Friday, 23 March 2012

Campfires and Stars

    Once more, gentle reader, let me return you to our lovely cave, the place we tell our tales sitting around a roaring fire, the attentive minds of our audience hanging on each word we utter, well except old Rumforl at the back who seems to be snoring.

    Our agent Ugg is busy counting his goats and dreaming of all the things he can do with them, but that is not of concern to us, and we will deny any knowledge of said doings when the authorities turn up. No we, the teller of tales, are in our element, we have a tale and we have an audience for the telling of this here tale, so what could possibly be better.

    Let’s be honest with ourselves, we are not going to get rich from the goats charged once Ugg has taken his large cut, we are not going to have a bevy of fur clad, beauties hanging off our finely crafted arms, and we are not going to see our names carved into the side of the mountain. This is our lot in life, to sit around the fire and tell our tales, but this is the best part of our job, this is the reward for our hard work. We sit there and regale our finely crafted musings, and we watch the reactions of our audience as the tale unfolds, accompanied by the constant bleating of Ugg’s new goats of course.

    Time passes and we now find the cave has gone, Ugg has been banged up, and our audience no longer sit with us and enjoy our tales. We now sit on our own, crafting our work before casting it into the wide world for distant readers to enjoy. Our tale may be gathered up and enjoyed upon the far shores of this planet but we may never see this, we may never know the effect our work has on our audience. But then one day we get a reply, maybe it is a review, maybe it is a bleat… sorry tweet, and on that day we connect with our audience again, taken back to the cave and our lovely fire. We hear what they enjoyed, we are told about their experience with our story and we get our greatest reward, the knowledge that someone has taken the journey through our tale and that they have enjoyed what you have done.

    Reviews and feedback are our reward today, they are our way of knowing that what we spent hours toiling over has achieved a goal, and that someone out there really wants to hear your tales. They are far more valuable than the dreams of riches, beauties, and mountain size names. So if you have read a book let the author know if you enjoyed it, show them that the work, they have probably done in the seclusion of their creative sanctuary, has reached out and affected someone else because that is what we love.

    But this is only half the story because there is another side to this tale, the things we could not see when we were sitting in our caves telling tales, things called stars. What we don’t love are stars that are not of the five varieties, the less than perfect score. And why do we hate them so much?

    They are saying our work was not of tip top quality, implying it was lacking in the audiences response, but they are also of an annoying ambiguity. Someone pops along and slaps a four star rating on your work and then happily skip away without a word, leaving said writer pondering the score. You sit there and you think why has my finely crafted tale only achieved a four, what was lacking to make it drop a star? And god forbid someone gives it a single star without comment, is this just someone who hates you, why are they so against what you have done?

    If we get a five star we know someone has enjoyed the work, and a response of said enjoyment is always appreciated by us, but if we get a lower mark then surely we should have at least some comment upon how our work was not enjoyed to its tippy top level. They do not inform us of how we can improve and at the end of the day that is what we aim to do.

    So, gentle reader, please remember in this time of global expansion it is rare for a teller of tale to connect with their audience, feedback that our tales connect is our gold and empty comments our bane. So be careful with your stars, and be kind with your comments.

    And if all this talk of the cave is baffling you then please check out the Blog from days past.


  1. Nice Stephen. well said, and a 6 star rating. See I read the thing and agree. My cave has a great feel to it. A [place to relax and write, read and think. The stars are bright and shine forever. I notice all and create a world of fun. Keep writing my friend, and keep in touch. Rich W. Dreamcatcher.

  2. Well said, my friend...from one whose stars and comments barely exist. My cave, oh yes, very comfortable indeed, a crowded one it is; all inhabitants vying for immediate attention. Must unleash the 'dragon-breath' upon them.