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Angry Xelrog's How-to-Creepypasta Guide, Part 2: Reading

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Last time, we covered some basic principles of writing a decent, not-terrible creepypasta. This time, we'll cover some basic principles on being a decent, not-terrible commenter on creepypastas.

"But Xelrog, I already know how to comment appropriately!"

Yeah, well, if that were true, I wouldn't be Angry Xelrog and I wouldn't be here having to write this right now. So sit down, shut up, and listen here.

Rule 1Edit

Don't be a dick.

This one's just plumb obvious. Don't troll people for reactions, don't post attacks on them or try to start smear campaigns, and don't call a pasta bad unless you're ready and willing to back it up with details. We'll get to that last one more in-depth come Rule 3. The bottom line is, try to act like you were saying something face-to-face. Pretend there's a real risk of getting punched in your smug face if you happen to say something you'd regret. That's the secret to being a decent human being on the internet, and one that too few people practice. Of course, if you're like me, you'll speak pretty freely face-to-face. But if you're like me, you're also not a dick, so this rule is pretty much moot. Seriously. Don't be a dick. Just don't be a dick, guys.

Rule 2Edit

Type decently.

Surprise! Turns out that rule about writing has an impact on your communication, as well. Who knew that the stuff they were teaching you in third grade was actually important. Imagine! Who would have guessed it would be the foundation for all of the knowledge and experiences you would gain throughout your life? It's so elementary! I guess that's why they call it elementary school, huh?

Taking the time to not type like a toddler with Down's Syndrome is just a matter of respect. Type like you would speak to someone in real life. Attentively. Especially given that that person is most likely a complete stranger whom you're interacting with for the first time. typing liek this all teh time... sends the very accurate message that "I don't know you, but you're probably not worth the effort of reaching a couple inches over to that pesky Shift key or taking two seconds to remember fundamental language skills." Not to mention it just plain makes you look stupid, and is going to make people take your opinion a lot less seriously. Which I have to imagine gets frustrating. But then, I wouldn't know, because I've always typed like a mentally-developed adult human being. If perhaps English is your second language, well then that's all right—as long as you're trying to improve. If you're not, then that amounts to making excuses. If your claim is that you're 13 or new to the site, however, that is not an excuse, because you've known how to write since you were 7 and human decency is not limited to any single website.

And all that's not even considering all the misunderstandings that inevitably result from lousy typography. But that's enough about that. I think I've made my point.

Rule 3Edit

Make your comments worth the while.

I'm not saying you have to be Roger Ebert in order to comment on creepypastas, or that people are going to be criticizing your criticisms (even though... well, they will be). This rule is just about saving your own time, as well as that of others. If you're going to criticize a pasta... actually, let me stop right there and explain something, first. Contrary to popular belief, "criticizing" something does not mean saying negative things about it. The word "criticize" means exactly what it sounds like it means: to be a critic. To assess or analyze a work as objectively as possible, and provide thoughtful feedback. Praising all of the things that an article did right is just as much criticism as is bringing up the things it did wrong.

Now that we've got some basic terminology established, if you're going to criticize a pasta, then criticize it. Offer thoughtful feedback, give details about what you think it did right and what you think it did wrong so that the author can either thrive or improve. And if you're not going to criticize a pasta, then what are you commenting for? "Awesome!" and "This sucks lol" are both entirely useless comments that 90% of people are going to skip right over. By posting them, you've just wasted your time and theirs. A comment that is nothing but a rating is also to be avoided, as it offers no useful feedback whatsoever... but we'll save that for Rule 5.

Rule 4Edit

Don't be a "tough guy."

This one is actually specific to creepypastas. Don't be "that guy." You know the one. The commenter who says "That wasn't scary at all" to every pasta he or she reads. That super-amazing tough-as-nails reader who won't shake no matter what you give them. That guy who no one is impressed by.

Let me say that once more. No one, anywhere, is impressed or thinks any better of you when you say that a creepypasta didn't scare you. Not one single person. It doesn't make you tough, or brave, or cool. It just makes you a buzzkill, and makes people wonder why in the world you're reading creepypastas if you find them so mundane and un-scary. There is a general understanding among creepypasta readers that no one legitimately believes any of these stories, just like horror movies. Even the ones that claim to be true, or based off a true story. People read them because they enjoy the creepy atmosphere and dark subject matter. It's fun. What's not fun is arguing about what is and is not creepy.

So, please. Don't be that guy. Let people who find something creepy enjoy themselves, and in turn, they will let you find whatever you find creepy, creepy. And if you really don't find anything at all creepy, well then, again, that begs the question. Why are you reading creepypastas?

Rule 5Edit

Avoid ratings.

This one's actually more just a personal opinion. That opinion being, I would suggest not adding x/10 or other such ratings to your comments/criticisms/reviews. Most people don't know how to use them correctly. Most people rate on a 6-to-10 scale, which defeats the purpose of a 10-point system. And if you are one of the people who know how to use a ratings scale, kudos to you, but they still don't really add anything to a comment. Meaning that, at best, a rating won't effect your comment for better or for worse, and at worst, it will be detrimental to your comment. There's just no positive outcome to using them, which, to me, means using them just doesn't make sense. But, do as you wish. People do lots of things that don't make sense.

This has been Angry Xelrog's guide to being a not-terrible creepypasta reader/reviewer. Will there be a third installment? Well, probably. But what about? Well...

That's a seeecret.

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