The 7 Worst Types of Fanfiction Readers
We've covered the dos and don'ts for fanfiction writers, but now we're tackling the big missteps to avoid when reading online. Are you guilty of any of these?
1. The Bully
Maybe they hate the main character or they're disappointed that the author hasn't updated yet—but whatever their reason, they've decided they have a right to be a jerk. Personal insults, excessive messages, or threats officially push you into harassment territory.
Don't be that guy: Keep your criticism constructive and never attack the author directly.
2. The Self-Promoter
If there is only one rule of e-reading, it's this: Never use someone else's work as a platform to promote your own. The Self Promoter wants everyone to read their own book, so they plaster it all over the comment section of other stories and on the personal profiles of popular authors. They see the successes of others as an opportunity for themselves.
Don't be that guy: Feel free to reach out to other authors and users you respect and ask them if they'd be interested in reading your book, but don't spam other stories.
3. The Faker
For one reason or another, The Faker wants to develop a good relationship with another author, but instead of taking the time to read their book, they go for the easier route: lying about it. Pretending to have read someone's book won't do you any favors. Not only is the lie a pretty easy one to see through, but you're also expecting something from someone without giving them anything in return.
Don't be that guy: If you haven't actually read someone's book, don't say that you did.
4. The Brawler
We all know the old adage: if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. The Brawler, on the other hand, sees the comment section as their own personal wrestling ring. Engaging with other readers is great, but The Brawler will start fights that aren't worth it. Comment battles are no fun for anyone—especially the author, who may feel forced to moderate the discussion.
Don't be that guy: If someone is getting out-of-line, it's always better to walk away.
5. The Passive-Aggressive Lister
Some platforms, like Wattpad or Archive of Our Own, let you curate your own reading lists or collections. But when readers create lists like "These Books Suck" or "Worst Books I've Read", there's a good chance the writers are seeing them. The Passive-Aggressive Lister uses lists to tell everyone exactly what they think of every single book they've read. While a recommended reading list is helpful to other readers, a bad reading list probably isn't doing anyone any good, so why put that negativity out there?
Don't be that guy: Stick to positive lists and recommendations only.
6. The Negative Nancy
We're all in favor of friendly criticism or expressing your feelings about a story, but don't be a Negative Nancy. When readers only comment when they have something bad to say, they can come off more harsh than intended.
Don't be that guy: Remember to balance negativity with the occasional positive comment.
7. The Ship Jumper
The Ship Jumper has that one trope or storyline that they can't stand, and at the first sign of it, they jump ship. They'll announce to the world how much they "hate this type of plotline" and that they are abandoning the story. These readers are typically making an assumption about how the story will go, and sometimes they're completely wrong. It's good to speak up over inappropriate or offensive content, but if you just don't agree with the author's choices, it's probably not worth making a big deal over.
Don't be that guy: Give any new plotline a few chapters before you give up on a story entirely, and if you do decide to leave, don't announce it.
Was there something we missed? Let us know in the comments...