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Lesson Six : Reader Responsibility
Back to: Lesson Five : Taking Good Pictures
One last thing (for now) that I've been seeing, is the lack of constructive comments given by the readers to the author. Although this isn't part of the storywriting per se, in a feedback-based environment such as this forum, it can be essential to the writing process.

To The Authors:
As an author, don't be afraid to ask people to critique your work--you only get better through learning from your mistakes! Also, please don't take offense to Constructive Criticism comments that people leave.

*Constructive Criticism - Take it, think about it, use it. If someone says "you spelled a few things wrong in Chapter 5" don't get your panties in a knot! Look at Chapter 5 to see whether their comment is true or not. If, after consideration, you agree with the comment, then do your best to fix the problem. At the end of the day, all it does is help to improve your work! Also remember that you don't have to change what you don't agree with and you don't have to listen to people who make comments like "u suck". (The authors here seem to be pretty good about taking constructive criticism.)

*Updates - I know that people can pressure you pretty hard for an update sometimes when you're not ready to update yet. You should, if at all possible, try to work ahead instead of working spontaneously (example: you release Chapter 5 when you're finished writing Chapter 6 and Chapter 7 so that you have time to revise Chapter 6 before you release it, instead of releasing Chapter 5 right as you finish writing it). And if you're not planning to update for some time, don't feel bad about telling them so! Never, NEVER rush yourself!

To The Readers:
As the reader of a story, you should always make it a point to be aware of not only the things that you do like about the story, but the things that could be improved! You should never be afraid to tell someone your honest feelings about the story, good or bad. However, keep in mind that this is your opinion about their work of art. It's really up to them whether they choose to agree with you or not and whether they decide to change what you think is wrong.

*Constructive Criticism - The easiest and least offensive way to convey positive criticism to the artist or author is in a Like/Could Be Improved format. Think of one or two things that you enjoyed about a story (memorable storyline, captivating cliffhangers, regularity of updates, attractive characters, etc.) and let the author know! They love to know what they're doing well, especially if it's sincere. Then, mention the thing that you think could use some work and be very specific about it... but don't be mean about it. "I think you accidentally captured a pic of someone laughing at that funeral" sounds better than "omg ur pix skillz suck!"
Constructive Criticism is NOT "omg ur great, rock on!" or "omg u sux + I hate ur story". I'm not asking you to lie to anyone about the quality of their work, I'm asking for you to help everyone improve!
A good example or constructive criticism would be: "I love the quality and composition of your pictures in the last chapter that you posted, however you might want to run your text through Spellcheck and make changes accordingly."

*Updates - Please. I know I speak for most of the authors out there when I say, do not beg and harass for updates! If it's been awhile, you might remind them, but if the post above yours is "omg when u update next?!" please don't post a comment saying "omg yah hurry up!" It makes the author feel rushed, and sometimes they don't put forward their best work because they're trying to please impatient readers. Remember, a good story is worth waiting for, and good art can't be rushed!

* You should also LINK to resources that you think the author could benefit from. If it's a problem with the picture composition quality, link to a pic taking tutorial. If the setting looks a little bare, link to items and/or recolours that you think would look good. If the sets really suck, link to some lots or houses that you think would look nice in the story. If all of the characters have the same hairstyle, link to some downloadable hairstyles that you enjoy in your game. Etc. With so many sites and downloads for The Sims 2, chances are you've seen things that other people haven't, so make it your job to inform them! It's a very thoughtful and helpful thing to do.

Now it's up to you guys to get out there with all of your great ideas and helpful opinions and do your part to make this forum ROCK!
Back to: Lesson Five : Taking Good Pictures
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