The Other Pokeauthors, Part 70

“In the future, however, I would ask that you please refrain from leaving reviews that barely touch on the content, whether for my stories or for others. Your review here was 9:1 critique to content, with only that little bit at the end, which itself was even half about the writing itself rather than content. I’m open to critique (and it’s helpful when readers point out typos, plot inconsistencies, thematic problems, or whatever else since I’m only human and I make mistakes), though I may not agree with the concrit the way I respectfully disagree with almost all of yours. But I also think there’s an unspoken etiquette we should all try our best to follow on these sites regardless of whether concrit is sound or not. Reviews are great to receive and so is concrit, but when authors put in the work to produce stories, whether excellent or clearly novice and in need of improvement, it’s kind of nice to hear feedback about the actual content of the story. Everyone from professional writers to amateurs wants this when they share their work with the world. Even though this is just the first chapter and not much yet has happened, as you correctly pointed out, it’s still polite to try to follow that unspoken guideline as much as possible. As it stands, I have only the faintest idea of whether or not you even liked the chapter, if you are interested in where it could be going, thoughts on characterization, or any other number of content-related issues that are important for me to hear about as a writer. Whether or not you accept my suggestion is entirely up to you, of course. But just to be clear, if I get more reviews or PMs from you that are similar to this one, I probably won’t reply. To do so would waste even more time than I already have on this response.”

Another author makes a similar argument in this very batch. Were authors always this entitled, or is this a new thing?

We do get an author who’s genuinely interested in portraying pokemon as people, though, so that’s a plus.

re: Your review to Alolan Honeymoon- an Amourshipping fanfic
Aug 28Citron00
A response to your review at https://www.fanfiction.net/r/12617950/

Thanks so much for the feedback! I really appreciate it. Sorry if everything isn’t exactly perfect, I am still learning and this story is very experimental. Your feedback is super helpful, but I feel like you’re being too critical. I’m open to constructive criticism, but this sort of crosses the line. Maybe instead of just pointing out every format error, you could tell me what I did well. You sound more like a teacher red-penning my essay than a reader reviewing my work. So, thanks for the constructive criticism, but lighten up.

secs ago[this sort of crosses the line]

No, it really doesn’t. Your reviewers aren’t obligated to give you anything. You can ignore a review you don’t like, but it’s not reasonable of you to expect all reviews to be positive.

re: Your review to The Neokoro Cases
Aug 28Diviano
A response to your review at https://www.fanfiction.net/r/12629644/

Hey! Thanks for all your feedback, I really appreciate it! I just wanted to address some things:

– First off, I know about the whole pokemon vs. Pokemon debate, it’s not my first rodeo. I’m an enormous fan of the games, and even though Japan doesn’t have capital letters, ever since Pokemon names stopped being in all caps, they’ve always been spelled as proper nouns. I know they’re not, but it hurts my head to abandon something constantly thrown at you in the game. I’m not really gonna change the capitalization of Pokemon, Pokeball, Pokemon names or any of that, but I appreciate the concern.

– Thanks for the thing about capitalizing “mom” in place of a name, I actually didn’t know that was the case. I appreciate it!

– As for using the canon to go against Delane being against the lowering of the age, that one’s kind of hard to argue. It’s true that its never been an issue in the canon, but I’m trying to drive her home as needlessly worried, and this is a whole different place in the Pokemon world. Again, I appreciate the feedback regardless.

– Thanks for telling me to shake up the sentence structure. Sentences sounding bland is something I’m always worried and guilty of, I’ll try and work greatly upon that for the second chapter. I think I have an idea how to go about things now upon reading your suggestion for the scene.

– As for the complaint on the man’s all white attire and how it’s unsuitable for field work, that’s actually something that’s explicitly addressed later on.

– For the ellipses thing, I actually know of the rule, I guess I just wasn’t paying attention when I typed the “Uh” with two periods. Thanks for pointing it out, though.

– As for them not going to the police, that’s also something that’s addressed later on. Besides that, I wanted to drive home that this guy and his Pokemon partner were intimidating naturally. Appreciate it though!

Again, thanks for all of that, and I really do appreciate your thoughtful and in-depth feedback! Thanks!

re: Your review to A Candle in the Night
Aug 28CanOfSurprisinglySmellyBeef
A response to your review at https://www.fanfiction.net/r/12631141/

You know what– you’re right. This is actually a really poor adaptation, and tbh you’re correct that was a shitty premise to begin with.

I don’t actually play Pokemon, so I’m pretty out of touch there as well. I just think they’re cool.

I’m not sure whether to start over or to just delete this story, but thank you for the criticisms, they help a lot!

secs ago[I don’t actually play Pokemon, so I’m pretty out of touch there as well.]

Ah. Yes, that would explain things. You might want to take a look at Bulbapedia; it can give you a lot of information even if you’re not familiar with the canon.

[I’m not sure whether to start over or to just delete this story]

I generally recommend against deleting stories, but you may wish to if you want to reboot the story.

7m agoYeah i think i’ll reboot it, this is too depressing to begin with

why did I think a suicidal mindset was good to start with XD

 
re: Your review to Tartarus
Aug 28Renaerys
A response to your review at https://www.fanfiction.net/r/12631400/

Well, I would thank you for leaving a review, but you said very little of substance regarding your thoughts on the content of the chapter, so I suppose I’ll leave it at that. I’m grateful that you pointed out that and, and typo, so I’ll change that, but beyond that I think we’ll have to politely disagree.

As for the “sexual” descriptions, I don’t find it inherently sexual for a woman to think another woman is physically attractive. Words that describe shape, like voluptuous, also do not have to be inherently sexual to the point of denoting actual physical attraction, depending on context. I also don’t find it offensive to the third person narration to take some time to describe what certain characters look like. I don’t pretend to say I’m fantastic at it, because I know there’s always a way to improve, but I’m also happy with how this description turned out. For Lusamine in particular, she is a character that I see as being very obsessed with physical appearance, as we saw a little of in the games (the way she would dress Lillie to the point that Lillie never picked out her own clothes; or her surprisingly youthful looks for her age as mentioned by Hau; etc.). For her, physical appearance is important and something she always actively notices or focuses on (for example, her thoughts about Faba’s rheumy eyes), and we will see more of that and its consequences thematically as we follow her character in later chapters.

As for the rest, I get the sense that no matter what I say, you’ll simply disregard. Also fine, since I’m not here to have arguments on the Internet, but simply to have fun writing fanfiction, and that include stylistic choices I incorporate in the writing. Fiction writing in general is allowed to break any number of formal writing rules depending on context, the author, and consistency. But I think I’ll just leave it at that since again, I doubt we’ll come to any sort of accord and I don’t want to waste anyone’s time with a fruitless argument.

In the future, however, I would ask that you please refrain from leaving reviews that barely touch on the content, whether for my stories or for others. Your review here was 9:1 critique to content, with only that little bit at the end, which itself was even half about the writing itself rather than content. I’m open to critique (and it’s helpful when readers point out typos, plot inconsistencies, thematic problems, or whatever else since I’m only human and I make mistakes), though I may not agree with the concrit the way I respectfully disagree with almost all of yours. But I also think there’s an unspoken etiquette we should all try our best to follow on these sites regardless of whether concrit is sound or not. Reviews are great to receive and so is concrit, but when authors put in the work to produce stories, whether excellent or clearly novice and in need of improvement, it’s kind of nice to hear feedback about the actual content of the story. Everyone from professional writers to amateurs wants this when they share their work with the world. Even though this is just the first chapter and not much yet has happened, as you correctly pointed out, it’s still polite to try to follow that unspoken guideline as much as possible. As it stands, I have only the faintest idea of whether or not you even liked the chapter, if you are interested in where it could be going, thoughts on characterization, or any other number of content-related issues that are important for me to hear about as a writer. Whether or not you accept my suggestion is entirely up to you, of course. But just to be clear, if I get more reviews or PMs from you that are similar to this one, I probably won’t reply. To do so would waste even more time than I already have on this response.

I will go ahead and give you a friendly heads up that this story will be following the plot of Sun and Moon loosely, so core events and surprises like Nebby evolving into Lunala/Solgaleo, Aether being the “bad” guys, Lusamine’s quest to unlock Ultra Space, etc. will all happen here. That’s the story I want to write generally, adapted for a different “realistic” world and all the changes that entails, because that’s what I like. It will be different enough for anyone familiar with the games to enjoy fully, I think, and there will be plenty of content that wasn’t present in the games, but the overarching plot skeleton is similar to the games. If that’s not your cup of tea, that is 100% okay. I know I can’t please everyone, and I’m not here to try. But if that sounds interesting to you, then I hope you enjoy the next chapter whenever I get around to posting it.

secs ago[Also fine, since I’m not here to have arguments on the Internet, but simply to have fun writing fanfiction, and that include stylistic choices I incorporate in the writing.]

‘Then, my Lord, you do not think these lines tolerable?’ said Theodore with an humble and dejected air.
‘You mistake my meaning. As I said before, they have pleased me much; But my regard for you makes me partial, and Others might judge them less favourably. I must still remark that even my prejudice in your favour does not blind me so much as to prevent my observing several faults. For instance, you make a terrible confusion of metaphors; You are too apt to make the strength of your lines consist more in the words than sense; Some of the verses only seem introduced in order to rhyme with others; and most of the best ideas are borrowed from other Poets, though possibly you are unconscious of the theft yourself. These faults may occasionally be excused in a work of length; But a short Poem must be correct and perfect.’
‘All this is true, Segnor; But you should consider that I only write for pleasure.’
‘Your defects are the less excusable. Their incorrectness may be forgiven in those who work for money, who are obliged to compleat a given task in a given time, and are paid according to the bulk, not value of their productions. But in those whom no necessity forces to turn Author, who merely write for fame, and have full leisure to polish their compositions, faults are impardonable, and merit the sharpest arrows of criticism.’
-M.G. Lewis, The Monk, Chapter 5

[Fiction writing in general is allowed to break any number of formal writing rules depending on context, the author, and consistency.]

Yes, but it has to be for a reason. Color outside the lines, yes, but do it because you’re drawing a new picture, not because you’re scribble-checking to see if the ballpoint pen still has ink. If you use this defense, I expect you to be able to tell me the specific purpose for which you’re breaking the rules.

[Words that describe shape, like voluptuous, also do not have to be inherently sexual to the point of denoting actual physical attraction, depending on context.]

“Voluptuous”, maybe, but someone pausing in the middle of searching for the love of her life to notice someone’s tawny skin and full lips is sexually attracted to that person. While it makes sense for Lusamine to be very shallow and focus on physical descriptors, I think you lost sight of the context in that scene, as I said with the tone thing. You claim that Lusamine is horribly distraught and dropping everything to find a lead on Mohn’s disappearance. It doesn’t make sense for someone in that emotional state to slow down to note a random woman’s tawny skin and full lips, even someone normally obsessed with physical appearance. She doesn’t apply the same level of description to the nameless pair inspecting the window, for instance.

[It will be different enough for anyone familiar with the games to enjoy fully, I think, and there will be plenty of content that wasn’t present in the games, but the overarching plot skeleton is similar to the games.]

I believe you, but I still don’t know what that “plenty of content that wasn’t in the games” will be at this point. I don’t know how your story differs from the quite literally hundreds of other fic that just novelize the games without adding anything more, and I therefore don’t know if the story is something I want to continue reading. If you’re doing something unique and interesting, you’ll draw more readers if you advertise that up-front.

[Reviews are great to receive and so is concrit, but when authors put in the work to produce stories, whether excellent or clearly novice and in need of improvement, it’s kind of nice to hear feedback about the actual content of the story. ]

Yeah, it’s nice. But you aren’t owed nice things. Your readers do not owe you anything and it is not reasonable of you to expect every review to be useful to you. I gave you plenty of information in my review, and I focused on the parts I did because I felt they were important. If you don’t agree that they were important, you’re free to ignore me, but I’m going to keep writing about the things I care about.

14m agoWow, you’re a bit of a troll, aren’t you? I’ll go ahead and stop feeding you, then. It’s clear that my attempt to be polite and reasonable fell on deaf ears. Not surprising, but a little bit sad. Lol, let’s not kid ourselves. Any explanations I give you will simply be ignored for the sake of continuing to send these self-aggrandizing messages, so why waste my time? I guess there are always people like you around seeking attention, and I was bound to come across one at some point on this site. It’s a bit amusing, actually. Thanks for the laughs, I’ll be sure to remember this desperate grab for attention fondly. And do feel free to send more messages for me to ignore completely from now on. I so love to withhold attention from Those who crave it more than anything. Goodbye! :)

secs ago[Any explanations I give you will simply be ignored for the sake of continuing to send these self-aggrandizing messages]

You really don’t sound like you have stones to throw there.

Here’s a protip: if you don’t want to “waste time” talking to reviewers, don’t respond in the first place.

Blocked me after this. Someone’s not so above it all!

I’m a bit curious what specifically set them off. The likely culprit is the quote I used at the start; their response sounds like they didn’t even bother reading further. I’ll try ignoring that particular excuse next time if I have other points to address.

Two Questions – Epithets and Pokemon Intelligence
Aug 29El Torro
Hey St Elmo’s Fire,

I read your review of “The Quest for Greatness: Hoenn,” ( DOT net/r/12631159/) and found a lot of what you said to be helpful and informative, specifically the part about epithets.

[You want “brunet”. “Brunette” is the feminine form. Regardless, this is a bad choice of epithet. Epithets are meant to be unique identifiers that can substitute for names; mere physical appearance makes for a very flat and useless epithet.]

I’m guilty of using flat epithets occasionally, but that’s beside the point of my message. My writing is redundant at times because I limit myself to identifying characters through their name or “S/he,” and I rarely use epithets – all of which are unique to each character.

Q1) How often should I use an epithet in place of “S/he” or a character’s name? Once every X sentences, or paragraphs?

Regarding Pokemon intelligence, I read through Farla’s guide about it and agreed with most, if not all, of what she said. So when I looked over what I’ve written so far, I realized how weird the relationship was between my main character and his team.
For example, all of his Pokemon have the intelligence of humans and communicate normally since they’re implanted with translators the moment they’re captured, yet they blindly follow the main character’s orders as if they’re subordinates. What makes it even more odd is that their trainer (the main character) barely talks to them and has a habit of either ignoring them when they try talking to him, or spending his time alone rather than be around them.
I’m happy to say I haven’t fallen into the trap of making the Pokemon bland, as all four have distinct personalities and, while their goals/dreams haven’t been mentioned yet, I know when they’ll be revealed and what they are – none are about winning the league. However, that also makes their relationship with their trainer even weirder, especially when two of them are as headstrong and independent as can be.
I apologize for rambling on about this issue and if parts of it were random, I wanted to give you as much information as possible so that you could (hopefully) understand my situation.

Q2) Although the main character’s Pokemon have human-level intelligence, they have acted subordinately since being captured. Do you have any suggestions about how I can make the Pokemon act more like their trainer’s equals rather than his subordinates?

Thank you,
El Torro

secs ago[How often should I use an epithet in place of “S/he” or a character’s name? Once every X sentences, or paragraphs?]

It’s hard to pin down an exact number. It’s really something you just get a feel for as you become a better writer. I’d err on the side of less epithets, though. Repeated “he/she”s may sound bland, but they’re a lot less obtrusive than constant “the hair color”s. (I also generally recommend against using epithets for the main character, especially in a narrative that’s so centered around them. Epithets convey a sense of distance, so they sort of jar us out of the story when they’re used on the viewpoint character.)

[Although the main character’s Pokemon have human-level intelligence, they have acted subordinately since being captured. Do you have any suggestions about how I can make the Pokemon act more like their trainer’s equals rather than his subordinates?]

You play RPGs other than Pokemon, right? Try treating them like the human party members in those games. Not all RPGs are good about this, but you should generally get in the right ballpark. Generally, you can avoid a lot of problems if you remove the element of captivity —
if the pokemon are free to leave whenever, that means the ones who stay genuinely want to cooperate with the trainer. Farla also has two stories, “Lucki” and “Amnesia”, that are basically treatises on how to do this. (The latter is currently short and unfinished, however.)

17m agoThat makes a lot of sense, I’ll keep working to get a sense of when and when not to use them. Now that I look at it, I can’t believe I never noticed how describing someone by their hair color made sentences so clunky.

Oh okay, so the Pokemon should have a say in things instead of the trainer being in complete control during most/all situations. Great analogy, by the way.

Thanks for the help, answering so quickly, and the story recommendations. I’ll check them out right now.

secs agoOh hey, here’s a good example. Do you know Dragon Age? If you don’t, I’ll explain how the party system works: your party is a ragtag bunch of weirdos who don’t get along with each other but are united by a common goal (saving the world). Everyone has an approval meter that reflects how well they like you; if it bottoms out, they will straight-up desert you. There are also actions you can take that are so monstrous certain party members will actually fight you to the death over it, regardless of their prior approval ratings. That’s an example where the supporting cast is treated as equals rather than subordinates. Agency is the key. The characters have their own wills and desires and the ability to act on them when they conflict with the leader’s.

Pokemon has two major obstacles to this setup: pokeballs and the common goal. Pokeballs remove agency from pokemon by utterly controlling their movements and preventing them from running away. But if you remove those shackles, you’re left with the question of why DON’T the pokemon run away. Becoming the champion is a wholly selfish goal that only benefits the trainer. It’s not like saving the world where the goal is something noble that everyone has an investment in. To treat someone as an equal, you have to think about their own desires and how your relationship benefits them. So, think about what the pokemon are getting out of this. Why is staying with Will better than striking out on their own?

(You can also get advice from more people by posting these questions in the Pokemon Intelligence thread.)

secs agoAhaha you ninja’d me. Well, you can keep the other things I said in mind too.

secs agoNever heard of Dragon Age before, but damn does it sound like an awesome game! Its party system sounds like the perfect thing to implement in one way or another, especially how party-members are willing to fight you for certain decision – and to the death? Good lord, that’s too cool.

Pokeballs certainly make things a lot more complicated, but somehow I’ve managed to have four Pokemon constantly out of them. I’m sure that will change after the fifth or sixth member’s caught, but it’s good to know I have time to think of a way around the issue.
And as for the goals, I’m so happy they’re all different from one another and (hopefully) atypical – one’s just using the trainer so she can become an actress, and another one only joined so he could kill things.

I planned on posting in that thread and a maybe a few others as well. From what I read there are a lot of people with great advice, and I’d be stupid if I didn’t pick their brains.

 
re: Your review to Who You Want To Be
Aug 29Skylight Sparkle
A response to your review at https://www.fanfiction.net/r/12632562/

I’m not going to argue about capitalization. I am well aware of what nouns, verbs, adverbs and so on are, as well as proper usage. I teach this to children on a regular basis. It’s very important for them to understand proper usage when learning how to write. Here’s the trick though, the thing many great writers do that I take to heart: learn the rules, then break them. Having rambling or awkward dialogue that is technically improper but it matches actual speech. Swap things around for stylization. It’s fine once you know the rules. Lets be honest, using lower case for the pokemon names just LOOKS ugly. Hence I’m not going to use it.

When I say thank you for encouraging proper usage for those that are still learning. Absolutely keep up these efforts with younger authors. They need to learn before they make choices of their own. I had to learn once too. However, when educating younger authors, be encouraging instead of defensive. Saying (to paraphrase), ‘Don’t reply to something directly sent to you if it’s already mentioned in this thread’ may come across as rude and defensive, and that’s when problems start. If you are going to respond to someone, be ready for them to respond back.

Follow the one-two rule. For every constructive comment, give two good things that are done well. You will find people much more willing to listen, and much less likely to argue with you.

As for the world, it DOESN’T belong in the anime category. This is based on the anime, expect, when reading through the entire series (which this is the 7th fic of), it was made very clear that I also incorporated game and manga elements into it. I have created my OWN world, which was the point.

Thank you for your review. I really appreciate it!

My Response to Your Reviews on Ahe Hekekia: The Origin
5h agoBuckbuck2
First off, don’t take this like I’m shouting this at you. While I am angry, I’m putting my anger aside to write this message. I think I know what you’re trying to do with your reviews, and it’s one of two things- one, you’re beging a toxic ass and trying to get a rise out of me and everyone else you review. If so, congrats, you’ve succeeded. Now stop.

The other possible motive (and the one I hope is more likely) is that you genuinely want to help us get better. If that’s the case, then I’ll admit, at least for me, you did a decent job. While I’m not going to follow your suggestion (and that’s all it is, a suggestion) of how to capitalize Pokémon names and when to do so, nor am I going to follow the rest of your formatting suggestions. If you genuinely have a problem with how I format and capitalize things, tough luck. That’s just how I do things.

But, you did make me more aware as to what I’m writing. The error in Chapter 1 was caused by a combination of me being tired when writing and me not proofreding before I uploaded. As for your comment on Chapter 2, that’s just a feature of the world of We Are All Pokémon Trainers. This isn’t intended to be a philosophical discussion on the morals of Pokémon, it’s intended to be a glimpse into Ahe’s past.

Which actually segues into my next point- the summary. Yes, I know it’s simplistic and lacklustre. While I probably could’ve thought of a longer summary, I’m sticking with it. Why? Because I think it’s perfect for the story I’m telling. Yes, the summary is very basic and simple, but I’m writing a very basic and simple story.

Now, I agree that my first chapter isn’t the world’s greatest first chapter- yes, I could have put some more thought into how I wrote it, and yes, I could go back and fix it. But I won’t because I think the chapter’s perfectly fine as is. If you don’t like it, then again, tough luck.

I have one more point to make, and this ties back into your (possibly) trying to help people write better. In some of the various activities I’m a part of, I’m in a leadership position. While it is possible to lead by just ordering people around and yelling at them, a better approach is to get on their good side, or at least remain neutral, and ask them to do things.

Writing critically is the same way. You can get someone to improve their writing by pointing everything they did wrong and telling them how to change that, people will be far more willing to listen to you if you tell them what they did right, then tell them what they did wrong and how to improve.

Let’s take a part near the end of your review as an example.

“What you wrote is far too insubstantial for a first chapter.”

While it does get your point across, it’s a bit too absolute (at least in my opinion) to be helpful critique. I would word this as:

“What you wrote could be seen as too insubstantial for a first chapter.”

See the difference? While my version may sound like a weaker argument, remember that the point of good critique is to give helpful tips on how to write better, not to force someone to write better. As such, it’s important to word your tips as nicely as possible, so the writer’s kneejerk reaction isn’t to immediately ignore you because you’re being too harsh, no matter how valid your points may be.

secs ago[I think I know what you’re trying to do with your reviews, and it’s one of two things- one, you’re beging a toxic ass and trying to get a rise out of me and everyone else you review. If so, congrats, you’ve succeeded. Now stop.]

Uh huh so next time this happens, instead of condescendingly sniping at the person, try reading their profile. (Also, if I was a troll this would have been a terrible idea, as all you’ve done is shown that you’re vulnerable to troll tactics. Trolls can only be defeated by ignoring them.)

[As for your comment on Chapter 2, that’s just a feature of the world of We Are All Pokémon Trainers. This isn’t intended to be a philosophical discussion on the morals of Pokémon, it’s intended to be a glimpse into Ahe’s past.]

Then why did you introduce a feature that necessitates that philosophical discussion? If pokemon aren’t capable of speech and don’t possess human-level intelligence, there’s no issue.

[While I’m not going to follow your suggestion (and that’s all it is, a suggestion)]

…Please look at a grammar handbook sometime. Grammar Girl is also a good website.

[You can get someone to improve their writing by pointing everything they did wrong and telling them how to change that, people will be far more willing to listen to you if you tell them what they did right, then tell them what they did wrong and how to improve. ]

Nope. Tried it, doesn’t work. If you have opinions on how reviews should be, you should review yourself. I will only change my reviewing style if you can show me hard evidence that your way works better.

58m agoYeah, okay, I don’t always do my research before stuff like that. That was entirely my fault (and maybe I hadn’t separated myself from my anger as much as I thought). But this time, I actually did my research.

As for capitalization, I have three examples that all support my argument, and they are all from reputable sources.

“Those Spearow are attacking it!” -Lillie, Sun and Moon (quote from Bulbapedia)

“I think you chose a wonderful Pokémon.” -Lillie, Sun and Moon (quote from Bulbapedia)

“‘Yay!’ He said ‘Yes’!” -Graphic at the end of the Grammar Girl article: How to Use Quotation Marks

As for the philosophical element, there is something in We Are All Pokémon Trainers (which is an RP I did not start) called the Vow. The Vow is a contract that says a Pokémon, if caught, can choose to obey the Trainer that caught it. I also realize I probably should have put this in my first PM. Hindsight is 20/20.

As for reviewing nicely or not nicely, maybe the people you’ve reviewed are different than the people I interact with, but, in my experience at least, being a nice person means being on their good side. If you’re on someone’s good side, then they’re more willing to listen to you and your suggestions. So no, I don’t have any hard evidence to show you, so you’re probably not going to change anyway.

It’s not like you’re going to take any of this into consideration, either. I might as well just be pissing in the wind for all you care, right?

secs agoCapitalization arguments go here: https://www.fanfiction.net/topic/11834/55376155/1/Capitalization-Thread

[in my experience at least]

Is that experience with Pokemon fanfiction authors on FFN, specifically? In rhetoric, there is no universally applicable silver bullet. Everyone is different and is receptive to different arguments. You have to tailor your message to your audience while also factoring in your own resources and abilities. My method is not perfect and I’ve never claimed otherwise, but it is the best I’ve found over the long time I’ve been doing this.

25m agoWhile my experience (or “experience” as you’d probably like to put it) doesn’t come from reviewing fanfic, but from helping others in my everyday life.

But I can tell that this is just going to spiral on and on as an idealism vs. cynicism argument, so how about we just agree to disagree and leave it?

secs agoReally, if you want to prove me wrong, there’s no better way than going out and reviewing yourself. The community really needs them, there are so few nowadays.

St Elmo’s Fire,

A new review has been posted to your story.

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

From: Guest
——————-

:To the last reviwer: nice try, St Elmo’s Fire, nice try.

——————-

The last one was the anon review saying the story was good and I was performing a service to the fandom. Perhaps Guest is playing both sides?

This one was actually eyeroll-worthy enough that I decided to respond, since ignoring this guy clearly hasn’t made them go away:

St Elmo’s Fire,

A new review has been posted to your story.

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

From: St Elmo’s Fire (Guest)
——————-

St Elmo’s Fire:You are aware that authors can delete anon reviews, right? If I cared, I’d never have let this silliness progress so far. For real, though, please stop abusing the review feature. If you want to talk to me, say it in PM or on a forum.

——————-

This got me a response a few days later:

St Elmo’s Fire,

A new review has been posted to your story.

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

From: Guest
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:OoOOH that one struck a nerve why’d I wanna PM you tho? I’ve never received one of your s*** reviews and I know I’d never convince you to stop doing it. I just love coming here from time to time to see you getting roasted.

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So we finally get a bit more insight into this. What’s interesting is that this one actually uses proper grammar, which implies they may be a different person from the usual recurring anon hater.

 

 

8 Comments

  1. CrazyEd says:
    I need to write an actual legit thing for you to review one of these days. I’m really interested in seeing what it’s like being on the receiving end of these kinds of criticisms and how I’d deal with them. I don’t think it’d change anything, but would I see these copypastas as harsher if they were the first comment I got on a fic I’d worked really hard on? Maybe it might. But I don’t think it would.

    So far, I haven’t actually gotten any even remotely negative responses to my published stories (unless you count Hinebras saying the pokemon training one accomplished its mission if its goal was to make the reader awfully uncomfortable), but I’m really not sure if that’s because people just like what I have to write or because the people who don’t just aren’t posting their dislike. Honestly, though, I think I’m still in the “holy crap, people are clicking on my works” phase of this deal. My first fic just crossed over 300 views! Still no bookmarks or subscriptions or anything, though. :(

    But even with Hinebras, it’s like… “Well, it wasn’t really consciously my goal?” I don’t think it’s really bad enough to make someone awfully uncomfortable unless they’ve never seen anything sexual on the internet before, but I definitely didn’t write it to arouse. I did intend for the bondage threesome playing out in the background to create a disconnect with the lighthearted joking about Pokemon experiences in the foreground, though, so maybe I’m just really thick-skinned when it comes to Weird Internet Sex Stuff. My favourite RPG is Exalted, after all.




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  2. CrazyEd says:
    I have one more point to make, and this ties back into your (possibly) trying to help people write better. In some of the various activities I’m a part of, I’m in a leadership position. While it is possible to lead by just ordering people around and yelling at them, a better approach is to get on their good side, or at least remain neutral, and ask them to do things.

    You know, I just realized something: This guy’s interaction with you is a perfect example of why this style of “leadership” doesn’t work. He tried to get on your good side (poorly, admittedly, but stick with me here) and then politely asked you to do something, using very passive language designed to suggest rather than instruct.

    You said no.




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    1. Well, I wouldn’t have been any more agreeable if they had been forceful. I said no because they couldn’t provide any evidence for their argument.

      The real irony is that “remain[ing] neutral and ask[ing] them to do things” is exactly what I do already. I actually do agree that being forceful and aggressive doesn’t work in this context, since on the internet people can always choose to disengage or ignore you; your bluster has no power. The entire point of doing this, really, was to see if a cooler style of argument would be more effective than Farla’s fire and brimstone.




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      1. CrazyEd says:
        Hm, well, yes. I suppose that’s true. I was speaking far more generally of this style of “leadership” especially since he was talking about using it in a real world context.



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        1. No, you missed my point. There is no “more generally”. That style of leadership does work in some situations, and may very well be a better gambit when your audience isn’t completely unhinged. It just doesn’t work in all situations; if you want truly effective leadership, you must be able to read your audience and adjust your rhetoric accordingly.




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          1. Farla says:

            You know…I wonder to what degree the internet is making the adjust-on-the-fly style outmoded.

            Pretty much everyone who’s ever spoken to a politician privately goes on to say, “Wow! That person was SO NICE. They REALLY CARED about me personally!” Even the ones who add, “Which I know is not true…” still can’t shake the emotional impression. Because politicians have to be able to smooze like champions, even the ones who do the fire and brimstone rants. I remember seeing Huckabee on Colbert a few times and every time he was a friendly, articulate, smart guy who had good opinions, because he knew what show he was on and what audience was watching.

            But the internet? You can’t adjust what you’re saying as you go. You say a big chunk at once, and then it lives forever on the internet where the audience you weren’t speaking to can see and get mad about it.

            To wrap back to fanfic, I think we need the good cop/bad cop/twenty other cops with further varying approaches. You can’t adjust fast enough over PMs – a talented politician is tweaking things mid-sentence if it isn’t going over well and has access to way more information about how the person’s feeling. Even if it were easy to read people, by the time you’ve done so changing what you say will generally come off as insincere, or the person just won’t care regardless because they’re already mad, and even if it does work it might take you a dozen PMs just to get to the point you can get started actually talking about what should be different.

            (Also, I too disgree that style would work – if they really do have ~leadership roles~ at their work, then they’re probably getting by due to other people already working together fine. Otherwise, they’d know there’s a huge difference between the person in charge telling you how the work you’re getting paid to do is being parceled out among the group and a total stranger telling you to change your sacred artistic self-expression that is also a no big deal hobby jeeze.)




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            1. To wrap back to fanfic, I think we need the good cop/bad cop/twenty other cops with further varying approaches.

              And as always, the problem comes back to the fact we don’t have enough manpower. Step up to the plate, people! (Having more slack would also make it easier to be good cop; a big part of the reason I get so snippy is because I have so much ground to cover in so little time.)




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  3. Act says:

    While it is possible to lead by just ordering people around and yelling at them, a better approach is to get on their good side, or at least remain neutral, and ask them to do things.

    Someone who tried to suck up to be before delegating a task and then proceeding to gently request it as though it’s a favor and not my fucking job would quickly become my least favorite person. I want succinct, direct, and no-nonsense from my managers.




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