Moderators: YAK_Chewie, Staff

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By Lance Quazar
We live in very complicated times.

On the one hand, this forum is thriving with some really great photonovels, not just from old school stalwarts but from new photonovel artists, all of whom are creating some really wonderful work.

It's a pleasure to visit the forum and see so many diverse and imaginative and well-executed stories. There's wonderful variety and boundless creativity on display.

Let's face it - photonovel forums on some of our other favorite sites are on life support. JD can be relied upon for one cheery comment from Deanna Rash and that's about it. On RS, fan art has almost completely take over the forum and many PNs get literally no replies at all.

But Yakface is different. We have a smaller and more tighter-knit community here and we can and should be a shining light and safe haven for all the amazing photonovels we've been seeing lately.

But, truth is, we can and should be doing better.

As many people here know, making photonovels is probably the most time consuming and creative endeavor one can do in this hobby, combining not only customizing and diorama making, but storytelling, digital effects creation and many other skills.

It's always a shame when so much great work goes underappreciated.

Making even a single chapter of a photonovel can take hours and hours of effort. Posting a comment after a PN has been read can take as little as one minute.

I have a proposal. I think that we, collectively, need to strive to do a little bit better as a community to fully support and appreciate this great work.

Giving comments and feedback isn't only about giving thanks and props to the photonovel maker, but it's a way to actively participate in the process yourself and get something back. I always enjoy commenting and then reading the comments about my comments, so it's very much a two way street.

And I'd be lying if I said that it wasn't at least partially out of selfish motivations - I hope that, when I post my stories (soon, hopefully), that I'll get some thoughtfull feedback, too.

So here's my suggstion - I think we need to set a concrete goal here and, with everyone's help, I know we can achieve it easily.

I think we need to strive to make sure that every photonovel chapter receives at a minimum TEN unique replies/comments each.

And that tally should not include comments back by the photonovelist responding to earlier comments.

I think that's a very attainable goal and I think it'll make the photonovel makers feel that much more appreciated and that much more inspired to keep making the great work that they do.

Even shorter comments are better than nothing. Fortunately, YF forum members are all thoughtful and intelligent folks and aren't prone to the casual "RS" style of posting one word replies.

But this suggestion isn't meant to make anyone feel pressured or to take the fun out of visiting the forum. And certainly it make take days or even weeks for everyone to get a chance to comment.

But as I scroll down the forum itself, I see many different names from people who have posted stories. Granted, some are a few months old, but even if it was just other photonovel creators who made sure to comment on other people's work, we would easily achieve the 10 comment minimum.

We have a really great community here and some fantastic work being done. I hope we can all come together to make this place even better and show those other forums what a truly vibrant and exciting photonovel forum really looks like!
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By YAK_Chewie
I'd like to second everything you stated Lance. Very well thought out, and it's great to see someone who appreciates the time and committment that goes into creating a photonovel... I think you know as well as anyone the level of dedication that goes into creating any photonovel work.

It's easy to imagine and mentally picture a photonovel, but actually going the extra mile to put it all together takes a lot of dedication, and sacrifice too. When people ask me "Justin, when's the next photonovel coming out," I wish could say "next week" but so much work has to go into it for me to be able to put something together that has any sort of quality behind it. The amount of time I've spent working on photonovels is kind of sick in a way...

There's a lot of people that read the photonovels here and at other sites, but it can be very discouraging for people who make them to not get feedback. While the "nice job" comments can get a bit redundant sometimes, it's still a lot better than thinking your hard work is ignored... I'd never expect anyone to do a panel by panel review of a photonovel, but taking a minute to write out a paragraph can mean a lot to anyone who is making these.

We've done our best here at Yak to promote and give the people who work on these a pat on the back. Coming from my perspective, there's no greater tribute to Star Wars than when a fan makes their own story and shares it with their fellow fans... To me that's what the whole photonovel experience is about, unlimited storytelling in the Star Wars universe...

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By Incom
I agree 100%, Lance. And I must shamefully admit that I hardly look at the PN section, which really is a pinnacle of our hobby. Like you said, not only does it involve making your own characters, but also thinking up stories, plot lines, scenes, sfx, dialogue, post editing, etc. etc. I have never tried making a PN yet, maybe it's time I should. Just to 'feel' what it takes to make a decent story.

I'm not an expert on cinemagraphy (sp?) or photography, but I do know it if I see something that interests me and that I like.

I'll try to be a better Yakker and visit the PN section more often. Of course, replying to the various PNs is obligatory in that case.

Good post, Lance, hopefully more people like me will see the light :)
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By The Professor
I have a big apology to make. I do realize how much work is involved in making photonovels, but I often don't have time to read them all, given the high volume of truly incredible work out there. At the very least, I do try to reply to as many as possible or at least reply to each PN maker at least every once in a while. So, I'm sorry about not always getting around to giving feedback on the great work that's out there.
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By Niktom
Good call Lance!

I will start by saying that all of the Photo Novel work on here is exceptional. You guys blow me away all the time. I am so guilty of looking and not posting replies. Usually do to the fact that I look more at the pictures rather than the words and feel foolish for posting something when I haven't read the story. But that truly is no excuse on my part.

I whole heartedly accept your challenge Lance and think it is a great idea. We have an insainly creative, talented, and dedicated bunch and I think every author is due their praise.

You can all start looking for my comments much more in the very near future. Granted, a lot of it will mostly be from the visual perspective but I'm here with ya.

This is a truly unique place and the readers have helped to make it so. There is a massive amount of creativity and a lot of support for said creativity and that is certainly what keeps me coming back.
User avatar
By YAK_Chewie
If this goes over well, let's see if we can count to 20...

Really though, this is a great community here that we have - not the biggest forum in the hobby, but I think we have the best group of customizers/photonovelists around... not just talent wise, but respectful of each other and very helpful. We could not ask for a better group of people that do post here.

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By jedistyle
hey, great idea lance and a good idea for a puch for the PN! i was actually just catching up on my Pn comments. :)

as has been voiced already in this thread there is an amazing group people on this forum many of whom are incredibly talented and suppotive to one another.

Pn's are definetley on of the most time consuming projects and most dedicated ways to show your love of starwars.

you can count me in to up my comments and feedback to everyone now and in the future. i always appricite the feedback of this community weather it be on a PN, custom or a tatoo. you guys are great and have often given me some great suggestions and advice, so thanks to everyone.

looking forward to the great crituqes and comments on everyones work and all the new chapters and Pn's we'll be seeing. :D
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By MasterGrievous
I feel a little guilty as well. I certainly should give more feedback to some of the great photonovels people have out there. I think I'm just more of a "lurker" at times. Nonetheless, I will try to do it more from here on. So, I agree with you all the way Lance.
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By raziel
:D way to rally the troops Lance!

I think someone with enough credibility needed to just raise the point!

So far - a day later & I have seen a vast improvement - as I have said on another posting you guys are all awesome enough to respond to a comment like Lance raised - unlike other forums (clue* if you build it they will come!) :wink:
User avatar
By Lance Quazar
Thanks for the replies, gang!

I certainly wasn't trying to make anyone feel "guilty" and I hope I didn't come across as condescending or like I was giving a lecture.

Rather, I want to inspire and encourage everyone. I want PN threads to be fun above all else.

Feedback and conversation and discussion is a great end to itself and I really hope we can all make the most of it.

I certainly understand that it isn't always easy to reply, especially in detail. Heck, I rarely comment in the customs threads, even though I often visit and very much appreciate the work there and end up feeling guilty myself!

I think we can all do a little better - but I don't want people to feel pressured or guilted into participating.

Sure, obviously real life will intrude. It IS often hard to find time.

So, no pressure. Take your time. Comments don't have to come right away and don't have to massively detailed.

But all feedback is appreciated and a few sentences of comments/criticisms and even specific notes can take as little as a minute or so to write up.

So let's keep at it, folks! Thanks for your consideration and attention!
User avatar
By YAK_Chewie
Another thing - a reply here or there to a photonovel can entice someone else to join in on the conversation too, and the more a photonovel is talked about, the more fun that particular storyline becomes.

For example, if a casual reader sees a PN has been posted, and has some views but not much feedback, they might feel less inclined to check it out. But if there's some discussions going on in that thread, that person might be more likely to read through the chapter, and maybe even feel like they should then leave a bit of their thoughts as well.

User avatar
By Grievous
I'm sorry about JD, I barely ever visit the PN section there. :oops:
User avatar
By Lance Quazar
I do hope everyone checks out Raziel's latest "Black Illusion" chapter! Let's keep our momentum going, everyone! :D
User avatar
By Darth Kikinou
Lance Quazar wrote:I do hope everyone checks out Raziel's latest "Black Illusion" chapter! Let's keep our momentum going, everyone! :D

I'm still waiting for the next installment of In Rem's K.O.E. series. What gives man?!! You can't just quit after those three amazing chapters!!!

I also very much enjoyed Brents's Duel of the Sith series.

C'mon guys, you've left us all hanging here!! :)

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