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#49896
ChaoticReverie
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The importace of author's notes... 8 Years ago Karma: 5
I don't know how everyone else feels about this, but I think it is crucial for readers to make sure they read the author's notes. I know a lot of the time they are nothing but silly nonsense, but the odd time there is some important info in there!

It just gets me a little flustered when people review me and ask questions that were answered IN THE AUTHOR'S NOTES. It takes like four seconds to read the bloody things, so why not take the time and just do it, right?!

Am I the only one who gets flaky over this?
 
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#49898
Re:The importace of author's notes... 8 Years ago Karma: 1
Agreed! Yes, I tend to ramble a bit in the author's notes, but seriously... you couldn't just skim for a hint of something important? I especially hate when I warn people that something is coming that they may not necessarily like (multiple chapters in advance, no less!) and then they tell me I've done something wrong when the object of my warnings comes to pass. Um, I told you, did I not? Didn't you believe me, or were you just too lazy to do a skimmy-skim?

It's times like that when I find myself assuring my inner mind that they were just too excited to get down to my update to read the note:D
 
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#49899
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Re:The importace of author's notes... 8 Years ago Karma: 7
EagleFeathersInMyHair wrote:
Agreed! Yes, I tend to ramble a bit in the author's notes, but seriously... you couldn't just skim for a hint of something important? I especially hate when I warn people that something is coming that they may not necessarily like (multiple chapters in advance, no less!) and then they tell me I've done something wrong when the object of my warnings comes to pass. Um, I told you, did I not? Didn't you believe me, or were you just too lazy to do a skimmy-skim?

It's times like that when I find myself assuring my inner mind that they were just too excited to get down to my update to read the note:D


You always include interesting and important info. I like your "ramblings"

I agree though. Authors notes are important to read. You can easily miss important things by ignoring them. I don't tend to write a lot of authors notes sometimes, but I've had reviews where I can tell someone didn't read them. It's the same thing when I'm on DA/ People like to not read the artist comments and then get all worked up over ridiculous things that were already addressed or ask questions that were already answered.
 
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#49900
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Re:The importace of author's notes... 8 Years ago Karma: 28
As a reader I'll stand p for my public flogging right now, because I'm HORRIBLE about reading Authors notes! Generally I skim them, to check for pertanant info, but I dont read the things in their entirety unless its obvious its god info in it.

I've gotten better about it, now that I'm a writer. I had a long lag in updates (about a month) and wanted readers to know there was a family emergency and I'd not have access to a computer in order to update, let alone time OR the mindset to think about writing. I wanted my readers to know that the current update would be the last for several weeks, before I would get back to it.

When I finally started updating again, I got lots of people commenting on how the lack of updates made them not want to read. I felt HORRIBLE! I told ach one of them EXACTLY what I put in the AN and told them that it was there when I last updated for them to be prepared for. But the damage was done, and I felt bad for letting down my readers.
 
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#49902
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Re:The importace of author's notes... 8 Years ago Karma: 75
Considering how many people use authors notes for nothing more than self-serving space to ramble about things wholly and completely unrelated in any way to the story content, I honestly can say that I don't blame them. I skip authors notes in their entirety unless it's a one line blurp about something that you can get at a glance and I don't feel bad about it. Nor will I start reading them any time soon for that reason. Especially ones that do it every chapter and push towards the word limit allowed on sites for notes like that. I've also been told by more people that I care to count that authors notes in every or most chapter is one of the readers of stories biggest pet peeves.

Lets face it, most put things like the playlist then were listening to when writing, stuff about real life wholly unrelated (my pet gecko is sick, he turned a nasty shade of puce today, my best friend is being an idiot, my mom hates me, blah, blah, blah, blah), responses to reviews, a series of dialog with the characters unrelated to the story, how they write, etc, this is not pertinent info. The only exception to this, in my case, is ones that never leave authors notes about anything. If they post something out of the blue, I will tend to read it because there is usually a very good reason why it's there.

As for info on upcoming things... those should be put as a warning and tags, and be labeled as such, rather than buried in an authors note. That allows the reader to see clearly what you are talking about. Since Dokuga has no tagging system like most sites do, any controversial or squicky content to something should be manually tagged in the story on the chapters you do it in not chapters before or buried in an authors note most won't ever read. That way you do give fair warning and, if they complain too much, then the site can step in and stop it, especially if it's about seriously controversial material that can lead to some nasty flames. You also need to remember that giving things away several chapters before hand is going to lessen readers enjoyment of what they are seeing. They don't want spoilers if they are enjoying the story, they want to read it for themselves and be surprised.

Also, the story is the place to explain plot and such, not in you authors note. If you put it in the story and explained it well, there is no reason you have to clarify such things in an authors note. On Dokuga, if such questions are asked, we have the site PM system you can use to contact registered users and explain specific questions that way. If they are done anonymous, they can wait like the rest of us! Other than that, if you feel you have to, just, briefly, point out where the info is in what chapter.

The key to using authors notes is very simple if you want people to read them; don't do it much and keep 'em brief. Then people will pay attention to them. Keep in mind, the story is about the story, not what they author has to say and that's why people are reading it.

Not trying to come across nasty or like I'm growling, this is just the way I see it after dealing with it so much.
 
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Last Edit: 2010/09/22 18:44 By Danyealle-sama.
 


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#49903
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Re:The importace of author's notes... 8 Years ago Karma: 5
I agree that a lot of it just rambling, and I can understand why people don't read them. I'm not harping on people who don't, especially since a lot of it is unrelated and all that, I just wish people would take a peek.

It's just happened to me so much that it get a little frustrated sometimes. So, not trying to offend anyone reading this, I'm just saying, it never hurts to skim... especially if it's like two lines.

(I know I'm bad for long ones from time to time, but I'm working on that.)
 
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#49904
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Re:The importace of author's notes... 8 Years ago Karma: 11
I'm guilty of giving most ANs only a cursory skim. However, if I have a question or am going to comment on the story with anything more in depth than "I really liked this, great chapter!" I ALWAYS read them. Because I get comments on my art sometimes that are questions that I address in the artists comments and it drives me NUTS.
 
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#49905
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Re:The importace of author's notes... 8 Years ago Karma: 57
O.O that is true. Nicely said. Though perhaps the main rule of thumb is to assume that most readers won't read the author's notes. There are many fictions where the AN: notes are little more than rambling of unrelated material, so readers' skip them. Plus if you want a reader to 'read' the notes, don't make it more than a sentence long, and highlight, italicize or underline the important note. If it stands out, it's more likely to catch the reader's attention.

Perhaps put the important note just under a disclaimer, or at the very top of the chapter before or until the title header. But again, don't make the note very long. If it's a half a paragraph or worse, more than two, accept that the reader most likely won't read it. They'll usually skip and go to the content of the story instead.

Longwinded author notes at the end of a chapter should be avoided too. Reader's might hang around long enough to peep at them, but again they will more likely skip those too.

Suggestions:
1 - Only use an author's note if the information you're trying to pass over onto the reader/s is something they should be aware of, or is relevant to the story.
2 - Try to make to AN note short and concise as possible, that way the reader is more likely to read and digest it.
3 - If the AN note is very important than italicise, underline, or bold it, this just helps for the AN to 'stick out' from conventional text.
4 - If you have story warnings then try to repeat said warnings each chapter in the same location on each page, for example, just under the disclaimer or the title chapter of the story. Readers will forget about warnings in successive chapters if said warnings are only mentioned once, say in the first chapter only. If they don't see it regularly, they won't remember it.
5 - Be consistent in use of AN's, put them in a part of the chapter where the reader is likely to see them regularly. If you have no AN's for a chapter than just put something like 'Author's Notes: None', the reader will get used to the idea of seeing a note there over time and it more likely to check back and read it.
 
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#49908
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Re:The importace of author's notes... 8 Years ago Karma: 2
Pyreite wrote:
O.O that is true. Nicely said. Though perhaps the main rule of thumb is to assume that most readers won't read the author's notes. There are many fictions where the AN: notes are little more than rambling of unrelated material, so readers' skip them. Plus if you want a reader to 'read' the notes, don't make it more than a sentence long, and highlight, italicize or underline the important note. If it stands out, it's more likely to catch the reader's attention.

Perhaps put the important note just under a disclaimer, or at the very top of the chapter before or until the title header. But again, don't make the note very long. If it's a half a paragraph or worse, more than two, accept that the reader most likely won't read it. They'll usually skip and go to the content of the story instead.

Longwinded author notes at the end of a chapter should be avoided too. Reader's might hang around long enough to peep at them, but again they will more likely skip those too.

Suggestions:
1 - Only use an author's note if the information you're trying to pass over onto the reader/s is something they should be aware of, or is relevant to the story.
2 - Try to make to AN note short and concise as possible, that way the reader is more likely to read and digest it.
3 - If the AN note is very important than italicise, underline, or bold it, this just helps for the AN to 'stick out' from conventional text.
4 - If you have story warnings then try to repeat said warnings each chapter in the same location on each page, for example, just under the disclaimer or the title chapter of the story. Readers will forget about warnings in successive chapters if said warnings are only mentioned once, say in the first chapter only. If they don't see it regularly, they won't remember it.
5 - Be consistent in use of AN's, put them in a part of the chapter where the reader is likely to see them regularly. If you have no AN's for a chapter than just put something like 'Author's Notes: None', the reader will get used to the idea of seeing a note there over time and it more likely to check back and read it.


I have to admit I'm guilty on both counts: skipping &/or skimming, and rambling. Which is rather ridiculous when you think about it... Thanks for the advice!

-Presto1995
 
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#49913
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Re:The importace of author's notes... 8 Years ago Karma: 215
I've skimmed this thread and I feel I must weigh in on Author's Notes. Excessive author's notes, reviewer responses and review demands in author's notes are some of the most 'warned about' items on my pet peeve list. These things will merit a hand slap from me.

PLEASE READ THE RULES REGARDING AUTHOR'S NOTES!!

http://dokuga.com/rules

We have very specific parameters regarding author's notes. Not over 300 words per chapter, not buried within the text of the chapter, no response to reviewers, etc. The only exceptions to our limit on words in author's notes is when the author is giving valuable information that could be considered explanatory or historical. NOT just "I wrote that because my sister's cousin's baby momma did that," but things having to do with the Sengoku Jidai period in Japan, or ancient Japanese customs, or even customs from other historical periods that are mentioned in the story.

Oh yeah, and NO MORE NOSE PICKING! You KNOW who you are!!!

~~Wiccan~~
 
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#49914
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Re:The importace of author's notes... 8 Years ago Karma: -666
Is it bad that I just skimmed most of these comments?
 
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#49915
Miss Anna
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Re:The importace of author's notes... 8 Years ago Karma: 15
I tend to put one general Author's Note per story, now if I do contests within the story then I put one every two or three chapters. Hehe on my old account a few years ago I remember people complaining because I didn't put an Author note in every single chapter of my stories.
I think if you state it once then it should be good, and you shouldn't have to repeat the same thing over and over again unless you are changing something for that chapter.
 
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#49916
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Re:The importace of author's notes... 8 Years ago Karma: 75
Oh yeah, and NO MORE NOSE PICKING! You KNOW who you are!!!

~~Wiccan~~



I can find something more disgusting if you like Wiccan-you know I can too! hehehehehehehehehehehehehehehe
 
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Last Edit: 2010/09/22 21:48 By Danyealle-sama.
 


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#49923
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Re:The importace of author's notes... 8 Years ago Karma: 15
Just my two cents:

I used to put responses to reviews in mine, but only because of sites like Spark, where you couldn't answer. I refrain from doing so now. But I still like my A/N's. Firstly, I need it to apologize (for the last two years I haven't been able to update regularly) and secondly, I put disclaimers in it (e.g.: I didn't research ______, so sorry if it's wrong). Also, I put my warnings there. And YES, I bold, italicize, underline, and sometimes a combo - or all three, depending on how bad it is, (like my oneshot Yearnings) but if I had a dollar for every single time I put a nice-sized warning in my A/N and STILL had someone say "ew", or "OMG!", or some sort of review that is not appreciated, I would be richer than Takahashi-san herself.

One last thing... I put music verses (although I consider them apart from the A/N) simply because most chapters are literally inspired by the songs I post. It can be a necessary mood-alterer. (<--- lol, not a word)
 
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#49931
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Re:The importace of author's notes... 8 Years ago Karma: 7
ladybattousai wrote:
Is it bad that I just skimmed most of these comments?

Lol. Nice Lady B. ^_^

Even though I think it is important to read the authors notes in case there is something important, I am totally guilty of completely skipping them. I do it a lot because of reasons that many of you mentioned like that it's just ramblings about nothing. I read them in some cases where I know the person or I know that the author always adds important info in them like EagleFeathersInMyHair does, but most of the time I do tend to just skip straight to the story.
 
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#49943
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Re:The importace of author's notes... 8 Years ago Karma: 5
Ughh... I think I'm offending people. D:

Okay, so I HAVE read through the author's notes guidelines, and I don't do any of those things (made the mistake once of making one a bit too long, but Wiccan was kind enough to point that out to me and I fixed it ASAP).

So, sorry if I've offended anyone. Not trying to earn myself a hand slap, and not trying to pick on anyone! This thread was not meant to bash or yell at people who don't, just stating my frustration. I understand that AN's get abused pretty badly, and it's mostly because of that fact that so many people skip them. I DO GET IT, so no tearing at my throat, plz and thnk you...
 
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#49948
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Re:The importace of author's notes... 8 Years ago Karma: 28
Some people get kinda sensative on this site. Its happened to me too ChaoticReverie. I say something that is to me, completely begnine and a few people assume I'm sharpening my claws... and perhaps its just because a lot is lost in translation on the internet... anyways, rest assured that on my end at least, there was no feeling like you were trying to offend. Although, I did find it an interesting thread, so I put my 2 cents in. I hope I wasnt one of those people that made you feel like you were being offensive, or tearing at your throat! xoxo, cus you know I love ya!
 
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#49949
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Re:The importace of author's notes... 8 Years ago Karma: 215
ChaoticReverie wrote:
Ughh... I think I'm offending people. D:

Okay, so I HAVE read through the author's notes guidelines, and I don't do any of those things (made the mistake once of making one a bit too long, but Wiccan was kind enough to point that out to me and I fixed it ASAP).

So, sorry if I've offended anyone. Not trying to earn myself a hand slap, and not trying to pick on anyone! This thread was not meant to bash or yell at people who don't, just stating my frustration. I understand that AN's get abused pretty badly, and it's mostly because of that fact that so many people skip them. I DO GET IT, so no tearing at my throat, plz and thnk you...


I don't think anyone was offended by your question... I think all the comments I've read seem to be expressing their views in a reasonable fashion. I don't get the impression that anyone is upset or put off by this at all. I know I jumped on the bandwagon as an opportunity to get my point across - as there are few times when I can do so. I certainly didn't mean to make it sound like I was chastising you!! Hope it didn't sound that way!

Relax, dear CR, take a deep breath, and let the conversation flow. All is good from where *I'm* sitting!

~~Wiccan~~
 
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#49952
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Re:The importace of author's notes... 8 Years ago Karma: -666
Yes, this is a very civil debate. Just because people bring up an opposing viewpoint doesn't mean that they're upset or offended.

As for author notes, it's lucky if I write two sentences every few chapters. Published authors don't have author notes in their books, and frankly, the only thing I want going through my reader's mind is the story and not what's in an author note. Not to mention, I don't want any reviews I might get to be centered on the author note either.

I believe in challenging my readers, and that means not babying them. The only forewarning they get from me is the official rating and the summary.
 
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#49959
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Re:The importace of author's notes... 8 Years ago Karma: 29
I personally usually have short a/n, which includes always the thank to my beta-reader, because for the work she does, she deserve a mention in each chapter. But often, I end up having a line explaining a confusion that happened in a previous chapter or someone who got confused and I cant personally explain it to them.

But, if not, it's a line or two, and if its REAL important, I'll put it in bold.
I'll admit, in most stories, if it's like half the chapter, or 1/3, I won't bother to read it. Because, even if it can be funny/entertaining, your a/n length's should be nowhere near the length of your chapter. Not even half, not even 1/3 or 1/4.

I do read the 'bold' parts if it's a long one, since I figured the author was putting the emphasize on that.

And, though I might be missing out on a good stories, long a/n all the time, tend to turn me away from the story, because I feel all I'm reading is A/N, and that (since I love long stories) I feel like I got cheated by the "word count" of the story since half of it is A/N.

All that to say, I do agree they can be important, if used properly and of decent length. (Unless you barely use them, then something happened (family problems etc) and then you have a long one, I would surely read it, because it would attract my attention since it's unusual).
 
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#49961
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Re:The importace of author's notes... 8 Years ago Karma: 2
I think it would be nice if the AN had a separate box, rather than being grouped with the chapter. That way word counts wouldn't get mixed up and word limits would be easier to enforce. Exceptions could be important information such as new terms and historical information, which could simply be grouped with the chapter.

-Presto1995
 
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Re:The importace of author's notes... 8 Years ago Karma: 28
this has actually helped me out a lot as an author. I'm not a fan of writing long authors notes, and when I do, there it a purpose for it. I do like to ask my readers their opinion about certain things, I'm unsure of, as a way of bettering myself as a writer - its very helpful to me when my readers see those questions and respond, but it doens't bother me when they dont. But from now on things that are very important I'll make sure to type in bold.
 
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#49963
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Re:The importace of author's notes... 8 Years ago Karma: 2
ladybattousai wrote:
Yes, this is a very civil debate. Just because people bring up an opposing viewpoint doesn't mean that they're upset or offended.

As for author notes, it's lucky if I write two sentences every few chapters. Published authors don't have author notes in their books, and frankly, the only thing I want going through my reader's mind is the story and not what's in an author note. Not to mention, I don't want any reviews I might get to be centered on the author note either.

I believe in challenging my readers, and that means not babying them. The only forewarning they get from me is the official rating and the summary.


You have made my day, girl! Took the words right out of my mouth!

...Only I get guilt-tripped by my concious if I know something might not be understood. The only thing I won't get guilted about is the infamous cliffhanger (unless it's absolutely HORRIBLE, but then I just post the next chapter faster). I love cliffies *cheeky smile*.

-Presto1995
 
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#49965
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Re:The importace of author's notes... 8 Years ago Karma: 2
I also get annoyed when it seems that you're reading half story, half author notes. And it breaks my heart as well when the lengthy and irrelevant author notes just turn me off and not even a good story can compensate for that, so I quit reading.

I try to keep Author Notes to a minimum, generally to comment on a bit in the story, or tell that I wrote this specific chapter for a prompt, but not to totally explain every single detail in the chapter.

I don't have a problem with Author Notes, except when they are used to write another story in and of itself, or to show off what seems to be the multiple personalities of the Author.
 
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#49971
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Re:The importace of author's notes... 8 Years ago Karma: 0
Presto1995 wrote:
I think it would be nice if the AN had a separate box, rather than being grouped with the chapter. That way word counts wouldn't get mixed up and word limits would be easier to enforce. Exceptions could be important information such as new terms and historical information, which could simply be grouped with the chapter.

-Presto1995


I like your idea. Maybe the box can even cut off writing at 300 words so even if you wanted to write beyond that you couldn't. Ebay has a format like that for leaving reviews.
 
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