Re: Questions for Authors: What is your impression of a reader who comments in every chapter?

#43

A Wrote: Comment. It lets us know that we're not writing in a vacuum.

I'm a reader, not an author, and something I really value when it's enabled is the "suggest edits" option which allows me to highlight something I want to comment on. That comment may not be an edit suggestion as I'll also use the option as a way of listing something I know I want to discuss once I've finished the chapter.

Without the option to do that, I tend to forget those things as I read further along and find other things I wish to suggest edits for or discuss, or even get entirely sidetracked by another part of the chapter.

So, a little plea to authors: if you haven't already done so, please enable the "suggest edits" option on your stories. It encourages interaction by your readers!

Re: Questions for Authors: What is your impression of a reader who comments in every chapter?

#48

van Wrote: Hello. I've been a reader lurker lately and on some fictions, I get invested in, I would comment as I read along with the story. It's okay on popular fiction here coz they already have a good amount of comments. But some fictions I follow have few or no comments, at all. And I feel like I might be annoying the author with the notifications when it could be just me making notifs over and over again.

So I'm curious to the authors here, what is your impression to a reader that comments in every chapter? Do you appreciate it, or is it considered spamming already and should be discouraged?


It really depends on the author, but it's generally agreed that comments can boost people up. My personal view on it basically breaks comments down into five types and how I react to them:

The first/thanks commenter: they get ignored because they're just commenting for the sake of commenting and don't provide anything further than comments.

The error-finder: if the error they found is valid, I'll likely fix it and let them know that it's been fixed, thanking them for noticing it. If it's invalid or purely a basis of personal preference, I'll tell them so or ignore them entirely. If all they ever do is leave errors and they do it on most or all chapters (whether or not they're right, especially when they insist they're right about something that is purely based on personal preference), they'll get ignored and/or blocked because they're not reading the story to enjoy it, they're reading it to find errors (and yes, I've actually seen a couple of people straight-up admit they don't see a reason for reading a story if it's not to look for errors in it).

The personal-preference demander: these are the readers who have their preferences and want what they want, and will bash the characters, the story, the author, other commenters, etc. for disagreeing and not going with it. I used to respond to them, but have since realized that all that does is let them be more toxic, so I stopped doing that. Things have been much calmer since. If they're attacking people, I'll also report them to RR since that's a direct violation of the rules.

The general commenter: someone who just leaves a general comment such as "I liked the scene" or "[event in chapter] was cool" or "I didn't like when [character] did [action] or some such. Depending on how they said it, I'll either thank them, or thank them and ask for clarification, especially if they said something along the lines of the latter. Depending on their reason for disliking, I may explain (without spoilers) why that happened. This has actually gotten a couple of readers to change their tune in the past, though others have doubled down. If they do the latter, then I stop responding because nothing I say will change their mind.

Finally, the feedback band: these are commenters who give insightful feedback about the chapter or something in it, whether they liked it or not; they'll explain why when asked or even in their initial comment and not double down on their personal preference upon getting the (non-spoiler) reason for something; they're the readers who'll post theories in the comments about stuff; they'll talk about the chapter with other readers.

This last category consists of the commenters I value the most because they let me know what is and isn't working and show me that they're actually interested in the story itself. I'll Rep almost all such comments and respond if I can without sharing spoilers (like when someone asked yesterday if the two guys who can shapeshift their bodies can shapeshift their *ahem* members (censored for forums) to a size bigger than his natural or if that's a hard cap). It's engagement, it shows readers are interested in the story, it gives more valid feedback than "I don't like this", and it allows for an author to know how their actual readerbase feels about things.

I have a Patron who began doing the latter awhile ago, and sometimes it's just a simple comment, sometimes it's full-on theory (actual feedback, he gives me in a DM on Discord because he knows things). Recently, another commenter began doing this as well, and it's pretty nice. If you want to be an active commenter, remember that you don't have to comment on every chapter and that actual feedback is often preferred more than generic comments, especially on stories with fewer Followers.