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Human on the Team

So, Human on the Team is one of my older stories, which means the prose is basic, and the grammar leaves a lot to be desired. I’ve come a long way since 2008. However, back then I also let through some reviews I probably shouldn’t have.

March 15, 2008 ~ army of perverts ~ surprisingly tolerable

My thoughts when I didn’t delete this anonymous review was that everybody has their right to an opinion even those who are attempting to revenge flame. However, since then I’ve also learned that sometimes people aren’t actually trying to voice an opinion, but just trying to stir up trouble. This was on the first chapter, but they also didn’t explain why the story was “surprisingly tolerable”. More specially, they didn’t explain what was almost not tolerable for them. Here though is a second review.

January 1, 2019 ~ Luiz

You should try learning the rules of grammar and using spell-check- your story needs serious editing.

If you had written better it would have had the potential to become a good story, unfortunately  in its present state it is very low-quality writing.

So, for those who don’t know, I’m dyslexic. I used to beat myself up, but also believe these kinds of reviews because I knew I stunk in regards to the grammar department. Now, Human on the Team’s not perfect, but I’m looking back at the older chapters as I’m finally back to continuing the series. I’m now at a point I can better judge my own grammar, but I found myself realizing the grammars not that bad.

By this, I mean that the grammar issues aren’t bad enough to say the story isn’t a good story. Since I got this review, I’ve come to realize – through a lot of my writing mentors offline – that while grammar is important, and that having a work that isn’t hot-off -the-press is a major goal, grammar and formatting doesn’t determine whether something is “good” or not. Minor grammar errors don’t determine whether a story becomes a good story or not.

By looking at grammar typos like this reader did, they in reality were not looking at the stories potential at all. Here in also lies the problem of specializing in grammar only. On one side, I actually eat up the reviews which are honestly meant to help me and point out specific issues. Then, you have this review where the reader determines whether the story is good or not based on grammar alone. That’s wrong.

Sure, this isn’t one of my best pieces, but that’s not the point. What does “low-quality” writing actually mean? Give me Mark Twain’s rule for writing any day, a list of rules which includes grammar, but basic technique only ends up being a small part. <– See, that’s it – that grammar and such are only a small part. Also, I’ve also discovered some of these people who profess to be good at grammar really aren’t. Sadly, one of these people was a former Beta.

There’s not point in keeping these up anymore, as they’re only padding my word count, and I’ve now got them here.

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Sated – Fanfic Essay

Sated

In regards to sated, I’m thinking of what does it take to be satisfied as a fanfic writer, but also a reader.

As a Writer

For me, personally, I’m not satisfied with my own work unless I put my best effort into whatever I do. I also don’t understand why others don’t care to put an effort in at all, but then I eventually remember that what satisfies other people is getting positive reviews, reads and favorites. Are those though really worth it, if one doesn’t put the effort in? Isn’t the feeling of satisfaction received also a false sense of satisfaction, and a false sense of satiating ones appetite for praise?

That’s why people act negatively to a negative review, or at least one reason. They’re satisfying their urge for positive praise by not putting the effort in, and they know it. Mind you, not all writers are like this. Some of the ones who react negatively, do so because they have a gut reaction, but eventually they calm down. I’m talking specifically about the group of writers – a small group, which doesn’t put an effort into their work. For some reason, the reaction is always going to be negative, simply because they don’t want.

Now, a few people argue, in regards to negative reviews, if someone doesn’t want them, then one shouldn’t post them. However, once you’ve posted something online, you loose the right to dictate what others say about your work. Sure, you can counter critique that isn’t legit, but to say that legit critique is a no go, that is a form of censorship. Says Lucy Gillam in her essay Apology for Critisism.

Anyone not liking a story, type of story, story convention, etc., is reminded that no one is forcing them to read it, that they can simply delete it from their mailbox.  The “creative” endeavor is protected at all costs.

The critic, however, is not afforded this protection.  She is not afforded the understanding that she can’t not write, that she has ideas pounding at her brain to be let out.  She is not afforded the option of simply carving out her own space, where those who don’t like what she does can simply not visit, not read.

And yet, the major irony here is, we’re talking about people who don’t care one iota about the creative endeavor. I’ve seen one writer post a story which was a supposed situational AU where every single character was horribly out of character, but in addition to this, the writer couldn’t be bothered to use proper grammar – to edit her work before publishing. I wouldn’t say that this person had an idea pounding in the back of their head which she couldn’t get out. That’s rather impossible when she admitted she started into the idea as soon as it came into her head, when in reality an idea pounding in the back of ones head is something that’s been there awhile, aching to get out. It’s not the kind of feeling someone who only writes on the spur of the moment, slapping something together could possibly understand.

This same person, however, who couldn’t possibly understand what it was like to not write, tried telling another person that the critique they received wasn’t welcome. No, that because they decided to not put an effort in, that for some reason that exempted them from getting critique. In fact, such attitudes are alienating, hurtful, not to mention degrading. Take for example an article written by Cynical Otter called Flogging Elitism in the Fanfiction World. She came back just a day later as the Humbled Otter with a post called The Otter Apologizes to the Fanfiction Masses. To quote something from the later response…

I did not (I repeat) did not intend to target or hurt the majority of fan fiction writers and people who are kind enough to actually take time from their lives and aid in the editing process. But sadly, I did.

She also realized, unlike one reader who tried defending a writer I critiqued, by the time she wrote Fan Fiction Elitism: Two Years Later that there are some things which shouldn’t be ignored. As she points out…

Then there is the major pet peeve; fan-brats who insist on romanticizing things like rape, the Holocaust, 9/11, you know the type. If an object of lust can be conveniently inserted into the tragedy, nothing is sacred.As

Insisting there be standards isn’t the act of elitism, and instead having a standard is just common decency. When a writer posts something hot-off-the-press, the reader struggles to read it, so the common decency is to use proper grammar. The canon characters are something another writer created, so common decency towards the original creator is to keep them in character unless one has a logical reason for changing the character. In fact, we’re writing in worlds created by another person, so while one may may improvements on a series, particularly one which ended to soon, or that has a particular flaw, it is not common decency to create a preferred version which amounts to blatant wish fulfillment.

That said, writing characters in character does take practice, as does making a story canon compliant.

There is a major difference between a writer whose seriously trying to learn, and these writers who don’t take things seriously. Their implication that there should be no standards, because that is elitism, that is in fact elitism in itself. They feel an exception to how everyone is treated – common decency that is – should be thrown out the window so that what they post contains no negative reviews. Or some think their feelings should be spared regardless of what is common decency. So…

As a Reader…

I expect writers to be respectful of their readers. I still remember over on Wattpad a reader comment on how a writer lashed out at her, telling her “don’t like, don’t read” simply because the reader misread her comment. In fact, I had a writer do this to me, only to make themselves look like a jerk to their small handful of readers, which resulted in a major loss of readership, as their comment was visible.  Hands down I don’t expect everyone to act in a respectful manner, but if a person starts off by claiming the act of leaving critique is disrespectful, that is most certainly a sign of a writer who doesn’t have respect for their readers.

Reviews are earned, not an obligation.

As for other things… here are some types of stories as a reader I would like to see more of.

  1. Well written slash not written by rabid fangirls who think it is okay to emasculate the male characters, but also use stereotypes in the stories the write, but even read. I don’t in any way consider a person who writes slash for kicks to be a real slash writer.
  2. Bleach – I love stories where Gin and Rangiku are Toshiro’s parents.
  3. Bleach – I love stories where Isshin is Toshiro’s taicho. Yes, he is in canon, but I started this kick back in 2008 before it was revealed.
  4. Voltron: Legendary Defender – Stories where Shiro and Keith are biological brothers.
  5. Getting to see young writers grow in their craft.

That’s it for now.

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Daily Prompt: Chaotic

via Daily Prompt: Chaotic

Here is my first response to the daily prompts here on WordPress. Since I am a fanfic writer, I intend on tying the word into fanfiction somehow, whether it be to write a short story, or an essay.

In this particular case, the word chaotic reminds me of the whole writing process. One of the excuses I’ve seen people make in regards to my critique is to complain that I take fanfic writing to seriously, but when someone does this, what they say makes me think they really don’t understand the writing process at all, let alone how much work I and others put into their stories. The process, like any writing process, is utterly chaotic, and this chaos makes writing hard.

However, those who complain about me taking fanfic to seriously, I’ve found they don’t take fanfic writing seriously at all. They don’t care about putting an effort in, let alone the hard work. Yet, despite this, they still expect to get positive reviews only, as if the readers are obligated to do so. Suddenly, things become all about them, which in itself is chaotic. I’ve had a tween tell me that most of the writers in fandom were tweens, despite the fact there isn’t any site I can think of out there for writing that allows tweens to have an account. The one I can think of – Quizella – is now gone.

Why should this self-centered idea that an exception should be made regarding critique simply because the writer doesn’t want to take things seriously be respected? The very fact they’re not willing to take things seriously, how is that respectful to the majority who do take things seriously? If they’re not serious about fanfic, why are they even writing it? Why should those who are serious leave, just so those who are not can party?

The answer is no, we should not have to respect thoughts and behaviors which show a lack of respect for others, nor should the fact we don’t respect this be deemed disrespectful. Respect is a two-way street, but is also something one earns. There is also a major difference between respecting the fact people have different opinions, and not putting up with acts of disrespect. Respect means showing courteous behavior, but disrespect means not doing so. Those who feel their disrespect should be respected mean people should let their behavior slide without reprimand, because reprimand is disrespectful in their minds, but in reality, a reprimand is in no way discourteous.

Oh, and the work of those who don’t take fanfic seriously – in all honestly the stuff the produce is almost always chaotic in nature, reflecting their chaotic attitudes. Real writers take what they write seriously.