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Asking for more?

I'm not going to name names here, in case the folk involved are paranoid enough to google themselves (and a couple of them are)... and, if anyone involved is on my flist or reading this, this is a YMMV sort discussion.

There's a discussion on a FB group I belong to, where one of the folk is loudly bemoaning the fact that someone read their fic, and liked it enough to ask something along the lines of "I love the story! Are you going to write a sequel?"

There's a group of writers (fan and pro) who are prolific and well liked enough that I suspect this gets to be tedious... when you put out what is a relatively generous size fic and folk write "great! moar!" it can be exasperating...

But, well, that's like 2% of writers, who are that prolific -- and have that many fans. The rest of us churn out fic at reasonably decent rates and I think it's actually flattering when someone asks the same question... or occasionally asks the "gee, will there be more?" of a fic that I wrote like 5 years ago.

To react in a totally negative manner to the poor soul asking what they think is a flattering question is, in my opinion, a bit much... there is a group of folk that will stomp all over the commenter, who may not be familiar with the "never ask questions or beg for more" stance the writers may have adopted, taken from the person who started it.

The person who started this has set up hoops to get to the fic and is very clear about the "do not ask questions, do not ask for more" stance. I guess if you're taking that same stance, you should be clear about it -- on every fic. Set up moderation and delete comments that you feel are annoying. But if you aren't clear about this stance when you post, you can't complain about it.

I'm flattered if anyone asks and generally answer with a "if the muse strikes me, there may be more"... which I think is a relatively polite answer and, honestly, the truth. I have gone back to a few stories and written more in that vein... so, while it's unlikely, I think it's a reasonable, and polite, answer.

It's just a frustration of mine when folk who think they are being polite and encouraging get some pretty vicious responses... I know it's made me more cautious about leaving feed back...

Especially when I'm reading a WIP, I would comment on the fic, and then leave a "I'll wait (not so) patiently for more!" as a -- hopefully -- cheerful comment that, when you're ready, I'll read the next part... I find myself doing that less and less, just so I don't offend someone who doesn't want to be asked for more...

Le sigh.

[end rant]

This entry was originally posted at http://goddess47.dreamwidth.org/45097.html. Comment here or there as you please.
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Comments

If there are authors who are being rude to people who simple like something they wrote and indicated that they'd love to see more of it, it's no wonder comments have dried up. Who wants to be slapped down for saying something they no doubt intended to be encouraging?
Exactly! Most of the 'complaints' I've seen have been as the result of a fairly benign comment... they take what was meant to be encouraging as a critique...

It's frustrating and sad...

My standard answer to requests for a sequel is: 'At this time I have no plans to write a sequel, but if the muse strikes I never say never. Thanks so much for reading'. I don't see it as a good thing to be rude to people that admit they enjoyed my fic so much they want more of it. I will admit though that sometimes I do find it annoying when I've written the story I intended to write with the ending I wanted it to have and people think it needs an addendum. But I wouldn't be rude, I just stick to my standard reply.
I'm lucky to not have run into the "moar, now!" attitude and the folk who ask have really been polite... so I do, like you, a pretty standard "who knows, thanks for asking" sort of response...

It's not that hard to be polite -- heaven only knows who's behind that username!

I guess I can understand it might feel annoying if it happens all the time - but I'm usually so happy that someone liked it enough to actually want to read more that I find it a compliment. To me, it would seem bad form to stomp on someone for saying they would love to see sequels to a particular story.

I'm usually pretty leery of reading WiPs because when I started reading fic back in the Buffy days, there were so many that were never finished. I typically only read a WiP if I know it's a reliable author who will likely finish it.
I can see the prolific folk who have lots of fans getting annoyed by it... esp since I suspect there's a lot of asking about "when's your next fic going to be out?" That will get old fast...

But for the rest of us, that's more of a rarity... so being asked about more is, as you say, more flattering than anything.

I try to pick WIP that have recent updates... I'm guilty of having a bazillion subscriptions on AO3 for fic that are WIP. I also subscribe to a bunch of folk on AO3 where I like their work... so I get fic updates regularly, enough that I have a filter on my mail for AO3 notices...

::grin::

Good to see you!
Good to see you too! I wish I could make it out to squee this year, but alas, it is not to be. It sounds like you guys are going to have a hoot!

Maybe next year *crosses fingers*
Oh man, yeah. I'm always aware as I leave comments that some people hate that kind of thing. At the same time, I want them to know that I enjoyed it so much that I'll look forward to more of their work? It's hard to strike that balance. To be honest, I think a lot of people don't bother commenting anymore because of such strong reactions like this. Not the only reason of course, but it's definitely not helping.
You're right, it doesn't help... it makes leaving anything more than a benign "Nice fic" a sometimes risky thing....

And I definitely don't leave comments for the folk who think this way... so it's their loss...

Good to see you!
I've seen the kind of thing you're taking about and I'm with you hon.

It's frustrating, sad, and completely turns me off from reading anything else by that writer.
In know... it's frustrating..

And, you never know who's behind the username that you've just stomped all over... I like to think there will be karma and they will offend someone they should not have... not just another fan, but -- oohh... -- an editor.... or someone who was going to rec their fic...

I'm thrilled too get comments, even from those who ask if I'll be writing more. I hope that someday that will happen. :-D
I know... even a request for more on a fic that has obviously ended, is treasured...
I'm also flattered whenever someone asks for more of a fic, and I'm genuinely bummed when I have to say that there won't be any more of it. On AO3, I figure that there's the added layer of someone asking because they want to know if they should bookmark/subscribe to the story or me as an author.

It's ridiculous to expect someone to inherently know and understand the entire culture of a group, and it's one of the reasons why a lot of LJ etiquette/newbie guides, for example, remind everyone that they too were new once, and people don't know things that they -- well, don't know. Hah. Agreed that if you want to inculcate that sort of response, you should post that rule (or THE rules) in every header, or, as you said, moderate comments, since it's apparently that important a Thing in the group.
That's a good thought about AO3... not always sure when something's going to be a WIP or not...

And, yes, AO3 has lost that etiquette guide... not everyone is playing by the same rules, and we don't even know it!

It's just a frustration of mine when folk who think they are being polite and encouraging get some pretty vicious responses... I know it's made me more cautious about leaving feed back...

All it would take would be me even *reading* one nasty response to someone's complimentary request for more to make me scratch that author off my reading list. Seriously.

Like most people here, if someone asks me when something else is coming out, or if I intend to write more within a specific storyline--I'm flattered. Sometimes there's no more story to tell, but sometimes the interest sparks an idea in my head. Either way, how hard is it to be gracious and explain your position?