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Thoughts on reccing and feedback

Chiming in on crazydiamondsue's post about the importance of reccing.

As someone who runs a rec comm (sawyerficrecs), did a month at crack_van and who regularly recs fics in my LJ, I just wanted to add something. The missing ingredient, if you will.

Feedback.

There've been many times I've heard from someone that they really liked a fic and then I see that they didn't leave a comment for the author. I can't say it enough - authors live for feedback! (OK, there might be a few who've left a fandom or don't like their old fics and don't care about fb but they seem to be the exception.)

I know there are tons of lurkers who don't leave feedback for whatever reason: nothing profound to say, too busy, can't choose just the right icon, who knows? But a simple, "Thanks, I really enjoyed that" is always appreciated.

And don't forget to leave feedback when multiple authors are involved! I coauthored a WIP and found that people weren't leaving fb on all installments. On the one hand, that means we did our jobs and the piece worked well enough that people wanted to just keep reading. Fair enough. But how about when a fic isn't an official series and is being kind of tag-teamed (like the jackjames_verse fics)? I know I'm usually reading all the other fics so I see feedback left for others or myself on a story I didn't write. But other authors might miss it. So spread the love! (And yes, I still owe people some feedback myself. *cough*)

Is leaving feedback really that much work, folks? It doesn't have to be a thesis, just a simple "Thanks" and maybe one or two things you liked about it. I think that's all authors want.

And conversely, it's not just readers who should be leaving feedback. In my mind, there's nothing that takes the steam out of your sails like leaving a glowing rave about someone's fic and then never hearing back from them. Again, an epic poem isn't required, just a "Thanks, glad you liked it."

Feedback is love!

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Comments

( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
foxygirl33
Oct. 18th, 2005 06:15 pm (UTC)
I agree! It really is a win, win deal. If a fic inspired me, surprised me, touched me in any way, I feel compelled to leave a comment. I struggle with finding the right words to say how much I enjoyed it, but in the end, it's the fact that I said something that matters.

I've had people comment on my fics sometimes months after the fact and it's such a bright, "OMGOSH! someone really liked it" moment that it often inspires me to keep writing.

And I love hearing back from the author. Oftentimes it's just as enlightening for me when they say, "Thanks for mentioning that line. I wasn't sure about it!" There are so many talented authors out there. I can't help but leave feedback. ;)
halfdutch
Oct. 19th, 2005 01:06 am (UTC)
Yaaay! LJ fic love fest. ;-D

It is always such a pleasant surprise to get someone commenting on an old fic.

And I always respond to comments. If someone took the trouble to read a fic and leave feedback, I figure the least I can do is thank them! No one is forcing anyone to read my fic! And sometimes it leads to some really wonderful conversations and friendships. Fic (and icons) led to me almost all my LJ friends.

If no one ever comments, they're missing out!
alliecat8
Oct. 18th, 2005 06:22 pm (UTC)
I was inspired by foxxcub and crazydiamondsue to write my own rant analysis, then I check my flist and find that you've already summed it up nicely! 'Course, that won't shut me up, LOL, but ITA with everything you said! You just said it better than I ever could.
halfdutch
Oct. 19th, 2005 01:09 am (UTC)
Read yours and seconded it! ;-D

Wondering about why we do or don't get feedback can drive a girl nuts! Sometimes it's just as simple as the timing being wrong and everyone being otherwise occupied.





themoononastick
Oct. 18th, 2005 06:37 pm (UTC)
there's nothing that takes the steam out of your sails like leaving a glowing rave about someone's fic and then never hearing back from them.

Oh exactly! I have actually been put off reading fic by certain writers (outside of the Lost fandom) purely because of their continuing lack of response to reviews. I just find it horribly rude.

And whilst I'm in a ranting mood (sorry totally woke up in a temper today) can I add to your feedback commentary by saying..

If you feel the need to say that you "OMG love" someone's icon in a comment thread then try and remember to leave a comment for the author as well. If you have nothing nice to say about the fic then what the hcek were you doing reading thru others comments and if you have to have the icon so badly and want to credit the maker then thats what userpics is for.
(obviously the "you" in this little monologue is the universal "you" not you *loves halfdutch to pieces*)

Sorry! I completely agree with everything you said and have added you to my list of lj heroes. (eh, you were on it anyway!)
halfdutch
Oct. 19th, 2005 01:12 am (UTC)
It's hard to carry on a one-way conversation! It's a shame because most of my LJ friendships started off as a mutual admiration society over fic. If there's no commenting back and forth, that can't ever happen!

And yes, the icon comments - if that's all someone is popping in to talk about - is very annoying. It's disheartening to see your counter go up and see it's a comment like that. So rude! I wonder what they came into the post for at all then. Did they read it and then forgot to comment? Or just didn't like it? The same people who don't know to use userpics are the same ones who don't know how to use an lj-cut or memories, probably!

Awwww. LJ hero? Wooo! *waves arms triumphantly*

arabella_hope
Oct. 18th, 2005 06:44 pm (UTC)
Most of the time I end up feeling like a feedback whore...I have a compulsion to say something, anything, about damn near everything! you'd never know though, would you? Why not? Isn't the whole point to read and converse through comments with each other? though sometimes I feel like I'm being annoying...imagine that...intemidation on a computer. Who would have thunk it?

God, I need something good to ramble on about...I want to do a meta post about something! ;P much love!
halfdutch
Oct. 20th, 2005 12:31 am (UTC)
Ahh, can there be too much feedback? I guess maybe sometimes. But better than not enough!
inthekeyofd
Oct. 18th, 2005 07:25 pm (UTC)
See that is why I always feel guilty, not because of the lack of feedback given, it's because I'm so far behind in my reading, I don't give feedback until I've read it..and with the backlog I have, it will take a very very long time.
halfdutch
Oct. 20th, 2005 12:32 am (UTC)
I still have a list of fics I need to read too, so don't feel bad. We all get backlogged and that's just life. It'll be a pleasant surprise for the author when/if you do find time to comment. ;-D Your comments are always greatly appreciated, esp. since I know you need to make the extra effort in managing your comp time.


foxxcub
Oct. 18th, 2005 07:33 pm (UTC)
Awww. I'm glad you said something and let me off the hook, heh. :P

I don't understand writers who don't respond to feedback. Sure, if you're some humongous BNF in, say, the HP fandom, like with shoebox_project and they're getting 500+ comments on each installment, then yeah, responding might be time consuming. But really, it doesn't take but a second to tell someone thank you. :)
halfdutch
Oct. 20th, 2005 12:35 am (UTC)
Hee. And we'll see if it did any good at all. OH WELL. I tried. We may know what's in the hatch now but we'll never solve the mystery of feedback!

And yeah, if someone took the trouble to read your fic and something nice about it, then the least you can do is say 'Thanks,' in my book. *nods*

And wow, I don't have a clue who's in your icon!
foxxcub
Oct. 20th, 2005 04:15 am (UTC)
LOL, it's one of several pretteh new Jason icons I acquired last evening. :)
eponine119
Oct. 18th, 2005 07:58 pm (UTC)
You make a very good point with this. I think rec'ing is important -- it's kind of essential to the viral nature of fanfic/fandom, especially when it's community based like on LJ -- but feedback beats being rec'd almost every time. Being reccomended will get you more readers, but if none of them say anything...how will you even know?

Though I'm way guilty on some of your other points. *still feels guilty about uneven feedbacking on the noir fic*
halfdutch
Oct. 20th, 2005 12:36 am (UTC)
That's so true, LOL. Recs are like the tree falling in the woods if no one ever leaves feedback!

Aw, don't feel bad about the noir fic. Or, no worse than foxxcub and I do for not ever finishing it!
isis2015
Oct. 18th, 2005 09:46 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you mentioned just a simple 'Thanks I really enjoyed that' would be nice, because I've read some fics that I really wanted to write some feedback about, but I couldn't think of anything eloquent to say. I'll defiantly remember that in the future.
halfdutch
Oct. 20th, 2005 12:38 am (UTC)
Yay! ;-D Than I feel like my post did some good. And you've already left me lovely fb by the time I'm getting around to responding to this.

So thanks again! Much appreciated!
philomel
Oct. 19th, 2005 05:36 am (UTC)
And conversely, it's not just readers who should be leaving feedback. In my mind, there's nothing that takes the steam out of your sails like leaving a glowing rave about someone's fic and then never hearing back from them.

THANK YOU! Hee. There are quite a few writers in Lotrips (I haven't really seen this within the Lost fandom, fortunately) who never, absolutely never respond to feedback and it pisses me off. Or, conversely, if they do respond, it's seemingly random... though, upon closer inspection, you can tell that they've only bothered to respond to their personal friends and ignore everyone else's comments. Bad form. It takes all of--what?-- .003 seconds to type a little gratitude in response. I understand being short on time and not getting back right away, but not ever responding is just plain rude and, ultimately, smacks of enormous ego. No matter how big they are in fandom, they're still just fanfic writers not friggin' Laureates; they could use a little humility.

And amen on the giving feedback notes as well.
halfdutch
Oct. 20th, 2005 12:41 am (UTC)
I agree, it is rude to never respond. And it robs everyone of that lovely back and forth dialogue that leads to lasting LJ friendships! It's one of the reasons why I mostly post on LJ, for the community. Sure, you can respond to reviews on Lostfic.com (which is back up, yay!) but not at fanfiction.net. So it feels like you're sending things out into a void, kind of. I love getting to know my favorite authors and readers. ;-) I wouldn't have the friends I have on LJ otherwise!

*hugs you and everyone on flist*
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )

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