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Old April 20th, 2017 (7:47 AM). Edited April 30th, 2017 by Bay Alexison.
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Every writer ever.

So, comments/reviews. The lifeblood of every writer where they crave attention and wanting that peace of mind that their work is good. If we don't get any or little feedback, then that self doubt kicks in. Many people will say, "write what you want," but let's be honest, feedback is what motivates the author the most to continue writing.

After reading a story, do you often leave feedback, here and in other forums/sites like Archive of Our Own and ffnet, to let the author know what you think of their work? If so, what kind of feedback do you usually leave? Do you go for shorter stories, long chapter epics, a bit of both? You tend to go with just your favorite authors or you'll leave feedback to just about anyone?

If you don't usually leave feedback, why not and what would compel you to do so? For the writers, do you sometimes do the "scratch your back and I'll scratch yours" where you'll exchange feedback with one another, or you rather focus on your own writing? You think the reviewing culture is different here than in other sites, and if so why?

I've been seeing folks lately, here and in other places, mentioning how they're upset no one's been commenting on their works, so I'm interested on people's thoughts when it comes to the topic of leaving feedback. I'll reply with my own thoughts later since I left a lot of things here to consider lol.
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Old April 20th, 2017 (8:16 AM).
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    If I find a work I prefer - short or just beginning, and if Pokemon, then going against the journey formula - then I'm likely to leave feedback. I try my best to be either neutral or optimistic in leaving constructive criticism, as many have been known to take a bit offense in receiving it (myself in the past included).
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    Old April 20th, 2017 (8:41 AM).
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      honestly, it's just been a time issue for me. I haven't had time to come here often, and I've been trying to make as much time as I can. My own stuff (working on 4 stories, my multiverse world, some art, homework, uploading videos pretty much daily, streaming 3 times a week, speedrunning, and just leisure time in general) has been taking up a ton of my time. I have been trying to comment more, and I've been making it one of my priorities, but it's really just a time issue here.
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      Old April 20th, 2017 (11:19 AM).
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        I try to leave feedback on stories that either start out or are written with things I see as errors/lacking. I won't assert myself as an A+ reviewer but I'm glad the ones I did leave something helped them get much better.

        If the story is short enough I leave a review of the chapter amounts.

        If it's longer, but could still have some thoughts, I try to talk about a few things + and - and leave it at that.

        Also, I try to always end a feedback drop with some positivity, but that's just me.

        Also PS: thanks bay and rick for the comments on my most recent work.
        Another PS: Glad you've improved Rick Gastly.
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        Old April 20th, 2017 (12:41 PM). Edited April 20th, 2017 by Rick Gastly.
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          I read a lot of Pokemon stories (Mostly Pokemon transformation stories) but I don't give feedback on those. Maybe I should start doing that.
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          Old April 21st, 2017 (5:23 PM).
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          I like leaving reviews, especially in-depth ones where I go into heavy detail about how they can improve and waht they're doing right. I prefer to pick stories that have some polish, enough that there's praise to readily offer, but not so amazing that I can't find flaw with it.
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          Old April 22nd, 2017 (3:39 AM).
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          I don't mind giving feedback or reviews, but the hard part for me is to actually read the fic in the first place :/ if it's not very interesting or extremely well written, I'm likely to get bored quickly and just go away; I'm not usually into pokémon fanfiction, see. If something's well written enough to catch and hold my attention though, I'll probably leave a comment! Also, I've left some feedback for writers who really need pointers in their writing sometimes. So basically... I read if it's really good or really bad, but not if it's half-decent, I guess? xD
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          Old April 22nd, 2017 (6:12 AM).
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          I would love to leave feedback on people's work, but I don't consider myself a proficient enough writer yet to be breaking down other people's hard work and giving pointers that will only help to lessen their abilities should they heed it.

          I also just really don't care for Pokemon Fan Fiction, or Fan Fiction in general which is what a lot of what people write (not only on here but on other sites as well) which is a big deterrent.

          Also I have a really hard time staying focused on just one thing and seeing it through to the end. I have really bad commitment issues haha. I struggle to follow through on most of the things I start up for my own purposes, regardless of how strongly I feel about it - so trying to sit down and decompose somebody's story and then jigsaw it back together with my own comments just realistically wouldn't get done.
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          Old April 23rd, 2017 (12:13 PM).
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          Been reading all the interesting responses here. Only going to reply to a couple, but yeah!

          Quote:
          Originally Posted by Taro Tanaka View Post
          If I find a work I prefer - short or just beginning, and if Pokemon, then going against the journey formula - then I'm likely to leave feedback. I try my best to be either neutral or optimistic in leaving constructive criticism, as many have been known to take a bit offense in receiving it (myself in the past included).
          When I first started writing I too would be very upset if I get any criticism on my writing. I still do right now sometimes because then my brain will go in self doubt mode, haha, but it's not as bad as several years ago. We all want to believe none of us are medicore writers and such.

          Quote:
          Originally Posted by Rick Gastly View Post
          I read a lot of Pokemon stories (Mostly Pokemon transformation stories) but I don't give feedback on those. Maybe I should start doing that.
          Curious, any reason why you don't give feedback on those stories? Is it you worrying your comments aren't good enough, sheer laziness, etc?

          Ok, response to my own topic. I do try to leave feedback on whatever I read like 80 percent of the time as I know how it feels to be worried your work isn't getting attention. Sometimes it might be just a couple sentences saying I enjoyed this, sometimes a bit more detail what works or doesn't work. Lately though like Cutiefly I'm balancing other internet and real life obligations along focusing on my own writing, so atm I'll be usually only following fics from authors I enjoyed a lot. I do feel very bad I don't have time helping the newer authors though.
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          Old April 23rd, 2017 (3:45 PM).
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            I used to leave a lot of reviews around here if people remember, but atm I don't have the time because of soon coming graduation, but yeah, I do it here as well as on Fanfiction.net. I think people loathe me a little for doing it on the latter though, I dunno.
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            Old April 24th, 2017 (3:07 AM).
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            I fully believe that even an illiterate person would be able to give feedback. There's no need for a reader to be a good writer. I as a writer get the most useful information from people their opinions on what I've written, not from critical in-depth writing tips on the minutia. I don't write for other writers, I write for readers and therefor I don't want feedback from a writer, I want feedback from a reader. The same thing I try to do when giving feedback to other people: "How did I like this as a reader."

            Most problems in writing don't come with a single solution that will absolutely work, so it's better to run diagnostics through with a bunch of people, figure out how they feel about your piece and then work with those emotions. Having someone say the part you wrote intending the horrify your audience didn't scare them is valueable, and you can do a lot of that. Especially if a lot of people feel that way. But if someone just says that your monster might need more teeth, while your other reader urges you to include some gore, that's not ideal. You as a writer have a vision, and while those story-problems get solved in a cooperative manner, it is still your story as a writer.

            It's for that same reason I think people don't need to write lengthy pieces of critique or feedback. There's so much value in just saying that you enjoy that one character a lot, or that you love the scenery of that magic floating city full of whale people.

            The only exception to that would be grammar or spelling. If someone goofs up a lot and writes would of in their descriptive writing, that might be something to correct. Character, plotting, pacing, all the creative stuff writing entails, though, comments are already as valueable as critique.


            I personally don't leave too much feedback on here, because I don't enjoy reading Pokémon fics. Which is weird, considering the forum I'm on. I just find it really difficult to suspend my disbelief in a pokémon setting, and don't tend to read most of the fics therefor. I do try to comment on anything with the Other Original tag I see.
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            Old April 30th, 2017 (12:04 PM).
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            Quote:
            Originally Posted by O'aka XXIII View Post
            I would love to leave feedback on people's work, but I don't consider myself a proficient enough writer yet to be breaking down other people's hard work and giving pointers that will only help to lessen their abilities should they heed it.
            After mulling for a bit (sorry for replying a bit late lol), I find it interesting that you and some other folks, here and elsewhere, think feedback should be like how a beta/editor combs through someone's writing line by line. I remember talking to some folks on Discord how lots of folks were intimidated that their comments needed to be similar when that's not the case. Nothing wrong if you really want to be detailed with your feedback, but sometimes even a couple comments like Ice mentioned in their post could make someone's day.

            Quote:
            Originally Posted by Ice View Post
            I fully believe that even an illiterate person would be able to give feedback. There's no need for a reader to be a good writer. I as a writer get the most useful information from people their opinions on what I've written, not from critical in-depth writing tips on the minutia. I don't write for other writers, I write for readers and therefor I don't want feedback from a writer, I want feedback from a reader. The same thing I try to do when giving feedback to other people: "How did I like this as a reader."
            That's an interesting way to think that. I guess because we're in this forum/online setting that a lot of us are writers that we'll tend to get very detailed instead of the simplified, "what I liked/didn't like as a reader." And I agree with some of your other comments concerning short feedback can be just as valuable.
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            Old April 30th, 2017 (7:31 PM).
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              I don't tend to leave feedback, I actually feel a bit shy about giving my opinion on someone's work. As I do not write I guess I feel like its pointless to say anything. Time constraints also an issue as I don't always have much time to read.
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              Old April 30th, 2017 (8:48 PM).
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                Quote:
                Originally Posted by Cool_Porygon View Post
                I don't tend to leave feedback, I actually feel a bit shy about giving my opinion on someone's work. As I do not write I guess I feel like its pointless to say anything. Time constraints also an issue as I don't always have much time to read.
                Don't be shy, everyone here's learning! And I wouldn't say it's pointless just because you don't write. At the end of the day, the writers are writing for the readers, some of whom are writers and some of whom aren't. In a few areas I'd even say non-writers can provide more valuable feedback than writers. For example, when I want to know whether the characters are resonating with the readers, or whether a chapter was appropriately funny/scary/moving, I'm slightly more interested in what non-writers think because they're less likely to feel they have to justify and fully articulate all of their reactions. In-depth analysis can be great, but authors need simple and honest "I laughed at X" and "I cried at Y" feedback, too!

                Time constraints though I can't argue with. Life's busy, and you have to prioritize. :)

                Quote:
                Originally Posted by Ice
                Character, plotting, pacing, all the creative stuff writing entails, though, comments are already as valueable as critique.
                I realize I just echoed some of your opinion, but I'm going to argue a little in favor of critique here. Comments and fast reactions are the best way of judging how successful you are, but if you're interested in understanding the how and why of the reactions you're getting from readers, you probably want another writer's insight. If multiple writers find issues with my plotting, it may be that I'd get better reactions from my readers if I fixed those issues, even if most readers don't grasp or can't articulate what's influencing their opinions.

                As I'm replying I think I have my thesis on the subject: "Go to the readers to see if it's working, but go to the writers for specifics on how to improve."
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                Old May 3rd, 2017 (7:07 AM).
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                Quote:
                Originally Posted by icomeanon6 View Post
                I realize I just echoed some of your opinion, but I'm going to argue a little in favor of critique here. Comments and fast reactions are the best way of judging how successful you are, but if you're interested in understanding the how and why of the reactions you're getting from readers, you probably want another writer's insight. If multiple writers find issues with my plotting, it may be that I'd get better reactions from my readers if I fixed those issues, even if most readers don't grasp or can't articulate what's influencing their opinions.

                As I'm replying I think I have my thesis on the subject: "Go to the readers to see if it's working, but go to the writers for specifics on how to improve."
                I think it's mainly a question of how much do you trust the writer's around you to be able to fix your problems. If you get feedback that is consists of 'your plotting is X and Y, which makes it suffer. You can fix it by doing A and B' you aren't fixing that problem yourself. A collaborative brainstorm might help but to have the intricacies of a story fixed, I truly do believe only the writer itself can do it. The job of a proofreader is the give feedback. You help to diagnose the problems, and the writer themselves has the job to fix them. That form of giving feedback leaves way more room for personal voice and artistic interpretation to shine too. I think it's also good to consider that a good writer does not make a good editor perse, so someone could give feedback on your story, but it might not serve in the best interest of the story.

                Writer's also have preference and stylizations they use that bleed over. A literary writer will give feedback that might not actually improve a story. It's good to get some diverse input, but the different tools these different kind of writers use are not universal. It's your job as the person receiving feedback to cherrypick the points of feedback you wanna use and agree with it, and to be able to dismiss the parts you do not agree with.
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