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Love to hear your opinion!

Journal Entry: Tue Apr 3, 2012, 11:42 AM

The art of storytelling is as boundless and diverse as the stories themselves. With the rise of the digital age and instant communication, story creators can now receive immediate feedback from the audiences. Sometimes, the audience will give critiques and demand changes to the story. Those of you in the gaming community will be familiar with the outrage over Mass Effect 3's ending, and those who love TMNT will know about the dissatisfaction over changing turtles to aliens. If so many people dislike something, should the creators reflect on the audience's critiques and make the necessary changes to please them, or stick to their original vision?

This is a very complicated question that's the topic of :icontechgnotic:'s latest journal. He has provided quotes from a very diverse group of  people ranging from famous professionals in the movie and comic industry to emerging artists on dA. At the bottom of the journal is a list of questions on what do you guys think about the issue. Question 4 is specifically for fans of Knite and other comics on dA, but I would love to hear what your responses to the other questions are as well. Please leave your comments on his journal here… where he can respond to everyone :)

Thank you! :hug:

Add a Comment:
331060 Featured By Owner May 26, 2012  Student Digital Artist
It depends. Sometimes, if you like the suggestions they have, you shouldn't just ignore them just because that wasn't your original plans. However, if you don't personally approve of their discontent, then you have every right to ignore them. In some cases, though, you have a greater motivation to listen to your audience such as when your pay is at stake. It all comes down to your particular situation, and there are far too many to come to a generalization of advice for this kind of issue.
Presley-G Featured By Owner May 8, 2012
This one is kind of a mine field depending on the common place knowledge or social status your work holds. Avatar for instance was a visually stunning movie; if James Cameron were to say he was purchasing the rights to re-make jaws in a more modern sense-"i.e" Avatar it up, then you'd have an uproar. Something honored and sacred to a community of film buffs and casual "you've got to watch this" couch side movie goers as Jaws would eventually-give it a few years to cool, start to see turn over, but it'd flop and fail in the mean time and mar the whole "Jaws" name in general going forward.
I chose this example because if someone did to it what they've kept re-doing and re-doing with TMNT, then it'd just keep wonking up the formula. I've never written anything spectacular, but I know people who have by staying true to their original style in light of teacher critique and other penalties. But that's the little leagues; as it's been said, there's different rules to the upper echelons. Future content uncreated or fully confirmed yet aside, changing the history of a franchise or character that's know to 2 or 3 generations prior a certain way prior is literally a agreeing to castrate yourself with a rusty spoon anymore with that sort of thing.
Either way, artists will be artists and that's why they're my favorite people. Sites like DA are great when for the whole pantheon because everyone is free to be themselves more or less; when you pick fights you're kind of asking for a reprimand. It's the larger scale and the fan expectations that are the issue otherwise. Am I right? Am I wrong? Am I luke warm...
animeforthesoul Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
When creating something such as comics or movies or books or video games or really any story telling media, part of it should be for the readers/watchers/players, but part of it has to be for the storyteller, even if it doesn't make the fans happy. Yes, of course when you, say, write a book, you have to write something that the readers will consume, because without the readers, you have no one willing to buy your product, but by the same token, when writing a story, ultimately the story is yours to tell, weather or not the readers will like it. Sometimes it is a fine line when trying to keep your readers and yourself happy. Sometimes you'll have to compromise and sometimes you need to hold your ground and say, "This is how I want it to end and so this is how it will end." A story only matters if the writer likes the story.

Though in the case of TMNT, it's a difficult thing trying to make a borrowed story new and that still lives up to it's former glory. I don't think having the turtles come from space was a good choice, but I'm not the one making the story so I have no right to make that decision.
Theshortyetevildork Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
I'd say that if there was such a strong emotional outburst to something in a story, the author should take it into account. If it's what they wanted people to feel in the first place, they should let it be, and even if it isn't the author should stay true to his original story to an extent. At the same time though, stories are meant to both be enjoyed by creator and I would definitely consider changing things even slightly so I make readers happy and also stay true to myself.

I guess that's what the case would be with Mass Effect, since it is an original story, but the TMNT reaction is understandable. It wasn't their own story originally, and completely deviates away from what the TMNT are. So die hard fans have a right to be upset. In that case, I may definitely consider changing it.
Hoshi-Saga Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It depends. Most of the time the author's opinion should trump all, but if the author agrees with what the fans are saying then it is up to them to make the changes. I mean, if you feel that the fans are making a valid point then you should listen, but if you disagree then you should be true to yourself.
BlackCatAnna Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
I think that it depends on what the artist/author wants to get out of their work; if they want to please their fans or earn lots of money (or both) then they should pay great attention to what the masses want at the risk of making their story less individual and losing the plot. If they have a great plan which the fans may not know about then they might have to make sacrifices for the greater good of their story... Like flooding the Earth to kill off the bad people (yes, I am comparing artists/authors to God... Even though I'm an atheist)!
Personally, I wouldn't like anyone to have power over my creations and would hate to be forced to change my ideas. On the other hand, I think it's good for people to get feedback on their work- ideas can come from everywhere but if we enforce them then we might end up with a slippery slope where every author has to bow to the whims of their readers which would be a shame because we might end up with endless Mary Sues and I would have to kill myself.
Also, fans of a series can use their own imaginations to extend ideas with their own stories and art or even just in the confines of their own heads; just because a character dies doesn't mean that they are gone! It would be a shame if world war 3 had started over the decisions of who to kill off at the end of Harry Potter. The story is a product of its creator's imagination so they know best :)
(This is just what I think, anyway. I could rabbit on for hours so I'll shut up X_X )
SoundMatch Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2012
Author's should be allowed to do whatever they want to do. But what the Author should want to do is surprise the customer's in a POSITIVE WAY! I mean come on in mainstream media every single change is being criticized. Yea it may turn out alright. But why do we criticize it? CAUSE IT SUCKS, and then our opinions are used to make it better and the creator's take all the credit.

Sometimes its not the idea itself but the way it is portrayed, sometimes its the otherway round. One of the reasons I follow yuumei is that this person (sorry i dont know your gender, will stalk you later haha) is that she/he has surprised me delightfully in many ways.

I think it is absolutely fine and wonderful that artists are trying new things, but those new things can lead to mistakes. Mistakes are only bad if they are left unlearned.
xXwolf14Xx Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I believe the author needs to divide the critiques. If someone makes a suggestion to the piece/story the author should consider whether or not he has a good point, or if the story will stray from the intended path when changed. A critique should be reflected on to a point where the author sees where the reader missed the target of the story and how many others missed a similar/ the same target in the story. To change your story solely on the grounds that others won't like it is, in my opinion, ridiculous. A story is only a story if the artist puts his or her soul and emotion into it so the audience hears their song within it. If someone changes their story for what others think it should be, they might as well apply the same thing to their life choices. That said stick to the original story.
SamGus Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2012
There are no original stories left to be told in the world, with that being said, the only reason to keep the title of a story you plan to change dramatically is to keep the fan base. In the case of TMNT changing even a little bit of the story, such as making them come to earth from some other planet, changes everything. We once fell in love with unlucky animals that where thrust into our world by a mix up and had no other means of survival but to hide in the sewers. Also these animals fought crime to better the world. Changing them into aliens means they had a choice to be here, and that to me takes away some of the anti-hero moments they had. For instance Raphel, who was indeed an anti-hero, was always cocky and didnt like to be bothered with helping people if it seemed like those people where bad in the first place. So why would this alien version of him stay on our planet if he could leave to his home world where he would be accepted at any time, why would any of them stay? Its all a marketing ploy I believe... He hit up Transformers and realized theres a shit ton of money to be made in relieving our childhood so hes moving on to TMNT... I loved the first few transformers, sounds like hes destroying TMNT tho.... To repeat my point here, if you change a story that changes any part of it, then change the name, after all Micheal Bay claims to be changing the back story then just change the name and let it go. Its no longer gonna be the Ninja Turtles we all grew to love, why pretend it is?

As far as ME3's ending, EA is a company that loves their money, and with that their DLC's. I honestly think they did a "crappy" ending for a reason, driving up hype for the DLC they will put out knowing that people will buy it up like crazy. BUT, where I differe on this situation than the other, is that the creators wrote a story, that story is the story they want to convey, if you dont like the story thats too bad thats their story. You want to live in their world you have to be willing to abide by the laws they set forth for you. There was a reason you played and loved these games, dont blow up just because they dont go the way you want em too, alot of the time that makes great games and stories.

I know you want this on the other side but I figured I'd stay here and comment on this part first.
BringerofD Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2012
i believe the general rule should be Don't change it. not to please the audience nor any other reasons. In other words in the example of ME3, too bad, this is how the developers wanted it to end. in the example of TMNT, like i said DON'T CHANGE IT! in other words the fans are right on that one. the turtles worked and were loved as they were, why did he go and change it?
TheSlayrest Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I personally think that one should stick with his/her idea. Your job is not to please everyone, it should be doing what pleases you. You're only merely expressing what your mind wants to express. But of course, there is nothing wrong with being open-minded. ;)
dark-knight-thor Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2012
It depends honestly. As a writer I feel that my work should tell a story or provide something significant to my readers. If they are outraged over, say, a character death then it should be my job to evaluate why the character died. If their death was important to the plot or had something to offer to the readers, then I won't change it. If it was pointless, then depending on the story I would try to find a way to undo the death. I agree that artists should listen to the feedback, but I disagree with changing everything to please everyone. There's a line between being an artist and being a machine that produces whatever people want.
ibrahim-aleem Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
I believe there will always be the people who don't like your work, but your job is not to please everyone. If what you create is actually what they WANT you to create, then you're not really the artist, they are. Art is about expression, originality, creativity, and ALL of these get suppressed when everyone starts controlling the end result.
GLMike77 Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2012  Student Artist
The artist's only commitments should be A) to their original vision and B) working the best they can. That's why I hate it when comic book companies have one writer doing almost all their books (Bendis with Marvel and Johns with DC are two great examples) because they lose their focus and it becomes "Let's hit the deadline" not "Let's get the best quality we can out of these guys".

It is the obligation of the consumer, though, to research what they are buying so they can make an informed decision before they make a purchase. If they end up disliking it, they can sell/give that to someone else. There are plenty of review sites and there is also word-of-mouth which helps because then you're also involved in a community and you build rapport with others so they can trust what you say about something or you trust them.
shadedsketch Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2012
If the creators did everything they could to please the fan base, then the story as a whole would lose originality. People are not entitled to control everything around them. I mean yeah, people have a right to get upset over something as ridiculous as a video game or a T.V. show, but that doesn't mean they can smash the individual's creativity. You can't please everybody!
However, the creator should take into consideration what the people would like to see and alter the story however he/she fits.
addoodler Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2012
if you love the artwork you made
and you feel like it says something, even if it makes people uncomfortable,(if it makes them think lol) then don't change it. It's your art.
ixDenial Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2012   Digital Artist
Like this;;

Want to please the fans/get the money: Change.
You made this story for yourself, and you like it this way: Don't.

inkyrabbit Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2012  Student
well, i'd say that it is entirely up to the creators, they should not be entitled to turn it into something it is not. However, it is not a bad idea for them to incorporate what the audience is looking for as well.
LaylaMonroe1610 Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Well, it depends on what you want the most between sharing your story or pleasing the crowd.

I personally think the most important thing is to just show the story as it was planned no matter the different opinions of the audience because if authors just made stories to please the crowds then why can't the crowds make the story themselves if they believe the stories should be like they say?
LaylaMonroe1610 Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
of course, the audience should be taken in consideration at some point, but not as much as to make such great changes just because the audience wants to.
Strangeroo911 Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
It depends on the creator. Whether they cater to the crowd is, of course, their own decision, but not one which I necessarily approve of.
purplekittykatgal Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
refering to the question posed here i thiink the author should reflect ont he audiences reaction. if the audience understands the points and the morals, that is the actual underlying message is still communicated well (even if the audeience doesnt like the facevalue of the story) the author should feel confident in keeping the story the same. The message they wanted to convey is being brought forth so it really is a matter of aestetic preference beyond that.

however when the audeince's feedback reveals that they are confused, or end up taking away a completely different (even flawed) message, the author should take a look at the language or plot to see where the confusion lies, and address the problem accordingly. It isnt so much the audeinces preference on which character pairing, or who wins the race, but its the underlying message, the real thought that the author is trying to convey that the feedback should be seriously poored over.
Taiger216 Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2012
I agree with most of the article. Critique from your consumers is very valuable, but you should stick to what you believe in with your art. What's the point in being an artist if you're going to let someone else guide your hand and control what you make? Sure if there is a tremendous uproar of disappointment you should re-evaluate somethings and try to come to a reasonable solution. But just because one person feels like you haven't satisfied them, but you have a lot of others behind you, then you don't need to satisfy that person. Since people can write Fan Fictions they may create their own idea of a better ending on their own. But there are always various ways stories can result. Its the fun of a fan to imagine the possibilities, but the artist is the one who ultimately decides how it will be. If you love something enough you have to understand that the artist knows what their doing. Otherwise you would've made it. So if an artist believes their choice in the matter was the right way to go, then they should stick to it. It's still good to take advice from what your viewers would love to see, but you can't just make what they want. If they want something that bad, they can make it themselves. Not everyone is going to be satisfied by something you make, but if you love it, at the end of the day that's all that really matters.
SupernudgeB Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
The creator should keep their original idea, but listen to the audience. It's nice to know what an audience wants, but I also think that the ceator should keep in mind the story they had. Because otherwise the audience would be the ones writing the story they want, and the creator will be the one being bent to their will. If people don't like it, they can go find another story, or go make their own.
Kazbob Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2012
i think its a matter of learning from mistakes... if one thing doesn't work, don't change it but when you start the next chapter/thing etc respond to feedback :)
kaliu Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2012
No one told you to make a movie for us, but here you are
No one told you to come and see my movie, but here you are

It always makes for amusing and facepalming situations when these natural selfish views confront each other. Eventually it boils down to this: [link]
Itra-sama Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2012  Student General Artist
I think the artist should mainly try to stick to their original vision, but they should still be tuned in to their readers and should definitively consider some of there critiques to further improve their story. It also shows that you care about your readers.... for example in Avatar the last air bender, a lot of people wanted Zuko and Katara to be together but the animators wanted to put Aang and Katara together instead. In the end the animators went with the couple they wanted but they still showed they listened to their viewers by referencing the couple in one of episodes.
tuszek Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2012
Generally you have to listen, mainly to see more perspective on you work. You don't have to bend your work to everyone's wishes though. You need to decide if your work is getting the intended effect, and if said effect was the right choice. (Its not really just the case to please the audience, but to see if your stuff works or not, and how will it work.)

The me3 outcry suggests that their stuff is not working as intended.
We cant really expect the creators to do our bidding, but we can expect, or at least hope, that they are care enough for their work to try to get it to perfection (even after release if they have to).
If they are really happy with the results and do not see any flaw, after listening to the feedback, then its fine! Problem is there is a _lot_ of people who worked on the game, and that practically warrants that some are not content with the way things are. They just cant really stand out and say so, it would not be fair with the rest of the team. And that's sad, because this might prevent them and us both, to be content with the results of their hard work.
little-miss-anarky Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2012  Student Digital Artist
wtf, theyre changing turtles to aliens, that so stupid.
EagleTsubasa Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2012
Yup. The artists can learn from the audience. Just like how they should learn to keep turtles as turtles and nothing more :P
MoonWhisperxxx Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2012  Student General Artist
I certainly don't think there's any obligation, but I think the artist certainly can learn a lot from his/her audience. I think the best artists tend to have a healthy exchange with their audience, without "selling out" so to speak.
PandorasDarkDreamer Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I think Listening to the fans ain't that bad. You just have to limit the amount on that the fans want to change it is still after all your story and if the fans change too much then it will seem too much like a fan pleaser.
Lumnili Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2012   Digital Artist
I don't think it's a bad idea to listen to your fans, but if an artist/writer did everything their fans told them to, I think their work would end up being a bit stupid and generic. The writer should write their own plot because what makes a story good is the writer's own unique imagination. However you shouldn't ignore fans either because they might have some interesting ideas that you overlooked... And if you're trying to get more fans or make your fans like your story more, I think it would be good to listen to their opinions, like seeing what characters they like the most so you can have more scenes with them, and give less attention to characters that no one likes (unless you have something planned for those characters) Also if there's a love triangle that you're unsure about, it might help to see what the fans want?

I haven't really had fans suggesting changes to my story and because it's all planned out and it's not very long I probably wouldn't be able to take suggestions. But if they were small (good) suggestions I might be able to fit them in somewhere.
NasikaSakura Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2012  Student General Artist
Really, I agree with your statement there. Besides, if I'm making a comic for MY amusement, I'll make it however I want to please myself. =w= Otherwise, it wouldn't be fun and rather tiresome! The whole point was to make it for myself anyways.

But as far as marketing goes, that often can prove a hindrance. XD Not always, but for may cases, it being from truly realistically cynical and dissatisfying to highly ridiculous and hence unbelievable, as far as the story's natural flow beforehand dictates.
SuperNinjaWorrior Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2012
The makers of these books, movies, games etc. are artists, it is there work, creation and right to make whatever changes they want. If the public wants it to go a certain way then they can go and do it themselves...why do you think we have fan-art and fan-fics!!! ;] media has survived this long with out the consumers becoming directly involved.

i fear that if everyone becomes so involved every trip to the movies will end up like the one in the "Raging Bender" episode of Futurama where the All My Circuits: The Movie is ruined by the ability for the audience to vote on what the characters should do, it sound great until the public would rather watch people do paperwork rather than kick robot butt.

the public can be trusted no more than the creators! but the difference is that the creators are creating it, thus its there job to make something awesome, or to screw it up...and we have to let them!
How else will we get anything awesome!
Minkymy Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2012
If the author maintains consistency and sensibility according to in universe laws, then they should stick to their vision.
However, if they aren't, then, well... Maybe they ought to listen to those critiques.
DeathDefyingTree Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Sometimes it is best to listen to others and at other times it is best to go with what you want. Personally, I prefer compromise over all. In cases such as these, it depends on the story. The people. The way things are written and how they will fall together.
lePoisson-Rouge Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2012  Student Writer
I think the author should stick with whatever it is they had in mind for the story. It's their work, not the fans'.
cielle4vr Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I guess it depends on your ultimate goal. If you, the creator, have a master plan for the whole story, you should stick with it. Changing plots in the middle only creates loopholes and confusion. Also, if you are creating the story purely for your own satisfaction, go with what you have in mind.
But if your goal is to gain audience/make profit, then I think fulfilling the audience's demand is the best choice.
NordicLynx Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I definitly think that it gets more special when you know that you can contact the author or the artist. It makes it much more personal :)
GingerandSnow Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I don't think that creators should change what they have already created, only to please the fans. They are creating their own story, and it will end the way it will end. But they should take fan feedback into account, for future projects or the continuation of the current project, to see what they've done wrong or they should work on.

:shrug: My two cents, anyway.
JeiFaeKlubs Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2012
Changeing something that has a great fanbase already, and that lasted for a long time is in my eyes simply not clever. The TMNT-creators probably wanted to reach a new audience, but they are probably going to lose their old fans. (Have to say here, never been a TMNT fan, don't even like it).
As of ME3, I'd say: if they had the whole plot worked out from the beginning, they should leave it like it is, although it might be unsatisfactionary for the fans. If they, however, had many different drafts, why not think it over again? I think the main anger here lies with the fact that your desicions didn't influence the ending, although that would have been what you have expected.
SonicWolvelina99 Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
While the Creator(s) should listen to other peoples opinions, good and bad, the Creator(s) can shape it to whatever they want to shape it into. They produce, we consume.
TerhuneLass Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2012  Hobbyist
Hmm - well, I still feel that the creators in question hold the ultimate power of their works, and, if they are sure to look at it objectively, should know the best direction to take their story. However, that doesn't mean they cannot accept input or consider the audience that they are catering to. I think the best story-tellers are those who are able to view their story, characters, and audience at enough length but personal enough to make educated decisions that help and propel the story in the best possible way.
Was that a long-winded enough comment for y'all?? :D
Talkerwolf Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2012  Student Writer
I think the creater of something - where it's a game, a piece of writing, a comic or whatever - should create the thing how they origannly intended it to be. It is there creation, and no one else. If the audiance does not like it, then that is up to them, and not the original creaters fault. You can't please everyone.
alankrita-sweetstar Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
a story should be how the author wants it to be like!
we r d readers,not the creators!!
white-lucky-star Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2012  Student
i think its best to be true to yourself when making a story/comic series, it YOUR story after all you just gotta please is yourself =D the original vision is always the best in my opinion~ . u .
'cause if your fans are REALLY your fans they would respect your artistic way of thinking and creativity~ no? . w .
blueorchid123 Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2012
I think people who revision stories from their original status should not be criticized for trying something different. Nobody can change one's vision but of course if the general crowd gets highly upset over it, then they should know it is not going to be a success. Sometimes it takes that push to accept change and realize the good aspects of it but it is hard to alter a story someone knows and love. Personally, I know when they were in talks about the Uncharted movie and how they wanted to cast Matt Damon as the lead, I was pretty disappointed and when I read the old directors comment on what he thought what gamers really liked about the games which were the movements ( or something like that) and not the story, I felt absolutely outraged. It's a hard call but people are allowed to express different visions but we all just have to realize its a separate work from the original.
likeporcelin Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I think that if the person is suggesting minor revisions and such is fine, since the story is afterall the authors. I have a friend who catches those minor mistakes and even suggests little pieces of the book where i could add more...but i appreciate that she doesnt tell me what to do but rather lets my inspiration work where she thinks the story might be lacking.
FluffySmartAss Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2012  Student General Artist
I don't want to read his journal.... to long =P
And I don't quite understand. What I'm thinking is you mean whether changing a story for the readers is good or not? I would say it depends on the writer. If your writing Knite and your yaoi lover fans say, "Make Sen and Kai kiss!" You wouldn't put that in the story(Or I hope you wouldn't), because it really has nothing to do with whats going on.
Also, imagining what the characters would do, as the reader, should stay as a thought. I LOVE Durarara!! And I would love to see Shizuo have to save Izaya or something. But I think putting it in the story would be dumb. They hate each other after all. And Izaya probably has some kind of control over whatever situation hes in anyways. If a situation happens where Izaya needs help, I want to see what Ryohgo Narita will make him do; not me.
I'm sure somewhere there are a few exceptions to using the fans ideas, but mostly the author should stick with what they want.
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