Calling All Anonymous Flamers

Picture the scene: You've just finished writing a new poem or the prologue to your new story. You've poured your heart and soul into this new piece and you upload it onto FictionPress feeling happy and pleased with yourself. Then, you check back in an hour or so and find that your amazing poem/story has been reviewed. With anticipation, eager to see what somebody has written about your writing, you check the review. You read it and find, with disappointment, that all it says is something to the effect of:

"This is crap, why are you even on this site?"

And, it's an anonymous review.

Your confidence is crushed.

This is the sort of thing that happens to aspiring authors on FictionPress every day. It has happened to me and has most probably happened to you as well.

It annoys me.

If somebody doesn't like your work then the least they can do is post a relevant review, explaining why they didn't like it and outlining how to improve it and make it better. This is called constructive criticism, people!

It also annoys me, and many other people I'm sure, when you receive an anonymous flame. I think it makes it seem like the flamer is scared to reveal their identity or something. Flames are bad enough.

Now, I'm not bashing all anonymous reviewers, just anonymous flamers. I can understand the many reasons why people give anonymous reviews (not flames)

1) Several people just come to FictionPress to read and review. They are therefore not members and therefore can't give signed reviews.

2) People can't be bothered to login. I have been known, on occasion, to quickly leave an anonymous review if I'm in a rush. But I always leave my pen name and email address so if people want to contact me or review my work in return then they can.

3) People can't login. I know a couple of people who at some point in their time on FictionPress haven't been able to login because FictionPress has been screwing up. This has never happened to me but like I say, I know people who it has happened to.

4) Well, I can't think of any more reasons!

So, I can hear you asking the difference between a review and a flame. Well.

Review: A review is a critical evaluation of a poem or story. It doesn't need to be harsh to be critical. You can be critical and still be nice.

Flame: A flame, on the other hand, is a nasty comment about one's work which offers no constructive criticism and is not helpful at all.

If you have trouble reviewing then I suggest that you check out Constructive Criticism by Werecat99.

To conclude, it doesn't take much to offer a few friendly words to a fellow author and I would like you to remember: Flames are bad and Flamers (anonymous or otherwise) must be stopped!