It will come as no surprise that our fan fiction writers enjoy hearing positive feedback on their work. Who doesn’t like people telling them they did a good job? We talked to our group of writers about what good reviews for their Deeks and Densi stories mean to them.
I’m cryyyiiiing! Gaaaah ;’)
Stories like this chapter usually make me roll my eyes and stuff but omg i swear that wedding is my dream :)))) i cannot think of any words to describe it.
Thank you, for translating love into words. I am forever grateful for this piece of writing, it helped some light shine through a dark moment in my life. I will keep reading and loving this story! Thank yoooou :)))))))
– Cerelacking on Bamie02’s “Smile Sunshine”
In general, many writers gain inspiration from hearing good things from their readers. “I love getting reviews. They really are the best kind of motivation! Especially when writer’s block has hit,” says imahistorian. “I received some wonderfully touching and complimentary reviews. The ones that are supportive of a story, original characters, or just plain show enthusiasm are really motivating.” Sweet Lu has “been blessed with very faithful reviewers. Receiving their kind words is such an encouragement, especially when I first began writing. They sustained me and let me know I wasn’t doing too badly, that my stories had touched someone out there.” For Belle Walker, “…pretty much any positive words from readers make me happy whether they’re just one word saying ‘Nice’, or if they go in depth about what they enjoyed about it and why… I always feel a little jolt of excitement when I see a new review posted- even to my ‘old’ stories that new readers have just stumbled upon.”
When asked about memorable reviews they had received, many writers named specific readers who regularly leave them supportive comments. “To pick just a small handful of reviews is so, so hard to do!” says thepixiesmademedoit. “I have been left the most wonderful array of kind, encouraging and supportive words, in some ways the people, the readers themselves are easier to pick out.” She provided a list of such readers, saying, “each has taken the time to leave me reviews for multiple stories over the last few years. Each review means something. Some could even be considered treasured possessions!” For Sweet Lu, “Receiving reviews from the same readers as they follow each new story is what touches me, and getting messages telling me they constantly reread the stories that touched them make it all worthwhile and pleasurable.” Jessica237 also pointed to the many anonymous reviews she had received, saying, “I have also received so, so many wonderful reviews from anonymous readers, and I truly appreciate every single one.”
One thing many writers get excited about is receiving reviews from other writers they admire. “Most of the thoughtful reviews I get come from supportive friends, mostly fellow writers,” says ZBBZL. “These reviews help a lot because they’re both a boost to the confidence, but also words from people whose opinions and talents I respect and admire… I’ve gotten thoughtful reviews by other readers, of course, but I think that some of the loveliest words I’ve gotten were from them.”
“To have your own writing quoted back to you in a review is a pretty special thing,” says thepixiesmademedoit. “Something must have stuck with a reader in a particular way for that to happen. What makes it even more special is when it comes from a writer whom you admire. Lindy [Sweet Lu] is a wonderfully unique and talented writer, and the reviews she so kindly leaves me always make me wonder if it’s really my writing she’s just read!… her reviews simply explode with kindness and compliments. A review from Lindy can make a girl’s day! She’s so generous!” thepixiesmademedoit also appreciates hearing from her beta, imahistorian. “…it doesn’t matter how many times she’s read a story before, how many drafts she’s beta’d for me, she always takes the time to leave me a review which blows me away.”
ZeGabz also loves hearing from writers she admires. “Honestly, when imahistorian read through my stories and started reviewing, I took that as a compliment in itself!” she says. “…whenever I saw Sweet Lu or imahistorian reviewing my works I would do a bit of a victory dance. I’m a bit of a fangirl. Every review matters, but good reviews from them are a special treat for me!… [The review below] made me jump up and down. Not going to lie.”
This was so tender and so full of kindness and I was moved. Your instincts as a writer are so pure that they sparkle in amongst the mundane offerings on this site. Thank you.
– Sweet Lu on ZeGabz’s “Just This Once”
Reviews contribute to the social aspect of posting one’s work on-line. Several writers commented on the friendships they had developed with their beta readers, as well as with other writers and readers. “Overall, the readers and reviewers (especially in the NCIS:LA world) are AMAZING!” says bookdiva. She has made several good friends through reviews: “It’s what got us started talking one way or another.” Sweet Lu also notes that “Through the years I have made friends through the reviews and that has been an added blessing.”
These writers describe many types of compliments they particularly enjoy receiving. Perhaps the most frequently cited is that they’ve stayed true to the show’s characters. phillydi most enjoys hearing that she “kept them real to the character and the show.” That’s also ZeGabz’s favorite thing to hear, “because that is often the most difficult thing when writing fan fiction. When reviewers pick up on the character nuances I try to incorporate, I feel very accomplished.” It’s the same for Belle Walker, who says, “The compliments that make me the happiest are ones that say I’ve portrayed the character ‘perfectly’ or ‘spot-on’, or that the reader could really imagine a situation happening the way I’d written. Even when I put them into oddball situations that we wouldn’t expect to see on the show, I still try to write their reactions and dialogue as realistically and in character as I can. And when I’ve worked hard on that and people specifically mention it in their reviews as something they noticed, it’s very rewarding to me as the writer.”
imahistorian says, “Without a doubt the nicest compliment I’ve received has been that Deeks and Kensi sound like the characters on the show, that I’ve been true to who they are. And this has extended to when I’ve written them in the future, as a married couple with a family. When I’ve been told that the portrayal of them seems like them, sounds like them, and is a realistic portrayal of them beyond the confines of how they are on the show, then I know I’ve achieved what I set out to do.” For thepixiesmademedoit, “the best compliment is simply being told that I’ve got it right, that I’ve formed a picture in someone’s mind that is just how they think it should be. That to me is like being a writer for the show- at least for a little while!”
Similarly, many consider it a high compliment when readers want their story to appear as an actual television episode. “Probably the nicest [reviews] are those that say they think it’s just like the show and that they wished it would really happen,” says Kadiedid. Tess DiCorsi observes, “Any version of ‘I wish they’d do something like this on the show’ for just a quiet conversation between [Deeks and Kensi] makes me so happy. People reading fanfic usually have a great affection for the characters and the program so when they think you get it right and write to tell you that– it is an amazing compliment!” peanutbutterer notes that, “Someone offered to buy me plane tickets and send me to LA so I could write for the show. I told them to go ahead and do it :)” A reader of thepixiesmademedoit felt the same. She relates, “I’ve had it suggested to me that I actually write for the show, which was pretty cool!” She also shared such a review, saying, “I wish I could have thanked the reader for this anonymous review– saying that they’d like to see this turned into a real script for the show, plus all the other wonderful things they said… kind of blew me away.”
I have read most of the stories on this website, back to when stories were first being posted for the show. If there was ever a script I would hope they would write for NCIS:LA this would be it. This is by far my favorite story. Masterfully written, your character development and plot are second to none. I had to read another time and post to you how much I enjoyed this adventure… Keep up the phenomenal work! All the best!
– Guest on thepixiesmademedoit’s “Natural Equilibrium”
Speaking of the show’s writing, some reviews are notable not for their positivity, but for the reviewer’s shared reaction to the show’s direction. For peanutbutterer, “the reviews I received for ‘Shift’ [a ‘Drive’ post-ep] were the most interesting. I wrote that while sitting in a cloud of anger and I think a lot of other viewers were experiencing the same emotion. The reviews for that fic weren’t so much a comment on my writing but a place for venting about the frustration a lot of people felt after watching ‘Drive’. It helped me to get that out, and it helped even more to know that there were others out there who were just as upset as I was.”
Jessica237 says, “It’s difficult for me to pick out just one comment that has stuck with me as being the nicest, because I’ve really been blessed by some of the reviews I’ve received. The subject that makes me want to stand up and do a victory shout… is from fans who have been somewhat dissatisfied in how the show has portrayed Kensi and/or Deeks over the past season or two, and then they review my stories and say that that’s how Kensi and/or Deeks should be written; that the way I write them reminds them of the KD they fell in love with back in Season 2 or 3 – that’s something that puts the biggest smile on my face lately.”
Then there are the entertaining reviews where readers let the writer know they have achieved their storytelling goals. For example, aslycsi1315, who writes a good cliff-hanger, says, “I love getting reviews and seeing readers try and guess what happens next,” or where “readers tell me how fun it was to read the story or write their review with so much excitement.” Kadiedid, who enjoys writing humor, says, “I have to admit, I really like the reviews that say something was funny or that I made them smile. They really make my day!”
Many writers appreciate hearing from readers they have touched in some way. “I love it when people tell me that I’ve stirred their emotions, that I’ve made them laugh, or even cry!” says thepixiesmademedoit, though she’s quick to point out, “I’d like to state that as a rule I don’t actually like making people cry!” ZeGabz shares her sentiment, saying, “Does it sound cruel if I say I love it when people say I made them cry? It’s an incredible feeling knowing your writing has touched your readers to the point of moving them to tears.”
Jericho Steele finds that such feedback lets him know he did a good job. “Emotions are sometimes difficult to express with just the written word and it is really gratifying when the reader experiences the same feelings as the characters are going through.” Belle Walker had one memorable review, quoted at the beginning of this post, “that said I was able to translate love into words between [Deeks and Kensi]. I have received a lot of reviews on the same story as well as other stories I’ve written, but this one has always stuck with me.“
Sweet Lu notes that “some of my favorites are when people point to something specific that touched them, whether it be an emotion or a particular scene or a certain line of dialogue… that is amazingly helpful and encouraging… it is the emotional responses to my stories that are the best compliments. To be able to bring someone to tears still surprises me and touches me and when people respond in kind it is an amazing connection. Those reviews are my favorites, because the people who write them, willingly share their own emotions with me. I can’t ask for more than that… some reviews have been quite emotional…some reliving their own struggles through these characters, making their compliments even more moving. If I ever get down about my writing, or stuck, I simply reread some of the reviews and the spark strikes again and I never want to disappoint them, so I keep writing and keep posting, although never fast enough for some. But, I take that as a compliment too.”
Beautiful! The true Densi friendship & trust demostrated so well. The absolute best part of their relationship is their strong support of each other. Knowing you always have someone to stop you from hitting the ground is priceless. Must however take you to task. You’re a terrible man. You made me cry like a little baby (while at work & not to be on the internet reading). Trying to hide large rolling tears are difficult- not to mention the snot (kidding, hope you smiled). Positively love this story.
– Tori Hart on Jericho Steele’s “My Fault”
Positive feedback can mean so much more than readers may think. ZeGabz says, “I think my favorite reviews are the ones where people encourage me to become a writer. I’m an aspiring journalist, and writing is a big part of my life. I want to make a living off of it, even if it’s on a different medium. Hearing that people appreciate my style and think I should pursue it as a career is absolutely amazing… I don’t think reviewers really know how much their words mean. It means a lot to writers when people take the time and effort to leave a thoughtful review or even just leave two words of praise! Reviews are like air for writers, especially fanfic writers, they let us know that there are real people who are interested in what we have to offer, who are willing to encourage or criticize us.”
So go out there and give your favorite writers (whether they appeared in this series or not) some wonderful and supportive reviews. You know they’ll appreciate it! And stay tuned for next week’s final(!) installment of Writing Deeks.
Want to Read More?
To find the stories reviewed above, follow these links:
Bamie02, “Smile Sunshine”
ZeGabz, “Just This Once”
thepixiesmademedoit, “Natural Equilibrium”
Jericho Steele, “My Fault”
Or, go back to the previous Writing Deeks, Everyone’s a Critic.
A special thanks to @thewingsofnight for creating the wonderful artwork.