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DA Lit : Who We Are

Sat Oct 29, 2011, 9:13 PM

I am proud to be exclusively a literature artist.  I really don't know how to do anything else.  Here on DA, Literature is not necessarily under appreciated by most of the people in the community, it is just widely ignored.  I think, really, many of us are completely okay with that.  For the most part, we aren't here for popularity.  

We are here for each other.  We don't have thousands of followers.  We don't have millions of faves.  But for the most part, we have been able to find other artists that help us to refine our art.  I've said it before and I'll say it again:  I truly cannot express the appreciation and love that I have for my friends who consistently critique my work.  One monstroooo, ChibiDomo, or any other of my adamant critique-rs is worth a thousand faceless, nameless followers.  

We are a community of our own.  There are many groups here on DA that inspire writers to not only do their best, but to help others as well.  WritersInk was one of the first communities that I joined.  It has a Weekly Roundup that features several selections from that weeks submissions, and a Writer of the Month that features someone that is active in both submitting and critiquing the works of others.  There are wonderful people like thorns who hosts Chat Tours and gives prizes out at every turn, many of them from her own pocket.  There are communities like FocusOnLit, another group that is dedicated to encouraging people in novel length endeavors, grouping members into teams as mini support groups.  I met the wonderful ME-Jones through this community, another of my wonderful critique-rs. 

We have each others' backs.  We throw our money into this site as prizes to encourage others, and into communities so that we can properly organize them.  We pass along news and contests through our journals and through as many communities as we can.  We are quick to congratulate those among us that win contests, get featured, or get published.  We (used to) fav any and all news articles regarding literature when we could, as well as link them in our journals for others to see.  

We would prefer a comment over a thousand favs.  I don't mean a "this is da bomb" or a comment with an emoticon.  I mean something that is related to our work.  Even if its just a few sentences about why you liked it, why you didn't like it, or what could be done to improve.  We are more likely to comment than to +fav.  I know that I have often commented on a literary work that I loved and forgot to +fav it, as opposed a visual work where I am more likely to +fav it than to comment.  I can't necessarily say something intelligent about a work of art, as I am not a visual artist.  I like what I like, I +fav what inspires.  With literature, I comment on what inspires.  And I want you to be even better.  So I leave a few words, because just that is enough to encourage someone that was maybe questioning whether or not they should continue with this thankless art form.  In fact, many of my closest friends here on DA I have gained from commenting on their works.  And if you have browsed through literature and noticed the comments that are on a piece, they are much different from the type of comments on a visual piece usually are.  More often than not, there is a conversation between artists about style, about substance, about themes, and about what can be done. It is a back-and-forth, an exchange of knowledge.  

We see DA as a workshop, a way to improve and to get and give inspiration, not as an untouchable display.

With the new features introduced by writer, I at first found myself a bit confused and therefore ambivalent.  I was simply going to wait it out until everything calmed down and then I was going to try it out.  I was doing a pretty good job ignoring all the rage and hoop-la that was going on.  Until this.  This all actually comes as a response to spyed's journal entry here:…, and this section in particular:
THE LITERATURE COMMUNITY. One of the biggest factors in building Writer, and merging Journals with deviations was the simple fact that we could bring a massive amount of much needed support to the Literature community. The hottest button ever pushed at deviantART is our lack of support for Lit! Considering technical limitations, merging these systems brings a huge amount of support to Literature tools that can just as easily be used for writing Journals. Lit deviations can soon be skinned. Thumbnail support for Lit deviations will get a bunch of benefits. This poll didn't take that in to account, but I did. And I think when all is said and done, deviantART is going to be that much more amazing because of this change...

Now, I was just skimming through this article to really figure out what was going on with this thing.  This quote, one of the very last things in the article, seemed like a complete afterthought.  A bandaid slapped on to a problem that no one seemed to understand.  The wording doesn't even make sense.  I actually barely understand what is trying to be said here.   Each time I read it, it seems more and more as if the admins are equating a work of literature to a journal.   As someone who writes for a living, I find this completely demeaning.  It is bad enough that people will now be throwing things into the literature section because they don't exactly understand the difference, but it seems as if the admins are even encouraging this view.  And, as I have stated previously, the fact that most literature deviants will comment as opposed to +fav'ing, worthy literature will be bumped off of the main page due to the fact that people, wanting privacy in regards to their journals, will now be dumping them wherever they wish. 

 Yes, being able to skin our deviations will be nice, I do prefer to have more control over the way my literature is visually presented.  However, it will make no difference if no one will see it because it is now hidden under the fact that some popular visual artist just got an awesome new pair of boots.  And the very nerve of lumping Literature in with Journals is disheartening.  It seems as if the DA Admins themselves don't value the members of their literature community, as they seem to be claiming.  Yes, this will appeal to members that are stoked about making their poetry pretty.  But me?  I'm a writer who is now studying their form at the graduate level, and you just said that my life's work is the same thing to you as a journal.  Oh, and I get pretty thumbnails, I think.  I don't know.  You really weren't clear on what you said.  Making it so that my deviation can be pretty is not support. It is pointing in the distance and telling me there is something shiny there for me to look at.

In regards to Journals and News:  Before, I could glance down at the bottom of the page and see a list of popular news, and among those articles there was at least ONE regarding Literature features or contests.  Frankly, I will trade my pretty deviations just to see a literature news article down there again.   But I most likely never will. Because it doesn't matter how many of us do our best to +fav something, we Lit artists are severely outnumbered.   In this same entry (above), it is noted that there were only about 40 news articles posted a day.  Am I the only person that is completely ok with that?  When have you picked up a newspaper that was as thick as an encyclopedia?  News is news, and frankly, most of the communication between and within the Lit community was done AS NEWS FEATURES.   So, how are you helping us, DAdmins, by destroying the one thing we had that would get us some attention outside of our own tight-knit community? If someone posts a News Journal regarding features from a group or Author Interviews, and we pass that around journal to journal,  it will still easily be overrun by the +favs of any visual artist's daily journal about how delicious their dinner was.  We will now be forced to dig to find our News articles, and it will never go outside of our community.  You have hindered, not helped. 

It seems as if the admins do not actually understand what is going on right under their noses and are now patting themselves on the back ("The poll didn't take that in to account, but I did.") for acknowledging us.  We were doing just fine before you glanced this way and demeaned us, but thanks for that.  

I realize now that I probably went a little overboard in my assumptions here, and yes, some of what I said was a bit of a stretch.  Our dear admin probably didn't mean to say that Journals are the same of Literature, but the implication was there.  We're writers, we can probably understand implications better than we understand what is stated outright.  I don't see anything wrong with, but I don't see how it helps us in any way.  Which is why that I was angered by the idea that the Lit community is being used to buffer complaints, and people that aren't even in our community are then willing to accept that DAdmins were trying to do all of this for us.  I thank the people that are willing to deal with change for our benefit, it is very kind and supportive and that is very much appreciated.  But the admins did not help, and by claiming to have done so they are using us as a distraction.   

Here are a whole TWO THINGS that would actually benefit the Lit community.  These have been derived and honed from comments made on this journal.  More to come, as they appear.

  • Regarding News:  I'm aware that DA will not go back to the way it was before.  But  instead of putting just the most popular journals at the bottom, simply default that footer feed to most popular journals in the news category.  That doesn't seem like a stretch.  Sure, right now when I click on the lit news what comes up is a journal about someone offering pixel adoptables.  But, at least having it so that the actual news has a CHANCE to make it onto the footer would be a step.
  • Get someone on your admin team that is from the Lit community.  Just look at the wonderful volunteers we have.  This step would allow for some kind of insight into how the Lit community works from the inside, since it is obviously different from the way that most of DA works.  That not feasible?  How about you just open a line of communication between the Admins and the Lit community volunteers.  From what I understand, it seems as if they aren't allowed to say anything to Admins unless someone in the community contacts them.  Why won't the admins contact the CVs, instead, to at least find out what it is that would actually help us?  Suggested originally by bowie-loon123 here:

Really, is that too much to ask?  

Thank you for all the wonderful support.  I think the mass amount of comments and the intelligent discussion that is happening here is a fine example of what the Lit community is about.

A few quotes taken from comments on this page regarding literature and the community:

For me, literature is equally if not more impressive than every other art that exists out there. I find it extremely hard to invent a bunch of characters, a world, a whole universe that is - as far as one can say that - original, and on top of that, create a story that keeps people interested until the last word. Your (as in all the writers) work should be equally regarded as any other artwork. MithrandirMoon

When you are treating art like journal entries, you are treating the art community with disrespect. We are just as much of artists as painters and drawers, and we need people to understand that we belong as just as much as anyone else. chibilvr091

I agree that the Literature community is very tight-knit and that a comment is worth a thousand faves. I'm fairly new to deviantART and I haven't had a real chance to fully immerse myself in the obscure and sadly under-appreciated literature world here, but I recognize its importance and value with ease. That being said, I realize that these things hold little relevance to the point at hand as they were merely examples used as tools to get your point across, but I still felt the need tell you how much I agree with them, because they are indeed very important to those of us who count ourselves within this community. Dreamscape195

Literature deviations with preview images and backgrounds get more views, that's true. But at the same time, literature is about the words that are on the page, not the image that's behind it. SpiritGlade

There are some amazing writers out there. The ones I have found need to be publishing their work or writing their own books. They should be encouraged. Bluesilver84  

A comment is more beautiful to me than any +fav could ever be, and a three paragraph comment telling me about how to adjust my rhythm and word choice is worth more to me than all the money in the world. Writing is my inspiration to continue happily through high school, it allows me to tell the world about how I feel in such a subtle way that it creates an intimacy with the reader. No visual art, to me at least, can convey the emotions that a stunning piece of literature can. I believe that a sentence is worth a thousand pictures, that so many ideas can stem from a simple series of words. trustinparanoia

One of the beautiful things about literature is being able to imagine in the white space between the given details. To allow words to be building blocks for pretty mental (or, in some cases, literal) pictures. toxic--sunrise

I asked LadyLincoln, one of the most prevalent Lit News writers, if this merger made her feel dishearteaned about putting so much effort into a news article considering the lack of quality control. Her reply was this:
Yes, it does.  I wonder if I should continue. Then I recall why I started doing so in the first place. I am here for my community - to try and help make a difference, even if it is in a small way. And should it only reach one person and has impacted them in some way, I have done something wonderful and that is what truly matters to me. LadyLincoln

Keep 'em coming.

This entry was, surprisingly, awarded a DLD!   Please check out the other artists that received this recognition and :+fav: the article here:

Thanks goes to Nichrysalis for being one of the first Lit deviants to help get the word out about this article.
& thanks to AssClownFish for the support.
& thanks to everyone else for comments, favs, and plugs.  It is much appreciated.

Add a Comment:
coolkatie24 Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2011
very interesting... i guess im not active enough to notice but i shall look into this and ponder also welcome u newbies below <333s for u all and lamas
Great-Lord-Dread Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011  Professional Writer
Very interesting. I joined dA about two, two and a half months ago. I've been trying to ingratiate myself into the lit community here and I've been enjoying it immensely. This community and my rejuvenated love for my craft has improved my quality of life. I feel what you're saying, any feedback, no matter how small, positive or negative, it just makes my day.
MyBlankInfinity Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011  Student Writer
I'm really new to DA and I'm only just beginning to discover the whole Lit community. I'm amazed by all the appreciation, general support and the whole friendly atmosphere you have here... Anyway, just wanted to congratulate on this article. It's exactly what I believe in!
MariaShade Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
This horrifies me.
linaket Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2011   Writer
I've been seeing that happen a LOT lately. I have yet to get a chance to do an in depth exploration of stash, but I think there MUST be some way that you can change these thumbnails (we're supposed to have BETTER thumbnails, RIGHT?!) I'll let you know if I figure out a way to change it.

I think it horrifies everyone. You're not alone :heart:
MariaShade Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
I hope they fix it, I'm not going to use stash again, not until someone finds a way to do it without labelling our artwork as journals.
linaket Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2011   Writer
I've been avoiding stash to submit art because there is a glitch that doesn't allow you to edit your deviation, either. I'm not sure if this has been fixed, but I know it existed previously.
MariaShade Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
No that has been fixed.
LokiTheSaint Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2011  Student Writer
words are as good as drawing if you ask me
Lhmac Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
writing =/= literature
Anyone can string a sentence together. Words aren't art, it's the arrangement of them that creates an artwork.
WordWeight Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2011  Student Writer
Agreed. DA doesn't understand the value of words anymore. And to be honest, I think only a few people do. To merge ART and WASTELESS JOURNALS together...its like your heart becomes ripped into tiny paper fragments of shock and dispair in front of your face. Definitely want to change this.
wh0rem0ans Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2011
I am not a 'community' sort of person.
Groups are not my happy place. But I
do love the folks who help me refine
my art, one at a time. And dA is the
place where I found them.
xlntwtch Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2011   Writer
I just read many, many comments on this journal-as-an-important-comment for the literature community, after reading your insights into what helps literature groups and individuals (comments!) and what doesn't help (fav and run) and much more.

I'm like several folks here in that to see my journal up as a 'deviation' was a total shock.
So total that for my next entry, I used the "Discourage, Friends only" (or similar - sorrry, it's 1:45 a.m. here) and also wrote only about lit contests, features of all kinds, and added a short story written by an admired author.

I haven't figured out any advantages of, nor how to use it.
My problem, I guess. I need an instruction manual I can understand, I suppose.
All I do here is literature, and critiques, and I love doing it. I didn't think there needed to be changes. :confused:

I don't understand why any change in any category here is done without at least a few weeks advance notice, with requests for comments about whether users think it's a good idea or not. That seems easy to do.

And look at this! I'm brought here because DLD chose it for one of their daily awards.
I don't care about anyone else's decision on it.. (I've made a comment, though it's incomplete and I wish I had the energy to complete it) ..I'm going to fav this because it's written quite well. I read the DLDs every day, and often choose one or two to fav and also say "Congratulations on the DLD."

SO: Congratulations on the DLD! :)
DailyLitDeviations Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2011
Your wonderful literary work has been chosen to be featured by DailyLitDeviations in a news article that can be found here [link]
Be sure to check out the other artists featured and show your support by :+fav:ing the News Article.
Quemaqua Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2011  Professional Writer
So much discussion. But yes, this is a huge problem and always has been. It's a damn shame and a constant aggravation.
blueheron93 Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2011  Student Writer
I literally laughed when I read the idea that this new format will support the literary community. As a literary artist, I'm not seeing how that works. How does making journals deviations support us? Equating the two is ridiculous. My journals are not the same as my literary art. My literary art is art. My journals are, "This is what I did today this is what I'm working on kthxbye."

If anything, I think lumping journals with deviations undermine the literary community. It's saying that what we do is something that anyone could do. Anyone can post a journal talking about how their cat got stuck in an empty box. Equating something like that with the literary work that we put our blood, sweat, and tears into is, frankly, insulting.
LadyofGaerdon Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2011  Professional Writer
Okay, I guess I'd better wade into this conversation.

I completely agree about personal journals showing up in the footer, and that the loss of the news article feature is detrimental to the lit community. I also agree it would be beneficial to have a lit community volunteer as a site admin.

But I'm rather baffled by this assumption that by having literature and journals both be submitted from the same platform, dA is equating literature with journal entries. I don't think that is the case at all. It just makes sense that if dA was going to make things like html easier for the lit community, that they would offer this to journals too. I'm even more baffled by the idea that literature deviations will now be "lumped in" with journals, when they both still have their own separate, distinct categories.

I also don't think it's fair to say that hasn't done anything for us. All users can now use thumbs. This makes it so that any deviant can feature another deviant's work, which helps absolutely everyone on the site. We no longer have to manually input html in our literature, and I know this is something that benefits me, and is also something the lit community has long been clamoring for. Now we have it.

I understand the annoyance at the idea that giving us pretty skins for our literature is support. We want our words to stand on their own and be enough to draw in an audience. But guess what? They're not, at least not if we want to branch out and attract more readership from outside our own insular community. I'v lost count of how many readers my commissioned book cover has earned me fro my novel on this site. The value of illustration cannot be underestimated, especially on a site that is mostly visual. The truth is, most of us, when we go to the bookstore, ARE drawn in by covers. We don't necessarily buy a book because of them, but they do make us stop and take a peek.

So whether we like it or not, skins are beneficial to the literature community, at least to the goal of bringing more people into it.

It is also a good thing that groups can now produce news articles, even if they are in the form of journals.

I think we, as a community, need to stop being jealous of the visual artists and start working with them to our advantage. One of the few downsides to the mass-production of books, was the loss of illustration. Many longer books were published with drawings, woodcarvings, and so on, that were just too costly to reproduce on a massive scale. The advent of digital art gives us an opportunity to recapture this lost reading experience, and we can start by embracing the visual tools we have available with which to illustrate our words.

I really hope news comes back, or at least that the footer could be made to contain only actual news-worthy items.

I don't think $spyed just threw in a reference to the lit community as a way to excuse people's dissatisfaction with I think he is sincerely trying to help the community, even if perhaps he gets it wrong sometimes.
LadyofGaerdon Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2011  Professional Writer
I will add that I did :+fav: this article because I respect your point of view and I think this is an important conversation to have. I'm glad that this article has stirred up so much conversation in the lit community. :)
StJoan Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
I've slept on this for a few days...

from the first day to the last i was a gallery director for lit, we asked for a rich text editor. writer is the farthest thing from what we had in mind.

how fucking hard is it to understand that my email, even back in the day when i had a hotmail account, has more functionality than even this new writer does?
why the hell would i want to use a CSS skin on my literature?

a freaking rich text editor. that's all. that's ALL we asked for. Bells and whistles and such? fuck that. we didn't need it. we didn't even push pagination and support for novellas and novels. writer is a slap in the face.

I have tried for years and years to support the changes dA has made, I have had my issues but I've always tried in the end to adapt and see the positive. I have tirelessly supported version changes even when i hated the interface because I saw the reasoning behind it.
I see the reasoning behind this and am appalled.

Last March i had the privilege to sit next to Angelo and talk to him about the lit community, to express to him directly exactly what we wanted and exactly how so many of us felt.
It was a great experience. He's a really nice and charming guy and he has some incredible ideas that we will see implemented over time. There is some really really fabulous stuff coming.
But wow did he miss the mark here.
I now feel like I was talking to a brick wall.

I'm wholly disheartened.

The best people I know, I've met here. Many of them are admins and are amazing people that hold dear places in my heart. I do not blame them or hold any bad feelings towards them.
I am, however, completely surprised that some of them were either ignored or not consulted in this update because it is SO INCREDIBLY OBVIOUS to anyone that has ever dealt with the notoriously thorny lit community that the update and subsequent statements made would upset so many of us and lend so much legitimacy to a claim i fought for 3 years to nullify: that dA doesn't understand or really support lit.

All that work for naught?
I hope not.
Crimson-Werewolf Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2011
Huzzah, and the word has been spoken.

Although I'm not much of a literary artist myself, (in terms of what I post, at least), just reading this has changed my perspective entirely.

Forgive me for not writing something more meaningful, but if I tried, it'd just end up sounding extraordinarily cheesy. :P
Synnic Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I agree. I've seen some awfully inane stuff show up in the Journals section of the footer. Honestly given what journals, are, mainly personal ramblings of no real broader interest, I'm wondering why that shows up in the footer at all when the space could be better used.

I've felt for quite some time that the Literature community is under-served by dA and sometimes even mocked for things that any other artist's group would be given due consideration for. Remember dAlta? April, effing fools! Yeah, I can't tell you how annoyed I was by that one.

Journals and literature do NOT belong lumped in one bucket, and journals are NOT a substitute for news.
OtakuMutt Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I myself am working to be a master of all trades, with a foot planted firmly in both visual arts and not-quite-as-firmly in Lit. I've always loved both subjects and I dapple around in the reading of others works, always ready to leave a helpful comment here or there, and frankly, now that it's come full circle and I have a grasp at what really is, I'm not sure if I should be baffled or outraged.
This is ridiculous. Even I'm guilty of making journals to lumber on about how drab my day was or how much it rained, and even though I do post things of importance, those things are only important to my watchers. In face, they rarely range into anything the community would be interested in, and even still they are usually forwarded journals that, though meaningful, are almost completely useless.
Now then, how does it make sense that people could lump that kind of boring, rambling information into literature;
Stories that take your heart in a death grip? Poetry that could bring you to your knees or ponder life like it's something new?
That's worse than a slap to the face.
LiliWrites Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
I've been away from dA for about two weeks and come back to this business and I have to say - what a crock of shit. (Sorry to talk about poop more.)

I am very disappointed with the way this system is handled. News should be news. Journals should be journals. And for the love of COMMON FUCKING SENSE literature should be literature. You can streamline the way it is all submitted, but you can't lump it all together and call it an improvement.

jakndaxlovingirl Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
I honestly haven't really paid much attention to the whole St.ash thing, I just noticed that Journals are now considered Deviations and I thought that a bit odd. But I agree with everything you said in here. There is absolutely no comparison between the hard work all of us authors exhibit on here, and reading someone's rambling about the pizza they had for lunch or whatever else they deem "important". To mark Journals as Literature is like a slap in the face to the whole writing community.

We get so little recognition as it is, especially when compared with all the visual artists. I know from my own experience that the few drawings I've put on here have about twice as many views/favorites as my writing does. But being a writer is my passion, as it is for everyone else in the Lit community. It's what we love to do, and now we're getting even less encouragement for that than we did before. You're right in saying that we all help and support each other, and it makes me sad to think that if the Lit community wasn't so tight-knit, we would hardly be given the time of day by anyone else.
sagethethird Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2011  Professional
As a visual artist who loves gleaning imagery from books and literature, I cannot see a reason why we should have a way to "pretty up" our deviations or skin our deviations the way we would skin a journal. I'm going to be blunt about this, isn't that destracting rather than adding to a work? I don't put frames around my paintings for that reason alone. it's really a distraction, and if I where reading a book and trying to imagine the characters and there were graphics floating all around the text I wouldn't be as concentrated on the work. having to sift through an encyclopedia of junk to get to the well written things is counterproductive no matter what you're looking for. and to add on top of that skins to "pretty up" your deviations? that takes away from the point of an artwork, to admire it for what it is. it's why I liked the gray background of DA, simple, unintruding, perfect for a place to show you work.

I was once taught by an English professor that, to completely emerse yourself in your writing, one had to be completely cut off from all distractions. There is an author he mentioned that literally put his desk in a basement room, the laptop he wrote on had no programs on it but word, and to eliminate the distraction of the internet he glued his modem into the jack and cut it off. A little extreme but it poses my point quite well. Simplicity is always better than novelty. The late Steve Jobs knew this when creating his electronics, and there was a writing app on those devices that basically and I quote "makes sure all your thoughts get into the text and not the program" by eliminating the troublesome distractions of the gui you're writing with. here's the link [link] .

why is it that this has a 5 star review? Simplicity over Novelty. DA needs to realize that for anything to be helped, simplicity needs to be put over novelty. whatever is done.

Writing is the greatest example of simplicity over novelty in fact. one imagines whole worlds from just a few sentences. "it was the best of times, and it was the worst of times" the first line of "a tale of two cities" emerses you in the world you are about to read with just 13 words. You don't need much to say a lot, the greatest visual artist even knows that. I'm doing a copy painting for my painting class so we can learn from our predecessors, and this guy litterally made cloth that looked incredibly realistic with single brushstrokes, your mind puts together the pieces. Writing is the ultimate extreme of this. anything that would benefit the literature community would not include graphics and CSS. it would in fact simplify the older system.

but you can be the judge of what I'm saying here you're the one studying literature at the graduate level lol.

But I will say this. Very Well written journal. And yes I shall fave.
SisterOfScarletDevil Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I have to agree. Most of the time, my journals are something random I put together or some kind of meme that I felt like doing that day. It isn't very exciting, nor very interesting half the time. Literature should be something different than journals. Decorating them doesn't make it any more interesting or have a point. While I like the thought of moving forward, this isn't exactly the best idea ever created. There needs to be a line between innovating and random ideas.
Kael-Thas-Sunstrider Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
The ability to add graphics to our work is an interesting concept, but it does feel as if they are showing us a shiny bauble with one hand while they steal away our carefully collected pebbles which we've polished and gathered for years. It is a rather impressive feat, to cause so much discord within a community because they fail to understand the needs of said community.

I've been a writer on DA for about 5 years now, and when I first started I just posted items because I wrote them and then figured I may as well do something with it. But as I continued I did notice that other writers on here were sometimes far and few between and by no means easy to locate. I agree with you completely about our comments meaning more than favs many times over.

There is more of a literary community than there was a few years back, or rather theres more of one that I can see, because I remember when it was sometimes once a month if I was lucky where I would see a new article or some such on writing. I may have to start taking an interest in this community again as when I left a few years ago I had completely failed to notice much of one.

A subject of some personal annoyance with my work is that few people do give my work comments or critique. And while I do like the occasional fav, I would prefer the comment, but I've posted one or two attempts at art, rather bad ones but still, and it does vex me that these pitiful attempts garner great praise or attention than my entire portfolio of written work. But thats quite probably an example of DA, writers will always come behind the visually artistic community, even if we can paint pictures more vivid and more breathtaking with our words than they can with paintings and drawings.

I may have rambled somewhat and I may have even lost my train of thought to the point where it has become derailed, dismantled and turned into a bed and breakfast for weary travellers who have become bored with my long winded statements.

We do need some form of voice in the collection of Admins, even if it is just one of them listening to the community and taking it on board rather than hearing there is a problem but not hearing our thoughts on a possible solution and bringing one out which they think would benefit. And turning our work into journals and pretty pictures is not exactly the most inspired solution.
AspiredWriter Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
as a writer i don't need comments on how wonderful the background behind my text is. i wholeheartedly agree that a useful comment or critique even if it is a single point, is worth all the views and +favs on the site. i also do visual art (or at least i try, not that good at it) and i am not working with the written word. this does not make my work any less meaningful.

journals and such little fun stuff should be kept separate from the work we do. who cares if i put all kinds of crap in? what matters is what i write.

i have no idea what this st.ash is all about but i need little more than what is already here. i just think that visual and lit should be put on an equal footing.

i applaud all those who do their utmost to help others be it lit or visual or any general issue. :clap:

i also agree about the reasons for being here. i came here primarily to improve my writing and i found on the way a wonderful supportive and absolutely amazing community especially within the writers among us. i love this place and have long since made dA my homepage and is easily the site i visit most frequently.

i do however have an issue with the way this article is presented. the way i see it, it is no more than a critique but instead of a deviation, it is of dA in general. as such i feel that one of the most important "don't" rules of critiquing is borderlined crossed here. as a ctirique this article should do its best to enlighten and help improve rather than scold.

i have great appreciation and respect towards dA admins and i have seen no bad intentions on their part. in fact it seems they are doing their best to help. if you dissagree with their methods you should point it out in a positive manner. help them understand the implications rather than accuse them of being insensitive to a great part of their comunity (a part that they made part of dA)

to all writers: continue making your art reguardless (and if you are doing NaNoWriMo the best of luck) enjoy dA both visual and literary, keep up the good work and enjoy life.
Amontadillo Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2011  Student Writer
Well written :clap:

But how is it possible for us to actually bump the DAdmins into taking at least a half-step back to what it was? AS far as I can tell, they're generally not very respecting of the dA community's thoughts as a whole, let alone our little sub-sect.
divby0 Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2011  Professional Writer
This is why I've joined web communities like Lemonfingers and Figment. This place has never been designed in a way that was intended to showcase literature, so I've joined communities that are.

I've taught myself how to create other types of art in the hopes that some people would take a look at my gallery and see all the lit I have posted, but it doesn't work. If I write something that I was appropriate feedback on for a piece of literature, I share it somewhere other than deviantArt.
SpaceCricket Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011  Student Digital Artist
More power to you lit artists!
spyed Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Sorry I didn't catch this post but I'm glad I saw it.

The speed at which feedback comes in, and the speed at which we can respond with technology are worlds apart even with the sophistication that we have around these things.

By Monday we should have at least one big set of improvements, at which time we'll see where things stand.

There is no question that Writer will meaningfully and positively impact the Literature community. I'm not saying it has yet, I'm saying it will. The Suite will materially improve the publishing capabilities of all Lit. What I was suggesting is accurate; we used to have many different writing systems to maintain. Here, we'll ultimately end up with one. Which means we can focus on making that one really good, rather than spraying resources around to add a feature here and a feature there to many systems.

Also I'm sad that we released and Writer at the same time as the Journal integration, because people are melding them together when in fact they are three distinctly different projects we thought we'd release together since they work well together. My mistake on that one, I think I'll stick with releasing one feature at a time from now on ;)

Lastly, I'm not a particularly big fan of the items making it in to the footer so far either, but we do need to give it a moment to settle as people realize how to best take advantage of the new features. Modifications to what items get fed there will be made once things settle. For now, and even though this is a controversial statement; I actually really like the free for all ... it'll be a wild ride for a moment while things settle in.

I really understand how upsetting this is to everyone, but we're here and we're monitoring and listening and we will come up with a solution that ultimately works for most.

Even if we end up with our differences on this, which I don't think will be the case.. I just wanted to put all this aside for a moment to say that I really appreciate the passion and dedication I'm seeing in this journal, and by the fine folks replying and passionately stating their positions here in the replies too. It's a beautiful thing to see the love with which people defend this place and the things they care about here. I really always respect and appreciate that. Thanks.
linaket Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011   Writer
Thank you for taking the time to respond to this. I do understand there is a lot going on right now, so it is possible that you did genuinely miss this. It means a lot to the people that have thrown their support behind this endeavor that their voice has been acknowledged.

I believe, really, that one of the issues that concerns us most is the way that your announcements were worded. It seems as if you are implying that for literature to get attention it must have images in it and pretty things dancing around. That isn't true, and please refrain from applying things like that, which are good for journals, to literature. It will stop a lot of feathers from being ruffled. I do see how stash will help in the future, but it is the implication that we needed images in our work to make it stand out that bothers us. There is nothing about images that will help improve writing style--that is done through the words themselves. There have been a few opinions voiced here that stated people should be required to use a certain number of set skins, but that would raise entirely too many more issues about why someone should define how work is presented. I believe with guidance from the community that deviants will be able to properly utilize these features. I already have a few thoughts on the subject, none of which include sticking images in the middle of my text. So please, please stop equating things that are applicable to journal entries with what would be applicable to literature presentation. You are blurring the line between the two, and we don't appreciate that. That is what is upsetting everyone in this community more than anything else regarding these changes. Those statements are easily misconstrued. The presentations and the features used would and should be different, even if they do utilize the same tools.

I believe those improvements are a step, but not a leap. At this point, I am somewhat satisfied with a step, that's a pretty big deal for us. However, people will still abuse the system by making things so that they can be viewed on the DA Journal, and I really don't think that one particular artist having their commissions open is more important than an article that features things like this one: [link] I'm willing to sit back on the subject until some things settle down, but I won't be happy if it is not addressed in the future. I understand there is a lot of drama unfolding, but this issue must be addressed. The actual News category must be returned to the footer.

Again, thank you for taking the time to read through this journal and at least give us some semblance of peace on the issue. Please, I ask it again, be more careful with your wording in regards to Literature. No deviant wants to put pictures in the middle of their work, that would ruin it. It does nothing to "improve writing style" if there are pictures in the text (unless someone is experimenting with a hybrid form). I am sure there are other features that you can focus on as it would apply directly to Literature and not to Journals, like being able to copy a text from a word document and retain your formatting (which I believe you can do, though some people have had issues). Tread softly when trying to compare literature to other art forms--no one likes their art compared to anything else, much less to journal entries.
spyed Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow I didn't realize that was the misunderstanding. I never said that adding images to Literature would improve literature. I don't even equate the two as relevant I like my Literature to be Literature! :)

But I suppose I wasn't clear about it. And I can see how that might seem implied... certainly wasn't the intent. It's the Writer tool itself that provides a platform on which we can add many formatting options and functions that could help.

Anyway you're welcome and be well!
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
I am glad you agree that you like your literature as literature and I would like to ask, will there be limitations or restrictions when posting a journal and posting a work of literature through the writer so that there will be ways to differentiate between the two? One idea I've had off for a while:

- You mentioned literature could be skinned in the future, would it be possible to set in place a limit to how modified a literature skin is? (like a limit in kilobytes, is that possible?) I would go so far as to say to not allow images in the skin and only allow solid colors, and only colors from the neutral spectrum. This is because literature emphasizes the beauty of the words and not how pretty they look, if you understand where I'm coming from.
linaket Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2011   Writer
I still don't agree with the idea of putting limits on Lit skins. I know where you are coming from, as it will help to differentiate between the two. However, doing so will cause just as much consternation. It will be as if Admins (who seem to not quite understand why the presentation of literature is different) are trying to force people to display their work in a way that they see fit. I don't want a silly parchment skin, myself. I don't want to be forced to choose that sort of thing. It is saying that people do not have the sense to display their work properly. I do think it will take some guidance from the Lit community. I think I'm going to play with stash and maybe play with skins to experiment with how it can be used to properly present art, and even try to code some simple skins that can be used by other deviants that are geared specifically for literature and not journals.

Artists that do not properly present their work will be ignored, and that is a sure deal. But if we have resources to point them at they can learn how to use skins to their advantage as opposed to their disadvantage. There are also the more influential artists here, and community leaders, that can set an example by using these skins to their advantage instead of ignoring them. I don't want to have to go back and redo my entire gallery, but I'll certainly try to make sure that my work is professionally presented in the future.

I'm just trying to look at this from a logical standpoint: no one wants to be told how to present their art. Especially not if they are given a freedom and then have it taken away. We'll probably hear another loud outcry about that situation being disrespectful, and I, for one, would like to avoid that.
AssClownFish Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011
Why can't you tell everyone this?

I know I'm probably getting on your nerves, but if you'd tell the community your plans and when and how you're going to move things along, we probably wouldn't go nuts. I mean, I know you guys like to go "SURPRISE!", but that needs to be saved for stuff like Muro, which don't interfere with our everyday existence on dA.

My journal were pushed to the footer to prove a point. That people want news back. Until they SEE it or they're TOLD, they'll never know if you guys ARE going to fix anything. I'm not asking for you to revert the whole damn system. I like With the exception of writer screwing up modications [like bold tags], I think it's pretty badass.

The journal thing though. As a part time lit writer, I hate that my journal compares.

If you're looking on the horizon, trying to think of something to add, please consider a "dA Updates and Status Page" that doesn't require jumping through hoops to find. I shouldn't have to be subscribed to nine million groups [or even HQ, because I don't give a damn about their "features"]. We need an honest to god, open plan/communication page that deviants can see what's going on.

Think if you must.
TornadoWraith88 Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2011
You are freaking awesome. I've been stalking your dA for a while, sorry I haven't said anything before now. :D
LiliWrites Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
EmotionalOne98 Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
You purely amaze me. It's always been my dream to become a writer and I'm very mediocre right now.

I totally agree with you, dA hasn't done anything for us. I might of only been here 7 months, but I know bullshit when I see it.

I'm tired so I'm not going to type out a gigantic long message, but I have to thank you for supporting our community and not just accepting it like most of us are...
Blacksand459 Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
After re-reading the article closely and reflecting on both the tone of my comments and *linaket's intentions behind her editorial, I apologize for my brashness.

Again, I agree with you:

Journals are NOT art-
Literature IS an art form-
YES, the Lit community deserves equal recognition for their art on dA-

So...I only take offense when some folks seem to think other art forms are not as demanding or special as writing. This is your journal, *linaket, and I intruded rather rudely. I just take exception to some of your supporters viewpoints.

literature is equally if not more impressive than every other art that exists out there. ~MithrandirMoon
It can be equally impressive, yes.

No visual art, to me at least, can convey the emotions that a stunning piece of literature can. ~trustinparanoia
To each his own, as they say.

I see literature as more of a challenge than visual work, at least for myself. Putting a wolrd into words and conveying the world exactly how it was drawn up seems exponentially more difficult than simply literally drawing the world. It's a different dialect to translate.~AtheistGod

The desire and difficulty of transposing what an artist sees/feels is, I think, universal in the arts...whether music, visual, writing.

As both a visual artist and a literary artist, I find it harder to be a literary artist. Why? We have to come up with our own worlds, our own characters, our own plots, why a visual artist can do whatever the fuck they want.*UltimaMage578

I should not let others rile me. But begging your pardon, a photographer must work within a set realm: light, shadow, clarity, weather, location, etc. The writer and the visual artist must BOTH use their imaginations to wrest a satisfactory result from a given situation, whether a landscape or a prompt.

All the best, *linaket. I hope $spyed has a change of heart.
linaket Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011   Writer
Thank you. I don't think you intruded rudely at all. You simply stated what you gathered from what I presented in a cool, logical manner. I respect that you were willing to express an idea that might not have received the most popular of responses. This is a personal journal, but it is also editorial and with that comes responsibility. Which was why when I was accused of being "despicable" for asking for faves, I left it. Because I took the responsibility (albeit a bit nervously) to stand behind what was said. I went overboard in my original rant, and attempted to clarify myself later but left the original ranty-bits intact. Because I'm human, and I make mistakes, but I was determined to not take the easy way out and back-peddle.

I have an immense respect for visual artist. Heck, I'm a bit jealous of them. I wish that I could draw the images in my head in order to see them, but I can't. However, I have commissioned many artists from this site, and I found that when I described my characters, who they were, what their emotions were (they are people to me, after all), these artists were able to depict that with such accuracy I was dumbfounded. The gift that visual artists gave me was the ability to solidify my words into a tangible vision. I am also an adamant keeper of a few custom tattoos. I described an idea to an artist, he drew it, and I loved it so much I will carry it with me for the rest of my life.

I've always been creative, but I accepted that visual art was not the form for me (I can't even tell my left hand from my right). Instead, I poured the same devotion that visual artists put in their works into my writing. It is a harder form for people to get behind, though, but that is more a reflection of today's visual-reliant culture than of the people themselves. I just want others to understood that it takes the same light, the same shadow, and the same clarity to construct a literature piece. I think it just makes me sad that people don't seem to understand the writing process, and if they did, we could stand on the same ground and get the same respect. I have actually read comments that state that this is deviantART, so of course it is focused on visual forms! In fact, there is one comment from my one lovely troll that states that if we don't like how "unpopular" literature is (not the case I made, actually), we should (and I quote): "QUIT WHINING AND DO SOMETHING ELSE."

Why should that be? How is that fair? sorry, I think I just got a little maudlin on you....

I do understand where you are coming from. There is a universal struggle as artists to express what they feel, and what they want to show. Many of these comments do toe a line. However, they are in the "I" form and were simply meant for these artists to express their feelings. With the nature of this journal, and this community, I see why many of them would compare literature to visual art. I am considering another journal, and if I create it I will be certain to ask that people show the respect they are asking for and speak about their form without comparing to others in such a manner. We're writers, right? I'm sure we can manage as much ;)

Thank you for taking the time to explain your point, I understand where your feelings came from, and I hope to avoid that sort of misunderstanding in the future.

Best of luck.
Ebahr Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I agree with this 150%, and included a link in my journal about it also. I'm not as well written as this, by any means, so hope people that visit mine also take the time to visit here and read through this completely. I feel this is ultimately a terrible, two-fold mistake on the designer part, not just because because it effects the lit community, but it also disrupts the social structure of the community, and will ultimately effect visual artists too. Art Features will now be harder to come by. Favorite folders will be come filled with Meme's and reports on toenail growth.
I ranted off in my journal. I think it's just a very poorly executed idea.
linaket Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011   Writer
Thank you :) Any voice helps, it takes many small voices to make a chorus.
kersee9 Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011  Professional Writer
"...we could bring a massive amount of much needed support to the Literature community."

I, personally, do not see the support aspect of clumping us all together with no chance of surpassing the most popular devs' journal entries and severing a very important link that we had to one another.

*DailyLitDeviations had a specific purpose--to provide more exposure to lit through a daily news article. Simple, right? I don't completely know how we will deal with this yet, but I know we will try to get our heads above water again. dA is just making that such a hard mission to accomplish.

I suggest to our community that you seek out all lit artists and community leaders. Watch them, fav their journals. Link arms and hold this community together! :hug:
linaket Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011   Writer
I agree. Those news features were a "vital link," I like the way you stated that. Yes, we are a tight knit community. But we're so tight that often our work, and our voice, doesn't get out of our own group chains. Which was why those News Features were so important. Luckily, I found the support of several different group admins that were able to, shall we say, tip the first domino in getting this journal out. :)
Forta-Verity-Amity Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011  Professional General Artist
Why is a little bit of communication so hard?
I can understand that admins are busy, they have lives and work they have to attend to, but so do we.
Every once in a while, it couldn't hurt to stop working for a few seconds and go out of their way to get some feedback. In fact, I believe it would save a lot of time, energy, and angry bawling about the poorly executed changes they've made.
Wakagi-chan Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011  Student Writer
You've just poured out all the thoughts I've ever had about dA's ignorance of the literary community. Well said.

And this st.ash or whatever thing is horrible. I sat there for ten minutes and couldn't figure out how to use it... I don't even think that I will be able to write a journal again, (let alone sending my work with that.)
butanokaabii Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011
You win many, many internets. :icontwilightclapplz:
kathofalltrades Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you so much for being so right :)
I am a lit-only deviant and, like everyone else in the community, think it's wrong that we should be thrown in with journals. They are two completely different things. Journals are for updates, which is not what we write.
I looked at stash hopelessly for a few minutes, then gave up. I have no idea whatsoever how it's supposed to be used and, come to the point, how it will help to improve my submissions.
I'm not involved heavily in the literature community, yet I still know how strong it is compared to some others. I just don't understand why they feel the need to mess with it?
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