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vwl

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As one who has been burned by too many stories left uncompleted, I appreciate very much the notation that something is "Final."

What would be useful also is a note, perhaps in News and Views, when the last draft chapter of a story has been completed. I'm willing to take my chances then that the story will be done when it goes out for editing and proofing; besides, we can hound someone who doesn't finish a good story to get their ass in gear.

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Ouch! I resemble that remark. Gradual school and writing are a difficult mix to manage. However- I will try to get out a few chapters now that I'm done for a while.

:(

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this probably wasn't about me, but after reading what you had to say, I have to agree that it is very annoying when you dont know if a story is finished or not.

That said, I'm happy to announce that this week, I'm putting the finishing touches on chapter 30 of The Angel--which will be the final installment.

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Yes... I have been so frustrated in reading stories in the past on Nifty to find one I really liked that was abandoned... some just a chapter short of completion!

When I started AwesomeDude just a bit over two years ago it was my goal to avoid that at all costs. But it has been very difficult... on the ongoing Serial Novels at the bottom of the AD home page... I keep a tally of the last time the stories have been updated and their final status. And in the stories listing -which will soon be up to date- a story is listed as a novel if it is complete and serial indicates it is still going... but you are right we need to indicate a story's status.

I rashly made the comment when starting AD that I would delete authors and stories that turned out to be incomplete. That would -if I had followed through- mean I'd lose some of my best authors, not to mention AD staff members! :roll:

Some authors have legitimate reasons for not finishing a story... I have learned and I have done as much as I could behind the scenes to get them to finish. Sometimes life just overtakes us... and mundane considerations play physical or spiritual roles in what we can do. Alas, readers, writers editors are all human.

So in consideration of the suggestions made so far in this thread... I'll see what I can do to:

a. put a story status page up for readers to easily know which stories are complete and when the last chapter WAS posted in the case of those which are not. give me a couple of weeks to get this one done.

b. encourage our writers to make the final effort to follow through on their implicit promise to readers to actually finish a novel.

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I hesitate to add to this thread.

'Dude' touched on a couple of very good reasons a story is stalled or just disappears. Whether it is 'gradual' school, illness, or other personal reasons, let's consider another reason for stories fading away...lack of response.

We all lay it on the line: creative juices, dueling intellect, passion for the subject, a point of view, ego vulnerability and (most of all) a story to tell. We get the story posted. And then we wait, and wait and wait. The silence in cyberspace is deafening when an Internet author gets no feedback. Even a 'fuck you' would be appreciated.

I think that some writers just decide to hang it up. :cat:

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'Dude' touched on a couple of very good reasons a story ... disappears ... let's consider another reason for stories fading away...lack of response.

We all lay it on the line: creative juices, dueling intellect, passion for the subject, a point of view, ego vulnerability and (most of all) a story to tell. We get the story posted. And then we wait, and wait and wait. The silence in cyberspace is deafening when an Internet author gets no feedback. Even a 'fuck you' would be appreciated.

I think that some writers just decide to hang it up. :cry:

Amen. I will be neither the first nor last author to give up to due a resounding lack of encouragement. I have been struggling to finish ADIP for nearly two years now without any fire being lit. And I really liked it, but the feeling was, apparently, not mutual.

I've not written anything new, and if I did I'm not sure how motivated I'd be to post it. I might e-mail it to a few people but the on-line community has been anything but welcoming.

I realize there are friendly voices here, but pouring your heart and soul into something for a half-dozen replies just doesn't cut it for most people.

Amen again.

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Guys, I have to agree with you. It's not encouraging when a writer spends a huge amount of time and thought writing and doesn't get much response. That has nothing to do with how good the story or the writer is, either.

So why don't readers respond? Let's look at the audience and the medium.

Many readers (of any genre) have the idea that a writer is some hallowed, wise being on a pedestal, and therefore nothing they say to the writer could be worthy. Yes, really. I see the same complaints from other online amateur fiction writers. I've heard panel discussions from pro published writers: same deal. -- And yet writers love feedback. Honest critiques are welcome. Yeah, sometimes even, "I hated the story because..." works for us, though we'd rather hear, "I loved the story because...." After all, everybody likes a little ego boost.

Online readers tend to be busy, or maybe "easily distracted and short attention span" is more truthful. They read and they move to another page. Sad but true.

They tend to be shy of commenting on any fiction. None of us want more spam or other unpleasant realities of the web. Whether a reader is in or out of the closet doesn't make a lot of difference if he or she is worried about whether it's safe to reply.

If a reader is using a public computer, like in a caf?, bookstore, or library, he or she may not be able to reply or may not feel comfortable replying. If it's a computer at work or school, well, that has an obvious set of problems. If it's at home on a shared or monitored computer, hmm, is that reader going to reply? If it's a teen's computer, what then?

Surely I don't have to point out that many gay people aren't fully comfortable or free to access information or stories or to reply to them.

Readers may download or print out stories for later. They have limited time online and dialup connections. They can't just sit and read and reply like they might want.

It took me months before I first replied to a story or joined a gay forum, and months more before I came out.

They may listen to gay radio programs, teens literally sitting in their closets. No, I'm not exaggerating. That's reported by the program I listen to; one of their announcers used to be a teen like that. (Hey, guys, if you're reading, I'm a fan.)

But all this isn't quite news to you all, is it? One of the reasons for writing, after all, is because we do know what it's like and we want to tell a story.

Guys, when you get discouraged for lack of feedback, please remember: Somewhere out there is some guy or girl who just needs to know they matter, that they aren't weird or wrong or sick, for being who they are or for having a friend or relative who is. -- It doesn't really matter if they reply, as long as they know they or someone they care about can find love and a fulfilling life, as a gay person.

When I write or edit or critique; even when I disagree or ask questions, that's where I'm coming from.

-----

Meanwhile, there are some ideas we're kicking around to encourage some feedback on stories posted at AD.

Take heart, guys, all of you who write. Your words make a difference.

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As one who has debated whether to send a "good job" after each of 27 chapters before a more detailed post at the end of a story, and deciding usually that I will wait, perhaps another solution is in order.

Thus, a suggestion:

Perhaps each chapter of each author's story could end with a button to invoke a poll, which would be an easy way to provide feedback to an author. For example, the poll could be as follows:

I found this chapter/story:

-- Excellent

-- Very Good

-- Average

-- Below Average

-- Poor

Then there could be a further button to have an email comment.

Such a poll would be easy for the reader to complete, and hopefully the author would take good and bad poll results constructively.

Indeed, the notion resembles some of the computer-tech-help page polls that ask you if you found the article/answer helpful or not.

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Guys, I have to agree with you. It's not encouraging when a writer spends a huge amount of time and thought writing and doesn't get much response. That has nothing to do with how good the story or the writer is, either.

So why don't readers respond? Let's look at the audience and the medium.

Many readers (of any genre) have the idea that a writer is some hallowed, wise being on a pedestal

Yeah, lack of response (like nearly zero) to Murder on the Oscar Wilde is one reason it's on Hold. While I may be wise, I'm not hollow and I do need strokes (ahem) to help me complete the act.

It's very discouraging, worse than being turned down for a date, when your story/poem is ignored entirely. Esp stories that you work on, research or slave over, then get zip...well, you just feel downright unworthy and rejected. You also begin to question the worth of the story itself, in addition to your writing skills. So...you maybe don't finish or don't write another soon or...something. Sulk maybe, or gorge on chocolate.

Pity the busy monster, authorkind.

TR

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Even Collision doesn't get that much mail. The email is set up so that all involved get it when it comes in. Most of the mail that did come, seemed to be from the same people. I do know in the case of one of the authors, the reader emailed him directly.

Jan

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As one who has debated whether to send a "good job" after each of 27 chapters before a more detailed post at the end of a story, and deciding usually that I will wait, perhaps another solution is in order.

Thus, a suggestion:

Perhaps each chapter of each author's story could end with a button to invoke a poll, which would be an easy way to provide feedback to an author. For example, the poll could be as follows:

I found this chapter/story:

-- Excellent

-- Very Good

-- Average

-- Below Average

-- Poor

Then there could be a further button to have an email comment.

Such a poll would be easy for the reader to complete, and hopefully the author would take good and bad poll results constructively.

Indeed, the notion resembles some of the computer-tech-help page polls that ask you if you found the article/answer helpful or not.

I think I'll give this poll suggestion a try at The Talon House with the next chapter that gets posted and maybe even in the Story Discussion section with the next chapter of TOSI. Chapter 4 got some discussion going.

jan

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I kind of have to apologize, about lack of feedback.

I'm playing catch-up on reading stories. So there are several of you who will get some feedback, at least here in the forums, or by email, when I read your stuff. (That applies to any and all writers here at AD.)

My free time goes to editing a few writers' stories and to, well, often to writing and then rewriting on story ideas of mine, along with other projects. That means I don't always get to read as much as I would otherwise.

Sometimes, I take some time and check new stories or chapters. I try to reply then too.

I reply on how the story strikes me personally, as well as content, style, structure, and grammar. -- If I really like something, I reply. If I don't like something, I try to be constructive about it.

-----

Subject matter -- or -- Why does Blue sometimes complain in feedback?

Yes, sometimes I have replied and it's plain that I've gotten weirded out by something. Hey, sometimes that may be more my issues than an author's. In other words, some things are personal beliefs of mine; some are things that I don't know what to make of; some, I haven't thought through enough (I can be wrong); some, I don't have experience with; and well, one or two things hit on my growing up years. -- So, please take that into account. -- I'd like to think I don't often do that, you know.

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For generic feedback, a public forum is fine. For specific feedback, putting it into a public forum runs the risk of potentially spoiling the story for those who have not read up to that point yet by mentioning a key event.

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Graeme has it right. A PM is another option. You could both email and post in the forum if they're different.

Regarding spoilers, the usual practice is to add the word, "Spoilers" to a thread title, a reply title, or within the reply body itself.

Some forum software packages offer a spoiler tag, so guests can click on the tag to show or hide the spoiler content. That may be an optional add-on here. We'll look into it.

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Yeah, lack of response (like nearly zero) to Murder on the Oscar Wilde is one reason it's on Hold. While I may be wise, I'm not hollow and I do need strokes (ahem) to help me complete the act.

Hey, Trag, not to single you out, but I don't agree with this sentiment. To me, getting feedback is nice, but to me, you have to write first for yourself. Don't ever expect that you're gonna get any feedback. To me, the writing has to be its own reward. Anything else is gravy.

I also think it's wiser to get a story finished (or at least halfway there) before you post it, so that you can keep a more-or-less regular schedule going. I think that's a wiser choice than writing as the feedback comes in, although in some case, updates and fixing mistakes are bound to be necessary.

To me, there's no excuse for a writer to not finish a story, except death or severe illness. It drives me batty when somebody comes up with a helluva open for a tale, only for me to see it evaporate when they let it die on the vine.

Oh, and for the record, I can and do send email feedback often. If I ever encounter a decent story here or on Nifty, I absolutely send out a quick email, even if it's just "hey, caught the story and it was terrific." It takes me 10 seconds to do, and I know it's appreciated. In some cases, I'll go off on a tangent and give them a critique of the piece if I think it warrants it, but I try to do it in a positive way and say, "hey, loved the story, but there were just these two little things that bothered me..."

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To me, there's no excuse for a writer to not finish a story, except death or severe illness. It drives me batty when somebody comes up with a helluva open for a tale, only for me to see it evaporate when they let it die on the vine.

Then there's the unfinished story I recent stumbled upon on Nifty. The author added a note that said something along the lines of "Hey guys, let me know how you want the story to go, OK? I'm running out of ideas."

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Then there's the unfinished story I recent stumbled upon on Nifty. The author added a note that said something along the lines of "Hey guys, let me know how you want the story to go, OK? I'm running out of ideas."

Personally, I feel that you're better off ending the story somewhere long before you run out of ideas. That way, you can always write another story if you want and use those ideas, and you don't end up with a story that drags on forever becoming increasingly desperate to cling to existence. I'd be much happier with an author just saying "Yeah, this is the end. I could write more, but this is where I want it to finish" and come to a decent conclusion.

Asking your readers where they want a story to go is probably the worst way to write. Firstly, because you can never please everyone, and secondly, it won't be your story! Reader's don't want to tell their writers what to write... then they might as well go and write the story themselves. It's so much less exciting when you know what's coming.

Just my two pence. :lol:

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To me, there's no excuse for a writer to not finish a story, except death or severe illness. It drives me batty when somebody comes up with a helluva open for a tale, only for me to see it evaporate when they let it die on the vine.

Then there's the unfinished story I recent stumbled upon on Nifty. The author added a note that said something along the lines of "Hey guys, let me know how you want the story to go, OK? I'm running out of ideas."

That's just a bad author.

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Ouch. Yes, that's a beginning writer's problem. Let me offer some friendly editorial advice for new writers who might be in the same boat.

Guys and girls, it's great that you have the enthusiasm to write. There are some things that can help you become a better writer.

    [*]You are the writer. It's your story to tell. It isn't up to your readers or fans to tell you. They don't know what story you are telling. They only know their stories to tell. Good, let them write their stories, and you write yours.

    [*]Plan out your story enough that you know how it will start, what happens in the middle, and how it will end. Jot down enough of an outline that you can carry that through. It doesn't have to have lots of detail. It does need to have enough so that you don't get lost or run out of ideas.

    [*]Yes, a story needs to have an ending. If it goes on forever like a soap opera, well, fine, but all stories eventually end. Know when to end the story.

    [*]Yes, you will have places where you struggle with how to write the story. Yes, it may change as you go. Yes, you may get stuck on some point and not know how to write it. Yes, you might run out of ideas for a while. -- All of these happen, even to experienced writers. However, you can work out of those corners and back into shape, so you can finish the scene, or chapter, or story.

    [*]If a character or a situation isn't going like you planned, or is going great in another direction, or isn't going at all because you're stuck -- that means you need to step back and reassess things. You can modify your story to fit the new circumstances. Be sure you plan that out to the end. If it's not going, then stop and figure out what needs to happen so it will. Let the story tell you where it needs to go. (It sounds mystical, but it's how writers imagine and pretend, so they invent their stories.) Once in a while, you may have to force your story back on track, or accept that it's changed. Fine, either way.

    [*]Have a purpose for writing the story. Do you want to tell a good tale? Do you want to get some point across? Do you want to tell some history? Do you want to support some idea? Do you want to educate? Do you want to have a thrilling story that entertains people? Do you just have something you need to say, and a story to tell? -- All those are good reasons to tell a story. There are plenty more. But please have some reason.

      These are not to discourage anyone from writing! I hate to see good stories go unfinished, or writers with talent who stop writing. I know there are talented people with amazing stories to tell...who never start, because they think they won't be good. -- And story sites, especially this one, would love to get great new stories and promising new authors.

      I have story ideas of my own that are sitting in various stages of completion. I know it's frustrating. But you can do it!

      Write your stories! Feedback? Alright, so what if you don't get feedback. As Pecman said, you write to fulfill your need to write, to tell a story. People will listen to a story that's well told. Heck, if you've seen TV and movies lately, you know that people will listen to a story that isn't so well told. :grins: So write, already, would you? Please do!

      Now about that feedback: There isn't much logic to it. I know some authors who don't get much feedback, although they are very talented and write great stuff. I know some stories or authors that get a lot of feedback. Some are great, some aren't. Hey, some stories or authors strike a chord with me and some don't. I can be a fanboy too, when I see a favorite author.

      In fact, there are authors I really am a fan of, who don't get much feedback, and get discouraged about it. I think that's a damn shame. Their stuff is great, and they get all worked up about not getting feedback. That doesn't change the fact that they are super talented and write great stuff. -- So there.

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Then there's the unfinished story I recent stumbled upon on Nifty. The author added a note that said something along the lines of "Hey guys, let me know how you want the story to go, OK? I'm running out of ideas."

That's just a bad author.

Oh, absolutely. I wasn't suggesting that as a way to surmount writer's block. Actually, when I read that, my jaw dropped.

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Then there's the unfinished story I recent stumbled upon on Nifty. The author added a note that said something along the lines of "Hey guys, let me know how you want the story to go, OK? I'm running out of ideas."

That's just a bad author.

Oh, absolutely. I wasn't suggesting that as a way to surmount writer's block. Actually, when I read that, my jaw dropped.

I have asked my readers opinion "is this believable" or "do you feel the characters are going the right way" but to just say (basically) "CAN ANYONE WRITE ME AN OUTLINE" is just so lazy. ::grumble::

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