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Feedbacking fic. Or not.
Macbook & writing
only_more_love
I won't beg or blackmail for comments on fic, but it does bother me that so few people share their thoughts on stories.  The ratio of feedback to reads, alerts, and favorites is rather appalling -- not in an objective sense, of course.  There is a universe of reasons why people read without commenting; I know that.  And I don't dwell on the fact that so many read with semi-invisibility.  But if I'm being completely honest, and right now I am, it does sadden me.
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I've been horrible at giving feedback lately - and I don't really know why. I know exactly how important and valuable it is to an author... and I've been reading more fic lately than I have in a while. So I guess it's just me being lazy and inconsiderate... I will try to do better! :)

:) Hope it's evident that my post wasn't directed at any particular person. Nor was I trying to chastise anyone. I was just thinking outloud and stating how I feel at this particular moment. If YOU feel you want to leave feedback, then that's what you should do. If not, you shouldn't.

This issue is only a minor annoyance for me, and I'm not losing any sleep over it. It's just a subject that tends to reappear every so often for fic writers -- or maybe just for me! *g* There's no reason to expect there'll be any kind of resolution or change. I'm sure I or someone on my f-list will revisit the topic within the next 6 months. ;)

*hugs* Thanks for engaging.

Every author knows that this is always an issue. Story alerts without a review, favourite story votes without a review (that's the one that always gets me... I understand that you might think a story is worth watching but not want to comment yet, but if it's a favourite, drop us a line!), favourite author votes and you have no idea what, if any, stories they have read. I don't read that much, but I do try to leave a review because I'm so familiar with this issue. Feedback is lifeblood to an author, and how can you get better with no constructive criticism?

It's usually in the single digits the percentage of reviews vs. hits. It's been like this since day one and I don't see it changing at all. Unfortunately...

I understand that you might think a story is worth watching but not want to comment yet, but if it's a favourite, drop us a line!

IKR??!

Oh, LSQ, I know you understand. No author is an island... Thanks for commiserating with me. ♥

It's been like this since day one and I don't see it changing at all.

*nods head till said head falls off* There's no resolution here; it just IS. Every so often we shake our heads and discuss it, and that's that. *g*


if i read it, i'll comment! =)

That's great. I'm sure I'm not the only writer who's grateful that you do that. :) *hugs*

oldie but a goodie. I know it doesn't necessarily apply to ff.net to the same extent but "People like lurking, yo" is probably a sad but accurate summation of that too. :\

*smooch*

Haha I am pretty sure I've read that post before. Yes, people do like lurking, and that really is OK. I'm not the arbiter of right and wrong, and like I said in the post, I know there are a TON of reasons why people don't comment. So I'm not really looking for an explanation; I was just writing about what happened to be on my mind at that moment -- and how I felt about it.

Nothing's going to change in this area; it's just a topic that surfaces and resurfaces every so often. :)

If I favourite or alert a fic I ALWAYS review because, like you, despite trying to remain above all of that, I DO get annoyed if people fav a fic and don't review. Doesn't take much, does it?? A simple: :o) would suffice!!

Edited at 2009-11-11 03:22 pm (UTC)

I am notorious for the :o).

It is my "I was here, I read this, I liked this, this made me smile." comment.

That suits me fine *g*

*hugs you*

Thank you.

Hugs to you.

It doesn't take much, and I do understand that there are a gazillion reasons why some never do it (leave feedback). But we're human, and we have feelings and opinions on things, don't we? *hugs*

when I read, I comment. I'm an author, too. *hugs*

sometimes I worry that my feedback sounds stupid or immature or will be taken the wrong way, tho. I seem to impress a lot of people that way without realizing it. I just found out I have Asperger syndrome 4 yrs ago.

Edited at 2009-11-11 03:56 pm (UTC)

*hugs you back* Thank you for commiserating with me.

There's always the possibility that any comment any of us makes will be misinterpreted. I can certainly understand how having Asperger syndrome might exacerbate that anxiety! For what it's worth, I've never thought that you sound anything less than coherent. :)

To be honest, I lurked for a long time when I first joined fandom because I felt like everything I had to say was dumb or obvious, or that since the author didn't know me she wouldn't care about my feedback. Now I know better, of course - even a simple "I liked this" can brighten an author's day :-)

There's nothing new under the sun; most of what I write here is dumb or obvious, but I say it anyway. ;) So if you ever think you have something to say about any subject that comes up here in my journal, please don't hesitate to do so.

And in case it's not clear, I get why you felt that way before.

"I liked this" suits me just fine! :)

I agree completely. It did happen to me that I almost begged for a review because once I got 50 effing favourite story alerts and five reviews, or something along those lines. And I really get upset when that happens, because I have no idea why you are favouriting this story! I mean it is evident that you like it, including it in a favourite list is pretty self-explanatory, but still. A review is worth a lot to the writers...

I know this problem, I've been there, and still am a little bit, lol. So I feel you on this one. *hugs* And I love reviewing stories, so rest assured that you'll always have one from me ;)

Ha, yeah, welcome to fanfic-writing, right? Even my best-reviewed stories have only a teeny-tiny reviewed-to-read ratio. Lame-face.

I try not to take it too personally. I myself usually review when I have something to say beyond "this was good." Sometimes I enjoyed the fic, but didn't have much in the way of specific thoughts or reactions. Other times, I DID, but I put it aside thinking I'll review more thoroughly after I think about it for awhile...then I forget.:-( NOW who's lame-face? But I'm pretty sure I review more often than not.

Reviews are like writing thank-you notes...you SHOULD write them, but they're one of the things that easily gets avoided if you're procrastinating, busy, or just not in the mood. I'd love to see that attitude change, but unforch, it seems pretty ingrained. I'll tell ya, if I wrote fanfic solely for the reviews? I would have stopped a long time ago.:-(

Other times, I DID, but I put it aside thinking I'll review more thoroughly after I think about it for awhile...then I forget.:-( NOW who's lame-face?

I DO THIS ALL THE TIME. I AM SO LAME!

As a reader I know that I'm more likely to comment on stories on LJ than at ff.net. On LJ the writers just seem more within reach. If you don't know the writer on ff.net then they might as well be a book author. But as a writer I find it frustrating. I tend to write for dead fandoms and sometimes have to beg friends to go read so that I have *1* comment on a story - and that's on LJ. At ff.net, I've given up. If someone fav's it, I jump for joy cause it means that someone out there read it. If they comment, I'm over the moon. But I don't expect either. It's just a place for me to keep all my stories together.

That said, anon readers don't bother me as much as LJ friends. I may write for a dead fandom, but I'm friends with 7-8 folks who #1 watched the show and #2 write fic themselves (for other fandoms). If you see I only have one comment on a story, what's it hurt to drop me a line? I don't write long stories. One of my MSN friends calls them my 2 sec stories cause she reads them so quick. That's where my feelings are getting hurt lately. Some of these folks I comment on every story they write, and we're talking the upside of 2K words for a post ep. It makes me not want to read/comment on their stories, but then I'm missing out cause I like their stories. Idk it just makes me feel like they consider me more of a follower than a friend, and then I feel like I'm being used. Idk. I'm rambling about people you don't know and this probably won't make any sense. Sorry.

Lurker popping in just to say I love your fic, and am sorry I don't think I have ever given specific feedback about it. I generally feel pretty shy about leaving comments for people I don't know or who don't have me friended, etc (it makes me feel stalkery, heh).

But I'll try leaving more feedback in the future! Especially if it'll encourage you to write more Bones fic! :-)


I mean, I can get dozens of favorites for a story and then 10 reviews. I don't know who these people are who favorite my stories, and I admit it would be nice to know their specific thoughts, but I don't mind so much. If I read a fic, I'll usually review it, but I'm susceptible to the same lurking tendencies that many other people seem to have. It's always odd to review another person's story and then get a reply from this random author saying how much they've always enjoyed my fics. That is most disconcerting to me, I think, because it kind of puts a name to the anonymous hits my stories get. lol

Honestly, though, I do write for myself. Reviews are only a small byproduct of that. It's lovely to receive reviews and it can be a little annoying to get close to no feedback on a story I may have spent an entire evening writing, but I truly do not mind so much. I don't read much fic anymore, so I can't hate on other people for not reading mine.

Honestly, though, I do write for myself. Reviews are only a small byproduct of that. It's lovely to receive reviews and it can be a little annoying to get close to no feedback on a story I may have spent an entire evening writing, but I truly do not mind so much.

This.

I like to think I'm a pretty good reviewer, for the most part, although I must say that I am not necessarily the best at keeping up with stories longer than one chapter.

And as for feedback on my own stories...

I write for me and I post it for anyone out there who has the time to read, hoping that they enjoy whatever I've decided to share with them.

I must say though. I do appreciate the quality of the reviews I get and I guess, in a way, I appreciate the quality a little more than the quantity. Any time taken by a reader to drop me a line or two means a lot to me, but when they go even further than that... when they point out specific things they liked or quote back to me their favourite parts... it makes my day just that little bit more. It gives me things to work on, lets me know what I'm doing well and thus, it leads me to becoming a better writer in the process. And I'm always all for that.

Feedback is, without a doubt, a nice thing to get and I don't want to take away from that. But if someone stranger ends up smiling because of what I've written, and they either a) don't have time to leave feedback or b) think that I don't want to hear what they have to say (for some strange, out of this world, reason), Then I'm just as happy at the possibility of that too. It's nice to know who's reading and who likes what they read, but it's not the end of the world if I don't know every single person who reads my stories and enjoys them because the people who do leave me feedback consistently are more than enough to make my day better anyway.


Edited at 2009-11-11 09:54 pm (UTC)

I do appreciate the quality of the reviews I get and I guess, in a way, I appreciate the quality a little more than the quantity. Any time taken by a reader to drop me a line or two means a lot to me, but when they go even further than that... when they point out specific things they liked or quote back to me their favourite parts...leads me to becoming a better writer in the process.

This! I may have a slightly different perspective on this because I'm not on ff.net like a few y'all are, so I'm not really up with the whole "alert" "favoriting" thing. Someone above said something about lj seeming more "personal" and I think that really explains why I've just stuck to posting my fic over here. It feels more like a community to me here and so, like BP said, the quality of the reviews I get are what really hit me.

That being said, I definitely understand the bit about not getting comments when you know something is being read. It's just one of those things that I think can get to you every so often and then you brush it off, move on for another few months and then it hits you again for a few days.

Actually really glad you opened this topic up, L. It's nice to read everyone's thoughts on this. :)


I don't review when I'm reading fic on my Blackberry.
Sometimes I'm traveling and get bored, so, go read some fic.
But, I hate typing on my mobile and I always have a lot to say.
However, I do try my best to bookmark the fics I like to comment later, even save it offline.

But, those fics that I can't get past the first paragraph because of bad writing and lack of grammar, I'm sorry, but I really never reviewed any of those.
Not any of yours, dear Lerdo, fits this description. I do comment on your fics on FF.net, those I read anyway.
I have a bad habit of skip those fics that the summary doesn't appeal to me.

Let me go back a little: I'm brazilian and I do know english, lived in US and everything. But, with some 'advanced' english grammar, the poetic stuff, sometimes I get stuck.
I was discouraged to give feedback because, once, (and I know this will sound stupid to some people, but it did hurt me) I commented on a fic, saying that I didn't got the author's idea on a certain paragraph, and asking for some clarification. I got an e-mail back, saying that I should study english before attempting to read something.

Since the author was very rude to me, I stopped reading fics for a while. And, it took a while longer to get back to reviewing. I try and review the fics I save and sometimes even printed so I could read at my farm, laying on my hammock. :)

I can't believe that author said that to you!! That's unforgivable!!

I will come back to respond to the rest of your comment, but right now I just want to say that I am very sorry someone was so obnoxious to you. English isn't your first language; it's natural that you might occasionally need clarification. I can't imagine why that author responded to your innocent request in such a nasty and thoughtless way. I hope you told her/him to go to hell. ;) Again, I'm sorry. *hugs* Your being hurt by this person's meanness isn't stupid; it's human. People can hurt us even if we can't see them.

I was discouraged to give feedback because, once, (and I know this will sound stupid to some people, but it did hurt me) I commented on a fic, saying that I didn't got the author's idea on a certain paragraph, and asking for some clarification. I got an e-mail back, saying that I should study english before attempting to read something.

There is no excuse for this kind of behaviour. I'm sorry that you were treated this way. There is no reason why they couldn't have responded courteously. We've all had negative comments to our stories, but you respond logically and clearly and agree to disagree if it comes to that. You do not insult. Totally uncalled for...

awww! Now I feel bad (I know - not your intention).

I've moved into a different room in my flat and can only get internet in one corner (yes, really), so I open the fics and read them later in bed when I'm offline and I sometimes forget to comment after that (oopsy).

For the record, unless I miss you posting them, i read and adore everything you do. You can consider that a blanket review!

Actually, I'd be interested in your take on something: sometimes when I discover new authors (as I did with you earlier this year), I read all of their fic in one long marathon. Sometimes I comment on all of the stories, sometimes just on my favourites, however I do wonder if receiving a dozen comments from the same person in one day might be a bit.... weird for the author?

Is it?? Does it seem like maybe you're being stalked when that happens??

Agreed. It puts the biggest smile on my face. :)

Sometimes I comment on all of the stories, sometimes just on my favourites, however I do wonder if receiving a dozen comments from the same person in one day might be a bit.... weird for the author?

Not at all. You do that and you are pretty much guaranteed to have made the author's day!

You know what.. I will start my vocation time from college tomorrow, get past my dad's birthday celebrations and then, I will devote 3 nights per week (I work during the day and have to bathe and eat :), so, 8 to 11pm) until February to re-read a lot of fics and review them. Will even Tweet the name of fic and author I'm reading at the moment to keep a track of things.
If a fic is within my taste, I'll read and comment.

Just doing my part so that all of my lovely fic writers can inspire themselves and give us some more amazing fics. :)

I don't have the need to make everybody happy around me, but I sure can try. :p

Just doing my part so that all of my lovely fic writers can inspire themselves and give us some more amazing fics. :)

Wow... that's a lovely thing to do! On behalf of any authors you read, let me say thanks in advance...

And yes, please take the time to bathe and eat! You have to still take care of yourself! ;)

No never feel stalked when that happens!! *g*

I know where you're coming from. :) In the fanfic world, reviews really are the only way to know that someone is reading.

Of course, I'm as bad as anyone else - sometimes I'm in a hurry & don't comment because I want to say more than I have time to put together, sometimes I don't have anything specific to say and want to wait to see where it goes. I do try to review, though.

As far as someone commenting on a whole pile of fics at once, I suspect most authors take the fact that you liked something of theirs enough to go back and read other stuff they've written as a compliment - not as you being a stalker. :)

Oh, hon. There was a time where I was a lot into fic (mostly Bones) but now it's not that I don't comment or leave feedback, it's just that I don't have time to read, or that I don't read so much anymore. That's stupid of me, but can't help it.

Maybe this is like waves, there's times in which lots of people read&comment, and others that they don't so much.

::hugs::

Yes, the ratio of feedback to reads, alerts, and favorites is appalling. I try and leave feedback when I read - if I have the time to read I have the time to leave feedback.

I usually tell myself that if you post online you make it available to anyone who wants to read and you leave it up to them if they want to comment or not, but that said, without feedback you might as well keep your writings on your HD.

If I wrote for reviews I would have stopped writing a long time ago! I write for the writing itself and I post because it gives me the discipline to finish things. But I'm moving toward more restricted posting for now.

Interesting subject, sorry about rambling on, travel & time zones.

sorry about rambling on, travel & time zones.

Are you back? Did you have a good trip?

I'm back bb! And I did have a useful trip, thank you.

Lately I'm so very very behind. I'm lucky if I get to read at all, and I'll admit I sometimes don't take the time to review when it's not a brand new story. My bad, because I know how much I enjoy every comment even when it's just a :).

Oddly enough, I was thinking about posting something similar to this the other day. Only I was thinking about all the comments/feedback/etc. that go completely without acknowledgement from the author. I try to comment or give feedback regularly, but the amount and quality of the comments usually varies by how much time I have or my mood. But I've noticed - particularly at ff.net - that even a simple "thanks for reading!" is hard to come by from some authors.

I confess that I am not great about leaving a comment or review every time - and your post here was a great reminder that I should do better. Not commenting is laziness on my part and I appreciate the gentle nudge my friend :)

hehe, wow, there are a lot of comments here. :) as a writer, i too love reviews, but i place much less value on (getting) them than i used to. i used to beg for reviews, now i just get a little cranky if i get none. it's frustrating thinking that no one is even reading.

and i try to review when i can, but i also have an issue that extends to commenting and replying on posts too: i can't be concise enough. if i want to actually say something meaningful (which i usually do, except for the occasional quick hit-and-run :) ), i write slowly and then re-read what i've written several times. it takes me effing forever to type something even as much as this. maybe i can blame the ocd, i have to force myself to just suck it up and hit "post comment" sometimes.

i should work on that, but at this point, basically, my choices tend to be a superficial "OMGTHIS" or a comment that will suck up my entire morning in composing. some mornings i have to stop myself and eat breakfast. i'm told that's a good habit.

I try to always leave fb myself and feel guilty when I don't get the chance. (I can read but I can't post at work so that can be a problem.)

I feel even worse when I don't respond to someone's fb, but lately that's been an occurence due to my crazy health. I try to remember but sometimes...

Recently an author of a story that I loved from way, way back posted something new and I fbed both on the old and new story. She was happy and so was I.

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