Blame the Writer

First confession: I write FanFiction. It's been an off-and-on thing for several years. {It's kinda started writing.} And right now it's on.

Second confession: FanFic reviews, however anonymous and fangirlish and utterly unhelpful, make my day. While in the throes of querying and trying to write some semblance of a plot, getting a good review on a fanfic is like water. In a drought. After a run. Through a fire.

Anyway, I got my first not-so-awesome review the other day. It wasn't bad. They didn't diss the writing, or the characters, or the plot. But they assumed something that I had not written.

My first thought? Write back and tell them that that's not how it was!

This isn't the first time this has happened. When Shelley-the-Awesome-Beta was reading a now-old draft of TWT, she noted a couple of things about the story. She had no idea that that wasn't how it was! And while she discovered how things were later in the MS, my first response then was the first response to the fanfic a couple days ago:

I never wrote Shelley {about that, anyway}, and I won't reply to the fanfic review with anything more than a quick thank-you.

Here's the thing: If something doesn't make sense to the reader, it's probably not their fault. Blame the writer.

I know. It hurts. But that's what happens when you write. It's your job as a writer to make sense. And if someone--the awesome beta reader, the fanfic reviewer, a blog reviewer, an Amazon reviewer, Kirkus--thinks you're confusing, you are. It's a customer is always right kinda thing. Sorry, but that's the way it is.

So don't respond and tell them how they just didn't get it. If you couldn't tell them in the book, what makes you think you can tell them in an email? No, the only way to fix this is to go back to your manuscript and make it make sense. {And if you're book is already published, make your next one make sense.}

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