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Story Ratings: A couple questions.

5 months ago

There's just a few things I'd like to know about how people deal with rating stories and commenting on them.  I especially want to hear from those people who are avid raters/commenters, but I welcome all answers.

A) Does it help the site at all to comment on games where it's evident (from the profile) that the author is no longer around?  I mean, if I read a story, rate it, and have a critique in mind, but the author hasn't been seen for over 4 years (for example), does commenting at that point actually do any good?  What do other people do in this situation?

B) Is it fair to rate a game before finding all the endings?  Or, since a lot of stories don't have the number of endings listed, how many endings do most of you usually find before you're comfortable rating a story?

C) Does anyone else find it really hard to rate fanfiction stories from a fandom that you are completely (or mostly) unfamiliar with?

Story Ratings: A couple questions.

5 months ago
I haven't rated many stories, and seldom review them, but here are my opinions.
a) Yes, it does. Maybe the author decides to come back at some point, maybe someone else reads your comment and finds it useful. And even if that never happens, if your comment gets featured you'll get commendations and points, those are nice.
b) Yes, it is. If the story is good, then you should be able to figure that out without finding every possible ending. If it's painfully awful, you'll usually learn that on the first page. It would be a bit unfair to rate Eternal if you died almost at the start, but completely fair to rate it after reading just one of the epilogues. Generally, each main path should be able to stand on it's own, and not require reading the other ones first for understanding it (except for some small details).
c) No, I don't. An author that is posting fanfiction on here should be aware that there are probably many people who don't know anything about the source material, so the story should be understandable for them as well. I don't know anything about Warhammer, but I was still able to enjoy Steve's stories. Is the story well written or did the author butcher the English language? Did it have choices, or was it just "continue" over and over? Is the plot interesting, or is it just a shittier copy of the book/film/game ... it's based on? Are the characters unique and relatable, or would you not even notice if the author mixed up their names? Did you enjoy it? I'm sure I've missed a few questions, but you could ask yourself some of those when rating a story. Don't stress over not being objective enough, in the end the last question is what matters the most.

Story Ratings: A couple questions.

5 months ago
A) Reviews are useful for readers as well, sometimes moreso than for authors as the authors half the time will ignore or dismiss them anyhow. Reviews are also useful for the person writing them as it's a kind of writing exercise in itself and getting in the habit of analyzing someone else's work absolutely effects your ability to look critically at your own. Sometimes authors do return after being gone a long time, too. It happens quite a bit here that someone will just randomly be online after having been inactive for years.

B) Absolutely. In fact if I'm disinterested enough in a game to not want to spend too much time clicking around in it then that already says something about the quality. With the majority of games from random noobs I could probably pretty accurately assign a rating just from reading the first page. Better stories, I'll keep reading until I at least find a 'real' ending. While with the bad or even just boring ones sometimes the most complimentary thing you can say about them is that they made the End Game link easily accessible after just two clicks.

C) If the author doesn't take the basic steps to make the relevant stuff about the characters and setting clear to people unfamiliar with it, or otherwise write a story that stands alone, then it's a failing of the story and just means they deserve a lower rating.

Story Ratings: A couple questions.

5 months ago

Well, it's good to know that folks won't be annoyed (or at least annoyed enough to care) if I write comments to old stories.  That saves me the 'trouble' of looking up how long it's been since the authors have logged in last. Yay.