I apologize because this post is more of a rant than anything else.
Yesterday I opened up my email and to my surprise I had a review of a fanfiction I wrote and posted online more than two years ago. And it’s not one that I left dangling and unfinished. No, it’s something that I had meticulously updated over the course of a few months, until said story was complete. So it was a little surprising that someone had just recently run across it and decided to leave a review.
Then I read the damn thing and was put into a funk for the rest of the of the day because it was not a good review.
Now I understand the importance of constructive criticism in regards to my writing, I do. And I welcome that. Definitely tell me if I have an established canon fact wrong or if my characterization of someone is off and doesn’t fit. Let me know if my spelling is wrong or my piece witches PoV with no warning.
But this review was not constructive. Honestly, it was a little bit all over the place and it didn’t make all that much sense.
Let me set the scene here.
A long, long time ago I was inspired to write a fanfiction which was a crossover between Harry Potter and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I’d read a couple over the years and the two worlds work surprisingly well together, though you kind of have to mess with the timelines to make it work.
My idea was that, when Willow made it so that all of the Potentials became Slayers, one of the Slayers that was activated happened to be Hermione Granger. And I set it up so that Draco Malfoy was conveniently around Hermione when she was activated and he also conveniently knew about Slayers because he’d stumbled upon a Watcher’s Handbook in Malfoy Manor.
So began a twisted web of Slayer Hermione and Watcher Draco and how they felt like they had to hide when Buffy and the Scooby gang came to teach at Hogwarts.
Now, my negative reviewer took issue more than halfway through my story because they could tell I was leading up to a Hermione and Draco romance. And I get that. Hermione and Draco are not everyone’s cup of tea. But said reviewer seemed to suggest that I was shipping them because I thought Hermione had a kink for redeemed characters (while they said she wasn’t into redeemed characters, she was into “heroes”) and they said that didn’t make any sense or else she would have been into Snape or Sirius as well. This shocked me.
Yes, in my story I worked to redeem Draco. I made him sympathetic and helpful and a partner who saves Hermione’s life on multiple occasions. I put thought and time into developing their relationship and yet this reviewer suggested that I had no clue how sexual attraction works and that she would in no way be attracted to Malfoy, apparently not even with the character growth I wrote. Which is a little strange since I know so many other Hermione and Draco shippers and that it’s a big thing because of the whole good girl/bad boy trope that definitely happens in real life. I had many crushes on boys in high school that were just downright assholes and very rude to myself and my friends. Yes, I know it didn’t make sense and wasn’t a good thing but the attraction was definitely there.
They also said that Hermione and Draco is just as unlikely and unhealthy as a Hermione/Ron pairing. Which I kind of agree with, I don’t necessarily like Hermione with Ron either and think the relationship wouldn’t work all that well in the long run but clearly this reviewer didn’t even like the story as J.K. Rowling herself had written it. So I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that they weren’t enjoying my take on things either.
But their questioning of Rowling’s pairings as well honestly makes me question a lot of things in regard to my mysterious bad reviewer. And I’m trying not to worry about it.