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06 February 2009 @ 11:10 pm
Fanfic etiquette  
I'm new to this fanfic thing and especially to this writing-fanfic thing, and it's a little daunting. I'm not the most astute at reading social cues, so I tend to worry I'm Doing It Wrong.

Like: 72 people have left me very kind feedback. 72 people! In terms of online interaction, I'm used to negative stuff or casual conversations; compliments from strangers feel weird, man. But they are making me actually get back to trying to meet my personal goal of responding to all comments to my posts, because not answering compliments is like stealing a puppy's candy. Or something. They're also making me be better about leaving feedback when I like fics I read (though at some point I need to go back to all the fics that have knocked me out to make sure I've said that; I know that in far too many cases I haven't).

I still don't leave feedback when I have issues with a fic or just feel "meh" about it, though, because I don't want to be That Jerk, so then I'm left wondering how many people felt that way about mine and wishing for a metric for that. I want to know what I've done wrong so I can learn! But in the rare case that I can identify something [that I think is] wrong in another fic, I don't say anything about it even if the author has asked for concrit, because ... I'm a total stranger! It feels rude! (Now that I say that, I realize that part of my reluctance is the public nature of comments, and I could email instead, except for the part where I'm kind of allergic to emailing people.) And it's not as if there's anything constructive about "meh".

So I get why none of the feedback I've gotten has been critical, but I still end up wondering how many people had a negative reaction. (Not that I'm actually trawling for negative/insulting comments or anything, heh.) Why, yes, I am insecure, thanks for asking!

Like: A few people have actually recced me. Which rocks. And when I find or am told of the rec, I thank that person in the response to their comment ... but I don't go comment on the rec, because that feels stalkery. Or intrusive. Or something. But I don't know: Is it expected that a recced author should comment on the rec, or certainly should not, or anything goes?

Like: When people comment on my fic, I click on their username to glance at their public posts (which has led to some great fics) and I check whether I have any friends in common with them. But if I read posts and comments and end up finding a tentative four-person chain from this random stranger to someone I know personally, it's a little too creepy to mention that possible connection and outline the chain ... right? (That's less a fanfic question and more a general LJ one, but still.)
Current Mood: confusedconfused
Nomignomi on February 8th, 2009 03:10 am (UTC)
In my experience, people *will* leave constructive criticism on stories that they feel need it.

People have been known to comment on recs; the reccers seem to be fine with it (without it seeming at all stalkery).

And, alas, I have no good input on the last point.
michelel72: Donnamichelel72 on February 8th, 2009 02:41 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the pointers. I haven't actually seen any such feedback on the stories I've read (except the occasional typo note) ... but then again, if I'm not leaving feedback myself, I don't tend to read the comments left by others. I think what I really want is a more workshoppy thing, ultimately, and I'm not going to get that from comments. So, my next task: Learning to let go. Heh.

I guess I feel like commenting on a rec changes the dynamic for the reccer's friends, or something, like maybe they won't feel as free to speak freely if they know I'm "watching". I dunno. I get weird about stuff (as I'm sure you've noticed).

And as for the last item ... yeah, that's fine. I figure if I could not find a way to word it that seem kinda creepy, I should just leave it alone. Seems like a handy rule of thumb.