Why are you here?
It baffles me a little because there seems to be a fair few of you here - and presumably here because you want to read my fic, because nothing unrelated to that is posted on this community - but I can only pick out a handful of you who have ever bothered commenting. Only a fraction of the hits on each story (some numbering into several hundred) every leave their thoughts.
Why exactly is that? Are you afraid to comment or in some way intimidated? Don't you think I want to know what you thought?
I'm interested in what you all
have to say, whether you liked something about the fic or not. I'm not begging you for reviews, but I'm just confused as to what stops you from sharing your views on something you obviously have an interest in one way or another, or you wouldn't be following the community.
As a writer in a fanfiction-centred fandom, feedback is the only thing you gain from the time you spend working on stories - whether it's positive or negative (and admittedly, some writers take the negative with less grace than others) - so I would encourage everyone reading this to take the time to tell any
author what they think of a story when they're done. Especially if the writer isn't particularly well-known, or doesn't receive many regular reviews, because they need the most encouragement. You may need to choose your words carefully if you're going to go with some constructive criticism, but the points you make could help a writer with some potential improve their skill and eventually become a genuinely good author. Don't weigh in and slate a poor writer (and I grant you, sometimes there really is nothing good to say about a fic, but those times are rare) but give them your views, particularly when they're positive.
If someone was handing out free cupcakes that they'd taken the time to bake, you'd say thank you, wouldn't you? Take the time to extend the same courtesy to the fic writers you read and who I know bring a lot of you hours of enjoyment, because most of them will truly appreciate it; especially if you highlight the parts you particularly liked or think could be elaborated upon.
In keeping with the theme of the post I'm going to make a few recs of authors I think you should check out. They are mostly my friends and many of them act as betas for me, because we move in the same small corner of fandom, but I know they would all appreciate your thoughts on their work. Each of them is very deserving of your time.
untelling. If you can find them in her journal (she usually keeps them unjustifiably hidden away from the world!), untelling's stories are wonderfully characterised, intelligent and always sweet (even when angsty). She is currently working on a bandombigbang Patroh fic, which is going to be incredible and wrote several shorts for likethepaint's Patroh fic meme.
likethepaint. A really insightful writer, mostly focusing on Joe/Patrick but did some of her best work on a gen-ish Pete/Patrick piece for the 2007 Fic War, written when she was just 16 years old. Is currently working on a sporadic "Familyverse" in which her OTP are raising two children. All her work can be found catalogued here at paintedfiction.
heyginger. Hands down one of my favourite writers ever. Her Patroh fic BDSM is easily one of the best one-shots in the fandom (and she is currently working on a sequel). heyginger has a brilliant sense of humour, a knack for excellent characterisation (especially when writing Joe) and an extremely active imagination. Primarily writes Pete/Patrick.
mickety_split. Fairly new to the fandom and writing one of the few chaptered Patroh fics in existence, mickety_split doesn't give herself quite the credit she deserves and I suspect has a lot more work hidden away unseen. Extraordinary Things was one of those pieces, but turned out to be a lovely, well-characterised one-shot, focusing on the relationships that fail before Joe and Patrick finally figure things out.
I really hope you'll all check out these writers and give them your thoughts on their work, because they are all wonderful. That said, I would also encourage you all to be truthful about your thoughts and not blindly praise a writer who hasn't necessarily nailed the characterisation or put much work into the plausibility or depth of the plot in a story which would have benefitted from it.
There are some genuinely brilliant writers in this fandom who are mostly overlooked or feel ignored or that their work must be deemed poor, because they receive maybe two or three reviews per fic. I've known really good writers give up because they didn't think anyone cared about their work. I'd hate to see that keep happening - especially at a time when Bandom in particular seems to be winding down.
It only takes a minute or two of your time to leave a comment - try to spare a moment for each fic.