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

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  1. JediKnight-Obi-Wan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 13, 2000
    star 5
    I'll also *delurk* to comment on lurking.

    I like the thought of lurkers...mostly to comfort myself. It's nice to believe that maybe more people are actually reading my story than replying. Because if I don't have lurkers then I'm in sad shape...and then I begin to wonder why no one's reading and if it's my writing or if it's just my OC characters. So instead I just believe I must have lurkers....[face_worried]

    As far as lurking myself...I try not to on stories I read. If I've read it, I try to comment at least once. And usually when I comment I want to leave more feedback than a 'Good job' because as a writer I *want* more than a 'good job' I want to know WHY I did a good job so I try to give that to others. I'm not into the whole politics of replying as in 'you read mine I'll read yours'. If I like it, I'll read it, if I read it, I'll try to reply. If I don't read it I either don't like it or don't know it exist. Just because I don't like it doesn't mean the writing isn't good, it just means I'm not into that particular plot line. Since I have so little time to read on the PC anymore, I don't find as many new stories since I don't have the time to look.
  2. VaderLVR64 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2004
    star 8
    OC characters usually get far fewer readers. That's just a fact of life. :p So yes, you probably have a lot of lurkers, but the reading pool seems to be smaller for OC centered stories.
  3. Eleventh_Guard Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2005
    star 5
    Also, there's the issue of which character(s) readers like more. I had a fic I tried posting, and got very few responses. I decided to scrap it, and then restart with a different character as the central character, so I could explore a part of the plot that wasn't going to get full attention otherwise. I only changed a couple of paragraphs in the first post, because the original paragraphs would have been OOC for the new character, and added another part of a scene. The wording itself, and therefore quality, was almost unchanged - though I don't know whether that's good or bad. In any case, the number of responses was tripled.
  4. Golden_Jedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 10, 2005
    star 4
    Mmmmm, lurking... I was a lurker when I landed here, but as soon as the writing bug bit me, I started delurking everywhere. :D Still, I guide myself by the rule of "If you can't say anything positive, etc.". I usually stop reading those. There are a few fics though where I've (am) lurking because the story intrigues me, but I'm not sure of my feelings about it. I may delurk on those at some point.

    As for the reader's fics, my thoughts go this way: If they liked my stuff, there is a higher chance (compared to a ramdom fic) of me liking their stuff. Of course, as persons are all different, that doesn't always happen.

    When I started writing here I didn't even think about lurkers. But then I noticed them only when I timidly offered a bonus (ehem) chapter to my readers some 16 chapter into the fic. Then they started delurking, but most of them never appeared again, not even said "thank you" when I sent the bonus to them. I still have mixed feelings about this. Of course I'm flattered (very indeed ;) ), but still...
  5. dianethx Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2002
    star 6

    That happened to me as well. I had a PM version of part of one of my stories (about 15 chapters in) and some lurkers asked for it. I sent it to them - and I never heard from them again. :p
  6. DarthIshtar Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 9
    That does tend to happen a lot. And yes, OC stories don't draw a lot of interest. :)
  7. Ara-gon Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 2005
    star 2
    Question to all lurkers: Why lurk habitually?

    I want to share my experience. It's probably not representative of all lurkers, but it may help enlighten some. I lurked habitually for about a year before (finally) getting an account. There were a few reasons for this. First is that this is a large board--huge compared to other forums I've joined. I wanted to make sure I understood the rules. Yes, I read the TOS and all that, but there are still unwritten rules in any community. I wanted to understand them fairly well before participating. And forums are rather odd. We don't have the benefit of hearing vocal inflections or seeing facial expressions and body language, so words can easily be misconstrued. No one is at fault; it's just a hazard of communicating solely through writing, a hazard I wanted to minimize by understanding the forum.

    Now, what brought me out of hiding? It was the desire to tell some writers how very much I had been enjoying their work for the past several months. And, it was seeing the on-going conversations between reader and writer. I thought that was just fantastic! How many times had I wished that I could ask an author a question? More than I could count. And now I could! Simply amazing. And I think it brings an entirely new dimension to reading and writing--a perfectly delightful one if everyone practices common courtesy.

    And whaddya know but a few bunnies hopped into my life and demanded that I tell their stories. So I ended up writing a bit, too. It's been "a first step into a larger world," one that I'm enjoying. And now I perfectly understand the gold that responses are. It makes me wish I had delurked earlier.

    As far as feeling obligated to leave responses, I'm starting to think of it this way: if someone liked something I wrote, then chances are I may like what they write, too. It's certainly worth a look as time allows.
  8. jaina_clan_solo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2005
    star 4
    I've got to admit it, I lurk-- a lot. I also read and reply to a lot of fics (often times more than a sane number I think) But if I read something I have generally enjoyed it.

    I don't honestly know why I spend so much time lurking-- I think honestly I spend a while reading, really enjoy it, then I click away just to go looking for something else to read. Sometimes I think that I should just leave a "good post" or a smilie to say I read, but other times I feel very embarrassed just leaving something like that. I know that as a writer I adore every comment left on my story-- and I love to hear even that I have another reader-- which often leaves me feeling guilty for just clicking from something I have enjoyed.

    I could probably dig deeper into my mind and come up with a more solid reason for my lurking (it might just be a bunch of amature (sp?) mumbo-jumbo too :p )

    Anyway I think that I lost the point to this reply 8-} but suffice it to say, I often count myself among the numbers of lurkers out there-- perhaps for no other reason than I'm greedy to go onto the next good story.

    jcs
  9. geo3 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2002
    star 4
    Ah, that hardy perennial question: lurking. It comes up again and again and it?s always interesting to see what people have to say about the topic. I think it?s pretty clear from the honest discussion and cogent appraisals so far that the answers to Souderwan?s topic questions really depend on where you are in the story arc of your fanfic life. It?s a long, slow path to enlightenment ? :p

    I don?t actually think there is any mystery about why people lurk; it is perfectly normal human behavior. If a free banquet is spread out for all to share, people will consume what is offered according to their natures ? some to the point of gluttony, others with mere nibbles. Under normal circumstances, no one is going to think of introducing him or herself, discussing the fine points of the pate with the chef, or even wonder much about who prepared the feast! OK, if you don?t like the banquet analogy, think of a library. Free stories? I?m there! Great place to browse. Pick and choose. Inhale or savor. Discard or borrow for a while. What?s wrong with that?

    So if lurking is normal behavior, it only becomes a ?problem? if there are special or specific expectations around participation in the feast of fanfic. That, to me, suggests that maybe the questions Souderwan has posed aren?t actually the right ones. Maybe the REAL questions are more about the producers of the feast ? why do we writers write? Why do we seek out places like this and post our work? And why do we keep on posting even through the joys and sorrows caused by fluctuations in readership and ? yes ? the natural and perfectly normal tendency of most people to lurk?

    I?ve thought long and hard about this and about my own feelings and behavior in this regard, and here is what I have come up with: it?s all about the nature of writing, and why we write.

    I believe that the act of writing (and probably all the other creative arts, too, although I?m way too lazy to explore that tributary right now) is nothing more or less than the constant striving for serendipity. Serendipity = making a connection of some kind, in which the writer?s burgeoning inner images and ideas find not only expression, but resonance.

    I think that resonance, that ?serendipity event,? can happen in two ways: first, in that mysterious, ineffable realm of the imagination when you hit what is called the ?flow,? the Muse sings in lofty harmonies, and you know that you?ve written something that feels ?right. ? This makes a writer really happy.

    The second possibility of experiencing writer?s serendipity is in the wonderful, satisfying event in which you are able to share what you have written with someone who not only enjoys it, but ?gets? it. Really gets it. In effect, you have successfully shared your vision with that other person, and your vision resonates back to you in an unforgettable way. This also makes a writer really happy.

    Serendipity. The way to get the second kind is to share your writing and hope for that moment of ?resonance? with someone? anyone. We share by posting. We post hoping for serendipity.

    To return to my overstretched and not very interesting analogies one last time, in the banquet hall the chefs are way back in the kitchen and never meet the diners. The library contains only the books while their authors are not at all involved in the transaction of ?to read or not to read.? But on these Boards, the writers are right there, in person, offering their stories to anyone who cares to stop by. It is not anonymous. It is ? or happens to be ? interactive. A community, it has been called. Readers are of course free to lurk; to come and go anonymously as they please. And while they are doing this, each and every writer is sitting RIGHT THERE hoping against hope that someone ? anyone - will stop, and read, and share their vision.

    Now here?s the thing ? while any lurker may read and love and ?get? a story, choosing not to stop by, however briefly, and share that experience deprives the writer of any possibility of seren
  10. TKeira_Lea Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 10, 2002
    star 5
  11. LadyPadme Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 26, 2002
    star 5


    I agree; that was a very eloquent analysis of the issue, geo3!
  12. Luna_Nightshade Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2006
    star 5
    Wow, geo3, leave it to you.

    Yeah. What she said.
  13. dianethx Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2002
    star 6

    Absolutely correct. Bravo, geo. =D=

    Edit: did you see the fanforum's header in the PM section? It says that Poof has been lurking since 98. [face_laugh]
  14. DarthBreezy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 2002
    star 6
    Hmmmm, to offer a little parry - thrust - devil's advocate to Geo's spot on comments from the other side.

    With apologies to Ben Franklin, the mindset of many Lurkers (Self definitely not excluded) Better to feel like a bad lurker and envision one's self an inarticulate fool than leave a reply and remove all doubt.


    Writers are (for the most part) and insecure bunch - after all, when we hit that post button, we're exposing part of our minds and very souls - to what could be a very indifferent world, and like it or no, admit it or not, we always wonder if we are 'good enough'. We agonise and sweat over what we 'see', and try to convey those visions into just the right words that will paint the vivid picture our muses have presented before us - a scene that is intense, and wondrous and tells the full story appears in our heads. We'll as often as not 'hear' the words that are spoken, feel the pain of our characters, taste the skin of their lovers and smell the very air they breath, but when we got to actually write these experiences (Translating 'muse speak' into something tangible) it all comes out... wrong. Those beautiful visions of ice castles have melted into mud with only shards of what was once so pure and beautiful still peeking through, yet that amazing castle in the minds eye still remains... It's like trying to paint with your teeth.


    You cruise the boards perhaps searching for inspiration, or just delaying the frustraion a bit longer, or just looking for another story to take you away.

    The you find it.

    Some wonderful SOB has found the words, managed to make the fingers co operate and open up the whole new world that you too can see, just not paint!

    Your heart cries out in part with joy because you know that the author has gone through that same agoney of painting with their teeth, that every word has been dragged out of them with a chainfall, and you want to express that joy in the words... You want to sing from the heavens about how this character broke your heart, or how during that battle, you found yourself transported to that unnamed pilot, listening in on the com...

    And after all that, all you can say is Gah. The fingers knot up. The brain freezes, and all you can do is flit on to the next story, while you wait on tenderhooks for the next installment.

    It's a rotten way to be, to feel, and I know how frustrating it is to make a post that you've poured your heart into and only hear 'Good job', or even worse, nothing at all, and I'm TRYING to break that habit...

    But sometimes, leaving a reply is just as hard as painting that picture, and I believe I have once again dropped my brush...




  15. Star_Angel Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 18, 2006
    star 4
    How many of you lurk on other stories?

    I lurked some before I became a member here but it was the fact that I didn?t like to lurk which got me to register.

    When is is "ok" to lurk?

    I don?t think that I can answerer that one cuz you can bounce that forward and backward many times and always find many different answerers. I can say that the only time I lurk a story is when you can't post a reply cuz it's locked.

    How do you feel about lurkers on your storeis? Does it make you feel better about your fic if you know there are lots of lurkers?

    I guess that it?s up to them and I?m okay with it unless they ask to be on the pm list and then lurk, I don?t like that and if I realise that someone on the list haven?t replied for a while, for me that?s after about 4 updates (I update once a month and if I start to update sooner then I will make the ?deadline? longer) then I send them a pm saying that if they want to remain on the pm list then they have to tell me cuz otherwise I?m assuming that they aren?t interested anymore and delete them. And I?m not doing this to be cruel I just don?t see the point of sending out pm?s and bother people that isn?t interested in the first place.



    I don?t lurk which means that I?m reading about 150 stories right now (it can take me some time to remember what happen in the last update[face_blush]) and I?m on the pm list for all of them. It?s a lot and I was gone for about two and a half day a while back and when I came back I had 34 story update pm?s so I had a lot to read but I love it so I?m not complaining:).
  16. Souderwan Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2005
    star 6
    I should be doing excerpts right about now but...

    Yes! Yes! That's it, exactly! I agree with every single word you posted, but what I really wanted to comment on was your selection of the word "resonance." When I first started writing a little over a year ago for the first time since I graduated high school I wasn?t really sure why I chose to share it with anyone. I remember the sensation vividly, though. I simply had to have others read it. After several failed attempts to find a home for my writing (blog, email), I found this wonderful place. Even as I posted, I wasn?t sure why I was doing it, only that I needed to. Every day for a month I wrote and posted this story and people began to respond. As I read the responses they varied from ?good job? and ?interesting? to remarkable analyses of political and philosophical implications. Every one of those responses was fantastic and buoyed me, but the best moments?the ones that made the sharing experience the most rewarding for me?were ones where it was clear that the reader ?got it?, that the story resonated with them.

    Resonance. That special place on the frequency spectrum where gain is theoretically infinite. I have met some of my favorite people of all time through those little moments of resonance.

    I suppose I?m rather sanguine about lurkers, though. For a while I was bothered by them, feeling as if my writing was taken for granted. For me, it was like holding a door open for someone struggling with packages and the person not even bothering to nod in appreciation. I would get hints that people had read but simply chose not to reply. Half the people on my PM list never bothered to reply. Well over half the people who have me on their watched users list have never responded to any of my stories.

    But then I came to grips with it. Perhaps they?ve read my work and liked it, but it simply didn?t resonate with them. It?s disappointing when that happens but that?s not their fault. Of course, the lingering self-doubt will always permeate my thoughts. That cannot be helped either. If my writing doesn?t resonate with my readers, that?s my fault, after all. Still, self-doubt and failures at communication are things that I alone am responsible for. As much as I want my readers to respond to allow me the opportunity to learn whether or not the story resonated with them, I cannot focus on what is outside of my control. Each person makes the choices they will make. When a story resonates with me, I choose to let the author know. I let the author know because I would want to know myself.

    Resonance; serendipity; a search for inspiration to master the art of painting with our teeth. We all write for different reasons but they?re all related. We want to connect. We reach out to others and ask them to sit for a while we tell them a little story. We hope that we tell it right. We hope that they enjoy it.
  17. rocketscientist Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 16, 2005
    star 3
    :D Hello!

    OK - I just discovered this thread about half an hour ago. I've been alternately quaking in my flip-flops in fear (of my fic being the train-wreck that oqidaun was compelled to morbidly follow to the bitter end :p), nodding in agreement, elated and enlightened ( geo's $0.2) and chuckling at the Franklin "quote". When it suddenly came to me - I'm lurking.

    Hi Souderwan![face_peace] Weren't we talking about the very thing the other day? :D

    Speaking for myself, lurking tends to be the by-product of an unfortunate syndrome called shyness. Those few that know me may be shocked, but it's true, I actually am pretty reticent normally. I had read only from the archives (for about 6 months) before I got up the nerve to enter the forums. I picked a silly moniker and forced myself to start commenting on those stories that I became attached to. And I'll tell you what got me posting - when the authors responded in a warm and open way. Some even responded to my feedback with comments of their own. So not only did the story get me, but the graciousness of the writers as well. As I looked around the boards I noticed that most authors are like this and slowly my fear of posting started to vanish. Sometimes a thread will be pretty tight knit and it may feel awkward to step in, but when I do and I'm welcomed, then I always want to come back.

    And as someone noted, having a fic of one's own really drives home the lesson of commenting. I'm still a real newcomer (I shudder to say it - "newbie"):p, but I've learned from observing other authors who are so generous with their readers, that commenting is fun - it can get almost family like,:) and certainly lures me out of my lurkerlyness (cool word - just made it up). :D

    While I'm not really sure I had a point to this ramble, I have achieved my purpose. I didn't lurk.;)

    [face_peace] all!
  18. Jaya Solo Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 12, 1999
    star 5
    This may sound really crazy, but I see lurkers as a mark of a good writer. Or at least a popular one. Don't really know why, but I think that a lot of writers that have really long stories that a lot of people really love have a lot of lurkers. I guess some people just worry about replying and that it might sound stupid or what not.

    So given that mentality of lurkers and good stories... well, I was really really taken aback when I found out that I had at least one lurker or two. Some people started watching me and I pm'ed them and asked them why. One even requested PMs but never posted in the thread. That was when I realized I had a few lurkers. It sent me a bunch of warm fuzzies to realize that. I decided to post in my thread asking for lurkers to come out and say hi (offered them a hug) and I was amazed at the result. I swear that about 5 of them came out. [face_blush] I was so flattered. And the other day a new reader came out of lurking to say hi and made her first post in my story. [face_blush] I gave her a tackle hug.

    I like lurkers. I just wish they would stop lurking and say hi to the writers they like, even if it's just in a PM. :) As a writer, it's a great compliment when lurkers post. :)
  19. obsessedwithSW Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 24, 2005
    star 4
    Souderwan I have to admit I lurked on your Fall of the Sith story! I loved it so much I printed the whole story out ( I was late in finding it) and my children and I read it out loud in the car while we were on vacation. Honestly, I will Lurk on a story that I stumble across that already has a ton of readers that are replying. I have even done that with my Master!Shh dont tell her that! After a while it seems that every possible angle has been discussed and covered and I dont have anything original to add. Sometimes I will read stories from another computer a away from my home and I dont have my password. Despite that I still make an effort to reply to the stories I am reading, I appricate the author's efforts and they deserve the thank you.

    I do think that if someone has you watched it is a compliment, they liked something you posted and want to read what you write next. Although this community is small in the USA people are typically keep to themselves and wont even say hello as you pass them on the street.That behavior translates to the boards; they want to be entertained but not to have to establish a relationship with others- to post a reply is to make a relationship however loosely with the writer. I think that has become part of our culture, the isolation of individuals. I also think in many ways the internet is a contributor to this. You have a sense of connection with others but it is not real, not the same as in the past where you actually spent time with your friends and neighbors.

    I have found that most in these forums to be kind and supportive and I have enjoyed the relationships Ive made as well as the talent that is displayed in the wonderful works posted here. Thanks everyone!

  20. Earthknight Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2002
    star 4
    I lurk sometimes. But I really try to reply to most stories that I read especially one shots. Writing isn't easy( especially if you're one like me who has a lot happen in real life) and I know the writer worked hard on the work. And I know how it is to not have any replies at all. So I really do try to reply to any story that I read to let the writer know what I thought of his work.
  21. ___Sithspawn___ Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 17, 2004
    star 3
    How many of you lurk on other stories? When is is "ok" to lurk?

    I used to lurk quite a bit; still do sometimes but not quite as much. I was a lurker before I was a reviewer; I was a reviewer before I was a writer. I consider lurking to be perfectly acceptable - some people are shy by nature; I used to be very much so - on the boards and in real life.

    It was the warm interaction between authors and their readers that (gradually) drew me out; I wanted to be part of the community, not just an onlooker.

    I lurk occasionally, when I have nothing to say or am very short on time.

    How do you feel about lurkers on your stories? Does it make you feel better about your fic if you know there are lots of lurkers?

    I'm generally okay with lurkers - I know they are there. The fact that they are does make me feel there as it took a while for me to become (moderately) popular. Having, or rather finding out that you have lurkers can at times be flattering. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw that one of my favorite authors had lurked on one of my recent vigs and had even started watching me.
  22. YellowDart Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2005
    star 1
    I am a lurker. And, honestly, I am kind of offended by the way lurkers are treated on this board. Yes, we exist. Yes, we are probably reading your stories.

    Personally, I read a lot of stories. I virtually never comment. If I do, it is in the form of a private PM, generally not on the boards. I also enjoy beta reading where I can analyze word choice, sentance structure, character thoughts/emotions, and other very technical and critical things that I just can't when posting on the boards. I cannot stop myself from being critical, from asking probing questions. I love criticism and minute point analysis of my own stories. Hence, it is my natural reaction to post something that might be construed as negative. And I would rather avoid that at all costs.

    Another reason I tend to lurk is because I would feel like a hypocrite if I posted a comment in a story folder. As a reader, seeing comments or author replies or authors begging for comments or author notes just makes me kind of angry. I am looking to read the story. I prefer comlpeted stories, and there is nothing that bothers me more than flipping through 15 pages of comments/replies/notes before the next part. As a very busy student, I just don't have time to sift through pages and pages and pages of replies until I get to the next story part. That is why I really think there should be a pairing-specific fanfic archive set up sort of like www.lcfanfic.com where every completed story goes through a general editing process and after the editing, the story is forever archived. Star Wars has the TFN archive, and, yes, before you ask, I do have two stories archived there, but there are many good completed stories that never end up there. Since I am used to reading completed stories all in one file, it is really annoying to me to read on the boards. That is actually why my dream is to open an archive for my favorite pairing if I ever get the time.

    I also write, but maybe I have a different outlook about lurkers because I tend to write for a very long time before I post anything related to a story at all. I write because I enjoy writing. I want to make changes to my writing style and see the improvements I have made since I started writing almost ten years ago. It's a competition between me and . . . myself. I am a perfectionist and my stories are never really finished and always have room for improvement. Subjects like math and science came very, very easily to me all my life. Creative things were always a struggle. I think that's why my two major hobbies are writing and graphic art. The two things I struggle the most at, I work the hardest to perfect.

    I have a lot of writing that I have never posted and probably will never post. It might never reach a level where I am comfortable wtih sharing. And, if that never happens, I will have laerned something from writing it. I don't need a ton of readers who are fawning over me to know that I have made progress.

    The comments most vaulable to me are the ones that argue plot points and word choice. I would rather have one critical beta reader than 10 readers who enjoyed the story with nothing more to say. Lurkers exist. And if they enjoy any story I write, then that's wonderful. If someone posts to tell me they enjoyed the story, that's also wonderful. But I am not going to lament the fact that someone might be lurking and reading a story I wrote. I am absolutely not going to hold off posting until I get a certain number of lurkers to post for the first time.

    Writers, those of us who write for comments are doing nothing but hurting ourselves. If we don't write for the sake of the enjoyment of the writing process, we are doing nothing more than causing ourselves heartache. Believe me, I used to be just like that. When I started writing, I was 16. And, wow, were my stories bad. Through my years of fanfic and my experience with one other major fandom, I have realized that if you don't enjoy what you are writing for its own merits and if you don't want to read the story you write,
  23. dianethx Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2002
    star 6
    I agree that most have not left feedback other than to buy their books. At least there, the authors get some idea of how many people are reading - which we don't since we don't have counters here.

    But we can leave feedback to the SW authors at least - on tf.n. Here's the link Authors and Artists I know that Matt Stover will reply to any questions and other authors show up there as well. I also know that Aaron Allston has a blog on Hyperspace on starwars.com.

    I've met and talked with both Aaron and Mike Stackpole about their writing and authors that come to cons usually have a room full of people. I remember one time I went to Dragoncon and on stage they have Stackpole, Zahn, Allston, David Prouse (sp?) and I think one other actor from SW and all the questions were directed to the writers! So they do get feedback from the readers.

    As for wading through replies, sometimes it can be daunting. I know a couple of people (myself included) put links at the beginning of the story so that readers can go directly to the next chapter but that only works for longer stories.

    I also know that you can put the story up on fanfiction.net and read the story without seeing the reader comments but that site has lots of problems with popups so I rarely go there anymore.[face_worried]


    As for That is why I do not understand why so many people find it unacceptable for a reader to lurk., it comes down to the fact that we are all hungry for what geo called serendipity - connections. To see our story without commments means that we haven't connected in a measurable way. I think the whole lurker thing would be less a problem if we had counters but we don't. We can only assume that people are reading. And for some, that's not enough. :( That's why the lurker question keeps coming up.
  24. TKeira_Lea Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 10, 2002
    star 5
    I do try to reply to professional authors when I read their stuff. Almost all of them have websites, blogs or even threads here, and some even ask for feedback at those places. I can't say I've been ignored once either. Every profic author has taken the time to reply in turn. So don't assume profic writers work in an isolated box or don't want to know what people think beyond sales totals.

    Every time I send a note, I have received true dialogue back from the writer.

    And YellowDart, I certainly don't think anyone here means to disparage lurkers. Not in the least. I have readers who I only hear from when I write a "not suitable for posting at TFN" post. The lurkers are forced to contact me to get the post emailed - and let me tell you it's a fabulous way to find out how many lurkers there are. I usually never hear from them again. Other readers might post one line every year or so, that's all good too. If people want to 'cut down' others for lurking we'd be talking about a board full of hypocrits because almost everyone has lurked at some point. Right?
  25. lazykbys_left Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2005
    star 4
    Um, about what geo3 said about serendipity . . .

    I don't understand why it's such a big deal that the readers "get" the story. I mean - yes, it's nice to know that your hard work (for those of you for whom writing is a piece of cake: may giant rats eat you day and night) has been validated. And yes, I'll admit to getting a warm fuzzy feeling when it happens. But frankly, I can get warm and fuzzy just by reading and re-reading my own fics.

    For me, the greater joy is when someone points out something that I wasn't aware of putting into the story. To repeat something I've posted elsewhere, I want my thoughts pushed into unfamiliar territory. I want to see my fic with different eyes. And, most importantly, I want to become a better writer - or rather, to write a better story - through this experience.

    - lazy
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