The thing I get the most pleasure from is trying to write a story that really presses my recipient's buttons. I just love trying my best to give someone exactly what they wanted. *happysigh*
This year, I've taken part in fewer than usual due to health and work issues, and I'm finding I'm a little blue -- I don't have the joyful buzz I usually get from making my recipients happy.
It's made me think about what it is I expect from these exchanges, and whether other people expect the same things: how seriously most participants take it, and what they get the most pleasure from -- giving or receiving a story or something else.
My first instinct was to write an anonymous poll about it, but when I started putting together the list of questions it just went on and on and on. So instead, I've decided to open this post so that people can leave their general thoughts about story exchanges: the good, the bad, and even the ugly stuff you'd never otherwise admit. There are some questions listed below as a starting point, but don't feel obliged to answer them. Anonymous posting is on.
The Truth About Story Exchanges
Feel free to answer as many or as few of these questions as interest you. They're just the ones that occurred to me, but there might be something else you want to talk about more.
- What's the most important part of the exchange for you: writing or receiving a story, or something else? Why?
- How do you feel about story exchanges as a writer?
For instance: How seriously do you take it? Do you try your hardest to fill the request? Are you more likely to use it as a guide, and write what inspires you? Is the whole thing just a bit of fun? Are you really writing to impress fandom with a "break-out" hit? Do you ever get so daunted by the author you're assigned, you drop out? Does how much work you do depend on who you're assigned? Do you like to make your recipient happy? Are you happy with the number of comments you usually get?
- As a recipient?
For instance: Do you hope your request will be faithfully filled? Are you usually happy with the story you get? How do you feel if it's a story you don't like? Does it bother you if you put a different level of effort into the story you've written than the story you receive? Do you find it hard to leave feedback on stories you don't like? On stories you love?
- As a casual reader, how do you take part?
For instance: do you leave a lot of comments? Do you play the guess-the-author game? Do you decide what to read based on how many comments it already has? Do you lurk?
ETA: What a great conversation this turned out to be! Thanks to everyone who took part.