1. LordWarGod

    LordWarGod Banned

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    Short Stories Sub-Forum Is Dead

    Discussion in 'Support & Feedback' started by LordWarGod, Sep 18, 2018.

    I'm actively trying to find a forum where I could post parts of my story for feedback, it's an insanely difficult search as a lot of forums usually have dead critique sub-forums such as the Short Stories one. The last story posted in the General Fiction one was posted on the 8th of September and hasn't gotten any replies at all. As soon as I saw some threads that dated back to 2016 or 2017, I knew there wasn't a whole lot of activity going on there.

    Is there anywhere I could go to find a decent feedback forum for my stories or am I doomed to roam the world with no feedback for an eternity?
     
  2. Irina Samarskaya

    Irina Samarskaya Senior Member

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    I suggest simply talking about parts of it and engaging some folks and finding those of a like mind willing to give you a read (like through a Private Message).

    It's not the most direct route, but it's a plausible one.
     
  3. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    You could also try posting it as one of the Monthly Contests so long as it fits the prompt. There's occasionally some discussion about the stories during voting.
     
  4. LordWarGod

    LordWarGod Banned

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    Talking about parts of it? I'm not sure what you mean, do I post a short excerpt and ask people to give me feedback on General Writing?
     
  5. Irina Samarskaya

    Irina Samarskaya Senior Member

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    I mean like characters, plot (which you did), inspiration, style (first or third or whatever person), etc.

    And then among those most interested, directly message them to see if they'd be interested in seeing your work directly.

    Personally, you know it's not my thing. However if you specify parts of it (characters, story, inspiration, etc.) then you can at least talk about those things. And those most curious might offer themselves as readers OR you could just ask. Like a general post of "YO PEEPS, I GOTZ ME A STORY ABOUT DOOM AND GLOOM. PM FOR DEETZ!!!" could in and of itself be used as a net to grab in the fish you want.

    I don't know where to find people of a given niche, but I'd start with people of common values and taste. Like if there's a macabre and gloomy forum that you know of (or can find) then chances are they'd dig the nihilism. Here, though, it's harder to catch and most folks are wannabe writers and not necessarily the audience themselves. After all, the most important people are the readers who do it for fun since they're going to make 99% of your sales.

    Writers and critics, while potentially very helpful in figuring out how to please the consumers, are still not the main focus (which is the consumers who might become fans and spread the word of your existence and thus roll up-hill the proverbial snowball).

    However if you just want help for the creation stage and aren't ready to actively look for consumers to read your work, then you could/should make specific topics about more specific things and try to get wisdom from other writers (or at least gauge what passes financially so you can measure yourself against that standard) and maybe some critical eyes. And on getting those critical eyes: I would recommend direct messaging those most active in criticizing you since they're most likely to read you as they invested their time in you already.

    Of course, you have to take it all with a bag of salt since writers are not always the general market and what you want is probably the niche that best fits your mindset and content. And for that, I recommend nihilistic groups/forums. However I think this is more of "how to sell" rather than "how to find beta readers". For the latter I recommend polite persistence and prioritizing those that most often respond to your own pitches for ideas/help. After all, they've already given you more time than most, so they're the most likely to actually give you a read (and I think most people are averse to reading unless they get a hook--one way or another--that pushes them into curiosity. Being upfront about what you're making will most likely attract your audience, or at least writers not too dissimilar to yourself, and from there you can just direct message and ask for a review of a part or the whole of your book/draft).
     
  6. LordWarGod

    LordWarGod Banned

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    Yeah, I'm trying to find readers rather than writers, writers are more interested in their own works which makes it difficult to get good feedback. If I could find readers, I'd get a better idea of how interesting my story is and if I need to change it up at all. I'll probably just have to figure it out myself and judge myself instead, finding readers is impossible.
     
  7. Irina Samarskaya

    Irina Samarskaya Senior Member

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    Or just shop around some other forums where people generally want to read (Wattpad maybe?) or ask for specifics around here and then make proposals with those who stick around!
     
  8. LordWarGod

    LordWarGod Banned

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    I tried Wattpad, it's kind of like playing a pay to win MMO at this point. Can't really get anybody interested to read my stuff since they all flock to the well known authors and I really hate the idea of pestering people to read my stuff as well. I like to be patient and let them come to me, which also doesn't work unfortunately.
     
  9. Irina Samarskaya

    Irina Samarskaya Senior Member

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    You can't sell what isn't known. Gotta market! And while that's much more important in actual selling, it's still important that you persist in getting interested people (not just online but in your own life) to read you and evaluate you. My take was very negative, but it probably confirms that someone of a more empowered disposition is turned off by nihilism.

    Ironically you'd be a true nihilist if you gave up on writing because what's the point? Even if you make money, it's still just to live a little bit longer, so why not check out completely? And if what I said sounds like a load of horse shit, then perhaps you ought to reconsider your central theme because you don't have it in you to take nihilism to its logical conclusion.

    And from there you'd appeal to more... alive people
     
  10. LordWarGod

    LordWarGod Banned

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    I think we may have gotten off the wrong foot earlier on, my story isn't nihilistic and it's really difficult to explain my story without revealing what happens in it. It's a lot more complicated than I let on which is why with my simple explanation, it may seem quite "nothing is worth it" but in reality it's pretty much a combination of Game of Thrones' political spectrum, Warhammer 40k's brutality and grimness, DOOM's excessive violence, Darksiders biblical overtures and Dark Souls 3 vibes all over. I've spent maybe two years world-building this stuff so I've got a ton of backstories written, perhaps I could do that, focus on the backstories and not talk about the apocalyptic ending of my universe. It might draw in readers to read a world rich with complex politics, backstories and connections that span over a period of 80,000 years.

    I think at first glance, people think my story is just going to be another edgy "doom and gloom" story when it's a pretty fleshed out world with visceral cultures, characters and politics.
     
    Irina Samarskaya likes this.
  11. Irina Samarskaya

    Irina Samarskaya Senior Member

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    Yes. That and different people have different priorities. Like, even though I write a lot about political ideologies and morality, I would not care at all about the systems or the nations or the cultures if I did not have lovable characters to drive them. If I cannot be made to care (and I generally care for humans more than concepts) then everything else becomes meaningless.

    Like I'm pretty much the exact opposite of a nihilist because I believe the world has meaning through people. Without people, who cares. But ever since the dawn of civilized hominids, suddenly the universe got interesting... fast-forward some thousands of years later, and the world at large is interesting because it has my investment (literally, as a member of it), has an interesting on-going moral and ideological struggle, and provides endless opportunities for a good life. It's also easier to be alive now than ever. Every era has its issues, but modern issues are mostly trivial compared to historical issues. It's easier now than ever to spend time doing fun things and needing to only work a little to sustain them. Food is easily accessible, water is cheaper than ever, and if you're an American or Russian there's a massive country to pick a dwelling place from.

    History is a generational process; therefore it makes sense to focus on what we can do to affect ourselves and those dependent on us, and in doing so shape the future.

    Therefore, having said this, I am generally attracted to stories of heroism against darkness, of discerning right and wrong, and of enjoying life as it is (from the simple to the human). If I ever feel fearful or something, it is easy to remind myself how good I and everyone in my generation has it compared to our ancestors in terms of everything I described above (availability of food/water, medicine, entertainment, etc.) and of course the super magical cloud known as "Internet", which opens a world of possibilities in and of itself...

    As far as references go: I know Game of Thrones and am a major Souls fan, so I'll speak with those references in mind.

    Dark Souls is thematically interesting because it's purposely cryptic and open-ended. Miyazaki successfully imparted what it's like to only half-understand a foreign-language novel. I cannot say for certain what the overarching themes are but I have noticed in every Souls game how it's always the guy who decides to solve the world's problems that becomes the dominant one by the end. In Demon Soul's, he may choose to retire and let his Maiden in Black put the Old One to sleep. Or he can diabolically kill her and seize the powers of the demons for himself. In Dark Souls 1, he can either follow Gwyn's example as the ruler of the world ("firekeeper") or let the old world die and lead a new world ("dark ending"), presumably dominated by humans. Souls 2 and 3 are rather similar though they portray it as a repeating cycle.

    Ultimately the message I took is that struggles are endless; he who fights determines the world that comes after the war. He who sits simply has to accept what the victors tell him. I've heard darker/cynical interpretations but it's vague enough to fit mine (that when a world is in its greatest crisis, there lies opportunity for the crazy hero to do something about it--either good or evil, though what Fire vs. Dark is supposed to represent is vague though irrelevant to my point).

    Game of Thrones I've interpreted as an analogy to the laziness and selfishness of the Boomers who exploit the young; and I interpreted Daenerys Targeryn as the reckless young who, seeking vengeance, end up making things worse (at least in the short run). Old vs. young is a consistent theme in Game of Thrones, and the age of the characters seems to reflect the generations of America since the Baby Boomers (Tywin Lannister, Stannis, etc.), the 60's/70's born (Jaime and Robert Baratheon--who reminded me of Bill Clinton) and the young people (Jon Snow, Daenerys) who represent the millennials or Generation Z (or both).

    But enough of that; I think I have some idea but I wanted to share my interpretations of Dark Souls and Game of Thrones to help you understand what I imagine you to be aiming for (to some degree anyway).

    I think the key is simple: generational conflict. How history, though prone to rhyming, is still infinite in potential given a long enough span of time. Instead of focusing on only one cast of characters, you could instead make it generation by generation.

    Like Book 1 focuses on the first generation. Book 2 the second. and so on, and so forth. What's the hereditary conflict? I'll leave that to you since you have a world in your head--I think you know how to use it better than I do.

    A rather obscure game, Record of Agarest War, intrigued me because it tried to mix a tactical game with an RPG with generational progression. It spanned 5 generations and portrayed 5 generations of heroes struggling against a Big Bad and eventually ending the war by the 5th's end. It wasn't all that interesting, the gameplay was "meh", but the concept was very interesting and the characters were a mix of lovable and forgettable. A real missed opportunity, I think.

    Perhaps you could fuse your mentally-created world and historical repetition with the idea of generational progression (and thus, family and day-to-day life making that family and then rearing that family). It's an untapped market (at least I think it is) and it gives that sense of inspiration and actionable courage that people like myself seek while also exploring the idea that history repeats and that over a long span of time things can seem silly or small (or whatever). Personally I think the world only matters because we live in it. Without people, the world doesn't matter. However that's me, you could create a foil character with the opposite perspective and have them debate each other (either directly of in their actions by living differently and thus exploring how their different life choices affect the future and thus what is possible).

    Before I go on; do you get what I'm suggesting? I think if you want to "novelize" generational conflict like Dark Souls or Game of Thrones (as I find that the common thread) then I think fusing your world ideas with the idea of the cast being successive generations over the course of the books is a great idea. To be clear, to emphasize the point; Book 1=Generation 1; Book 2=Generation 2 (kids of 1); Book 3=Generation 3 (kids of 2) and so on and so forth, for as long as you think is ideal (and as long as your readers might like).
     
  12. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Thy rod and thy Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I don't know your story or style, but "General Writing" may be the worst sub-sub-forum to post in to get quick engagement. It's sort of a catch-all for things that don't fit elsewhere and may not have many dedicated watchers. My preferred genres (to read and to write) are Horror and Flash, so I've got alerts set for whenever a new story posts in either of those categories. If it's something that appeals to me and I think I can help, I try and chime in with my 2 yen, but since my time is limited, I don't stop into the other sections very often. I suspect other members probably watch their preferred genres the same way.
     
  13. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    you cant post for feedback anyway until you meet the criteria for the workshop
     

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