Home « Forum « Author Hangout

Forum: Author Hangout

How Should I Respond to Reader?

G Younger
Updated:

I think we all get them from time-to-time. The email that is just mean spirited. The attack is couched in advice that is supposed to be helpful. For the most part I just play dumb and thank them for their advice.

Then there are a few, like this one, that irritate me. I could be the bigger man and take the high road, but I'm too old for the stuff now... I've outed them with blog entries, but I have a feeling Laz is tired of that by now. I've even written them into my books as evil doers.

Then I thought ... I bet my fellow authors have some good ideas on how to respond. I won't bore you with the whole email, just the highlights:

...I just want to comment that I can't really figure out where the story is heading. The second book wasn't too bad. But the third one is just really disappointing. Can't really say why... I feel

really estranged from the main character. Hahaha.

I can't feel sympathy for this guy anymore. At one

point, I felt that everyone in the story deserves to die just to get it over with since there's nothing constant in the stupid boy world anymore. everyone cheats, everyone betrays, everyone will screw you. hahaha ... The characters have all become

really shallow and vapid too. Everything became

casual and lost depth and meaning.

In fairness, it's amateur fiction, so I shouldn't

expect much...


So give me your ideas. My knee jerk reaction is to tell him to piss off, but then he wins...

Thanks for your help in advance.

G Younger

The Outsider
Updated:

@G Younger

Tell him he could stop reading and move on if he's lost interest.

Switch Blayde
Updated:

@G Younger


So give me your ideas


I thought it was constructive feedback, not mean spirited at all.

If he were my Beta reader and that's how he felt, I would have appreciated that feedback. With regular readers, however, you don't usually get it.

ETA: You might even ask him to elaborate on various points.

REP
Updated:

@G Younger


My knee jerk reaction is to tell him to piss off, but then he wins...


I have gotten a few of those myself. Depending on the content, I usually thank them politely for their feedback and then go on with a remark that basically says that a lot of my readers like what I write, so if they don't care for what I write - stop reading it.

edit to add: Personally, I like your story and think it epitomizes the situation that a teenage boy would love to be in.

Michael Loucks

I've had a few like that as well. My response? 'Whatever'.

Much more often I get emails like 'I do NOT like the main character!' My response to that is to say you aren't supposed to like him. You're supposed to enjoy the story. That usually gets met with a 'Whoa! Really?'

:-)

docholladay

I am not a writer or any kind of editor. But it sounds like he has lost interest in the story itself. Passing the blame for that lost interest onto the writer.

If its honest feedback he should be willing to at least tell you what went wrong with the story.

I am having a hard time deciding what your best options are to be completely honest about this situation.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer  REP
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


You might even ask him to elaborate on various points.


Sorry, this is a lengthy reply, but even if you dismiss my initial advice, I suggest you continue reading, as I make a series of related points you should consider.

I'd definitely ask him to elaborate. Even with beta readers, who are assigned the task of finding plot holes or problems with a story the author never anticipated, they need to be prodded to explain precisely what bothers them about a particular passage.

Once that central issue is identified, you can take one of two approaches, either flat out fix it, or if you know the story eventually resolves the issues, you can buy the story time by having your character acknowledge the problem (ex: say by having someone sit the main character down, and telling him he's got a problem, and have him (the MC) justify his actions. Once readers know it's an issue in the story, those concerned with that issue will often wait to see how it plays out.

Here's a classic quote for you:

Remember: when people tell you something's wrong or doesn't work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.

- Neil Gaiman


Note: his comment about readers being wrong about what's wrong is why you need to press them, as their first complaints usually are, which is why you continue to press them, because their initial complaint ("This story is going in the wrong direction") often point to another, more specific complaint, they aren't publicly voicing, and it's only when you drill down that you'll discover the underlying condition (though their being wrong about how to fix it rarely fits a particular story).

However, a separate problem is, it NEVER pays to respond to a negative review in public, as it makes you look like an ass to the entire world, and rarely changes anyone's opinion. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and if you disagree with someone's direction for your story, the best option is to suggest other stories (hopefully yours), they might prefer instead. That way, you remain true to your story, but still retain a future appreciative fan.

By badmouthing someone, you're more inclined to turn off anyone Googling you, who may be trying to decide whether to read (or buy) your stories. It's NEVER a good idea to engage trolls. Everyone gets bad reviews, and an false accusations or bad advice almost always speaks for itself (i.e. your other readers will recognize it as invalid, so you don't need to make an issue of it. In fact, most reader automatically discount any reviews that are all positive, as they assume they were all written by the author and his minions (i.e. friends and relatives).

Finally, as a follow-up on Gaiman's thought, while everyone's opinion has merit, they don't always represent the majority opinion. However, that said, you never know how many readers you'll eventually lose by refusing to address their concerns with your story. Thus, tread lightly!

Crumbly Writer

@docholladay

If its honest feedback he should be willing to at least tell you what went wrong with the story.

Again, reemphasizing my point about engaging them, rather than pissing them off and making a lifelong enemy who'll bad mouth you to everyone he comes in contact with (never a positive for an author).

It's much better leaving someone who'll say, "I never cared much for that story, but the author's a decent chap and I might read one of his future stories."

REP

@docholladay

If its honest feedback he should be willing to at least tell you what went wrong with the story.


I am not trying to support the comments.

I have found that many people know how they feel about something, but do not understand why they feel the way they do.

His comments may be the best that he can do to describe his feelings. Personally, I doubt it from what I read.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay

@REP

I am not trying to support the comments.


That is why I said it is hard for me to judge. Its also the reason I tried to list different ideas. Basically it boils down to all any of us can do is to offer options. The final choice of course is up to the writer, not me. Its also why I said it was hard to decide what the best choice was for that situation.

Bondi Beach
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


I thought it was constructive feedback, not mean spirited at all.

ETA: You might even ask him to elaborate on various points.


Second this. Except for his last para (you're an amateur, etc.), which labels him a jerk, I agree that his comments were reasonable, albeit not clear and not elaborated on.

So thank him for his feedback [EDIT TO ADD: tell him you're sorry the story isn't working for him any more—if you wish to go that far] and, if you wish, leave the door open for him to elaborate on his comments, e.g., something along the lines of, "I'm interested in why parts of the story aren't working for you [or engaging you] and would welcome any further comment."

I wouldn't advance any explanation of where the story is going or why you did what you did until and unless he tells you a little more about why he's lost interest.

Absolutely skip the snark, skip the invitation to get lost, take the high road, and you're gold.

bb

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Bondi Beach

@SB : I thought it was constructive feedback, not mean spirited at all. ETA: You might even ask him to elaborate on various points.

@BB : Second this. Except for his last para (you're an amateur, etc.), which labels him a jerk, I agree that his comments were reasonable, albeit not clear and not elaborated on.

I think BB nailed it, but he seems, nonetheless, a jerk you should be willing to engage with politely and constructively.
I think @CW's post contains much sound advice about how you may benefit most from even negative feedback.

The only thing I can suggest is to include in your response the observation that you cannot address any problems they perceive if they cannot be specific about what they see.

You might also try scanning this link for your name. :)
https://clitoridesawards.org/archives/2015

EDIT TO REVISE OPINION
I concede the author can reasonably expect nothing constructive from someone who has written

At one point, I felt that everyone in the story deserves to die just to get it over with

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

The worst part of G Younger's response, and the reason why most of this advice won't help him, is that by naming the person and calling him names, is that he's essentially announcing to all his other readers: ''If you piss me off by asking the wrong question, I'll publicly humiliate you.' That's NOT the way to encourage honest feedback.

Not only won't he be able to ask anything of the person he's humiliated, but no one else is likely to offer him any advice if they aren't sure why they feel that way (i.e. haven't studied the specific passages that first made them feel a particular way). That's why, when you DO get responses like that, you need to respond quickly, so they'll remember which chapter/section/segment they were reading, and can find (and hopefully identify) which caused them to feel that way.

It sounds like this wasn't a one time thing, that the person mentioned being disappointed in the story, his comment wasn't acted upon, and as time went past (and he sent more messages) he lost where the story bothered him (meaning he's unlikely to ever identify the specific issue). :<

Let that be a lesson to every author, tread lightly when you humiliate readers, or ignore what might be a valid issue affecting even a small aspect of your audience. If you want specifics, you need to strike fast while they remember the issues, and you need to press beyond their immediate response and direct them to their specific complaints, because most readers aren't sure why a story they'd previously like stopped appealing to them.

Note: This isn't specifically a reader issue either. I had an editor make a similar comment, about how he was having trouble concentrating on a specific chapter--a red flag that something in the chapter disturbs them, and probably needs to be addressed.

It was only because I've gone thru this with beta readers, and know how to encourage the information, that I know how to respond to readers who can't identify specific causes.

G Younger

That's NOT the way to encourage honest feedback.


I would agree with you if it was honest feedback. I get a lot of emails where readers have suggestions of how I can write better. I take the time to read, absorb and respond to each one.

In fairness, it's amateur fiction, so I shouldn't expect much...


The guy was being a jerk couched in giving his opinion. I guess I should have posted his whole email but he talked about other writers and I didn't want to drag them into it.

I've decided to just ignore him, because none of what he said means a thing to me honestly. If he had anything constructive to say I would be willing to listen.

FYI - beta readers are asked to give their opinions and for the most part take the time to give you honest feedback. I've never heard one say they wished all you characters would die just to get the story over with. Those kind of shots are mean spirited and not helpful. I would be surprised if any author could figure out what nugget was there for them to glean a bit of wisdom from.

If he had even one coherent thought on helping me write better stories I would have listened. That was not the intent of his message.

As far as calling him out ... probably not my best move, but just because you hid on the internet doesn't mean you get to do things without consequences. It's a two way street. I get to look like a complete dick for doing it.

I appreciate you all taking the time to respond to my request. I just need to get a thicker skin.

G Younger

Replies:   Crumbly Writer  rustyken
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@G Younger

I appreciate you all taking the time to respond to my request. I just need to get a thicker skin.

That's the golden rule for authors. Not only do they face continual rejection from traditional publishers, but also from negative reviews and, like you've observed, fans. I've got my own band of dedicated SOL 1-bombers, because I wouldn't turn my stories into conservative tracts dictated by them.

I learned the hard way, by responding to an Amazon review I thought was unfounded, but paid the price for it. You're best approach (the next time it happens), like I said, is to suggest other books, that way, he'll leave on relatively good terms, and someone will benefit.

Grant
Updated:

@Switch Blayde

I thought it was constructive feedback, not mean spirited at all

Really?

everyone cheats, everyone betrays, everyone will screw you. hahaha ...

In fairness, it's amateur fiction, so I shouldn't
expect much...

Passive aggressive i think is the term often used these days.
I'd say they're a dickhead or wanker, Git would also be appropriate.
Anything constructive about that feedback is more than offset by the disparaging ending and little hahaha's throughout.

However,

I can't feel sympathy for this guy anymore. At one point, I felt that everyone in the story deserves to die just to get it over with since there's nothing constant in the stupid boy world anymore. everyone cheats, everyone betrays, everyone will screw you. hahaha ... The characters have all become really shallow and vapid too. Everything became casual and lost depth and meaning.

Now that block, ignoring the hahaha, is actually good feed back. The commenter is a tool, but at least amongst the crap is some actual feed back about why they feel the way they do about the story.

rustyken

@G Younger

I agree with your choice. Before reading to this point I was in favour of placing it in the trash bin as it think there is more substance when you are jousting at windmills.

Cheers

richardshagrin

Suggest the guy who is unhappy with how the story is going wait until it is finished, or maybe until all the Stupid Boy stories are done before he reads the whole thing. Then he can decide if he likes the character. There are almost certainly more character building events in his future. Hollywood, the rest of Junior year and Senior year, the birth of his child, selecting the University to attend and going there for four years, more or less, depending on his future in Pro-Football. What is he now? Sixteen? He is going to evolve and grow. Who knows, maybe he will wind up as President of the United States. Or first make a couple of billion dollars and then run. Change is in the air. I'd wait before deciding his character is unacceptable, or not.

Duke_Mantee

@G Younger

Don't know if my comments here are appropriate as I am only a reader, not an author ... Writing, to me is a gift, like solving a Rubic's Cube in 10 seconds, or throwing a football into a trashcan at 40 yards. Sometimes when I send a note to an author I might say something along the lines of "... MC might have done this or that ..." but I try to also say that this is my opinion -- the story as I wished it to be -- But NOT the story the author choose to write. I'm not qualified to give criticism, this is how the story went, I can go along for the ride, or I can stop. In the example this author sent, I can't even decide the point the critic was trying to make.

Please, continue writing as the characters take you ... As to those who know better, well give them the attention they deserve.

I read these stories every day, and I marvel at the talent here, day in and day out these stories bring me happiness ... Thanks for the work!

Fred Vavrek

oyster50

I count myself fortunate. I have several readers who write me with "I could see Character X doing this..." or "Here's a direction I think things could go..." I thank them for the interest and quite ofthen give consideration to their input.

After all, such input means that my characters have come alive in the minds of some readers. That's pretty flattering for a guy who writes for the fun of it.

And several of those suggestions have showed up in the stories. A couple of them have resulted in stories of their own.

sejintenej
Updated:

Interesting; I have just been awarded the Darwin Award for my last book.

There are a lot of idiots who would equate that with the Booker prize ;-)

sejintenej

@sejintenej

GY; more seriously, you will never win them all. This sounds like a geezer who just worked out that it can do more that give zero scores. Ignore him/her/the shit.
I read the series and am constantly waiting for more!!!!!

Dominions Son

@sejintenej

I have just been awarded the Darwin Award for my last book.

???

Darwin Awards are given to people who remove themselves from the gene pool in a spectacular fashion.

http://www.darwinawards.com/

Replies:   sejintenej
Ernest Bywater

@G Younger

there's nothing constant in the stupid boy world anymore. everyone cheats, everyone betrays, everyone will screw you.


Welcome to the real world created by the US Congress and business bureau - both promote those who screw over everyone else.

Crumbly Writer

@sejintenej

There are a lot of idiots who would equate that with the Booker prize ;-)

Uh, dumb question but ... just how many people died while reading your book? :D

Crumbly Writer

@G Younger

there's nothing constant in the stupid boy world anymore. everyone cheats, everyone betrays, everyone will screw you.

That sounds pretty consistent, otherwise he wouldn't be complaining.

Give the guy a break! Give him a single character who stands up for themselves, always doing 'the right thing', and then have them be horribly mangled by the system, never having screwed over a single person. ;D

sejintenej

The reference to the US Congress above reminded me of something a well known American once said:
One of the key problems today is that politics is such a disgrace, good people don't go into government.

Yes, ascribed to a certain Donald!!!

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@sejintenej

Yes, ascribed to a certain Donald!!!


It especially describes Hilary and most people in the US congress.

Replies:   REP  sejintenej
REP

@Ernest Bywater

It especially describes


If you had to choose between a crook that is knowledgeable and experienced in both politics and the diplomatic arena and a crook without that knowledge or experience, which would you want to be Australia's leader?

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@REP


If you had to choose between a crook that is knowledgeable and experienced in both politics and the diplomatic arena and a crook without that knowledge or experience, which would you want to be Australia's leader?


neither. However, the option the US had at the last election was someone who had experience in politics and diplomatic arena and shown themselves to be incompetent and dangerous in both, so they voted against her.

Replies:   Grant  sejintenej  REP
Grant

@Ernest Bywater

shown themselves to be incompetent and dangerous in both, so they voted against her.

The fact is people are emotional not rational.
Like you, they let their prejudice guide them, not the persons record.
What you claim isn't borne out by the facts.

Ernest Bywater

@Grant

Like you, they let their prejudice guide them, not the persons record.


Yeah, a record of not protecting confidential information, outing intelligence personnel, and lying to Congress. Great record, I think not.

There's a difference between what the facts are, and when they're enough to take a person court. She's just very good at having much of the evidence destroyed before the police can get enough to convict her.

Replies:   REP
Ross at Play

@Grant

What you claim isn't borne out by the facts.

Grant, sometimes when you know the record is broken, you just need to resist the understandable temptation and not turn the record player back on.

sejintenej
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


Yes, ascribed to a certain Donald!!!

It especially describes Hilary and most people in the US congress.


I found it ironic given the present occupation of the person making that statement.

sejintenej
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater

There is a story on SOL (I don't recall which or the author) a small part of which is where the protagonist steps in to get specific people elected to forestall problems.

His argument is that every elector has about ten areas in which he/she is strongly interested - perhaps religion, perhaps race ... but candidates only express opinions on perhaps two of those. In consequence for an individual voter his choice is for a candidate who fits two ideals but the voter doesn't know that his other eight interests are against the candidates' views because he never answers questions about them.
To me that looked a pretty accurate picture. As for the choice given to the USA voters - well, as a foreigner without full information on every quirk of every candidate I should keep out of it.

Replies:   madnige  REP
sejintenej

@Dominions Son

???
Darwin Awards are given to people who remove themselves from the gene pool in a spectacular fashion.

Exactly; hence the second part of my comment that the idiot would not know what it is.

madnige

@sejintenej

I've got a feeling the election shaping might be Lazlo Zalezac's Hunter - maybe. There there is an election where all issues except anti-terrorism are sidelined.

On second thoughts, I'd plump for rlfj's A Fresh Start, though I'm not sure. I am sure I've read what you're talking of, though.

Replies:   ustourist
ustourist

@madnige

I have a feeling it may be William Redman Carter Pt3, when he is using his computer analysis to project who will win seats.

Replies:   madnige  sejintenej
madnige
Updated:

@ustourist

...but in WRC, he's just predicting the results of the election; we're looking for a (story with) shaping of the results by targeted choice of candidates so that their stance on non-mainline issues is the same as their opposition, so robbing them of a method of generating distracting conflict and debate; I can remember the MC and entourage visiting a retired female judge (I think) at home to convince her to run.

ETA: I've created a 'lost story' thread here to continue this discussion.

sejintenej
Updated:

@ustourist


madnigeI have a feeling it may be William Redman Carter Pt3, when he is using his computer analysis to project who will win seats.


I am pretty sure this is it with part 3, chapter 7,8,9 where he puts pressure on people to run. A quick shifty and I did not find his setting out his rationale but it has to be there somewhere

Edit::Just read that you started the other thread so copied the above there as well.

REP

@Ernest Bywater

neither.


Are you sidestepping the question or is it that you don't vote.

I know what happened in the US. A person even less competent and more dangerous than Hillary won the election.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@REP

Are you sidestepping the question or is it that you don't vote.


a. I'm not entitled to vote in the US elections. And

b. The the question was so clearly biased it wasn't worthy of a proper answer.

There wasn't much to see between the two candidates, however Hillary had proven her self to be untrustworthy, and careless of what's right. She also stabbed everyone else in her party in the back to get the candidature.

It wasn't a case of Trump winning the election, but Hillary getting so many of her party's supporters angry with her they voted against because they couldn't stomach the idea of her winning, so she lost the election.

The big advantage Trump has over Hillary is Trump isn't likely to sell the country out, the way Hillary and her faction have been doing.

Replies:   REP  graybyrd
REP

@Ernest Bywater

. She's just very good at having much of the evidence destroyed before the police can get enough to convict her


Now that is a good politician!

Trump's record includes:

Racial Prejudices - He seems to be prejudice against all races except white.

Lying -
He lied to the voters by telling him he would Make America Great, and refuse to tell them what he meant by the term.

He lied to the media and the citizens about the World Trade Center, his actions backstage at the Miss America pageant, about the video of the good ole boy just talk locker room talk, and more things than I can remember.

One of his biggest lies is when he claims "Fake News" when the media print the truth about something he doesn't want known to the public.

Charities - He collects money from others adds some to it, and then says it was all his donation. That donation usually goes to a charity that he mismanages.

I could go on, but its getting late and I need some sleep.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
REP

@sejintenej

As for the choice given to the USA voters - well, as a foreigner without full information on every quirk of every candidate I should keep out of it.


Politicians usually run on a party platform, not their personal opinions. Trump was different. He is a Conman who told people what they wanted to hear and he rarely, if ever, told the public what he actually intended to do if elected.

Replies:   Capt. Zapp
REP
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


I'm not entitled to vote in the US elections


My question addressed potential candidate for the position of Australia's PM.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@REP

My question addressed potential candidate for the position of Australia's PM.

Don't bother asking, REP. The grasp on reality over the other side of the Pacific is pretty similar.

Ernest Bywater

@REP

As against Hillary putting her name on a book someone else writes, and never acknowledges the other person in the book. or how about Hillary promoting policies to give preferences to non-whites because she believes they can't compete with whites on an equal basis - yet you don't call that racial prejudice. How about when she names intelligence people in a public forum while the person is still working under cover, hows that for diplomatic behaviour.

Anyway, it's clear we're not going to agree on Clinton, so we may as well let this drop here while we agree to disagree.

Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater

so we may as well let this drop here while we agree to disagree.

And as you always do ... only after you've had a long, tedious, last word. :(

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Ross at Play

And as you always do ... only after you've had a long, tedious, last word. :(


Actually, I don't always have the last word, there are many cases where another has continued the discussion and I've ignored. It's just many people choose to leave it alone when I make it clear I'm not going to say anything else on the subject covered. That subject was politics, and this subject is having the last word. So feel free to make another comment on having the last word, and you can have the last word on having the last word.

Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater

I might believe that if you stop finding the flimsiest of excuses to badmouth you-know-who.

Capt. Zapp

@REP

Except he is actually TRYING to do what he said he would.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer  REP
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

As against Hillary putting her name on a book someone else writes, and never acknowledges the other person in the book. or how about Hillary promoting policies to give preferences to non-whites because she believes they can't compete with whites on an equal basis - yet you don't call that racial prejudice. How about when she names intelligence people in a public forum while the person is still working under cover, hows that for diplomatic behaviour.

Your 'racial equity' arguments sound like they were penned by Steve Bannon. If you think Trump isn't 'selling out' the U.S., then I'm glad you can't vote in the U.S. elections. We already have too many people willing to give up our constitution because they don't like freedom for anyone else besides themselves. :

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

Actually, I don't always have the last word, there are many cases where another has continued the discussion and I've ignored.

Says the man, desperately trying to have the very last word!

Crumbly Writer

@Capt. Zapp

Except he is actually TRYING to do what he said he would.

Exactly. Overturn the Government regulations, turn more power over to the wealthy, without limits, and restore Russia to full diplomatic relations with the west--despite they're openly trying to influence our democratic institutions.

Yeah, Trump has never denied he's a flat out racist, out for nothing but himself. But why that supposedly makes him into a better candidate, is beyond me.

Replies:   Capt. Zapp
Capt. Zapp

@Crumbly Writer

Except he is actually TRYING to do what he said he would.
Exactly. Overturn the Government regulations, turn more power over to the wealthy, without limits, and restore Russia to full diplomatic relations with the west--despite they're openly trying to influence our democratic institutions.

You must have missed part of the thread. REP said Trump didn't say what he was going to do and yet you argue that he did.
The regulations he is trying to overturn are the ones that put restrictions on the people while allowing the government to control our lives.
If he is trying to give more power to the wealthy, why are they trying so hard to block his actions?
How can defending the rights of citizens as defined by The Constitution and Bill of Rights be 'overturning the government'?
I see him trying to bring power back to the LEGAL CITIZENS of the USA.
As for relations with Russia, do you forget that they were once our allies? Sure it was a long time ago. So was the American Revolution. Should we not have diplomatic relations with the UK?
'Russia...openly trying to influence our democratic institutions'? Really? So why is it that practically all investigations point to the Democratic party being the ones trying to influence our democratic institutions?

Yeah, Trump has never denied he's a flat out racist, out for nothing but himself. But why that supposedly makes him into a better candidate, is beyond me.

Trump has denied accusations of being a racist many times and his entire campaign (and actions since being elected) have been far from being 'out for nothing but himself'.

REP

@Capt. Zapp

Except he is actually TRYING to do what he said he would.


I haven't said anything since he decided to not answer my question and said he didn't want to discuss it further.

Replies:   REP
REP

@REP

Except he is actually TRYING to do what he said he would.


Sorry, I thought you were dumping on me about Ernest.

Basically, Trump refused to tell us what he intended to do. Look at his campaign promises again. Make America Great does not define the specifics of how he intends to accomplish that goal.

When reporters tried to pin him down on what he meant by his ambiguous statements, he wouldn't answer.

Now that he is the POTUS, he is making his intentions clear and there are a hell of a lot of us that disagree with what he is doing.

The people who elected him now have to live with him. I think the projection is that 8,000,000 Americans will lose their health coverage if Trump puts his health plan in effect. I don't think those people will like Trump very much and if they voted for him, they will regret it.

The same thing is true in other business areas also.

Replies:   Capt. Zapp
Capt. Zapp

@REP

Basically, Trump refused to tell us what he intended to do. Look at his campaign promises again. Make America Great does not define the specifics of how he intends to accomplish that goal.

As if Obama's "Change" promise did? He made changes alright. Our allies hate us and our enemies love us.
How about "If you like your insurance/doctor, you can keep it" and "Everyone will be able to afford insurance" - Hell, the only difference between before Obamacare and after is that if I can't afford it, they fine me for it. When I called in to apply (after a death in the family I had 'too many assets' to qualify for assistance) I was told I didn't qualify for the ACA because I DID NOT EARN ENOUGH and I should apply to the state (the people who said I had too many assets) for aid.

If Trump gets his plans in effect - not just health care - there will not be problems with those who need and deserve assistance getting it.

As for losing health coverage, if the government quits subsidizing the care and feeding of all the invaders sneaking into the country there would be affordable care for those who should get it.

We need to quit trying to solve the problems of the rest of the world and worry more about our own, which is EXACTLY what Trump is trying to do and all the career politicians are fighting because they will lose their gravy train.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Capt. Zapp

I agree with you about taking care of our own first.

One thing you MUST remember: Obama Care is NOT the health plan President Obama proposed. It is what the Republicans turned it into. Obama had a choice accept a bastardized health plan or let Americans go without a choice.

Capt. Zapp

@REP

Obama had a choice accept a bastardized health plan or let Americans go without a choice.


Americans had choices before any of those asshats in DC decided they wanted to force their way down our throats. I remember all the reporting about 'you have to sign it to read it'. Hell, if any of them had even started to read it they would probably STILL be trying to work the bugs out of it. It is as bad as what the FDA is allowing to be released as far as medication. The entire ACA is written to make money for the big pharma companies, not to make health care 'affordable'. Getting that changed isn't going to happen when they have practically every politician in their pockets.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Dominions Son

@REP

One thing you MUST remember: Obama Care is NOT the health plan President Obama proposed. It is what the Republicans turned it into.


The Republicans were given little to no input into the bill.

At the time the bill was passed, the Democrats were the majority in both the House and the Senate, but the mid term elections were looming and it already looked like the Republicans would be able to take control of at least the House.

The Democrats threw a bill together in just a couple of weeks in the House so they could pass a bill, any bill before they lost control of Congress.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Capt. Zapp

The entire ACA is written to make money for the big pharma companies, not to make health care 'affordable'.

You can whine all you want about the select few (tens of thousands?) who see their costs go up, but in the end, Millions were able to purchase healthcare which they previously could not. The Republican health care is "health care for anyone who can afford to pay cash", while the democrats is "force everyone to underwrite it, so we get the best cost/benefit for everyone".

Big Pharma wins in either case, simply because the system wouldn't exist without them. As long as they continue to churn out new deserately needed drugs, they'll continue to pull the strings. The key is 'what's the best way to control costs'. Costs will always increase, but they've increased less under the ACA than they have under the previous 10 or 20 years.

Still, if you don't want to pay for anyone's birth control or ER visits, then yeah, you'd prefer stripping everyone of their health care so you don't have to 'carry anyone'!

Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

The Republicans were given little to no input into the bill.

Big Whoop! The Republicans were given a voice, but they chose not to participate (i.e. not private concession to Republican concerns). However, the Republicans haven't given the Democrats any voice either. In fact, only one Republican Senator was allowed to view the proposed bill, and he was only given 15 minutes to 'quickly scan' it.

You can't accuse the other side of doing exactly what you're doing! That's known as "hypocrisy", the Politician's bread and butter.

Replies:   Dominions Son
awnlee jawking

@Crumbly Writer

As long as they continue to churn out new deserately needed drugs


Actually they don't, they churn out revenue streams. No new antibiotics to wipe out MRSA, but plenty of new, expensive cancer drugs which increase chances of survival by a few percent.

AJ

Replies:   sejintenej  Capt. Zapp
Dominions Son
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


However, the Republicans haven't given the Democrats any voice either. In fact, only one Republican Senator was allowed to view the proposed bill, and he was only given 15 minutes to 'quickly scan' it.


I agree, and it's not right, and in any case, the current bill looks like it will be an even worse mess than the ACA.

You can't accuse the other side of doing exactly what you're doing! That's known as "hypocrisy", the Politician's bread and butter.


Yes, I can, because I'm not on either the Republican's or the Democrat's side, so I can accuse either one without being hypocritical.

Edited to Add:

I am a libertarian, and at this point I would support a single payer system over either the ACA or the even bigger mess that the Republican bill would create.

Just get it over with already.

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Dominions Son


at this point I would support a single payer system over either the ACA or the even bigger mess that the Republican bill would create.


So would most of us, but there's not a politician alive who'd vote for it! They'd rather drag the public through the mud and make them eat dirt and pay through the nose first.

By the way, what does this have to do with 'responding to readers'?

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

By the way, what does this have to do with 'responding to readers'?


Nothing, but as any thread on SOL's form grows longer, the probability that it will devolve into a pointless political argument approaches unity.

It's particularly funny when the EU contingent and the Australian contingent start arguing over US politics. :)

Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

You can whine all you want about the select few (tens of thousands?) who see their costs go up,


In Arizona, there's only one insurance company remaining that writes Obamacare policies. I believe our costs tripled. And then the deductibles are so high many people can't afford to get sick even though they have insurance.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
sejintenej
Updated:

@awnlee jawking


Actually they don't, they churn out revenue streams. No new antibiotics to wipe out MRSA, but plenty of new, expensive cancer drugs which increase chances of survival by a few percent.


Not quite so. When my wife was attacked, almost certainly by a spider, our doctor instantaneously put her on an anti-MRSA antibiotic. I also had to apply to the area an aerosol which is used to sterilise the skin before minor surgery. There were restrictions and clean room requirements as well. She recovered in about 3 months but references on the internet talk of an 8 month recovery and sometimes surgery. Pity that neither drug nor spray is available in the UK.

As for cancer drugs I hope you meant that many of them extend life by a few weeks/months.

In answer to someone else's post on costs a corticosteroid drug I have to take from time to time is dispensed as 30 to 42 pills. In the UK we pay the health service about £8.50 (say US$10.60)** for that but they are available elsewhere in the EU at £1.00 per hundred without a prescription.

** AJ might know the latest price per prescription

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

at this point I would support a single payer system


Be careful what you wish for. When I got on Medicare, I was shocked to find out how many doctors didn't accept Medicare patients.

Replies:   sejintenej
sejintenej

@Switch Blayde

Be careful what you wish for. When I got on Medicare, I was shocked to find out how many doctors didn't accept Medicare patients.


In the UK some doctors and many dentists do not accept National Health Service patients. Some consultants will see a patient on the NHS and then offer NHS treatment in a few months or private treatment in a week's time. Some parts of the NHS are now said to be stopping some routine treatments such as artificial knees and hips

Switch Blayde

@sejintenej

offer NHS treatment in a few months or private treatment in a week's time


I believe that's true in Canada, too. You either wait to have it done there or cross the border and pay a U.S. doctor for prompt treatment.

Capt. Zapp

@awnlee jawking

No new antibiotics to wipe out MRSA, but plenty of new, expensive cancer drugs which increase chances of survival by a few percent.


That and the 'drug of tomorrow('s lawsuit)'!

awnlee jawking

@sejintenej

As for cancer drugs I hope you meant that many of them extend life by a few weeks/months.


That too. They're not game changers, just marginal improvements, which is why NICE refuses to pay for most of them.

At least one form of MRSA is now resistant to all known antibiotics, according to a newspaper article a few weeks back.

Current English prescription charge (rest of UK gets them free) is £8.40. Under Hammond's omnishambles budget, that should rise to £8.60 on 1st April but I haven't read anywhere that the budget has been passed by parliament.

AJ

awnlee jawking

@sejintenej

The first is in no small measure due to greedy doctors playing the system for their own enrichment.

The second is a form of rationing - the unelected quangos running the various bits of the health service will cut anything other than their own bloated bureaucracy :(

AJ

Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

It's particularly funny when the EU contingent and the Australian contingent start arguing over US politics. :)

Everyone is discussing U.S. Politics now! It's rivaling football (soccer) now for global entertainment. What I find exceedingly strange is how the Europeans are attacking Trump politics, while the Aussie contingent seems to be defending him (why, I haven't quite figured out yet).

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

In Arizona, there's only one insurance company remaining that writes Obamacare policies. I believe our costs tripled. And then the deductibles are so high many people can't afford to get sick even though they have insurance.

Strange, but here in the semi-rural east (eastern N.C.) I know multiple people who've never been able to afford insurance, who only just now got it through the ACA and often had life-saving surgeries, who now stand to lose it again. If you want to blame anyone for insurance companies pulling out of the market, try Trump for leaving the future plans so much in doubt no one wanted to bet their financial futures on nebulous nonspecific promises.

Crumbly Writer

In my case, Medicare keeps putting in more and more egregious restrictions on diabetes (insulin pump) reimbursements, as if anyone suddenly stops being a type 1 diabetic and then continues receiving treatments fraudulently. Juvenile diabetes is a lifelong disease that never goes away!

Banadin

This is on the original thread. Should I spend time answering someone who doesn't care for my work, or write for those that do? Ignore the small hearted bastards, you owe them nothing.

Ross at Play

@Banadin

Should I spend time answering someone who doesn't care for my work?

I suggest it's in your interests to give those who send negative comments the benefit of any doubt over whether they were trying to be constructive.
If you can see that possibility, I suggest you can always respond politely.
My next test would be whether they have been specific enough about the problems they perceive so you have some chance of improving your writing. When that is missing you can simply explain there is nothing you can practically do to correct any problems.

sejintenej

@Dominions Son


It's particularly funny when the EU contingent and the Australian contingent start arguing over US politics. :)

The problem is that the US is such a big economic giant that if the USA sneezes the rest of us die of pneumonia.

When the USA has two major presidential candidates such as we saw last year we get nervous. When we see the presidential news that is coming out of the USA ......

sejintenej

An outsider's question about USA medical treatment.
If there is a pandemic of a disease which is generally fatal if untreated (such as plague or polio) what does the USA do about people who contract the disease, who wander around infecting others and cannot afford immunisation or treatment?

(In the UK we had Typhoid Mary who was a carrier; the courts banned her from the only job she knew (catering) and eventually imprisoned her).

REP

The US isolated health workers returning from Africa until it was verified that they did not contract the disease they were there to treat.

Dominions Son

@sejintenej

An outsider's question about USA medical treatment.
If there is a pandemic of a disease which is generally fatal if untreated (such as plague or polio) what does the USA do about people who contract the disease, who wander around infecting others and cannot afford immunisation or treatment?


It would depend on whether you are talking someone actually sick or a true carrier.

As a matter of law in the US, hospitals can not turn away critically sick/injured patients reguarless ability to pay. At a minimum a hospital would have to stabilize the patient and then ship the patient so another hospital, willing to take the risk of treating the patient and being left with no one to pay the bills.

While this gets complained about in terms of abortion and transsexuals, it is fortunate for this kind of case that the majority of hospitals in the US are run by Catholic non-profit organizations.

A carrier is someone who has a pathogen in their system and is contagious, but the carriers never get sick from it themselves.

I'm not sure what US authorities would be able to do about a carrier. For one thing, they are almost impossible to identify until after the damage is done.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Switch Blayde

@sejintenej

When the USA has two major presidential candidates such as we saw last year we get nervous.


As did we in the U.S. We seem to be voting on the worse of two evils in every election.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Banadin

This is on the original thread. Should I spend time answering someone who doesn't care for my work, or write for those that do? Ignore the small hearted bastards, you owe them nothing.

I try to respond to everyone, just because I value feedback, even if I'm not inclined to take their advice. Usually, I'll tell them when I can't do something without hurting a story, though as I noted, often when someone protests something, with a little work I'll learn what turned them off of my work.

Crumbly Writer

@sejintenej

When the USA has two major presidential candidates such as we saw last year we get nervous. When we see the presidential news that is coming out of the USA ......

That's what surprised me about the largely Trump support. I'd think, anything that upsets the existing status quo, and threatens world markets (potentially) would scare most countries since they wouldn't know the potential impact.

Again, at least with Hillary, you always knew what you were getting and how she'd respond. With Trump, you never know from one minute to the next how he'll respond to any particular event.

Replies:   Not_a_ID  sejintenej
Crumbly Writer

@sejintenej

If there is a pandemic of a disease which is generally fatal if untreated (such as plague or polio) what does the USA do about people who contract the disease, who wander around infecting others and cannot afford immunisation or treatment?

We can generally take actions against individuals, though we're reluctant to take action against those who refuse to participate (such as with inoculations, which results in widespread disease outbreaks because of low participation rates).

I'm actually working on a story about 'coerced treatments' in a particular state (since each state handles it differently).

Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

While this gets complained about in terms of abortion and transsexuals, it is fortunate for this kind of case that the majority of hospitals in the US are run by Catholic non-profit organizations.

That was true in the 50s, however most have been taken over by corporations, as there aren't enough nuns to run such institutions anymore.

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

As did we in the U.S. We seem to be voting on the worse of two evils in every election.

Worse, we vote on side issues (gay marriage or trans rights) rather than policy (jobs, government investments, taxation policy, etc.). Sadly, we're easy to distract and rarely focus on any issue longer than 10 minutes. :(

Not_a_ID

@Crumbly Writer

That's what surprised me about the largely Trump support. I'd think, anything that upsets the existing status quo, and threatens world markets (potentially) would scare most countries since they wouldn't know the potential impact.


During the Primary I held that Trump was "the Tea Party's revenge" on the Republican Party, and the appeal was the very fact that he was a terrible candidate. I even went so far as to predict that the only way he could win was by being "a terrible candidate" all the way to the finish line. As the thing that would push him across the finish line would be the "middle finger to the establishment" crowd.

Low and behold, he delivered on exactly that, and continues to deliver.

sejintenej

@Crumbly Writer

That's what surprised me about the largely Trump support.

It was my understanding that Clinton actually received more votes than Trump. We have a similar situation in the UK where the numbers of MPs' parties do not correspond with the votes cast.

Replies:   Switch Blayde  REP  Not_a_ID
Switch Blayde
Updated:

@sejintenej


It was my understanding that Clinton actually received more votes than Trump.


Clinton got almost 3 million more votes, but it's the electoral votes that elect the president and Trump won that big.

My high school was named after someone who won the popular vote but lost the election -- SJ Tilden. But in that case I think it had something to do with a deal because it wasn't clear who won several of the electoral states. It had something to do with, "I'll give you the presidency if you pull the Northern troops out of the South" (not long after the end of the Civil War).

I think there were 5 elections where the loser actually won the popular vote.

Replies:   Dominions Son
REP

@sejintenej

It was my understanding that Clinton actually received more votes than Trump.


Yes, she did receive more votes. What you seem to be missing is how our election of a President and Vice-President works.

The votes cast by the voters do not elect the President and Vice-President. The votes cast in each state, determine the people who will represent the state at the Electoral Convention. How the Electoral Convention works is also confusing for it is not what most people think of as a convention. Each state's electors send their votes to the Senate and the votes are opened in the Senate and recorded. The person receiving sufficient votes becomes the next President and Vice-President. If no one receives enough Electoral votes, the Senate decides who is to be the next President.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

Clinton got almost 3 million more votes


For perspective, Neither Hillary nor Trump achieved an outright majority in the national popular vote, and Hillary's plurality beat trump by a whopping 2.1%.

Of course as you correctly point out, the national popular vote is legally meaningless.

Dominions Son
Updated:

@REP


If no one receives enough Electoral votes, the Senate decides who is to be the next President.


Not correct. In the case of no Electoral college win, the House of Representative elects the President.

ETA:

While the Electoral College ballots are sent to the Senate, they are opened and counted in a joint session of Congress.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Dominions Son

Not correct


I'll take your word for it. I didn't recheck the process and recalled it being the Senate.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID

@sejintenej

It was my understanding that Clinton actually received more votes than Trump. We have a similar situation in the UK where the numbers of MPs' parties do not correspond with the votes cast.


The thing people keep losing in the rhetoric is that while Hillary had more votes, she did not obtain an electoral majority.

Even in the popular vote, without the electoral college factoring in.

She won a plurality of votes, not a majority. If the Presidential election was conducted in a parliamentary manner, Trump would still have won as the "Majority coalition" would have been more anti-Hillary than it was anti-Trump. (Or else they would have voted for her, rather than third party right-leaning options)

Of course, that then gets into game theory and how the electoral college structured voting choice selections in November. Such as my voting third party this past cycle. Under a different system, I possibly would have made a different choice, but that wasn't the option I was given.

Not_a_ID

@REP

I'll take your word for it. I didn't recheck the process and recalled it being the Senate.


It's a joint session. In the event of states ballot being contested things can get weird(as happened with Tilden).

If there is no clear electoral majority, then the House votes for President and the Senate selects the VP based on the list of people who received at least 1 vote from the electoral college for that respective post. (VP or President) So the House has to use the Presidential list, and the Senate has to use the VP list. They can't run off and select someone else.

The one thing that has a partial/incomplete precedent is what happens when a candidate dies between election day and when Congress votes. While this has happened once before, it happened before the Electoral College met and voted, so most electors just voted for someone else, and it was moot anyhow as the deceased candidate didn't win the election.

EzzyB

@G Younger

Yeah, stop reading if he want's.

But listen to him.

Let's face it, here's what I got from the latest chapters of the 'Stupid Boy' series.

1. I got a girl pregnant
2. Lawyer up
3. Let my parent's raise the child so I can get on with my life.

The consequences of your protagonist's actions most certainly reflect on your readers.

Shallow and vapid? Uh, yeah. The sixteen-year-old girl is pregnant, and he's going to make a movie with a different model or cheerleader in his bed the next morning.

Thinking that some of your readers aren't going to object to this is a bit pie-in-the-sky man.

It's your story, write it like you want, but when you step on moral toes like that (even on a site devoted to sex stories) don't be so surprised.

Replies:   REP
REP
Updated:

@EzzyB

In real life there are many immature, irresponsible, teenage male children who have done exactly what Greg's character has done.

I see this aspect of his story more as a case of art reflecting reality. Although, the modeling, acting, and other aspects are far more than you would find, when looking at real-life case of a boy abandoning a pregnant girl to take care of the situation they jointly created.

Switch Blayde
Updated:

@REP


In real life there are many immature, irresponsible, teenage male children who have done exactly what Greg's character has done.


I didn't understand the feedback to be that. For instance, "The characters have all become really shallow and vapid too" and "I feel really estranged from the main character."

Note the "become" and that he liked the previous books.

Since the characters typically drive a story — the reader needs to love or hate the characters; empathize with them — for some reason this reader lost empathy with the main character. He thought he became flat.

I don't believe the reader was criticizing what the character does, but how he does it. But that's my opinion and I always look for something to learn when I get feedback.

ETA: btw, the reader may be wrong. That's why when you get feedback from a Beta Reader, if you don't get multiple people telling you the same thing there may not be anything wrong.

REP

@Switch Blayde

I didn't understand the feedback to be that


The way I took EzzyB's comment was that Greg was presenting his character as an immoral person, and that presented the reader with a message that immoral behavior is acceptable.

EzzyB's comment was:

But listen to him.

Let's face it, here's what I got from the latest chapters of the 'Stupid Boy' series.

1. I got a girl pregnant
2. Lawyer up
3. Let my parent's raise the child so I can get on with my life.


What EzzyB is not saying about the story is:

1. Greg's character David admits that there was an instance where he did not use protection and thus there is a possibility that he got Pam pregnant. He also says that if Pam says the baby is his, then he believes her and accepts responsibility for impregnating her.

2. He doesn't address the reason David lawyered up. It had nothing to do with Pam and the fact he got her pregnant. It had everything to do with the actions of Pam's father Cal.

3. The statement is not an accurate quote. David is still in High School. Pam, David, and his parents discuss the matter. They volunteer to assist David and Pam in raising the baby, and David makes it clear that he wants to be involved in raising the baby and will provide all financial support for the baby. David does not just walk away from the situation as EzzyB implies.

Personally, I think Greg is presenting a character who is accepting responsibility for his actions. Although, David does continue to act in a promiscuous manner.

Replies:   Switch Blayde  graybyrd
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


for some reason this reader lost empathy with the main character.


Which is a very important point to keep in mind, because the main characters in Stupid Boy haven't changes much at all.

edit to add: Maybe the gap between the two parts caused the reader to lose focus.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Ernest Bywater

Maybe the gap between the two parts caused the reader to lose focus.


Maybe David's action now in light of what previously happened punched one of the reader's HOT buttons.

Switch Blayde

@REP

The way I took EzzyB's comment was that Greg was presenting his character as an immoral person, and that presented the reader with a message that immoral behavior is acceptable.


I'm at a disadvantage because I hadn't read the story, but I didn't see it that way. If what you're saying is true, that the characters didn't act like that in Book 1 and 2, then the reader simply doesn't like the direction of the story. Nothing you can do about that.

But if complex characters turned into flat, predictable characters who do the same thing over and over again, that's something different.

So to answer the OP, maybe Greg should ask the reader.

Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

But if complex characters turned into flat, predictable characters who do the same thing over and over again,


The only repetitive aspect I've noticed in the story is the main character is too trusting of others and keeps getting caught out and hurt by the actions of others. In the latest book he makes an effort to not be so trusting and easily hurt by not leading with his chin so much. It's a natural growth and progression for the character in the story line.

Replies:   Switch Blayde  REP
Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater

It's a natural growth and progression for the character in the story line.


Then the reader didn't get it. Or he wanted the story to go in another direction. Nothing you can do about that.

Crumbly Writer

@REP

In real life there are many immature, irresponsible, teenage male children who have done exactly what Greg's character has done.

Except, in reality, RL often continues banging on their door until they finally answer it. In this story, it reads more as the authors' wish-fulfillment as he imagines being so attractive he can get away with anything he wants. Thus, his readers are interpreting it as a wilful act by the author, and NOT his characters.

That's the point where you lose most of your readers. Whoever hasn't abandoned the story at that point, never will. :(

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

I don't believe the reader was criticizing what the character does, but how he does it. But that's my opinion and I always look for something to learn when I get feedback.

See my previous response. I'm guessing the reader finally saw the author shinning through the character, instead of the character himself, at which point the character stopped being real to them, and only the author's weaknesses showed in the story afterwards.

REP

@Ernest Bywater

That is probably why he is called a "Stupid Boy"

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

So to answer the OP, maybe Greg should ask the reader.

or, if he no longer trusts that one reader, put out a question on his blog, asking if anyone else sees a problem with where the story is going. If the problem is widespread, you'll get confirmation. If no one agrees with him, then it's (generally) safe to dismiss the claims. Though I'd still keep the complaint in my back pocket, in case it ever rears it's ugly head again. Frequently, readers tell us what they expect we want to hear (especially when we rail against anyone who disagrees with us), and thus dislike critiquing the way a story is going. Unfortunately, most readers are more likely to abandon as story than to complain to an author.

Replies:   Grant
Grant

@Crumbly Writer

Unfortunately, most readers are more likely to abandon as story than to complain to an author.

Yep.

But it depends a lot on the author, and the way the criticism is delivered. In the case of this thread, the criticism was delivered as a backhanded whiny complaint, not as constructive criticism.

Yes, they managed to actually say what their issue was with the story, but insulting the author & throwing in a few hahaha's turned it from being constructive criticism to a whinge & dump on the author rant.

richardshagrin
Updated:

Those that can, do. Those that can't, criticize.

It is difficult to criticize constructively something you don't like. Particularly when you don't have a lot of experience doing it politely.

I doubt authors will be glad to receive criticism unless it is phrased with extreme care, and even then some won't think it is constructive. It is certainly easier to move on to another story than actually send something to the author.

Depending on what the author gets, and how much of it is phrased in a way he or she can stand to read, no matter how the author responds, or doesn't, sometimes there may be something of value in getting some kind of reaction.

I am hoping to read lots more about "Stupid" Boy, even though his football perfection might get a little monotonous, and his wish fulfilment success with his female friends is somewhat repetitive. However if reality replaced success with failure he might be less interesting to read about. Getting girls pregnant and nothing bad happening to him may be a character defining issue. Like always winning, getting rich, and having an enviable love life are memes (is that a word that fits here?) that appear in other successful stories. Stories that end with the hero getting crucified are few and far between. The only example I can think of is the holy bible.

If you don't like what the hero does and is, the normal approach, for most readers, is to find something else to read. Maybe authors should be slightly pleased even when the criticism is hatefully phrased to get feedback. But you don't need to reply to the sender, unless you want or need to establish a relationship.

Replies:   Grant  Crumbly Writer
graybyrd

@Ernest Bywater

The big advantage Trump has over Hillary is Trump isn't likely to sell the country out, the way Hillary and her faction have been doing.


If we (US) survive the Trump government, I can only hope that Trump might choose to retire to Australia. Once there, perhaps he'll be granted grace and will resume his political career as an Aussie. Y'all seem to be made for each other.

Replies:   Grant  Ernest Bywater
Grant

@richardshagrin

Stories that end with the hero getting crucified are few and far between.

And they tend to result in losing the audience en masse.

Grant

@graybyrd

If we (US) survive the Trump government, I can only hope that Trump might choose to retire to Australia.

No thanks.
We've got enough idiots divorced from reality as it is.

Current classic is excessively rich bloke went in to politics to stop taxes affecting his mining companies. Which he succeeded in doing, before getting booted out at the next election. After which one of his companies went broke anyway- after months of denials of financial problems.
They can't afford to pay money owing to debtors or workers, yet in the months before it went belly up it was able to afford to pay rich bloke's political party heaps of money.
Not that had any bearing on the company going broke, oh not at all...

Oh, and his nephew, Clive Mensink who was a director of the company that went belly up had to go over seas, even though he was soon to appear in court to answer questions about the company's demise.
Now he's feeling rather poorly and requires $50,000 to cover his costs to return to Australia to answer questions in court.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Crumbly Writer

@richardshagrin

Stories that end with the hero getting crucified are few and far between.

Try reading a few of my stories. 'D

However, I've got to admit, some of the most insightful responses I've ever gotten to a story are my "I loved your story, but ..." where they continue to tell me why they'll never read another story I write.

Invariably, I write back. Since I have experience with beta-readers, and know to dig beyond the first answer when asked what they dislike, I know how to approach the questions. But once I get beyond the "you're too liberal" or "Your character is too ...", they reveal some very insightful information on why others might also be having problems. You can't always address those issues, but if you know it's a problem, you can at least recognize it for what it is, and consider ways of working around--whether that's how you approach stories, or how you write you story descriptions. A critical critique is often more productive than dozens of glowing "I LOVE your stories" ones that provide no insights into why readers don't appreciate your stories.

Finally, as I've mentioned before, I often conclude those letters with "Well, if you don't like this/my story/stories, maybe you'd appreciate ...". That way, you leave on good terms, you help spread the wealth, you let them know you respect their opinion--even if you can't change your story.

Never forget, someone who isn't interested in a given story may not read/buy your book, but anyone you piss off will tell all their friends to never read/purchase any of your stories because you're an ass. And that hurts you more than the loss of any single reader. You instead lose dozens of potential future readers.

In short, it never pays to argue with readers, even if what they say is complete misguided (readers typically recognize crazy when they see it, and negative reviews lead a sense of honesty to all your glowing reviews).

graybyrd

@Banadin

This is on the original thread. Should I spend time answering someone who doesn't care for my work, or write for those that do? Ignore the small hearted bastards, you owe them nothing.


It depends on your motive for writing. Principally, you should be writing for yourself; your decision to share is simply that, sharing, for readers who choose to read and who, hopefully, enjoy your work. As for critical responses, treat them the same as you hope the readers treat you: if it's helpful feedback, say so; if its a barking rant, say so, but don't argue the points.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@graybyrd

As for critical responses, treat them the same as you hope the readers treat you: if it's helpful feedback, say so; if its a barking rant, say so, but don't argue the points.

Helpful advice. Best of all, don't encourage them to badmouth you. Simply kindly explain why you can't change the nature of your story and suggest other stories (similar to yours) that they might enjoy more.

It's better to have someone who admires you, but doesn't read/buy books, versus someone who'll badmouth you to everyone he talks to. And if they're really obnoxious, suggest they read authors you REALLY dislike! 'D

graybyrd

@REP

Personally, I think Greg is presenting a character who is accepting responsibility for his actions. Although, David does continue to act in a promiscuous manner.


I agree; this seems to be the correct summation. I've fervently wished that some higher power (perhaps the author?) would stuff that character's penis back between his legs under a cast iron jock strap, superglue it there, hence freeing the young man to get on about his life. Unless, of course, the young man is incidental to the plot and the penis is, in fact, the true protagonist.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
EzzyB

It's not so much, in this case, the character.

It is exactly as some of you have said. He seems sincere, takes responsibility, then flies to California and fucks a few more actresses.

It's in our media everyday. Hey maybe all those baby-daddy rap singers or wide-receivers, or power-forwards feel that way about the children they left behind.

It doesn't keep us from cringing that it happened. Very few of us think that it is a good thing.

So a reader feeling that way is understandable. Our readers don't lose their moral compasses because they read sex stories.

Everyone has their turn-offs. Mine in incest BTW, I roll my eyes at almost every story that includes it (and damn if almost every story doesn't include it). I can relate to that reader. I didn't like that it happened, don't like that the choice of guardianship was taken from the girl. Her dad is now gone and he never gave her the choice, just demanded custody in court because his money and contacts allowed him to.

Now all that being said, I am still reading the story, and I'm still enjoying it. For me it's not a fatal flaw, just something I didn't particularly enjoy.

My message to G was simply don't sweat it, you can't please all the readers all the time. You went out to the ledge and one fell off.

Ezzy

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@graybyrd


I agree; this seems to be the correct summation. I've fervently wished that some higher power (perhaps the author?) would stuff that character's penis back between his legs under a cast iron jock strap, superglue it there, hence freeing the young man to get on about his life. Unless, of course, the young man is incidental to the plot and the penis is, in fact, the true protagonist.


One approach I appreciate, is when a character is acting wrong (say sleeping around), there's some form of payback, even if it doesn't change their behavior. That way, you at least know the author recognizes he (the character) is an ass. What's more, I also appreciate harem stories where the lead character get turns down, and every woman he meets doesn't simply jump into bed with him but stands on their principals (at least that way, we finally learn something about the female characters in the story).

Switch Blayde

@Grant

Current classic is excessively rich bloke went in to politics to stop taxes affecting his mining companies.


Clint Eastwood wanted a liquor license for his restaurant (bar?) in Carmel, Calif. He didn't get it. So he ran for mayor and won — and got his liquor license.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

Clint Eastwood wanted a liquor license for his restaurant (bar?) in Carmel, Calif. He didn't get it. So he ran for mayor and won — and got his liquor license.

Trump wanted Schwarzenegger fired from "The Apprentice". Once he was president, three guesses what happened? ')

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

Trump wanted Schwarzenegger fired from "The Apprentice". Once he was president, three guesses what happened? ')


He didn't need to be president to do that.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ernest Bywater

@graybyrd

I can only hope that Trump might choose to retire to Australia.


Well, if we had to take either Trump or Clinton, I'd rather take Trump because he'll do a lot less damage to the country.

Replies:   awnlee jawking  REP
awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater

Ayers Rock would become a hazard on the 18th fairway ;)

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

Ayers Rock would become a hazard on the 18th fairway ;)

BTW, there are many Australians who would be offended by your use of its former name, Ayres Rock, instead of Uluru.

Ernest Bywater

@Ross at Play

Ayres Rock, instead of Uluru.


And the tribe who gave it that name and made it a sacred site would just love to have free access to it again. But they haven't been allowed near it since the Hawke government gave it to the tribe that forced them out of the area in the early to mid 1800s.

KinkyWinks

@G Younger

I quit reading the story because it was no longer believable. I realize that it is fiction but there is just no way that every female in the story would drop their panties the minute he enters the room. I can believe the sports part, but the girls just ain't going to wait in line for him. That and it was being posted so slow that I had a hard time getting back into it with each chapter. So, I chose to just quit reading it, seemed like the simple solution to me.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

Ayres Rock


Was it named after Pam Ayres, the poetess?

I am sure Australia has its fair quota of the professionally offended, but I suspect outside Australia Ayers Rock is better known than Lieutenant Uhuru.

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play
Updated:

@awnlee jawking

I am sure Australia has its fair quota of the professionally offended

As much as their historical treatment deserves its central place in the Australian Politicians Hall of Shame, the indigenous races have much more than their fair quotas of both the professionally offended and the professionally offensive.

REP

@Ernest Bywater

I'd rather take Trump because he'll do a lot less damage to the country.


Your opinion, which I disagree with. As an Aussie, you also don't have to live with the internal-US consequences of the man's actions.

Ernest Bywater

@REP

As an Aussie, you also don't have to live with the internal-US consequences of the man's actions.


Technically, that's true for all US presidents, but when the US government makes decisions that affect other countries via business, then we all have to suffer the effects of what they do. When the election came down to Trump or Clinton there wasn't much to look at in either camp. But, like the US voters, Trump is better than Clinton. It's a pity she knifed Bernie Sanders early on, because he would have beaten Trump without any trouble.

Replies:   Grant
awnlee jawking

@REP

Australian mining companies make Trump look positively innocuous. I'm not sure whether has Australia has introduced fracking yet, but that was pre-Trump anyway.

AJ

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@awnlee jawking

I'm not sure whether has Australia has introduced fracking yet, but that was pre-Trump anyway.


It was pre-Trump by a very wide margin.

Harry S. Truman was president the first time a US oil well was fracked (1947).

https://energyindepth.org/national/you-missed-a-spot-a-timeline-of-hydraulic-fracturing/

Yes, fracking is used in Australia and has been for at least 5 decades.

https://www.santos.com/what-we-do/production/hydraulic-fracturing/

Switch Blayde

@KinkyWinks

but there is just no way that every female in the story would drop their panties the minute he enters the room


Isn't Lubrican successful writing stories like that? Not only do they drop their panties, but get pregnant with his child. At least in the few I read.

Replies:   KinkyWinks
Grant

@Ernest Bywater

But, like the US voters, Trump is better than Clinton.

Not in a million years.
But then your personal issues with the person blind you to reality, and so any facts that don't support your point of view are considered either false or irrelevant, and anything that supports your point of view, no matter how far it diverges from the facts, becomes a fact in your eyes.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater  Not_a_ID
Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

Trump wanted Schwarzenegger fired from "The Apprentice". Once he was president, three guesses what happened? ')

He didn't need to be president to do that.

No, but it certainly didn't hurt ("what, you expect to be allowed into White House Press conferences? Guess again!").

KinkyWinks

@Switch Blayde

I don't think I have read any of his stories and probably wont. I just can't get into a story that could not happen. I have said several times that most of the sex stories on SOL could swap a lot of paragraphs and no one would know.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Ernest Bywater

@Grant

But then your personal issues with the person blind you to reality, and so any facts that don't support your point of view are considered either false or irrelevant, and anything that supports your point of view, no matter how far it diverges from the facts, becomes a fact in your eyes.


physician, heal thyself.

Replies:   Grant
Grant

@Ernest Bywater

physician, heal thyself.

At least i'm aware of such issues and don't consider myself to be immune from them.
You'd have to acknowledge you have an issue before you could resolve it.
I don't see that happening any time soon. So status quo it is.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Switch Blayde

@KinkyWinks

I don't think I have read any of his stories and probably wont.


Lubrican is very popular on SOL based on his scores and that he won SOL contests (I think he won the first one, but not sure of that). I believe he's also doing well as a self-published author on Amazon.

He writes well. And not stroke.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Ernest Bywater

@Grant

you have an issue


Ayep - my issue is I hate lying thieves like Hillary, especially when they try to cover up or put the blame onto others.

awnlee jawking

@Switch Blayde

He writes well. And not stroke.


I agree he writes well. You're never left guessing at who a speaker is or who is performing an action.

While his stories are not straight stroke, there's usually plenty of sexual encounters described in enough detail to qualify as stroke scenes.

If/when I post enough stories to qualify for Premier membership, one of my first actions will be to read a Lubrican story for Premier Members only which is described as a thriller. Now if only I can remember the title...

AJ

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@awnlee jawking

While his stories are not straight stroke, there's usually plenty of sexual encounters described in enough detail to qualify as stroke scenes.


I still use the definition of stroke as "no plot."

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Switch Blayde

I still use the definition of stroke as "no plot."


I'd prefer something along the lines of "liable to extract reproductive fluids from a senior". :)

AJ

Not_a_ID

@Grant

Not in a million years.
But then your personal issues with the person blind you to reality, and so any facts that don't support your point of view are considered either false or irrelevant, and anything that supports your point of view, no matter how far it diverges from the facts, becomes a fact in your eyes.


Hillary would have been a disaster which could potentially never be recovered from. At least if you happen to be part of the Majority of people(not to be confused with Hillary's plurality) that voted for anyone but her or the Green Party.

Trump probably will be a train wreck, but it's unlikely he will both directly implement changes most people do not want, and manage to get said changes to outlast his term of office.

Unlike what would have happened with Hillary in office, as all she really needed to do was leave Obama's stuff alone in large part and simply tweak here and there. Although the bigger factor was the prospect of what the judiciary would look like after an 8 year Obama Administration followed by a Hillary Clinton Presidency. Which is the real lasting legacy more than a few were looking at.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Not_a_ID

Unlike what would have happened with Hillary in office


Like lifting the sanctions on Iran and giving them $300 billion dollars to support terrorism.

As I previously said, we had to choose the worst of two evils.

Back to Top