So you log onto your fictionpress.com or fanfiction.com account, see that you have a new comment and click on the reviews section only to have this pop up…
“YOR WORK SUKS”
They are the bane of the fanfiction and fictionpress community and. They are the worst reviewers because, as well as trashing your hopes to read a genuine review, they also provide no helpful insight on how to better your work.
Now see, constructive criticism I can handle – the name says it all – because, while I am a tad slighted that they didn’t absolutely fall head-over-heels in love my work the first time around, they at least gave suggestions on how to improve the places they stumbled on.
But flamers? Personally I picture them as hobgoblins (that get constantly poked in the side by sticks) all converging in dungeon rooms surrounded by spider webs and snakes because who else would honestly pass their time giving worthless reviews of someone’s work? If you don’t like the work but have nothing helpful to say, that’s fine… move on. No one’s pressuring you to click the review button, hobgoblin. No one.
My first flame burst its way into my life about ten years ago – I had just started a fanfiction.com account and was penning stories about Digimon and Teen Titans. (Yes, I still enjoy those shows… Digimon was AWESOME, people, you can’t deny it. And Raven was my favorite on TT.) My first story was up and running a full two weeks before a flamer decided to attack. And what did this reviewer say? What kernel of knowledge did this reader bestow on my budding story?
“Yor work suks!”
At first, I was hurt. Who would do this to me? Why did they not like my story? And what about it actually sucked? But then, re-reading this lovely snippet of writing, I took comfort in the fact that this reviewer could not even spell ‘your’ and ‘sucks’ correctly, and so I rationalize that the person on the other end of the computer keyboard must not be very bright and probably missed the point of my story while skimming through it. (If they read it at all.) I got a sprinkling of others after that during my years of being a fanfiction and fictionpress writer, but I always remembered that first one most clearly. I thought it would always stick with me – that little voice from my youth screaming it over and over again – but, when it does surface in my mind, I remember the hobgoblin stuck in a dungeon with a stick jabbing into its side and figured, well, I’d probably be screaming too and think of it no more.
Flamers will flame… it’s up to you to delete the comment from your mind.
Have a lovely weekend!