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Tanuki Racoon

Why I get discouraged....

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IThere is one thing, however, that bugs me, and that is an author who writes back to say he/she is not interested in hearing about any typos, or other technical errors (and I'm not talking about commas and such).

I agree with you, Trab. To me, if an author puts an email address in their story, then they need to get both good and bad feedback. I appreciate both.

I've gotten several thousand emails from readers over the years (not an overstatement -- I think it's around 4,000), and less than a dozen were negative. One of them, recently, was from somebody who was appalled by the negative tone of Jagged Angel, and I had to reassure them that a) it was just a story, and b) eventually, everything works out for the better. The letter-writer wrote back and said they'd "think about it," but I may never know if they had the gumption to finally finish reading the rest of the story.

My feeling is, even if somebody writes and says, "hey, I read your story and thought it was crap," at least they're expressing an opinion. Maybe they're pointing out a genuine weakness you can fix in a later draft. Some of the best advice I've ever received was from my harshest critics.

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Dear Tanuki,

I'm one of those who likes your stories enough to write and say thank you. I hope to do it always, but sometimes I can't. For example I read an amazing story by Drake Hunter on the Mailcrew but can't find out how to write and thank him.

Anyway the thing for all of us to do is encourage everyone that reads and likes a story to write to the author and say thank you.



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The letters I get that are the most difficult for me to handle are the ones that are somewhat critical, and point out what they didnt like, and it's obvious they didn't get the story at all. I don't write stroke stories; mine have at least a little depth to them. Most of the readers that don't get them make it quite apparent they're looking for something that isn't in the story. Then they write to complain because it isn't there. I'm never quite sure how to handle that. I answer every letter I get (and there aren't all that many) and try to be polite. This type confounds me a bit.


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I write for myself because if I waited for emails I'd have given up yonks ago. I consider any email is better than no email. It doesn't have to be an in depth examination, or even make sense. :bunny:

If you consider writing a pleasurable hobby, then all is roses in the garden. But if you consider yourself good enough, a 'real writer', then you should submit work in the real world ... and see how you get on.

We write in a niche, but that doesn't preclude writing work of a more mainstream variety. There is a lot of fiction here that I think is far better than some of the books I've paid good wonga for ... and not because of the sexual content either.

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I wish to thank everyone for all their comments, insights, and perceptions.

Those who know me also know I don't mind letters with corrections. I don't mind letters that say they don't like my story (assuming they tell me why). I gladly answer all e-mails except flames (two so far: one vitriolic, the other intelligently hateful which I answered anyway).

I don't offer criticisms to anyone unless specifically asked for (or unless there's some horrendous error).

I agree with Mr. Slaw that it's very hard to answer someone who just doesn't get it, but happily there are very few of those. I mostly get over them, but once such gent actually asked why I didn't write graphic paedophilia. Really. He's been blocked by me. ::shudder::

Mostly people write with a few comments or questions. Rarely, someone writes me a long letter explaining why something I wrote touched them. I still correspond with some of the people who've written me those letters. They mean a lot to me.

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When I read about Mr. Slaw I confess I didn't think of Cole at all.

I assumed he was referring to either Murphy or his brother Sod, who between them are responsible for the immutable law of physics: "If anything can go wrong, it will." Thus, when you drop your toast on the floor it will ALWAYS fall marmalade (orange preserve?) side down. Also, and remembering how hard it is to get a golf ball to drop into a hole or a pool ball to drop into a pocket, if you drop a coin on the pavement (sidewalk), and it rolls into the gutter, it will ALWAYS find a drain and fall irretrievably into it.


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I wish I could say somethng insightful when I respond in these topic thingies-threads? I always e-mail authors I read. If I have constructive critisism I mention it. If I read story in which I think the concept and story line has some promise, but isn't particularly well written, I will state I think the story has promise and suggest they employ an editor. I hope I am never harsh or cruel or that any of my remarks are taken that way.

I am not much on analytical reading-unless I have to. (Though I like when people do that here.) I read for enjoyment. If the story touches me in some way, or I find it well written, I want the author to know that.

Also, the reverse is true for me, if I write to an author, I would hope they respond with an acknowledgment of some sort.

As far as my writing is concerned, I love when someone takes the time to write, be it much as WBMS stated, just to say you read it and liked, hated, enjoyed, threw up, etc. Afterall, I do have an ego, and it likes to be petted and stroked and...oh, what do you mean that's not me ego?

Many good things were said, as usual. I loved the alphabetical listing. Even have experienced a few.

Okay, I'm done.

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