Saturday, December 5, 2009

Your reviews; a writer's replies

I'm a writer of fan fiction that is published on the web. As such, the system afford people to comment on my works, that is: to review them. And, many people do. I've received hundreds of reviews.

Thank you for your reviews.

I respond to every credible review. Even if it takes days. Even if it takes more than days. That is, I feel, my responsibility.

No, I don't countenance reviews that descend to personal attack or that savage my works, but yes, every other review, even one word reviews ("Gud", "MOre", "updatesoon"), receive a reply from me. One by one, even it's sometimes form: "Thank you for your review. I've received so many, but each of them means so much to me. Thank you for yours." The vast majority my reviews are substantive and substantial, however. That's a lot of work. A lot of work that takes me away from writing my story. A lot of work that takes me away from other things. You know: life (yes, I have one), family, work.

Why?

A reader's job is to review, but so few readers do review at all (my ratio is that 120 page views generates one review). Wouldn't be nice to the ones that do review receive a little extra love and gratitude?

Reviewers sometimes are sad little creatures that need to know that their little peep of 'gud stry update soon' was heard. Reviewers sometimes need that extra little bit of love ... so that they review another story of a writer who, maybe unlike me, needs that one review of her story to keep going on in her story, yes, but also in her life.

It is the reader's duty to review.

But, listen to me, please, you writers. Once you receive a review, it'd be really nice to reply to it. You know, really nice as in your duty as a writer. You could actually turn somebody's life around, you know. Or two lives, when that reviewer, encouraged, reviews another story. You could, with your reply, turn a life around, or save it.

You are a writer. You may a luminary in fan fiction. If so, please use your fame to keep doing what you are doing: sharing the love, both in publishing that next chapter, but also, in responding to that next review.

The same goes to you, writer, who has just published her first chapter and has just received her first or second review, but just has to get that next chapter out by midnight and it's quarter to. Look, somebody's reviewed your work! To her, you are famous. You know where the most 'business' comes from in industry? Repeat business. You know where most reviews come from? From a reviewer who's reviewed your work before.

Cultivate that. Tell her you are grateful. You are helping yourself, but, that reviewer, encouraged, may review another new up-and-comer.

Who won't be an up-and-comer if she gets discouraged at chapter 3 (right? where most stories die on the vine?) because nobody has read it or said anything about it.

You have a review, for G-d's sake!

Many writers don't. And your reply to that review could give another writer that one review she needed to go on.

A reader has exercised her responsibility in reviewing your work.

Now, it's your turn, writer: reply to it.

1 comment:

chrystellebelle said...

Excellent advice. I need to take it. I never know what to say to reviewers other than "thank you for reading", but I realize that even that much probably makes a persons day as much as the review did mine!