Reviewer: Pluto Pendragon Signed
January 23 2021
Chapter 1: Warmth in a Cold Cave
Hi there! I wanted to provide my thoughts about this story, but also about your writings as a whole. I really, really like your stories! Gentle stories are some of my favorite ones to read and re-read, and I really like the character dynamics in your stories. That kind of "evil to everybody else except me" vibe is really interesting. That's obvious in this story, but also in "Confiscated Afterlife" and "The Forest King." I like the contrast between the cruel and sadistic versus the cute ways in which your main characters interact.
Overall, though, I'm writing this because I want to give you one piece of advice:
Please be nicer to yourself and your stories!!
I can't help but notice, you seem to put yourself down in a lot of your story notes and review replies. Even in your bio, you preface yourself by saying you're not the greatest writer. You often start or end your chapters with disclaimers to that effect, like how in chapter 3 of "Confiscated Afterlife" you start by offering to edit things that don't make sense, and saying that things are bound to not make sense. BY doing things like that, you're kinda setting up your readers to fail by letting the know right away that you're not happy with how everything turned out.
Other examples. In the story prompt for "Ginseng Tea Symphonia," you say that it will have lame mushy dialogue. Mushy it may be, but that doesn't make it lame! Some people are specifically drawn to that kind of story, so there's no need to talk badly about it before anybody has even started to read it. If that was a joke, I totally get it, but it doesn't really come off as one to me. Also, in your gentle writing exercise, you say that you're not proud of it. It's harder to enjoy a story if the author is upfront about how they themself don't like it, you know what I mean?
Now, there's nothing wrong with being critical of your own stories, or admitting that there's room for improvement. I think that's an important thing to do! However, it's also important to celebrate your strengths as a writer. If you only ever focus on the aspects of your stories that you don't like, then I can only imagine the kind of headspace that it puts you in when you sit down to write some more. I can tell you right now- you are a very good writer!! I truly hope that you do know that. In fact, you're one of the authors I took inspiration from when I wrote my recent story!
So, sorry if this came out of nowhere, or it seems like I'm making a lot of assumptions about how you feel about your stories. That's not my intent, I'm just trying to share my impressions. To sum it up, I really like your stories, and I hope you will continue to write! If you do, you can be sure that I'll be reading. I hope you have a wonderful day!!
Good morning, Pluto! Your very kind reveiw needs to be updated with a Gentle tag of its own, haha! Apologies for the late reply, during my writing hibernation periods I still do check on my reviews once every month or two. Anyone who takes the time to come and comment on my stuff in this very tiny, niche corner of the internet, and even this website as a whole, certainly deserves my attention. You've put forth quite a strong note here, and rest assured I read and reread it while I had my morning coffee. Think about it this way, though. Before I even began to read what you wrote, I saw the block of text and immediately went on the defensive, expecting to get criticism. Of course, I was pleasantly surprised when I read through it and saw nothing but sweetness, but still. This medium is torturous for me. To assume a review is going to be critical before even looking at it, five star rating or not, something's wrong with the way I approach writing.
It's akin to the effects of alcohol, makes you feel good and then wrecks your body. That's what writing is for me, it's nice for a second and then it gets in my head, and I end up worse off. Currently, every unfinished story will likely remain that way. I may foolishly start another story in a year or less, as is typical for me. I'll be at work, an idea will pop in my head and stay there a few days. I come here, and share it in my own little avant garde way of writing. But there's a time limit to my stories. I have to hurry, because every day that passes is another day closer to some type of mental deadline. The juice runs out, I feel guilt for not finishing what I've started, and every nice review is another pang of guilt. Even a lack of comments hurts too, cause then I feel like no one's reading. There's really no winning.
Deep down, I am proud of some of my ideas. I'm happy to be able to type, keeping the typos to a minimum, and all that. But I feel like this isn't really for me. I come here for a quick release, to get an idea out of my head, and hopefully scurry off for a long time afterwards. And this perfectionist mentality I seem to have doesn't stop with writing, either. If I start to draw, paint, or learn literally any other skill, I get irritated with my lack of skill, or can't quite replicate what's in my head, and I abandon whatever I've started. Writing's easy, or, rather, typing is... I don't know. Make no mistake though, you've hit the nail on the head. I hate my work, and how it makes me feel. I'm never going to do a mass delete of my stories again, but alas...
I'm happy you, and others, enjoy what I type, on the rare occasions that I do. I'm even more honored that you got inspired by me, at some point as well! But frankly, I've given up on impressing anyone. Even if I read another story, and I like it, I'll get further discouraged because others can type and convey ideas much better than I can.
I'm not trying to sound dramatic, but this is pretty much the reality of my situation. My headspace when typing is not good. I'm my own biggest critic. And, maybe, my very first story got some pretty mixed reviews and set the precedent for this mindset. Others have reached out to me before, a nice fellow named Nothingness took some time to email me, once. It's really funny though, my usual day-to-day isn't usually depressing. I'm a pretty content person. But when I get to typing, or answer nice comments, I revert into a bad state of mind. I cannot accept praise of any sort.
So, I may return again someday like usual, but it's just a cycle. I'm the writer that shouldn't exist. Like having a tank, or some type of Paladin on the front line, but they enter combat already poisoned.
I can't stay off this platform forever, I just can't be on it for long periods of time.
I'm aware this has been a bit of a ramble, but I did need to get this off my chest.
Thanks, Pluto, I also hope you have a wonderful day, too.