I haven't found the courage to post my stories on this site as of yet, but I do post stories elsewhere and this article is the one thing I am always trying to articulate to my readers. My stories sometimes depend on the feedback and I have to know how my audience is perceiving my work in order to improve. But, as you said, how can I know if I am doing well, or keeping my readers' interest if all I get is, "I didn't like it."? Okay, so tell me why you didn't like it so I can read over my work and try to see your point of view. As for rudeness, there really is no call for it. The author surely isn't making mistakes just to piss the readers off. So be nice and let them know why you didn't get into the story. The results of your kind criticisms will sometimes astound you! Thank you for this.
Your perception of constructive criticism varies from mine - Let's take a look at this two example ______________________ 1) Wow! Your story is so hot it makes me come a few times! __________________________________2) Shit! Your story is so dull it puts me to sleep!____________________________________Now why would the author think that example (1) is constructive and example (2) is negative??? Truthfully I don't see how constructive example (1) can be when it doesn't elaborate where the story was good. Oh, well I guess just because it makes one come so it's automatically taken as constructive which, is rather lame and shallow. All it does was stroke the ego of the writer when it wasn't in anyway helping the writer to be a better author in his or her future assignment. And just because example (2) didn't excite the reader and when the reader commented it was dull the writer gets offended? Doesn't that tells you that the writer is just being a hypocrite and only aiming for praises and fawning when the writiing is full of mistakes like wrong usage of words, grammar, spellings, punctuations. Come on writers, gimme a break.
You covered the territory very nicely. Thorough and well written. Unfortunately, the trolls of the world already know everything, so they won't read your "how to", or they will know why it doesn't apply to them. Still, it's an excellent reminder for the rest of us.
There's nothing worse than seeing a comment like: "Its a pile of crap, I didn't even read it." Well if they didn't read it how can they vote a big fat zero. Surely just for completing a story the author should get more than a zero, even if it is poor. Not only that, readers are fully aware of the category. But some make the comment as if they were shocked to find Anal sex in the "Anal section", Incest in the "Incest section". Anonymous readers should be grateful that they have something to read and if they aren't happy, they should go somewhere else. Or, god forbid..try writing themselves.
Thank you for posting this suggestion.
Many times I have wanted to comment on a submission but I was unsure how to respond without being too negative, so I would just submit a rating level without any comment.
Your posting clarified what would be acceptable and also help the writer.
First of all your How to Give Constructive Feedback was interesting and helpful, and secondly you get major points for quoting the Bill Crosby comedy album.
Furthermore I have no negative comments to leave, just a "thanks" for a well written article.
I agree with others on here. Trolls will always be trolls. I don't get a lot of public comments on my stories. The trolls have taken it upon themselves to send anonymous feedback through email. It makes me laugh because these people are obviously just in it for the thrill of the insult. I wouldn't be surprised if a few of these anonymous emails I get are actual writers on this site who just fear that the same kind of people will pollute their work.
I write for myself mostly. If I think it's something others will like I will post it here. It's a hobby and to have someone tear it to shreds just discourages me from writing anything for anyone but myself.
Thanks for the how-to. I myself leave small comments on stories I like and often times I am at a loss as to what to say so I leave a "looking forward to more" or "bring on the next chatper" kind of comment.Perhaps in the future, if I can't think of anything to say, I will quietly vote and move on. :)
You said it, and said it well. Being specific about the areas that need improvement is very useful. I once received, on another site, this tidbit: It was good, but you need to work on your style. I still haven't figured out exactly what they meant by that. Do I need to improve my style, do I need to find a style, do I need to tone down my style? On the other hand when I first began writing I had a few people tell me I needed to break up the dialogue more to make it easier to read. Now that was useful. I liked that you pointed out the fact that it is possible to give constructive criticism without being mean and hurtful about it. Putting people on the defensive certainly won't improve their writing, it will only hurt their feelings and/or make them angry. Thank you for posting this useful advice.
Thanks for a great, to-the-point guide. I hope many people take your advice to heart (including those who have so kindly praised us). I particularly enjoyed the Bill Cosby quotes. ;)
Some people will post comments in regards to technical merits of the story or they will comment about the specific content of the story, but to specifically delineate for a reader what they can or can not say smacks of censorship and that's kind of sad to see that in this site.
You wrote a very good concise way of leaving a comment on this site. Unfortunately the ones that need the most help will never read this sort of essay. I will never understand what a person gets out of leaving a hateful comment or worse, an actual threat after a story. There has to be a very pathetic life being played out for someone to get a lift out of doing that.
It is obvious that the writers on this site are getting pretty sick of it as well. You are seeing more and more stories posted without a comments section. Additionally this is the third essay I have read o this subject within the last couple of weeks. And lastly the total number of stories being posted in this site seems to have dwindled.
I believe my solution would reduce the hateful comments somewhat and it is nothing new, simply take away the anonymous option for a person leaving a comment. There's something about having to leave a user name with an email address attached that may make someone behave a bit more like a human. I realize that there are those such as TLee, Chagrined and the ever mutated Sherlock that have no shame but if these comments are reduced it's a start.
No feedback is worth a thousands words
Many stories and even more comments are obscene,even on Literotica,I will continue to comment giving praise where I think it is deserved,and adverse comments accordingly.The internet is swamped with filth,I do not consider Literotica a real problem.
Fuck that sack of shit from England. Encouraging: If you are not a professional writer or at least columnist this piece ought to prove you deserve to be. You goddamned look naysayers in the eye and kick 'em in the groin, Girl!!! Constructive: Always write with a broad range of points of view in mind before making up your own. You obviously do not need to be told as such, but shit, it needs to be said. Magica's got mad skrills y'all! Keep it real for me, babygirl.
I have read most of your submissions,and you do not have a problem,in fact I was surprised to read such a essay from you.This site as you are well aware,is for erotic stories,it is not for mudslinging.I would like to see a site where author or commentator,critic or other should not be anonymous.I have recently made a survey of comments on this site,some appalled me,some have no idea between erotica and obscenity.
actually, I believe this is the best piece you've written so far. I don't do "anonymous" feedback, because like you, I write & I post, & I get flames also. But my comments on your story about the woman whose doctor tells about her husband's infertility, so she goes out & deliberately gets pregnant by 2 strangers is just so far off the wall, so filled by logical inconsistencies - the doctor's behavior for a start - that there couldn't be enough suspension of disbelief for the premise to work. And, I won't apologize for my extreme dislike in seeing that type of person in effect getting rewarded for being a cheating slut. You obviously can write well, why you would-to me at least-waste any talent for in effect glorifying such an unlikeable cheat is a mystery. I believe that some behavior is so over the top that I am uncomfortable in even fiction that allows or even rewards such actions, with no justice for the husband. Her egregious betrayal in effect rationalized by the supposed fact of husband's infertility makes her such an unappealing "heroine". Oh well, enough of my soapbox. You write what you want, I'll write stories that slut, cheating wives lose everything in their lives that is important to them, and mayble we'll both be happy w/ what characters we've created.
I really do not like what I am about to do,I am not a sack of shit from england as you well know,I love your erotic stories,they are truly great.It is indeed sad that you and I have to tolerate the person from N BOSTON,In future I will contact you by other means.You have given me many hours of really erotic stories.Maybe your self appointed champion will now PISS OFF
As a reader, I often enjoy reading comments. Readers often point out a plot detail that I missed, or make plot suggestions that I love.
What I really hate, and annoys me to no end, is when people interject moral objections. I'll never understand why people will read stories in categories that they do not approve, then give negative comments. It's fantasy people, not rocket science. If you don't like blue widgets, do NOT read a story about blue widgets.
Negative moral comments ruin a pleasurable experience for everyone.
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