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Creator vs Audience: Next Chapter in Storytelling

Charles Dickens was known to write stories in installments to gauge responses to each chapter before writing the next. While Great Expectations is the product of his writing talents, it’s also due to the collaborative effort of many of his readers.

With the Internet, we have the advantage of receiving instant feedback on our work. The ability to immediately and directly interact with one another has ultimately reshaped the dynamic between creators and audiences.

Fifty Shades of Grey began as Twilight fan fiction- the positive response from readers guided E.L. James to rewrite her work into a bestselling series.

Not all feedback is positive. Michael Bay faced backlash from Ninja Turtle fans when hinting that he’d reinvent the original story for his movie adaptation.

As fans invest themselves in plot lines and characters, it’s increasingly important to strike a balance between executing on a creative vision and utilizing consumers’ guidance to ensure a project’s success.

Additional Supporting Materials


  1. 1. How has modern technology specifically allowed for fan communities to grow and become more public in the comments, suggestions, criticisms, and encouragement they offer to creators?
  2. 2. What do creators do when the feedback they receive from their audience is negative and their creative vision is at stake?
  3. 3. How can someone filter the feedback from devoted fans (those who invest their time, money, and emotions into a story) from the off-topic, inflammatory criticism by commentators? Is one type of feedback more valuable than other?
  4. 4. If a creator revises their original work to appease a majority, is that considered "selling out"?
  5. 5. What are some well known instances in which artists, publishers, and entertainment industry veterans have interacted with fans to ensure their project's success?



Aunny De La Rosa, Communications Director, deviantART

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