Today I got an anonymous review which equates to ‘how not to get your favorite writer to update what you want them to update‘. Bulbatoe is a Pokemon one-shot I wrote recently for someone’s Yuletide wish this year, and yet here is one of the reviews I got.
Kaito1412:Can you please finish some of your other stories before you start another.I am a real big fan of your hitsukarin stories.I have been waiting a long time for you to update red and white,cage package,diamond treasure,understanding ll ,negirau that I don’t like your other stories you are one of my favorite let me know in an update of your next story if you are going to do it or not.I wil still read your it just gets me so mad when you really get into a story and the other doesn’t want to continue or if they forgot about it.
There are actually quite a few issues with this particular review. The first thing which jumped out at me was the last part which reads…
it just gets me so mad when you really get into a story and the other doesn’t want to continue or if they forgot about it
You the reader do not know what is going on in said writer’s life, so you do not know why they are not continuing said story at that point in time. The reason I’ve not updated a lot of my stories recently has nothing to do with the fact I don’t want to continue these stories, or that I forgotten them, but that recently I’ve had to deal with some major things going on offline that has a negative effect on my writing schedule.
I’ve also got to deal with the fact my mind bounces all over the place with tons of ideas. For those of you who think having some disorder which allows the writer to super focus on a task is great – this is actually one of the major downsides to having such a disorder. It has ways of backfiring.
Second thing I noticed was this review wasn’t even left on a story for the Bleach fandom! It was also left on a one-shot I wrote for a specific challenge/contest/event, which in turn is a way to help me refocus on my bigger projects, or at least most of the time. It’s part of how my writing process works. Most of all though, the real reason they posted on said story is because Bulbatoe is the latest story I posted, and this was for the holidays.
But there is a third issue I noticed.
I am a real big fan of your hitsukarin stories.I have been waiting a long time for you to update red and white,cage package,diamond treasure,understanding ll ,negirau that I don’t like your other stories
Thank you for making it clear the only reason you like my stories is because of the pairing and were able to get your latest fix for said pairing, and not because you actually like the stories I wrote.
At least that’s the way that particular comment reads.
First, I’ve actually posted quite a few stories for this pairing which are clearly marked for this pairing. Many are one-shots and short stories for the most part, and are the type of thing which are meant to help tie over readers when a writer’s not actually able to update their other stories of the same type.
Second, there is one story though I published recently which was my NaNoWriMo project for this year, which tends to be one of the major offline things which gets in the way of me updating, but is also very important to me. Cancer is a piece I’m working on which is clearly marked as containing this pairing. One of the major differences between the five they listed and Cancer is you know you’re going to get a happy ending when you read the summaries of the other stories, but for Cancer you know there is a chance there may not be a happy ending for the couple. Said reader though isn’t willing to give the story a chance to find out though.
Third, if they actually bothered to read the stories I’ve written which aren’t marked for the pairing they would know a lot of my stories feature the pairing due to the fact I like the dynamics said pairing adds to the stories I write. I’m actually a genfic writer, not a shipfic writer. That means ships will take a back seat to writing out the plot for a given story, and if the plot doesn’t allow said pairing to occur, it doesn’t happen.
This doesn’t though mean said pairings don’t occur in these stories, and one of the things which really bothers us genfic writers is that when a person knows that we favor a particular pairing they don’t try bothering to read the stuff where the pairing they’re looking for isn’t marked. Yes, in some cases the major events for said pairing isn’t going to happen until the third in a series, but a well written pairing isn’t rushed, and a writer takes their time getting to the good parts. And in some cases, like with Christmas Nightmare, we have a story where the pairing is there in the first story, but the reader’s got to be patient enough to allow the pairing to show through. Other readers would also love to see these stories updates to, and yet this one reader wants favoritism.
Truth be told it’s like watching Bleach, and waiting for the episodes for Toshiro and Karin to show up, rather then fast forwarding to the episodes in question.
Can you please finish some of your other stories before you start another.
This is how the review started, and this is honestly how the writer of said review should have left things. I can honestly agree that it would be nice for me to finish some of the stories I already got going before I start another. That though brings into question how many, which ones, which readers do I favor over others – and also brings up the issue of how my mind unfortunately works when I write. It comes down to this.
I’d love to promise not to start anymore stories before finishing some of my older ones, but that’s just not possible. I’ve tried, and the end results was my mind going off at such a speed I can’t focus on the stories I need to finish. Thus the one-shots, and short stories are supposed to help, as well as my NaNoWriMo and other writing exercises. These provide a limiter on the stories I can start at a given time.
And before you say, “but it can’t be that hard“, I once made a list of all the story ideas I had once, and I had over two-hundred in my list, and this was back when I still had around a hundred stories published already.
In this particular case the reader crossed the line.
- Don’t ever act like the writer whose not updating like you want is wronging you. You the reader don’t know what’s going on. Take for example one of my favorite stories, Shinigami Kids Society by Lucanite. Sadly, I don’t think I’ll ever see an update from her, ever. In this particular case I know the writer has health issues, because she posted about it sometime between when I first discovered this lovely series, and when she made the latest update to her profile on January 13, 2011. She was so sick, she couldn’t update like she wanted. One of the stories I created since I last updated these stories, the exception being possibly one update for Red and White, is the Finding Friendship story, which is a series inspired by her work, and dedicated to her specifically. This series is actually going to feature the pairing in question, but the really good stuff’s not going to start until part three because that’s how the story worked out, and I really want this one to be good because she’s the one who inspired me to write Finding Friendship. This had been bumping around in my head for four years at least, before I got it to a point I was ready to start.
- Don’t review a story that has nothing to do with what you’re talking about. By this I mean a story which isn’t one of the ones in question. Posting it to a one-shot says you don’t respect the writer’s need to take a break to write a one-shot piece. (I mean, come on, it’s a one-shot, which is supposed to be a stand alone piece, and not continued.) Posting it to a story from another fandom says you don’t respect the writer’s right to write for other fandoms. Posting it in general to other stories, well, it just doesn’t respect the writer’s right to write things for that fandom outside of what you personally want. And posting it on a story they just updated? How about using a PM instead? If you don’t have an account, well, my anonymous reviews are screened. I’ve got to read all of them unless I get really sick, and rarely if ever miss them, so you don’t have to post to the story that’s just been updated. That’s just, well, rather childish.
- Leave your fixes out of it. Mind you, there are writers out there who do write for a particular fix because they know it will get them more reviews, reads, favorites, what ever. The serious writers though take pride in their craft, and care more about telling a good story, so if you let on that you like their stories because they feed your latest fix, you’ve actually slapped them in the face. Translation: “I care about my fix, not your actual story. Give me my fix NOW!”
In fact, I need add this note on fixes. If you’re reading for the fix, I’ve a hard time considering you a real fan of whatever your latest fix is.
I get reading everything for a particular fix. I do that for stories where Isshin is Toshiro’s former taicho, or Gin and Ran are his biological parents. I don’t though let that get in the way of discerning which of these stories are better written, or appreciating what the writer brings to the table. One writer I’ve mentored for example, forever122, wrote a ton of a adorable stories where Gin and Ran were Toshiro’s parents, but the fact they’re a young writer shows through. Last year though they wrote Wish, and this particular story jumps in quality compared to their other stories. That’s the kind of stuff writer’s want to hear about, which brings me tot he forth issue.
- Don’t act like the writer owes you something.
- Don’t post reviews to unrelated stories.
- Keep your fix out of it.
- Don’t bash the writer’s other works. Seriously, telling them you don’t like their other works, or that you won’t give them a try, how are you to tell the writer how they’ve improved? The signs of improvement are less likely to show through on an older story compared to a new or rewritten one.
- Keep in mind there are readers for the writers other stories. I’m one of the main writers for the stories where Isshin is Toshiro’s former taicho, or even Ran and Gin their biological parents. Most of them are mine.
Last, don’t tell me to “let you know in an update of your next story”. If this is really that important to you, then you create an account and PM me. Take also into consideration how long this reply was.
P.S. I took time out to write this reply from what I was doing. I was working on a project I wanted to finish, so I could then get back to updating older stories. Now I’ve got to get refocused on that.