting time that could be spent elsewhere doing other things. As I said, writing a story takes a lot of time and effort, so in the big scheme of things, informing your readers that you are discontinuing because of readers seeming lack of interest is in no way wrong to me.

No one wants to waste their time doing something that isn't even worth it.

I don't think readers don't review because they have nothing to say. It isn't hard to point out what you liked or did not like about a chapter. There is always something to say. I think some readers don't review because:

A: They have no idea the amount of effort it takes to write a good story.


B: Have never written a story themselves so cannot understand the purpose of publishing a story

Some people may actually not know what to say, but still, simply stating that can help. The author can in turn ask the reviewer questions like "What didn't you like about the story?" "Did you see any typos or errors?" or "What was your favorite part in the chapter?"

Things like that.

Point is, a review is important and there is always something to say. I just think its only fair to review what you read. It's not like their asking for money, or and arm and a leg.

A few words.

That's all.
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Last Edit: 2010/08/09 04:01 By Sessysmaiden.
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Re:It's only fair. 8 Years ago Karma: 75
I love to read fanfiction, so I try to review whenever I have anything halfway intelligent to say, or when I especially enjoy a story, even if it is just to say something like "this is excellent". Since I have written a bit as well, I realize how much effort goes into writing even a short chapter. However, some fanfic writers reveal an attitude in their author's notes which can only be interpreted as arrogant. Some I would go so far as to categorize as obnoxious as well. While it can be kind of fascinating to discover that the author of an amazing fanfic has a deplorable personality, it is a turn off for me.
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Re:It's only fair. 8 Years ago Karma: 47
To me a big part of it is, who exactly is holding their stories hostage? If it's a brand new writer with crappy grammer and spelling, etc, I'll probably leave a review if they take the story hostage, but only one review and it won't be a very pretty one. Those are the only people that really get under my skin, per say.
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Miss Kagura
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Re:It's only fair. 8 Years ago Karma: 51
First of all, I'd like to point out that demanding reviews is against the rules at Dokuga and can ultimately cost you the right to post your work here.

Review demands (i.e. holding chapters hostage for reviews) are not allowed. Saying that you need reviews in order to post the next chapter is viewed as a demand. Threatening to discontinue writing a story because one did not receive the expected number of reviews is also considered a demand. Stating that a certain number of reviews is necessary for story continuance is a demand. Violators will be notified of the violation and given seven (7) days to remove the demand, or face deletion of the story where the demand is posted.

This has been a rule at Dokuga since before the site even launched.

This topic has also been regurgitated on the forums numerous times and no amount of protestation or discussion will result in the rule being changed.

Because reviews demands tend to cause animosity between authors and readers, other sites have started adopting this rule as well. If someone writes a really good chapter and then finishes it off by making a petty demand for reviews, it turns off readers big time.

Most of the authors who do this are inexperienced and not well-established in the community. They see that an author who has been around for years gets X number of reviews per chapter and feel that they're entitled to a certain amount of praise. It's like pulling a weapon on reviewers to cut in line. Sure, you may squeeze a few reviews out, but the readers are going to be unhappy and ultimately, you'll be viewed as a petty, arrogant author for doing that.

Review demands are also flame bait and a really fast way to make people STOP reading your work all together.

Regarding people who choose not to update until they get a set number of reviews, I think it's worth mentioning that if praise is the only motivation an author has, it might be time to find a new hobby. Fanfiction is supposed to be about bringing stories to life, not being praised and exalted by random strangers on the internet. If you're not truly inspired to write, your work will reflect that and that won't get you more reviews either.
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Re:It's only fair. 8 Years ago Karma: 11
I don't mind it too much when an author solicits feedback (aka - "please review!") - 1. because I am bad about being a fic lurker and it reminds me to review and 2. I know how much reviews mean to the creator of an artistic work (even if its nothing more than "this is great!")

But I do have to say that it really puts me off when an author uses reviews to hold a story hostage. I pretty much stop reading immediately - its the same with artists who put really snotty comments with their work - I have a hard time liking things by people who come off as arrogant or entitled.

I understand why some authors do this. I don't have a writers perspective - but I understand that as any type of artist that you put a lot of yourself into creating a work and then cast it out into the void of the internet. The beauty of the internet is that you have the potential to reach a large targeted audience (like Dokuga) but the anonymity means that you can't see people's faces when they react, or ask them face to face how they like something.

But I think targeted questions would work a lot better for them - instead of "I'll upload the next chapter when I get 10 reviews" ask for specific feedback on whatever they feel nervous about. "I feel like the characterization/flow/plot etc. is off - suggestions?"
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Last Edit: 2010/08/09 09:08 By janey-jane.
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Beat Cop
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Re:It's only fair. 8 Years ago Karma: -666
I'm locking this thread because I'm going to work, and I don't want to come back in 8 hours to some sort of disaster.

I will however, have a say.

Sammy, I agree with your intentions. Review demands seem like a good concept when you initially think about them. Everyone is a new writer at some point. You're unsure of your work and your style. You want to know what people think. When people don't review it, then you don't get a clear idea. It could be crap or it could be good. No one is letting you know. Demanding reviews makes sense. You get the input you need and readers get their story. It's like paying for your lunch. Someone made that sandwich, and now you have to pay some money for that effort.

The problem. Most of us are sandwich makers. I make roast beef. Dany makes turkey. Missk uses oliveloaf. We all put a lot of effort into our writing. Hours and hours. We don't do it with the intention of getting paid in any way. Reviews aren't much to live for. Half of them are empty praise anyway. "Please update soon!" gives you very little to work with.

We who give our work away don't want to read work from a writer who charges. Readers of our work don't want to pay for a story that charges either.

Final thought before being late for work

Fanfiction is intended to be free. We're using characters that are not our own (in fact, they're copyrighted) and crafting stories with them. If you don't want to write for free, then you have to find another venue. There are ways to get the feedback that you want. Asking for it without demanding it can be infinitely more effective. Finding a beta also works. If anyone around here works for nothing, it's them.
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