When I woke up this morning I found that I had a few new reviews to my story The Smell of Submission. Now I don’t know about other fanfic writers, but my muse tends to really live off reviews. So of course I got on the website and read the reviews without delay! The content of those reviews led me to start thinking about the process I go through when I read both good and bad reviews. So I decided to share my thoughts.
When I get a good review my first reaction is a little happy flutter in my stomach that I have pleased my readers. (Have I mentioned that I am a submissive?) This reaction is usually followed by a urge to write more so I can please my readers more, and in turn get more positive feedback.
When I get a bad review my process is a little longer. My first reaction is to feel ashamed that I have upset one of my readers. This is usually followed by the urge to go hide and not write any more. Over the years of writing I have learned to push past this urge to truly examine the review to see how valid it is. The first question I ask myself is, does the reviewer have something constructive to say. If the answer is no I have learned to push that review aside and ignore it (mostly). The second question I ask myself is, if the reviewer has the same goals in the story that I do. Many times I disregard reviews because the reader is looking for a different story than I am writing and I have learned to recognize those times. I wish I could please everyone all the time, but the simple fact is, I can’t and I have learned to accept that (mostly). If the answer to my second question is yes, the reviewer has the same goals in my story that I do, that is when I really look at the review from all sides and consider how I can learn from it.
This is what happened with the two reviews I received this morning. Both of the reviewers had points and I realized that I was not making some things clear enough in the most recent chapter I had written. So in response to these reviews I decided to edit the chapter in question to make the story a bit more clear.
If you have already read Chapter 11: Harry’s Girls, You may want to reread it later today once I have edited and updated the content.