These are not the main community rules, but rather the Feedback Rules. To read the community rules, please go here.
Some reasons/excuses for not commenting:
1. I don't have time to comment.
Bottom line here, if you have time to read the author's story, you have time to give decent feedback.
2. I don't feel qualified to critique.
Who is, really? Critique is subjective. This is about what you think. It's about your opinion. Did something move you? Could something have been better? Was there a line you liked? Did you get confused? These are all legitimate comments. There's no degree or experience requirement to be a reader. Tell the writers what you think. Also? A mere two words of, "Wow, great!" is not feedback.
3. No one comments on mine, so why should I comment on theirs?
If you comment on someone else's work, they will be far more likely to come check yours out in return. This kind of forum is give and take. Show interest.
4. I don't want to say what I really think because I'm afraid it will upset the author.
We understand this, really. However, writers in this community should expect feedback, even if it's not always a rave. Being polite about your critique is a courtesy that we would all appreciate if there was something about the piece that didn't work for you. None of us will get to be better writers if all we get are positive comments and pats on the back. Be honest, but be kind. Some of the best work that has been posted to similar comms have been from people who have rewritten things based on a comment or two that was made. That is one of the points of our community. Work at it, learn from it, and grow. That's great participation.
5. I don't want a beta reader. / I don't know where to find a beta reader.
If you don't want a beta reader, that's up to you. However, it shouldn't take you very long to at least run your fiction through a spell check. There's one in Microsoft Word, and there's one just as you post to your journal. Either one works well.
Beta readers are encouraged to make your writing flow smoothly. As you write, you become oblivious to some mistakes; after all, you know what happens. Your beta reader doesn't. He or she will be able to pick up on things that you easily look over. Having a beta reader is not an insult to you, the writer. It is a compliment. No one is saying that you can't write if you have a beta.
If you're not sure where to find a beta reader, make a post to working_blue and just ask. There's no harm in that. If you still are unable to find a beta, email either of the mods elandae (j_3101 @ yahoo.ca) or bloody_adorable (bloody_adorable @ yahoo.com). We will do our best to find someone to help you.
6. This is my first fic, so be gentle with me.
This is understandable, because when you write and post it for others to read, you're really leaving yourself vulnerable. However, this won't get you far in your writing, and you won't grow. There is nothing wrong with a bit of tactfully worded feedback. Try not to let it hurt your feelings. Take what the reader has said and try to see where they're coming from.
7. I really don't like how my story came out. / I've redone my fic with the suggestions made by some of the readers. Can I repost?
Absolutely! Anyone is welcome to offer a rewrite of any challenge they've done previously, at any time. Just please link to the previous post so that readers can compare and see your improvements!
Basically, just keep things nice. No flaming is needed to get your point across. I know we keep harping on that, but it's really important if we're all going to get along.
Edit: We're not asking you to read every story that comes across this community. If it's a pairing/fandom you like, go for it! Just keep in mind, that if you read the story, you should give proper feedback.
Thank you to beginnings for the idea for these rules.