not your typical annihilatrix (furiosity) wrote,
not your typical annihilatrix

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Dear fandom,

Your fic =/= you.

Yes, this is about the current kerfuffle about the reviews oulangi's been doing of Snape/Harry stories. I don't read Snarry and I've barely glanced through the reviews, but this is a matter of principle for me -- someone in fandom is posting honest (if snarky) reviews of stories she's read. She's posting said reviews to her own journal. Not a single person can tell her that she's "wrong" or "rude" or "mean" to do so. It's her journal. Where the fuck does anyone get off trying to tell others what is and isn't appropriate to post in their own journals? If it doesn't break LJ's ToS, they can post whatever the hell they want.

Anyway. If someone has not-so-nice things to say about something you've written, whether it's fic or meta, they are not talking about you. They're talking whatever it is that you have written. By posting anything in a public forum geared towards discussion -- such as LiveJournal, for example -- you are saying "I want opinions". There's just no getting around that. If you don't want negative opinions of any sort, say so at the outset. Then you're justified in stomping your feet the minute you get a negative opinion. I put "concrit welcome" in my headers. You can put "criticism of any sort is not welcome". Yeah, it might make you look like a twit to those of us who take writing seriously, but do you really care? It's not like any of us read your OOC fluff anyway.

Ahem. We all like fandom to be a friendly, encouraging sort of place, yes. >.>

There's nothing a priori unfriendly in saying "such-and-such story didn't work for me, it's too fluffy/angsty/mpreggy". There's nothing unfriendly in saying "wow, Lupin/Dobby/Snape is really OOC here". It's only unfriendly when someone says "wow, you must be an idiot/loser/virgin; otherwise why would you write [insert scenario/pairing/whatever]?" It's unfriendly when it becomes about you, it's unfriendly when someone is rude to you. But holy hoppin' Kinney on a Vespa -- do you not share your opinions of movies you've seen/books you've read with people? If you hated The Da Vinci Code, are you going to keep your mouth shut about it on the off chance that Dan Brown accidentally overhears you and his feelings get hurt? If anything, you should be grateful that someone cared enough about your work to say something about it to the world at large. It means you're making an impression. Whether or not that impression continues to stay bad is up to you.

At the end of the day, you aren't obligated to please everyone, nor will you ever achieve universal popularity. There will always be people who think your writing sucks. That's life. I understand that most people would rather not hear about it, but that's why independent reviews like oulangi's are not posted to, or directed at, the author, duh. If you find negative feedback discouraging, that's your problem. When a person reacts to a story, most of the time they do not mean to discourage the author, unless they're actually saying "stop writing, you suck". That's rude. Though Kinney knows I've been tempted to say it on multiple occasions >.> If someone is saying "fix it", however, this is not discouragement unless you, the writer, choose to take it that way.

And if your first reaction upon seeing criticism is to fly into a rage, you might want to ask yourself: do you seriously think you're Kinney's gift to fan fiction? Because guess what? You aren't! Neither is anyone else. Check your delusions at the door, please, because you aren't entitled to a goddamn thing. Yes, criticism can be invalid; I'm not saying that any and all criticism must be welcomed with open arms, or else. Some readers suffer from an overinflated sense of entitlement and they think it's perfectly fine to tell authors how to write their stories. What more, some people are just twatsicles who will criticise your stories because they don't like you. By and large, though, such people are in the minority. I've met far more readers who were turned off the whole feedback process after being flamed by a brat with a few fangirls than I've met people who take pleasure in hurting authors of perfectly decent fic. In fact, I think I've only met one of the latter.

The act of expressing an opinion is not in itself disrespectful or unfriendly. For my part, I hope oulangi starts a trend and we see more honest, no-nonsense reviews of fanfic. And if it makes a couple of drama queens stop writing because they don't feel appreciated enough, I say good fucking riddance. It's not like this fandom has a shortage of ficcers.

That is all.
Tags: criticism, fandom, meta:fandom, rant
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