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Please Advise

If you had previously left postive feedback on a WiP but something happens in the latest chapter which totally puts you off reading, would you bother to comment telling the writer so?

I hate leaving negative feedback, but she claimed that my last comment was the best she'd ever received and was all excited... and I won't be reading or commenting again.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 10th, 2016 09:58 pm (UTC)
You might try the approach "I was disappointed / horrified / gobsmacked by ____ " and see what she says - there might be a fix in the works.

But I'd be unlikely to comment on or even read a WIP unless I was actively involved editing, so I can't really help.

I do hope your upcoming treatment will bring you some relief, whenever!

Mar. 10th, 2016 10:16 pm (UTC)
Someone's already said in comments that they are "not a fan" of what happened and the author said, "I'm not a fan either, but the character has issues and is on an emotional rollercoaster." Both true, but not enough to explain/excuse in my opinion, especially given who the character *is*. (He might have *done* it, but if he did, he'd have reacted differently, IMO.)
Mar. 10th, 2016 10:26 pm (UTC)
In that case I'd just let it go, I think. The point has been made.
Mar. 10th, 2016 11:39 pm (UTC)
Yeah. ::sigh:: Thank you. This'll teach me to read WiPs.
Mar. 10th, 2016 11:41 pm (UTC)
Oh and since I can't ETA -

Thanks for the good wishes! :D (It'll be MONTHS before anything happens. The downside of the NHS. They can only expedite it if I had cancer or something else life-threatening. The disability I've been living with for nearly 12 years doesn't earn fast-tracked treatment.)
Mar. 10th, 2016 10:54 pm (UTC)
No, I'd say nothing.
Mar. 10th, 2016 11:38 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'm getting that. Your character interpretation is not mine and all that. But still. You know?
Mar. 10th, 2016 11:40 pm (UTC)
I get the impulse, but it's almost never a good idea. I've gotten scoldy not-my-interpretation feedback and in my admittedly limited experience it adds no value to any conversation.
Mar. 11th, 2016 10:30 am (UTC)
Hiya, I've not been about much because I've had a horrible bug. But feeling quite a bit better now and hoping to go back to work Monday.

I've been following posts though and I'm so sorry you're going through such a rough patch. It's hard to keep battling when there's so little respite. No one is inexhaustible. But know my thoughts are with you and I really wish something works to help. If good thoughts summon good events, I think it's safe to say you are surrounded by them.

As for your question, I had a similar problem with a story (not a WIP - I don't read WIPs) which, in addition to commenting on AO3, led to me posting a debate to the safehouse (http://the-safehouse.livejournal.com/1542556.html).

And Vysila commented on one of my MFU stories (http://archiveofourown.org/works/1131874) that she believed I'd stepped out of character with Illya.

The problem is that 'in character' is a very subjective judgement. I think Vysila's approach was a good one. She basically said 'for me the characterisation didn't work', which isn't the same (or as confrontational) as saying 'you got it wrong'.

In the end that's all you can say. For me Bodie's actions in Angola were extremely plausible, but left me with a host of difficulties with what that said about his character.

Vysila obviously couldn't envisage anything which could defeat Illya. This led to a discussion, without any acrimony, of why I wrote what I wrote. But everyone's stories are their 'babies'. People write for love not money and not everyone is happy about having their work dissected.

If you read the earlier comments, Illyamylove left a bald comment which simply said 'NO! No no no no'. I thought about it for some while before replying because I didn't understand her objection. In the end I responded because I worried that a more sensitive soul wouldn't just be unsettled by receiving such a comment, but might be put off ever posting again.

It transpired that, without emoticon or other contextualisation, I had misinterpreted her meaning. It resolved itself, but I think it left a bad taste on both sides.

All of which showcases how much sensitivity is required when leaving a comment.

I'm sure you'd be more sensible, but in the end it does all come down to how subjective characterisation is. It's not a point of canon which is either correct or not (and even then, how many people see Doyle's green eyes as canon?).

I don't think you shouldn't comment, but I do think all you can say is 'I enjoyed this up to a point, but for me this bit didn't work' because there may be others (the author included) for whom it fits perfectly. Your opinion can only ever be one person's subjective take on a characterisation. And I think you have to be sure you'll be willing to have that rejected before you make a comment.

It may not be worth the hassle, if you're not sure of the author's sensitivities. Some people truly believe you shouldn't ever leave anything but complimentary feedback. Presumably they feel you should just keep quiet if stuff doesn't work for you.

Anyhow, those are my thoughts on the matter...
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )


Dee Natsuko

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