"I hated this story so much that I didn't even read it."
the storyline on this is very creative and I would hope you keep writing on this because im excited about reading the sequal.
How much I agree with you. I get lots of comments on my stories, and usually have three or so somewhere in the top comments section at any one time. It is certainly what keeps me going, as the section I write in (yes - loving wives ), does have it's school of haters who make sure that I seldom reach the magic 4,5 to get an 'H'
I have actually had death threats on my e mail, which are of course as always from annon! What a surprise.
Thanks for your thoughts, which may, just may, make one or two people think.
As authors, we can only hope that people will take this advice and use it positively, but we all know trolls will remain trolls. I write in the "tamer" categories, so I don't often get negative feedback and most of the feedback I do get is through email. Usually, when I comment on a story, I try to elaborate on what I like, but sometimes the "love it, can't wait for more" is all I can come up with, so either I don't comment at all or send email feedback to the author. In any case, thanks for this article. It was well written.
Except for the use of the word "nigger," I found this story to be very well written. I have been guilty of giving useless praise. I have several stories posted on Literotic and I know how I feel when I read comments to my stories. Thanks for sharing this important information. DangelaC.
...authors would heed this text, too. Unfortunately, I've seen (and had) even specific criticism deleted. Alas, some authors identify with their stories so much that any criticism of the story is deemed criticism of their person.
You have given a very well constructed critique of the most negative and repulsive portions of the "Comments" section! Thank you for supplying us with a much needed article.
Even if I didn't think the story was that good, at least the author posted the story. I am guilty of being too chicken-shit to post my work because of all of the negative comments. I think that is why I praise an author for their work, just because they posted.I agree with what you have writen, but I don't think some of the readers are ever going to stop bashing the author. Thanks for your post.....Rich
Hurray for this much-needed guide to leaving helpful comments. Very little of the feedback I receive is actually useful other than to gauge general reactions. I must admit to occasionally being lazy about comments myself and now vow to reform my ways. Thanks for writing this. ~JK
Thank you, thank you -- Thank you!
The article hits the nail on the head; scores a bullseye and takes the trash out the night before the dustman is due -- without having to be told!
It reads as a well balanced, considerate and most of all -- a commonsensical -- roadmap to what we all want, and need, as budding scribblers -- Yes! ...the elusive bird of acknowledgement -- Feedback baby --- Feedback.:)
ps. Negative or positive - (Its's all the same when the light goes out baby...:))
This is a very well written piece, it hits everything across the board from sexual orientation to ethnicity. It's about time that someone put it out there how to leave constsructive feedback. As writers we put ourselves on public emotional display for the whole world to read. The feedback that we get; good, bad, and ugly, is the only way we'll able to improve what we do. When I get a comment back like, "I loved it," or "That sucked!" I think to myself, "duly noted, but what the fuck am I supposed to do with that?" Hopefully your savvy advice will be heeded. Preach on!
Thank you. As someone who takes this as a hobby its nice to see there's someone out there who understands what it is we 'writers' really want when we take the chance and post a story. There are many people out there who take our efforts and time for granted and it gets annoying. But there's always the people who read and appreciate the fact that we try which is why we continue. Once again my thanks and gratitude for this essay.
This thread strikes right at the heart of their manic hypocrisy, on every level.
If it's a "Loving Wives" story, and even if the title of the story is "My Wife Fucked Carrot Top Tonight...And I'm Not Carrot Top," the usual brain-dead Morality Policy types here will STILL come in and rip the story, and the author, because the story describes extra-marital sex.
A "stupid people do stupid things" comment, accompanied by a "00" score, will follow nearly every shared wife story. The irony in such a statement never ceases to be lost on the stupid person who continually makes the same admission of stupidity about himself.
Like I said, even if the title and the little description CLEARLY indicate that the story will contain extra-marital sex some morons will still claim that they didn't know what they were getting into when they clicked on the story. They're THAT stupid.
Also, who is anyboddy kidding here, these clowns live for such stories. They claim to hate them, and they know full well what the story will contain, yet they read every last one. They never miss one, and then they never fail to leave the same dishonest comment about how they disapprove of such stories.
Disapprove, my ass. They wouldn't even log onto this site were it not for those stories.
So, while your admonition about not reading and commenting on subjects you know you don't like is completely sensible, and it should be so obvious as to not even need stating, the fact of the matter is that the people who most need to heed that advice are the people who are least likely to listen. What fun would it be for the Morality Police if they had to stop pretending to hate their favorite stories?
I have a pet peeve and this seems like a good place to voice it. I note that some comments begin with: "I don't comment on stories I don't like, but..." Please, please, if you are going to leave a comment, tell the author WHY you did not like their story and be specific. For instance, if an author failed to include a story tag to indicate the story contained anal sex and you don't like to read about that subject, tell the author of their error. If you are comfortable doing so, rate the story as if the anal sex was not included and tell the author you did so. If the anal sex was so graphic that it ruined the story for you, tell the author and rate the story accordingly.
Good advice! Great job! This piece really reminds me of the troubles in Somalia right now.
In all seriousness, though, thank you. I liked the title, too. It certainly reeled me in.
I like you, because you're to the point.
Thanks for this submission. I genuinely enjoyed reading it, both as a reader and a writer, and there wasn't a single point in it that I didn't agree with, or wasn't well made in the way you presented your arguement.
All too often the feedback portal resembles Maury Povich or Jerry Springer, rather than the literature site that it is. If this causes a few commenters to provide better feedback, then kudos to you!! JammyJimmy
Thank you for writing this. I read lots of people say that "00" comments are the negative once. I believe if a reader gives "00" & offers a constructive comment then it is not a "negative" comment it is a "positive" comment because the reader points out your mistakes & tell you where you went wrong. The once that gives "00" & make a personal dig at the author are the "Negative" comments. This feedback column is for stories & one should talk about it rather than taking a shot at the author. The same thing goes with the authors. Many authors delete the comments with LOW scores, Wrong if you don't like criticism then don't offer readers to comment on your stories. Readers don't even spare each others, just 2 days ago I saw 2 readers having a War of words with each other this is so wrong. Literotica is a free site for entertainment let as all enjoy it.
I see many, many grammar and sentence construction errors, even in stories whose authors credit an editor. Sometimes, I think those editors should be ashamed to have their names associated with the work. I feel like a killjoy pointing out common errors. Now, after reading this, I realize I have a responsibility to the author. I get free entertainment, so I owe something in return. I'll handle my comments differently from now on. Thanks. Rich PS. Sometimes, I can't hide my disgust for reader comments - especially the intolerant, unimaginative ones who see forgiveness as a sure sign of weakness.
I am really enjoying your writing. I am guilty of the positive comment that says "great work" simply because I have nothing else to say and want to encourage the writer, who most often is new. In any case great job.
Whilst I agree with your premise, you confuse comments with feedback. You can never stop someone voting your story down, but the comments are like the comments on a blog site. You have to moderate them - I have only ever deleted 1 comment for being a drunken ramble, but every writer must decide if they will tolerate the unhelpful ranting. There is nothing 'bad' about 'this was great', 'bring on the sequel' and suchlike as COMMENTS - you can be more analytical but, as michchick said, that is best put in a FEEDBACK mail. You are preaching to the choir here as all (bar one) of the comments show. I will still carry on giving a quick 'I liked it' as a comment because, if you haven't got time for feedback, this is better than saying nothing.
Then I could have been a little more constructive in my other comments. Still, you have a different take on subjects that many who frequent the site think about. It's refreshing. I wish I could offer something a bit more specific but other than saying I enjoy your dry humor, I've got nothing.
Keep at it. Maybe you'll end up with enough comments to satisfy you.
I think all comments – at least those which are constructive - would be much more useful if the author (of the comment) put them in HTML so the comments would have in sequential paragraphs.
HTML is not difficult, but it is just enough trouble that flamers would be unlikely to bother.
I am anonymous here because Literotica's server won't accept my user name - or password - or both.
This submission was intriguing, in some parts I had to laugh at the stupidity of what some people's comments were like. I think this was really informitive and a great way for others to realise what is and isn't helpful to authors. I am purely a reader, and if I don't like a persons story for some reason I either don't score them or I igore it and think about the story as a whole. Thank you. Everyone should be made to read this before they start commenting on Literotica.
This a porn site, not Lit. 101. It is not the reader’s job to make you a better writer. If you are serious about writing and receiving constructive feedback, find someone who understands what you are trying to achieve as a writer. Your suggestions are not unreasonable, but would someone who is serious about helping you be guilty of the behavior you criticize? Basically, you are asking the unreasonable members of your audience to behave reasonably, which is a bit like demanding peace from a warlord. You would be better off joining a more tolerant, exclusive community or encouraging Literotica to implement rules that foster the reciprocity you seek.
But I don't believe you are going to get commentors to change the way they comment. Why? Because it seems to be a saftety valve for them, does it work, who knows.
I normally read stories in the Loving Wives section and I have to say some of the comments make just as good reading as the story! Other comments are nasty and meet the criteria you mentioned in your other submission on comments. I guess one of the reasons I started to leave comments was to encourage authors who sometimes receive some really nasty and harmful feedback. Having said that here goes:
I really enjoyed both your submissions on comments and they echo some of my thoughts on the matter. Your style of writing makes the information you present easy to read and assimilate and since I skip read the use of bold headings helped a lot. Oh, I almost forgot, I am going to give it 5 stars
Yes, I read both comments and yes, both have their point.
I think its rightful for an author to want to be respected as a thinking human being. Sometimes I read comments on this side I really dislike because of their tone and argument.
Rarely people would say such things straight in your face. Hiding in anonymity is so easy.
On the other hand, exactly those people who need advices, wont take them.
But I will always try to remember to be specific.....
(Please excuse any wrong writing, Im no native speaker)
As someone who spent years simply reading on this site for the purposes of getting herself off, for the longest time I didn't even realise that you could rate stories, let alone that authors might actually appreciate feedback.
Then I got heavily involved in the world of fan fiction and learned just how important feedback can be. I took giving feedback very seriously.
So why is it that, even since joining this place properly a little over a month ago and knowing what I know about feedback, I'm still reading and failing to rate and comment?
I guess some of it in the past was the fact that I didn't feel any sense of responsibility to. I wasn't part of the community here, so I felt no compulsion was on me to comment.
Now that I'm part of the community, I'm still finding myself wary about giving feedback.
To begin with, if I don't enjoy a story, I don't rate it. Simple. I don't really care about the scoring system, but I don't want to drag anyone's score down, so I just ignore that part.
But when it comes to writing comments, I've only done so if I've felt really moved to say something. Something positive, that is. I've read through comments on stories (now that it's entered my head to bother to do so) and seen comments that have seemed endlessly nit-picky and not particularly encouraging. I wanted to avoid being like that. After reading your article however, I'm beginning to wonder if I've been grasping the wrong end of the stick, because I could really go to town on some of these stories. Gently and with respect, of course.
My question is "How much truth does an author want to hear?", coupled with "Do all authors really want feedback and do they all want the same type?" I do recognise that that truth is often my subective truth, but the question still stands.
There are people who do just want to be encouraged. I found it in the fan-fic world. They just want to hear "I enjoyed it, thanks for writing, maybe we could read some more soon?" Those people are quite happy with the less specific types of comments.
There are others, of course, who are much more serious about the craft of writing and who are striving to improve. This is the type of author who wants my detailed comments. But how am I to know the difference? I don't want to waste my time writing what can amount to a lengthy critique for someone who doesn't particularly care about actually getting better as a writer.
Having said that, there are stories on here with such implausible scenarios, shallow characters and improbable plots that I tend to assume the authors are writing that way quite deliberately, merely as a vehicle for their own masturbation fantasies. Who am I to try to give them literary criticism? That's not what they're about.
And yet...in making that assumption, I'm possibly ignoring the genuine writer who simply doesn't realise that their work stinks and who, with a little guidance, could improve but who would quite possibly be devestated by my truthful and honest criticism.
Yes, I find leaving comments and feedback a minefield at times. No wonder so many people prefer to leave their comments anonymously.
Now I realise I've just demonstrated one of the thing about comments and feedback that you were discussing. I've waxed lyrical and not actually given you any feedack. And this comment should probably have been sent to you as email, rather than left in the comments, but I'm too far gone to change things now!
Basically, what I wanted to say was, I enjoyed reading your article. It made me think about how I could improve the comments I've recently started leaving and wondering just how specific I should get in what I say. Thank you for your thought provoking piece.
This essay was posted almost 5 years ago
It is still just as true and just as pertinent as ever.
I appreciate that for many authors, they are putting their work their 'baby' on show for the world which can be rewarding, confronting and scary thing to do. While acknowledging there are other authors who are writing to get their fantasies, masturbatory stories out too The reason I comment is to encourage and let authors I've seen your work, thank you for your efforts and for the most part this is what I think about it. For authors - I mostly comment on series, or those with a catalogue of stories and in my mind at least think, these are the ones that are always working/refining their stories. Perhaps naively so and by doing so disadvantaging/not encouraging the one off authors to keep going. I will comment if authors ask me to...............don't know if that's a marketing ploy or so for ratings but it does tell me they want the comments. So authors if you're serious about wanting comments for me anyway, include at the end.
I rate too, and mostly will rate 'keep going' again to encourage authors, but because its quick and I don't have to give thought to the comments. I'm glad to have read this, so I can be more constructive with the good and bad. Overall please authors, serious budding authors, hobbyist, fantasists, masturbators, dark and squeamish, I read them all and encourage all to keep going
I comment as anonymous, but that's because I have a conspiracy mindset, rather than wanting to offend and get away with it
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