Reader Survey

Hi y’all.  Just looking for a bit of feedback.  If you read this on SufficientVelocity, please reply in the discussion thread.  If you read it on the main site, please reply as a comment.  In either case, if you are uncomfortable with others viewing your reply you can send it as an email to me at .

Question 1: Please rank point of views, from most to least favorite (that is, put 1 and other low numbers by the POV’s you’d prefer to see more of)
A: Haunter
B: Indulger
C: Preventer
D: Condemner
E: Fisher
F: 3rd Person (like the Strongboat arc)
G: Adversary (Fidel/Overseer arcs)

Question 2: Please indicate your preference regarding the story’s current balance of background exposition vs. plot movement.  I’ve had some folks indicate that they don’t need to see quite so much discussion of why characters aren’t undertaking alternate plans, and others have given me the opposite feedback.

Question 3: Please let me know how you found out about TFD.  (Top web fiction, link on slatestarcodex open threads, other…?)

Question 4: Just generally anything else you want to let me know.  If there is any feedback you’d like to send me that doesn’t fit into one of those categories feel free to write it up.  I am always eager to see what people think of my work.

Thanks a lot for answering, if you do, and for reading regardless of whether you respond or not.  I was able to get a one update buffer, so hopefully we won’t be missing any more wednesday story updates.

13 thoughts on “Reader Survey

  1. 1: In descending order of preference: adversaries, Haunter, Preventer, Fisher, Indulger, Condemner, 3rd person. I feel that while there are sequences best told in 3rd person, if there is an interesting character with a good vantage point, it is a shame not to hear their point of view. I almost ranked Condemner higher because he’s just opened this can of worms and is currently our only window on it, but his whole character basically remains a hate elemental and it’s kind of one-note.

    2: I am in no great hurry. The worldbuilding often tells little stories of its own, anyway. And it would be a shame to speed past an opportune time to have some and have no good place to slot it in later.

    3: Didn’t know there’d be a quiz on this, sorry. TWF and SSC are both possibilities, but I think it may actually have been some discussion in the Erfworld community.

    4: I’m glad to know you are sharing this story on other venues. Your audience here often seems undeservedly small, or at least cripplingly shy.

    Let’s see, what else… I look forward to finding out what happened with Twister, and Torturer’s would-be rescue.

  2. (1) No preference, whatever communicates information most clearly is fine. I recognize there are some small differences in writing style depending on point-of-view, but all of them are fairly distinctly Walter’s Authorial Voice. (And that’s okay!)

    (2) I’m happy with the current balance. Tell your story the way you like it!

    (3) SSC open threads! I do read Sufficient Velocity occasionally but I hadn’t realized this story was on there.

    (4) Keep up the good work!

  3. 1) don’t care really, but Condemner is strange so far. Anyway, I like the diversity.
    2) I’d prefer more plot movement, but I’m pretty sure that it’s because of the gradual release of chapters, I’m pretty sure I’d be completely OK with it if I read it all in one piece (and I mostly did in fact)
    3) from your comment on SSC (in November?, then I read everthing, then forgot about it around Christmas ; was reminded of it by your comment in the last open thread)

    4) I really admire your storytelling ability (and amount of time you are putting in). And what I especially like about plot – no Mary Sue characters, no in your face political/ideological agenda

  4. I’m a few chapters behind, as I wait for a backlog to build, but still fairly caught up.

    1) Less a preference, and more of an order of being “the most interesting” to see when we get to it: Haunter, Preventer, Condemner, Adversary, Fisher, Indulger, 3rd Person. I think if you were to drop one, the series feels so tied to 1st Person shifting perspectives, that 3rd feels a bit off when we get to it (outside of lore articles).

    2) Usually its fine, but there’s a chapter or two that’s dragged a bit from so much discussion. I tend not to get too caught up in the “why didn’t they just do this, why wouldn’t they have done that” second-guessing as I watch the story unfold.

    3) I actually keep forgetting that exists. I guess I first heard about it on the Webfiction Guide Forums.

    4) Well, I still really like the story, even with some of its rougher edges. Honestly still one of the more creative “dark hero worlds” I’ve seen. Keep up the good work, and I’m looking forward to following this through to the end.

  5. 1) As many are noting — not a strong preference here. I have liked the adversary views quite a bit — but I suspect they only work somewhat sparingly anyhow. Rankings? 1) preventer 2) haunter 3) adversary 4) condemner. The others (fisher, indulger, 3rd person) have been less interesting I think –but not by much.

    2) I suspect one of the reasons I like Haunter’s perspective is that we get the reasons alternatives aren’t taken — but without it taking forever. One of her crew says ‘oh we can’t do x, y will happen because z.’ and we learn a bit and the plot moves forwards. Having said that — I don’t feel like there is any hurry — and decisions not made are at least as informative as those made. So that deliberation is important.

    3) SSC open thread in like early december? I read everything up till then in a couple days.

    4) Not really. Love the story. I’m a big fan of the alternating story and world-building format you’re using. When I was reading everything initially it was a bit frustrating because i just wanted to devour the story and it slowed the pace down — but I’ve come around. Its really good.

  6. 1) The best are probably the 3rd person arcs, but I like having rotating first-person narratives too. Condemer seems to be having the most interesting stuff going on right now, so another Condemer chapter would be nice! I also liked having a Prevailer chapter, but I understand why we can’t really have one now.
    2) I have 0 complaints about anything. Being able to see a character/adversary’s inner workings is really great, and I love reading their deliberation. It makes the world feel more complete, and even when the characters do things and I’m not on board with, it makes their choices feel real.
    3) SCC Open Thread. Can’t remember when, but I binged the story last July and have kept up ever since.
    4) In general, I love the story. I wouldn’t change a thing. If anyone ever makes a 5th defiance RPG I’m playing the hell out of it.

  7. 1. Haunter, then others.
    2. Mild preference for more plot.
    3. Topwebfiction
    4. Nothing much to add. Thanks for writing.

  8. 1. Too lazy for a full ranking but Indulger is my favorite, followed by Haunter. I’m not entirely sold on the third person; on its own it was fine and well executed but I feel like going against the established structure of the story so far should only be done when it mirrors some similar fundamental shift in the story.
    2. Seems fine as is. I expect I’d be fine with it if you decided decided to shift in either direction.
    3. Some SSC thread, I think one of the Classified ones.

  9. 1) Haunter, Condemner (recently upgraded due to development), Indulger, and then with less certainty Preventer, Adversary, 3rd Person, Fisher

    2) When I was getting caught up in the story, I really welcomed the background exposition, and if anything, I wanted more of it. Now that I’m up-to-date, I’m really impatient for more plot movement, and groaning if there isn’t any. So I’d recommend keep up the rate, and let us impatient novelty-seekers stew. The final quality will be better for it.

    3) SSC open thread

    4) I really want to learn more about the early days/background exposition. The Peggy interludes are very interesting.

  10. Q1: B, A, E, C, D, G, F

    Q2: I would prefer a greater rate of plot movement with less background exposition. The background of really quite interesting, however it often reiterates things we have already learned, and keeping the action moving is always good.

    Q3: From a recent post you made on /r/rational .

    Q4: You should open up a Patreon account or some other way to accept contributions. It won’t yield much, but it’s a way some of us can express our appreciation. Because it’s an interesting story.

  11. Question 1: Haunter, Adversary, Preventer, Fisher, Indulger, Condemner. 3rd person only for major action scenes where one person’s perspective doesn’t work so well.

    Question 2: I really like the 50/50 plot/shorter worldbuilding system.

    Question 3: Top web fiction. I like to see what new things are showing up in the 10-20 vote range.

    Question 4: I’m enjoying the story, and glad you moved the story to a new setting for a while. The Regime was getting… not old, but samey. Now we get new perspectives and environments.

    Your editing is fairly good, better than many, but there are two things to focus on: Names and grammar issues. Most of what I’ve found is errors the spell checker doesn’t catch because they are words, just not the word you probably wanted, with a side of extra words in a sentence because you changed the tense or added clarification.

  12. Question 1: Please rank point of views, from most to least favorite (that is, put 1 and other low numbers by the POV’s you’d prefer to see more of)
    A: Haunter2
    B: Indulger3
    C: Preventer4
    D: Condemner7
    E: Fisher1
    F: 3rd Person (like the Strongboat arc)5
    G: Adversary (Fidel/Overseer arcs)6

    Question 3: Please let me know how you found out about TFD. (Top web fiction, link on slatestarcodex open threads, other…?)
    Top web fiction hero tab. You were shockingly low.

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