Leave a Comment: The Value of Commenting on Fan Works

Leave a Comment: The Value of Commenting on Fan Works

Fan creators are a huge part of any fandom. They create fanart, fanfiction, edits, aesthetic posts, playlists, AMVs, and so much more for everyone in fandom to enjoy across the board! Whatever someone might be wanting to see, there will more than likely be something that fits with what they might be looking for. Fan

Fan creators are a huge part of any fandom. They create fanart, fanfiction, edits, aesthetic posts, playlists, AMVs, and so much more for everyone in fandom to enjoy across the board! Whatever someone might be wanting to see, there will more than likely be something that fits with what they might be looking for.

Fan works and their creators are really an integral part of fandom, especially on the internet. Whether one is looking on Tumblr, Archive of Our Own, Twitter, or elsewhere, there are going to be a myriad of works to explore. With fan works comes the ability to reshare, show kudos, and like posts that you really enjoy. You’ve undoubtedly got a plethora of favorite fics in your list on your preferred fic-reading site, art that you’ve liked and bookmarked across sites, and playlists that you’ve followed on Spotify that represents your fave character perfectly.

One thing I’ve noticed across all the fandoms I’ve participated in and all the fan works I’ve enjoyed or created myself, is that there tends to be a huge difference in the amount of likes and reshares a work might get when compared to comments. Both likes and reshares are fantastic; they help show a creator that you’re enjoying the content they’ve made and help to share that content with other people who might enjoy it as well. There’s no denying that both of these actions are great to do, especially in fandom where creating content is really a labor of love.

But comments are something a bit more special. Comments are a short space for readers, listeners, and viewers of fan works to really show what they enjoy about a piece. You can write anything from paragraph-long breakdowns of what you loved to something as simple as “Wow, that was amazing!” Longer comments that go over what parts of the piece you appreciated can help a creator in the actual creation process, whether they’re writing a fanfic, working on a comic, or creating a new art piece. It lets them know what people are enjoying and, if they’ve asked for constructive criticism, it offers them the desired feedback to help them improve in their art. It’s a way for creators to really see what people are getting out of their pieces.

It should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: negative or hurtful comments are not helpful. These kinds of comments can range from unasked criticism to hatred of characters represented in the fan work. If a creator specifically asks for constructive criticism in relation to a work, I’d hope other fans respond in a meaningful and respectful way, instead of posting unsolicited and rude comments about pieces or the specific subject matter.

There can often be thousands of shares or likes on a work and a very small number of comments. There’s nothing inherently bad about that, but fan creators often appreciate comments on top of sharing and liking a piece! It’s nice to see that alert email that someone commented on a new or old piece and to read through the comment to see what someone has to say.

https://bisexualpirateheart.tumblr.com/post/177043656799/i-just-got-the-nicest-comment-on-an-older-fic-and

I’ve seen many a fan creator say that they’d like to see comments on their pieces across social media, and I completely understand why. Not only is it an acknowledgement and encouragement of their skill and effort, positive words can really make someone’s day. Seeing that people are enjoying something that you’ve worked on in any capacity is fantastic, but seeing that someone took the time to write out their reaction brings a creator that excited feeling almost instantly. Comments can be a huge driving force in the sharing of a fandom’s passion among fan works and that’s something quite special.

Now, I’m not saying that you have to comment on everything you enjoy that is fan-made. But the next time you catch yourself binge-reading that 300k fanfic until two in the morning, or find yourself down the rabbit hole of aesthetically pleasing YouTube edits, consider taking a few moments to write out a short comment with your thoughts on the piece, whatever it may be. You might just make that creators day!

Paige Lyman
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