Question to members

12 Oct 2016 09:50 #50653 by AuGoose
Replied by AuGoose on topic Question to members

shadar wrote: The moderators want to keep everything open, but then it's the contributors who ultimately steer the site in that case. It takes enthusiasm to write a story.

While on the face of it this is true, my personal experience has been the people who speak up in response have at least as much impact - at least on the path repeat contributors have. My hard drive holds a number of stories (or variations on stories...) that are just for me, or that I think are unlikely to resonate for anyone else. The things I post here I post specifically because I hope they will garner some feedback and that little thrill of acclaim. That is the root of enthusiasm that drives my next tale, and the next, and the next. The folks who give feedback or share their preferences (even when they're different from what they just read) are far more likely to be served by me in the future. Banging away at the keyboard I regularly chortle to myself "oh, [screenname] will get a kick out of this bit" and pour a little extra care into that sequence.

I jump around a bit, deliberately, as I explore various patterns within the larger theme, but there's lots of words I've shared here that only exist because another member explained to me what they like/want in an ubergirl story. Stuff I'd never have thought of on my own. Believe me, I COUNT the number of thank you's attached to every story snippet I've posted in my notebook and while its maybe not a great metric, its one of the only ones I have to gauge whether a tale striking a cord (along with the written posts). So speaking for myself, if you like where something of mine is headed, Click. The. Button. :)
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12 Oct 2016 12:09 #50657 by Woodclaw
Replied by Woodclaw on topic Question to members

d_k_c wrote: I've said this before and i'll say it again. The reason why there is no feed back, is because readers don't care enough to leave feedback....Who are these awful people? Well...Me (As just one example)....Shadar, I loved your stuff, been reading it for awhile. At times I wonder if you've noticed ive taken something from your own narrative to include it one of my own stories. But, I don't know if ive appropriately thanked you for your work. The reality is, there's thousands out there, just like me.

When I was at the university my English Literature professor told me that every time someone sit donw to write he's actually sitting down with the ghosts of every book and author he/she had ever read. That's to say that it's impossible to write something that is 100% original because every writer is shaped by whatever book he read, movie he watched, story he listened to and so on.
Often it's hard to spot these elements at first glance, either because we write them down without thinking or because they are part of a deeper cultural pot we all share. Of course if a scene or line is taken verbatim from another author it's a good idea to give proper credit.

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12 Oct 2016 14:10 #50658 by lfan
Replied by lfan on topic Question to members

d_k_c wrote: But, I would say, every time there is a disagreement, even in the mildest of terms, moderators come in and close the thread....A brand of ultra sensitivity I've never before witnessed. Sometimes arguments are a good thing, unless someone is being obviously and deliberately rude....let it continue.

This is not our intent. I struggle to think of more than a couple of times that we have closed threads, so maybe I'm just missing the boat here. If something just gets petty and runs around in a circle ("I know you are but what am I?") or starts getting in the downright rude category, it's fodder for being locked, but that has been very infrequent I thought.

I'll personally be mindful of getting out the "key" in the future. I'm all for people's expressing their opinions, no matter how stupid or wrong they are....;)

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12 Oct 2016 14:34 #50659 by LustMonster
Replied by LustMonster on topic Question to members

When I was at the university my English Literature professor told me that every time someone sit donw to write he's actually sitting down with the ghosts of every book and author he/she had ever read.

Ah hah! THIS explains why the cookies on my plate disappear faster while I'm writing.
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12 Oct 2016 15:59 #50663 by circes_cup
Replied by circes_cup on topic Question to members
I suggest we return the conversation to the original intent, which was to invite people who post rarely (or never) to chime in. I'm seeing that the conversation is becoming dominated by the usual suspects. Fats's original request was:

fats wrote: Hi all,

I've been looking at the stats for the site and we are currently getting around 1000 hits per day (that's without bots) but the level of forum activity is nothing like that, so my question to new members and to members who have not posted before is.

What would get you posting to the site?

Is there something that is blocking you from posting, is there a type of topic that would get you posting, or is there nothing that needs to be done and you are happy with the site as it is.

Can you please post a reply with your views.

Lastly, can I ask for active members not to post here, I would like new and inactive members to reply to this thread only so that I can get a sense of what is required.


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12 Oct 2016 16:14 #50664 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic Question to members
I used to read a variety of fan fiction sites (long ago) where it was expected that most regular readers would comment, even if just an acknowledgement of having read the story. Faint praise was the norm (which had its own message) with occasional enthusiastic praise, along with suggestions for improvement.

The key was that most of the membership knew that encouraging writers was an obligation that people took seriously. That's how you got more and better stories. But then, writing was the focus of the forum. People felt bad if they didn't comment.

SWM has a number of focuses, but it doesn't focus that much on stories. The contests would suggest otherwise, but the membership (by in large) doesn't come here to develop better or more numerous writers. That sounds wrong, even to write it, but it's how I see it. I used to spend a huge amount of time encouraging and helping new writers (pre-SWM), but not for the last decade or so. Been there and done that. Unfortunately, I'm not alone in my neglect. Now I only respond when a story grabs me with its potential. The last one that did that was Castor's Powergirl pilot which I thought had huge potential. Nobody else apparently liked it.

I suspect that a huge part of this is that writing for entertainment is no longer a significant part of the culture. Twits and Facebook entries and texts have taken the place of long-form writing. I grew up in an era where people communicated by writing letters. No computers, no Internet, and even long-distance calls were prohibitively expensive. So we all learned to write and correspond slowly and deliberately. And we loved writing and reading letters, not to mention books, which was all there was other than simplistic TV shows. But that now fits into the "walked ten miles barefoot in the snow to get to school" kind of thinking.

So no surprise to me that people don't eagerly devour and talk about every new story. But that could easily change if the membership dedicated themselves to encouraging and developing writers. It's not hard, but we each have to make a commitment to consider and comment on every story. Every story. To comment on both the good and the areas of opportunity. If we did that as a community, for a year or so, we'd have more and much better stories to enjoy.

Even my Labradors know that enthusiastically bringing the ball back and putting it in my hand and acting excited will ensure they get to chase it again. And again. Ignoring the ball or walking off to chew it in silence only ensures I won't toss it again.

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12 Oct 2016 16:29 - 12 Oct 2016 16:34 #50665 by brantley
Replied by brantley on topic Question to members
When I posted a link to "Undercover Kitty" as a humorous comment on the idea of a "mascot" (usually thought of as a furry animal) for SWM, there was a huge jump in hits for that 2008 story. Maybe most of those who clicked on the link just looked at the pict of the kintz, but if so they didn't even comment on that, let alone on the story itself. But here's a response at AURG from when it was first posted at The Bright Empire:

<<Nice story, Brantley; it’s good to see Ashotour back from her long hiatus (if she’s that wealthy no doubt she’s been too busy to star in anything).

It’s a good story; it’s nice to see that the Empire doesn’t just try to conquer worlds but seduce them, and Jinora’s skill at lying is very good.. although for a diplomat she does seem to fall apart pretty quick when things go badly.
I also like the way the Enlightenment strikes back at Imperial tactics, although I imagine they’re just as vulnerable to similar ploys against them, and the way they attack here is very clever.
The one thing I found hard to believe here are the educational standards of all these colony worlds; I can’t even name all the American states yet people on distant planets can not only know about the slave trade but the countries involved and the socio-political reasoning behind it?
I also found it… a little incongruous that a few inopportune words would have such a negative response; admittedly they were bad but politicians are usually good at weathering bad PR; people forget after a few weeks after all.

But those are the only things I found odd in an otherwise excellent story; thank you so much for sharing it :)


Last edit: 12 Oct 2016 16:34 by brantley.

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