I made the mistake of clicking on the “M” section of TBs fanfiction at ff.net. There were two fics there that I’d not seen before, and I decided to read them. Big, bad mistake.
I really should have known not to read the first one. The author misspelled “Tracy” in the summary, and when I read the first chapter, she was misspelling “Alan” as well. But I read it. I left her a piece of solid concrit, pointing out the specific errors, and praising her portrayal of the Hood, which was nice and creepy. A polite critique, or so I thought.
She responded yesterday. Here are excerpts:
“lol wow, you really didn’t like my first chapter did you…ok spellings; hey, nobody is perfect, sure i spelt them wrong, but there was no need to have a tantrum about it. It makes no difference to the story if its spelt one way or another, and i did say that its been a while since i saw the movie and the series. ”
“i don’t mean to be rude or anything here, the last thing i want to do is offend someone but i have to say this; just how boring is your life that you have to go around nit-picking on silly little spelling mistakes and punctuation, (yes i know that came out so wrong, please don’t kill me i really don’t mean to offend anyone, really!) ok i admit i got them wrong but its not a big deal because this is just fanfic, i have no plans of publishing this story its only here for my own pleasure and anyone else who’d like to share my interests and ideas. “
Honey, if you don’t care enough about your story to put some actual effort into it, then don’t try inflicting it on others. Post it in a personal journal or send it to your friends. When you put it in a public forum, you’re exposing yourself to the world, and you know what? Your mistakes make you look both stupid and illiterate.
If you don’t care, why should anyone else?
The other story was a “Fermat’s Mother” story, something that no one’s done an entire story on (Math Girl has approached it as part of her series, but it’s not the focus of the whole thing). It’s a concept I’ve been toying with writing myself, should I ever get Overtures and The White Winds finished. But the writer had a total Mary Sue on her hands. The characterization of the canon characters meant nothing to her; they were warped to fit around her character. I wish I could show you my first review, but she pulled the story down, so now it’s gone.
She responded politely, and explained to me some of what I thought of as problems with her character. I responded just as politely, and tried to show her what I was concerned with: her portrayal of Jeff as someone who would take on a young and relatively inexperienced nanny for his kids (a Brit, too, when he’s an American and could find someone just as good or better from the US) and her portrayal of Kyrano as a man who would happily put the lives of his pregnant-and-in-labor wife, Onaha, and his unborn child into the hands of a woman who had literally just walked in the door – and had “helped” to deliver a baby… once. I didn’t even hit on the fact that a 14 year old Scott not only found this nanny exceptionally sexually attractive, but the 20 year old nanny found him to be equally so. How this sex kitten ended up having a child with Brains, we will never know; she hadn’t gotten that far in posting her 20 chapters.
The biggest kicker is that her betareader – who needed a betareader herself, something that Hobbeth subtly pointed out – pulled her membership at IR Central in a little tantrum of her own. She had posted a “review” gushing about her friend’s story and how “someone” was taking it all too seriously. But once Hobbeth’s review hit the inbox, that was it. Cut all contact, burn the bridges.
As a result, I’ve sworn off leaving concrit for these newbie writers. I’ll leave that to the squeeing fanbrats who couldn’t tell a good story from bad one if their lives depended on it. (Yeah, I know some of them do review me, but it’s all the “OMG, this is so KEWL! Update now!!!!!” variety. Ego stroking, but that’s about it.) I’ll leave concrit for those who really want it and will use it, and for my friends. And you had better believe that if my kids ever want to publish their written works, before they do so they are going to have to go through the toughest betareader of all: their mom!