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Feedback.


March Hare

Feedback on the Forum  

38 members have voted

  1. 1. If you post fiction or art, do you specifically ask for feedback?

    • Yes, using that exact word.
      4
    • Yes, but I don't always use the same words.
      13
    • No, I don't specifically ask for feedback, but I do want it.
      19
    • No, I don't really care what others think of my work. I just want to put it out there.
      2
  2. 2. What does the word 'feedback' mean to you, when you ASK for it?

    • Praise. If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all! I don't want criticism.
      3
    • Mostly praise, but I don't mind bits of advice for improving my drawing or writing, as long as they're kindly worded.
      27
    • Criticism. I'm always looking to improve my skills and I want people to be brutally honest about my work.
      17
  3. 3. What does the word 'feedback' mean to you, when you GIVE it?

    • Praise. If I can't say anything nice, I don't say anything at all. I'm not looking to improve other people's skills.
      5
    • Mostly praise, but I also think 'feedback' means 'suggestions to improve and enrich'.
      20
    • Criticism. I think that people shouldn't ask for feedback if they don't want people's honest opinion.
      3
    • It wholly depends on the person whose work I'm looking at.
      21


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Please feel free to elaborate on your answers. I am seeking to find out exactly what our writers and artists want when they ask for feedback, or even when they post their work without specifically asking for it. What motive do you have when sharing the fruits of your creativity? Do you want the readers and viewers to give you tips and suggestions on how to improve, or are you not looking for criticism at all, just for encouragement by positive reactions?

Neither of these options is better than the other, obviously, and you're as obviously not limited to one side or the other. Just be honest, and don't think there is one 'socially acceptable' answer that you're 'supposed' to give. I'm just interested in what our authors and artists really want. yes.gif

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I would have voted for the option 4, becuase I never ask for feedback on this forum; but then I would have needed to pick from the other two categories, which would not make sense.

But even if I don't specifically ask for "feedback", it's not like I didn't care at all - I like it when people who have enjoyed what they saw or read write a comment to express that. Also, to me it means "keep doing more". I think it's an important signal.... it's encouragement! Although I would probably do more anyway. :lol:

I've had "constructive criticism" on things I have posted here, but from people I know well and trust, and it was always given privately. I think that makes a huge difference. If someone made critical comment of my work publicly in the topic I posted, I would be quite bummed. It's not the time or place I think. And I'm quite glad we have rules against that.

If someone is really aching to give me constructive criticism, I'd appreciate they would PM me and ask if I wanted to hear it. I don't think that would be awfully much work... especially compared to the amount of work I had put into making whatever was being criticised. I would probably be really glad to hear it that way though.

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You know, that depends. I go by the whole "can't say anything nice, say nothing", because if I go to the lengths of actually daring to put something out there for others to read, I don't want to be smashed down like this would be an art/writing school. I think, if nobody says anything good about my stuff, it's pretty obvious that they don't like it. If people start telling me, for example, "well, the spellings were good but I think the story sucked because you have no plot, and the characters are boring and..." - doesn't help me. Only makes me sad. If I share it and you like it, I'm happy if you tell me so. If I share it and you don't, well... you don't have to read it, and you don't have to make me feel bad by telling me it sucked.

Then again, if I am on a "feedback/constructive critisism" basis with someone, that's a different thing. But then I'm more likely to discuss with them in private what they think and ask for advice. Also if I do trades, I aim to please someone else's tastes, and if they don't like what I've written, of course they should tell me so, so I can get as close to what they want as possible.

And yes, I am highly sensitive about these things, I know I am. But it's because I "am what I do", and if you slam what I write, it makes me feel as if you hate me. bag.gif

ETA: ENCOURAGEMENT! Thank you pig, that was what I was trying to say! :D

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Well I ran into the same problem with pig on the poll. I wouldn't really ask for feedback on here publically ever. If I want feedback, I would be more inclined to ask specific people privately. Pretty much anything I write on here is aimed at either my own tastes, or towards certain people I want to please so anyone's opinion of whether I write well (for exampe) is rather irrelevant.

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I feel completely differently about feedback here then I do elsewhere. This forum is kind of a safe space, and it's hard enough to write these stories in the first place without having to worry that we'll be judged for them. I'm much more okay with recieving negative feedback about the story itself--my style, the characters or my representation of them if it's fanfiction, my plot--that I am about recieving feedback on the aspects of the fetish that I include. I'm confident as a writer, and I want to improve my work, but as a person with a very unusual fetish that can't be revealed anywhere except here, I do not want to be judged for my tastes--which are frequently expressed in my fiction. I try to do the same thing when I'm reviewing someone else's work--if there's some way I think they could improve their actual writing, I might say something, but I'll be heavy on the praise, and I'm not going to comment on their inclusion of some aspect of the fetish that may not appeal to me.

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I enjoy both praise and criticism. However, I draw a line between constructive criticism and just being a dick.

Listing off everything you didn't like is being a dick.

Listing off everything you didn't like and giving suggestions for improving on them is constructive criticism.

Of course, I feel good when people only have praise for me, but I have never once felt like my work has been perfect. I don't want people to just come around and tear it down, but I do want to hear ways I can make it better.

I will admit that most feedback I leave is "OMG this was the best omg lol." However, I usually at least try to call attention to the details that I liked. I also generally won't post criticism unless the author specifically asked for it, publically or privately. I know a lot of people don't want any at all, so i leave it out unless it's been asked for.

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I ask for feedback if I think to. I always want it, but sometimes I just forget to say so and hope people just give it if they're inclined. I try to vary the way I ask for it just a little bit so it doesn't sound like a mechanical request. Sometimes I want to hear about certain parts of the story, too, so I'll put in specifics if there are any.

When I post fiction, I won't ever turn away words of praise, but I like to know what people don't like too. I think no matter where I post my work, I always want people to feel comfortable telling me if there's something they thought was strange. Especially when I write fanfics, I want to know whether the characters are OOC or if I'm doing okay writing believable scenarios. I don't have anything against only praise, of course. It's just if everyone who comments only says nice things, I think there might be something they aren't telling me that they didn't like. At the same time, I don't always equate critique and criticism. It might just be in my own mind, but I think of the former as a more polite way of saying that something could be improved. When I think something can be better and the author/artist wants to know, I make sure I say it in as polite a way as possible. I like that courtesy from people, so I try my best to give it.

In terms of other people asking for feedback, I make sure I look at how they asked. I've noticed a lot of people on here don't really want criticism on their writing (I'm staying more specific to that since I mostly stalk the story part of the forum), which I totally respect. I've got plenty of good things to say on the stuff I read anyway. If the person asks for critique or just an outright "did you like it or not?" kind of thing, I still don't really critique it. It might be because I'm new-ish to the forum, so I'm not entirely comfortable saying if there's something I thought could be improved. But even if I did, I always do my best elsewhere to balance praise and critique so the person knows that I'm not saying there's something wrong because I hated what I read or anything like that.

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Man I guess some people have got some opinions on this, now I feel weird adding my short little two cents :P For me personally, I honestly appreciate any feedback at all, though I'll likely take any criticism with a grain of salt given that these aren't super masterpieces I try to write on here, lol. But even outright negative criticism is better than no response at all, in my opinion; I think it's more demoralizing to think that nobody even cares enough to read your work than to think that they don't like it.

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I would have voted for the option 4, becuase I never ask for feedback on this forum; but then I would have needed to pick from the other two categories, which would not make sense.

But even if I don't specifically ask for "feedback", it's not like I didn't care at all - I like it when people who have enjoyed what they saw or read write a comment to express that. Also, to me it means "keep doing more". I think it's an important signal.... it's encouragement! Although I would probably do more anyway. heh.gif

I've had "constructive criticism" on things I have posted here, but from people I know well and trust, and it was always given privately. I think that makes a huge difference. If someone made critical comment of my work publicly in the topic I posted, I would be quite bummed. It's not the time or place I think. And I'm quite glad we have rules against that.

If someone is really aching to give me constructive criticism, I'd appreciate they would PM me and ask if I wanted to hear it. I don't think that would be awfully much work... especially compared to the amount of work I had put into making whatever was being criticised. I would probably be really glad to hear it that way though.

I really don't have anything to add to this, so: What pig said. All of it. :yes:

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I don't Specifically *ever* ask for critiques of my work. However, that being said I am *More* than open to critiques. I have a couple of Lovely friends that I have used as "betas". It has depended on what I am writing as to who I ask. When I ask these people in particular- because I value their opinions I want to know their honest opinion. Not that I don't want to know other's opinions.... it's just that I generally like someone (other than me) to take a "look over" before I post.

To me critiques are like what Blah said- not being a jerk or trying to tear someone down, but trying to make their writing better. I have had people pm me and I know that at least once someone put it in the thread (I had been silly and confused CPR and mouth to mouth). It was funny that after posting they told me that they felt like a jerk, but I *Totally* did not take it like that. They weren't looking to trash my writing- or complain about things that I couldn't change without Totally changing the story (i.e.- "Your story Sucks- you write too much plot. Or "I hate male sneezes"). When they pointed out that error I went :doh: and just went and changed it and I felt better. :D Oh... and Blah... it sounds like you really especially would like Specific compliments. I Love those. I realise though that sometimes it is tough to write those. I try to give Specific things that I enjoy when I can.

My personal feeling is that if you can't handle suggestions to improve your writing- then DON'T ask for critiques at ALL. If all you want is "omg I Love your work" that's fine... but- I don't know... maybe be specific about the feedback that you want. The one thing that is a personal pet peeve of mine :blushing: is .... when people write *Maybe* a paragraph... or possibly two and then BEG for feedback and sort of imply that if nobody responds they won't write the story. If I don't have much written and I'm dying to share- I pm a friend. I don't post till I have a decent size chunk. I write for my own enjoyment (except for the couple of times that I have written something *specifically* for a person) and while I LOVE it when people enjoy my stories, I would still write even if I didn't get a response or only got one or two.

And when responding to stories I only post nice comments. If a story isn't to my liking I don't comment. If it could use improvements- I don't think that I would necessarily point out anything unless asked and do it via pm. I have been asked by friends to "beata" and when I'm asked I do point out things where I feel wording Might flow better or maybe ask for clarification or point out spelling or grammar. I don't do it in a terse or nasty way and the word phrasings are Suggestions. I feel that often word choices can be subjective, so I'm not offended if they don't use my suggestions on phrasing. I feel Really honoured when people have asked me to look at their work and I treat it the same way that I would want to be treated. Seriously but not like a jerk.

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Another prying question: if you don't post your work to please your audience, why do you do it?

Again, I emphatically do NOT intend to be snippy. This is not a rhetorical question.

I know I put fiction out here on the forum because well, basically, I think that the things I deem worth posting are actually quite good and I want to know if people agree. I also want to add to the collection, as it were, and I simply like to exhibit. I don't usually ask for feedback (if I remember correctly... do I?) but I'm thinking of doing just that next time, because I would in fact like to know exactly what people like and don't like about my scribblings. Because I am doing it partly to please the audience, I'll admit. B)

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Well... I *like* to please my audience, I will admit that- I would hate to share something that I wrote and have everyone think that it is utter rubbish.

But... to be honest when I write I'm not thinking of an audience at ALL. I think... "Hmmmm..... what would *I* like to write about?" And if I have characters that have fully "fleshed themselves out" then part of the process Very much is about what "facet" of their relationship that I want to explore and "listening" for how the story unfolds. Having characters (even self-created characters) be "in character" is *Extremely* important to me. I want it to feel "real".

I know... I SO blather on about this- but hey- it is Ultra fun to geek about this. Thanks Maru!! :hug::wub: BTW- one of the fics that I Adore and re-read every so often is your Jazz story. I'm a sucker for the musican aspect, I Love the banter- there is a definite "voice" to it, and it feels very Real to me.

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For future Metalocalypes fans to someday unearth.

And the current ones. :P

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Another prying question: if you don't post your work to please your audience, why do you do it?

First reason: because it is sexy. I write my fics and draw my pictures to indulge my own fetish (unless it's something I've been asked to do, but I still write it on my own terms) and when I post it, if other people find it hot and comment on that, I find it in the strangest way very sexy indeed.

Another reason... well, just to share. I enjoy reading fics by others and looking at pictures drawn by others, even if I didn't find every detail perfect; so if I have something that others might enjoy as well, why not to share it? But that is about where it stops, that is how much work I want to put into it, and if someone enjoys it well that is very cool, but seriously especially when writing I'm not exactly looking for to hone my skills or make something technically perfect. I'm writing on my second language, and this is just... sort of fooling around. I don't have ambition about it.

To sum it up, I get intense enjoyment from drawing and writing fetish stuff, and other people finding the scenarios etc hot prolongs that enjoyment and is fun in a "let's giggle and drool together" way. At the same time, it feels good to "give back to the community"... but only that much. In the end it's just silly fetish writing, and it doesn't have to be perfect; only good enough.

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I don't always specifically ask for feedback in everything I write, but sometimes I do. I suppose I always want it whether I ask for it or not. Sure I'm looking for praise, but I'm also very open to constructive critisism and suggestions so long as the person giving it can do it in a nice helpful way. If anyone has anything extremely negative to say about my writing, then I probably don't want to hear it. I probably would want the constructive critisism to take place in private for the most part though.

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Another prying question: if you don't post your work to please your audience, why do you do it?

I do post my writing in part so people can enjoy it. At the same time, I post it for a number of other reasons. I really like sharing what I create, regardless of what it is. Actually, part of the reason I joined the forum was so I could have even one other person read my fanfics - the fetish-oriented ones, anyway. I like being able to talk about my writing or someone else's with people who are interested.

I also like to improve my writing. So I like the idea of people telling me what they like or don't like, or what needs improvement as a whole so I can apply that to my future works. I like seeing people enjoy what I write, and I want to make something I like too. Until recently, I just wrote aimless fetishy stories, so when I write them with the intention of other people reading them, I try to make them good and with a plot of some kind. If I don't have the mind for someone else to read it, I'll just ramble and write and never finish.

I'm not sure I can give a certain reason for why I post what I write. I guess in short I'm just curious about what people think of it and I want to make it better, even if it's not something I'm going to post beyond the forum. Something to do with personal satisfaction, I think.

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Another prying question: if you don't post your work to please your audience, why do you do it?

First reason: because it is sexy. I write my fics and draw my pictures to indulge my own fetish (unless it's something I've been asked to do, but I still write it on my own terms) and when I post it, if other people find it hot and comment on that, I find it in the strangest way very sexy indeed.

Another reason... well, just to share. I enjoy reading fics by others and looking at pictures drawn by others, even if I didn't find every detail perfect; so if I have something that others might enjoy as well, why not to share it? But that is about where it stops, that is how much work I want to put into it, and if someone enjoys it well that is very cool, but seriously especially when writing I'm not exactly looking for to hone my skills or make something technically perfect. I'm writing on my second language, and this is just... sort of fooling around. I don't have ambition about it.

To sum it up, I get intense enjoyment from drawing and writing fetish stuff, and other people finding the scenarios etc hot prolongs that enjoyment and is fun in a "let's giggle and drool together" way. At the same time, it feels good to "give back to the community"... but only that much. In the end it's just silly fetish writing, and it doesn't have to be perfect; only good enough.

I agree with all of this. :yes:

(really... it's simply porn to me. It's fun writing it and I like when I can write something that I'm really content with - it would be lovely if others like those things as much as I do, but I don't post it for others to take it apart and "correct" it. Now, I did this really embarrassing fact mistake with my Jack the ripper story, and our dear Count pointed it out for me. That's perfectly alright. But personally, I don't think it's alright when someone comes to rip my story apart because they think they hold the key to how I should write and not. If I want that, I ask someone specifically, in private. )

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I enjoy both praise and criticism. However, I draw a line between constructive criticism and just being a dick.

Listing off everything you didn't like is being a dick.

Listing off everything you didn't like and giving suggestions for improving on them is constructive criticism.

Of course, I feel good when people only have praise for me, but I have never once felt like my work has been perfect. I don't want people to just come around and tear it down, but I do want to hear ways I can make it better.

I will admit that most feedback I leave is "OMG this was the best omg lol." However, I usually at least try to call attention to the details that I liked. I also generally won't post criticism unless the author specifically asked for it, publically or privately. I know a lot of people don't want any at all, so i leave it out unless it's been asked for.

This sums up my feelings on the matter pretty well. I happily welcome both flailing praise and constructive advice on things I could do better in my writing. In fact, I'd prefer the inclusion of some constructive thoughts over just blanket praise. I don't want to be accidentally lulled into thinking I'm a better writer than I am and praise loses it's power to some degree for me if it's never tempered with anything else. Not that I'm complaining about praise by any means, but ultimately I would like to be the best writer I can be and feedback from readers about what doesn't work for them is incredibly helpful in getting there.

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After reading the posts in this topic, I will have to note something strictly from the mod perspective:

If you want criticism of your work, please state that clearly in your topic. I really wish people will do this because if the poster has not asked for criticism, we will routinely warn commenters for any negative feedback. This is simply to minimize the chance that someone providing content would be discouraged - perhaps some more confident writers/artists might see this heavy-handed, but as the fetish is still a very sensitive and personal subject to many, just putting content up there might feel daunting. I also personally believe that receiving and processing critical feedback is a skill that needs to be in most cases learned by practice, so throwing around critical comments publicly (public criticism is tougher to take than private) is really just risky business. But at the same time, it would be a shame if we ended up warning someone for criticism the topic starter really wanted to hear, because we didn't know better.

I don't want to be accidentally lulled into thinking I'm a better writer than I am and praise loses it's power to some degree for me if it's never tempered with anything else. Not that I'm complaining about praise by any means, but ultimately I would like to be the best writer I can be and feedback from readers about what doesn't work for them is incredibly helpful in getting there.

You know I think here lies a big difference... for me the forum feedback isn't really something I base my idea of my skill as a writer / artist on. Mainly because what I post here is in the end, well, just porn... and the people commenting are just other pervs (very lovely pervs though!), but the work I do with serious mindset is somewhere else completely and a whole another process alltogether. What I put on here is not ambitious. It's just taking part in a pleasure fest with other people sharing my most intimate, sexy secret.

This is such a good discussion, Maru! smile.png I'm glad you decided to start a topic.

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I often do put something saying "Feel free to be brutal/negative/etc" as I really would like people to tell me when they see things they want improved or just that they don't like. It doesn't mean I'll always agree, and if someone says they hate something I personally like I'm quite happy to continue doing that, but I actually often feel like the feedback is rather incomplete if people don't tell me SOMETHING wrong. Like they're just saying what they think I want to hear. Though I'm not saying I don't like positive feedback or even just "lulz I liked it" type comments, I do, I'm a total comment whore :bleh: Really I just ask for it so people can feel free to smash me/my work if they want to. In fact, please do, hearing what people DON'T like is what gives me ideas for areas to improve on! Though as pig says, I don't base my ideas of my own skill on what people say here. If I did I'd be hopelessly egotistical, you guys are all far too nice :bleh:

When giving it to other people, generally I go with "If I can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all", though it really depends who the person is. If they ask for feedback, I try to give it, though I always try to include how I think the problem/bit I don't like could be improved. Though...if someone with awful spelling, grammar, plot and characters says "please give constructive criticism" I often don't just because I feel like I'll end up saying too much and offending them :lol:

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After reading the posts in this topic, I will have to note something strictly from the mod perspective:

If you want criticism of your work, please state that clearly in your topic. I really wish people will do this because if the poster has not asked for criticism, we will routinely warn commenters for any negative feedback. This is simply to minimize the chance that someone providing content would be discouraged - perhaps some more confident writers/artists might see this heavy-handed, but as the fetish is still a very sensitive and personal subject to many, just putting content up there might feel daunting. I also personally believe that receiving and processing critical feedback is a skill that needs to be in most cases learned by practice, so throwing around critical comments publicly (public criticism is tougher to take than private) is really just risky business. But at the same time, it would be a shame if we ended up warning someone for criticism the topic starter really wanted to hear, because we didn't know better.

I don't want to be accidentally lulled into thinking I'm a better writer than I am and praise loses it's power to some degree for me if it's never tempered with anything else. Not that I'm complaining about praise by any means, but ultimately I would like to be the best writer I can be and feedback from readers about what doesn't work for them is incredibly helpful in getting there.

You know I think here lies a big difference... for me the forum feedback isn't really something I base my idea of my skill as a writer / artist on. Mainly because what I post here is in the end, well, just porn... and the people commenting are just other pervs (very lovely pervs though!), but the work I do with serious mindset is somewhere else completely and a whole another process alltogether. What I put on here is not ambitious. It's just taking part in a pleasure fest with other people sharing my most intimate, sexy secret.

This is such a good discussion, Maru! smile.png I'm glad you decided to start a topic.

Ah, see, I take all of my writing at the same level of seriousness. Perhaps that will change someday if I start undertaking things that could be classified as more ambitious, but currently I view all of my writing in the same way. I confess, I don't quite understand looking at it the way you describe, but whether or not I understand it is really neither here nor there.

Could you specify what you mean by negative though? In terms of feedback? Maybe I'm just being dense, but for me there's a definite difference between constructive criticism and being negative and I'd rather not stumble across a line I failed to notice and get warned for it. Because right now I'm feeling very unclear on where that line is. Is any feedback other than praise considered negative and warn worthy or is there some middle ground?

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Could you specify what you mean by negative though? In terms of feedback? Maybe I'm just being dense, but for me there's a definite difference between constructive criticism and being negative and I'd rather not stumble across a line I failed to notice and get warned for it. Because right now I'm feeling very unclear on where that line is. Is any feedback other than praise considered negative and warn worthy or is there some middle ground?

You know I think you're absolutely right that there is a gray area there, and I sadly can't give you any very clear pointers. I'm still fairly new as a mod myself, and as the forum folk is most of the time very considerate and nice, there haven't really been so many problems with this one during the time I have been on the staff. When it really comes down to it, I would have to see it and discuss it with others to tell. So if you are feeling uncertain about your judgement, I think it might be a good idea to either ask the person whose work you're commenting if they would like some constructive criticism, or hit the "contact us" -button at the top of the page and ask if what you wanted to post is ok, and we'll gladly help. :)

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You know I think here lies a big difference... for me the forum feedback isn't really something I base my idea of my skill as a writer / artist on. Mainly because what I post here is in the end, well, just porn... and the people commenting are just other pervs (very lovely pervs though!), but the work I do with serious mindset is somewhere else completely and a whole another process alltogether. What I put on here is not ambitious. It's just taking part in a pleasure fest with other people sharing my most intimate, sexy secret.

I'm the same way. I write on here and spend almost no time editing. It's really just for fun. And you know, there is a degree of feedback on here anyway. It's demoralising enough if you write something that very few people read or comment on, although I try to not get too worried because I have seen very well written fics which have received very little attention, and fics which I wonder at anyone reading which have received loads. Personal taste in the fetish must have a massive effect.

I might also get annoyed if someone was very critical of my work, and I looked at theirs and thought it was not very good. I would find it hard not to comment in return and I think it could easily lead to ill-feeling. Am I the only one? I feel rather bad saying it when several people have said that they would want feedback in all comments... my personal feeling is that not everyone would be skilled enough to give feedback outside of whether they liked it or not. And if they didn't like it, then unless they can list a valid problem with the writing (as opposed to something related only to personal taste) then I'm just not that keen to hear it. I'm easily discouraged by negativity. I do sometimes ask for suggestions regarding what people would like to read next with regard to the fetish itself, or in fan-fic, to get feedback on what characters people find interesting, but other than that, no.

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I'm completely the same way Ouro- writing is a hobby and I *know* that it is "just" a hobby and I know that I'm not writing a best-selling novel, but... I do want my work to be quality. And I Totally get the difference between constructive criticism (very positive but some pointers) vs. just flat out being a jerk. Part of it is tone and part of it is if it is something that is pretty easy to fix- like a typo or something that you might be confused about in the story and the author (in this case- myself) could go "Oh!! :doh: and flesh it out a bit or explain more" I know that sometimes *I* have a clear picture in my head of what is happening... but I want others to get that too. And even though I *do* write for my own enjoyment- I would like to *think* that I've grown as a writer over the years, which makes me happy. I'm Very certain that I won't be a "published author" of any type- but...

I don't know... for *me* reading and writing stories on here can be for "pure pleasure"( and I do this sometimes) but they can also be to really enjoy a *story*. Sometimes I feel a bit stupid about that because I have in my mind that probably 90% of people just read stuff as pure, "Darn it- get to the "good stuff!!" where as when I see a great character-driven story that I love the fetishy stuff is just the extra cherry ontop of a Very yummy sundae. And as far as my silly little writer ego goes.... if you treat my goofy little stories if I'm writing character-driven stuff (even if a bit sappy) like Actual stories (like where you notice stuff and have a feel for characters and situation)- I sort of Melt and go :wub: :wub: :blushing: I know.... goofy writer "ego" :rolleyes:

I suppose that I can start putting "feedback welcome including critiques (constructive is appreciated" (or something like that) Just to make life easier for mods and stuff.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I thought I'd have a go at answering this from the staff point of view. As others have said the line between constructive criticism and non-constructive criticism is quite a fine one, and often linked to perception more than anything else, what one person might have said intending to be constructive can sound quite DEstructive when looked at by someone who has invested significant emotion and time into a story. That said, where we would draw the line from a moderation standpoint is best illustrated by giving two (admittedly quite extreme) examples of saying pretty much the same thing but in very different ways.

"The ghost of proper English structure is now revolving in its grave" vs. "I think people might engage better with your writing if your sentence construction and paragaph breaks were more consistent, for example...."

We'd issue a warning and delete the first for being destructive criticism while we'd allow the second to stand as it is perfectly constructive. Generally we'd expect qualifiers in constructive criticism ("I think", "you might"...etc.) and for any suggestions of improvements to be made as just that, suggestions, rather than demands or being phrased in a way which denigrates the original poster. We'd also expect constructive criticism to directly engage with the writing, rather than be made through snide/pithy asides. Constructive criticism also should not criticize based on personal taste. "I think x is a better sneeze spelling" or "I think this would be better with female sneezes" is NOT constructive and will not be treated as such!

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