Sunday, March 04, 2012

Comments vs Reviews

If you missed it, my humor-horror flash fiction, "Audition With The Vampire," is up at Every Day Fiction. I think it's a fun bit of speculative whimsy, but of course, that's for you to judge. :)

But here's the deal. If you like it, great. I'd like to hear about it. But if you don't like it, just move on. An online magazine's comment section is not a place to critique or review the story. IMHO.

Here's why. The story has already been purchased and published. The magazine thought enough of it to pay money for it and post the dang thang. Any criticism won't change the story. It's done. Over. Who cares if you'd write it differently? I wrote it, you didn't. You either like it or you don't. Let others read it and come to their own conclusion.

Comments are different than Amazon reviews. There, a story is for sale - it's been published (by the writer or publishing house) but has not yet been purchased...by a new customer. The purpose of the review, then, is to inform other paying customers whether the story is "worth it."

Short stories in online magazines, free to the reading public, don't need a warning from some individual for whom the story "didn't work." Again, who cares whether it didn't work for you or not? Most of the time, the critical comment simply reveals the reader's genre bias or misreading of the story. And almost always the comments are anonymous. Go figure.

Sour grapes? Maybe. Like you, I don't like negative feedback. I do, however, seek criticism when I'm in the crafting stage of my stories; but once it's done, it's done. Can I learn from someone's after-the-fact comments? Sure, but only insofar as they relate to crafting my next story.

That being said, I'm writing mainly for me, not you. I like my light and airy style, my humor, my characterization, and my "predictable" plots. I've been told my dialog is believable, witty, snappy, etc. This feedback is helpful. Telling me you'd change the ending of my story isn't.

Okay, rant over. Comments (not reviews :) welcome.


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