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Calling all writers and readers - it's time we talked

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  • Calling all writers and readers - it's time we talked

    Folks, you may have noticed that our fanfiction section here at BuffyForums is not perhaps as active as it used to be - or as we would like it to be. So, we thought it might be an idea if those members who still actively post fic on the forum - and those who are fond of reading fic on the forum - got together to discuss fanfiction in general and the way forward for this section in particular.

    What do you think would be a benefit to the fanfic section of this forum? Is there anything we aren't doing that perhaps we should? What is your favourite fic section? What is your least favourite? Have you noticed that we have a shiny new section for Original Series in the VS section? Did you know that we have a section for challenges that is currently looking rather sad and lonely, just waiting for someone to sign up to run a new challenge? Entries have been few and far between in recent challenges, which discourages potential hosts - is there any particular reason folk are no longer keen on entering? Not motivated, no time, other interests, or plain old apathy?

    What about feedback? We all know that really meaningful feedback is a rare, rare animal at the best of times, something that all writers love to receive but many people feel uncomfortable giving. Would it work if we set a rule for fanfiction similar to that operating in the fanart forum, making it a requirement that anyone who wants to post their fanfiction on the forum must also offer feedback to other writers? Or would you prefer the feedback system to be left as it is? And those of you who don't have a feedback thread of your own yet - do you remember to check the general thread to see if anyone has left anything for you, or do you find it hard to find your own feedback in there?

    Writers and readers both - come and talk about fanfiction on this forum!


  • #2
    Would it work if we set a rule for fanfiction similar to that operating in the fanart forum, making it a requirement that anyone who wants to post their fanfiction on the forum must also offer feedback to other writers?
    I think it's a really good idea. It's not guaranteed to work, but I think it would foster a more community spirit around writing, and give people more of a sense that they're not just writing into a void. Yes, I'm very keen on this idea. It could just be that for every fic you post, you feedback someone (anyone)... doesn't have to be a lengthy feedback, just something - though not saying it can't be lengthy obv.


    -- Robofrakkinawesome BANNER BY FRANCY --

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    • #3
      I think it works out well just how it is now, though I know not getting as much feedback as we'd want to is a bitch...
      I always leave feedback to everything I like, I mean I don't read many fanfics, but I'm a big fan of Lex and I've left feedback for practically every episode he writes but I think it's up to the individuals to choose to leave it or not... But I don't know, maybe what Wolfie suggested is a good idea.
      What? You’ve taught a psycho killer demon how to be human by making him watch Sex and the City?

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      • #4
        I'm very thankful for this thread as I think there has been a definite lull in the fic section and it is a section that I think deserves some love and a little bit of a boost.

        The feedback requirement is, I think something that we can definitely steal, ahem, I mean borrow, from the fanart section. As wolfie says it is important, for me anyway, that what I'm writing is reaching someone, that it's not just disappearing into the great blue yonder. Just a few words would be good, constructive criticism would be better. I actually think that feedback that has both positive and negative aspects is most useful in just about any arena and especially in the creative arena. I think that, especially for newer writers, the thought that someone is going to read what has been written. think about it and leave a few comments could actually be the difference between posting and not posting (I was certainly encouraged by a few kind words when I started trying to get some words that made some kind of sense down.) I've also noticed that a couple of very good writers that used to post their work here are now posting on places like Livejournal, mainly, I think, because there they are almost guarenteed that feedback on such places from the people who follow them.

        What I would probably suggest is that every writer who wishes to post a fic has to leave some feedback, even if that's just a couple of lines, on one other fic. I would maybe suggest that the requirement be lifted for a writers first fic so that new writers can ease themselves in, and that feedback is actively encouraged to be given to these newer writers.

        I'm not sure that the same kind of structure would work for VS's as from what I see these fics tend to attract a following anyway and, if we're looking at a long established season then it would be hard to leave feedback without going back and reading a heck of a lot. Maybe some of the VS writers could correct me there or if not suggest what may work.

        Of course there is a way for any writer to recieve some good constructive feedback on their overall skill and that is by entering a challenge. I think it's a real pity that this particular part of the fic section doesn't seem to be getting the love it used to as there are some immensley imaginative and interesting writing exersises posted that can both stretch a writer and often provide inspiration when that naughty muse decides to abscond. In fact I would encorouge anyone who's toying with the idea of putting virtual pen to virtual paper to have a look a whatever challenges are running an enter a few, it's a great way of finding your writing feet.
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        • #5
          I'm new here, but let's say I'ma little bit disappointed with the feedback section. The general feedback thread is a good idea, but your feedback might get lost among those of the others, which isn't ideal. I think I would like a "post feedback in order to post a new fanfic", it's a very good idea and a great way to incite people to share feedback.

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          • #6
            I have to admit that it's made me very sad at how little feedback is given in our fanfic section. I post my fic elsewhere and get as many as 4 to 20 notes of feedback per chapter for "Thought You Should Know", but sadly here I've gotten no feedback in the past 3 months. And this includes a large number of oneshots that I've posted here, too. If the fics wasn't getting hits so that I knew people were reading them, I'd have probably stopped posting them here by now.

            I'd be fine with the rule of "post feedback in order to post new fanfic" idea. Though I have to admit I've been reading less fanfic nowadays than I am writing. But I'd definitely find that exchange worthwhile.
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            • #7
              As a huge fan of most of the virtual series, I'm kind of annoyed. Like, some haven't been updated in years. I'm not sure if they're plans to continue some of them, but I'm guessing a few are "canceled." Maybe it's time to get in touch with some of the writers to find out where their series stands. If they're over, maybe you can put something in the index tile to signify that or maybe un-sticky them? That way the readers know what series are currently running?

              It's like, what if "Supernatural" aired until 5.11 and then stopped and never produced a new episode and then The CW didn't say it was canceled or just on a extremely long hiatus. It'd be kind of frustrating. Like, I'm sure there's a few that are a "I haven't had the time" situation, which is understandable. Some are done though, like "Rogue Redemption." I think I remember Lex mentioning it was over. So, I think something should be done about that.

              As for the feedback thing, I dunno. Part of me feels that making feedback mandatory is off putting. It's one of the reason I don't really post art outside of challenges (I suck at doing it, though writing feedbacl for fanfic is easier.). I don't feel that it's all that beneficial if you're just feedbacking because you have to. Personally, if I don't want to do something, I don't put my heart into it. BUT sometimes people can get looked over... so it's good that it's a rule, it allows other people who wouldn't get feedback normally to get some.

              Also, what about the "Rate Thread" option? Maybe we should start rating fan fic that way? It only takes a second to do. So, it's a fast, easy way to give feedback, though it'd be anonymous... but you can still see how many people have read it and if the majority liked it or hated it.

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              • #8
                I like Thomas' idea, about rating the thread. At least someone who may not want to sit and write feedback can quickly give an idea as to their opinions on the fic.

                Actually, i've really wanted to take a challenge of late, but there doesn't seem to be any running right now. I've also wanted to post a story or two but i was going to wait until i had the majority of them written to post.

                I can see a problem with the "post feedback to post stories" idea, as people may try to skip over that, or give a total insincere answer. It would give writers the opportunity to gain feedback when they usually wouldn't, but i think i'd prefer to get no feedback than a totally cheesy halfassed review.

                I also would read stories, but a few center around or involve ats and i'm yet to see them so i can't read them (which sucks.). I really do wish i could read some of the stories here, but it usually just slips my mind. Sorry...
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by cliomiao View Post
                  I think it works out well just how it is now, though I know not getting as much feedback as we'd want to is a bitch...
                  I always leave feedback to everything I like, I mean I don't read many fanfics, but I'm a big fan of Lex and I've left feedback for practically every episode he writes but I think it's up to the individuals to choose to leave it or not... But I don't know, maybe what Wolfie suggested is a good idea.
                  I reckon you're right about virtual series - they tend to get plenty of feedback already. But I think it would be good to get more writers reading one another's work, and feeling engaged with one another more (because I am a great big commie-every-man-for-each-other hippy

                  I know I'm guilty of posting fics without feedbacking for aaages. Perhaps you could say it wouldn't be a rule - as in, you're not barred from posting feedback, but that there'd be an honour system? Worth a try? And maybe encourage people to give one another rep points when they do their duty proper like?

                  Originally posted by tangent View Post
                  I've also noticed that a couple of very good writers that used to post their work here are now posting on places like Livejournal, mainly, I think, because there they are almost guarenteed that feedback on such places from the people who follow them.
                  Yes - it's a competitive feedback market out there, we can't have them bastards stealing our talent


                  I would maybe suggest that the requirement be lifted for a writers first fic so that new writers can ease themselves in, and that feedback is actively encouraged to be given to these newer writers.
                  Yes, that sounds good - after all, it can take quite a lot of guts to suddenly start posting stuff, so don't want to make that harder.

                  Re Virtual series - I think it would be nice if VS writers posted lots of feedback too, in the general fanfic group hug spirit. Again, they could do a bit of the old honour system action....when they post a new ep, they could post some feedback for another fanfic at the same time?


                  Originally posted by Collex View Post
                  I'm new here, but let's say I'ma little bit disappointed with the feedback section. The general feedback thread is a good idea, but your feedback might get lost among those of the others, which isn't ideal. I think I would like a "post feedback in order to post a new fanfic", it's a very good idea and a great way to incite people to share feedback.
                  I'm not sure how many fics you need to have written to get your own thread, but worth PMing a mod to ask them. The General Feedback thread is just meant for those who write the odd random fic, but if you've written quite a bit, you can get your own thread.

                  Originally posted by Emmie View Post
                  I'd be fine with the rule of "post feedback in order to post new fanfic" idea. Though I have to admit I've been reading less fanfic nowadays than I am writing. But I'd definitely find that exchange worthwhile.
                  Me either (well, I don't write much fanfic currently... but I read even less, and having a kickup the bum would begood).


                  As for the feedback thing, I dunno. Part of me feels that making feedback mandatory is off putting. It's one of the reason I don't really post art outside of challenges (I suck at doing it, though writing feedbacl for fanfic is easier.).
                  I do see what you mean. What do you reckon to a system that's kind of like a museum's "suggested donation" - you're not forced to do it, but would be nice if everyone contributed feedback, and go out of your way to rep people who do so?

                  BUT sometimes people can get looked over... so it's good that it's a rule, it allows other people who wouldn't get feedback normally to get some.
                  Yeah- it would be good if there was some way of spreading it around a bit. Not quite sure what to suggest for that, but...maybe just people could try to be aware when feedbacking of whether they're feedbacking someone who already gets loads?

                  Also, what about the "Rate Thread" option? Maybe we should start rating fan fic that way? It only takes a second to do. So, it's a fast, easy way to give feedback, though it'd be anonymous... but you can still see how many people have read it and if the majority liked it or hated it.
                  I'm less keen on that because I think constructive criticism is more useful for writers...knowing how many stars someone would give something doesn't tell you all that much, it's sort of blank. They might have loved or hated it for weird reasons and it would be disheartening and confusing perhaps?


                  -- Robofrakkinawesome BANNER BY FRANCY --

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                  • #10
                    Much as I love feedback, I wouldn't want it if someone was obligated to provide it. Regardless, I'll try to offer more of it myself!
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Thomas View Post
                      As a huge fan of most of the virtual series, I'm kind of annoyed. Like, some haven't been updated in years. I'm not sure if they're plans to continue some of them, but I'm guessing a few are "canceled." Maybe it's time to get in touch with some of the writers to find out where their series stands. If they're over, maybe you can put something in the index tile to signify that or maybe un-sticky them? That way the readers know what series are currently running?

                      It's like, what if "Supernatural" aired until 5.11 and then stopped and never produced a new episode and then The CW didn't say it was canceled or just on a extremely long hiatus. It'd be kind of frustrating. Like, I'm sure there's a few that are a "I haven't had the time" situation, which is understandable. Some are done though, like "Rogue Redemption." I think I remember Lex mentioning it was over. So, I think something should be done about that.
                      I agree with Thomas. I think it would be a great idea to get let people know which shows are still running and which shows are canceled. Maybe there should be a archives thread for the VS section. And if there's a archive thread it could leave room for the future VS writers.

                      Originally posted by Thomas View Post
                      As for the feedback thing, I dunno. Part of me feels that making feedback mandatory is off putting.

                      Also, what about the "Rate Thread" option? Maybe we should start rating fan fic that way? It only takes a second to do. So, it's a fast, easy way to give feedback, though it'd be anonymous... but you can still see how many people have read it and if the majority liked it or hated it.
                      I think the rating thing is a good idea if a person doesn’t want to write feedback.

                      Also I want to do something, like an event that draws more readers and writers? Idk what, but something fun!?
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                      • #12
                        The most important question: how would that work exactly? I suck with computers, so I really no idea how the one feedback for one fanfic could work. Is it a thing that the forum would do automatically? Or would people have to send the fics to like a moderator or something who would then post them only if he's sent enough feedback?
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                        • #13
                          See this is the thing. I mean i love BF to death but the thing is they have otten way to mighty with themselves. I mean they are blowing out these series and then when they have the series most writers quit or discontinue. I think that they should put the series in a section where people can still read them. And maybe leave all the Series for all the people who have series or who want to post series let them post

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                          • #14
                            It's like, what if "Supernatural" aired until 5.11 and then stopped and never produced a new episode and then The CW didn't say it was canceled or just on a extremely long hiatus.
                            It's funny, because in Italy things work exactly this way. The Oc, Heroes, Gilmore Girls, Veronica Mars and Gossip Girls were all programs that one day went puff and reappeared months later in another time slot, without the network saying anything...
                            Anyway, I do think they should put a "status" next to the virtual series like "in work" "completed" or "incompleted" if the series has been abandoned.
                            What? You’ve taught a psycho killer demon how to be human by making him watch Sex and the City?

                            1.02 Never been kissed OUT NOW/ 1.03 Damned by the bell COMING SOON

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by cliomiao View Post
                              Anyway, I do think they should put a "status" next to the virtual series like "in work" "completed" or "incompleted" if the series has been abandoned.
                              That's a good idea, progress reports in fics would be an easy way to tell whether or not series or even fics in general are still running.

                              Would it be hard to do an individual folder type thing for the more avid writers? Like, let's say a user has about twelve stories in the buffyverse fics section. It may be offputting to a generally new writer who might feel intimidated by so much work. Also, if a writer has a few old stories in the archives, they could be put into the writer's folder to make for quicker and easier finding if you're looking for work by the same author. Oh god, i hope i haven't just confused what i'm trying to say!
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