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Ginger Snap [userpic]
Feedback
by Ginger Snap (earthwhatwere)
at August 2nd, 2006 (04:26 pm)
current location: Big Damn Writers
current mood: creative
Soundtrack: Amanda Ghost: Filthy Mind

I'm not too hung up on feedback. If I write, it's because I have a story I want to tell. Feedback is lovely and all that, and there are times when it can really feed the muse, but overall, I have to say that I'd write regardless of whether I got feedback or not.

That aside, I'd really like to encourage you guys to leave feedback for fellow writers. There are writers who are deeply immersed in fandom and through their writing we are all given a few moments of pure entertainment that we wouldn't otherwise have, especially in fandoms like Firefly and The Inside. If someone is writing a pairing that you like, but that pairing isn't exactly popular within the fandom, then you really should leave that person feedback whenever possible.

Sadly, writers get frustrated after pouring their creativity into a story and never getting any validation for their time and effort. Feedback. It takes just a few words to tell someone they did an excellent job. Fandom isn't entirely free, and it shouldn't be. Feedback can be the difference between a flood of great stories and a very very dry season.

Comments

Posted by: Liss (inalasahl)
Posted at: August 2nd, 2006 11:09 pm (UTC)
bnf

It takes just a few words to tell someone they did an excellent job.
What if they didn't do an excellent job?

Posted by: Love Doris (stormkpr)
Posted at: August 3rd, 2006 01:56 am (UTC)
Bushwacked by celestialfairi

Here's my take on your question. First, did the author say they were open to con-crit? If so, why not share some of it with them. Maybe start easy by finding one or two things you (sincerely) liked about the fic, and then offer some con-crit. The medicine will go down a bit easier if the message is something like, 'I really enjoyed the way you kept Simon and River so in character and your strong dialogue scenes. I noticed, though, that the fic contained several typos and would recommend you find a good beta. I also found the ending a bit hard to believe.' Something along those lines will go down much better than, 'What was with all those typos?? I couldn't keep reading it, despite that Simon and River are my favorite characters.'

You can also ask them if they are open to con-crit, if they do not specifically say so.

If you ask and receive a negative answer (or no answer), then it's up to you whether you want to keep mum or send con-crit anyway.

Posted by: Liss (inalasahl)
Posted at: August 3rd, 2006 04:35 pm (UTC)
serenity

I think these are very good suggestions, thank you.

Posted by: Love Doris (stormkpr)
Posted at: August 3rd, 2006 08:10 pm (UTC)
effing fly by angelite

Thanks! The only other thing I can think of to add to this is that even if you do encounter a story you disliked, there are lots of good fics out there. So you can always ignore a dud fic, and concentrate on feedbacking the good Firefly stories so that those authors may be encouraged to write more.

Posted by: Ginger Snap (earthwhatwere)
Posted at: August 3rd, 2006 04:01 am (UTC)

Then I imagine you can tell them they didn't do such a good job in as many or fewer words. As an adult, that's your call.

Posted by: Liss (inalasahl)
Posted at: August 3rd, 2006 04:34 pm (UTC)
ship

Yes, and as an adult, it's also my call not to feedback. Whether I like a story or not.

Fandom isn't entirely free, and it shouldn't be.
I'm curious as to what you meant by this.

Posted by: Ginger Snap (earthwhatwere)
Posted at: August 3rd, 2006 05:20 pm (UTC)

Everyone has the right to leave feedback or not leave it. I'm simply saying that if you enjoy something, take a few seconds to say so. Or not. Entirely up to you. None of what I posted was a command.

Fandom isn't entirely free, and it shouldn't be.
I'm curious as to what you meant by this.


The currency of fandom is feedback. Fandom writers are not writing to have their stories bought and published. This isn't more than it is--a group of fans writing stories in an effort to give the characters life beyond the screen. There's something very vulnerable about putting your words out there. The best you can hope for is that no one trashes you. It's a pleasant surprise to get more than that.

Posted by: N-to-tha-Kizzle (foodsthatcan)
Posted at: August 3rd, 2006 06:18 am (UTC)

If I think someone hasn't written well, I typically don't leave any feedback unless the writer explicitly asks for constructive criticism - and even then I may not leave any, especially if the number of problems with the piece makes feedback arduous. In addition, if the person doesn't have confidence in their own work, then I wonder why they're even posting it to the internet in the first place. A story ought to speak for itself. If I like the story well enough but find a part confusing, I might mention it along with the compliments.

My basic philosophy is, all fanfic writers write for the enjoyment of it. If I think someone has written garbage that they are proud of, who am I to rain on their parade? If the author is truly seeking improvement, they'll make it clear that criticism is desired. The other half of my philosophy is that positive feedback is the only way that a fanfic author is going to be able to measure their success in a more objective way, so I try to leave a comment if I read something that I enjoyed in some sort of way, whether it be story, characterization, prose, innovation, etc.

Posted by: Liss (inalasahl)
Posted at: August 3rd, 2006 10:03 pm (UTC)
ship

I typically don't leave any feedback unless the writer explicitly asks for constructive criticism - and even then I may not leave any, especially if the number of problems with the piece makes feedback arduous.
Yeah, I don't think there's much point in leaving concrit on a story unless the writer has done something really well, in addition to something less than good.

Posted by: Love Doris (stormkpr)
Posted at: August 3rd, 2006 01:51 am (UTC)
Adorkable!

I would just like to second what you posted. Very well put.

Posted by: Ginger Snap (earthwhatwere)
Posted at: August 3rd, 2006 04:10 am (UTC)

Feedback isn't mandatory, and if you really love to write you'll write with or without it. I simply know how easy it is for fandoms to atrophy and die. There are a lot of fandom writers out there who have no desire to write professionally. They write because they love the fandom. Sometimes it takes just a few kind words to keep those stories coming.

Posted by: Love Doris (stormkpr)
Posted at: August 3rd, 2006 08:18 pm (UTC)
Eyebrow by dodo31

Exactly. And given that Firefly is dead (I hate to use that term, but we ain't getting another movie or more episodes), fanfic is one of the keys to keeping it alive.

Posted by: Jen (jazzfic)
Posted at: August 3rd, 2006 07:15 am (UTC)

I agree. It's especially wonderful when it's feedback for a fic that's been floating around for a good while, not just something that on poeple's flist/recent memory.

Posted by: Ginger Snap (earthwhatwere)
Posted at: August 3rd, 2006 05:23 pm (UTC)

You know, this is something I'm bad about. If I find a story late, like months after it was posted, I may not comment because I figure the writer is off writing other things now. I'm trying to be better about it, so I leave a comment, even if the story is a year or older. Age doesn't dilute the worth of the story.

Posted by: Love Doris (stormkpr)
Posted at: August 3rd, 2006 08:08 pm (UTC)
DDR Mal from darklelliel

Age doesn't dilute the worth of the story.

I agree. And it is always a pleasure to receive FB months or even years after I've posted something, even if it's for a fandom that I am not as fannish about as I once was.

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: Ginger Snap (earthwhatwere)
Posted at: August 3rd, 2006 05:31 pm (UTC)

It's just my personal philosphy, but I feel selfish when I get a good fanfic story and I don't take the time to thank the writer. This isn't the same as writing professionally where an editor will hopefully buy your stories and send you a nice check in the mail for your work and creativity. Professional writers know how well their words are received by the size of the royalty check. Fandom writers have no gauge of the community's reception of their story other than feedback.

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