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Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by Souderwan, Oct 1, 2005.

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  1. Noelie

    Noelie Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jul 11, 2005
    I can honestly tell you that KNOWING you are completely invisible is the worst thing in the world.

    To hear through others that what you are writing is boring and brainless Mary Sue's is about the most depressing feeling in the world. To have to completely borne out in competition is further worse.

    I can honestly tell you that just one person that doesn't have to read me because they are my sister or my long suffering co-writer, who I know is a fine writer because she has done well anywhere else she puts her mind to writing continues to make this a very difficult uphill to climb

    I can honestly tell you that knowing in my own personal case that I have been told by the people that have been on this board a long time that I am not being read is because what I am doing is so Mary Sue, I almost can't continue some days.

    I keep trying because the point is I do love doing this, but a lurker that doesn't have to read my things and come out of the wood work and says something is a friend to treasure.
  2. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Jedi Grand Master star 9

    Mar 26, 2001
    You make a good point there: No feedback is unappreciated. Delurking in any form gives a sense of appreciation just because people care enough about you to go into your thread and give it some thought. That's a wonderful thing no matter what.
  3. furrylittlebantha

    furrylittlebantha Jedi Master star 3

    Dec 2, 2005
    Hello, all! Thought I'd *coughs* de-lurk and put in my two cent's. :D

    I'm with Persephone_Kore in some respects. I started out as a simple reader at, fresh off of Zahn and eager for more.

    The first link I clicked on was the quintessential 'badfic', riddled with every grammar, plot, spelling, characterization, and Mary Sue issue you could possibly imagine. Callow innocent that I was, I actually read the whole thing and thought it representative of fanfiction. Ouch.

    Therein lies the mindset of the "lurker"--we're not saavy to all of this yet. It's simple: we love to read. We love Star Wars. We love certain characters. And profic just isn't fitting the bill. Voila! We stumble, as if by some urban magic, into a digital world populated entirely by whatever the heck we want: whatever 'ships, whatever color lightsaber, whatever conversation. So, we abandon the armchair and the library card for DSL, not aware that it isn't a simple shift in the mode of reading. It's a shift into a community. We think with glee that it's all free; we need to get a reality check and realize that cliches are based on truth and there really isn't anything as a free lunch. (Unless you are a kleptomaniac or just have very bad manners. [face_mischief] )

    But who's going to make us aware? After all, I'll wager that it never enters the mind of the average Michael Stackpole reader to write long notes analyzing aspects of his character development and offering constructive criticism on his occasional Gary Stuism of Corran Horn. The thought of interaction just doesn't figure into the picture.

    Then we work up the courage to write a fic of our own. That's when the light goes on about feedback. [face_idea] It's incredible! It's addictive. It makes your day. It gives you the encouragement needed to aim for higher things, writingwise.

    And we suddenly feel like complete hypocrites for being simple readers.

    Things get complicated after that. Our minds start playing games with us. Am I reviewing because I like the story, or because I want to get my name out there? I love this viggie, but there are already pages of reviews! This person reviewed my story, so I am I obligated to review his, even if it's not something I like?

    The simple enjoyment of simple reading can to fade into politics very shortly, I'm afraid.

    Personally, I love Star Wars. I love to read. I love the sense of fellowship here. But I also am a student with a busy life. So, I write a fic occasionally. I then save all the reviews and read them when I'm depressed about my writing skills or life in general. I review, too, albeit sporadically--on stories that catch my fancy or touch my heart or are written by a newbie like me who I feel will go far with a little encouagement.

    As for you, Souderwan and Oqidaun, I admit to lurking. Eagerly, and wistfully wishing I was flipping crisp pages instead of scrolling down a screen. You Obaonas and DarthIshtars and ChristineXs, when I read your stories I'm not a newbie or a game-player or even a lurker, truly. Because I've forgotten that you're not a name on a book jacket, and that I'm not running up a fine on my library account.

    I'm a just a reader. And perhaps silent homage is greatest of all.

    (...though I know you love the other kind just as much as the rest of us and I really do feel guilty!!!!) [face_blush]

  4. Persephone_Kore

    Persephone_Kore Jedi Master star 4

    Jan 19, 2006
    I will note that it's easier to get to the realization about feedback if you can see the feedback. I started out (er... several years ago, in X-Men comics fanfic) reading on archives that posted email addresses for the authors, but it seemed weird to email somebody out of the blue even if their address was right there to do it. I guess this was before bots that collected people's emails, or else before people worried about them. Some of the emails, not surprisingly, were defunct or no longer checked; I got up the nerve to contact a few authors even at that stage, and I seem to remember a few attempts bouncing and some disappearing into the ether. I can't complain, though; I think I might have ended up with a dead email on some of my stories in one of those myself, eventually.

    I eventually found the chat channel and then the mailing list, and once I got the notion of feedback I actually think I was kind of a pest to some of my favorites sometimes... I didn't just want to tell them what I thought, I wanted to ask them stuff. At length.

    But public feedback on the mailing list was relatively rare; it was much more common to send it in private. It wasn't until I was introduced to (yes, it took me a while :p) and later wandered into other fandoms that I found places where public feedback was standard. And, um, the boards are a first for me in that it's actually interspersed with the story!

    (The mailing list also had a long-term effect on my "feel" for how long a fanfic chapter ought to be. Any given post was supposed to top out at about 30kB, and you weren't supposed to post more than 100kB/day. This was a source of great frustration, in opposite directions, both to the very prolific and to those without much room in their inboxes.)

    Anyway, the point is, I don't know if I would have been any less shy about sending feedback if it had been right there for me to see, but I might have grasped the concept sooner.
  5. correllian_ale

    correllian_ale Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jun 20, 2005
    Am I due for a raise then? :p

    I'm semi-curious as to the ratio of lurkers to actual responders on some of my fics, but then I don't want to become too wrapped up in the opinions of the invisible man, when I know I have 5 or 6 wonderful people with me every step of the way. If they're are the ones taking the time to show me love, then they're the only ones I'm concerned with. If I do happen to have stories with lurkers, then thanks to them - but it's not like registering to vote you know, you won't be called for jury duty....;)

    Have I lurked? Once or twice. Usaully if I take up reading something that's 8-10 chapters already in, I'll read the the whole thing in one sitting, then leave a pretty detailed response. I guess that's not really lurking.[face_blush]

    I have though read something that was good, but I know I'd never be able to keep up, especially with my over-bearing reading schedule as it is, so I just read the first chatper and never went back. It's something I feel awful about to this day.

  6. dianethx

    dianethx Jedi Master star 6

    Mar 1, 2002
    Nope, you aren't. I also do that on occasion, especially the more prolific writers. I figure they have a huge following anyway and my little comment won't make any difference in the great wellspring of readers that they have already. However, if something touches me in the post, I'll have to say something but it's more hit-or-miss.
    In my limited time, I'd rather comment on a story with fewer readers. That way, we both win - the author gets feedback and I get to encourage the writer to write more!

    Actually, there is a whole board with authors interacting with their readers on tf.n. It's in the EU universe, under Authors/artists. I know that Matt Stover replies on a regular basis. Here's the link [link=] Authors/artists[/link]

  7. TKeira_Lea

    TKeira_Lea Jedi Knight star 5

    Oct 10, 2002
    You know all this talk of lurkers is going to shame me into running my second annual Lurkers Week. Last year I flushed hundred out of the woodwork. It was quite fun actually [face_thinking]
  8. Eleventh_Guard

    Eleventh_Guard Jedi Master star 5

    Dec 17, 2005
    FFN has a hit counter, and while the hit counter is not at all accurate for vigs or very short fics (since it only counts clicks and has no way to tell if anybody actually read more than 2 lines or not), but for longer fics, the hit count of late chapters is a good indicator of how many readers one has. I think I have about 20, allowing for a few of the hits to be repeat readers or accidental clicks. Reviewers? Nary a one on most chapters. But I figure they obviously like it or they wouldn't have read the word-count equivalent of a short novel. A non-SW fic I have had five readers, but only one reviewed at the end.

    A 1:10 reviewer to lurker ratio is probably par for the course at FFN. I imagine it would be <i>slightly</i> lower here because of the thread-based system.
  9. Souderwan

    Souderwan Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Jun 3, 2005
    Interestingly, I've heard that before so you're not alone. I'm always intrigued by this, considering the anonymity that comes with the internet, in general. After all, if you come off as a dolt, you can always just assume another identity! ;) But more seriously, I completely understand. My last story had some really in-depth discussions going on about the philosophy of the story (it was a little deep at times) and the replies were a little long. One of my readers told me that he didn't respond because he was in way over his head and he'd just be happy to lurk. I reassured him that the "=D==D==D=" posts that I got from one my readers (Jarrak_Hallon, you always made me smile) were very much appreciated. His PM to me did the same thing, though. It told me that I wasn't writing in a vacuum. I've always believed that the only thing worse than being hated is being ignored...

    Mirax_Corran, I should have made it clear but this is not a "bash the lurker" discussion at all. While I prefer that people leave responses, there are at least twenty reasons I can think of and probably hundreds more that I can't think of why people choose to lurk. The purpose of this discussion is to talk about it. So no more self-flaggelation, ok?

    But with a board like this you do get the cliquey issue. However, in my experience, the only way to get past that is to dive right in. Worked for me.

    Now that's an interesting point. What do you mean, if you don't mind me asking...?

    I'm glad you said this oqi, 'cause a lot of people think that the "good writers" are completely secure in themselves and don't need any encouragement. I'm sure that's true of some people, but my experience is that even the best writers live for the positive feedback that even a smiley face can bring. When you post something and you don't get a lot of responses, you start to think..."maybe I suck at this," or worse yet "why am I even doing this? No one cares." (the being ignored problem)

    I love those moments when a lurker pops up and says "*delurks* I love this story! *goes back to lurking*" Those moments make my day (then I try to get 'em to delurk again! :p)

    That's an interesting point and one I hadn't considered. If you feel pressure to leave a response, it might lead you not to read the thing at all. And that, would be a tragedy.

    I also see the point that the only pay we writers get is the feedback so it's nice to have it. I certainly wouldn't want my readers to feel like they *have* to leave a response. I just hope that they do.

  10. SilSolo

    SilSolo Jedi Knight star 5

    Mar 5, 2004
    I'm guilty of lurking myself, but usually for only one chapter when I'm short on time. I tend to review most of the time. Question: Why lurk habitually?

    I've written several fanfics and didn't know how to react when another author told me in his review replies that he'd been lurking beneath my fics. I wondered which ones but didn't ask because it's his thread.
  11. RK_Striker_JK_5

    RK_Striker_JK_5 Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Jul 2, 2003
    99.9% of the fics I click on, I post something. I know the heartbreak of watching a stroy slide down, no one posting at least a 'good job'.

    And with the quality of writers here, it's easy for me to say something nice about just about everything I read. Although I'll admit my reviews need some serious polish.
  12. SilSolo

    SilSolo Jedi Knight star 5

    Mar 5, 2004
    Reason why I don't lurk, either.

    To those of you on, I don't think that the lurker to reviewer ratio is 10:1 since on some of my fics, it looked more like 3:1. I seriously do not get the mentality behind lurking because I usually have comments and keep a separate tab open so that I can make remarks as I read.
  13. RebelGrrl

    RebelGrrl Jedi Master star 4

    Jan 13, 2006
    Hello, my name is RebelGrrl, and I am a lurker. Well, sometimes, anyway.

    I'm guilty of lurking in stories where the author already has a large response base.
    I'm guilty of lurking when I have nothing more to say than 'I liked this!'.

    I do, however, make a real effort not to lurk when I find small ignored (mostly OC) stories that I enjoy. Because I know the feelings and doubts that plague those of us who don't often write canon chars too well, and watch our stories drop off the first few screens of topics like stones. :)

    There's nothing wrong with lurking, of course. Nothing says anyone has to comment on anything. I and others continue to write our stories because... that's what you do with stories, and I appreciate the five or six or ten people who've dropped by in the past or repeatedly with a comment or encouragement.

    It just takes one lurker to step forward on occasion to give one that smiley-glowy-bouncy feeling of being read. I personally think it means the most to those who have the fewest readers... not, of course, to say that it doesn't mean anything to those who have scads.

    The thing about a hit counter... it does let one know if their story is being opened at all, or if perhaps they might need to work on their title to make it more inviting to that first click. No one can get hooked into a story if they don't even open the first chapter!
  14. Haley_Kenobi

    Haley_Kenobi Jedi Youngling

    Jun 25, 2006
    Hello! Thought I'd come on in! And no, I was not lurking lol! I just don't know enough about crossovers to post anything about it.

    I'll admit, I've done a bit of lurking. The only time I can think of when lurking is okay is when you have nothing good to say about the story you're lurking on. For someone like me, who doesn't like to give constructive criticism since I got snapped at once for giving it (not on here), it happens a lot. Still, I try to say something since I hate being ignored myself. Another justification might be that nothing really comes or you don't have the time, which happens.

    My only problem with lurkers is that you don't know why they're lurking. Is it because the story is bad? Or just because they don't feel like responding or can't respond? That's why I'm on the fence on how I feel about lurkers. I'm on FF.N as well, and sometimes I just wish all those lurkers would at least say something. Even if it's a simple comment, at least you know that people are responding to what you write.

    Noelie pointed it out before, nothing is worse than being invisible. I'd much rather get a slightly bad review than nothing at all. That's why when I see a story with absolutely no reviews or very few of them, I try to make a point to review it. Given the number of stories like that, however, it's pretty difficult.:oops:
  15. Just-Plain-Shmi

    Just-Plain-Shmi Jedi Youngling star 1

    Mar 7, 2006
    I've been guilty of lurking on some stories, but honestly, I don't have as much time as I would like to visit the boards. On the topic of negative feedback, I would have to say that yes, sometimes it is just malicious, but sometimes the reader is trying to give you constructive feedback. If you choose to ignore that feedback, especially if you've gotten it from more than one reader, then maybe you aren't listening. Maybe they are giving you good advice and you're choosing to ignore it. If one person tells me that my dialogue is weak, then I might be able to dismiss that notion, but if several readers tell me the same thing, then I think I might want to work on tightening up my dialogue. Some of my best teachers and professors were also the toughest on my ego, but in the end I learned more from them than from those who didn't care enough to give me good, honest feedback. And I've gotten some of my best feedback from lurkers, because they feel free to express their opinion honestly without worrying about how their post might come across. Lurkers can be a writer's best friend if they drop you a PM just to let you know that they're enjoying the story or want to give you a bit of constructive criticism.

    JPS :)
  16. Souderwan

    Souderwan Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Jun 3, 2005
    Ok. I'm was I?

    [face_laugh] That's classic!! Welcome to the discussion! (Love the username, btw):D

    On to the guts of your comments, this really jumped out at me:

    I have to agree with you here. When I first started posting, oh so long ago, I knew nothing about fanfic or any of the unwritten rules. By a stroke of luck, my story seemed to go over well with a few readers and people started posting to my story. Soon, some of my readers started asking me to read and respond to their fics. At first, I tried to read everyone's. After all, I reasoned, they were nice enough to read my story, I should at least extend the same courtesy, right? But then...some of the fics weren't so great. Heck, some were really bad. Others were really good but just didn't interest me (think about the vast number of profic stories out there that you haven't read. It doesn't mean they were bad, does it?) I tried to be encouraging but before long, it became a chore. As soon as reading became a chore, I decided this was wrong.

    By the time I came to that conclusion, I realized that there is some politics involved in this fanfic world of ours. It's not all a utopian vista. There is a clear expectation of quid pro quo from some people and if you don't R&R their fics, they'll stop reading yours. I understood this very clearly in my mind. It made me sad. I decided to take the hit and only read what I enjoyed. That still represented an insane number of fics, but it narrowed down my reading list from well over a hundred fics to just under 20. The good news is that the twenty or so fics that I read draw me in for one reason or another. Some are better written than others, but I enjoy them. Those authors know that when I post a response, it's because I want to, not because I feel obligated to. I feel that my readers respond because they want to. There is no pressure to respond. Some things move them and some things don't. Maybe they're busy, maybe they just don't want to tell me how little they enjoyed it. I don't know. But I want people to read because they like my writing and I want them to respond because they enjoyed it. Period.

    I?m with you. I?ve actually graphed my hit counts on FFN and my response to hit ratio. It?s been very enlightening. On my huge fic, I got about 30 times the number of hits and about 3 times the number of responses of my smaller fic. But my response to hit ratio for the smaller one is much, much higher. Basically, about 20-30% of the people who actually bother to read the story choose to respond. That?s pretty darned encouraging to me?.

    My experience has not been unlike Eleventh_Guard?s in that respect. I find that I have the same 4-6 people responding every time. I imagine that when the story?s completely posted, one or two more will come out and post a response. This is what happened with the previous story I posted. Given that, I?m can?t really complain about lurkers.

  17. dianethx

    dianethx Jedi Master star 6

    Mar 1, 2002
    **Gasp** :eek: LOL. [face_laugh] Like I said, I know I have lurkers and I truly understand that they might not have time, the other replies might intimidate them, or they feel that they don't need to post a response. But I will say that any response, no matter how small, is important to most writers (certainly to me!). A smilie is enough or a good job. Lurkers delurking don't have to be writing long essays to make the author's day - just say something. [face_batting]

    As for how to get them out of lurkerdom, I don't know really. I do know some people who read things here who aren't even registered so they couldn't post even if they wanted to.
  18. JadeSolo

    JadeSolo Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 20, 2002
    I agree a lot with what Persephone and bantha have said. If I lurk (and that's not often nowadays), I tend to do it on longer stories that I'm way behind on. Depending on how much time I have to read and reply, and what kind of thoughts the chapters inspire, I might post a reply for each chapter or just do a lump sum reply for several at a time.

    I'm the type who will reply to Chapter 5 while everyone else is talking about Chapter 17. :p Yeah, I look like a fool, but for the author's sake, I feel it's better than lurking, especially if it's taking me a long time to catch up. Better to have sporadic replies than a second reply weeks and weeks after the first one.

    I also use PM updates to kill the lurking. If an author updates frequently, I try to catch up on a couple of chapters and reply for every PM I get.

    To get people out of lurking on the big stories, it might help to let them know that replying to weeks old posts is always welcome, whether it's in the thread or via PM. That seems to be a common fear among some of us here. :D

    Another idea is to ask lurkers to post their favorite quotes from the story so far. Just the quote, and if they'd like, a litle blurb about why they liked it. That's generally how I reply to stories, and I find that it's a lot easier to talk about characters and plot using quotes as a springboard.
  19. mastermeg_0228

    mastermeg_0228 Jedi Knight star 4

    Jan 24, 2006
    Question to all lurkers: Why lurk habitually?
    I don't lurk habitually but I wanted to throw my two cents in. Usually I only lurk on stories where I don't know the author, which is really rare these days. I'll admit I'm shy, even if this is just between computers and not in person I still get embarrassed...I made the point earlier that I wasn't sure how people would react and I've read a lot of the responses to the questions. A lot of you are saying that you don't care what people say as long as we say something...I'm really surprised because some authors say the exact opposite, and that's one of the reasons I tend to lurk.

    I have to say though, since reading your responses I have stopped lurking. If I read something and have something to say, I say it.

  20. GrandAdmiralV

    GrandAdmiralV Jedi Youngling star 3

    May 30, 2005
    I tend to review just about everything I read, just because I'm extremely picky about what I'll click on and read in the first place. The only times I've done a serious "lurk" is where I'm coming into a story very late in the game. I have to admit in those cases I'll usually leave one long post about the story up to that point because I just don't have time for anything else.

    One thing I've found interesting about ff.n is the number of people who have a story listed as a favorite or author alert but who don't ever leave reviews. I currently have a LOTR piece over there that has around 50 of each, but I only average 10 to 12 reviews per chapter. :confused: Don't get me wrong -- I love the reviews I get and really appreciate the time people take to write them, but it does make me wonder if all the people who have it on their favorites are just waiting for it to be finished so they can leave one final review.

    Oh, and thanks to furrylittlebantha for the props (I'm ChristineX over at ff.n). She's left me some of the loveliest reviews I've ever received. [face_love]
  21. Surrender2Me

    Surrender2Me Jedi Youngling

    Jul 1, 2006
    Hi, I am someone who as only very recently delurked. I believe I have a whole 3 posts, including this one and not a one yet on a fic.

    I have to say time was the major reason, though the whole point of registering was to change my sithly ways. Have not really gotten around to that yet as there is so much to see on the numerous forums.

    After reading the posts in this thread, (the topic certainly was an eye catcher for me) I am determind to let those who enjoy know that I appreciate their time and the pleasure I have received through their work. :)
  22. magehound

    magehound Jedi Master star 4

    Jun 4, 2006
    I only lurk for real in the case of a fic that I believe is poorly written. that's not to say I value my fanfic skills so highly(or at all)that I don't realise when I've made simple errors, but I have always been taught that if you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything at all. And I at least have to give the people credit that write fics that really don't move me, or grab my attention. At least they made the effort. What doesn't work for me could float someone else's boat. and then there is the occassionl fic, that has fallen on to like, page 5, even though it was updated recently. Even if the fic is not my cup of tea, i'll write a nice comment both to bolster the author, and bring it to the forefront, where people can be exposed to it again.
  23. leia_naberrie

    leia_naberrie Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 10, 2002
    Why lurk habitually?

    Good topic and one that's been discussed on and off in so many variations since probably the invention of free fan fiction. Normally, lurking is usually something that cuts down drastically when a reader becomes a writer. But then again there are writers who habitually lurk on other stories... and complain about lurkers. :p Karma, anyone?

    furrylittlebantha: The simple enjoyment of simple reading can to fade into politics very shortly, I'm afraid.

    That's the scary truth. n00bies are subtly encouraged to socialize, get their names out there, and reminded that what goes around comes around. All true and very sound advice. The actions are good, but what about the motives? Is the only reason X is posting on my story because she wants me to read hers? And if I don't (a, no time; or b, no interest), do I run the risk of losing a writer?
    Or on the flip side of the coin: Is Y posting on my story because of that review I left her last week? Does she really like it all or is she just trying to suck up to me? And now that she's turned Obi-Wan into a Gary Stu and me off the story, will she stop reviewing my story if I stop reviewing hers?

    Scary stuff. And it happens all the times on the boards.

    I'm not saying it's wrong to check out stories from readers. I know I do that occasionally. What's wrong is doing that for the wrong reasons -- or even worse, sticking to a bad story simply because of a nascent idea of feedback addiction/blackmail.

    In the end, I think the best solution is to 'Do as you would be done by.' There's very little any one can do about non-writing readers who probably and rightfully don't get the Big Deal about Lurking. But a writer, at any rate, should be fair to the stories she reads. So when I read a story to the end, and there are nice things to say, I do. (And if there are none, I won't. ;) ) And since the idea of someone only reviewing my thread to get me to give him/her feedback saddens me, then I don't do that to people. And since I'd feel sad if someone who's always been giving feedback starts lurking on my thread because I haven't read/reviewed his/her story, then I won't start lurking on someone's story simply because she doesn't fancy my own writing.

  24. VaderLVR64

    VaderLVR64 Manager Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 5, 2004
    That's the scary truth. n00bies are subtly encouraged to socialize, get their names out there, and reminded that what goes around comes around. All true and very sound advice. The actions are good, but what about the motives? Is the only reason X is posting on my story because she wants me to read hers? And if I don't (a, no time; or b, no interest), do I run the risk of losing a writer?
    Or on the flip side of the coin: Is Y posting on my story because of that review I left her last week? Does she really like it all or is she just trying to suck up to me? And now that she's turned Obi-Wan into a Gary Stu and me off the story, will she stop reviewing my story if I stop reviewing hers?

    I don't look at it from that angle, more of a way of being courteous to those who give my stories their time. I TRY to return the courtesy. Obviously, neither of us can click on everything the other writes, but I'll at least give it a try. And usually, I end up finding something I really enjoy but might not have read otherwise. Of course, I'm really tired this morning, so I may not be making any sense. 8-}
  25. Souderwan

    Souderwan Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Jun 3, 2005
    Ummm...[face_blush] Sorry. ;)

    First off, I'm glad you've found the discussion enlightening. I wanted to address the second to last thing you said: "I'm really surprised because some authors say the exact opposite, and that's one of the reasons I tend to lurk."

    I can understand the mixed message you've gotten there. I can't speak for others, but I know I tend to go on and on about how great a response might be if I get a very detailed or thoughtful response--heck, we have a Reader's Post Hall of Fame to thank our readers who post those kinds of responses. Because those kinds of responses get so elevated, it's easy to think the smiley face responses are unimportant. The truth of the matter is that just about every author here wants their story read, first and foremost, and we hope that, beyond that, it is enjoyed.

    Knowing that the story has been read is pretty hard here without a response. It so happens that the response is also the mechanism to tell the author if the story is good or not. Most people (myself included) figure if there's nothing good to say, it's best not to leave a response. The consequence of that is that the author doesn't even know if anyone's read it. Even worse, the authors here know that if people aren't responding, it's probably not well-liked. You combine those two things and a lack of responses can give an author a real inferiority complex. The last thing I want is a good author feeling like they suck so if I read it, I tend to respond, and respond positively.

    I've experienced the same thing. I had about a 0.7% hit to response ratio on my biggest story on average (it picked up at the end) which made it about 10-15 responses. My favorites list had almost 5 times that. Of course, a few of those people were people who read the story here and put it on their favorites list there, so that explains some of it (but not for you). *shrugs* I guess I just wanted to let you know that you're not the only one and I'm not entirely sure I understand it either. Ever the optimist though, I look at it as 5 times as many people like my story as I thought! :D

    Glad to hear you're coming out of hiding, Surrender2Me! ;)

    I appreciate your input, magehound, and I thought I'd let you know that I think your signature is priceless and remarkably timely! [face_laugh]

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