1. kcasteel2004
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    kcasteel2004 Member

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    How do I get people to read?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by kcasteel2004, Jan 21, 2008.

    I'm new to writing but know how to tell a good story. There is one thing I can't seem to get. How do you get someone to even read your story?

    I have tryed forums, friends, teachers, my mother/father, and anyone I can trust but for some reason no one will even look at it. Is that anything you could suggest that may make people read?

    Its not that the story is bad or getting critz its that they will not even open the story up and look. I'm not sure if it's something I'm doing wrong or if I'm missing a trick or something.

    What do you do?

    Thanks alot and hope you can help :)
     
  2. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    There really isn't much you can do in my opinion. You can't force people to read something. I know I often pass stories that are posted if I lose all interest in them in the first few sentences, or if its a massive wall of text.

    WF.org has a rule where you have to give two reviews for every piece you post. That helps but often ends in one of those quick "oh I liked it it was good" comments that really does little to help.

    There are things you can do to boost your chances of a actual review:

    Don't post anything really long. Keep your posts short (Just a little bit of your story if its over 3000 words of course 3000 is the max word limit of a single post. I would go and say keep your submissions under 2000 words to boost chances) and you're likely to get a reviewer that goes through the whole piece. No one wants to sit down and read somethign that just keeps going and going on a forum. We buy books for that! Keep it short and your more likely to get a good review.

    Make sure its properly formatted for the forum. The means there should be a line between the beginning and the end of each paragraph since indentation doesn't work (Anyone ever wonder why indentations don't work in online forums?).

    Give reviews and good ones. I know when someone gives me a nice review I get the feeling to give them a good review. By good of course I mean a constructive review that points out flaws and advantages.

    A good way is to PM one of the reviewers. They try to get everyone who asks a in depth review. If all else fails just send them a message and they'll get to you.
     
  3. kcasteel2004
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    kcasteel2004 Member

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    Thanks alot I will try what you have said.

    But in places like school and stuff like that is there anything you would suggest that may get people interested in reading?

    I would never force someone to read anyhting I write, but getting to the point where I can't see where I need help other then grammer and spelling.

    Would you be more willing to read a story that had a cover and pictures even if they are not to good?
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    about the only way you'll get your work read, other than on a site like this, is to have it published... why don't you submit some of your work to the school newspaper?... and the local ones where you live... if it's good enough, you should be able to get a piece in here and there, even though they're not paying venues... and you can always submit to those, too... check out all the opportunities here: Duotrope's Digest (A Resource for Fiction Writers & Poets)

    and if you want an opinion on whether it's good enough to submit, you can drop me an email any time... i can help you fix it if need be, as well...

    the main thing is to keep trying anywhere and everywhere, but don't pester friends and family to death... they're the last people you should show your work to, anyway, as you'll never get any neutral feedback there...

    love and hugs, maia
    maia3maia@hotmail.com
     
  5. Aether
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    Aether Member

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    Talk about it non stop. Just chatter away about it and talk it up when you talk to someone. I do that even when I don't want anyone to read my work. And first, start off with making a very, very, very good short story. When I say short, I mean 1 page. When they read that they'll be interested in what ever else you have to show them. If your problem is something to do with encapsulating the audience. Then work with your imagination more. Also, this is the only place I have actually ever gotten a few replies. I'm also good at telling stories but people aren't interested in that. That's why they go out and buy books *or for those cheap people, borrow*. Unless someone is genuinely interested in your writing, you won't get good critique anyway. Which is why I posted this. Where is your story, I'll check it out and give you all the advice I can see. My e-mail is Aether.Fhuerie@hotmail.com
    Can I ask this one question? What's your pride and joy's title?

    @lordofhats: I think indentation doesn't work on the internet because of the many options you can choose by using the tab button. I'm not really sure. Or maybe Bill Gates has taken over every computer manufacturing company and is implanting some sort of virus that disallows you to use the indentation... sick bastard. Evil plan? Well, I dunno. Bill Gates is pure evil though. I wouldn't pass him up as a suspect of anything crappy to do with computers. :-D
     
  6. Domoviye
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    Domoviye Contributing Member

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    For this forum, just ask a review to review it. and we will.
    I can't really help you with other places though. I don't insist anyone read my work, if they want to they can.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A fact of life is that many new joiners will come in for the sole purpose of posting a favorite piece or two of their work, wait to collect praise, and disappear, never to be seen again. Those members are also competing for the Reviewers' time.

    The best way to distinguish yourself from the "give me some love" joiners is to show you are serious about putting in the work to become a better writer. This means posting thought-out reviews of other people's work, participating in discussions of writing issues, all the things that would make you stand out in a positive way in a live classroom.

    The same holds true outside the forum. Make it clear that you respect people's opinions, regardless of whether they feel your work is up to professional standards. That doesn't mean you will implement every suggestion, but it means the people you are trying to get opinions from must believe you really want their honest opinion. It may even help to point out a part you are still struggling with, to see if they can come up with ideas to improve it.

    If they think you are going to defend you original version for every point they raise, don't bother; they won't bother either.

    And never, ever tell them how good the piece is. Hopefully, they'll tell you. You'll be better off if they tell you what's wrong with it, rather than what's right with it. Knowing what's right does far less to help you make it better.
     
  8. kcasteel2004
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    kcasteel2004 Member

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    Thanks alot for the help everyone I will try everything you suggested.
     
  9. SeaBreeze
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    SeaBreeze Banned

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    There's a saying that you can bring a horse to water but you can't make it drink. You can get people to look at your work but you can't MAKE them actually read it. I personaly hate it when people put PLEASE READ! before their title. I fight the urge to do that myself but I grudgingly admit it works and gets attention but hey, does that mean someone is going to sit there for ten minutes to half an hour reading your post? A lot of people will just flick over it before continuing on their way. So yeah, don't force people, just politly ask without pestering them every couple of hours!
     
  10. DavidHG
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    DavidHG New Member

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    Read aloud. Seriously. This isn't necessarily what you are looking for, but it's creative and can actually work. Here's what I mean:

    You could use underground marketing techniques, similar to campus preachers, who are always able to collect a crowd just due to the spectacle. Get a soapbox, stand on it and begin reading your story, with copies in a box for anyone to take.

    Yes, it sounds ridiculous, and while it may not satisfy the workshop need you're trying to satisfy, it may do wonders for your enjoyment of your own words. And you never know who might stop to listen.
     
  11. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Nobody cares as much about your writing as you do. Not you best friend, not your mother, not your spouse, not even your agent or editor (if you have one or both). It's a fact of life.

    If you do offer your work to someone and they are willing to read it...make sure it is the best you can give. Sloppy formatting, poor grammar, rife with spelling errors and plot holes writing will turn off a reader. Fix it ahead of time. And if the writer doesn't fix it, and the issues don't turn off the readers, what are they going to comment on or remark about? The poor grammar, obvious plot holes, sloppy formatting, spelling issues, etc. What value is that to the writer? Very little.

    Write, revise edit, let it sit and go at it again before posting or offering it to someone to read. The reader will have a better experience, and be able to provide better insight, praise, concerns and suggestions. The writer will come away with what they need more of in the first place. That counts for both in person and on forums.

    If it's a novel you're hoping a friend will read, give them a chapter...not the entire manuscript. If they set the printed pages aside, after a week or two, just ask for it back and explain someone else is wanting to look at it for example (if it's true). Don't hold a grudge and don't pressure. Even the best writing may not be of interest...I don't care for romance writing for example.

    The two for one rule works in the forum. In person, can you do something--a favor for the reader--not to guilt them into reading but maybe as a trade off?

    Just a few ideas. Hope they help.

    Terry
     
  12. Stinger
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    Stinger Senior Member

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    If all of above failed try to put a gun on people's head and force them to read.
     
  13. EyezForYou
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    EyezForYou Active Member

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    Your story needs to be interesting, and hook them right away.
     
  14. Bittergrace
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    Bittergrace Member

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    TWErvin2 has it right.

    Judging by your post here, you definitely need to work on basic grammar and spelling issues. I realize this is a forum and not a polished bit of work, so naturally things slip through from time to time, but it is an act of love to struggle through a story that is full of mistakes the author should have taken time to correct before asking for feedback.

    Also, if you really are encountering a lot of trouble in finding people to read your stuff, the problem might be your writing. Take a good honest look at how good those stories really are. Is the story trying to do too much? Do you tell too much instead of showing? Are your characters copy/paste from cliche?

    Good luck.
     

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