On Getting Readers To Comment On Web Fiction

There’s a fairly interesting discussion on reader comments going on right now at the last Novelr guest post (by IsaKft on O’Reilly’s TOC conference). See, for instance, this comment by Bill:

Fluffy_seme is totally right, a frying pan doesn’t make one a better chef, just like a BMW doesn’t make someone a good driver.

I think that her observation applies to web fiction writers unnervingly well. A lot of weblit authors feverishly discuss the latest blog platforms, or the newest site designs. But many web fiction writers are still making the same mistakes that writers were making when the cutting edge technology was a Smith-Corona.

They’re writing cliched, underdeveloped characters in cliched, underdeveloped stories. It is the exception rather than the norm that authors actually keep to their update schedules. And frighteningly too many writers are rude and condescending to those who don’t gush over their work.

There’ll NEVER be any technology that will change that. That’s the responsibility of writers.

It just so happens that I think Bill’s right. When discussions pop up about reader interaction in web fiction, the majority of the solutions being bandied about are technological. And of course some of the solutions are technological. No-one would argue against the utility (and comparative ease!) of the like button vs the comment box, for instance, and you’re more likely to get ‘liked’ than you are to get a good long comment. Certainly the method of response affects the kinds of responses you get, to a certain degree.

But there are other factors to consider as well. Are readers not commenting because:

  • Your story sucks?
  • You don’t have enough readers?
  • Your story is good but it isn’t engaging.
  • Or perhaps you’ve been rude in the past?
  • Or you don’t respond to comments? (or you don’t have a mechanism that emails commenters when you’ve responded!)
  • Or you’re writing the kind of story that doesn’t encourage comments? (For example: I find that I don’t comment when reading literary web fiction, I tend to think it over and then shoot the author a thoughtful email at the end of the entire book; whereas I comment like a fanboy when reading superheroes).

I suppose what I’m trying to say is this: getting better reader interaction is a function of several different variables. And certainly, tech-related mechanisms are about half the solution. The other half is caused by story/response-related variables, and as an author your job is to test these things, to figure out which of those variables are the ones that are giving you the reader:comment ratio that you currently have.

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Category: Writing Web Fiction
  • http://www.dreamfantastic.com Alexander Hollins

    YES! YES! A thousand times YES!

    There was reader interaction long before the net. People came to cons, sent fan mail. Things are more immediate now with the net, but the number one way to get readers is STILL to write a good story.

  • http://gabrielgadfly.com Gabriel Gadfly

    I think that second bullet point gets underestimated a lot. People seem to be under the impression that 20%, 30%, or more of their readers should be leaving comments. The reality is far from that.

    I remember an article I read once (I don’t remember by who, but it was one the better blogging experts, someone like Darren Rowse) where the author mentioned that their site — a site with tens of thousands of visitors every day — had a ratio of about 1 comment per 1000 visitors. That’s a one-tenth of one percent, on an information-based website using end-of-post questions and other tactics to encourage comments.

    If your site is only averaging a few hundred visitors a day (or less!) is it any wonder you aren’t getting comments?

    I think the one thing that offsets that is reader loyalty. Most good writers gather a small cadre of readers who comment regularly, no matter the site’s overall traffic numbers.

  • http://www.novelr.com Eli James

    @Gabriel: well the ratio differs too, right? So you can have a site that has a lot of users, with only 1% commenting, and you can have a site with a small reader-base, but almost everyone in it is highly-engaged and responsive (I’ve seen both, and it is probably a combination of author personality+story+genre, and a few other things).

  • http://www.dreamfantastic.com Alexander

    On the same token… Is anyone here against the idea of using Herd Mentality? In another life, I almost went the route of marketing (they asked me to check my soul at the door.. sigh), but I still think that way, and my day job takes advantage of some of those ideas. One thing that I know is that people are more likely to comment once other people already have, if for no other reason then to chime in agreement or argument. So…

    Would making fake comments on posts pretending to be a reader to get other people to comment be…. immoral?

  • http://www.phantasiaonline.com Dary

    Hurrah! You’ve pretty much said the things I’ve wanted to say, but couldn’t find a way to *say* them.

    Certain types of fiction just aren’t suited to between-instalment-discussion. If you write this kind of story, then you’ll just have to deal with it. These are usually the ones designed as a novel first, and a serial second.

    Writing a serial is not the same as writing a novel. A novel is like a film: you don’t pause every ten minutes to discuss what’s happening – you do that once the film is over. On the other hand, a serial is more akin to a TV series or soap opera. You can break that down further by making a distinction between series that are episodic, and series with dense continuity. The latter is the one that encourages the most fan interaction, but is also the one that puts off new readers!

    And even then, you’ve got to engage the readers and give them a *reason* to comment. The nature of the instalment will affect this – from my own experiences, it’s the “wham episodes” (to use the TV Tropes terminology) that garner the most comments, followed by those developing audience-favourite characters. Transitional chapters are the worst. The cliffhanger has a big effect too, and I throw in a quick poll related to the chapter’s events that has, on several occasions, caused some heated debate.

    I’d say writing an engaging serial is as much an art as writing an engaging novel, but although certain things overlap they’re still very different beasts. I’m still learning and experimenting – but not with new technology or interaction options, but different ways of presenting the story, of telling it.

  • https://www.unexploredhorizons.net ubersoft

    The following is only a hypothesis on my part, but I think that this quote might be the most important clue as far as getting comments goes:

    For example: I find that I don’t comment when reading literary web fiction, I tend to think it over and then shoot the author a thoughtful email at the end of the entire book; whereas I comment like a fanboy when reading superheroes)

    What is the difference between literary web fiction and reading superheroes? The difference for Eli is, when he reads about superheroes he “comments like a fanboy.” Why is that?

    Some genres, some kinds of stories, and some kinds of sites build communities rather than audiences. And if you build a community around your work, you are more likely to get comments. A web community is built around something where people feel a kinship and a shared identity, where the interaction and speculation about whatever the focus of the site is because as important as the focus itself, and in some fashion the members of the community feel a sense of shared ownership, along with the author/creator, of that content.

    And in that respect, I think I disagree with Bill somewhat… an author who writes on an “average” level but knows how to draw the reader in to a community he or she builds up around the work will generate far more immediate feedback and audience interaction than an author who writes something spectacular but keeps the reader at arms length. Which doesn’t mean that the second author has failed — I think some stories naturally lend themselves to community-building, others don’t, but doesn’t make the “others” any less good, or enjoyable, or even potentially successful… it just makes them harder track by making it more difficult to achieve a visual cue.

    Anyway… that’s a pet hypothesis of mine, and I haven’t really had a chance to test it because I’m not that great at community-building. :-)

  • Zali Jun

    “It is the exception rather than the norm that authors actually keep to their update schedules.”

    It’s sad that this is true. If I find a great story but it takes months for the author to update I probably won’t end up reading it.

  • http://firebird-fiction.com/the-dragon-wars Becka

    People also tend to put barriers between themselves and readers. If I have to register to comment I generally won’t comment unless there’s some other reason to register. Readers already see comments as chore – the harder you make it the less comments you get.

    I think Ubersoft is probably right about communities. Take Addergoole, it has such a lively fanbase not because it has many more readers than other web fiction offerings but because the Addergoole Forum is a community.

    As to sucks or not – your stats give you a fair idea on that. If you have a growing group of regularly returning IPs it’s probably not terrible.

    Not having enough readers – this is always a big one.

    Oh and I’m pleased to say I haven’t missed an update yet…

  • http://gabrielgadfly.com Gabriel Gadfly

    @Eli: That’s very true; some sites have a better ratio than others. But you’ll never get ALL of your readers to comment. A reader who doesn’t comment is still a reader, and even if they don’t comment, they might tell others about your work or buy things. I just think the amount of time and effort spent trying to finagle comments out of your readers would be better spent by trying to get more of them.

    @Alexander: Making fake comments would be immoral. Why would any writer want to make a sham out of their work? There used to be a writer on Weblit.us (before he was banned) who would post reviews of his own work on sites like Amazon and Web Fiction Guide, using assumed names, in order to pad his ratings. I see making fake comments on your own site as being another type of the same sockpuppetry.

  • Bill

    Hey Eli. I didn’t think my comment could start a post on it’s own, but anyhoo….

    @Becka – Soooooooooooo true. I know personally that I only comment on sites where I’m allowed to register anonymously or I can just fake an e-mail account to leave my comment.

    If I have to work to comment, then I’m not commenting.

  • https://www.unexploredhorizons.net ubersoft

    There are a fair number of readers of my webcomic who are like Bill, and that brings discussions of technology back to the center of the stage… because a site has to strike a balance between making commenting accessible vs. opening it up to a flood of spambots. And usually the easier it is for someone to comment anonymously, the easier it is for spambots to completely drown out those commenters with posts advertising… different kinds of growth products.

  • Bill

    @ubersoft – An extremely good point. There’s a former agent, Nathan Bransford, that has a blog on Blogspot.

    It generates a word verification thing that seems to offset this. But of course, no solution is perfect.

  • Bill

    Eli, I wanted to point out a clarification. My rant is about more than just getting readers to comment.

    I think that people disrespect and waste the gift that is technology in the 21st century; and I think web fiction writers are the WORST offenders. In the lively discussion we were both having with Lee on your other post. He made an excellent point.

    “This actually implies that our current technology does indeed change the game: the very ease of making writing available may tend to degrade it.”
    Nail on head. Writers are using the tools that make it easy to write and share and they are literally using it instead to put out trashy work.

    This is a tragedy. Really.

  • https://www.unexploredhorizons.net ubersoft

    I remember back in the late 90s, before mp3.com went public and was still a gathering place for indie musicians who were distributing their music on the site, that this same conversation took place. One particular conversation I remember was a musician (a good one) complained that because mp3.com didn’t vet the bands and artists who posted music there, “anyone could record their farts and post them for download.” That’s nearly an exact quote.

    In the early-to-mid 2000s there was the same feeling among some of the more successful webcomic artists — they felt the medium was, essentially, “too accessible.”

    It’s true to a point. Whenever you make something more accessible and easier to do (I refer to publishing rather than actually creating) then you’re going to find a bunch of people who do not meet your standards of quality creating and posting things that you dislike. Perhaps even things that embarrass and mortify you.

    That’s OK, and it’s not a tragedy. The advantages of accessibility far outweigh the rest of it.

  • Bill

    I guess IsaKft’s post struck such a chord with me because the fate of the web fiction writer is a cause that’s close to my heart.

    See, we are in that twilight of the saga of the web fiction writer. Our budding nation of writers is either at it’s dawn or at it’s dusk. This is either the start of our brand new day, or we are at the point that we’ll forever be relegated to the backwater of the internet’s nether regions.

    We NEED a breakout hit. We need the online fiction version of Order Of The Stick or lonelygirl15. We need a web fiction writer to get on some local talk show and talk about how he “never dreamed that writing little chapters on his iPhone was going to let him retire from his call center job.”

    We need that champion to kick down the gate. And it will NEVER happen as long as we care more about blog themes and what font our PayPal button should be more than we care about our first duty as writers, to thrill and inspire and frighten and boldly take our audience where they’ve never gone before.

  • https://www.unexploredhorizons.net ubersoft

    Well I don’t disagree with that at all! But to a certain extent it’s important to care about the technology that allows you to deliver that, and it’s equally important to understand and accept that what makes something accessible is a two-edged sword.

    Discussing technology is not navel-gazing because if you’re self-publishing you need to know your publishing platform, how it works, what its limits are, and how to make it as convenient as possible for your readers to keep reading. You also need to know that choosing a purple background with light pink text for your web novel format carries with it certain consequences that you will have to live with if you decide to go that route.

    That said, treating technology as if it supplants actual STORY in terms of importance? Yes, not helpful or useful… but consider this:

    Genres are different, different writers care about different things. A horror writer will not necessarily care about science fiction, fantasy, romance, coming of age, abstract, philosophical works, etc. In other words, the greatest romance novelist on the web and the greatest mystery novelist on the web may find they have very little to contribute to each other’s milieu in any appreciable manner… but they can talk about their websites, and e-books, and marketing, and how many of their fans comment on their posts.

  • Bill

    @ubersoft – “Discussing technology is not navel-gazing because if you’re self-publishing you need to know your publishing platform, how it works, what its limits are, and how to make it as convenient as possible for your readers to keep reading.”

    Too true, my friend, too true.

    “In other words, the greatest romance novelist on the web and the greatest mystery novelist on the web may find they have very little to contribute to each other’s milieu in any appreciable manner… but they can talk about their websites, and e-books, and marketing, and how many of their fans comment on their posts.”

    Also very, very true.

    But that’s part of my frustration. I am not a tech-hater by any means. I wish that there were horror writers swapping the most effective donation models. I wish there were a superhero writer and a coming of age comedy writer discussing the best eBook formats.

    But just like IsaKft noted, those aren’t the conversations that are garnering the biggest noise. Let Eli have a post on a bookstore that’s running a promotion where they rent out Kindles for an hour with every purchase of a Sookie Stackhouse book, and you’ll get a jillion comments in roughly an hour.

    Let, say, MCM post about whether online readers like stories about internet fiction saavy characters, and you’ll be lucky to get 10 comments on the year.

  • http://inmydaydreams.com Jim Zoetewey

    I’m in the odd position of being a web developer while also using the web as a platform for sharing my writing.

    At one point, I deliberately avoided learning about WordPress so that I wouldn’t be distracted by that sort of thing. Then my job began to include modifying WordPress installations. Now I still mostly ignore the programming/design aspect of things, but I know that freely available WordPress templates don’t quite match what my site should be. So, I’ll probably create my own one of these days. I haven’t gotten very far with it yet because the story has a higher priority.

    Still, it’s important to do, I think, so that the site itself doesn’t present a barrier to readers.

    As for the issue of technology cheapening/degrading the writing… I don’t know. I tend to think that bad examples are easier to learn from than good ones.

    With a good story, I find I enjoy it, and pay no attention to why it works. With a mediocre story, I find myself asking, “Why does this suck, and how can I avoid doing it myself?”

    And then I stop reading, and find something more interesting.

    With regards to comments (and the original article)… The number of comments on my story has slowly grown. Partly, because I comment in response. Partly, because early on I wrote asides at the top of the post that people could respond to. I’m sure there are other reasons too.

    I find that people tend to comment more as sections end, a complete picture of what’s going on forms, and sometimes when things start moving in a particularly interesting new direction.

    I think there’s less in transitional episodes (as Dary mentioned), and in sections like the current one, where we’re racing to the end of several different storylines, and no post is really completely finished.

  • http://vjchambers.com V. J. Chambers

    Well…while I totally agree that content trumps form and that a good story will garner more interaction, when I switched to wordpress, I started getting more comments.

    Before, I hand coded my sites and people had to click out of the current page to a linked forum to discuss things. So…I’m not saying technology fixed the problem, but I do think that having better technological tools made it easier for my readers to comment.

    Interestingly, I’m pretty sure I have less readers now on wordpress than I did on the other site. (I stick to my update schedule, but I take long breaks between books. People drift, never to be heard from again. Sigh. :P) And I still have way more comments.

  • http://www.fluffy-seme.net Isa

    Dary I just wanted to say that I love the ‘stopping a film every 10 minutes’ analogy ^o^ So accurate… may steal it hahahah~

  • http://www.dreamfantastic.com/about/ alexander

    Dary, I disagree about serial vs full length. I had this discussion recently in email with a person who was looking at hosting with me, but felt that none of her already finished novels would be good for serialization. Dune was originally written as a serial. The first three Foundation books. Almost every novel Charles Dickens wrote. Almost every novel Poul Anderson wrote. The first few xanth novels, as well as several other Piers Anthony novels (remind me to post the short essay Mr. Anthony was kind enough to send my way when I started up a writers group on geocities back in ’98). Several Heinlein novels were serials originally, the Sherlock Holmes novels started as serials. There are a LOT of serial novels that didn’t do anything fancy in terms of a hook at the end of each section. It was just a 20 chapter book, published one or two chapters at a time in a magazine. Alfred Hitchcock’s mystery magazine, Ellery Queen, Amazing, Astounding, and later, Amazing and Astounding, Omni, Asimov’s, Fantastic stories. The serial novel was once KING. And they did nothing different then writing regular novels, other than chopping them up. People bought the next issue not because of a cliffhanger, but for the same reason you pick up the book you put down last night, to see how the story goes!

    Bill, Ubersoft agreed completely. I feel that my own stories are lacking because of the time and energy I’ve spent learning wordpress and fiction marketing, and such. And thats okay. Because now, I get to tell other writers, you send me your story, I’ll take care of that for you. Its great.

    You guys mention though, that a lot of people are taking the new media and writing CRAP! Trust me, thats nothing new. You just now get to SEE their crap. All these same people would write in notebooks, share their drek at conventions and critter groups, post it directly into web forums and email lists. I can’t tell you how much SHIT I’ve read. Sturgeon’s law my friend. BUT! this means that YOU the reader gets to be the one finding gems in the offal. We used to let the publishing houses do that, but these days, its not whats good, its what sells, and those aren’t always the same thing. Yes, there are a LOT of bad writers out there. There always were. Technology has made it easier for them to inflict it on you.

    (Of course, even then, crap slides through. We had a woman, an Arizonan like myself on my writers group, The Leaking Pen. She wrote a craptastic story about a woman torn between her love for a vampire and her love for a werewolf. Really cheesy stuff, almsot bdsm at times. Two dimensional characters, plots lifted from bugs bunny cartoons, you name it. We all told her it was crap, nicely, of course. She got huffy and left the group. And now shes a freaking millionaire. sigh.)

    Jim, its a truism in marketing that less than one percent of the people that like you will say anything, and about 20 percent of the people that DON’T like you will say something. So thats standard behavior, that you don’t think about things you like, you just like them, but you take the time to think about and break down things you don’t like.

  • http://inmydaydreams.com Jim Zoetewey

    I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s normal behavior. I’ve heard the same thing.

    That being said, my main point was that that having the dreck, the good stuff, and the almost good all visible is useful because I’ve got the opportunity to see them side by side, and get a sense of what works in a way that makes it more obvious than it would be otherwise.

    The mistakes good writers aren’t making are hard to detect when you don’t have the actual mistakes to compare them to.

  • Bill

    Because us webfic writers are such a young corps; it is decidely NOT ‘OKAY’ that so many of us put out stuff that is either forgettable or outright garbage.

    Because of the stage we’re at, we ALL get judged by the dreck rather than the gems.

    They won’t look at the successes like The Legion Of Nothing as an example of our viability. They’ll instead harp on the countless poorly written, rarely updated, even more rarely proofread, stories with a–hole authors.

    That’s why I feel like we need that one overwhelming success that outshines the failures. For instance if there’s ever a newspaper story about how some Hollywood producer just happened to stumble across “some internet superhero story written by an unknown Michigan web developer and decided to ask him to produce it as a script for a possible TV show”, we’ll won’t have to convince anyone to read webfic.

  • http://firebird-fiction.com/the-dragon-wars Becka

    Bill,

    The problem is people aren’t putting out dreck to spite you or anyone else. You can yell “stop posting dreck” and no-one will, because no one believes it applies to them. Or worse the very people you don’t mean will stop posting because talented writers often lack self-confidence, while hacks are supremely secure in their confidence in the talent they don’t have.

    You can’t Gatekeep the web, no one can. It’s a many to many medium. People will use it and most of them will publish crap.

    It’s true: most webcomics, blogs etc are drek as well. 90% of the web is crap. No one cares, because people link the good stuff. Links are the glue of the internet. When was the last time someone linked you to something that was bad? And web users don’t make a big distinction between blogs, webcomics, wikis and webfiction. It’s all just stuff on the web.

    In other words I think that you’re making a mountain out of a molehill that doesn’t even exist.

    And webfiction isn’t young. It’s been around as long as the rest of the web.

    Becka

  • http://roydss.blogspot.com Miladysa

    As a reader of web fiction I used to regularly leave comments. I have since fallen out of the habit. I suspect there are a number of reasons for this, and the majority have nothing to do with how much, or little, I enjoy the writing.

    Like others here, I do not want to have to register in order to leave a comment. Nor do I want to jump through hoops to read “bonus” stories etc. In addition, I like my web fiction to be FREE. Shocking but true :)

    One of the things I like most about web fiction is the variety. I think that is, certainly in my case, one of the biggest draws alongside availability. Unlike deadtree publishing, there are no gatekeepers.

    Some writers may have a problem with this free for all and the fact that a high percentage is not what they consider to be of a high standard. Personally, I do not have a problem. If a story fails to appeal, I am only a click away from my next FREE read.

    Furthermore, I admit to having enjoyed web fiction which was not what some would consider high quality. Admitedly, there may have been a scattering of spelling mistakes and gramatical errors along the way. Nevertheless, it was entertaining. Perhaps not a 5-star read but still worth my time. More than I can say for a lot of highly polished stories out there.

  • http://www.dreamfantastic.com alexander

    Bill, webfiction is older than porn online. there were a couple of original novels being written online back when it was DarpaNet, and lotsa fan fic. Also, just as much PUBLISHED material is dreck. Nature of the beast.

    Miladysa, agreed. I find theres a certain level of typo and bad grammar I can ignore if the story is good.

  • http://firebird-fiction.com/the-dragon-wars Becka

    Alexander,

    I knew original online fiction predated the web (I was reading it then) but back when it was DarpaNet? How far back are we talking? Technically Darpanet didn’t fully shut down until 1989 but I assume you mean earlier than that…

    Usenet appeared in the early 80s and I know people used to write fiction there, but are we talking earlier than that?

    Seriously, everytime I think I’ve found a start date it get’s pushed back further. :-D

  • Bill

    @Becka – I certainly don’t believe that anyone does anything to spite me. I’m not trying to come off like some snobby schoolmaster chiding the dawdling children playing with the internet. Quite the opposite as a matter of fact.

    I am saying that web fiction is still considered a novel concept of to the general public. Furthermore, much of the web fiction that is out there is judged by it’s poorer examples, rather than it’s better achievements. I don’t say this from some embittered place, I say it as a matter of fact.

    It is irrelevant to point out how long web writing has been on the web. The point is most of the general public MIGHT be able to name 2-5 web stories and their authors, tops. There are a great many people who cannot tell you what a webserial IS let alone name one.

    Beyond that, the general public’s perception is that ANY writing that is produced independently is lacking in polish and quality. If this wasn’t true, wouldn’t it have been traditionally published??

    This the reality of how we’re perceived. And it’s my feeling that we ignore this reality to our detriment.

    Yes, traditional publishing has it’s equal share of poorly written dregs. But traditional publishing has spent countless millions to achieve a place in the public’s mind so that you can have 1000 crap books, but still the industry is judged on Rowling, Patterson, and King.

    We’re are NOT THERE. Yet. Until then, we must work twice as hard to keep up.

  • http://www.dreamfantastic.com Alexander

    Becka, an old coworker of mine wrote a novel that he shared in parts with friends via email on darpanet while he was in the Navy as a programmer and tech. I wanna say mid early to mid 70’s, because I recall that he went to berkely in 79 after getting out to get his degree.

    On the original thread of, we need a breakout work, I have one thing to say about that. Its going to be aimed at kids/teens, whatever it is.

  • http://firebird-fiction.com/the-dragon-wars Becka

    @Bill – I guess the thing is I just don’t think the perception problem you talk about exists. There’s plenty of evidence suggesting readers don’t really know the difference between Traditional or Indie. Most of the sources who yell about how awful non-traditionally published work is are traditionally published authors who lose something of their validation if Indie authors are just as good. Most people wouldn’t know if a book was trad or indie unless you told them.

    The lack of perception problem you mention definitely exists however. Most people don’t know that 90% of what we write is dreck because they don’t know that we write at all. The fact that this wasn’t always the case makes it even more frustrating. But we’re not going to have another break out success until we stick our heads above the parapet again.

    At times it seems the web fiction community, for all its wails of “where are the readers”, is subconsciously sabotaging itself our of fear of reader rejection – after all if there are no readers they can’t reject you.

  • http://roydss.blogspot.com Miladysa

    I have been giving this a great deal of thought and considering why I, once a prolific commenter, rarely leave comments these days. At the same time, I have been looking at what happened with my own readers and comments.

    Rightly or wrongly, I’ve come to the conclusion that I have developed into an anti social web fiction reader. By that I mean that I still enjoy reading online, but I’ve grown out of, or simply can’t be bothered with, being part of the “comment community” and the time and effort it takes to it keep up.

    I’ve noticed with Refuge of Delayed Souls that as the online comments increased, some readers ceased commenting on the site and simply sent me an email or tweet. I have found myself doing the same thing on occasion too, especially when I felt outside of the reader clique.

    Sometimes I feel foolish leaving an open comment. I would prefer there to be a private conversation between the author and myself rather than a permanent record for all the world to read.

    Not sure if this is making any sense.

    As I writer, if I had a choice of a thousand comments or a hundred readers I would choose the readers. In addition to that, I really want to know if they enjoyed the story.

  • http://damyantiwrites.wordpress.com/ Damyanti

    This is an interesting post. I haven’t really written web-fiction much, unless you consider flash-stories emerging from writer prompts.

    I have been doing a daily series of flash-pieces on my blog for a challenge for the month of April, and though I have a sort of audience in the other challenge participants, I also see the difference in the comments—some say “Well done!” and move on, whereas others would dwell on what they like, and why they like it.

    I realise that a lot of effort has to go in to hook readers and keep them interested if I want them to comment on my stories.

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