Monday, April 6, 2009

Reader'sSeries: Emmy

It feels funny to write for other people when you are a reader not a writer! But here we go anyways! I have always had a large appetite for the written word, devouring books at a very fast pace, and working within the Children's/Young Adult publishing industry for 8 years before I went off to Uni in a completely different direction...I first stumbled into fan fiction years ago when a friend emailed me a link to a fiction she loved of a TV show we discussed – I can’t know remember what show or what fiction – oops..

Initially I looked up all my favourite books and was really disappointed at the offerings of fanfiction, except for the take on Harry Potter. In particular the Marauder stories really grabbed my attention. I liked that there was so much unknown and unsaid with just a framework of what happened to them all, and there story was just so damn tragic… I needed something that gave them some happiness & some pleasure! ;)

Then my favourites stopped being updated so frequently… if at all with some of them… This situation was compounded by the film’s release date being bumped by almost a year. Running parallel with this one of my darling chums asked me – as her main peddler of quality Marauder (specifically Lily/James) fiction and M ratings – to find her some good Twilight stories. There were so many Twilight stories being written and she couldn’t forage the good for the bad.. DOH Emmy! I had never thought of looking for Twilight FF! major oversight there… So I looked & immediately found some really dire pregnancy fic’s – Harrumph! I snorted, there is no way that will happen in BD.. (yeah, that just shows how much I knew!) and then I stumbled upon Across the Airways from Isabel0329….. And the rest as they say is history. I was instantly grabbed by some of my favourite characters and their love story being retold in a different setting… My obsession with Twilight Fanfiction whether AU, canon or AH was fired.

As when I first began reading HP fics, initially with the Twilight fics I was almost nervous to review, who was I to invade a fandom? With the HP fics I eventually realised that the authors of fanfics felt the same way as the published authors I worked with. I knew that published authors loved to get feedback and interact with their readers and used this to develop their writing... Once I started communicating with ff authors - I couldn't bloody shut up... (as many will testify).

Initially I just wrote in brief - if I enjoyed something; this progressed to saying what I liked & why; and then boom!: - Chatter, chatter, chatter! Then came the hot potato of constructive criticism. Do you say anything? Do you not? & I tentatively started providing solution focused crit. Some authors never responded, or stopped responding, others responded more positively than I could have believed.. & some of my treasured friends in HP fic I made this way.. - Now I imagine if you are reading this you are die-hard Twi-heads but I am going to take a mo to recommend a couple of great authors for HP Marauder era tales.

Wilhelmina Willouhgby

So back to Twilight...

The taper was lit on my love of Twi ff, (& my obsession with Edward Cullen)... It was only when I realised that yet again I was being a selfish, self-conscious mare by not reviewing and I started to review Twilight fics, that I encountered some absolute diamond girls. I love getting replies to reviews - I cannot articulate why. But I like knowing that I have either helped an author keep going when new to ff, let them know that the reader got their message, or helped give them a wee lift on a tiring day. Review replies are always a lovely thing to receive (although I recognise its not always possible for an author to do so). You are aware that you are not the only reader of a fic, but it does make you feel as if your review counts... I soon became obsessed by quality, blooming marvellous, stories such as the heart-aching Lost & Found by Gemmabobella; the incredible The Bella Swan Diaries by Ninapolitan; Private Tutor by 4theluvofmary; My Love Shall Ever Live Young by Starshinedown and Secret by Twilighter620, amongst others (look at my favourites for other crackers!)... And all these amazing authors kept talking about the twilighted boards.... My interest was piqued, my obsession was still raging, was I ready to to venture deeper into a fandom than I had ever before?

Well, yes I was... & I have never looked back.. Almost instantly people were really lovely to me on threads, authors responded so well to seeing me on their threads (once my name confusion got sorted - Emmy on Twilighted & Pippapear on FF) and I slipped easily into banter with many lovely authors & fellow readers alike. I started mucking about & found that I was having such fun with other readers and authors such as the brilliant Love=Edward and before I knew it, I became a fully-fledged member of the perv pack (such fabulous ladies, are they!).. & that I was discovering more and more top notch fics through the recommendations of others...

I am notoriously mushy, and have a strong predilection for Edward/Bella fics. (But I do appreciate a well written Cullen-male slash fiction.) I can find angst hard to swallow sometimes, but the thread for Manyafandom's intense story The Arrangement held my hand through my pansy fear.. and I am now completely addicted to the achy angst in that tale... and now I try other angsty tales (even if sometimes, I do store up chapters to read all in one go so I can handle the pain - like in Vixen1836's epic Black & White where I am currently about 14 chapters behind to my shame..) when I wouldn't have done before....

There are other authors that I have brill conversations with through reviews and emails, bypassing the boards completely...(The delightful AnaG and her lovely Static - which gets better each chapter & who has brill things up her sleeve, and the smashing Hammond Girl and her tempting selection of stories.) So you don't need to be a member of a community to enjoy a fandom, I just personally got so much more by doing so.

I really do believe that if you don't review stories you miss out on so much. Sometimes author's give you sneak peaks, sometimes they confirm or dismiss theories, sometimes they can make you laugh and smile and sometimes you know that you have given them a teeny reward back for the amazing gift they have given you by sharing their writing with you in the first place.. If you are extremely lucky you might even make some amazing friends that enrich your life...( I am eternally grateful about that turn up for the books!) Yup all from pressing that little button and saying a few honest words.. So as a humble reader of fanfiction, I am telling you to read, read, read & review, review, review..

Author's Blurb by Ninapolitan & Guests

Emmy/Pippapear is one of those reviewers that you crave to see in your inbox. It's not the length of the review that counts (yes, I did just say that) but if it did? Emmy would be at the front of the pack.

I know how much Emmy reads, not just Twilight Fanfics either, she's big into Harry Potter as well and her reading list puts mine to shame (and mine is ridiculous) She is one of the few people I know that reads and reviews everything. She reviews the same way for every story, every chapter, every time. They're not the 'update soon' or 'this is great' they're extremely detailed, poignant and honestly she picks stuff up that you'd think nobody pays attention too. When I first started getting Pippapear reviews I was floored that someone took that much time to read my drivel but then to quote segments and explain why she enjoyed said chapter so much. At some points she's been so carried away in her reviews that she would run out of space or get cutoff and use anonymous reviewing or the pm system to continue her thoughts.
Emmy is a one of a kind reviewer, a good friend and a great person to have in the Twilight fandom. xoxo

Sometimes readers are short and to the point in their reviews and as an author, you're forced to ask yourself.. 'did they even read and absorb what I spent hours writing, or did they skim and move on?'

I've never once asked myself that after reading a review from Emmy. Not only does she process and feed back details/highlights from the chapter, but she also asks thoughtful questions and gives insight as to what a reader has taken away. Sometimes that feedback is critical as you may have (gasp) conveyed something unintentionally or hoped to get across something very subtle and need to know that at least one person 'got it'. Emmy takes the time required to leave thoughtful, insightful reviews that are every author's dream. Her cute Brit-speak doesn't hurt, either.

I will say that it is clear that Emmy actually READS the story. She points out exactly what she liked about the chapter and then comments on how the chapter made her feel and I just think that's fantastic.

Okay, my two cents. Called, How Do I Love Emmy...Let Me Count The Ways
Emmy's reviews are:
In short, while Emmy, in general, has an endearing quality to her personality, she conveys it wholeheartedly in her reviews and is always the type of reviewer that makes writing a pleasure. She always comes across as happy, polite, helpful and even excited to read more. So, as a writer, it's an absolute pleasure to find one of her long-assed reviews and it's humbling to know that someone who not only worked for a publishing house, but is a reader-extraordinaire finds my story good, appealing, and enjoyable.

She also manages to pick up the tiny details of a chapter that 99% of the other readers miss. It's apparent she doesn't skim, but actually throws herself into the chapters and absorbs what she reads.

I have a small handful of reviewers whose reviews I look forward to every.single.time, and Emmy is one of them. I agree with everything everyone has said. Her reviews are so thoughtful and insightful, hell, half the time she makes me see things that I hadn't necessarily seen, and I'm the author. :)

Emmy is probably the best reviewer. Not only does she review well, but has even emailed to add in other things she forgot to mention and other sweet words of encouragement.


  1. Just popping in to say I love the Readers Series. It is nice to remember that I am not the only reader/non-writer around. I know I am not always the most consistent reviewer but I strive to be show support to the amazing writers that share their work.

    I have so much fun reading this blog. :)


  2. I don't know who Emmy is, but if you see this, please read my stories and leave a review because this lovely ladies left me craving for a word or two from you! Hahahaha... I wish all my reviewers were like you!

    It's 3 a.m. and I can't sleep...

  3. I love this section, I really do. And I love to leave reviews I'm just not always sure how to. Maybe you could include some of the reviews this reader (and future readers) have left for authors so we can see what they love.

  4. StarLight I can assure you that if and when Emmy finds your stories you will have the same reaction to her reviews. I wish I included one in my blurb but alas, searching for them is difficult but I am sincere when I tell you she is someone that reviewers should model themselves after.

    Every review, every story, no matter if she's 'friends' with you or not is the same. Expressive, detailed and honest.

  5. Hello-wolvesnvamps here.

    When I really like a story, I will review it and keep reviewing it. I feel it is only fair as the author is putting out chapters and you have to give something back. And by giving something back, I mean writing more than OMG!!! or UPDATE NOW!!...sorry I am ranting again.

    Thanks for all the recommendations Emmy-I missed some of these and have to check them out.

  6. Nina,

    I know, every reviewer should follow her example... Some readers, and although I appreciate that they take their time to read my stuff, don't review and that's BAD... if they liked the story, and you spent time writing it for them, the least they could do is review... Readers, who don’t write, don't have any idea how much an expressive review means... I love it when I get a paragraph or two... and some of them, they even apologize for writing too much... I love to see what the readers think about my work and I know all the authors love that as well... And not for the sake of having X amount of reviews (because reviews like “Great chapter, update soon!” don’t help us grow as writers) but for us to know what they liked about your story, what they hated and everything... that's why I always encourage flames (I know some authors don't like that)... I take it as constructive criticism…

    Everything I read (fanfics of course), I review… and if I don’t have the time after finish reading the chapter, I put it on my “to do” list that I need to review so when I have free time I can do it…

    That said, I hope that if people read this comment they can realize what those amazing reviews do for us…

    KARMA… If they decide to write something… they’ll realize it…

    Anyway, I love all my reviewers! Don’t think I’m bitter or angry, I’m just stating the facts…

    And I think there’s something around here about reviews right? Is it written by wtvoc??

  7. Well in the Emmy journey Im in the part of becoming part of a thread, I hope that my experience become so good as yours, and I really really love review, thanks to TLYDF Im now a more conscious reviewer and I get all giddy when an author reply to me, is awesome and if I fell like that when that happen I hope that when I review they feel it to

  8. Aw guys, its lovely to read all this stuff! & Nina - a million thank-you's for putting me forward.. I am a lucky ducky!

    Thanks for the nice words my lovely writers! But I have to thank you for writing such brillo stuff. It makes reviewing much easier when you have lots of good stuff to talk about!

    Starlight - I will get to your stuff soonish - I am a wee bitty behind anyways - I saw you had some L/J Marauder stuff too so I will have to check it all out...



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