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Smaug the Golden


All is not lost; the unconquerable will, and study of revenge, immortal hate, and the courage never to submit or yield: and what else is not to be overcome?

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May
31st
2016

On Why It Isn't Haters, and Why Comments are Important · 1:11am May 31st, 2016

Something that's bugged me for literally forever is the assessment by a lot of people that 'it's just haters'. I can count thousands of instances where I've seen authors or artists (or my sister) say that the only reason their story isn't getting a positive reception is because people hate them or their work, regardless of their quality. Well, time for me to tackle why that isn't the case as often as people claim. In fact, I'd wager that it isn't even a .1% occurrence

Well, let's start at the basics. You've went and created your masterpiece. You've made your magnum opus, and you've submitted it to the world. When, after it hits site, you receive maybe half a dozen downvotes instead of the praise and adoration you expected. Obviously, this must be because all those terrible individuals who never speak up yet always are to blame are the cause of this. Wait...

Suffice to say, this isn't (usually) the case. It's easy to just go and blame some faceless entity who can't defend itself, or some individuals who you've seen disliking your stuff before, but that is generally a cheap way to go. Odds are, there's a legitimate reason for why you've gotten downvotes. We, content creators in general, suck at acknowledging our own faults. It's basic human nature. Nobody wants to say 'whelp, I suck', because that's us admitting that there are parts of us that we might not be happy with. It's freaking painful to acknowledge, and oftentimes people just aren't willing to reconcile with the parts of us that are less than desirable.

But, moving past the 'it's the writer's fault', what about the people that are doing the downvotes? Maybe your story has flaws, but quite a few of them can be chalked up to haters, right? I'd argue not. Let me put it this way. Most of us likely have downvoted stories without a comment, yes? Most likely, it was because you didn't have the time or energy to write one. Here's the thing. If a story has a large amount of downvotes, and you downvoted it without a comment because of some issue you had, then you likely qualify as a hater in the eyes of the author, if they're that type of person. How many times have you seen your story wrack up downvotes and decided that it was haters? How many times have you downvoted without comment? Because if you've done both, then you're both decrying the people who're doing what you've done.

This isn't meant as an attack on people who've done either of those things, far from it. But I do want to point out that if we're decrying anonymous downvotes to haters, you're likely doing that exact same thing at one point or another. I want to say that it doesn't bother me, but it really does. I'm tired of one side claiming to be haters when they don't get an explanation for downvotes. I've downvoted a few stories without leaving a comment, up until the point where it drove me insane. It's the reason I take up people looking for reviews on their stories. It's why I've joined review groups. We aren't perfect, let's be honest, and that's likely part of why some constantly chalk it up to haters. People are allowed to dislike your stories. People are allowed to remain anonymous. But it is nice to hear something other than radio silence.

I'll be honest, I'm not the best. I've downvoted some stories here or there without comment, or I've just ignored others entirely. But it is worth it to leave a comment. If you've got the time when you're reading a story, consider leaving a comment about what you thought was good or bad. It sometimes won't get across. I know that firsthand. But at the very least, you tried to give advice. And, sometimes, you'll run into authors who're struggling with their story's reception. Leaving a comment, telling them what they're doing right and wrong, can really help them out.

Like I said, we're not perfect, and it's not a perfect world. But consider what I've said, even if you disagree with it. I do think leaving a comment could greatly help authors in general. I mean, most of us started off as amateurs. Some of us still are. How often were you grateful for advice you received? How many of you had moments where you needed advice when you were in a rut? It wouldn't fix everything, but I do think leaving a comment, even if it's something as simple as 'your description feel bland' would help. Feel free to disagree, and I'd love to hear your thoughts. :twilightsmile:

Comments ( 12 )

3984840 Actually, I'm arguing that people's habit of accusing rampant downvotes on haters is usually incorrect and that we should try to give criticism more often. The step in-between is sort of a void, and nobody ever wins with that. :applejackunsure:

3984871 No. I'm arguing that, when your story receive downvotes, blaming it on just excessive haters is dumb approach to take.

But it is worth it to leave a comment. If you've got the time when you're reading a story, consider leaving a comment about what you thought was good or bad. It sometimes won't get across. I know that firsthand. But at the very least, you tried to give advice. And, sometimes, you'll run into authors who're struggling with their story's reception. Leaving a comment, telling them what they're doing right and wrong, can really help them out.

This, all of this. I completely agree upon. While I can only speak for myself, if one is going to take the time to read a story, it is not a far cry to take the time to write a short comment. Even small ones saying they liked/hated it, are worth far more than a dozen upvotes.

3984904 People do have varying reasons for giving downvotes. For me, I try to accompany a downvote with either a comment or review, depending on the story. Also, glad you agree about the haters. It's a topic that's been on my mind for far too long, and I figured a lengthy blog would probably help me formulate my thoughts. :derpytongue2:
3985102 I'll be honest, the sad part is that I think a major part of it is due to the type of hater response. In fact, for quite a while I was too scared to comment on a harshly downvoted story, mostly because I was worried the author would explode in my face. It's been ages since then, but I am really glad that there are review groups and people who actively seek out criticism, as opposed to pushing away people who have other opinions.

Woah:rainbowderp: talk about a new look on life. That was like a slap-in-the-face. Normally I don't comment or leave anything for stories and just assume the reason good stories have negative votes is because of some stubborn people that just hate the subject in general and don't even care to look at the content. :applejackconfused: well........:twilightblush: I'm glad I read this to gain a new perspective

Putting in my two cents, the downvote feature on this site has only one real function; to keep your work from making it to the front page where it would be seen (and read) by many more people who visit this site.

Having published stories on this site (all of which I have removed) I experienced massive downvoting on those stories regardless of how well or poorly they were written

Having spent some time investigating reasons, whys and wherefores, I was forced to the conclusion that there are more than a few writers who post on this site who tend to frown on competition from other writers. These writers range in quality from excellent to shit-tier but, for whatever their reasons (usually having to do with immaturity and insecurities) they will downvote other writers who they may feel are a kind of 'threat' to them, (think 'trigger'.)

Haters? No, those are relatively rare, here. Insecure, immature individuals with dilusions of grandure and dreams of massive praise and fame? You can't swing a wet towel without hitting one of those, here.

3986674 It's a more prevalent issue than I would like, hence why I made the blog. Glad I made an impression. :twilightsmile:
3989621

Putting in my two cents, the downvote feature on this site has only one real function; to keep your work from making it to the front page where it would be seen (and read) by many more people who visit this site.

No. It's function is to express a dislike for a work. They're generally there for the reader's benefit, such as saying 'this is good' or 'this is bad'. People have the right to downvote a story that they deem is of poor quality in order to provide a measure for people who are considering reading something or not. Unfortunately, on the same hand, it also affects the authors.

Having published stories on this site (all of which I have removed) I experienced massive downvoting on those stories regardless of how well or poorly they were written.

Hate to sound harsh, but I have little sympathy here. I actually called out this type of accusation in the blog.

Suffice to say, this isn't (usually) the case. It's easy to just go and blame some faceless entity who can't defend itself, or some individuals who you've seen disliking your stuff before, but that is generally a cheap way to go. Odds are, there's a legitimate reason for why you've gotten downvotes. We, content creators in general, suck at acknowledging our own faults. It's basic human nature. Nobody wants to say 'whelp, I suck', because that's us admitting that there are parts of us that we might not be happy with. It's freaking painful to acknowledge, and oftentimes people just aren't willing to reconcile with the parts of us that are less than desirable.

I do think that most stories, if they receive a fair share of downvotes, likely have something less than desirable inside them. I've actually spent the past couple weeks/moths doing my best to help authors who have received more downvotes than they would have liked, and in almost every instance there was some glaring issue, or issues.

Having spent some time investigating reasons, whys and wherefores, I was forced to the conclusion that there are more than a few writers who post on this site who tend to frown on competition from other writers. These writers range in quality from excellent to shit-tier but, for whatever their reasons (usually having to do with immaturity and insecurities) they will downvote other writers who they may feel are a kind of 'threat' to them, (think 'trigger'.)

:applejackunsure: Again, very much disagree. There's probably a few of them out there, but they are few and far between. The site mods actually have a way of telling it someone is downvoting without reading- I've actually seen screenshots of how the system works, and they have proven that they take steps to handle issues like that.

Haters? No, those are relatively rare, here. Insecure, immature individuals with dilusions of grandure and dreams of massive praise and fame? You can't swing a wet towel without hitting one of those, here.

You misspelled delusion and grandeur. Anyway, I don't think anyone here doesn't want to have their work appreciated. I'd be lying if I said I didn't want my work to succeed. But accusing a majority of the site of being insecure people who have delusions of grandeur is something else entirely.

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