I don't want anyone to ever think differently. If something I write sucks, I want people to tell me that so I can improve. But, preferably, I would also like people to tell me why it sucks. Was it the writing? Was it the plot or lack thereof? Was it the characterization? Did everything wrap up too neatly at the end? Did I forget to wrap up a minor plotline? Did it just not fulfill your needs as a reader? Any kind of feedback and criticism is wonderful, from the upbeat, 'I liked the way you characterized so and so' to the more downbeat, 'the story had potential, but it wasn't fulfilled. It just didn't go anywhere. Not to mention your grammar is atrocious.' Those kind of things I appreciate. (Okay, pretty much any feedback I appreciate, but those types of things I really, really appreciate.)
I got back from classes today and like an addict the first thing I did was check my e-mail. After deleting all the spam-porn-mails I noticed I'd gotten a review on my LotR's fic 'Sin'. So naturally I went to see what had been said.
This was the review: "Dude, you're freaking me out. If the real J. R. R. Tolkien read this, he'd. I'm not going to go there. Dang, you've got serious problems."
On the whole, actually not too bad. Not terribly inflammatory or even overly mean. And everyone is entitled to their opinion. But I was having such a good day and it totally rubbed me the wrong way.
Is this the first bad review I've gotten? Of course not! I used to get flamed all the time for writing GW pairings people didn't like. This guy (or girl) didn't even go and call me a 'godless heathen' and preach about the ills of homosexuality. But it's not bad reviews and flames that drive me mad, it's the lack of substance.
My friend, after reading the fic, heckled me and teased me by calling the fic porn until I was blushing, informed me of four misspelling and a couple grammatical errors (which I appreciated), and will probably not let me live this down until I die. But he gave me substance in spite of all the teasing and such, he pointed out grammar and things to help me get better. I should note that after he was quite done embarrassing me he said that he was proud of me and amazed I wrote it in three days.
I guess the other part is, I'm not Tolkien. I don't claim to be. It's a fanfic. I'm a fan, I write fiction. Is it like or as good as the original? Few things are.
But I had fun writing my the fic and I did say in the disclaimer that I'm sure Lothiriel is nothing like how I portray her. I gave warnings for all the things I thought might be offensive. When I put it up at a general archive I wrote [femmeslash] just about everywhere. The only thing I will admit is that it probably should be rated NC-17 instead of R (though if you watch any R rated movies on showtime, it's no worse than them), unfortunately, ff.net does not have that rating any longer, and I could still, in good conscious, call it an R rated fic. So I did.
As for me having 'serious problems'...
Nope. I'm actually a pretty happy, balanced, geeky individual. :)
Oh, and to end this on a happy note. The reason I was (and am) in such a good mood today: I got my prize (the signed Liv Tyler picture) from the contest that Sin, the fic in question, won. Ironic that.