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Forum Etiquette

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Psychic, Sep 15, 2008.

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  1. Psychic

    Psychic Really and truly Staff Member Moderator

    We just wanted to bring a few notes to your attention. These are rules that have always been here, but don’t seem to get noticed.

    1) When Replying to a Fic:
    We do not ask that everyone always writes long, elaborate posts deeply analyzing the story – we know that not everyone knows how to. What we do ask, however, is that your post actually has some substance to it. A reply that only says something like “that was a good story” or “you did a great job” is SPAM, because you could essentially post these messages for any fic without even reading it, making them useless. If someone put in the time and effort to write a fic you really enjoyed, the least you can do is put some thought into what you say to show them what you liked, which is far more helpful to writers.

    To make a basic, rule-abiding post, there are three kinds of things you can say, all of which can be helpful to the writer.
    • What you liked or what you thought was done well.
    • What you disliked or didn’t think was done well.
    • How you think the writer can make it better.
    Now, you don’t need to be an in-depth reviewer to say these things. As long as you actually mention things from the story and give a basic opinion on them, you will be helping the writer get an idea of what to/what not to do, and you won't be posting SPAM.

    2) When Reviewing a Fic:
    The difference between reviewing and simply replying is how in-depth you go and whether or not you want to help the writer improve. Reviewers must also keep certain things in mind.

    Be polite, for one thing. No writer, especially not a new one, wants to get yelled at. It's a bad experience and can be a turn-off to posting on the internet. Be sensitive to the fact that new writers may not be very knowledgeable about writing. Explain things in a calm, polite but informative tone. Even if someone has broken the Rules, you NEVER have an excuse to yell, bash or in any way flame a writer. If you can’t review nicely, don’t review at all - you will get infracted.

    The point of a review is to highlight the good and help fix the bad. Include both the positive and the negative, and be informative and specific, especially when talking about what needs work.

    Thus, when pointing out the negative, your review must do the following to actually be helpful.
    1. Say what was not done well (as well as what was).
    2. Give specific examples from the story to show the writer what you mean.
    3. Specifically explain what is wrong in the examples provided.
    4. Explain how the writer can improve by giving tips and saying how it can be done better/properly.
    This goes for everything from grammar to character development – if you don’t follow all four steps, you are not helping the writer improve. Only talk about what you know. If you don't know much about grammar and say their grammar is fine, you'll feel quite silly when another reviewer comes along and picks out a plethora of grammatical errors.

    Not everyone can review, and not everyone should, which isn't a bad thing. Regardless, treating the writer with respect as well as sharing your knowledge is the fastest way to help someone improve, which is the real goal of a reviewer.

    3) To Writers:
    All artists post their work online for different reasons. Whatever that reason, you will have people responding and expressing their opinions. Sometimes, their opinions will be different than yours. That's life. Understandably, not everyone reacts well to this. However, you must realize that if you post in a place where anyone can see it and reply, not all your feedback will be positive. This is not a bad thing.

    If you post here, you have to accept the fact that some people may not like your story, and they will say so. This isn't a big deal – it just means that their opinions differ from yours, and maybe they see room in your fic for improvement. The fact is that even the best of writers can still improve their writing.

    If they explain what’s wrong and how you can make it better, it means they want to help you improve! Listening to what your reviewers say and taking their advice could make your story ten times better! That doesn’t mean you need to make every single change they bring up, but put in the effort. If you always ignore the people who are trying to help you, you won’t get anywhere, you won't earn any respect, and you will only irritate perfectly nice people who just want to help.

    As a General Notice:
    Please note that if you want a Mod to do something such as move your thread, close it or change the title, we will not notice it if you just post in your thread. VM/PM one of us and provide the link to the thread you want altered, or it probably won’t get done.

    And of course, for the record, please read the rules of a forum before posting in it. It only takes ten minutes, and doing so will ensure that you stay out of trouble and have a pleasant time here.

    Thanks for your time,

    ~Psychic and the Moderating team
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2013
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