Curious

21 Oct 2011 03:51 pm
valyssia: (Willow Bargaining)
[personal profile] valyssia

Okay, so…I’ve published well over one-hundred thousand words of fiction with only three comments. Two of them were left recently by the same fellow on AO3 in response to the last two chapters of Bloodletting (the Final Cut). Tamoline left one on LiveJournal in hopes that it would inspire others to do the same, but I knew full well that she intended to. It was sweet of her, but asking for comments isn’t something I want to do. It isn’t something I enjoy. I’d rather not.

It all fell apart when I posted A Keyhole in the Sun. Since then (August 9th), my world has been pretty dreary. It makes me wonder if the story was just bad. I know it wasn’t, but being alone makes you consider all kinds of silly stuff.

I have stats I can look at that tell me that people are visiting my page, but I can only learn so much from them.

[Poll #1788432]

Now I know the drill. I’m supposed to write because I enjoy it and I do, but an author without an audience is just pathetic. Without feedback it can be difficult to tell whether I have an audience.

I’m also obstinate, so your answers are unlikely to change my plans. I don’t intend to throw my hands up. And I’m certainly not the type of dick who demands feedback in exchange for prose.

I’d just like to know.

Thanks.

Date: 2011-10-21 08:01 pm (UTC)
frogfarm: And a thousand gay men wept. (Default)
From: [personal profile] frogfarm
Have been reading on and off in a toe-dipping fashion, though not for at least a few weeks. I plan to read a lot more than I have, but it does make me wonder how the ratio skews among potential commenters from apathy to wanting to say *something* but not really knowing what beyond "Cool story bro". With my improved mood and the hibernation months ahead, I know I'll at least get more reading done.

Date: 2011-10-21 08:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theladymerlin.livejournal.com
I feel like an idiot. I can ramble a load of nonsense. Sorry if I offended you in any way.
Edited Date: 2011-10-21 09:06 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-10-21 09:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theladymerlin.livejournal.com
You're writing style is wonderful! I enjoy writing but am not very good technically. I can't make a comment regarding plot as I've yet to read more than small bits. When I do read, you will be getting comments from me. :)

Date: 2011-10-21 09:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theladymerlin.livejournal.com
Thank you very much. :) I think we are all guilty of reading and not commenting at times. I sometimes feel like I have nothing more to offer than saying 'I liked it' or similar and it seems so inadequate. Maybe it isn't after all?

Date: 2011-10-21 09:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theladymerlin.livejournal.com
Sorry - I keep saying that!! I'm not a very confident person at all (you've probably guessed that by now) and tend to jump to the most horrid conclusions. *blush*

Thank you for taking the time to think about your reply. :)

Date: 2011-10-21 08:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tamibrandt.livejournal.com
I got the same problem you have. My last Spangel (H2TYL) post got only 14 comments. So 3 days ago, I post a Wincest scene and still nada.

I don't know if it's that I'm a bad writer and should get out of fandom altogether or what.

Date: 2011-10-21 08:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tamibrandt.livejournal.com
normally h2tyl gets 25-30 comments .... so yeah, it's bad.

Date: 2011-10-21 08:30 pm (UTC)
ruuger: Spike from Buffy with his shirt open, revealing cuts on his chest. (Spike needs a hug)
From: [personal profile] ruuger
I think the amount of feedback is down in general, especially in older and smaller fandoms like Buffyverse. I recently finished my Spike/giles longfic and only got two comments to the last part, compared to the almost thirty I got to the first chapter five years ago.

But I'm really in no position to complain since I read very little fic these days myself, especially Buffyverse - I read so much a few years ago that I pretty much burned myself down on fic. I really have to be in the right mood these days, and it's usually something specific that I want then (like a few months ago I asked for West Wing fic recs, except that when I finally had time to read, the mood had passed and so I haven't actually read any one them yet).

Date: 2011-10-21 10:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skuzzbopper.livejournal.com
:(( I really, really hate lacking reviews.

It's hard, though, especially in a fandom like BTVS, where most of the readers and writers... aren't thirteen year old girls with very little to do with their free time except surf the web and read fanfic. Most of us are a little older, with a lot less free time. And you write wonderful, GIGANTIC stories (I wish I had the stamina you do-- sticking it out to the end of a story is my weak point, that's why most of mine are so short). I've been meaning to dig into your work for some time now-- it's just my school work and keeping up with my own writing... makes it a little harder.

I'm sure that you have a huge audience that you don't know about yet. I mean, the rule of thumb is, for every one person that reviews, ten people are reading. At least, that's what I tell myself. To keep myself from weeping.

Date: 2011-10-21 11:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skuzzbopper.livejournal.com
Oh, no, I wasn't trying to point out your "flaws"! (I haven't seen any yet, not that I actively look for them) I mean, "Popcorn Fics" (that's a great title for them, by the way) kind of make the world go 'round in this fandom, as far as I've noticed. Everything I write is either that, or a three-to-four chapter piece. I get much bigger responses from one-shots. Honestly, I think people have like zero attention span. Though, it's interesting, because you can write a really long fic and have very few reviews, and then it winds up getting nominated for all these awards later. Or it gets archived like a bajillion places. Odd.

Date: 2011-10-22 12:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skuzzbopper.livejournal.com
I just don't like to see people being hard on themselves. :( And I think you're being very hard on yourself. Sure, Buffy/Willow and Buffy/Faith aren't as gigantic as Spuffy or Willow/Tara, but people read it. And get it. I get it, that's for sure, and I fully intend to read more than the two fics of yours that I have read. And comment on the ones I did.

And don't think it's because you've posted this. I was going to comment anyway. You just reminded me, which is good.

I've been nominated for one thing. Which is nice, because I'm new. More than I expected, at any rate. See, the good thing about epics is that people remember them. One-shots? Not so much.

Date: 2011-10-22 01:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skuzzbopper.livejournal.com
Yeah, I know that lots of authors do very well with ficlets and drabbles. I have a... I don't know what you'd call it. A difficulty? I guess, maybe that's the term. A difficulty with writing things where the longer they become, the more complicated they get. I've accepted that a lot of my writing is cliche, and I've tried to put a spin on some of the older traditions in the fandom, but once I get into something huge, it becomes hard to follow.

I'm proud of what I've done so far, but I know I can do better. I think every writer feels that way. Maybe that's where this is coming from with you? You love your work, but you want to improve, and you're frustrated with the lack of feedback telling you what doesn't need improving?

Date: 2011-10-22 03:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skuzzbopper.livejournal.com
Oh God, I completely know what you mean.

I started Treading Water mostly because I was in love with the idea of an ever-grieving Xander, who hasn't gotten over Jesse's death. It was something that I wanted to actually show, rather than mention. So I had him encounter a "genie", who takes the form of Jesse to manipulate him into making wishes. It was supposed to be a really poignant version of Xander. It turned out... Oddly. I wasn't crazy about it by the end. So I wrote Apart, because I needed a version of Xander who wasn't alright, but was together enough to deal with the fact that he wasn't alright. The way everyone thought he was. And it's been done before, but I wanted to try it. Plus, I couldn't resist turning the whole "trapping them together" trope on its head.

I wrote Apart, mostly because the story was addictive, but also to prove to myself that I could write better than Treading Water. I kept waiting for someone to tell me that I'd written a hell of a Xander, or that something had really improved. I mean, I literally just got an English degree, and I felt like "Is this really the best I've got in me?"

I have yet to read Keyhole, but you make me want to. I'll check it out on Monday, when I don't have anything due.

Date: 2011-11-07 12:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladycallie.livejournal.com
Rudely butting in here to say that this has made me move Keyhole up on my reading list. :)

Date: 2011-11-07 04:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladycallie.livejournal.com
Heh, "enjoy" is to put it delicately. It's my kink and I love it. :)

Can it be read alone, or should I really start at the beginning?
Edited Date: 2011-11-07 04:51 am (UTC)

Date: 2011-10-22 12:14 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
And here's me, reading virtually everything you publish but being too afraid to comment because I just might write something utterly stupid or worse, offensive. I know, it sounds ridiculous and I'm sorry. Anyway, from this day I promise to comment and feedback like there's no tomorrow.

Date: 2011-10-22 03:33 am (UTC)
rahirah: (Default)
From: [personal profile] rahirah
You're on my way, way-too-long 'to read' list.

(Actually I've been reading Bloodletting and comparing it to the earlier version. I'm finding it fascinating what things you've changed and what things you haven't, and I kept meaning to comment and never getting around to it. Am eager to see how the revised version of the peeling scene will go - I really liked that one in the original. It's got resonances that remind me of some C.S. Lewis stuff.)

Date: 2011-10-22 06:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morthel.livejournal.com
Hello! I just recently came across Bloodletting, and I read it all in one go. I liked it very much and immediately put it on track. The main reason why I didn't comment on it was the "Tell me how much I suck" link. It just felt like you didn't want comments. That said, keep up the good work!

Date: 2011-10-22 03:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] salvage-5x5.livejournal.com
I think lack of commenting is just something with the Buffyverse fandom. I hardly see any new fanfiction at all and usually when I do it's pairings that don't really spark for me.

Most of the authors who have written some of my favourite fics don't write anymore because they aren't interested or just don't have the time which is a shame.

I feel that for any author it's a little unnerving when you don't get feedback whether it's a drabble, one shot or multi-chaptered fic, because you don't know if you have a fanbase of if you're a good writer, but again that could be down to various things like you're fics aren't put on the correct communities or the comms where they're being uploaded are inactive or simply that people just don't ship what you've written and therefore won't give it the time of day. But like you said you don't write for comments you write because you love to write and explore your passion how you see fit, but it's always nice to get a comment that's a bit constructive or reflects on the readers favourite parts of the story rather than 'good fic' or 'I liked this'.

A good idea might be starting a new community for fic writers of the Buffyverse so that the remaining writers have a place that's active and there maybe could be challenges like at seasonal Spuffy etc... to make it more fun and spark up creativity. I'm just throwing the idea out there because it's hard trying to find writers who are active and by active I'm not implying that writers should do something every day or even every week.

For me personally I write when I've been inspired because if I try and do things because they've been set I feel my work is terrible because it's rushed and not taken time with.

I haven't read your story, but I'm interested so I'll bookmark it and try and check it out when I have time. From a quick scan of your page I can see that you write a lot of lengthy fic which to me is an admirable quality because I could never write something with chapters, I struggle trying to develop things as I tend to cram too much but one day I'd like to be able to do what you do and write something structured with chapters.

I realise that my comment is really ramble, ramble and may not even be relevant to your above post, but I just wanted to get some general feelings out there.

I hope people recognise your work and what a strong writer you are.

Date: 2011-10-23 01:37 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I don't normally leave comments for fic, but after this and, well, actually READING your fic, it makes me want to leave a comment. So.

I don't have internet at home at the moment as I've moved to Slovakia and I don't think that they care about internet for Buffy fanfiction addicts much, so I'm trying to do my best. And my best is often spending time reading your fic. Your fic is something that I look forward to getting on the internet for. In the meantime, I happily download your ebooks to my iPod and read them over "normal" ebooks that I should be reading.

Between you and Crys Loch, the Buffy/Willow pairing has become one of my favorites. I appreciate their heartfelt and true portrayals to whatever situation is going on - I can definitely see them in my mind.

Keep up the fantastic work!

Date: 2011-10-23 01:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tennyo-elf.livejournal.com
I plan to, but I've got just too much stuff going on already. Though, I think as others have said, feedback is just down in general.

Date: 2011-10-23 04:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tennyo-elf.livejournal.com
I don't know if this makes you feel better, but the Buffy fandom seems to be in a bit of a decline recently. I've noticed it on forums, other communities, etc. Even Seasonal Spuffy seemed less active than earlier this year. I'm still new to the fandom but when I first joined it seemed more livelier.

So I don't think it's you.

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