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Reminder: Policy and Ettiquette

  • Kristin Darken
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3 years 4 months ago #20160 by Kristin Darken
Kristin Darken created the topic: Reminder: Policy and Ettiquette
I'd like to make a quick reminder to our readers at large, both the registered ones and the ones who just visit the site and don't involve themselves with the community and only post in the story comments. I will expand on this in Monday's front page news, but I don't want to wait until then to comment on it.


This week, we've had two different canon authors upset by comments/demands from readers. That's not a good thing, it's the sort of thing that results in authors sitting quietly in the author lounge complaining about how they are under appreciated and that its time they move on to an audience that appreciates them or pays better... or both.

We have few hard 'rules' in place but I think we all agree that things that push authors away are not things we should be doing. One of the most important things to remember is that we are consciously aware and make choices about publication that reflect the environment in which we publish. This is a web publishing process, in which no one is paid for their writing or editing efforts. We sustain a fairly high rate of publication and do so at a fairly high quality level. And we do not charge anyone for access to the stories that are produced.

Are there typos, miss-spellings, grammatical problems, miss-translations, or typos? Indeed, I would be surprised to find even one published story among the canon that doesn't have at least ONE error. But then, in forty some years of being an avid reader; I can say the same thing about the professionally published, edited, and printed books I've read. Even with the added time and money spent on their process, some of the work we do here is JUST AS HIGH QUALITY. Some is average, some a bit under... but its all readable without errors making it impossible to understand.

We understand that some people have minds that require precision in what they read. That even a single typo disrupts their level of immersion. Many of those people are professional editors... wisely putting their gift/curse to work for them.

But you have to understand... we do not work for you. You get these stories for free. We write these stories for the enjoyment of writing and while we're not averse to learning and honing our craft, we do not post our stories here with the intention of getting 'coached' on how to write better. We do not post our stories here with the intention of fixing every possible typo and grammar error and so on. If we were that worried about such things, we would hire professional editors.

So please, be respectful of the authors. If you enjoyed the story, say so. It's the closest thing to pay most of us will see from the effort we put into it. If you didn't like the story, or found problems with it... remember that sometimes, not liking the story is a matter of personal taste, style, or an aversion to certain topics. And that's on YOU... not the author. And the only way you should turn that around and comment on it for feedback is if you acknowledge that it is YOU not liking stories with that much violence or sex or whatever... so that authors know that a segment of our audience is less interested in reading stories that go down that line. BUT, by no means does that mean that if 5% of the readers don't like stories with murder in them that we're going to suddenly prevent any future story from having deaths in them... its a natural facet of the genre that we are working in... if you don't like it, sorry... you're reading the wrong genre.

The only negative feedback that you should ever put on an author's table is when you simply don't get it. The story confuses you, you've talked with other people about it and you still don't get it. And in that case, you should be couching the feedback as questions. Trust me... if half the readership is asking questions about not understanding a scene or plot event... we'll understand that it was poorly written, even if no one says so.

And even if there are a number of things that you don't like... ask yourself before you post: am I about to tell the author to fix something? Or am I going to to explain where something didn't work for/distracted me?

If its the former, stop. Walk away and reconsider. Because the author isn't your bitch. Once we publish things, we'll occasionally tweak problems if we notice them or they are brought to our attention (preferably by PM) but we don't have to. And if you really want those things to get tweaked, the best way is not to piss us off by making a big deal about them in public.

If its the latter... good for you. Just try to be specific. And if its not going to simple and clear, take it to PM. If its that important to you, the author may want to hear about it... but they don't want a huge pile on session started in open comments / feedback forums about it.

And ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS be respectful for the time people put into the work they're doing for you. It's not costing you anything and it does take work, even just taking the story from a word document and putting it into the site CMS and cleaning it up can take a couple hours. If you can't find it in yourself to be respectful for that and acknowledge it from time to time in comments/feedback... you've got no reason to be demanding authors fix something, or even offering neutral/confused feedback about something you don't get. Remember, if you CARE enough to still be reading and wanting the stories to be better... we must have done something right somewhere.

Fate guard you and grant you a Light to brighten your Way.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Dreamer, mittfh, Ametros, Wavehead, DanZilla, ~Archangel~, ShockHawk, Anne, Rose Bunny

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  • Kristin Darken
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11 months 1 week ago #60983 by Kristin Darken
Kristin Darken replied the topic: Reminder: Policy and Ettiquette
This is posted and sticked here for a reason. If you haven't read it. Do so NOW. If you have, take another look. Camospam may not have been a canon author, but he was both an author and a member of the community. One who has chose to stop writing here and leave due to the actions and words of another member of the community.

We live in a society that is heavy on forgiveness. We tend to believe that we can make an apology and forgiveness will be granted. That once forgiveness is given, that everything can and will return to the way it was. It's an interesting 'ideal' and a firm part of some popular religions... but its also false in every practical sense of the world. When you hurt someone or damage or destroy something... the apology doesn't take that away. The harm has already been caused. The damage is already done. The only thing an apology does is avert the idea of vengeance. Instead of eye for an eye or balancing scales... you hold up your feelings of guilt over what is done as a measure of equal 'pain' to the damages you did. IF you really feel that horrible and guilty, that might earn you a second chance, once or twice in your life. But far too many people use the trappings of an apology to avert any repercussions of a callous, uncaring nature.

Don't apologize. Fix. If you do something wrong, work to correct it. Your actions will show us that you really understand that you messed up and that you care enough to make it right. Or better yet... don't be in such a rush to be the first to post or to share your most outrageous thoughts. Take that extra moment and make sure you know what you're putting out there.

Or to put it in other words: don't do things that cause me to need to update sticky threads with sad and frustrated words.

Fate guard you and grant you a Light to brighten your Way.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Dreamer, Mister D, Malady, Katssun, CrazyMinh

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