Fan Fics are a social experience, they are getting your work out to other people. Feedback is a natural part of writing and should be expected when making something public. I view it as a chance to see what works or doesn't, so a lack of real feedback is frustrating. There a multitude of reasons why this the case, it’s always important to get feedback, no matter how skilled you are. A beginning writer could use some feedback to show them what works or what doesn’t, turning them into a much better writer and an experienced writer could use this feedback as a grounding experience and a way to forget their ego and remind them that some things don’t work. So without feedback, many people are either discouraged or don’t find the problems in their work.
Learning how to deal with criticism is an important part of being a writer, you are not perfect and you will make mistakes, it’s about learning from these mistakes and avoiding them in the future. Good criticism isn’t necessarily rude and should be helpful in tone, it should point out what’s wrong without insulting the writer. As mentioned before, learning what works and doesn’t should be the main goal of feedback, so don’t get upset if things are negative. You won’t be an amazing writer right away, it takes time and effort in order to improve your skills. Don’t take it personally unless it’s clearly a personal attack, most people here aren’t going after you when they criticize your work. It should be made clear that nothing said is meant to be directed at the writer and is instead directed towards the writing itself. Writers are out to improve themselves and they need all they can get.
On the other side of things we have this, which is another problems all artists face. It’s rare for someone to give their reasons why they like something. On its own, this isn’t a problem but when a writer only gets this, it causes stagnation. Stagnation in writing is one of the worse things that can happen, if a writer only knows that his work is generally good, what drive is there to continue? A writer needs to know exactly why what he does works and what could be done to make it even better. A “Great!” here or there is okay, not every story or chapter is going to have something that needs to be expanded upon but it’s a problem when all the writer gets is this. Discouraging comments like these is not the goal of this little thing but it’s explaining WHY it’s annoying to writers.
“GREAT! Good job guys!”- This is fine in moderation but should not be the only thing a writer gets.
“Chapter’s mostly great but I think there was pacing problems in the scene where the hero fights the bad guy. I also think this part was poorly worded.”- Very good criticism that allows the writer to understand the problems and flaws their story might have. Notice how it brings up a specific example and doesn’t say that what’s being written is bad.
“This chapter was awesome! I really liked how you described the fights and the dialogue was really well written! It reminds me of a fun action movie!” Positive feedback that allows that writer to know what works in what they have written.
These are all good examples of what was spoken about, each one has a positive message but two of them explain better and encourages the writer to continue on improving. Feedback is something that a writer needs in order to create better works, I believe that without feedback on their work that a writer can’t improve. Not mentioning any of the flaws leads a writer into thinking everything works and while everything can work, it takes an immensely skilled writer to do so.
Not all feedback may be used but you should still keep it in mind, even if it interferes with your vision. But do not mistake confusion from an intentionally controversial, potentially foreshadowing or a scene that’s meant bring out emotions, as demands. Feedback ultimately is just a suggestion, in some cases it may be wise to ignore feedback. Sometimes something works better once it’s all done. That’s not to say listening to feedback shouldn’t happen, definitely not. But if you truly disagree with the feedback given to you, you can at least give your reasons why. But also remember that a lot of these people don’t have the bigger picture and most shouldn’t, so be vague if it’s a big spoiler moment. And sometimes, the reader will find things you missed and that may be the best things that can happen. A reader finding something in your story that maybe was not intended to come off that way can either be great or terrible. It all depends on if they see these unintended suggestions as negative or not.
Keeping this entire thing short to keep it simple. Writers are people that constantly want to improve, I’m sure everyone here understands that, so giving them little things to build off might help them. Short comments are fine in moderation but good positive feedback is highly recommended. Writers like to know why and that helps. Criticism is a useful tool and a reminder to the writer that nobody’s perfect and should be uses as such. People deserve the right to know the bad along with the good. The writers that get a ton of feedback and learn what works and doesn’t work are the most successful. There is a direct relationship there and I also think us, as writers, should expand our horizons and give people that we normally wouldn’t a little feedback. A writer getting nothing can be the worst feeling and after this little essay, I think they could use a little help too.
Feel free to post your opinions on this guys. Maybe feedback too. Feedback on an essay on feedback, funny.