When comments become collaboration…

One of the main reasons I began my blog four years ago was to use it as a place to feature my written work and to establish an online presence. At the time, I hadn’t written anything but the first rough chapters for what would eventually become my first novel. An unintended consequence of blogging was finding a community of writers (and readers) who would become invaluable sources of feedback and support.

There are some things to consider when you post your writing on your blog. Most of the fiction I’ve shared over the years has been in the rough draft stage. This is when the work is most vulnerable to criticism. The readers are going to find all the flaws and inconsistencies in the story, all the things you haven’t worked out to complete satisfaction. (Especially if you are writing by the seat of your pants!) Hopefully, your readers will be kind and constructive with their feedback and hopefully you have the spine to use the critique to improve the work rather than be hurt or insulted.

Occasionally, something really special can happen though… In posting sections of serial fiction, the readers may envision the plot heading in a completely different direction from the one you intended. The same is true of a short story. A reader may see the ‘what happens next’ when you see the ending. It is fantastic when your followers are invested enough in the story to comment and speculate about the next chapter. Even if you don’t use the idea a reader presents, having another perspective can inspire future writing. Now this is not to say that you should be driven off track by the demands of the reader. Nor should the reader feel impelled to impose their will on the writer. After all, this is your creative work. But having that collaboration among writers and readers can make the story even better than you had imagined.

Extreme irritation…

On Friday, I told you all how my comments were going to spam. Now, apparently at least in one place they aren’t even making an appearance there. As was recommended, I tried to contact Askimet to alert them of this problem, but they are “out of the office” until September 22! I’m sure you can imagine how incredibly frustrated I am.

Take that Askimet:

 So know this: I have tried, and will continue to try to comment on your posts. Please continue to check your spam and/or pending folders for my comments and set them loose if you find them. I am hoping that the “disappeared” comments that haven’t even made it to spam are just lagging in time somewhere. AND, AND if anyone has any suggestions as to a solution, I’d love your help.

Sorry and thank you all at once!