Given the recent influx of blog posts whining about story deletions, I decided to do something I said I wouldn’t do: write another blog post about story deletion.
However, this one is different. This one is sort of a Q and A. Basically, I’ll write the common complaints I see in these blogs, and then write the logical responses to them. Sometimes the complaints will be in questions, sometimes not.
Also, in the “answers,” I might quote other users. However, they will be credited.
Some might say that by acknowledging these posts, it serves as encouragement, as the people who write said posts want attention. Well, this is sort of a way to counteract that. Rather than putting in time and effort to explain to someone why their argument is flawed, just copy/pasta something from here, or just link the entire blog post. That way, rather than actually put work into writing a well-thought out and logical, albeit angry, response to the offending blog post, you can just link this, and save the time and effort. There’s less arguing, less whining, and less attention.
Anyway, let’s begin, shall we?
Complaint 1: The admins are out to get me!
(Admittedly, this was written broadly, but that’s the general gist of these complaints)
Response 1: No, no they’re not. Keep in mind, I’m not an admin, so it’s not like I say this with some sort of bias or anything. It’s just, from everything I’ve seen of the admins, they don’t go after people personally. Sure, they might be a bit more helpful to some people, but that’s only because these people asked for help.
Let me put it like this: take two users, User 1 and User 2. Both had their stories deleted. User 1 finds an admins Talk Page, and posts a comment insulting the admin, demanding their story be put back up, and wondering why such perfection was deleted. User 2, meanwhile, asks in a calm and civil manner why their story was deleted, and what they can do to fix it.
The admin responds to both of them saying why their stories are deleted. However, the admin spends a bit more time with User 2, since User 2 obviously wants to fix their story. User 1 seems to not want to fix their story, since User 1 lives in a world where their story is perfect. Chances are, it’s not. No story is.
Also, I should note, if User 1 did post a story meeting the Quality Standards, the story wouldn’t be deleted, even after throwing a hissy fit on the admin’s Talk Page.
The admins don’t go after people personally, they just go after bad stories.
Complaint 2: Well, if the admins are so damn nice, how come when I submitted my story to deletion appeal, it was rejected?
Response 2: As far as I know, most people who submit stories to deletion appeal don’t edit or change their stories in any way. They just submit exactly what was deleted. Deletion appeal doesn’t work that way. You have to edit your story to get it up to quality standards, then submit it to deletion appeal.
Empy once compared deletion appeal to a test retake. If you get a bad grade on a test, and can retake it, you wouldn’t fill in all the same answers, right? Well, most people who use deletion appeal basically do that.
If you’re planning to use deletion appeal, first take your story to the Writer’s Workshop, find out what’s wrong with it, edit it, send it back, and repeat the same process until it seems ready to be submitted. Then post it to deletion appeal.
If you do that, chances are your story will be accepted.
Complaint 3: What if it’s a spin-off, huh? Won’t it be rejected because it’s a “blacklisted subject”? It’s so oppressive and stifles creativity.
Response 3: Blacklisted subjects exist for a reason. Basically, for a while, the Wiki was flooded with horrible spin-offs, sequels, prequels, and rip-offs of well-known stories. To make sure the Wiki had some semblance of quality, these kinds of stories were blacklisted.
Additionally, they’re not “oppressive.” If anything, they’re the opposite. If this Wiki allowed you to post any kind of spin-off of a well-known story, more people would be doing that instead of trying to create original content. The fact that these subjects are blacklisted mean that people need to be more original when writing stories, leading to more creativity.
Also, if you want to write a spin-off, there’s the Spinpasta Wiki, the multiple other Creepypasta Wikis with lower standards, etc. Or you could use spin-off appeal. But if you’re using spin-off appeal, your spin-off better be pretty damned good.
Complaint 4: The quality standards are too high!
Response 4: In my personal opinion, not really. The quality standards, when you boil them down, are:
1) Have proper spelling and grammar
2) Make sense from a plot and story perspective
3) Don't be full of cliches.
I’m also going to elaborate a bit more on numbers 2 and 3, because I think it might come across as a tad vague to some.
By “make sense,” it means that everything that needs to be explained is explained. In other words, it’s fine if you try a new and unique style of storytelling. In fact, I encourage you to do so. But just as long as it’s not full of plot holes and such.
Now, for 3’s case, I will concede that some clichés are necessary. However, by “don’t be full of clichés,” I’m talking about Creepypasta clichés. You know, bleeding eyes, “hyper-realistic,” interns, 666, teenager going on a murder spree, stuff like that. These clichés are overdone, overused, and, quite frankly, awful. There are, at most, a few stories I’ve read utilizing any of those clichés in a unique way.
I should note that one might respond to basic premise of the quality standards by saying quality is subjective. Here, I’ll paraphrase something Mikemacdee said (I won’t quote verbatim, mainly because what he said ruffled some feathers, and I’m not doing this to piss people off): basically, quality isn’t subjective. Something like the DeLorean can be liked as a car, even though it sucks as a car. Nowhere does it say that one can’t like the car in spite of its badness. It’s a poor quality car, but you can still like it.
Or, in other words, you can like something even though, objectively, it’s of poor quality.
Complaint 5: Deviantart and Wattpad don’t have the quality standards you guys do! I’ll take my work there.
Response 5: By all means, go for it. However, keep something in mind: the Creepypasta Wiki is a literature Wiki. That’s the focus of the Wiki. As such, we try and improve as writers here. One way to do so is criticism. You know, pointing out any flaws in someone’s story. It’s not to be mean, it’s to say what’s wrong so the writer knows these things for future reference, and doesn’t make the same mistake.
While Deviantart and Wattpad, along with the numerous other Creepypasta based Wikis with lower standards, might have some perks, they don’t have that. On those sites, they’ll say your poorly written Jeff the Killer fan fiction is 10/10. If you want blind praise, then sure, go for it. No one’s stopping you. But it won’t help you improve as a writer.
Now, if you want to improve as a writer and take the time and effort to do so, I recommend this Wiki. For the most part, people are pretty honest, and they genuinely want to see you improve as a writer.
Complaint 6: Spelling and grammar aren’t that important to a story (or, as it’s most likely actually written: “spellin n grammer rnt tat mportint 2 a storee.”)
Response 6: That’s completely wrong. Stories have been deleted from the Wiki just based on spelling and grammar alone. And, honestly, spelling and grammar are very important components of a story.
Bad spelling and grammar can hinder any sort of understanding of a story, mainly because you’re trying to figure out just what the writer is trying to say.
Also, bad spelling and grammar can just be plain irritating. For example, let me tell a bit of a personal anecdote:
I’m a Spider-Man fan, a pretty big one in fact. One time I was reading a Spider-Man fan fiction. The ideas in the story were clever, unique, and interesting. The only problem was the terrible spelling and grammar. Not only did it impede understanding, but it kept taking me out of the story. The typos were glaring and downright irritating.
A story is about immersion. However, it’s hard to get that immersion if you keep seeing typo after typo.
Some people can handle that. The Wiki, however, can’t.
These are all I can presently think of. If there are any more common complaints, please let me know. I’d like this to be as comprehensive as possible.