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Discussion The Scribble Pad (Fanfic Writing Discussions)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by Briannakin , Jun 18, 2017.

  1. Mechalich

    Mechalich Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Comedy also tends to be more culturally bounded compared to dramatic, conflict-based tales. As a society we treasure far more ancient dramas than we do comedies in no small part because it's simply harder for us to understand jokes translated across the ages compared to tales of glory or tragedy, and shifting cultural mores may render whole types of humor no longer funny (ex. the works of Shakespeare contain more than a few 'jokes' that are incredibly racist and more likely to make a modern audience gasp than laugh). There is, of course, an XKCD on this.
     
    pronker, Exeter, amidalachick and 3 others like this.
  2. Thumper09

    Thumper09 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 9, 2001
    This is interesting. I'd never really given the idea of sadness being deeper or more valid than happiness much thought before. For myself, I think I have a very different mindset and goals when I write something that's sad vs. when I write something that's happy, so it's hard to compare them.

    When I write something that's sad or darker, usually it's because I'm trying to analyze those feelings and make sense of them on some sort of personal level, and I've found that throwing those feelings at my characters and watching them work through it helps me figure out ways that I can too. But when I write something happy or light-hearted (not necessarily comedy, since I haven't written anything I'd classify as that), I'm not trying to analyze the happiness or explore why it is that I'm feeling that way or what to do about it. I don't go as "deep" into the happiness and tend to keep things at a higher level to just maintain the good feeling. There might be some exploration of a sense of belonging or the "power of friendship" tied in with the happiness, but the stakes are different on a personal level for me.

    That's not to say one is less worthy or less valid than the other (besides, pretty much all I watch on TV or in movies these days are light-hearted comedies or feel-goods), it's just a difference in why I write one vs. another, and I know I definitely go deeper into the "sad" aspects because of what I wrote above. Maybe I can think about what that means about my "lighter" stuff and if there's a way I can increase the personal connection without feeling like I'm nitpicking happiness.

    I don't have a lot to add to the absurdist discussion. I like most of the Robot Chicken SW sketches, which is what I think of when I think of absurdism. For "regular" comedic aspects in written stories, Aaron Allston will always be the standard I strive for. I love the Lego TV specials type of humor too. :p
     
  3. gizkaspice

    gizkaspice Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 27, 2013
    For anyone who thinks their writing sucks, that it's bad, that their story is not worth posting, they're not good enough etc.....I found this tumblr post which always makes me feel better and maybe you, too.

    [​IMG]

    (Basically, if Disney can throw this kind of stuff out at its audience, SURELY yours is a masterpiece in comparison :D)
     
    pronker, Exeter, amidalachick and 7 others like this.
  4. brodiew

    brodiew Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Well said, both of you. I agree with Thumper09 that when writing angst or something dramatic, I am usually trying to work something out personally, whether feelings about a certain event, or even questions of faith or my personal struggles. On the other side, when I write something silly or light-hearted, I am usually looking for a satirical or farcical angle from which to attach a feeling for the reader to experience. Every reader is different, but my goal is still to touch the reader with a bit of whimsy hopefully get a smile. Whether it is drama or humor, my goal is to elicit a response, to find some common ground we share and bring us together over it.
     
  5. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha 2 Truths 1 Lie Host star 8 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    When I write dramatic serious stuff I like it to reflect a natural plot element/aspect or something the character(s) would actually be going through based on what is occurring in the story or the character's motives, feelings, etc.

    When I write happy it's because I feel like I, and the reader, needs a break from unending RL stress. Also, and this is no small part of it, I don't like it when humor or angst feels forced or contrived and since I like the characters I certainly would rather they succeed and feel loved and a sense of belonging, etc., just I do for my RL friends. By no stretch of the imagination do I wake up and think I hope my friends or I suffer a catastrophe today or yay, I get to wallow in misery! :p I only hope that I never get to the point where I feel conscience stricken for being in a good mood.
     
  6. brodiew

    brodiew Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 11, 2005
    I think this is key. It can be a delicate balance between writing something that comes out naturally and trying to jam it though in order to 'finish'. If it doesn't feel natural, I usually will not post it. I think many of us feel that way. It has to feel 'right' when writing it. ;)
     
  7. Gabri_Jade

    Gabri_Jade Fan Fiction Archive Editor Emeritus star 5 VIP

    Registered:
    Nov 9, 2002
    I would just like to slip briefly in to say that "high quality writing" and "what I like" are not the same thing, and shouldn't be conflated. And yes, there's subjectivity in both those categories. You'll never get an entire group of people to agree on what is "good writing" any more than you'll get them to agree on their personal preferences for a story. That said, I'm perfectly capable of admitting that something I personally hate can still be brilliantly done, the same as I'm willing to admit that things I love aren't necessarily of high quality.

    Additionally, I don't think that anyone, amateur or pro, is out here writing stories because they hate characters or want to wallow in misery. We've all seen many professionals in all categories saying what a dream it is for them to get to work on something they love as much as SW. Do I agree with every choice every professional storyteller makes? Heck, no. I'm on public record as hating the work of a number of SW pros. I do not, however, think that those pros deliberately chose to take on an assignment just to make characters and fans suffer. I think that they like different characters and aspects of the saga than I do, perhaps. They may well have different interpretations than I do, want to tell a different story than I want to read or watch. But I don't think even the ones I consider the worst actively hated characters or readers or viewers. SW is an exceptionally large galaxy. There's room for all sorts of fans and all sorts of interpretations. We're all going to love some and hate some; that's part of any fandom.

    There are also just as many motivations for writing a darker story as there are for writing fluffier ones, and neither one of those options is inherently good or bad. I think we'd all agree that pretty much the entire world has had a hard last year and a half. Some of us deal with that by reading/writing more lighthearted fare, and some of us work our way through difficulties by examining them in a creative sense. And sometimes a story has nothing at all to do with what the writer is personally dealing with in life. For myself, I've written stories: 1) because I love the characters, 2) because I had what I thought was an interesting idea and I wanted to see where it went, 3) because I was working through something in real life and writing about it helped me deal with it, 4) because I wanted to see if I could make a compelling story out of something small, ad infinitum. I even once wrote a Luke/Callista fic, despite honestly hating both Callista and the L/C ship, just to see if I could. I really doubt that I'm alone here in having all sorts of reasons behind my writing, so I'm hesitant to pass judgement on anyone else's motivations.

    Whatever our differences, one of the things I've always valued about fanfic is how open, welcoming, and diverse it is. Fandom - any fandom - in general has a distressing tendency to fall into policing opinions and gatekeeping the worthiness of other fans. Like many other longtime fanficcers, I've seen that in our little world too - but so much more rarely than in a lot of other fandom subcategories. Generally speaking, fanfic has often tended to embrace the infinite possibilities that the GFFA and the creativity of our fellow fans have to offer, and I love that about it. SW is big enough for all of us, whether we like to write fluff or angst or drabbles or epics or canon-compatible fics or AUs or all of the above.

    If it makes you happy, write it. There will always be a reader for every kind of story.
     
  8. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    Not gonna lie, the phrase "infinite possibilities" pulled me out of the GFFA and into the Trekverse. "Infinite diversity in infinite combinations", anyone? :D
     
  9. Gabri_Jade

    Gabri_Jade Fan Fiction Archive Editor Emeritus star 5 VIP

    Registered:
    Nov 9, 2002
    Exactly so.
     
  10. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Something that has been on my mind the last few days: how does one deal with writing regrets? I have two that have come up recently. First, I realized that I am probably never going to continue the story of Shai Orrelios, the younger brother I created for Zeb, who's appeared in several of the Lasan Series stories. I had written him into an Imperial work camp because I couldn't bear to kill him off, but it seemed like a rather large coincidence for Zeb, his wife (@Findswoman 's Shulma) ,and his brother to miraculously escape the Siege of Lasan. I wish I hadn't now, though, because there's just no way to have Shai in this situation for any length of time and have him stay the same character. Like @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha, I'm very fond of my characters and have a hard time putting them through hard stuff. I'm not sure I could bear writing a Shai who'd been broken by years of Imperial servitude :(

    The second is that I'm working on putting some of my stories on AO3, and I realized that a story that is a key piece of my AU has major flaws. It's very much a product of a certain time in my life, but in this case, I'm not sure that's a good thing. There are some bits that I think are really good, but there are also a lot of slapstick-y humor incidents and in-jokes that are just sort of :oops:. I think my characterization of Luke in the story makes him too much of a naïve farmboy almost to the point of stupidity in places. The story also has several contributions from someone whom I parted on bad terms, and I feel awkward about posting them because I obviously would need to credit her but that would entail contacting her. I wonder if it's worth trying to redo the story and fix the shortcomings before posting it elsewhere or if it's better to leave it alone and leave that part of the AU blank on AO3.

    Has anyone else dealt with similar situations?
     
  11. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha 2 Truths 1 Lie Host star 8 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    SHAI! What a dilemma. I found him to be endearing from the very first chapter of Beginning of Honor as he teased "Zebby" shamelessly. [face_laugh] As for the second issue, yikes! A major overhaul but with some retained plot elements might be a solution as might getting another collaborator? [face_thinking]
     
  12. gizkaspice

    gizkaspice Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 27, 2013
    Personally, I'd have more regrets killing off a character than putting them through hard stuff. Living through hard stuff is part of life and I expect that to be part of my characters' journeys because it allows them to grow or heal. Broken characters can heal in time and the support they could be given can be just very fascinating to read and maybe pull a few heartstrings but I agree that it's a lot of work. But this is coming from someone who has a really hard time killing off characters I like--unless there's some reason to do it because it pulls the plot forward or an actual reason (like impacting another character and for character growth, etc.)
     
  13. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Feb 25, 2010
    Has anyone ever printed out a fic before? If so how did you do it?

    I'm thinking about printing out my vignette series (and a few other related fics - reading them brings me comfort in uneasy times and I think I would just like a hard copy for myself - sometimes it's nice just not to look at a screen) and putting them in a nice binder. The vignette series is 300,000 words (I just realized I made it over that mark!!!). I'm trying to figure out if I should include the comments or not - they are fun to read, but they add an extra 80 pages of material to print (and I figure either way I'll be printing 2 pages per piece of paper, then double siding it). But either way is still a lot of ink and paper (without is about 320 pages and with is close to 400).

    On one hand, If I am going to do this. I might as well do it all... but I can also go back and read the comments on a computer if I want to. But it's nice just to have everything in one place.

    If I do include them, I'm just going to print the webpages from Safari, which does at least clear the background colour - I'll be printing in black and white anyways - but it will still be in the forum format (which is a bit of an annoying way to read(. If I just do the story text, obviously I can just print from my word doc so I can easily format how I want.

    Thoughts? Experiences?
     
  14. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 2019
    I've printed out my own fic a couple of times to be able to re-read it without looking at a screen.

    I think it's cool that you're thinking of printing out a vignette series and some other related works that bring you comfort, and it could be really nice to have a hard copy in a binder for yourself to enjoy when you don't want to have to stare at a screen.

    When I've printed out my fic, I've tended not to print out the comments primarily because re-reading a fic and re-reading comments are like two separate activities for me. I re-read my fic when I want to enjoy it or see how well I wrote something in particular or see how much I've grown as a writer. Whereas I tend to re-read comments when I want to get a warm glow inside me from the affirmation that other people liked my work or when I want to see the specifics of what other people liked. So it is like re-reading the fanfic gets put into a separate mental and emotional category than re-reading feedback on fanfic for me. Which may be weird. I seem to either be in the mood to re-read a bunch of my fanfic or a bunch of comments on my fanfic, but rarely do I do both at the same time.

    But if you like to combine the two, I could see it being convenient to have the comments in the same space as the fics you print out.

    On the other hand, I tend to be stingy with my ink and printer paper, so I might want to only print out the fics to save money.

    In other words, I'm not very helpful, am I? [face_laugh]
     
  15. darkspine10

    darkspine10 Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Dec 7, 2014
    I downloaded my fics to Kindle once, so I could re-read and plan revisions while on a holiday. It was a pretty cool and disorienting experience, almost like it gave my words a legitimacy on the level with any published work. Seeing it formatted in that way really changed the way I read those chapters.

    I also did the same with a couple of fics written by other people, so I could read them at work (during lunch breaks), which was a very useful thing to have :)
     
  16. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Feb 25, 2010
    Thanks for your input!

    Yeah, I'm also really stingy with my ink and paper, thus why I haven't printed any of my fics out thus far!

    Yeah, I often do like to combine the two which is why I'm leaning towards printing the comments out too. I figure if I'm already printing out 300-something pages, whats another 80 more?

    I've done that too and It was fun just reading them in that format like a published work.



    I mean, I'm aware I could probably format it in a way where the actual story text is like that of a published work and then have all of the comments behind (maybe printed like 4 pages to a single side of paper - save a few trees I guess) but that seems like a lot of work! And if it gets to be too much work, this will likely never get done!
     
  17. darkspine10

    darkspine10 Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Dec 7, 2014
    AO3 actually has a way you can download fics into E-reader acceptable formats (either MOBI or Epub), that ports over all the chapter formats and contents. Don't think it did comments though sadly, but made downloading the fics I wanted to read on the go very easy.
     
  18. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Feb 25, 2010
    Yeah, I've done that before with other fics I wanted to easily save (and I think there is an option to include the comments or at least there used to be). Unfortunately, this fic isnt on AO3 (and the length of it means easily poping it over there isnt reasonable - plus the comments I want are here!). PLUS the whole point of this is to get an actual paper version (I'm not big on e-readers myself).

    I'm thinking maybe I'll just do this slowly - forum page by forum page - print out the vignettes in a proper "published-like" format and grab the comments from Safari and print those out really tiny.
     
  19. pronker

    pronker Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 28, 2007
    I've printed out fics for beach reading before I had a Kindle (now deceased after 11 years:() and it turned out well. I agree that it's a good and solid feeling, fulfilling even, to see your words on real paper. However you do it, best of luck! It'll be worth it. :)

    If the fic is on FanfictionDAHTNET, the site prevents it being c/p'd for a separate file :( but there's a neat and free thing called fanfictiondownloaderDAHTNET specifically for that site that gets you a mobi, PDF and other formats to print out. Listen to me, talking just like I know computer stuff! 0.o
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2021
  20. Anedon

    Anedon Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 11, 2016
    I´m not too fond of outright changes/essentially retcons in situations like that, even though I have used that from time to time.
    Sometimes if can defenetly lead to me getting stuck on a Story, such as on my very first published fanfiction(on a german board), where in the epilogue for the second part I ultimatley burned too many bridges regarding a possible third part, which would in a sense be needed but be now very hard to write. Was thinking about maybe trying to do a soft retcon on that, in implying the main character recieved false informations or that due to the painkillers in his body he more or less hallucinated that entire conversation but neither is really appealing to me...

    One thing I do regret, because its kind of a logistical nightmare is related to the character of Adrian Malek. Cause doing the math on his parents where in their sixties when they had him, which is generally outside of the age of female fertility.... So maybe having him be adopted rather than their biological child would have made more sense. Though that´s impossible as he is several times explicitly refered as having inherited his fathers appearance.
    There are some very rare cases of this happening in real life so I ultimatley decided it was the same here, Adrian actually being a rather unplanned, though certianly not unwelcome suprise....
     
    amidalachick, pronker and Findswoman like this.
  21. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    We have probably talked about this before in this thread somewhere, but I hope no one minds it being brought up again: what are peoples opinions on, and approaches to, responding to comments from readers (AKA "doing responses")? @Raissa Baiard and I were recently talking about this, and about how it's difficult sometimes. On one hand, one wants to show gratitude and appreciation to one's readers. On the other, it can feel weird and repetitive to say "Thank you, glad you enjoyed!" again and again and again, or to find a way to respond to similar points made by different people without it seeming too repetitive. And it can also be difficult sometimes to figure out just how much is enough in a response: striking a balance between adequately addressing a comment vs., y'know, not writing an entire dissertation, because there's only so much time and energy in a day.

    Now, for my own part, one thing that helps me with the repetitiveness issue is the way I respond to other writers' comment responses: when I've left someone a comment and they do a big post with responses to several comments before posting their next chapter, I very often will skip to the spot where they respond specifically to my own comment, and just read that. Thus readers may end up seeing only the one "thank you" and not all of them, and it won't look so repetitive to them even if it does to the author responding to the comments, if that makes sense. So when I find myself writing a lot of those "thank yous," I just try to think of it that way.

    But I'm still struggling with the "how much is enough" question, though: is just "thank you" all right? "Thank you" plus a sentence, plus a few sentences? Should/could it be proportional to the length of the original commenter's comment? Is a "like" enough of an acknowledgment? No right or wrong answers here; I'm mainly just curious to hear about other folks' practices are in this area, and to discuss a bit so I can organize my own thoughts.

    (By the way, none of this is meant to criticize, nitpick, or otherwise micromanage the way any commenter chooses to write their comments! They are all welcome and appreciated, and I mean that. [face_love] It's just a matter of me trying to figure out how to respond to them in the best possible way!)
     
  22. darkspine10

    darkspine10 Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Dec 7, 2014
    I've had similar thoughts in the past. If the comment is a relatively simple statement of liking a fic, I tend to not reply to those. It's enough to get the message that someone liked your work. If the comment goes into more detail, sometimes I respond, explaining or expanding on the aspects they also touched on, or asking if they had any critiques or particular favourites. It's very case by case, some comments just don't give you much to work with in all honesty, even if I appreciate them all personally.

    As for negative comments, well, firstly I haven't received too many of those, thank goodness. One time I did get a more critical response, on the finale of one fic. It did show that they at least read the whole things, so I tried to clarify my intentions a bit. Not sure that worked, since they replied with another more critical comment. It was annoying for a bit, though the critiques are ones common regarding that character in the fandom I was writing in, so I eventually just moved on (it also helped that I'd written more featuring the character since then that I felt repudiated some of their criticisms).
     
  23. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 2019
    @Findswoman I think that the art of responding to comments is always a great topic for conversation among fanfiction authors, and I believe it truly is an art because each individual fanfic author will have their own "style" as it were for responding to comments.

    There tend to be a lot of different factors that influence how I respond to comments. Some will be platform (aka site) based and rooted in the structure of the site. If readers tend to leave comments in a separate area as in Archive of Our Own rather than intermixed with the story thread like here, I tend to respond more quickly to comments I receive on a site like Archive of Our Own, where responding to a comment won't bump my story, whereas with a site like this one, I will wait longer (at least a day or so, but often more), to respond to comments I receive because I don't want to be inconsiderate to other authors and bumping my work excessively especially if it is to respond to comments rather than updating the story itself. Archive of Our Own also doesn't provide a way to "like" comments that readers leave (at least to my knowledge) whereas this site does. So with Archive of Our Own, I feel like the only way a commenter will know I read and appreciated their comment is if I respond to their comment. With this site, however, I can leave a "like" on the comment and the comment writer will know I read and appreciated it even if I don't type a response until I update the story or get a batch of reviews I respond to in bulk or a few days have passed and I feel it's acceptable to bump my thread again.

    Other factors are shaped by the individual commenter I'm responding to. If I know the individual commenter, it is more likely that I will take a casual tone or risk making jokes and that kind of thing in my response to the commenter because I see us as friends or at least friendly. I'll also be more likely to give a detailed response that might get rambly. Especially if I suspect they are the kind of person who won't mind my rambly responses and might even enjoy them. (And those are readers and commenters after my own heart because I am such a rambly person. Especially about the fandoms that I love.) So if I get the vibe someone is the type to appreciate and respond to my rambling, they may be in for all the rambling my fingers can type, and my fingers can type a lot. However, if I don't know the commenter as well, then I am more likely to respond in a shorter way that's unlikely to risk becoming rambly. That would tend to be a lot simpler a response like, "Thank you so much for commenting on my story! So glad you enjoyed it!" and if they mentioned something particular they liked, maybe adding something about how whatever they liked was something I really tried to get right or was nervous about getting right. I would say that on this site, I am more likely to feel like I know commenters on my stories through discussion threads like this one and through challenges and other events like gift exchanges, so my rambly side tends to come out more on this site than on Archive of Our Own, where I feel like I am less likely to know my commenters well. Even people who comment on my work a lot there, I feel less of a personal connection to than the commenters I interact with here. So how I respond to comments here tends to be way different than how I respond to them on Archive of Our Own.

    My responses will also somewhat be molded by the length of the comment I'm responding to. If it's a comment that is a sentence or two long, I am more likely to give a short response simply because there was less to respond to in the comment itself, but if the comment itself is longer, my response will tend to be longer. Also, if a comment mentions specific things that the commenter liked (phrases I used, how I portrayed a character, plot twists, etc.) I'm likely to address that specific in some way. I do like when I can respond to comments like that as it makes me feel like I am having a real conversation with a reader and maybe building a relationship with them, which is cool. Honestly, the discussion and relationship building aspects are probably my favorite part of responding to reviews.

    I try not to worry too much about getting repetitive with my responses to comments, because I think 1) there are only a limited number of ways to politely express gratitude in the English language (and probably most other languages as well), so there is really nothing I can do about that if I like to remain a courteous person and 2) I agree that many readers might just skip the comments that aren't personally addressed to them anyway, and it will seem more repetitive to the author than the comment readers anyway. And using certain polite set phrases helps give me a rough template of how to respond to commenters in a polite way and helps me respond to comments more quickly. Responding to comments can be time-consuming (especially for someone naturally rambly like me) so time-saving strategies are not to be scoffed at in my opinion.

    In answer to the how much is enough question, I would tend to say that published authors often respond to reviews with nothing, and it's often deemed perfectly professional of them not to respond. So I'd say that it's okay for a fanfic author to not respond to comments on their fics, and so if it is okay for fanfic authors to not respond to comments on their fics, just about any response the fanfic author makes is appropriate and enough if it is satisfying to the author. So if there is a way to "like" comments and that is all the author wants to do or has the time and energy to do? That is enough in my opinion. If the author just wants to say "thanks for reading and commenting" to every comment? That's enough in my opinion. If the author wants to leave a detailed response to every review? That's enough in my opinion.

    Speaking as a reader, I don't expect all fanfic authors to respond in the same way to my comments or to respond to my comments in the same way that I would as an author. If they drop a "like" on my comment, then I know they read and appreciated it, and that is cool. If they respond to my comment with a "thank you for reading and commenting," that is nice, because again, I know they read and appreciated my comment. If they respond in detail to my comment, that might tend to make me the happiest and most excited because it can feel like a discussion of writing and/or fandom which are two of my favorite things to chat about. However, I by no means expect those types of responses, which is why I'm so happy and excited when I get them. Really I can't imagine getting upset at how someone responded to my comment unless they responded with outright rudeness to something nice I said. Which has never happened to me in my whole history of writing fanfic comments.

    I guess at the end of the day, I'm tempted to circle back around to the idea that responding to comments is an art form. Each author will have his or her own style, and the style will be different from anyone else's, and that's good. The fanfic world would probably be pretty boring, and, yes, repetitive, too if every author responded to comments on his or her works in the same way. The fact that each author responds to comments in a unique way probably prevents any one author's response style from ever feeling boring or repetitive.

    So, really, I think we shouldn't overthink things or sweat the small stuff when it comes to responding to comments. And I say this as someone who always overthinks things and sweats the small stuff:p
     
  24. pronker

    pronker Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 28, 2007
    If a review is short like "I liked it" or "++1!1", I generally respond "Thanks for the r/r!" If it's lengthier, a "glad you enjoyed the way Private danced his way through the minefield!" in response to a specific comment works; recently a comment ("I hate how you did X") ended with a statement that rhymes with "duck shoe" surfaced (not on this site:)) so I deleted it. Other, more reasoned, critical comments I endeavor to answer with respect to their points. I've not changed any fic in response to critiques but typos pointed out get changed by me.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2021
  25. amidalachick

    amidalachick Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 3, 2003
    Oh, this is another topic I've been overthinking about in the past few months (I mean, I overthink everything so that's no surprise :p)! I'm going to ramble a bit, from both a writer and a reader point of view. Maybe there'll even be something useful somewhere in there, who knows? [face_laugh]

    First I just want to say that despite what I talk about below, I truly appreciate anyone who interacts with my stories. If you take the time to read and like/kudos/reblog/comment/whatever, it means a lot to me and I really do appreciate it.

    As a reader I LOVE when authors reply to my comments because, as @devilinthedetails mentioned, it's more like a conversation, and it helps build that connection and community aspect that makes fanfic so special. So whether it's an emoji or a "Thanks" or a more in-depth reply, it just makes me happy.

    That said, I never expect a response because I understand that everyone's different and it's not always possible to reply for whatever reason, and if an author's more comfortable not responding than that's totally 100% okay. The main point I wanted to make here is that, as a reader, I'm happy with any reply to comments I leave and no author should ever worry that their response is too repetitive or not 'good enough'.

    But (because it can never be that simple).

    As a writer I throw all that out the window and become a massive hypocrite (*cue Obi-Wan's "You've become the very thing you swore to destroy"*). :p

    In the past I always tried to respond by at least liking comments on my work and saying a "Thanks/Thanks for reading" or something like that, and generally the length and detail of my responses would be proportionate to the comments.

    But lately I've just been not responding at all, either here or on other sites. Sometimes I'm honestly just busy. Lately it's mostly been anxiety. I'm afraid nothing I say is 'good enough', or I try to respond and all I can think is "Ugh this story is garbage and I should never have even posted it so how can anyone else like it?" In that case I end up not saying anything because I don't have anything nice to say. So I put off replying, and then months pass and I feel like it would be rude or awkward to say anything at that point because no one's even going to remember reading the story, and then the guilt over not replying makes me feel worse even though no one except me cares, and I put off replying again and - well, I'm sure you see where this is going (*cue Bruce Springsteen's "I'm Goin' Down"* :p).

    Again, I know I'm being kind of hypocritical here because I can't take my own advice right now, but I think that even if you're not able to do personal responses for whatever reason even just putting something like "Thanks to all who read/liked/left kudos/whatever!" is a nice gesture for both author and reader that acknowledges that the comments were seen and appreciated. But ultimately there's no right or wrong, it's just whatever is best for you at that particular point in time.