Sometimes writing fanfiction is so hard, you don’t have any ideas and you just stare at your screen for 2 hours. Then you give up and spent your whole day on tumblr.

And sometimes writing fanfiction is so easy, it just flows out of your fingers and even if you don’t know where you’re going, you keep typing and you keep having great ideas.

But most of the time, you have great ideas, but no words to describe it. Like you know where you’re going, but you don’t know how to get there.

Writing is hard, man.

This post gets me











Honestly speaking, if AO3′s cold culture had been my first introduction to writing fic? I can’t guarantee I’d still be writing it.

Livejournal was a lot of (mostly bad, towards the end) things, but at minimum it was a community of readers that were excited to read and talk about your work. Their feedback was essential to my early evolution as a fic writer. Absolutely essential.

So I’m not posting numbers in an attempt to whine or look for more attention. I just want everyone to consider dropping some Kudos if you take the few minutes to read the entire story, and maybe leaving a comment if you liked it – especially if you’ve read it multiple times. Many of these writers might not even know how talented they are, since AO3′s not the kind of place that’s very keen on revealing your worth.

But we can help change that, you know? We can all do something about it. We don’t just have to accept it as “that’s the way it is” and shrug it off. That’s how you lose writers. That’s the kind of lonely, quiet environment that makes someone facing a writer’s block instead choose to close up shop. Then you’re wondering why they never continued their epic series, when all they ever got were about 3% of people leaving Kudos and five comments for days and days of work.

And I just think that’s a damn shame. 

I’ve seen this discussed a few times recently, so I think it’s something that’s finally hit its limit with a lot of writers.  I agree that what’s hard about it isn’t just feeling unappreciated, or that readers are uninterested, but the silence that takes away a large part of how fic writers engage in fandom.

I know people are not short on headcanons, and they can write essays on symbolism.  I hope they come to understand these are things writers want to see, and not things they have to keep to tumblr.  If a reader can’t go into detail, a simple, “Great fic!” suffices.  Literally anything to let a writer know you heard them.  It’s appreciated.

Also, it’s so much more fun to feel like you’re part of the community that creates fic, and commenting is an incredible way to do that. I love the feeling of telling someone that I loved what they created, and hearing back from an author is exciting. 

It’s easy to be lazy and just graze from fic to fic, but it’s more rewarding to be engaged.

I’ve been having this problem a lot lately, and it isn’t a “omg whine no one likes me” sort of feeling, but just… for me personally it just feels draining to keep putting out work, to keep committing a little part of your creativity, a little bit of your heart and soul and a bit of your creative stuff out there, and not really knowing if it’s resonating.

And maybe it is just me showing my Fandom Age, but fandom for me was always about community, about engaging other people and writing fanfic was always a part of that, that there was a certain give-and-take with fanfic that you couldn’t have with Real Books or whatever. Which is why even now, long after LJ and fanfiction on LJ, I really still feel compelled to go and answer every comment, to not just simply acknowledge someone had written something nice to me, but to be like “oh hi you like the thing I also like the thing let’s us both like the thing together”. 

And I’ve had friendships that literally grew out of fanfic comments, that there are people whom I consider good fandom friends whom I met because I would flail in their fics’ comments sections and they would flail in mine and we would end up following each other back on LJ or here on Tumblr and it just felt so much more personal then, so much more like I’m writing not just for me but also for someone else’s enjoyment and not just because I really like carpal tunnel. Hell, I’ve sometimes been inspired by the comments to write new fic, because creativity doesn’t come out of the vacuum. It comes out of sharing and sometimes all it takes is someone going “man I loved that and it brought this other thing to my mind…” and suddenly the spark is just there, the “oh that’s awesome/awful I’m gonna write it”

I think feedback nourishes a fandom as much as fanwork does, that “yes! you’re not alone! you like the thing! I like the thing too! have you considered this other thing?!” drives creativity as much as any kinkmeme as much as any prompt call. 

I mean just yesterday, I was feeling exhausted, I was feeling like my creativity had run dry and there was just nothing coming out of the tap, no words no love no spark. And I was exhausted. Wondering if it’s time to give up on writing for a fandom, because I was getting hoarse from shouting into the void. And then I woke up to an incredible pair of messages from a reader, from someone who was reading an older fic of mine who was clearly enjoying themselves. And I won’t say it fixed everything, because feedback is magical but it’s not that magical, but it made me smile. And it reminded me that writing fanfic could be fun, that it could be a way of making things fun for someone else.

And you know, that’s really important sometimes. 

And I always wonder why people don’t bother to comment or leave kudos when they like something – AO3 especially makes it SO EASY. Like the box is RIGHT THERE. The button is RIGHT THERE.

I always get so excited when I see the number of kudos on a fic growing or when people leave comments! We write stuff because we love it enough to spend hours on character analysis and research and basically we’re all major nerds so if you liked it come talk to us! Please! It feels really good talking to someone that enjoyed our stuff. I met an awesome group of people through my fanfiction and now we all talk about that game together and it’s awesome!

If you enjoy the thing, reach out and leave a nice comment and you just might get a friend.

YES I totally agree – most of my mutuals on tumblr have been because they’ve commented on my stuff or I’ve commented on theirs and we’ve brought the friendship over here! So don’t be shy ^.^

I love all of this! Leave kudos! Leave comments! Your writer has spent days or weeks writing that chapter – give them 2 seconds of your time to click a kudos button or take 30 seconds to write a comment. It means so much to know that people are reading and enjoying our stories. And if you’re a fellow fic writer then you know what it means! Make someone’s day and save a fic – leave a comment! Tell your writers you enjoyed it!

Seriously, the emails I get that say I got a kudos puts a smile on my face for the rest of my day.


i love “a long time ago in a galaxy far far away” bc you would otherwise assume it’s set in an ambiguous far future but the first thing you ever learn in any star wars movie is that it doesn’t consider itself sci-fi so much as a Space Fairytale, and so presents you with the space version of once upon a time, in a faraway kingdom…

On Feedback and Perspective




Recently I’ve seen a number of posts on the subject of giving feedback to writers / artists / creators, and I wanted to add a few thoughts of my own.

First a confession: For the longest time, I was really, really bad about leaving feedback. Not because I didn’t enjoy the stories (I did) or because I didn’t think the writers deserved some appreciation (they do!), but purely because as a reader, I really had no insight on what it’s like on the other side of the “Comment” button.

Now that I have started sending my own writing babes into the world, I have a very different perspective (and am now trying my best to leave feedback on everything I enjoyed). So I thought I’d make a little reference guide on “What I (the Reader) Believed Writers Think About Feedback” vs. “What I (the Writer) Now Know They Really Think”. Maybe you’ll recognize yourself somewhere in there, too…

Reader comments: I loved it 🙂

The Reader believed: Eh. Why are you bothering me? I have important writer things to do.

But the Writer knows: I am so happy to hear that, thank you for taking the time to tell me!

Reader comments: This was so funny / sad / hot!

The Reader believed: I know. That was the point. Why are you bothering me? I have important writer things to do.

But the Writer knows: I made you have a feeling! I made a thing and it touched you! YesYesYes! Thank you for taking the time to tell me that!

Reader leaves kudos / comment on a story that is older than two weeks

The Reader believed: Geez, that one’s ancient. Why are you bothering me? I have important writer things to do.

But the Writer knows: Someone is still reading and enjoying that story! That is so awesome! Thank you for taking the time to tell me that!

Reader leaves kudos on every story in the series / comments on every chapter in the story

The Reader believed: That’s a bit creepy. Please don’t be a stalker.

But the Writer knows: They read one thing and liked it so much they read the others, too, and they liked all of them! Thank you, lovely person, for making my day!

Reader writes long, burbling comment full of exclamation marks!!! and emoticons :-))))) because THEY LOVE IT SO MUCH

The Reader believed: What are you, three? If you expect me to take you seriously, try talking like an adult, please. Also why are you bothering me? I have important writer things to do.


(Okay, so I haven’t actually had that last one happen to me, but I imagine that is what my reaction would be. Except I probably wouldn’t be quite so restrained.)

Anyone else have that experience? Feel free to add your own 🙂

This is absolutely dead-on accurate.  No comments mean you probably thought it was OK but not worth the effort to type something about the story.  Kudos are wonderful, don’t get me wrong!  But comments?  There is nothing like hearing something you wrote touched someone enough that they felt compelled to write something back to you.  Even if it’s “I really liked this.”  or “This was cute.”

if i see your name a lot i might write for you, writers are so needy, we’ll take anything that isn’t go die in a fire as a massive compliment, and go die in a fire as a minor compliment




  • Author got little to no feedback on previous chapter, thinks nobody cares and/or everyone hates the story
  • Author received negative feedback and thinks everyone hates the story
  • Author started another story in order to get rid of writer’s block brought on by WIP and is now totally consumed by new story, keeps staring guiltily at WIP reminding his/herself to continue it
  • Author’s real life suddenly got TOO REAL.
  • Author got seduced by another fandom
  • Author doesn’t use sofware that autosaves and lost most of the next chapter, is too lazy to rewrite
  • Author has sudden case of believing everything they write is absolute shit and doesn’t want to subject you to sub-par work
  • The story has been pretty much leading up to the next chapter and Author is now procrastinating out of fear and self doubt because they’re pretty sure they’re gonna mess it up
  • Author thought it was okay to lead into this one plot point, but due to feedback/further reflection, has now realised that they need to write another 3000 words to get there and is not emotionally ready






no but really, like 

i know that some folks love telling creative people that “you should be doing it for fun because you love it not for the compliments” but creative people thrive on feedback whether it’s critical or just complimentary

so when i write fanfiction and don’t get any actual feedback i feel like i spent all that time and energy doing it for nothing because i’m not getting feedback from the people i wrote it for 

doing something you’re proud of and then presenting it to the sound of utter silence is like the worst feeling on earth 

I know the feeling of this.

i like to think: what if you were in a play and you spend all that time learning your lines and your cues and going to rehearsal for hours and hours and being bone tired and then getting up on stage opening night and giving it your all only to be met with silence from the audience at the final curtain call. No one would question why that upset them.

An art instructor in my childhood said something to me I’ve never forgotten – that a work of art isn’t complete until it has been experienced – seen, heard, etc.  That this wasn’t just some abstract concept, but a visceral truth for the artist – that the work wasn’t DONE until the end result had been witnessed, appreciated, critiqued – whatever, it didn’t have to be positive negative knowledgable, it just had to happen as the concluding event, the final brush stroke.

Some folks who don’t get it go about thinking we make art or write fic because we crave praise or attention or fans, or even that some writers/artists thrive on negativity and drama (and to be sure, all of these things are true some times!).  But that’s too narrow an understanding of why we art. I think my art teacher was telling a fundamental truth about the psychology of creativity – that art is a communal experience, that until we share our creative work and see how people respond, we do not have closure on that work.  

Art is communication – and communication shouted into the void is frighteningly isolating. We need our readers our viewers our audience. We need to hear what you think. We need to converse in comments, answer your counter thoughts or thoughtful critique, we need the conversation – that’s what art is 🙂

Never feel bad for desiring feedback – it’s not some extra frill that exists outside of the creative process. It is a critical part of the creative process – and if you cannot find your audience in one venue, don’t give up.  Keep putting your art out there until your audience finds you 🙂

Yes: that.

I don’t make art because I enjoy it. I make art because I am trying to communicate. And if it fails to elicit any response at all, or I can’t even tell if anyone saw it/read it then I have failed, or will suspect I have failed, to communicate and I’m gonna feel bad about that.

Are These Filter Words Weakening Your Story?


After putting my writing on hold for several weeks, I decided to jump back in. I expected to find all sorts of problems with my story–inconsistencies in the plot, lack of transitions, poor characterization–the works. But what began to stick out to me was something to which I’d given little thought in writing.

Filter words.

What are Filter Words?

Actually, I didn’t even know these insidious creatures had a name until I started combing the internet for info.

Filter words are those that unnecessarily filter the reader’s experience through a character’s point of view. Dark Angel’s Blog says:

“Filtering” is when you place a character between the detail you want to present and the reader. The term was started by Janet Burroway in her book On Writing.

In terms of example, you should watch out for:

  • To see
  • To hear
  • To think
  • To touch
  • To wonder
  • To realize
  • To watch
  • To look
  • To seem
  • To feel (or feel like)
  • Can
  • To decide
  • To sound (or sound like)
  • To know

I’m being honest when I say my manuscript is filled with these words, and the majority of them need to be edited out.

What do Filter Words Look Like?

Let’s imagine a character in your novel is walking down a street during peak hour.

You might, for example, write:

Sarah felt a sinking feeling as she realized she’d forgotten her purse back at the cafe across the street. She saw cars filing past, their bumpers end-to-end. She heard the impatient honk of horns and wondered how she could quickly cross the busy road before someone took off with her bag. But the traffic seemed impenetrable, and she decided to run to the intersection at the end of the block.

Eliminating the bolded words removes the filters that distances us, the readers, from this character’s experience:

Sarah’s stomach sank. Her purse—she’d forgotten it back at the cafe across the street. Cars filed past, their bumpers end-to-end. Horns honked impatiently. Could she make it across the road before someone took off with her bag? She ran past the impenetrable stream of traffic, toward the intersection at the end of the block.

Are Filter Words Ever Acceptable?

Of course, there are usually exceptions to every rule.

Just because filter words tend to be weak doesn’t mean they never have a place in our writing. Sometimes they are helpful and even necessary.

Susan Dennard of Let The Words Flow writes that we should use filter words when they are critical to the meaning of the sentence.

If there’s no better way to phrase something than to use a filter word, then it’s probably okay to do so.

Want to know more?

Read these other helpful articles on filter words and more great writing tips:

Using the appropriate vocabulary in your novel


It is very important that the language in your novel reflects the time and place in which the story is set.

For example, my story is set in Italy. My characters would never “ride shotgun”, a term coined in US in the early 1900s referring to riding alongside the driver with a shotgun to gun bandits. 

Do your research! A free tool that I found to be very useful is Ngram Viewer


You can type any word and see when it started appearing in books. For example…one of my characters was going to say “gazillion” (I write YA) in 1994. Was “gazillion” used back then?


And the answer is…YES! It started trending in 1988 and was quite popular in 1994.

Enjoy ^_^

Find more writing tips at or buy my novels here  (#1 new release on amazon It fiction, enjoy!) ^_^