Saturday, January 24, 2009

Column: Fandom Etiquette: Dirty Uncle WTVOC's Fandom Guide to Reviews Column

| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 |

Smellyia peeping in again and it is my GREAT PLEASURE to introduce you all to...withthevampsofcourse's Fandom Etiquette Column. That's right...I said column. Which basically means that you will be privy to this little missie's pearls of wisdom whenever she feels like doling them out indiscriminately. Since that is fairly often, you can mostly count on her "proper presence" here at any given time. No worries...her rapier wit shouldn't cut you too deep.

Disclaimer: This is not for the faint of heart. Proceed at your own risk. Save your complaints. Either laugh it off or don't read. While there are some truths here, not all authors will necessarily agree with this. I, for one, love it, but maintain that "update soon" is not offensive to me. I take whatever I can get ;). However, mean demands for updates or incessant harassment that many fellow authors have sustained in the past should never be tolerated.

Hello, duckies! It’s your Dirty Uncle WTVOC!

If you’re astute enough, you’ll see the weighty hints Smellyia and I have been droppin’ up here in this blog as to me writing something for you.

I’m trying to remember how this came to be, but all I can come up with is:

~Angel eggs on my nonsensical ranting
~Smellyia is an enabler and good friend
~Give me any topic and I will wax philosophical at length, regardless of my knowledge on the topic.

Thankfully for you all, this is a subject that is near and dear to my heart.

So, a while back, it was decided that I would talk about reviewing. This snowballed into the world’s longest blog post (5,313 words of fury and trust me, I could have written much more), transformed into a collaboration, and now… has metamorphamasizickized into

withthevampsofcourse’s Fanfic Etiquette: How to leave a review

Here I shall introduce “the rules” of reviewing, my thoughts on the subject, and well. Whatever else comes up. So come along, dear heart; grab a seat, keep your hands inside the tram at all times, do not feed the bears… and take notes, please. Not everyone is my buddy limona, who loves every reviewer and responds to all of them; most writers are like me- grumpy old bastards who only respond to the reviews that deserve a response.

Unfortunately, a lot of those seem to be the rude ones. And eventually… you get tired of dignifying even those with a response.

You may or may not have read my stuff or have spoken to me or have seen my annoyingly ubiquitous presence on . But a brief intro to withthevampsofcourse: I have a decent readership, and how do you say… enthusiastic reviewers. Plus, I have a symbiotic, co-dependent relationship with jandco, who has a bigger audience than I do because she’s fuckgood. This partnership in writing and in life adds to my internet persona, I think.

I have ranted on bad reviews before. Several times. Extensively. Many of you are amused because I really do seem to draw out the crazies. I’ve been called the Don King of Smut, I’ve been called a fucking bitch for leaving it on a cliffhanger. I’ve been accused of plagiarizing Welcome Home more than once and have had it plagiarized more times than I care to recall. I have been asked to “read my story and lemme know what you think”, and above all else I have been asked to PLEZ UPDATE SOON LULZ, not even two minutes after I’ve updated.

So, keeping those things in mind, know that verbal diarrhea is my forte, and well- you ought to be able to figure out that I am a little cocky. Why do I get to talk about reviews? Here’s my statistics, because most people can be manipulated with numbers. As of this moment, my stories have a sum total of 5,402 reviews. I don’t say this to impress; I say it to point out that I’ve read 5,402 of my own reviews (and well… I’ve read all of jandco’s, too, but for now I’m leaving her out of it) and that’s where this comes from. Too many people use the number of reviews as an indication of a story’s goodness, but that’s another topic for another day. If you wanna get technical, 5,402 reviews is either ~600 per story or ~77 per chapter. Okay, that still sounds decent. I just like pointing out how to manipulate… oh, never mind.

I’ve read a lot of reviews. I’ve been affected by all of them.

You’re a liar if you say they don’t affect you.

Keeping these things in mind… may I present for your consideration withthevampsofcourse’s fanfic etiquette: how to leave a review. I shall remind you of each rule as I go, but for now, here’s the first and, in my opinion, the most important.

1). Don’t ask for an update.

So, when I randomly hit up other authors with the vague question, “What bugs you about reviews?”, this was the number one instant response.

And dude, we know. We’re working on it. We completely understand that you got caught up and want to know more, like- now. So do we. The thing is this: stuff gets in the way. Real life gets in the way.

But we love the enthusiasm; we do.

And I don’t care who you are, you care about your reviews. You just do. Some people are more… emphatic about getting those reviews and fish for them. Hell, I’ve been known to dangle tidbits in exchange for reviews before. But here’s why: even the most confident fanfiction writers (that’s me, by the way, in case you never noticed) feel varying levels of insecurity about their ability to effectively tell a story, and we are genuinely curious what you think. We want to know. Sometimes we need to know where to take the story, and whether the direction we were thinking of going was where we want to go. Whether what we just put out there made sense to anyone aside from our fanfic alter-egos.

So waking up after an update and seeing that inbox screaming 75 NEW MESSAGES makes us squee just as much as you do when you see CHAPTER 16 OF SCOTCH, GIN AND THE NEW GIRL screaming in yours. We love it. What could possibly be better than throwing yourself out there and having people respond to it?

Here’s the thing. We are not getting paid for this. We ignore several things to write these stories- husbands, boyfriends, children, laundry, tests on fluid & electrolyte imbalance. So why? Why do we do it? For me, I have a thousand things running through my head at any given moment, and I like to share. Hit me up in my chatbox sometime and you’ll know what I mean. Writing is my escape. It used to be reading The Fic, but now I’m in the middle of what, four stories? And I find myself thinking up new ideas every day and have had to tell myself NO. I have less time to read anymore because I’m so busy writing (or, okay, chatting).

So to have a complete stranger- someone who you will never know whether they prefer Plain or Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch or what they TiVo or whether they call it “soda” or “pop” tell you that they absolutely love your story and cannot wait to see where you take them? That’s an amazing feeling, and it gives you motivation to continue writing.

Now, picture this: you have had a long-ass day. You woke up this morning and your kids had consumed an entire box of your sun-dried tomato Wheat Thins and drawn a cemetery on your living room walls in crayon. Your husband called and requested that you wash his work clothes, you have to go to the post office and it’s pouring rain, the laundry is glaring at you, mocking you with its height, and you just realized you’re out of milk, eggs, cheese- and, horror upon horrors- there’re only two Diet Cokes left in the fridge.

Naturally, your response to Real Life is to flip on the computer to see what everyone thought of the update that you posted late last night.

omg, this ** is amazing. A-MAZ-ING. Please update... like... now.

can't wait for more

please put up a new chapter soon!!

i more!

please update! :]

I loved this chapter -- please continue, I want to know what happens... :D

update soon...

cant wait for the next onE!

Excellent chapter.Can't wait for the next installment.

And so forth. These are all off the same page of reviews for Scotch.

Now, granted. Not all contained the dreaded “update”. But can you see how reading the same thing over and over sort of… hurts? Maybe I’m being melodramatic, but the way I see it- you click a button. You’re overwhelmed by the chapter and maybe can’t remember everything you loved. But dude. It doesn’t take more than a few seconds to say this:

So I spent the day with the in-laws yesterday and while my SIL told me I had gained weight (it's only 2 ** pounds dammit)and my MIL made snarky remarks about my cooking, cleaning, and child-rearing abilities I kept reminding myself that there was a Scotch update to read. You may have actually kept me from getting arrested. Really, thank you for updating during such a busy time of year.

This was from that same page of reviews. Funny, had details, and never once asked for an update.

She gets it.

This kind of review motivates me to write more. It also motivates me to respond, which I believe I did.

While we’re on the subject, do not do this:













No, really. I’ve gotten this review. More than once. I know I’m not the only one. We call it the “Update Wall O’Death”. Who was it I told that you know you’ve “made it” when you get this review?

I am never amused by it, ever.

So yeah. We writers completely understand this need to want to know what’s coming like, now. But demanding an update or PMing for an update and only the update is just… it’s abrupt. It tells us nothing other than you are impatient and quite possibly inarticulate. Either don’t do it or do it in such a way that we’re left thinking, “You know what? For you… I will.”


wtvoc’s quickie review etiquette number 1:

IM/Chat-speak is annoying as shit. Cut it out. And I wish the lul-catz would die. That’s right. I said it.

withthevampsofcourse's Must Have Been Love and Welcome Home are treasures of the sexy snark lovers. Her collaborations include Saturday School and Scotch, Gin and The New Girl and also betas 5464686486 fics. She is a colloborator on the Twilight FF Awards - The Eddies & The Bellies. This sister soldier of Brown may talk dirty and throw down even dirtier, but her class knows no bounds.
wtvoc on FF
The Eddies & The Bellies


  1. Eh, witvoc, you KNOW this made me LMAO.

    See, now the reviews on your stories are just going to get awkward, because people are going to read this and either get snarky with you for telling them how to review (which is all kinds of funny) or they're going to be afraid--very afraid. And maybe they should be.


  2. I haven't received the update wall of death yet. Damn, guess I haven't 'made it'.

    People should be afraid when they're reviewing one of wtvoc's stories, or one of jandco's stories because you know they tell each other everything. I can't tell you how many minutes I've agonized over leaving a review for her, making sure I had enough detail in there about what I liked, trying to remember my favorite part, etc.

    It's hard work, y'all.

    And the 'update soon' reviews. GRR... I can see writing a ridiculously long rant about it.

    I hope some people read this and take it to heart. And the next time I get an annoying review about updating soon... they're being directed to this post.

    Great job!

  3. I thought this blog was going to be different, better. A good way to get neutral and informative info and recommendations.

    And it started out that way, but sorry ladies, it's taken a turn. It's still the same crap with just a different backdrop. All self-gratifying ego-driven nonsense.

    I was hoping for your success, but these last few posts have left a bad taste in my mouth.

    This was just a post hoping you would get back on track to how and why you started this blog. :(

  4. I hate that you feel the necessity to do this anonymously. I have strong feelings about standiing by what you say. It's hard to take you seriously when you don't. Nameless critique is somewhat weak.

    As the disclaimer said, it was meant as satire to add levity to the blog. But we cannot always constantly please all. Two posts do not make an entire blog.

    The posts are all tagged so if recs and such are all you are interested in, you can easily access those singularly.

    I will say that tomorrow's rec is a wonderful study on the short story as well as a collaboration between Music Sundays and TLYDF in the form of a Literary Rec.

    However, if you would like to remain in this narrow sense and completely judgemental mind frame, I invite you to email me personally with your recommmendations. I understand your need to critique without having the backbone to put a name to it, and I can't expect everybody to be willing to stand up for what they believe in publicly. We are not all made of stronger stuff. It's an unfortunate fact, but fact nonetheless. Please take a moment to take the easy way out and email me with how you feel we should conduct this blog as it is a full-time job and I could always use assistance. My brain and fingers are only capable of so much on their own and it takes an army and risks to win the war.

  5. Thoughtful reviews can lead to better writing. Thoughtful reviews can lead to those updates we all want. Thoughtful reviews can keep writers writing. To bring this up should not be looked at as being snarky or elitist but as a way that informs fic readers on the importance of reviews. As an author, I love reading a well thought-out review, even if the reader suddenly hates my character (which happens a lot in my story *cough*) or wants to know why something happened. Even if things are clear to me or I disagree, I appreciate a real review. If I pour my heart and soul into my work and someone felt the need to just ask for more it DOES affect me.
    I will not speak for wtvoc but for anonymous to call it the same crap is not fair. I mean, how is this so?
    This blog is asking readers to explore different fics. If we read these fics we should take the time to review them thoughtfully, it means a LOT to the authors.
    I say it in my hippie-love way and wtvoc says it in her comedic way and I guarantee you that every author would say it a different way. We are all inclusive and, if an anonymous commenter has a point, they should email the blog and ask to write a column about it! I am sure all thoughtful ideas are considered!

  6. i love you guys for defending me.

    anonymous, i'm sorry you feel that... how did you put it? i write self-gratifying, ego-driven nonsense? well, that's not true. i'm not sorry because unfortunately, i really am my own biggest fan.

    here's the thing, though, and this will become apparent with future review posts. because yes, i'm writing more. sorry. i was invited to share my own personal thoughts, and that's what i'm going to do. i have convictions and i stand behind them, blaring them out to all who are unfortunate enough to be near me. i don't take the chicken's way out, man; i don't waffle. i proudly put my name next to what i said, and hell. if i was wrong, i'll admit it.

    i never said i was right about the review thing. perhaps i should have pointed out that these were my thoughts, but alas. i know i don't speak for everyone. this is me.

    but bear with me, dude. i know i'm not the only one who gets the occasional nasty, personal attack in the form of review or PM. i've seen some awful things written... and oftentimes, they're anonymous. but i digress. reviewing is both the bane and pleasure of a fic author's existence; we hate to rely on them, but we do. a wonderful review can make your day and you'll brag to everyone about it; then, amongst the sea of praise and "update soon"s, you get the one. the one that calls you a fucking bitch. the one that refers to your writing as dissapointing [sic] and too short. the one that calls into question why you started posting in the first place.

    people are thoughtless sometimes when they hit "submit". people are full of thought when they aren't man enough to type in their name.

    in short, people are bold on the internet and careless of the feelings of the faceless person behind the flashy bravado attached to the name "withthevampsofcourse".

    i am not speaking for anyone except myself. yeah, that anonymous review of yours hurt me. i'm just trying to be funny and when my friend asked me if i'd write something about some aspect of the fandom for the blog, i said WELL, FUCK YES.

    i'm just doin' what i do.... ranting about nothing. i'm quite serious when i say give me a topic and i'll go off. at length.

    i always thought this blog was about pimpery of the little guy and getting philosophical about fanfiction as a whole.

    isn't that what i did?

    i mean, i had a rec for the blog, too. and i hate that i hesitate to write it, but shoot, man.

    i refuse to back down because that just ain't what i'm about.

    so buckle your seat belts, people. i ain't fucking going anywhere. anonymous- i'mma dedicate any future blog posts to you, and i invite you to email me and go ahead and pull my fucking heart out of my chest in a way that is cohesive, honest, and labelled with your name.

    yeah, i'm calling you out. you seem to have a nice little writing style going there that is not rife with error, so perhaps you could write for the blog? an article that is an aspect of the fandom that is not ego-driven? i defy you to write snark without making it about yourself. if you're a fanfiction writer, you definitely have something to say. my snark just happens to be obnoxious-er than most because i fucking love life, and i live it loud and to maximum capacity. vanilla bores me. it's why i was born part brown.

    oh, and here's my email. if you want the easy out that smellyia mentioned, take me to task privately:

    thank you for your time.

  7. i'm pretty sure this will be posted as my lj user, because i don't have a blogger account. BUT, my name's jessica, and i'm also known as "kissesblow" on and i completely agreed with every word in this post. i mean, i can absolutely understand why people will post a review that says "plz update now!!!1!", and i can ALSO understand why authors get upset. i've only received one or two reviews that are literally only "update soon!", but even receiving one or two of those, they still bother me. i mean, sure, they help me to realize that my story seems to please people, and apparently it isn't satiating their thirst for my chapters, which is always nice to know, but they're not really giving me any critical feedback or suggestions or comments.

    perhaps the thing that bothers me most about those "update soon" reviews are the fact that i just . . . can't. real life is time-consuming, and – when it comes down to it – ultimately more important than fanfic life. as much as i'd like to update right that second, i've got other things to worry about: family, homework, school-related things, sleepovers. i'm fifteen-years-old! and, unfortunately, at the age i'm at, i just don't have the time to constantly write, 24-7 (though, believe me, i wish i did!). and it's not just like that for me, of course – it's like that for every single fanfic writer. sure, some have more time to spend on writing, but that doesn't change the fact that we're all NOT writing machines who can crank out a chapter every day.

    (i mean, angstgoddess003's update time is pretty close to that, but she's just . . . superwoman or something, haha. i don't know. it's impressive, that's for sure.)

    on the flip side, there are one or two people who review every single chapter that i post with a paragraph-length, or sometimes longer, comment, talking about what they liked, sometimes what they didn't like, giving me suggestions, and also predicting future chapters. i adore those reviews! i think it's great to get reviews like that, because it makes the author feel like they're writing for actual PEOPLE, rather than just "update now!" robots. i love having conversations with those people, because when reviewers allow themselves to just take a minute and write what they actually feel, then it's possible to develop friendships – through a STORY. and that's fantastic!

    anyway, what i really wanted to say in this comment was . . . thank you loads for writing this. it's honest, it's important, and hey – there's a dash of snark on the side. and i love me some snark!

    so – thank you, wtvoc. <3

  8. hmmmm...
    Most of you do not know this but gah...when i first got on Twlighted WTV drove me nuts. I can not tell you how much she used to piss me off on the forums. All her posts and rants and obnoxious behavior.

    It freaking drove me crazy.

    But then some shit happened and we talked a bit and then i actually decided i liked her a little. And well, she kept me supplied in hot pics of Rob and DB so things kind of evened out.

    Then, when i finally figured out how to review stuff i started leaving her reviews and I really love to send her ridiculous reviews. Like one word reviews or really long rambling reviews. Or reviews asking for BJ technique. This is what I do to try to make her just one step closer to crazy.

    Of course I suspect she is already halfway there so it may be futile.

    She loves to talk and to talk about herself and OMG sometimes i this gonna ever end... I mean, who can write for like 8000K words about the kind of reviews she gets?

    Trust me. She can. And has.

    So as an Admin. on this site I want you to know we get the concern that this site is for Underappreacited Fics. and for insight into FF. But here is the thing. If you are one of the people chosen for a rec on here and suddenly you get some reviews and those reviews simply say UPDATE SOON, that sadly, is not really very helpful. It is a place for a review, not a place to send messages about your reading needs.

    So basically, I think we took this opportunity to bring some insight from a established author who could let us know what is like on the other side of this whole review process. And she did in her own loud, brash way. I mean dude. That is who she is.

    Sorry it seems like we sold out or are pandering to the larger names in fic...cause well, that is not the point.

    Honestly, wtv sends me about 2 new fics a week and tells me to read them. Some popular some her own way she is encouraging the process.

    So, if you have an issue come tell us. If you have an issue with us that can't be resloved then I guess this is not the blog for you.


  9. Okay. now that I am over my irrational moment of disgust over the blatant abuse of our anonymous posting priviledge, I need to resume my complacent mantle.





    A community is a hodge podge of all different types and thus, we will showcase them all. I will NOT discern against any one type of personality.

    WTVOC, yes, is as snide as they come. She is also as loyal as they come. She may say things that you don't agree with and I invite you to respond. HOWEVER, PUT YOUR NAME ON IT.

    Nothing annoys me more than someone who has the audacity to critique anybody or anything without claiming YOUR OWN WORDS. It is a cheap way out.

    My response to this would have been so much more respectful and open had you had the common human decency to do it identified.

    I think angel put it perfectly and a lot nicer than I ever would in this case because everyone who know me knows I hate a hider. There is only one thing I don't agree with in her response.

    I won't apologize. I don't think we should. I gave you a disclaimer, you chose to ignore. I told you to save your complaints because I'm leting you know ahead of time that this post was not a collective thought. And yet, you still persisted if only to take the opportunity to bash anonymously.

    If I were to sell-out, I would have avoided having anyone as controversial as wtvoc or AngstGoddess associated with this blog. Each have huge devoted audiences and a fair amount of haters. Funny, how those haters always stay behind a curtain. To sell-out would mean that I ignored such controversy. I will NOT bow to you. If I did, then I'd just be another clique promoting limiter to this community.

    So, please open your minds and knwo that it takes all kinds. We ALL have a value here. Don't negate that and please, if you are going to make a criticism, do it right with your name for all to see.

    I can respect that. And I could answer that.

  10. Its times like this that I wish I could get all my emotions out in one single word. But there are no words that express the way I feel when I find out that something was said about someone who means the world to me. Someone who took time out to write something that I, as a writer, thinks has merit.

    The article WTVOC wrote WAS informative and neutral. I'm pretty sure that if you ask any writer they will say there is nothing better then getting a good review. It makes you feel like all the work and effort you put into your story has been appreciated. It makes you want to write more and that is something that benefits everyone.

    What WTVOC did was take a subject that probably most writers have had issues with and put her smart, witty spin on it. I'm sure that someone will read it and realize that perhaps they need to change the way they review. And just maybe I'll be the one receiving that review. So therefore the article WTVOC wrote is anything but Self-gratifying. It was funny, smart and thats the reason its on this blog.

    We're all here to learn and support eachother and anything said in a hurtful, crass way doesn't belong.


  11. You know what's worse than getting a review that says only "UPDATE SOON!!!1!"? Getting that review on a one-shot. More than once.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm happy for any review. But when someone misses the words 'one-shot' or 'complete' that are sitting right smack dab at the top of the story, it makes me wonder how much of the story they actually DID read, you know?

    Also, I have a question: If I get a review praising my grammar and spelling, and said review is riddled with grammar and spelling errors, should I be happy or sad?

    I do enjoy getting reviews, but some of them make me laugh and some of them just confuse me. Still waiting for my first flame....

  12. I didn't think that my anonymity was going to be such a big issue. I don't have a blog account. It wasn't a personal attack, I don't really know who withthevampsofcourse is. I was referring to the Twilight community as a whole, and the direction it's gone lately.

    The blog just wasn't what I had expected. When I heard about it, I thought I'd come check it out and I enjoyed the first few posts. Sadly, it's not for me anymore.

    Thanks, if you have any issues with me, you can email me at:


  13. One of my biggest pet peeves with reviews is the ones where the fans tell you how to write the story.

    "Oh, you need to have X and Y do this now!" or "I suggest you do this..."

    This usually pisses me off worse than the misspelled 'PlZ UPDATE SOON" reviews. It's one thing to bug me for reviews (which I disregard anyway) but it's a completely different notion when they start telling me how to write my own story.

    So yes - I agree with everything that was postedd above - and then some, lol.

  14. I get defensive and bitchlike when people assume they know the person behind the legendary Twilighted posting…

    That’s a quote from yours truly taken from the collaboration blog posted here three days ago.




    I’m not going to insult anyone’s intelligence by pretending this comment isn’t about directly defending my dear friend WTVOC.

    Make no mistake.

    It is.

    But I would like to start by saying this blog is about support and unity for all fanfiction writers and readers—whether you have twenty reviews or five thousand, whether you’ve read one story or a thousand—it’s about supporting the whole as an equal unit.

    I’m not posting a comment to attack, but to defend.

    WTVOC took her time and poured heart into that article you referred to as nonsense, pointing out common courtesies and infusing the article with her trademark snark and humor, making it funny, informative and anything but dull.

    Most people get the humor, the sarcasm…but it’s clear that others aren’t entertained, which is fine as we’re all entitled to post our own opinions.

    But I am sorry, Anonymous, that you failed to see the humor.

    I am sorry that you felt compelled to post anonymously while WTVOC always proudly puts her name on any opinion she has to offer.

    I am sorry that you mistakenly label people you don’t know as ego driven and don’t give a thought to how your words effect others…

    But above all I’m sorry that you’ll never know what a selfless, funny, brilliant person WTVOC is…

    Please do consider the fact that people do indeed work hard on these articles, and whether they are your cup of tea or not, unfounded and hurtful words are powerful and have no place in a community meant to uplift and support.


  15. Hi. I do not have a BLOGGYTHING name. I am JENNYFY, JFLY, THALLIUM81, and I rock.

    um, i agree with most of what is stated above.
    i read this blog last night just after it was posted, and i laughed because it was written with humor and sarcasm and wit. but in addition to all of that, it has TRUTH.

    even the 'review' button on ff suggests that a well-rounded review is the best way to show appreciation to the writers- WHO DO THIS FOR FREE.

    that's the thinng that impresses me most about the writers who churn out continual quality here (writers like wtvoc and all those who commented above me): they do this AWESOME, TIME-CONSUMING work, giving us FREE ENTERTAINMENT, that in my opinion is better than a lot of writing i have fricking paid for in my lifetime... and all they ask in return is a show of appreciation.

    so, it's what i try to do. and i'm GLAD that wtvoc has the boules to suggest to the people who DON'T GET IT that appreciation is all that is required here. not everyone who reads also writes, so not everyone is aware of the value behind a good review. i think it's fair to suggest that those of us who are writers and who DO get it have a responsibility to guide other readers to respect the community and appreciate the free entertainment we provide.

  16. There are a lot of people out there that just sit back and think that they are doing a service to someone when in actuality, all they do is create drama or invoke hurt or dislike in someone.

    Appreciation. That is what this blog is about.

    Smellyia lives day in and day out stressing over this shit, because she APPRECIATES all writers.


    it's about expressing what you think about the writing and offering any kind of criticism, or uplift-ation, or just a fucking pat on the back for a job well done.

    I mean how hard is it to type. "THAT WAS A GREAT CHAPTER. YOU DID A FANTASTIC JOB."

    the only difference that I can tell from "OMG. UPDATE NOW PLZ" and "that chapter was well thought-out and the writing is empowering and conducive to your plot, keep going, you're doing a wonderful job" is brain cells.



    to say that this is an egotistical approach to fanfiction is like a fucking slap in the face to writers and to smellyia personally.

    Smellyia and WTVOC are two of my closest peeps on the interwebs community, and I take offense to this shit.

    I RESPECT WTVOC for posting this, and her writing is OUT OF THIS FUCKING WORLD.

    oh, and she puts a name to it.

    ANON, dude. get your shit straight.


    obviously, you don't.

  17. Just a question, I am one of those, "Enjoyed", "Like this", & "I am reading" type reviewers. I do this so that I am not lurking around. When I read something I absorb it, process it, and then wake up at three o'clock in the morning thinking about fic. But in the mean time I want authors to know that their work is being appreciated even though at that time I have nothing of value to contribute. What do you say to this?

  18. Ooooh. That's an EXCELLENT POINT. And valid. Thank You.

    I'm going to speak for myself here because even though I have shown my uglier side here today, I try to be fair and kind to all.

    I don't mind those reviews. Not one dang bit. Actually, I appreciate them. I don't need three paragraphs of waxing poetically on my last chapter, granted I love them. But not everyone is suited to making long declarations.

    Does it mean that they appreciate what they've just read any less? Not in my opinion. I think any review that you provide is time you take to not only read, but to type out a response. I respect the hell out of that as I respect the hell out of you for submitting this comment.

    This column was meant to spurn this sort of constructive debate in my opinion. You have done me proud to be in this fandom with you penname-me. You stood up and said..."hey, what if..."

    And you are right in my opinion. I respond to EVERY review I personally get. Even the one word ones. You deserve it.

    This is where many opinions on reviews differ amongst authors. But each POV is deserving of attention.

    So, I thank you for giving a post I was hoping we would get that questioned and brought your thoughts to the table.

  19. Really. I am a horrible reviewer. But now that I write as well, i do realize how helpful it is to be a little more discriptive and informative...most of the time i have a problem putting my words down cause I'm overwhelmed by the awesomness of the fics...

    or i start to this...

  20. First of all - I loved the etiquette post. I thought it was relevant, smart, and in places fucking funny!


    (sorry, I couldn't resist)

    I agree the 'update soon' posts can be annoying, but I have a higher tolerance for them. At least I know that someone's reading the story and seems to like it. Will an 'update soon' review get the a quick, paragraph-long response from me? No. 'Thanks' is the norm.

    The novella-length reviews are a kick, and get much a much faster, more thought out response from me. And, narcissistic as I am, I love it when people quote their favorite lines back to me. It's interesting to see what captures a reader, and if it's one of the lines I really enjoyed writing.

    I also enjoy reviews that question my interpretation of canon, or of a character. Those reviews get the longest responses back from me - they make me think about how my characters have chosen to express themselves. I've written a couple of novellas myself in responses explaining Edward's interpretation of the path to heaven and a human analogy for his choice to leave Bella in NM; things I never would have written if I hadn't been asked in a review.

    My favorite reviews, however, are the ones that are directed at the characters. 'I hate it that Edward is such a ass' or 'When's he going to get it through his thick skull?' are some of the best reviews I can get. If a reader sees the character so clearly that they think they can talk to HIM, I know I've done my job and pulled them from reality into my story completely.

    What do I not like? Being praised for a story I didn't write. "I loved this story, it reminded me of what you did in Saturday School" doesn't really do it for me. The reviewer looks silly, I feel stupid having to tell them they're wrong, and then getting the 'sorry' PM back. Don't reference another story unless you're sure I wrote it!

    (sorry again, WTVOC, like someone would mix us up!)

    Great topic - you got me to post 8-). Should I say it again?


  21. bwahahahaha

    blondie, i love you. but you already knew that.

    here's the thing, ya bozos:


    i'mma hafta be creative with the next one. luckily, i have a nice, new topic to go with. reviewing my blog on reviews is turning out to be a fantastical thing. this group i love that i'm trying to get emibella to listen to has an album whose title is relevant to this:

    when life gives you lemons, you paint that shit gold.

    side note: i hate calling sex scenes in fic "lemons". why does it bother me? it just does.

    and i could probably write an entire blogpost on it that is over 5k words long.

  22. Howdy Hoe all. tnuccio here, stopping by to commend WTV on her lovely post.

    Being a new author, I will proudly admit that any review I get is appreciated. Since I'm on story number uno I have very low expectations. I've not yet received the wall update and would in no way say I've arrived...hell I still haven't arrived anywhere...but then again, I'm a girl who's all about the ride.

    I have gotten many of the great job, update soon please reviews and I always chuckle and think of my first encounter with a really pissed off author (*cough*caitlin*cough*) in none other than the collab we all know, Saturday School.

    I will admit I was one who was clamoring for the next chapter, because, seriously it was amazing and well, I gotta blame JandCo a little here…I was in sever TTAB withdrawal and I needed something to cling to in my time of recovery…then damn her and WTV, they come out with Saturday School. And well, Jess, she spoils us with her daily updates and red chucks and reclining chairs with Jasper attached. I will totally admit to using SS as a recovery tool…and damn but I needed it. Then upthedownslide goes and writes yet another amazing Jasper and I think I literally started shaking from the high…and well damn, I was dying to know what the hell was going on with Edward and Bella... but after said nuclear meltdown I stopped to look at my behavior.

    Now, I wasn't one who was being rude or just spitting out the UPDATE NOW! comments but I was in my very own little way dude, when ya gonna hook a chic up. But the amount of people who were seriously just slamming them with the wall of death was insane!

    I realized that in all honesty, if you love a story, say so. Tell them you are anxiously awaiting the next chapter with baited breath...You love what they're doing and can't wait to see where they are going with the story.

    There are so very many words in the English language you can use to convey the same exact meaning but in a classier more respectable way.

    Having started writing my own fic I understand what these way more talented people than me go seriously put hours into your writing, it consumes time from your family and your life in general. And yes, as much as we do or do not say it, we like the feedback.

    It's kind of sad that I have over 150 people who have my story on alert but the most reviews I've ever gotten for a chapter is 20. I know that's really not shabby but really? Just click the button, validate me, and do it with real words and not pseudo dribble about updating now please.

    As far as the controversy above, I will openly admit to undying love and devotion for WTV. She is my friend and my beta. When I decided to attempt this little thing called fic I went to her and said…so, I’ve been thinking…this is what I’ve come up with. What do you think? You know what she did. And I have the gchat somewhere to prove it.

    She said, I love it. Do you want me to beta it for you? I don’t do it often but I will for you. Here are my services, tell me what you need.

    Let me once again, just so you know, point out that I had never written a fictional story in my life. I can write you an A+ thesis paper and get you into post grad school like it’s nobody’s business, but this. Nope, nada, zilch experience. And she didn’t care. She aint about elitism or exclusive glory. She’s true and straight up. She gives me not only her time when she writes but also her talent when she sits on gchat with me cause I'm in total fail about what the hell is happening next. She pulls it out of me without inserting her own opinion.

    She is helping build up other writers, she's helping build a craft.

    Is she snarky, yes. Is she admirable of herself, hell yes. Any confident woman SHOULD be. Is she opinionated, yep. Would she take time out of her life to sit and bullshit with you over an obsession like Twilight or Rob, absolutely without a doubt.

    When you ask for her opinion, you get it. Raw and unedited because ya know what? Life's too short to sweat the small shit.

    Enjoy that you're not getting your chain yanked. Enjoy that with her what you see is what you get. It's a breath of fresh air in a world full of lies and indignation.

    The world is a wonderful arena. If you see something you don't like, don't buy it. Hell, I can't stand Boston crème donuts but you bet your sweat little ass that doesn't keep me out of the donut shop. Cause there are so many different types and flavors.

    I'd hate to see anyone - even Ms. Anon. back away from a well thought out and put together blog because they didn't agree with one or two posts. Look under the glass. There are other offerings and by God, if you don't like the Boston crème, don't eat it. Pass it by, come back when we got your favorite flavor.

    Peace out, lovies.

    hugs and kisses.

  23. I am tempted to post this annonymously just for fun. I thought the blog was funny, but I also disagreed with it somewhat. When I get a review that says 'update soon,' yes, I roll my eyes a teeny bit. When I get a paragraph telling me how wonderful I am, I do a little happy dance. When I get one telling me that my story has lost it's charm, or that the person quit reading because it was so ridiculous, I fume. I get mad. I think about it for hours, and then I write better because of it.

    Still, I would rather get the update soon review than none at all. I would rather have someone tell me they are reading and want to read more than for my read count to say that 2,000 people just read my latest chapter and only 20 said hi.

    ALSO I get into the stories I read. I mean addictd, like I have a problem and need a support group. It makes me crazy when there are weeks and months between updates. It takes away from the story in my opinion. For one - I don't remember what in the world happened and I have to go read some of it over again, or I've moved on and found better stories and I just don't care any more.

    I can wait a week, I can wait two weeks, I can even wait months if the person had a baby, or went into the hospital, or if their dog died, but other wise, it makes me crazy. Life happens, but gah... maybe I just love what I read too much. Even worse is authors who don't finish what the start even if they started the best story ever... cough... spotzle...cough cough.

    Anyway, I bow to the great writers here, and I pray I find the courage to review your stories again.

    I'm also pretty sure my first several reviews after I started reading were please update soons, so forgive me. I stopped doing that after I started writing my own stories.

  24. A little late to the party as usual but there was cranberry juice and vodka and I wanted to be at least a little coherent. I might not have responded at all though I did enjoy the blog and wish I'd had it to read when I first started reviewing. But then after reading the comments I was given another reason to comment myself- so here goes:

    First- I don't write ff so I approach reviewing from strictly a readers perspective. I'll admit that when I first started to read ff I didn't review at all, and I'm also guilty of the "can't wait for more" and other overly simple reviews.

    But here's the thing- I spend my days homeschooling my son who has autism because the school system failed him, my dad has cancer, we struggle to pay bills, etc. etc. etc. The point is we all have our shit we're dealing with. We all need an escape from it. Then one day I stumble onto ff and fuck, it's free and I don't even need to leave my house to get my fix.

    So I don't review, then I leave short and/or lame reviews (still do sometimes, I'm sure) until one day it hits me. If people can find the time to write whole chapters and share it with everyone, I can at least TRY to leave a decent review. I don't always succeed, but I try, because I'm grateful to the talented people who share their writing with me.

    Now on to my second reason for commenting: Nothing makes me want to comment or delurk to post on a forum more than a personal attack on a writer. The one thing I have been shocked (and not much shocks me) to see in ff, is the horrible things people will say to or about a writer. If you disagree with something someone has written, there are correct ways to express this fact. Common decency and common sense dictate that personal attacks are not the correct way.

    Unlike the other people who have responded in defense on wtvoc, I do not know her personally. I do know that because she takes my reviews for how they are meant and often responds in kind, that she has a sense of humor similar to my own. The kind that is often lost on some people, especially if like me, you have an aversion to using those evil, yellow, smilies.

    She got her point across and she did so with humor. Certainly there are worse things than that.

    And I'm sure she knows that now I desperately want to leave her a wall of death review for the next chapter of Scotch though I promise to try really hard not to.

    Love the blog ladies, thanks for all your hard work.


  25. just checking in to throw out a random thought for the day.


    Considering she plucks fics out of obscurity and turns her (what was the phrase?) "enthusiastic reviewers" in the direction of other people's work (as she did for this grateful author) doesn't exactly fit the mold of ego.

    That being said, I'd just like to say that I can deal with an eyerolling Update. Like Yesterday. review. i cannot deal with the spammers.

    "Please don't let your story go this way" six times in basically the same format in twenty minutes, all by suitably anonymous names like Hope or Riley or Sara will be the death of me. I will go all Boondock Saints all over my gmail account.

    ahem. P.S. I heart this blog


    and can i just say that you guys coming out and loving on me makes me unfail a lot. seriously. i AM ego-driven, but the thing about me is that i have a lot of love to throw around. significant chunks of it go to me, jandco, bittenev, rob and my hubby (in that order), but there's buckets of gooey heart juice for everyone. even the haters.

    i'm not kidding. the next review is going out to the anonymous (i know, i know, she unanonymoused) person who was not so pleased with my abrasive humor, but eh. paintin' that shit gold, man. paintin' it gold.

    so again, thank you. the amazing thing about this is i've gotten some awesome emails and PMs and even freaking REVIEWS in the last 24 hours that are all I DON'T THINK YER AN A-HOLE.

    i mean, i am. but at least i'm honest about it.

    LOVE YOU ALL, BBs. let's keep the twilight community classy, always!

  27. OK, I'll admit it. I'm an "update soon" er.

    I didn't know that it annoyed people, to tell you the truth. I usually write something like "Wow, Jasper. What was that about? Can't wait to find out! update soon"

    I gotta say that I don't mean it as "Jeez, why aren't there more chapters here you lazy bum!?!"

    I mean it as "This is so good, so addicting, how will I survive until there is more, you'd better give me more or I will die cause it is so good"

    In case I've left you an "US" review, just wanted to let ya know.

    But I suppose I will come up with something else now, since I luvs me some Twilight fanfiction, and I don't want to piss off my drug dealers;)

  28. hm. may-haps people take things (or themselves) too seriously. i chortled so hard i nearly choked reading wtvoc's maybe i'm just snarky by nature. (hm, that would be a good blog name!) anyway, i think you made an excellent point. i'm still amazed by some of the crap some readers say in the review sections... i don't know, it sounds uber-cheesy but i'm always so grateful the writers write at all. many of you are talented (enough to) publish and here you are sharing your awesomeness with us, for free.
    what-evs. this blog rocks. keep on doing what you're doing...

  29. Hello,

    I had sent WTVOC a PM a few days back, letting her know how much I loved this post. I wanted to come here and give a show of my support, for the world to see. Damn, that sounded dramatic.

    The thing is, WTVOC had the balls to write what all FF authors were thinking, myself included. She truly took the words right out of my mouth, with this post. Well, and she added her snarky, and HILARIOUS spin to it. Reviews, according to both FF and Twilighted, are intended to help the author improve their writing. A review of simply "update soon" does not achieve that goal.

    I think that a review etiquette blog is absolutely needed. A lot of disturbing stuff has been happening in the world of Twilight fanfic, in terms of reviewing. In the most recent chapter of "Till Death Do Us Part" by Daddy's Little Cannibal, in the a/n at the end, she informed readers that reviewers were actually leaving her reviews that requested she stop writing, take her stories off of the website, and in one circumstance - to commit suicide. Yes, a person actually wrote her a review telling her to commit suicide. It get's worse - they wrote her a suicide note she could use. Is that really what we want the Twilight fanfic community to be about?

    I'm not saying there is a correlation between a review of "update soon" and a review that requests the author commit suicide. I just think it is incredibly important that everyone realize FF authors write stories as a hobby, in their free time. If you don't like something, don't read it. If you do like it, take the extra 10 seconds to let the author know why. Make your review count.

    I think that what WTVOC accomplished in her post is something that is incredibly entertaining and useful. For those that are strictly fanfic readers, it gives you perspective on what authors appreciate and don't appreciate in a review. For those that are authors as well, it lets us know that we aren't alone in our frustrations.

  30. Hi! I had to say that I find this entire blog to be well-written, intelligent, and in many ways stitch-in-my-side funny. This topic, however, had me shaking in my boots.

    I enjoy writing, but in no universe (alternate or otherwise) would I ever have the guts to put something out there for people who are not me to read. Yes, I'm a bit of a coward. That said, I cannot begin to describe how much of a hero each of you wonderful FF authors are to me.

    When I read this wonderful piece of witty etiquette by WTVOC, I actually quaked and went back to read each and every review I've ever left. My face went redder than Bella's ever could when I realized that I have, indeed, stooped to "please update soon." Sometimes, it's written as "I can't wait to see what happens next" but it's really semantics.

    In my defense, I often don't have anything particularly profound to bestow upon the author. I'm simply trying to get across to them my love of the story, and how much better my day is made by that little email in my inbox that tells me there is an update. It's my happy place. And I'm selfish. And I just love you guys. And I'm selfish.

    If I really had extremely overwhelming feelings about a chapter, one of two things happens. Either I can't wait to review (and this is where the lack of profound often comes in), or I wait, read it again, and really think my review out (I'm not saying it ends up any better, but I try).

    I can certainly see where "that was great" and "update soon" would get old fast. And I admit that I never looked at it that way before now. While I can't promise that my future reviews will be able to portray how much I truly appreciate you guys, I do promise to try!

  31. Thanks for posting this. I had absolutely no idea that certain things would offend people. I'm trying to think back to the reviews I've posted and I'm getting all embarrassed. A lot of times I just don't know what to say and I'm scared whatever I DO say will sound stupid. So I end up keeping it short and sweet. But no more! I'm going to try to leave more thoughtful reviews from now on. :D

  32. I've just got to say, as much as I agreed with the basic point of this blog, it horrifies me a bit that some are now embarrassed by the reviews they've left in the past. As a writer myself, I have to say that what may not stand out to one author can mean the world to another. "Update soon" may not win any prizes in the creativity department, but it says that you enjoyed a story, that you want more, and that you felt strongly enough about it to take the time to type it. I've been in the position of writing stories, putting them out there, and out of the resounding silence that followed, 'update soon' came and lifted me right out of the dirt. It's a great goal to want to be more thoughtful in your comments and will be greatly appreciated BUT taking the time to review for someone at all is in no way, shape or form something to be embarrassed about. So, on behalf of all the fledgling authors sitting in front of a screen biting their fingernails and wondering why they bothered, I say to all of you one line reviewers....THANK YOU.

  33. Hey ya'll. It's Lola here, or Lori, whatever you like. I just stumbled upon this gem of a blog, and have loved reading it.
    WTVOC- I love everything you said. I love it because you make me laugh, and you're right, and you aren't afraid to be outright snarky and bitchy when I just do it in my head.
    In the last chapter of SCOTCH when you and Jandco said that people were calling you Mother F***ers, i wanted to hunt them down. Truly. All you writers out there make me smile, and cry and laugh; and anyone who can be so MEAN as to say hurtful things like that, doesn't deserve to read these amazing stories. Because I know you all poor your hearts and souls into writing them.
    So, basically, I love "The Lazy, Yet Discerning Ficster" and I love WTVOC rules of Etiquette on reviewing. Mostly though, I just love you all for writing and making me smile!

  34. Oh how I love our controversial columnist! Seriously. WTVOC, you get tons of reviews on your stories and tons of comments on our blog. You cause people to write. How fantastic is that?

    But enough of my hippie cheerleading.

    This column is an opinion piece above all, but it is also funny as hell and I love what is to come from our Dirty Uncle. I think we all feel strongly about at least some part of reviews, on way or another.

    The internet is a fickle friend and what validates us can also bite us in the ass.

    Seriously. I am giddy that this column has all of these responses. Yes, giddy. Because I, for one, hope that what we do here makes everyone think a little more about writing AND reading. I am a little bit in love with you all.
    Most of you.

  35. oh, you. i'mma make it four 'cuz even numbers are sexier than odd.

    and hell, this whole embarrassment thing is just another clue to the clueless dirty uncle that she is, indeed, an indimidating and slightly unbalanced snarkeroo.

    i got so many reviews since this blog came out that said something along the lines of "i've never reviewed before, and i'm sorry if this sucks, but i'mma do it anyway". AND I LOVE THIS.

    not only does it mean this blog is getting readededed, but

    a) people are taking it seriously

    b) we're getting people participating in the fucking, community, man (and that's as hippie as i get aside from eating granola)

    c) i need to be less scary

    the next "rule" is ready to go, so you guys can have something to look forward to in the weeks to come. i'm less snarky in it, i swear. i never want to think that i'm discouraging people from reviewing, but after the overwhelmingly awesome and thoughtful reviews both jandco and i have received this week, i just don't think that's the case.

    you all responded to my gauntlet. there were barely any "update soons" (except for the one bozo who keeps saying "upload soon" because that's really just oh-so-much better), and seriously. there are some novels written up in there, and i love it.


    which is one of the many things i love about good reviews.



  36. Dirty Uwtvoc makes me feel funny and like i need to take a shower.

    Is this normal?

  37. I'm inclined to agree with Ava here. Though I can see the finer points of dealing with a multitude of "Update Soon." and various mediocre reviews that rarely serve as basis for improvement, I do love them all equally.

    I don't consider myself an expert, though I do have over 9k reviews for Wide Awake, and do consider myself very passionate on the entire subject. So I'm about to get all fucking wordy up in here. God forgive me now. Gail... get your replies ready, because the AG is becoming painfully verbose and a little vulgar. Fuck. On.

    I FUCKING LOVE MY REVIEWS! I'd be horrified if one of my fangirls saw this blog and thought to herself... "Oh, shit. I really suck! I don't even know why I should bother anymore since I'm clearly fucktarded and this bitch has over 9000 reviews already." Well. Stop. You don't suck. And I fucking love your "update soon" review. It makes me smile. So keep sending them, and I will keep smiling and writing to get them.

    I wrote an ode to "Update Soon" in haiku, all fucking impromptu. (This rhymed. RHYMED. Be still my heart...)

    I'm asked to update, short review yet I give thanks, sorry for the wait.

    Fucking deep shit, huh? Yeah... I can get all fucking haiku up in here too. You can thank dead inside for that. She totes turned me on to it. Did I mention I sometimes review in haikus? I do. It seems rather appreciated, even though I'm kind of haikufucked and am not very good at it.

    Yes. I'd like more specifics on the chapter. Quotes make me giddy, and I love humor. But you don't have to do a song and dance to gain my undying loyalty. Just knowing you liked it enough it want more says plenty and inspires me.

    Just sayin.

    I find that when my fic hit around the 3k review mark, I lost many of my faithful reviewers. The long ones who spent extra effort in conveying their feelings for the chapters. I chalk this up to popularity. They don't feel it necessary to spend time reviewing something that is so heavily reviewed anyways. They'd rather spend their efforts on reviewing the lesser reviewed fics. And while I can understand this, it doesn't make the sting any less.

    I basically hate to think of anyone feeling like their review is just another number on my long list of 700 reviews per chapter. Because this is so far from the case.

    I wish I could reply to each one to really express this, but I simply can't. It kills me. KILLS ME. (Insert Darkward quote from Christmas chapter and slap AG for making the WA reference when she should be writing her CPOV).

    And the fangirls... well... GAH! They do spend their time reviewing. And not even JUST on FF, but also on the LJ and Twilighted and even the weird knitter forums and facebook and mommy group boards, and fuck! I love it all. And not just because I'm self-centered and constantly seeking validation of my talent or lack thereof, but because I connect with them. I can't reply to the reviews, but I make it known. MAKE IT KNOWN. That I love them hard. I refer to them in every A/N, every MGU post, every Twilighted response, I always mention the love I have for their every word.

    Because let's face it... without the readers and reviewers... my fic would be sitting dormant on my harddrive, unread and collecting dust while the world of FF proceeded to exist in it's absence. It's really the readers and fangirls that made my fic. Sure, I wrote it, but their word of mouth and constant recs really MADE it into the popular fic it has become. They are the reason for the 9000+ reviews and no matter how meaningless those reviews may seem to some, they are still proof that the community exists, and feels the need to click that button with every read.

    So, fuck. Thank you. Seriously, I'm going to end up having to post this comment on fucking MGU or some shit, but I'll do it because that's how much I appreciate. Hard-fucking-core.

    And... I know I totally lost my shit on that fakeout A/N and bitched people out for requesting more, but you have to understand. This wasn't about reviews. You can ask for updates in reviews all day long. When they transform into rude PM's, then, and only then, will you invoke my fury. It's not pretty, but not necessarily merited for a simple review conveying your craving for an update.

    So... shit. I'm getting epic here, and though I saw it coming, I'm still sighing for it.

    Long story short (snort if you please), I love every review, no matter how short, how misspelled, how abbreviated, how crude, how vulgar, how sweet, how loving, or however fangirly it may be. I love them all. ALL. Even the asshole hater reviews make me chuckle. It's a slightly bitter and pained chuckle, but shit... it's more than I would have gotten if I had never recieved a review.

    Nuff said.

    In closing, I do hope you use this blog entry as a basis for improvement and not a discouragement from further reviewing. And thanks to WTVOC for offering her intriguing opinion and insight. I'm going to go hide now, and sulk for being so utterly haikufucked.

  38. I found this very informative pls update soon

  39. I hate to state the obvious, but I really can't help myself. If you are so offended by the reviews you receive, why not post complete stories? You certainly wouldn't receive annoying and ungrateful comments from readers about faster updates.

    You can't really have it all, I'm afraid. In this unique world of fanfiction, you are able to recieve instant feedback, quite different than the real world of publishing. If you don't want that instant feedback, then take the plunge and throw completed works out there.

    Just a thought.


Spread The Word