Over the past month I’ve been stalking around the ‘Just Published’ section of Movellas. For those who don’t haven’t come across Movellas, then I should explain it’s a site for young writers to leave their work, get feedback and in turn give feedback. I’ve been a member for almost four years and have experienced highs and lows during that time. Over the past year I’ve worried that rather than be the once welcoming place it once was, we as the users are becoming self centred. Do we still read and encourage other writers or do we sit back and expect others to do it ? So I set myself the task of reading a new movella and day and giving a short comment to each story. Initially this was for a month, however I will try to do it each day, although I see a time when I’ll be unavailable to do this for a time.
So what did I discover? Well it’s been a revelation and I’ve read some great stories, or starts of them. I tried to find authors I haven’t read before, people I didn’t really know. I didn’t just want to read stories written by my friends but widen the net. Everyday new writers post their scribblings on the website, but at times are left with no reads or comments, even less encouragement to write anything else. One thing I did notice is that there is a whole range of different abilities. Disappointedly was that some stories were little more than a paragraph, maybe an idea. Some were very good, a couple of Danish writers in particular were producing some amazing stories, with little or few likes. That’s what I found most worrying. How many people give up writing a story because they get no feedback ? Surely it’s up to us, the writers, to find a few minutes to read and encourage others ?
Over the past few months there has been an explosion in the amount of ‘review stores’ available. However whilst these are very useful they don’t solve the problem. It relies on Movellians to submit their stories and the reviews remain inside the ‘store’. It would be better if they put the review under the story so everything is together. If you look through them the same stories appear, as writers submit their stories to every store. They provide a good service but in reality they miss 95% of the stories published. The stores themselves range from good, giving decent feedback, to very basic.
I’ve noticed that some stories have thousands of reads but no comments or even likes. That is worrying as it gives the reader no feedback and if you’re like me more worrying as it seems that loads of people don’t like your story as they’re reading but not saying whether they like it or not. It would be great if readers actually gave some form of appreciation. It’s only the press of a button, not difficult. A short comment is even better. Some of us are not into pushing our works in front of everyone, everyday, so a little acknowledgment is brilliant and can really make others days. This used to happen in the past so it’s not some aspiration. We’ve all forgotten to do this.
A trickier issue is that Movellas has become very clicky. There is a general feel among some that they get ignored and exist inside their own bubbles not reading and reviewing anything else but their friends work. We used to have the sort of community that reached out to others and encouraged each person. Tagging on the mumbles page can give the impression it’s only for those who are tagged. How do we stop this happening ? I wish I knew. Maybe the ambassadors could be more pro-active and help out by talking to others and reviewing movellas. I know they were once encouraged to review new stories, maybe a team of them could revisit this and help start the impetus of feedback?
I’d like to think that we as a community would come together more. The lifeblood of this site is not the stories, but the feedback that we receive. I have much to be grateful for Movellas for and want this site to be the safe interactive community it once was. We as the ‘users’ are the ones who can change this, we are the ones who can provide the feedback for others. Wouldn’t it be great if we could all read and comment on a story each day ?