Agreed! I also agree with Spiced Wine: when I first came to this site I was a timid little reader, always too terrified to write anything and never dreamed that I'd ever post anything of my own here. Well, how things have changed. I consider myself a chronic reviewer now, there are just some things that I can't leave unsaid. If I think of it whilst I'm reading something I usually comment. Even if it's the tiniest word (I believe I once left a comment for L8Bleumr that consisted wholly of the word 'Yay'). But I love to let others know how much I'm enjoying their works and how I appreciate their efforts. It's little shout-outs like these that remind me I might think I'm being a pain in the rear but I'm pretty sure most authors won't complain!! So well done for getting it out there and I hope more people tell YOU about your wonderful work ~ Iri
Author's Response: Thank you for taking the time to read and review all of my little bits of stuff. Good luck to you in your own writing. I want to and plan to read you too!
Oh, I absolutely agree that pats on the back are wonderful! I think that what I was attempting to convey was that EVERY positive review means something to the author. If it's just a 'You're great. Keep writing!", that still manages to put a smile on my face every time. I really appreciate those reviews and I would hope that EVERY reader would take the time to do that. But the reviews that I look back on and smile at the most are the ones that are critical of my work in a "Some of this was iffy. You might want to change X, Y, and Z. But keep going anyways!" way, you know?
I hope that that did a better job of expressing my opinion...
Author's Response: you cleared it up nicely
I so very much appreciate this, Lisse.
When I first began posting a year ago, I remember going weeks without a single review. And when at last I would receive one, I would be so utterly ecstatic. Like, jumping up and down, singing to myself, blushing ecstatic.
I've mellowed a bit since then, but a comment (especially the constructive ones that really make you think hard about your writing. In the end, the harsher reviews are the ones that make you stronger...) still manages to speed up my heart a little.
The only way authors can truly grow is to receive honest, meaningful criticism from their readers.
Thank you! -Whisper
Author's Response: Well that is true, but is it not wonderful to get a pat on the back also. You do far more right than wrong. wouldn't it be nice to be told that?
I absolutely agree with you, Lisse. I always see several wonderful works out there like you said which have only a couple reviews. Recently I found this fabulous story over on fanfiction.net which had maybe about three reviews while the story had twenty and those reviews were only for the first chapter... which really made me sad... so I left a review and told her how wonderful she was doing and how unique and breathtaking her writing is... Come to think of it, I was planning the other day to add several notable works from other authors to my bio because honestly, people never really look at anyone favorites... I jusk gotta figure out how the hyperlink works here. But for now I highly recommend White Wolf's work to anyone who is interested in reading a great thriller and Scribetothehighking's May It Be which is fascinating beyond my imagination... Once again, nice work getting this out to people. I noticed that lots of people reviewed so hopefully now all that labor will finally be rewarded.
Author's Response: Thanks for the recommendations. I’ve found a lot of my favorites following other peoples reviews.Always a delight to hear from you.
I myself do not write but I'm very greatful to all these great authors whose stories sometimes make my day. So I try to review all the stories I read, sometimes I comment on single chapters, sometimes I'm swept away with the story and can't wait to gon to the next chapter.
When I found this site, I was to timid to review, but at some point I read a similar essay as yours and realized that my opinion and thanks are hoped for. That brought on my first review and with time I experienced something similar as Spiced Wine - stories that really touch me, I have to review.
Author's Response: Thank you so much reviewing those that touch you.
I will always review, if I read something that triggers a knee-jerk review, as I call them. When I first joined the site I did not review, as the stories I was lucky enough to find (and whose authors I have since come to know on LiveJournal) were so good that they intimidated me. I have only met one published author, and I was very glad that I thanked him for his work and the pleasure it had given me, as he died suddenly only a year or two later. It took a huge effort for me to go into a crowded place and more to get the courage to speak to him. But he was lovely, and so are the authors I have reviewed. I didn't realize how much reviews meant to them until some of them contacted me both via the respond facility and also my contact button to thank me.
I am a great believer in supporting the authors I read and admire in any way I can, especially as they have the conviction and courage to write *outside the box*. They write AU's, or slash, a couple write the much-maligned OFC's, but they write them superbly.
The Tolkien fandom can be remarkably petty and hateful toward slash and AU writers, I say remarkably, because one would think any reader who enjoyed Tolkien's works would be able to comprehend the epic scale of them, and have their own *epic* mind-set.
I came into fanfic wanting and expecting to read how people *transformed* Middle-earth, how they took it and made it their own. I did not want more Tolkien, I'd had 20 years of that, I wanted Alternative Arda. And I found it, but those people write on the edge, attracting hate, yet they are mature, talented authors and very nice people. They have given me so much pleasure in reading, indeed made me run the whole gamut of emotions from grief to hate to love, to pity (which is the hallmark of good writing to me.) How could I *not* support them or tell them how a chapter affected me? After all, for no money and no recognition, they are giving me what I want, and I am thrilled by that. That's why I make podcasts and have my Writers of Excellence list. I want to support and encourage these people.
I think the majority of readers do not review, to be honest. Some cannot be bothered to join a site to review, others may not know what to say as I did not for about four months. But I am a 'knee-jerk' reviewer; if I read something that touches my emotions in any way, I have to review at once, to let all that emotion flow into words to the author. I could not possibly read something I liked and say nothing when I become so passionate about the writing.
Write with passion, read with passion, and review with passion. In fact I think all the stories I love have that in common: the author writes with true passion, love for her characters and the story. It has to be like that. If the author does not feel like that about what they write, the reader will not. And I immediately pick up on that passion and add my own to it. I *have* to review, simple as that. I have to tell the authors how I feel. It's not only good manners, it's vital to me to publicly show some-one that I love their work.
Author's Response: As I do my own reviews I notice yours every place. I never really gave any thought that someone may be too intimidated to post, but Kit Otter said the same thing. As difficult as it is for me to ever post any writing, it has never been difficult for me to review. You are a great encouragement to fellow authors and we are all grateful for that.
I know you speak for so many of us when you write this! I have seen a person with over a dozen chapters written out, and not a single review! It is very depressing, and I try to read them just so I can say something! It really does make people's days when they are "reviewed". Thank you for writing this and sharing your thoughts because I know so many of us feel the same exact way. =)
Author's Response: You are most welcome. Like Spiced Wine said, "how can I not review." You young authors are the future of fan fiction and I want to do all I can to keep you encouraged. Again I have to go back to what spiced wine says, it's all about passion. For you younger authors great quality will come in time. But passion is why we do this and it shows all over your work and that is why I love you so much.
This thought actually struck me today: I've read hundreds of novels and never once let the author know how I enjoyed them... but with fanfiction I can instantaneously leave the author a short note. It’s a strange, this new world! :) But I guess it’s hard to get out of the passive reading mindset because I was afraid to review for years. 'Review' sounded so official, like it was only for the few qualified. I finally did and the first time an author responded to me I was terrified! Now I don’t know what I’d do without the little review boxes; all my best friends were met through ‘em. Thank you for sharing this... it was quite thought-stirring! :)
Author's Response: You are not only an entertaining author, you are an encouragement to so many. I love your writing and I'm so glad you are here!
I wrote something similar not too long ago. I totally agree with you. I try to review everything I read at least once. There is nothing better than having an author respond with their appreciation. Sometimes I have been one of their only reviewers. I am a musician too and I have played in a smokey bar at 2 am for only 5 people. Yea it sucks but you keep plugging along. But without feedback, you don't know if your doing your best. I am grateful for every one of my readers but especially my reviewers. They make me smile, make me laugh and keep me going with their encouraging words, especially when my muses go on vacation.
Author's Response: You are such a faithful person and offer encouragement to so many. We are grateful for you