The Proper Way to Write a Review
This article is a lesson on how to write a proper review for fanfiction. After receiving one too many reviews on my fanfics that seemed rude and inconsiderate, I decided that perhaps people both new to and familiar with fanfiction could use a guide.
With that said and done, on to some pointers. ^_^
For myself and other authors like me, it’s always nice to receive a review be it good or (constructively) bad. However, it’s something of a pain to click your review page and see ‘OMGZ that wuz soooooo hawt n awesum! write more!!’
I’m going to deconstruct that review now.
Everyone respects proper grammar and spelling, so it would be a good idea to use that when leaving a review, especially if the review you’re leaving isn’t exactly full of praise and adoration. It’s going to be seen as immature and somewhat like flaming if your constructive criticism is littered with chatspeak and a lack of punctuation. When you think about it, how can you take a person’s point of view into consideration when they themselves haven’t a decent grip on the English language?
The part that makes the aforementioned review example somewhat rude is the ‘write more!!’ part. It’s good to be enthusiastic about the author’s work, but ‘write more!!’ sounds more like a demand than anything else, which may turn the author off.
Rather than insist that the author write more, encourage the author to write more. A way to go about this is saying something like, “I really liked this, and would love to see more from you!” or “You wouldn’t mind writing more of this (genre, pairing) or more in (insert fandom here) would you? Your work is really good.”
Demanding fanfiction is also the case with this next review, which I took as-is from a review of a fic by someone else.
‘Great!!!! Now could you write a Envy x Ed lemon???? And no shape-shifting. Please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!’
Now this review is obviously pleasant and supposed to be praising, but to me (although I’m sure someone else out there may feel the same way), this review seems more of a personal demand than expressing a liking for what was actually written. The reviewer asked for an Envy/Ed lemon fic without shapeshifting, with minimal regards to the fanfic that was written (which was an Ed/Envy fanfic).
I would say that if you are going to request fanfiction from an author that you email then separately from the review. Authors always like emails, and I’m sure that there are many authors out there (including myself) that don’t mind considering nicely requested prompts for fanfiction.
Barring that, if you feel that you must include a request in the review, by all means, please express your sentiments about the fanfic you read. It’s very disheartening to receive a review that is nothing but a request for a different themed fanfic, especially if it goes something like ‘I liked this but (insert some sort of complaint here) so can you write that instead? Thanks’.
Not only is that rude, but it’s inconsiderate. What if, perhaps, that author put his or her heart and soul into the fanfic, and is looking for good reviews or constructive criticism? What if, perhaps, that author doesn’t like whatever you requested and has never had any intention to write that genre or pairing at all?
Another thing that personally bugs me is when a reviewer demands a sequel or a next part to a fanfic. A large portion of one-shots (especially PWPs, in my case) are written with no sequel in mind, much less a complete arc in store. It would be more fitting to ask if there will be a next part (‘this was awesome; is there going to be a part two? I would love it if there were!’), rather than command that there be a next part.
That’s all I can seem to think of, and I hope this helps someone. ^_^
You can send all comments/inquiries to kitanachan (at) gmail (dot) com. :3