Comments on fanfics.
Let’s settle down for a minute.
I’ve had someone ask me why it made me happy to learn that they’d cried while reading something I wrote, which brings us back to the familiar topic of Why In Heck Are Comments Important To Fic Writers.
Listen. We’re not needy or annoying when we ask readers to leave a comment. We are only being human.
Ever since you were a kid, you’ve needed praise and encouragements to strive on, you’ve needed advice to go on, you’ve needed to share things that made you happy with other people.
You drew your family for the first time? Quick, let’s run to Mama to show her the drawing and hope she likes it. You finally got the hang of how to crack an egg in order to bake that cake your brother is fond of? Damn, now you’re gonna crack all the eggs and smile at each victory, and then cry when the egg shell falls in the bowl and hope dad isn’t going to be mad at you for failing.
You think you finally did good on this math test? You did. The 10/10 in the corner of your sheet and the teacher’s smile prove that you did a good job, that you are capable, that you can do more. You hurry home and proudly show the test to your parents, or whoever else you hold dear to your heart, and bask in the praise. You are disappointed if it never comes.
You need them to acknowledge what you did. You need them to tell you that you did well, and then you need them to repeat it again. And it will motivate you to study harder, to make them prouder by doing even better on the next test.
Why? Because of simple encouragements. Because of feedback. Positive feedback makes you want to do more. It makes you want to go further, take yourself higher because now you know that you can do it.
It’s always gonna be the same in life. High school, college - you work hard on stuff, and when you do you expect to be praised for it. Hours of pouring over that essay have to become a good report card. Getting out of bed early every morning to run have to result in admiration from others. Working late hours have to make your boss notice you and offer you a raise. Because you deserve it, because you worked hard, because you need to know that your work is appreciated.
Now you’re a fanfiction writer.
You don’t get paid for writing this story. You never will. You know you will likely get very little feedback, even if you know your story is good. Yet you still sit down and write the thing. You take hours of your free time to go over what you wrote, again and again, losing sleep and gaining anxiety over it because what if no one likes it? What if I did all this for nothing? What if?
You still write it, because despite it all you like doing it, just like you loved trying to draw your family as a kid to show it to mom.
But when you post it - you need people to see it. You need people to tell you that you did a good job. You need someone to encourage you. You’re here, throwing hours of work into the Internet void for anonymous faces to read and hopefully enjoy. Unlike original stories, you don’t mention it to friends or family because of the fanfiction stigma, because fanfiction is considered less than original stories. So, really, the only way you have to know if your writing is worth it is the comments.
And kudos, even though they are appreciated, will never tell you how a reader feels. They’ll never tell you how someone, a real person, felt while reading your story. Did they like it? Did it make them happy? Sad? What did they go through? Was it worth it? Did you convey what you wanted? Was it worth it? Is this story worth it? Is my writing worth it? Do I keep going?
What do you think?
We only want to know if we did well. Because we are simply, painfully human.
There are no words to describe the feeling a writer gets when they see the mail notification telling them they received a comment on this or that fic. No words.
When you see that “please tell me what you think ! <3” in the chapter notes, please know that what we actually mean is “I would sell my entire body and suck Satan’s d*ck if it meant you could click that little comment button and actually write something down”.
Leave comments on fics, people. It’s not hard, and it means you will get more fic in the future if you so much as encourage the writer. That’s how people work.
Just tell us. Let us know.