Phenomenon

Historically, when I post snippets of my writing (unless it’s poetry), I never get a comment, even if there’s 13 comments on the previous and following posts. My excerpts create some kind of blog vortex. It makes me scratch my head, but I’ve always written it off as “No news is good news, right?” Well, maybe not. I’m three-for-three now and am finding this phenomenon quite interesting– What does it mean?

Could it mean my fiction’s not engaging? Maybe it’s not interesting enough to hold people’s interests to the end, which means I’ve got a lot of learning left to do.

Or could it mean the people who come visit here are simply more interested in my life than in what I write? (Which is fine; after all, I am a genre writer.)

Perhaps it’s that people aren’t sure how to respond, exactly. They know that some people are oversensitive about things like this, so it can be hard to approach tactfully.

Or could it just be that my writing’s so bad that nobody has the heart to tell me? If that’s the case, lay on the hurt. I can take it.

8 replies on “Phenomenon

  1. To be honest Nick, I don’t read them, and I bet you’ll find a lot of people are the same. I know I don’t get anywhere near the comments on fiction that I do on normal posts.

    I think the reason is, we feel that we need to be prepared and looking for fiction. It’s not something you normally just peruse, like you would a blog post. It requires more attention and thought, and unless I’m prepped for it, I usually skip it.

    The exception is if the poster has specifically said “what do you think of this?” Then I’ll comment, if it’s not horrendous. If it is, I’ll usually pass, rather than publicly denigrating someone’s work.

    Also, you might consider a more engaging title and content. “Meet Cirello” doesn’t sound that engaging, and it was a fairly long piece of work. I skimmed the first paragraph, but all I saw was a person I didn’t know describing the landscape. What is there to engage me? Why would I read on? Getting to know someone else’s character is not enough – what’s special about him? Show me WHY I want to know him.

    You might have more success posting your first scene and asking for feedback, if you are brave enough. Or pick an interesting scene that is fairly short.

    Well, you asked :) I hope that helps!

  2. I, too, don’t read it. But not just on your site. The only fic, especially online that I do read are the ones in a weekly Drabble challenge I participate in and even then only after I’ve posted mine. It’s really something I need to fix especially as I post fiction on my own site hoping for feedback. If that could be a goal for this workshop it would be! Pehaps afterward.

    I like white on black but perhaps you could make the text bigger? If I remember it’s quite small. I’m on my phone right now! Lol

  3. I promised two things a good week before this workshop was announced:

    (And I owe this to you, Merrilee. Our gmail chat inspired me to start posting again.)

    1. I’d post a snippet of my actual book which lets you get to know my main character’s personality. Packsister in particular was interested in the character Cirellio when I first started talking about him on this blog so very long ago, and since he doesn’t appear in the prologue at all… and Packsister’s been around lately, well, that’s why it’s here.

    2. I’d be introducing a new brighter layout. But I don’t mind increasing the text size before I finish said new brighter layout. (Remember when I changed the text color from Gold to White for similar reasons?)

    “You might have more success posting your first scene and asking for feedback, if you are brave enough.”
    See here-> http://5-rings.com/blog/2008/03/prior-to-the-finer-details/

    “Or pick an interesting scene that is fairly short.”
    See here-> http://5-rings.com/blog/2008/03/a-blank-white-landscape/

    This time I figured I’d post just the words and hope that they speak for themselves … instead of against me.

    But my worst fears are true. If I can’t hold attention beyond perusal of the first paragraph, that’s a serious problem. It could mean I need to scrap this project and start a new book. But it also makes me want to try harder. I want to be able to write fiction that ignites on the page, that people can’t help but read.

    And what both of you are saying makes sense– when somebody posts a snippet or short story, it does require more preparation, attention, and thought than a typical blog post.

    I appreciate your honesty. Thanks.

  4. Ouch, now I feel bad for not commenting, since the post was, even if partly, for my benefit? I’ll correct my mistakes, I promise.
    I do have to agree with the others on the font size. Difficult to read long text passages, and white on black makes the eyes tired.
    But hey, I guess pretty much everyone gets less comments on the actual text than on their private posts. I experience the same thing, even with my closest friends who know I can take a punch, even if I specifically ask to comment. For me, personally, it’s a bit difficult to comment if I don’t know the rest of the story, because I might end up pointing out things to you that you explain later on, plus I really don’t know how gentle your feelings are. But on the other hand, as a fellow writer, I do understand the need of feedback, ANY kind of feedback.

  5. Oh, don’t feel bad, packsister. You did absolutely nothing wrong. *hugs* The main reason it’s up there is because I’d rather show than tell my long-time readers who my main character is. I’ve hid him under my hat long enough.

    You being around helped inspire me to do it now as opposed to later. I remember how your interest peaked in that character a long time ago and I was quite flattered.

    Anyway, I’m glad it’s up, comment-less as it is. A writer posting actual writing on a writing blog without ever editing it again is real and raw and true. I love it when other authors do it, too, because you can see a measured improvement in their writing over the years and understand their growth. But I guess I’m not in the majority with that sentiment.

    Don’t worry about me. Long ago, I steeled myself against negativity. I’ve faced plenty of adversity and, somehow, I’m still writing.

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