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How many negative reviews does it take?
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TOPIC: How many negative reviews does it take?
#115917
TamashaToko
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How many negative reviews does it take? 1 Month, 4 Weeks ago Karma: 4
To make you completely give up on a fanfiction?

Despite the amount of reads you get on a story those readers kind of don't count cause you don't know how they feel or if they like your story since they won't talk to you with a review. The review system is kind of annoying to me in general because I can't help but see the comments like a reward for finishing a chapter with no other way to discuss the story with the readers, and when they are all negative what are you to do?

There is a natural reaction I want to have of just letting the fic join the others in the forgotten deadzone, but at the same time my mind wants to keep pushing forward as there is a story I want to tell and if I don't finish it wasn't it all for nothing?

I don't know I just feel so conflicted right now.
 
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#115918
Pyreite
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Re:How many negative reviews does it take? 1 Month, 4 Weeks ago Karma: 57
I think it depends on what you mean by negative. If the tone of the review feels like a personal attack and runs along the lines of 'You can't write for crap' etc. Than the recipient will see it as negative.

If the tone is more constructive as in 'I found several consistent errors in the text from spelling mistakes to punctuation and grammatical errors' etc. Than that could also be seen as negative, perhaps even as a flame.

I think for me, from experience, the most frustrating reviews I received were a combination of both. Either I wrote about something that was seen as negative, or interpreted the wrong way, or I misused a word or phrase that meant something else entirely. It was also often related to how I wrote a character too either as being too OOC or acting outside of the norm for canon within a fandom.

What I found negative about such reviews wasn't the content, or the context, it was that the reviewer would tell me what they thought I'd written wrong, but wouldn't explain why they thought so.

Too often I got was 'You shouldn't use that word like that it means something else', but they wouldn't explain what that 'else' was.

In the end it's trying to be constructive criticism but failing at the constructive part. 'Like gee you write this character so OOC', but they don't give an example from my writing that made that character so OOC.

So there's no reasoning behind their opinion that I can understand.

I find such reviews like this negative, because it's used more as a soapbox for the reviewer to state what's wrong without an explanation. A writer can't improve if you notice their mistakes, but don't explain why you noticed them.

It's like not telling a baker the cake is terrible because they subbed out sugar for salt by mistake.

Such reviews aren't constructive, or useful, they're just confusing.

~ Pyre
 
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Last Edit: 2017/09/24 06:30 By Pyre.
 
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#115919
TamashaToko
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Re:How many negative reviews does it take? 1 Month, 4 Weeks ago Karma: 4
It's a situation where people are displeased with things that have been built up, and it's been built up over so many chapters now you can't fix it.

For example Dragonsbane has too many OC characters as opposed to canon characters (something I've addressed is a weakness of mine because it's easier just to create characters sometimes as opposed to rewatching the series I haven't watched in a long time to find canon characters to use and then worry about keeping them in character on top of that) These characters are of course in the story to service and fuel the plots of the canon characters. Had I known this would turn so many people off I would have rethought this, but it's too late now. You can't give backstory and development to characters and then never address them ever again.

I think the only thing I find attacking is a lack of trust. Lack of trust in me that these scenes and characters aren't building to something bigger and better.

Constructive Criticism is always welcome and does help, but sometimes it hurts because the suggestions and complaints is just too much too late or has me confused and I don't know what to do.

Not just Dragonsbane but every Sess/Kag fic I've written seems to have a Kagome issue I don't know how to fix. Sesshoumaru being the flawed character he is who has a tendency to not show empathy for others needs to bring out a reaction in Kagome. If Kagome doesn't call Sesshoumaru out on his actions she isn't a 'strong female character' and depending on the era of the story I'm writing if she involves herself too much in Sesshoumaru's affairs she is just being too much or unrealistic.

How to recover is the question.

How many negative reviews does it take to make you consider whether your story is even worth telling, or what does it take to recover?
 
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#115920
Pyreite
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Re:How many negative reviews does it take? 1 Month, 4 Weeks ago Karma: 57
I think every story is worth telling, despite the things I've done in response to negative reviews. I admit to having abandoned ideas and entire fics I spent months writing because of a negative review or a lot of them.

I also at times chose to continue writing a fic, or altering a chapter in terms of content over negative reviews too. Like changing how a character reacts or altering their lines. I'd never do it over the plot of a fic that's too large and would take hours of editing. Small scenes I could compromise over, I didn't mind doing.

As for recovery. I kept writing, but in other fandoms. That helped me get beyond the negative reviews, although I still often feel apprehensive about reading new reviews rather than being excited.

It's a mixed bag.

I think you recover by continuing the write the story, or just in general. You won't get better without practice after all, and yes people will complain, and scream, and caterwaul. But that in itself is a compliment because they're reading your work. As for helping with OOCs or characterisation, I would suggest a beta or a friend reading your work, and discussing things that concern you.

If anything it could help you reaffirm your own opinions on why the characters are written a certain way too.

But in the end, never forget that your own perspective is always the most important. Yes the readers matter too, but you're the one telling them a story. Not the other way round. If you want to write a certain way than write it. Only then do you discover if you can do it and do it well. And every story is merely a stepping stone for the next one, where you can exercise new skills in writing and understandings of characters as you progress as an author.

If it doesn't work out the first time. Try again, but never give up.

Switch fandoms if you need too, but keep writing. Talk about the issues, and take courage from them. And keep writing. Use OOCs but find a way to make their integration into a canon setting more convincing. Practice doing so, once, twice, a thousand times if you need too. Frustrate your readers because that's what they came do to.

They came to read.

~ Pyre
 
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Last Edit: 2017/09/23 21:49 By Pyre.
 
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#115921
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Re:How many negative reviews does it take? 1 Month, 4 Weeks ago Karma: 46
I've had a few, though most have been very constructive. Most of the negative, if you can call them that, reviews have stated what the person didn't like, why, and ideas on how they think I could have written it better. That is most likely because I only write Sess/Kag and only post on Dokuga. (Everyone in this place is amazing.)

Aside from that, if I ever had one that didn't explain why even after I messaged them asking for more information then I'd probably ignore it. If the person who dislikes it can't at least tell me what they didn't like, and why then at that point I would just let them know that my story probably wasn't for them and move on. It's an odd thing but there are some stories I think are terrible just because the story as a whole doesn't work for me. So I don't read them, I don't post that the story is terrible because there have been a few really well written ones.

If I'm suddenly getting a lot of hate on a story then I'm probably going to write it in spite of the people who dislike it because at the end of the day I write for me first, readers second.
 
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#115922
Jane
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Re:How many negative reviews does it take? 1 Month, 4 Weeks ago Karma: 0
I have read a great deal of fanfiction, this is my weakness really. I only get peeved by grammar and sometimes writing style along with spelling. I have read many an abandoned story that suffered this reaction.when fandoms read a story many times they judge based on what they think should happened in a story or carry a preconceived thought about an character.when you write story a writer builds to something ,they can't see the final product so they critize and it really hurts your creative mind.I apologize for them they don't know what it is like to put you heart out in a creative endeavor to have it smushed.I have finished a fanfiction in my mind because of this it is sad really.
 
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#115926
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Re:How many negative reviews does it take? 1 Month, 4 Weeks ago Karma: 77
I've got most negative comments one time due to a certain plot twist in my story. It upset a lot of my readers, who didn't agree with the direction I was taking the story towards. It didn't make me want to give up, though, since the story direction was something that had been clear to me since I started writing the whole thing.
But I did feel the same way, I was hurt my readers didn't trust me enough to do the story justice.

That said, I think in my example above as well as with the whole OOC:ness thing as already discussed here, one of the underlying conflicts is actually a difference of opinion between the writer and the reader.
Knowing that, though negative reviews often hurt, it's also hard to give them much power over you. Because arguing over opinions is a waste of time more often than not. ...And I'm too stubborn to be easily swayed.

Personally, to me the lack of reviews is more discouraging than negative reviews. Maybe it's my temper, but negative reviews piss me off more than they upset me. But getting no response as all is like no one cares a bit. That makes it harder to keep writing for me.
 
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#115924
Pyreite
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Re:How many negative reviews does it take? 1 Month, 4 Weeks ago Karma: 57
Jane wrote:
I have read a great deal of fanfiction, this is my weakness really. I only get peeved by grammar and sometimes writing style along with spelling. I have read many an abandoned story that suffered this reaction.when fandoms read a story many times they judge based on what they think should happened in a story or carry a preconceived thought about an character.when you write story a writer builds to something ,they can't see the final product so they critize and it really hurts your creative mind.I apologize for them they don't know what it is like to put you heart out in a creative endeavor to have it smushed.I have finished a fanfiction in my mind because of this it is sad really.

You've got it in one. I think for me that was my main issue with OOCness. It was preconceived notions of how a character should act i.e from canon, versus to how as an author, I think that character would act. Mine and my readers interpretations sometimes didn't mesh, thus the conflict.

I also got negative reviews of WIPs stories, where characters were often changing as I wrote them. The plotlines were dynamic rather than static as they would be in a finished fic. So the readers based their opinions on a chapter rather than the story as a whole which could take weeks to finish writing.

I did cut stories I lost hope for in situations like that too. They were deleted rather than continued.

And it doesn't take more than one negative review to shut a story down, it could be just one. Those kind of reviews I got came from FFNet not Dokuga. And on there, they can be horrible, and weird, and confusing, and merciless.

It's why I left.

If reviews of this nature are concerning, again get a beta involved. Discuss the issues, collaborate, and learn together. It'll help, or use a friend as a sounding board. That works too.

~ Pyre
 
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#115927
TamashaToko
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Re:How many negative reviews does it take? 1 Month, 4 Weeks ago Karma: 4
I just don't know what people want in their Kagome's now-a-days and it's making me doubt everything.
 
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#115928
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Re:How many negative reviews does it take? 1 Month, 4 Weeks ago Karma: 77
Fans always seem to be more critical when the female characters are concerned...

Still, it's your story. What matters the most is sticking to your vision, portraying the characters in a way that agrees with your interpretations of them, in a way that suits your story.
 
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#115930
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Re:How many negative reviews does it take? 1 Month, 4 Weeks ago Karma: 6
TamashaToko wrote:
I just don't know what people want in their Kagome's now-a-days and it's making me doubt everything.


I had a few negative reviews in my fic and it was always about my portrayal of Kagome. People usually talk about how hard it is to write Sesshoumaru, but I think Kagome can be even more difficult sometimes. She's a character with a lot of personality and life to her, but I think some people exaggerate her 'sassy' characteristics and forgo kindness. Or vice versa.

The comments I received were stuff like - 'Gawd, can Kagome finally get over herself?' So I guess I made her too self-centred in the eyes of the reader. The thing is, in my mind, this was Kagome's story, about coming to terms with change, so it was very much focused on her thoughts and feelings. I don't know where the line between making a character sympathetic or whiny is.

It's made me more conscious of making Kagome complain too much, but then you have the worry of making her a doormat. It's difficult, but ultimately I think picking out pieces of criticism that you agree with, or can see where the reviewer is coming from and working on those criticisms is best. Any other nitpicks that would change the vision of your story if you listened to them aren't really worth worrying over in my eyes. Knight of Disorder said it before but, I agree with the sentiment that you should write for you first. Readers second.
 
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Last Edit: 2017/09/24 13:50 By mythicamagic.
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#115931
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Re:How many negative reviews does it take? 1 Month, 4 Weeks ago Karma: 7
TamashaToko wrote:
I just don't know what people want in their Kagome's now-a-days and it's making me doubt everything.

Oh, boy.

A strange or OOC Kagome is my #1 pet peeve, but, remember that you're writing for yourself first. It's your vision so neither you nor the reader should expect the writing to please every reviewer all the time. If they don't like it, they can stop reading. And I could be assuming too much of FF readers, but I assume the majority of them are female. I tend to think that readers see themselves as the female lead [Kagome for this fandom], so it's easy to be hyper-critical because they're personalizing her character.

^This is coming from a serial "negative" reviewer that tends to be very harsh with criticism, btw.

As for the question, that's up to you, right? Readers shouldn't take fanfiction so seriously [I'm guilty of this, esp when it comes to characterization], but writers shouldn't take reviews so personally either,

The reviews of DB aren't negative from my view. Keep in mind that I've been accused of being a harsh critic and appreciated flames on my own stories long ago, so I have a different threshold for it. The readers seem engaged enough to tell you what their issues are and most of them were very polite about it. No reviews would make me feel like I posted a story for naught more than negative ones.
 
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#115935
TamashaToko
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Re:How many negative reviews does it take? 1 Month, 4 Weeks ago Karma: 4
Maybe there is a common thread in what I'm hearing in this post.

When I brought up Dragonsbane it wasn't about Dokuga reviews. It was about ff.net reviews and clearly I shouldn't be putting too much stock in them for it turned some of you off from posting there all together.

Dumb ff.net. Give me way more positive reviews than I ever deserve on Marriage of Convenience a story with bad grammar and really bad out of character moments then turn around and bash it years later not realizing a young idiot high schooler wrote it way more than a decade ago now and bash me > Jerks.
 
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#115938
Jane
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Re:How many negative reviews does it take? 1 Month, 4 Weeks ago Karma: 0
Your works are your own,I have learned that the only opinion you have to deal with at the end of the day that matters is your own. You should not give someone else the power over your own happiness. It is my own general rule for life really.
 
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