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Let's Talk About Writing.

Feedback.

Let's Talk About Writing.

viggo and orli by jenlynn820

A forum for Vigorli writers to share, to discuss, to debate.

Feedback.

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Ben lounging
Okay, so. Feedback. Comments. Reviews.

I suppose that everyone enjoys feedback (apart from flames, that is - although I've noticed that in some cases one can learn from it!). But is it just nice to receive comments (in LJ), or is it more than that? How important is it to you as a writer?

Also, which kind of FB do you prefer; comments that let you know that the reader enjoys your story ("I love this", "yay, an update!" etc.), or comments that discuss the plot, and comment on the happenings of the story and the actions of the characters? Or is it all good? :P

Do you like answering feedback?

I know this isn't a question specific to our fandom only, but we're all writers here, so it might be nice to discuss it in any case :)
  • Since I promised... :P

    I'm not an writer (although I do write) and therefore feedback is the only thing that validates my writing... Really, if it was just about the stories, I can live them out full length in my head. Yes, I'm that good ;)

    ETA: yeah, the form of fb doesn't matter, although I, too, like the discussion types better :)

    Edited at 2008-02-17 14:20 (UTC)
    • How come you're not a writer? :P

      I understand the validation part completely; after all, you're sharing something that's yours, so of course it's nice to hear others' opinions and whatnot. I think I've become more greedy since I joined LJ - I still remember how thrilled I was when one of my stories got some reviews over at aff.net :P
      • How come you're not a writer? :P
        I'm just not. I happen to write every once in a while, but I'm a reader. :P
  • I'm not secure in my writing ability enough to say I don't need feedback. I live for it! I don't appreciate flames, because there is always a nicer way to say you didn't care for something or think something is wrong with the story than to get hateful and mean. Constructive criticism is okay. I love it when people discuss your story in fb. It means it made them think about the characters. But just to know they've enjoyed it enough to comment in some form is enough.
    • there is always a nicer way to say you didn't care for something *nods* Very true. And if you put it nicely, the writer is much more likely to listen what you have to say. I once wrote to a writer who kept misspelling Aragorn's name; I could have been nasty about it, but instead I wrote them a nice e-mail where I commented on the storyline and just pointed out that there was a recurring mistake that she could fix (which she did, btw).

      just to know they've enjoyed it enough to comment in some form is enough. Same here. I don't always need something detailed and thoughtful, sometimes a :) might be enough.
  • I love getting feedback, and I love giving it. As a reader, I like to let the author know that their story touched me in some way, and if it made me think, I want to let them know. As a writer, I write for people to read. I too can have a whole story play out in my head as I daydream, but I write so other people can share that, and if they like it or it makes them think, it's nice to know. I believe in constructive feedback and intelligent criticism, and don't mind getting or giving either.
    • As a writer, I write for people to read.
      I'm the same, though I have to add to it that if I just daydream a story, it's usually way too bland. I need the added incentive of people reading my stories to make them interesting.
  • I love all kinds of feedback, but I think I'm mostly sort of... too well known for people to be constructive any more. Being in TW is quite nice, in that I'm incognito enough to be treated with a little less reverence, as it were.

    I wish I answered more feedback, I'm lazy, and sometimes it's hard to think of something to say to "omg yay" two dozen tmies.
    • I'm mostly sort of... too well known for people to be constructive any more. That's an interesting point. (It also could be that we just adore it when you write VigOrli, and it'd be way too hard to come up with concrit. I, for one, usually can only offer a "SQUEEEE" so... :P) And I do think that the FB depends so much on who the writer is; well-known authors get more FB than those who are less well-known.

      I'm not good at answering feedback, and sometimes it IS hard to think of something to say. And I suck even more at leaving it! :/ Usually I fall in the category of "I love this so much, great to see an update", even if I actually had real opinions of the story.
  • i find it very peculiar not to get feedback of some kind. [i realize the the little au is not technically vigorli since karl's in the mix, but i do have some karl-less bits to it, and some stand-alone vigorlies around].

    I find it difficult to leave feedback sometimes, if i don't know the writer- it takes me a while to separate myself from judgments made because English is my first language [although all i have to do is try to write one of mine in Spanish, the nearest thing to a second language for me, and immediately my arrogance becomes laughable] or because my training is to write very tightly, but my temptation is to sprinkle, liberally, as many commas as possible throughout long, reflexive sentences.

    I also find it difficult to leave feedback if i have a strong reaction to something in the story- there are genre I won't read - abused or raped Orlando, for instance, or re-tellings of other works -Shakespeare, TV show episodes - unless I can be convinced that it's not just find-and-replace name-switching. I need to be convinced that either a) the RL person would perform this character this way, or b) the RL person would find themselves in this situation and act this way. [Here I run into the difficulty of not being very worldly- there are many, many television shows, plays, movies, books I've never read, and probably won't start just to read a fic- at least not until uni's over!]

    But even so, I find it helps me to read with compassion and interest if I remember how much feedback means to me on the rare occasions I get any; and writing good feedback- constructive, compassionate, and showing interest- is as much a skill as writing anything else, and something i'm still working on.

    Good question!
    • I'm glad you brought up the subject of leaving feedback, since that too is a big part of being in a fandom, and reading (and writing, too). :)

      writing good feedback is as much a skill as writing anything else That's a very good point! I should practise more, I think; both leaving FB in the first place, and then writing good feedback, beyond the usual "this is great".

      i find it very peculiar not to get feedback of some kind. *nods* For me, LJ has been a very good place to post fiction, but it has also made me greedy in a sense; when I posted my stuff on aff.net, I was beside myself if my story got any reviews at all. Now in LJ leaving FB is simpler, and to not get any feels v v strange.
  • I enjoy the giving and receiving of feedback. Though, it frustrates me to leave feedback, especially if I've discussed the fic in my fb only to get a thanks or :) in response. I suppose that's better than getting no response at all... it just makes me not want to leave fb at all for the person. I'll admit when I'm reading a fic written by two people I'll only respond to the one I know will respond to my fb. Makes me feel appreciated as a reader.

    As for receiving fb, well of course I love it. *g* If someone has taken the time to reply to my story then I'm definitely going to reply to them. I always feel horrible if I forget to respond to someone... but I always try to reply when I do find it because I think it's kind of rude to leave feedback unanswered (but that's just my opinion).
    • I'll only respond to the one I know will respond to my fb. I know what you mean. Sometimes it feels frustrating to comment on someone's entry and never get any reply back; at least if the author is responding with a smile or a thank you you'll know that they've read your comment :)

      I think it's kind of rude to leave feedback unanswered (but that's just my opinion). I'm on the same page with you. I think that in LJ, which is very interactive compared to any fic sites or what have you, it is important to respond to FB, and not just because many of them are on your flist, and you're likely to interact with them in the future, as well.
  • Knowing that someone is reading and enjoying my stories is very important. It makes me strive to deliver a good story, to come up with interesting stuff, etc. I can, as others have said, simply daydream stories too, but those aren't anything like what I write. When I write, I want it to be good. Not really because I want it to be appreciated, but because I want people to be able to appreciate it.... if that makes sense :P

    As for what kind of feedback, I love long speculative feedback the most, or when people tell me which parts they enjoyed the most (by quoting back sentences for example). I am happy about simple "I love this" or "yay, an update!" comments too, but the comments that show that the story or chapter really made it into someone's head make me the most happy.
    I'd love to get a bit more constructive criticism too, because I think it helps me to get better in my writing. That feedback though would need to be actually constructive. Telling me "I don't like that [character] did [action]; it's not working for me" doesn't help me much. It's a valid point, but I need to know why to see what I can do about it. Maybe I didn't explain well enough why [character] was doing [action]; maybe I didn't want to explain it just yet and it's a plot point though; or maybe the reader in question just didn't get the really big hint anyone else got, or they simply dislike my author's choice to have a character behave in certain ways (genre-dislikes for example). I'm not disregarding anyone's opinion, but to judge it, I need some details. ;)

    As for answering feedback, it depends on the feedback. If it's just "I love this" I don't know what else to say but simply "thanks" and it gets dull so fast to say that over and over. A tiny bit more in a comment makes it MUCH easier to reply to, and then I like replying to feedback very much.
    • Knowing that someone is reading and enjoying my stories is very important. *nods*

      when people tell me which parts they enjoyed the most (by quoting back sentences for example) Oh, yes. Sometimes there are parts that you just need to quote back to the author, and it's always nice when someone does that to you. A sentence, or a piece of a dialogue, or a description, it's all good.

      Complaints about characters' actions is usually counterproductive, imho; of course you can express your opinion of a character, but the writer isn't likely to change their story or the character just to please the reader...
      • Complaints about characters' actions is usually counterproductive, imho; of course you can express your opinion of a character, but the writer isn't likely to change their story or the character just to please the reader...
        Well, that was just an example :P But it still depends; sometimes, when a reader tells me that they don't understand someone's actions, it's making me think about the reasoning some more and I discover something new about the character I hadn't known before. I like to justify my characters actions, even if it's only for myself. That's part of the reason why I need to "know" about their backgrounds even if I never ever tell my readers anything detailed about it in the story itself ;)
        Of course, it's better if a beta already tells if you've been unclear it making people understand character's actions or other things, because changing or adding stuff is way easier at that point then after it's already posted (if it's even needed, because, as I said above, it could be a plot point to explain it at a later date... in which case a reader telling me that they don't get WHY something happened the way it did in the story is making me cackling in glee on reading the feedback *g*).
        When I beta for good friends where I know I can be totally frank, I have done that myself, up to the point where I start by saying "love the story, but your ending sucks." Mind you, that's something that definitely should be phrased much differently when we're talking about reader feedback instead of beta feedback. :P
  • not that i have any recent experience *kicks self*... but i love any feedback. especially the replies that touch upon characters and their actions and the reader does some assuming/analyzing. i just love it, because it lets me know the story or chapter really touched that person, and it also lets me babble more about my characters and i'm vain like that, because they're my babies LOL
    i always answer feedback, i can't not to. besides, i don't get 2 pages of "yay an update", and i actually think i'm lucky that way :)
    i don't think that was mentioned yet, but the most special kind of feedback is the one given months or even years after the story was posted. just having something old pop back into my life for a minute it takes to reply to that kind of feedback always makes me grin like a fool
    • yes- i've been writing long enough now to get the occasional 'newly-discovering' reader- and it's so much FUN - i too grin like a fool with that. xoxo
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