Random Potshot and Obligative Review: Quivering Lips

Someone who was not Dragon’s Blaze left a counter-review on The Two Colors, Pink and Blue:

“Ok first off don’t listen to this idiot below me Elmo. He rags on every new writer and only targets people with smaller stats. If you look at the stories he’s written well let’s just say he doesn’t practice what he preaches.

I hoped I could get some reviewing out of them or at least an explanation of what sucked about my stories, but alas this was not to be.

re: Your review to The Two Colors, Pink and Blue

May 1

A response to your review at https://www.fanfiction.net/r/12916749/
 
[If you look at the stories he’s written well let’s just say he doesn’t practice what he preaches. ]
 
If you have thoughts on one of my stories, I’d love to hear it! Why don’t you leave a review?

May 1

I know you’re just going to repost this on your blog, but sorry I don’t really feel like wasting my time with leaving a review on one of your stories.

May 1

But you do feel like wasting your time telling lies in reviews?
 
I won’t repost PMs if you don’t want me to, as I state clearly on my profile. If you have an issue with me, I’d much rather we work it out.

May 1

Here’s my stance on reviews. I only post reviews if I truly feel as if a story has great potential and it’s something special in my eyes. Which usually tends to be OC focused stories with little to no canon character interactions.
 
So responding back to your first PM. I’ve seen you capitilize pokemon names over and over again. Without it being used to describe a specific charater’s pokemon. You don’t do the things you avidly try to promote people to do.
 
If it’s not clear enough I don’t respect you, but I will however respect someone like Farla who’s stories are actually phenomenal. Before you go on preeching what you should and shouldn’t do to brand new writers, maybe try making an amazing story where they can build an example off of. So that they can learn how to improve through narritives and story telling, and not through some cranky sounding review. In my eyes a great story with sub par grammar is much better than a bad story with good grammar.

May 1

[I only post reviews if I truly feel as if a story has great potential and it’s something special in my eyes.]
 
So you only help the stories that are already flourishing and leave the ones who most need help to rot, then. I find that irresponsible. This is why I review everyone.
 
[I’ve seen you capitilize pokemon names over and over again. Without it being used to describe a specific charater’s pokemon.]
 
Quotes, please. This is why an actual review would be helpful.

May 1

Sorry I just don’t feel like wasting my time to review your story, but I will gladly waste your time in a PM so that you can’t do what ever you do to other authors.

May 1

Oh and sorry if you find my acts irresponsible. Just remind yourself that everyone who writes on Fanfiction isn’t doing it to get paid, we’re all just here for some recreational fun.

May 1

[Sorry I just don’t feel like wasting my time to review your story,]
 
But you are willing to waste time telling other people your opinions on it, because you’d rather drag an author through the mud than help them improve. Why do you think you have the moral high ground here?
 
But hey, if you actually want to protect authors from me (PMs do not take up any significant amount of my time, sorry), do some reviewing yourself and show me how it’s done. Tell me a date, and any stories you review that day will be protected from my evil, evil reviews.

May 1

I don’t care if you want to leave a review or not. It’s your choice really. I’m also not saying that I have the moral high ground here I don’t think anyone really does.
 
But what you do, just stop you’re not helping the scene, and the more people who soon realize this. The more you begin to lose what little power you think you have over others.

May 1

[you’re not helping the scene]
 
See, when I argue I use this thing called evidence, and it tells me that actually a lot of people think I am helping.
 
[I’m also not saying that I have the moral high ground here I don’t think anyone really does. ]
 
Okay, then let me be clear: I absolutely do have the moral high ground. I do not spread slander behind authors’ backs and tell people their stories are garbage in some vague undefinable way. I tell people my opinions to their face, and I offer alternatives if I disagree with them about something.

May 1

Nah man you don’t offer alternatives all you do is use copy and paste unneeded info dumps. You don’t offer alternatives at all. You simply just point out what’s wrong gramatically, try commenting on their naritive and story instead.

May 1

The infodumps are absolutely needed. Grammar is important, and I’m telling people exactly how to improve, not just that they made a mistake and therefore suck.
 
[try commenting on their naritive and story instead.]
 
I do that all the time. How many of my reviews have you read?

May 1

Alright here how about this,
 
You and I write a story (Seperately) with the same topic an Heavily Over Used Topic. Just 1 chapter as say make it a pilot chapter, we’ll review each other’s work no bias.
 
The topic shall be the gross genre that I hate “Pokemon Highschool”
 
Then we can show each other how we critique.

May 1

Does the deadline of May 15th work for you?

May 1

No. I don’t believe in passive-aggressively putting down other peoples’ stories with my own to “lead by example”. People hate that way more, and with far better reason.
 
Analysis and creativity are two separate skills; this has been proven and discussed by artists and scholars for years. I’m well aware that my stories are flawed. That has no bearing on the veracity of my critiques. If you want to critque me, you need to untangle these things. Do you object to my story? If so, review *that story specifically*, because I need to know the mistakes I’ve already made before I charge ahead and start writing more. Do you object to my reviews? If so, this is a case where you can lead by example — review a few stories yourself, and afterwards we can see what worked and what didn’t.

May 1

Are you running form an honest challenge? Some friendly competition

May 1

Anyway I’ll be posting a new story on the 15th, you’re more than welcome to come and review it when it comes out.

May 1

Thou cannot run from a trainer battle!

May 1

It’s irrelevant to the thing we’re actually discussing. If you want to write stories, spend your time on that instead of slandering me. If you want to stop my reign of terror, I’ve given you my terms.

May 1

Yup ok I see you’re running away that’s good.

May 1

You too busy to write a good story? I see

May 1

You’re also running away, you do realize?

May 1

I really want to see what you can come up with on the spot. See what you’re made of. Just some friendly competition. Let’s see what we can come up with.

May 1

If you don’t want to review, you can say so and I will accept it.

May 1

Yeah I’m not going to review one of your current stories.
 
But say if you write a brand new one I’ll definitly review that one. I don’t even think your most recent story is a pokemon fic is it? Yup just checked, it’s an undertale story. Since that one isn’t pokemon and I do like undertale would you like me to review it?

May 1

[Yeah I’m not going to review one of your current stories.]
 
Why?

May 1

Dude I don’t like you
 
I also only leave a genuine review when I feel that something is special and has the potential to grow into something even better. I just don’t see that in your writing.

May 1

Yet you offered to review Do No Harm. Were you going to leave an ungenuine review?

May 1

Nope I’m currently reviewing chapter 2 right now.
 
I love that story, it’s not amazing but it has some strong potential in it. I can hear this author’s voice throughout the story. That was a review to boost her confidence, see if she’d put out a second chapter. Love the second chapter btw. I will definitly be keeping up to date with it.

May 1

Oh oops sorry I thought you mean’t The Two Colours, Pink and Blue

May 1

I haven’t read your story yet

May 1

What are you talking about now?

May 1

Okay, so most authors do not actually appreciate you “boosting their confidence” by putting down other authors.

May 1

That’s one’s opinion

May 1

No, that is something one can verify with actual statistical evidence. Fanfiction authors complain about it on their blogs constantly, and I personally have gotten reprimands for saying even things as general as “I don’t normally like this genre, but you’ve done a good job.” Even if this particular author appreciated it, it’s still a rude and needlessly combative thing to do.
 
Regardless, we are getting off topic. Review whatever you want whenever you want, but you can only stop me reviewing through the terms I’ve established. Do that, or admit you don’t actually care about protecting authors from me.


They did not respond after this, but did post a review denouncing us on the latest screed.

re: Your review to Report and Block these people

3 MayA response to your review at https://www.fanfiction.net/r/12923284/

Once again, I remind you that you are capable of stopping me at any time by just doing reviews yourself.

9m agoWell it seems like you’ve stopped reviewing already, is dealing with Anti Farla and co beginning to be too much for you?

Or perhaps someone like Dragon Blaze has finally got you beat.

secs agoNo, I’m taking a break while I wait for the blog posts to catch up with present day. I’ll start up again probably over the weekend. Unless, of course, you’d like to do it instead?

Nothing for a day, then out of the blue:

Hey do you think you could leave a review?

5 MayI’m just asking if you’d be willing to review my story Quivering Lips. I did dedicate the story to you, and I kinda want to be friends. Sorry for all the mean things I said. Looking over what you and Farla have done and how informative it is, really made me realize that everyone on this site is a person. And all of them should be treated as such.

I don’t care how nasty you make the review, I’d just like one to see where I can improve.

secs agoReview requests go through this procedure: https://www.fanfiction.net/topic/11834/22859795/1/Chapter-Review-Exchange

5 MayOk I’m going to review “Blood is Thicker than Water”

Please be on the lookout for it!

6 MaySo…?
49m agoSorry I have to be out of town for the weekend and Monday so a review won’t be for a while but what I’ve read so far is enjoyable and charming.
25m agoReally? So you didn’t read it already? Fascinating, then, that you already knew it was total garbage with no potential.
3h agoI haven’t read the whole thing yet please be patient with me I’ll leave a full review when I finish the story
3h agoNot the issue. You shouldn’t tell people their stories have no potential if you haven’t read them.

St Elmo’s Fire,

A new review has been posted to your story.

Story: Blood is Thicker than Water
Chapter: 1. Chapter 1

From: FireFoxDriver ( https://www.fanfiction.net/u/10276333/ )
Reply URL: https://www.fanfiction.net/pm2/post.php?rwid=260667790
——————-

This is supposed to be for the review exchange so I’ll give this a good to honest review. I haven’t read the story yet, so I don’t know wether I’ll like it or not. Here goes nothing.

Ok so going in I can already see that this is a sun and moon fic. I really hope I can understand what’s going on. I haven’t played the sun and moon games, or seen the anime.

In paragraph 15 (Not including 1 liners) Hala says “You new friend” I think you mean’t “Your new friend.” Don’t worry too much about it, it’s only slight distracting, but so far as I’m reading the story it has a nice charm to it.

Overall this is a nice charming story. Although it isn’t exactly my cup of tea, for most of the story it feels like Hau is looking back at his life. Some parts did feel rushed, but all in all it wasn’t all that bad of story.

——————-

I reviewed their story in turn…

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12926062/1/Quivering-Lips

(Part of the chapter review exchange.)

I appreciate that you’re not capitalizing pokemon.

[This story is dedicated to St. Elmo’s Fire.]

I’m not sure why you felt the need to do this. Would you not have written this story if I hadn’t contacted you?

[The light of bright starry sky shone down on a particular home.]

Dropped a word.

[the red light of a clock that read ‘quarter after twelve.’]

The quotes mean you’re saying the clock literally displays “quarter after twelve”, which doesn’t sound accurate.

[and a many bed sheets]

Unnecessary “a” here.

[“y-you’re no different…”]

Forgot to capitalize this.

[He walked up to his desk which was quite simple. It was around two and half feet tall with a smooth black rounded top. Sitting on top of the desk was a humble computer for rendering 3D models, and making highly detailed notes. He grabbed the mouse, and opened up his notes. He began to go through a file named ‘Ghostball Prototype 1’. This was his job, designing, creating and manufacturing pokeballs, and he loved every second of it.]

The simplicity of these sentences feels very wooden and robotic. You ought to vary your sentence structure and use longer, more complex sentences. Short, simple sentences convey a feeling of emotional deadness and detachment, which sounds like the opposite of what you want here.

[‘I know my parents want me to get in a relationship, but with me working for their company constantly both day in and day out I never really get a chance to mingle. I would’ve done it back in high school, but unfortunately I was a nervous wreck back then. I ended up freezing every time I tried to talk with a girl, and in college I was always too busy earning my bachelor’s degree. I mean look at me now I’m 27, have a good job, but am completely unable to achieve a serious relationship.’]

This is bizarre as a literal thought string. How often do you stop to think about your life story in conveniently expository tones in the middle of work? The way this is normally handled in stories is to blur the line between thought and narration, which you’re allowed to do in third-person limited – if you change all first-person pronouns to third-person and remove some of the more personal statements, you can still convey the same information pretty effectively, like so:

[He knew his parents wanted him to get in a relationship, but with him working for their company constantly both day in and day out he never really got a chance to mingle. He would’ve done it back in high school, but unfortunately he was a nervous wreck back then. He ended up freezing every time he tried to talk with a girl, and in college he was always too busy earning his bachelor’s degree. Now he was 27 and had a good job, but was completely unable to achieve a serious relationship.]

That’s much less awkward.

You also shouldn’t 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.

[SLAM!]

Sound effects need something to separate them from normal prose, like italics.

[A young man who had messy blonde hair, blue eyes and well built body]

You want “blond”. “Blonde” is the feminine form. This also makes it sound like the narrator is eyeing him up. Resist the urge to immediately describe everyone in detail the moment they’re introduced; it’s really obvious you’re doing it, and it’s really awkward if you don’t make room for it and just try to shoehorn it in.

[You know the cases for Professor Oak!]

This needs a comma after “know”.

[Justin turned his head away from the computer smiling at his friend.]

This needs a comma after “computer”. If this is something you commonly have trouble with, you should read up on comma usage and sentence structure.

[There’s one more thing… your father is expanding the company by partnering with Saffron Daycare,” Justin’s Mother stated.]

“Mother” shouldn’t be capitalized here, and that’s not what “stated” means. Resist the urge to use nonstandard speech verbs just for the sake of it.

[let’s meet up later at your place to discuss the details.” Justin’s Mother said.]

Errant period here.

[Around the school she was known for being a rich girl, she had many friends, she had many things, but it was a question if those things were real or not.]

I have no idea what you’re trying to say here.

[its for the good of the company]

Typo.

[are you going to be ok?]

It’s written “okay”, four letters. It is not an abbreviation for something else, nor is it pronounced “ock”, therefore it should never be written as OK, Ok, O.K. or ok.

Well, that ended abruptly. Cutting off mid-sentence generally isn’t a good move for a first chapter, which is supposed to be a complete piece to help orient the reader. Relatedly, I don’t have a good enough idea of the story yet to be very invested. We know a little about Wendy’s personality but not much at all about Justin’s, beyond that they are rich snobs with no real problems and therefore people I have a lot of trouble relating to. A romance story is about the characters. To show us what the story will be like, you should go into more detail about who they are and how they interact.

[This is going to be a little shout out to St. Elmo’s Fire. Hey! So this was the story that I came up with for our little May 15th challenge. I’m really sorry that you decided not to participate, writing this story was really fun!]

There was never an “our”. I offered you my terms, and you ignored them to push an unrelated challenge on me unsolicited. I do not appreciate your misrepresenting our conversation. Delete this.

[Please I encourage you to write a new story, I’m sure everyone in this community would love to see a high quality story from you. I’m sure it’d stop all the haters if you’d put out a lovable story!]

Your passive-aggressive jab is noted and will be ignored. My current stories are already lovable and high quality. If you don’t think they are, give me specifics instead of sneering that you don’t have enough time to review my plebian trash but do have enough time to tell everyone it sucks.

In response to this, I received dead silence. I kept asking them to take down the author’s note for about two weeks, then they blocked me.

My takeaway from this is that people who accuse me of targeting authors are crazy projecting.

20 Comments

  1. pokken says:
    Well, you mostly review stories in the pokemon fandom and then you proceed to complain that people don’t review your stories when most of the stories you have written are not pokemon related. People don’t like to review another fandom’s stories especially if it’s only at the behest of someone else.

    The only recent pokemon story you’ve written is Blood Is Thicker Than Water. That piece is really just an one-shot that runs seven thousand words. It’s difficult to review one-shots because they often don’t have (or need) deep/coherent world building or characters. To nitpick something you need to have something to nitpick from.

    And this feels ironic especially since you keep talking about how open you are to chapter review exchanges, and how nobody wants to review your stories, while reviewing heavily in the pokemon fandom and only having two pokemon stories. One of which is “terrible and abondoned”. It feels almost as if you are reviewing other stories simply to fish for compliments with the only “decent” pokemon story that you have. If you actually want real reviews you should stop pussyfooting around and write something with extensive world building, in-depth characters and an actual plot.

    Or stop complaining about people not giving you reviews.

    4
    1. you proceed to complain that people don’t review your stories

      Citation needed.

      I complained here specifically because they said they did have opinions on my story, in which case, yes, it is reasonable for me to expect clarification if not an actual review detailing what they didn’t like.

      It’s difficult to review one-shots because they often don’t have (or need) deep/coherent world building or characters.

      lolwut?

      3
      1. pokken says:

         

        I complained here specifically because they said they did have opinions on my story, in which case, yes, it is reasonable for me to expect clarification if not an actual review detailing what they didn’t like.

        Hmm, it seems like I was mistaken. I take that back. My bad.

        lolwut?

        Perhaps I should review your story to show you what I mean?

        2
        1. Farla says:

          You should definitely review his story to show him what you mean! Also, while you’re here, I myself have a longer chaptered story that presumably reaches whatever minimum length you need for proper nitpicking hate, if you please.

          1. pokken says:
            Actually, I did half-skimmed, half read through Another Verse. I definitely found it very interesting to say the least. However, I dislike having to review unfinished stories because sometimes it is not fair to criticize or comment an aspect of the story that has yet come full circle.

            I was wondering if you were planning on finishing your story or if it was sort of a dead-fic. If you do plan on finishing your story, can you give us an approximate timeline?

            Many thanks.

            1
            1. Farla says:

              However, I dislike having to review unfinished stories because sometimes it is not fair to criticize or comment an aspect of the story that has yet come full circle.

              Yeah, but if something isn’t working for you at the moment, that’s still a problem, and it’s much easier to correct as I go then redo it afterward. I’m not going to be mad if you misread something because the fact you’re misreading is itself a possibly fixable problem.

              Another Verse is pretty planned out, but I’m currently only several thousand words into Ch5, and I think I might need to have written through Ch6 or more before I’ll be sure Ch5’s actually finished. While it’s novelization-like, I’m not going through events in the same order, which slows things down and means I need to have things planned out more to make sure everything’s connecting up properly. It’ll be thirteen chapters in total, and it should speed up as we near the end and I have less to pieces to keep track of.

              Reply
  2. EC says:

    You want “blond”. “Blonde” is the feminine form.

    That’s an extremely controversial thing (if something can be controversial with no-one really giving a toss) to “correct” someone on, tantamount to correcting someone for using the Oxford comma. Blonde is common for both genders in the UK, in the same way blond is common for both in American English. And yes, it’s also common to borrow the French distinction in both forms, but far from universal. I’ve seen blonde used in novels, broadsheets, journals, etc.

    I’d argue that giving an adjective gender in English is just weird, especially if you agree with the movement to de-gender nouns (waitress, etc.). It’s utterly alien to the language.

    3
    1. This is news to me. I’ve always been told to use the gendered forms in English.

      Also, you will take my Oxford commas from my cold dead hands. Dropping them can lead to some truly spectacular ambiguities.

      1
      1. Act says:

        People squawking that the Oxford comma is optional in prose is so weird because the reason AP killed it wasn’t because there were debates about it’s gramaticality, it was literally so printers could save the cost of commas when they had to arrange giant printing presses; it was about eliminating as many letters as possible without making it completely unintelligible, not making some crazy statement of prescriptivism. . Citing AP conventions re: grammaticality is like the quickest way to indicate you don’t know how styles work and somehow people say it on this blog all the time and eventually I’m just going to snap.

        8
        1. EC says:

          It’s mandated it only be used to avoid ambiguity in plenty of academic style guides (for example, the one at Oxford) that don’t seem to give a damn about wasting space. Perhaps because the Oxford comma is ugly and interrupts the flow of reading.

          1
          1. Act says:

            …yes, the exact point is that it can mitigate ambiguity and should be used to do just that.

            2
            1. EC says:

              So you’re not arguing that you must always use the Oxford comma, but only that it’s non-optional where the sentence would othewise be ambiguous? If so, yes, I agree. 

              1
              Reply
    2. Act says:

      There are a lot of things in linguistics that are ‘extremely controversial,’ and this is absolutely not one of them.

      The reason you see blonde/blond used interchangeably is precisely because there’s been a push to neuter words in English. This one moved faster than lots of other words because the difference is entirely aesthetic; there’s no pronunciation difference in spoken grammar, so there’s no habit to break in written. It would probably have been eliminated anyway over time. I honestly wouldn’t even point it out to someone except as a fun fact, but you could make an argument it’s good to let people know in case they get a professor one day who super cares.

      It’s utterly alien to the language.

      This is just completely absurd. Of course it’s not, and you even manage to acknowledge in your comment that there are vestigal gendered nouns speakers use today. English wasn’t developed in a lab in 1962, it evolved like any other language and lost features over time, among them grammatical gender.

      3
      1. Huh, interesting. I still prefer the gendered forms for now just because I like standardization; until we can settle on one or the other, seeing the two forms used interchangeably feels like chaos to me.

      2. EC says:

        I wasn’t suggesting gendered language is alien to English, it isn’t, I was suggesting that gendered adjectives are – I was very specific about that.

         

        Which they are. I’m not making an etymological or genealogical point, I’m aware they used to exist in Old English because I had to study it at school – my point is this: they stick out like a sore thumb in modern English, they are a tiny anomaly in what is otherwise one of English’s few actual rules.

        Blonde/blond is just borrowing the French convention, and the only others actually in use are French, too – petit (used almost exclusively in the phrase “petit bourgeoisie”)/petite, brunette/brunet (while the masculine form is defunct, brunette is usually only for women). You might see alumnus/alumna, I guess, but I never have outside of a dictionary.

        3
        1. Act says:

          Germanic languages absolutely have gendered adjectives, what are you talking about.

          English’s few actual rules.

          now you’re just trolling

          1. EC says:

            English isn’t a generic Germanic language, it’s a specific thing. Most small rodents have tails, that doesn’t make a guinea pig with a tail not weird.

            1
            1. Act says:

              I’m not sure what a ‘generic Germanic language’ is. English is Germanic. Are you making some weird linguistic supremecy argument, where English has risen above its heathen forebears?

              1
              Reply
            2. EC on mobile says:
              No, I’m making the same argument as in my example. Just because something is true of a set in general does not mean it is true of a particular member of that set. Gendered adjectives are odd in the English language even though they wouldn’t be in another Germanic language. 

              I’m saying that English isn’t wholly defined by the linguistic group it’s a part of, no language is. Something could equally be normal in SinoTibetan lavishes as a whole but weird and out of place in a specific language of that group.

              3
              Reply
            3. Act says:

              Right, this goes back to the idea that English wasn’t invented in 1960. English does have some vestigial gendered adjectives, which we know because we’re literally discussing them. English lost that over time, while other Germanics didn’t. It will likely continue to lose the survivors as time goes on. But there are still remnants of it, in the same way snakes still have tiny pelvic bones.

              1
              Reply

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