Concrit Musings and the volatile medium of the internet

Posted: June 3, 2009 in Marquesate, Writing
Tags: ,

monk-writingEveryone who knows me and interacts with me in matters of my writing, knows how fascinated I am by the diversity of readers’ opinions. Obviously, when I say opinions, I mean constructive criticism/evaluation/appraisal/analysis/etc. There’s not much one can do with “awesome” or “crap”. While the “awesome” is nice, and the “crap” makes me laugh, there’s nothing to get one thinking.

Anyway, I have been blessed with very intensive reader interaction due to Special Forces having been in progress for over three years (and finished this year, thank goodness, never ever again such a gargantuan task), and before that. Through my Camo Men forum, and formerly LiveJournal (which I don’t really use anymore, due to lack of time, you can find me in the Camo Men forum instead) I have been lucky to have a lot of interaction for all of my currently published stories, including Her Majesty’s Men and Code of Honour.

I’ve been moved to laughter, smiles, frowns, and a lot of thinking from readers’ insightful opinions, but I have also lately been fascinated by what feels like an implied demand, albeit never explicit. I sometimes sense it implicitly with texts that are published in a medium that appears volatile: the internet. In the case of Special Forces I have been wondering at times how sometimes the discussion might actually geared (possibly subconsciously) to an implied: “change it!” Probably without the reader even being consciously aware of it.

It’s the nature of the internet to  be volatile. It is not fixed, HTML pages can easily be changed. So, if someone repeatedly claims “this did not work for me for XYZ reasons” does this imply “change it!” or does it not? An interesting thought. Especially since this hardly seems to happen with published stories in a fixed format, such as hardcopy and even e-books.

The medium and the message, are they intricately linked? Yes, I should think so. However, could there be somewhere, lurking, the hope of readers that writing might be changed according to how they feel it should have been? I am not saying that this is the case, but I am saying that I am wondering about it.

Fascinating, it certainly is.

When it comes down to it, I wrote what I wrote the way I wrote it, and if I hadn’t meant to write it the way I wrote it, I wouldn’t have written it. Thus while every opinion is as valid as every other, the text will still remain as it is. Volatile medium or not, the text is the text is the text. I believe there must be a moment in time when the text is fixed, and the artistic vision has manifested itself.

I still wonder, though: is there an implied demand at times or isn’t? What do others think?

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