Pokeauthors Special Spotlight: Concern Troll

Got a pretty standard concern troll who was willing to engage for a while.

re: Your review to Changed
March 20thatsmybusiness43
A response to your review at https://www.fanfiction.net/r/12384342/

Hey, I know you’re trying to help but come on, some people just write a particular way. I literally see you on many stories. I understand that this story has some pretty glaring errors, but for people like Epicocity, what they do is how they write. Please go easier on people ok?Feel free to correct me.

2h agoAnd you chose to tell me this by replying to my review on a story by a completely different author because…?

2h agoWell sorry… Just wondering why you have to nitpick everything. I understand why, but couldn’t you do it in a less condescending way? People aren’t getting the best impressions of you, you know?

sorry again for replying to a review to a different story, just curious.

2h agoIn what ways am I being condescending?
2h agoNever mind. Just go have a look at the reviews you made and look at the reviews on your most recent story. Some people might be just starting out too, so I’m just saying don’t try to be a professional reviewer (Sorry for using that term) about it please?

2h agoYou seriously think I’m too stupid to notice the reviews on my own story, yet you have the gall to say *I’m* condescending?

If you can’t articulate precisely what I’m doing wrong and what I should do differently, I can’t change. This is kind of why I review in the first place, to encourage critical thinking.

2h agoYou want to know why people don’t like you?
It’s because you sound like a snob when you review.
You nitpick over the smallest of things in a story.

Here’s a tip:Keep

Keep your reviews simple and to any glaring points that occur. Small things will eventually get ironed out.

Also I love how you think I’m calling you stupid. I know you’re not a preschooler. Offended at all?

2h ago[It’s because you sound like a snob when you review.]

You’ll have to be more specific than that. I don’t believe I sound snobbish. I actually believe that “keeping it simple” *would* be condescending. The reason my reviews are so wordy is because I explain how to fix every mistake I come across, which often requires a substantial explanation because grammar is complex. Would you prefer I simply alert people to the existence of a problem without telling them why or how to fix it?

I also do not believe I am nitpicking. I object to the things I do because they utterly ruin the story for me.

1h ago[Ash Ketchum, had just lost in Kalos League, and returned home, but is betrayed by his friends, Ten years later, There’s a tournament that’s being held called Champions League, and comes to the tournament , a changed man Along with his girlfriend Serena, Ash plans to get revenge, but when he meets May at the tournament, and falls in love with her.]

This is a run-on sentence. You need to learn how to use commas.

Titling chapters in the story itself looks kinda weird; the dropdown menu should suffice.

[(After Ash’s Kalos League Lost Ash’s 3rd POV)]

This is jarring; it’s better to use generalized scene transitions. Time and place should be clear from context or narration. Also, you don’t need to label POVs when they’re obvious from context.

You’re formatting dialogue incorrectly. Dialogue is written as [“Hello,” she said] or [“Hello!” she said], never [“Hello.” She said] or [“Hello”, she said] or [“Hello” she said]. This is because dialogue and speech tags are considered to be part of the same sentence, so they have to flow together. The only exception to this is if the next sentence doesn’t contain a speech verb. In that case, the second part iis/i considered a separate sentence, so it’s written as [“Hello.” She grinned], never [“Hello,” she grinned]. Note that something isn’t a speech verb just because it’s a sound you make with your mouth, so generally stuff like “laughed” or “giggled” is in the second category. (“Speak” is also not a speech verb.) Furthermore, if you’re breaking up two complete sentences it’s [“Hi,” she said. “This is it.”] not [“Hi,” she said, “this is it.”] or [“Hi,” she said “this is it.”] And if you’re breaking up a sentence in the middle, it’s [“Hi. This,” she said, “is it.”] The same punctuation and capitalization rules apply to thoughts, except you don’t use quotation marks (or single quotes) with thoughts. This is because quotation marks for thoughts make it look like your characters are talking out loud, which is confusing to the reader.

In general, you need a beta reader. Start looking here: fanfiction {dot} net/topic/11834/42724996/1/Beta-Signup

Sorry for wasting your time, since this is a pretty good critical review IMO. Other people might not see it that way. You make it sound like they have to take your advice. Some people write in different ways, and that’s fine. You’ve gained a reputation for being a killjoy with these sorts of reviews. After all: the greatest harm comes from the best intentions. If the story’s just starting out, try to bring up these points as a suggestion. If it’s say: 8 or 10 chapters in (Or Less) Then you can say this. The third part looks a bit long winded if you ask me. (Not being rude, Just saying don’t over-complicate what you’re saying.)

1h ago[Other people might not see it that way. You make it sound like they have to take your advice.]

If people choose to misinterpret me, there’s really nothing I can do about that. I can’t control how other people act or react.

[The third part looks a bit long winded if you ask me.]

The fourth part, you mean? The dialogue paragraph? If anything it is not long-winded enough. Dialogue is too complex to be easily explained in a single paragraph. Most of the complaints I get is that it’s too rushed and condensed, so people have trouble following it.

If you have specific ideas of how reviewing should be done, I strongly encourage you to go out and review yourself so you can point to precise examples. The category desperately needs more reviewing anyway.

1h agoDon’t think I’m attacking you. I have reviewed plenty of stories and not once has anyone been rude to me about it. I’m just saying you haven’t got a good reputation because of your reviewing style. I was just wondering why you review the way you do. I am not being rude to you about this, I wish you can do the same to me. I understand what you are saying, and yes you can’t control what other people think of what you say. My point is, be careful in reviewing. Some people aren’t willing to take criticism in a certain way. I have no specific ideas about reviewing either. I just want you to have as little trouble on this site as possible.

1h ago[I’m just saying you haven’t got a good reputation because of your reviewing style.]

I’m not sure why you think I don’t already know this.

I thank you for your, uh, concern, but it’s really not necessary. I don’t have any trouble.

1h ago[I’m not sure why you think I don’t already know this]

Ok so you got me there, the question becomes: “Is that what you really want?”

[I thank you for your, uh concern, but it’s really not necessary. I don’t have any trouble.]

Well that’s good. And I mean that.

Overall, keep doing what you’re doing. Just don’t be surprised if it comes back at you. The internet is a crazy place after all.

57m ago[Ok so you got me there, the question becomes: “Is that what you really want?”]

It’s not ideal, but I don’t believe your suggestions would improve the situation, especially when you can’t even tell me what to change beyond that you don’t like the way I “sound”.

Like… do you really think you’re the first person to tell me this? I have been reviewing for a while now and I have weighed the pros and cons of various options before arriving at my current state. Once again, unless you can give me objective evidence that a different way works better, I’m going to stick with what works.

[Just don’t be surprised if it comes back at you. The internet is a crazy place after all.]

This is also not the first time someone has told me this, believe it or not. You wouldn’t happen to know a user by the name of “Ninjas Say Hi”, would you?

55m agoFine I’ll stop.

As for the last point, no.

I felt like you were starting to take this reviewing business a bit too seriously.

53m agoAlso, Has anyone taken your advice? If so, please show me an example.

48m ago[As for the last point, no.]

Huh. Convergent evolution, then. How interesting.

Also on your profile you say you don’t know how to format stuff on this site, so — it all takes place in an in-site editor. After you upload a document to the document manager you can edit it by clicking “Edit/View”, which will take you to a RichText editor where you can add bold, italics, etc. You can also add those fancy horizontal lines from there, which are useful for keeping your author’s notes separate from your story.

42m agoThanks for the tip… (I genuinely didn’t know about the lines though. That’ll help.)
41m agoAnd as for ‘convergent evolution. How interesting.’ Now this is condescending.

41m ago[Also, Has anyone taken your advice? If so, please show me an example.]

Ah, but all author communication in FFN is private. You wouldn’t be asking me to betray their confidence, would you?

26m agoI’m not saying give me names. Tell me in general, did anyone follow your advice?

If you’re going to nitpick stories for not using commas all the time. Maybe go review some books and write a newspaper column.

Answer my question and I’ll stop harassing you.

16m ago[Tell me in general, did anyone follow your advice?]


13m agoFine. I also noticed you have a website. If this is published on said site… I might report you. “Ah, but all author communication in FFN is private. You wouldn’t be asking me to betray their confidence, would you?” How about you give me that confidence.

8m agoQuite thorough you are! If you’ve found the site, then my posts have your answers already. You can compile a list of favorable to unfavorable responses and tell me how I’m doing if you like!

(And as should be obvious from how melodramatic I was being, that was tongue-in-cheek. A lot of people get pearl-clutchy about reposting PMs but I don’t see a problem with it, as my readers aren’t prone to revenge or dog-piling. I do give a warning about it on my profile but regardless, you really shouldn’t be saying anything you wouldn’t admit to in the first place.)

3m agoWell… I have read your profile page. You might just create more drama re-posting PM’s. I understand what you are like reviewing. But If I see problems, I mention it and use it as room for improvement. And the stories I don’t like, I don’t review. Works just fine for me.

There we go. This is what it invariably comes down to: they don’t engage with¬†stories they don’t like and don’t get rude responses,¬†yet never seem to realize there might be an important correlation between those two things.

And I guess now we get to see if he’s still reading the blog months later.


  1. CrazyEd says:
    Pokeauthors Special Spotlight: Concern Troll, Or, How To Tell Someone They Are Condescending In The Most Condescending Way Possible.

    So for future reference for someone who has never used FFN before, these little yellowish text boxes are not reviews but PMs? Is it even possible for people other than the author to read reviews? It suddenly occurs to me that I’ve never seen actual reviews on the site itself the few times I’ve read something on the site.

    1. Yes, reviews are public. You can view them by clicking on the number of reviews on the story page.

      1. CrazyEd says:
        Oh, wow, I never even noticed that!


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