However, this community is about encouraging comments that go the extra length to make the author feel their story is appreciated.
So here are some tips for crafting a comment that will make a hard-working Yuletide author feel extra loved.
1. Use descriptors, the more specific the better.
How would you describe what you liked about the story? Was it funny? Melancholy? Sweet? Were there parts that scared you? If it was a smutty story, was it hot?
Here are some great words to use to describe stories, dialogue, prose, character - anything they apply to, really.
Zany. Fun. Bittersweet. Sexy. Hilarious. Kinky. Angsty. Dark. Kooky. Beautiful. Moving. Poetic. Haunting. Poignant. Powerful. Sensual. Cheerful. Touching. Surprising. Thoughtful. Witty. Exciting. Unique. Intelligent. Heartbreaking. Surreal. Exquisite. Inventive. Entertaining. Silly. Visceral. Naughty. Evocative. Delightful. Thought Provoking. Insightful. Amusing. Spicy. Sad. Languid.
That's just off the top of my head - find your own unique way to describe the story you read. The author will appreciate your insight.
2. Quote a line or piece of dialogue that really grabbed you. Then say why.
When the worst of the agony has been leached away by the ungentle hands of time, Laufey raises his get to his chest; it makes no sounds, no howling, lusty shrieks; there is only the echo of his own pain, and the fine, sharp music of wind passing through the icicles soaring high above.
What an intriguing opening line! I loved the way you described the sound of the wind. It creates a very haunting mood.
*note that the quoted part doesn't count towards your 10-word count. You still need to write at least 10 words about the story for the comment to be eligible in your official comment count.
3. Say something about the characters.
Were they in character or delightfully cracky? Did the author have an interesting take on any of them? Did they show a side of a particular character that you thought was interesting? How did you enjoy the way the author wrote the characters in the story.
4. Talk about the dialogue.
Sometimes, the dialogue in a story sounds so much like what the characters would actually say in canon, you can practically hear their voices in your head (if it's a TV or film canon, anyway). If that's the case in a story you read, by all means do mention that. Sometimes dialogue can be really witty, even laugh -out-loud funny. In some canons, dialogue is really formal (I wonder if there's going to be any Shakespeare fanfiction this year?), and that can present its own challenge too. Try letting the author know what you thought about how the characters express themselves.
5. Discuss the prose - was it well written?
Pay some attention to how the author crafted the words of the story. Writers use a whole range of techniques to get their ideas across. One basic technique is good grammar, though 'creative grammar' can be used for an interesting effect as well. Were there any fun metaphors or similes? Does the author write using long, descriptive sentences, or do they write as sparely as Hemingway, just giving you a quick sense of what's going on? Sometimes the author can arrange a sentence to sound pretty and graceful, but sometimes the author can evoke tension by using short, jarring sentence structure (like for an action sequence, say). If the author uses any techniques like this (or any of the other writing tricks and styles that have been thought up over the years - I couldn't list them all), comment on it and let them know if you thought it worked well.
6. Talk about how the story affected you.
Did you laugh? Cry? Did the story stick with you after you'd read it? Did you have to take a shower? Let the author know!
7. Be creative!
Being enthusiastic about a story is wonderful. Find some fun way of showing how much you loved the story. Don't be afraid of emoticons or exclamation marks if you feel so moved. For example, below is a screencap of one really amazing comment that clearly made the author feel loved.
Feel free to post your own suggestions here!