The Oddities of Feedback

Despite my original “denizen of evil” feelings about it, I have started to post my old (and new) fanfiction on fanfiction.net. Now, that doesn’t mean my opinion on the site has changed over-much; it is still a site filled with immature writings by people who need to learn how to spell correctly, use grammar correctly and understand the difference between then/than, drugged/drag…but I have managed to find a corner of this site filled with awful clichés and sickeningly appalling tween writing that is good.

Unfortunately, with the posting of my fiction on this site comes the knowledge that some of the readers are going to be these same people who don’t understand when ‘Finished’ truly means ‘Finished’ and “The End” really is exactly that. I posted one of my very old Veronica Mars stories on the site yesterday evening and without even trying had one such piece of feedback in return:

“:I really like it plz turn it into a real story it would be really good” <– copied and pasted directly from the email notification I received. I also have received feedback for other stories which has been pointless and downright weird such as: “I don’t like this story, can’t you be more original with Ron?”

Now, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE getting feedback, but find one word “more” and “great” or “wow” is less satisfying than “This is really moving” or “I love the way that you have portrayed this but feel that perhaps the reaction was slightly OTT, is there something that will balance this out” to be far more ‘feedback’ in my mind (does this make sense or sound like the ravings of a mad-woman?).

I think that I find the notification email more exciting sometimes than the feedback itself – obviously this is not to say that I don’t want it – seriously, I want the feedback to keep coming, BUT I would love it if someone pointed out something wrong with it without being all up their own arses (seriously, some of the feedback is so badly written while being massively insulting to the writer – I had one piece that I was unable to delete so I ended up deleting the story and reposting – luckily at that point I had only received that one piece of feedback). I wish there were guidelines on feedback but with a huge community of readers and writers on sites like FF.net that will never be something that works. Luckily I am in a little corner of the site where support is strong, BUT at the same time that doesn’t stop the “more plz” people from heading over to take a peek once in a while. Hopefully one day soon the developers of the site will listen to the writers and give them more control over their own feedback, enabling deletions of signed reviews that are hugely negative or so badly written that they give a false impression of the story that they are reading (whether it be because of personal feelings towards the author or anything else).

And that is all…

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