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March 11, 2012
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Do you judge previews?

:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
If you post a preview, I expect it to be on par with the quality of the story. Or to have some kind of relationship to the story that adds.

Also...use your own art? Or is it appropriate to post the inspiring image?

Anyway, just wondering what your thoughts were. I'm basically judging the hell out of everyone who draws their own previews, but is not very experienced at it :iconwoooplz:
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Devious Comments

:iconhinotechi:
Hinotechi Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I do my own previews for my story, partially because I need to practice and it's a great source. I don't judge the text before hand because that's pretty much impossible and unfair ^^ but if the picture is taken from someone else a credit should at least be distributed and the artist should be notified. A deviant I know uses her own commissions as previews and she's entitled to because she paid for them and I don't really mind.
So all in all, I don't really judge the story on the preview but it should be on par
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Mm--based on copyright, you can't use an image unless you've commissioned it or if the artist has given permission :shrug:
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:iconhinotechi:
Hinotechi Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
exactly!
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:iconraspil:
raspil Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2012   Writer
i won't read stories that hide behind a preview. i want to see the scrolling text. i want to read that first sentence. i used to have previews in my stories but that was before the scrolling text element was added to lit.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
yeah...have you ever had opening sentences that are really not indicative of what it's about, though?
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:iconraspil:
raspil Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2012   Writer
i don't notice things like that. all i want is to be hooked like a salmon.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Fair enough ;p ...I've gotten into the habit of looking at at least part of the middle these days, though, a lot of people spend more time on the intro and it causes unrealistic expectations.
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:iconrockstar1009:
rockstar1009 Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
At first I did, but now I don't. Some times I want to provide line counts for long poems or all chapters in one place for long stories, so I'll upload a simultaneous .pdf version of something, at which point I don't have a choice but to use a preview thumb. :grump:

When I have to go that route, it's crappy, since I'm extremely amateurish at visual art. Observe - the regular (looong) narrative poem without preview and its .pdf counterpart with awful attention-whoring preview (be glad I was too lazy to upsize it):

Sigelf and the Bear Off beyond the mountain peaks
Fled the setting sun
Painted clouds with amber streaks–
Evening had begun

Sigelf saw the path before him
Leading out of town
Rising to the mountain rim
Where the sun went down

Steep and narrow was the trail
It killed the ill-prepared
Sigelf worried he may fail
And shuddered as he stared

No, he did not like the thought–
It gave quite a fright
A raging beast there must be fought!
And he disliked heights!

But he must!  He must be brave!
All men were away–
Only his young hands could save
The town from being prey

He closed his eyes and grabbed his sword
He tried to calm hi


The preview above is my default for poetry, but I've tried to do preview images appropriate to my stories like zombies, easter bunnies and vikings in space (and their nordic cross insignia):



So I put SOME effort into preview images, but not much. I really like the previews *magdalagarza and =LadyofGaerdon have done, and I may put actual effort into designing a reusable template like those, because dayumn they look nice!
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:iconhavetales-willtell:
HaveTales-WillTell Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2012  Professional Writer
:bucktooth: I used to use previews, themed to match my avatar and my lit tag: they'd say 'Poetry by' or 'Flash fiction by' or whatnot.

Great for distinguishing one's work in a sea of lit thumbs; not so much, when somebody came stopping by my gallery looking for a specific piece. :dummy:

So a few months ago, I discontinued the practice. With rare exceptions (such as my Free Fella entry, which didn't have a lit thumb anyway) WYSIWYG.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Oooh, fancy :B

Hmm, that's an interesting tradeoff to consider. I'm satisfied with the lit tag, personally.
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:iconsirius-the-dog:
Sirius-the-Dog Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Previews are for authors who can't write hooks.
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:icondorianharper:
DorianHarper Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2012  Professional Writer
I usually only use previews if my illustrator has done art for the story I'm posting or if it's the chapter art for excerpts from novels, etc. Other than that, though, I don't ever use them. Personally, unless you have permission from the artist whose work you are displaying as your preview, I don't think it should be used (and, sadly, all over dA I see works like that with art from other places just slapped on as the preview image as if it's now suddenly for their story).

While I think that preview images are nice and add to the story if used properly (as in, they were created for the story, etc.), I also feel that the people that favourite the piece without clicking usually do so because they see the picture and like it (another downside to really well drawn art stolen to be used as a preview people will like, accompanying a short story with grammatical errors left and right and a story that isn't the best it can be getting faves left and right and ending up on the front page). So, the actual "art" isn't getting critiqued, it's the piece that displays it.
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:iconrancidmagpie:
RancidMagpie Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2012
Most of the time I don't even have preview images, although I believe *The-Monoblos has some delightful preview images of artwork done by a relative. But most of the time preview images aren't very ... relevant or good to look at. I know my art skills aren't up to par so I don't bother.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Is there any case in which you'd want one?
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:iconrancidmagpie:
RancidMagpie Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2012
Yes, for character biographies and stuff like that, to have an image to go along with it. Or scenery things, that sort of thing.
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:iconmagdalagarza:
magdalagarza Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I'd seriously love it if more people start putting a few words of text on top of their pure-image previews. Honestly, the simple words "A Story" or "A Poem" anywhere on the picture would work wonders in setting the right expectations. As for using images without permission... :facepalm: Oh man, I don't even want to go there.

The thing is, I'm less likely to click on something that looks like visual art, as opposed to literature. So I think there might be a lot of good stuff I'm missing out on, simply because they don't look like stories to me. If a deviant draws his characters on a preview and doesn't indicate that it's lit, chances are I won't click it, especially if the characters aren't exceptionally well-drawn.

Personally, what I do for my own previews is get a very simple background image (which looks basically like large icon) and then put the title and summary over it. I think this is a good option for prose here in dA, especially if your first few sentences don't do your story justice. It might not work out so well for a poetry deviation, though.

Mine looks basically like this I'm not sure attractive it is, in the greater scheme of things, but I like to think that at least people won't mistake it for anything other than a story.

On the off-chance anyone is interested, my preview base images here: [link] [link] Use them however you like. Or you could ask me for help on how to use them, but I'm really really slow at this replying thing.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh man. I'm more likely to click visual, but it boils down to how much free time I have.

I think that's fantastic for longer stories...especially since people take one look at the length and are like, do I really want to read this. Agreed, though, it's probably not so good for poetry.

Oo, thanks for sharing those!
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:iconmagdalagarza:
magdalagarza Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Argh, I'm so sorry for the late reply! I'm only here once a week, sadly. :[

The thing is, I'm more likely to click literature -- just to see what's underneath -- but more likely to :+fav: visual. Sure I'm click-happy with lit, but a lot of the time, I sigh and hit backspace. At least with visual, you know what you're getting! Unless it's a ninja literature piece hiding underneath a preview AAARGH

I keep wishing that dA has a way of letting prose-writers put up a summary somehow. It's good to know the first few lines to get a feel for the style, tone, etc. of the story. But it doesn't help much in getting the plot across. What's the story about? Who is it about? That's the first thing that I want to know, and it's usually never in the first few lines.
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:iconmagdalagarza:
magdalagarza Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Also, for anyone reading this thread, the lady below me seriously has the prettiest preview images ever for the "Maiden of Woodland Secrets". Look at the gallery here. This is sort of my ideal preview image.
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:iconladyofgaerdon:
LadyofGaerdon Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2012  Professional Writer
Well, for my novel I commissioned a friend to make me preview images using stock images that I picked out myself. So they do have a relation to the literature itself. I just don't hold any illusions that I have any talent whatsoever with visual art.

Also, when I uploaded a requested PDF version of my entire novel, I used my commissioned cover image as the preview image. It just made sense to me. :shrug:

My mother illustrated one of my poems for me so I use her illustration as the preview image.

I don't judge by preview images. Well, I don't judge negatively by preview images. I'll admit that if I see a really nice one I'll probably be more likely to click. Just like if I saw an intriguing title paired with a nice lit tag. I'm only human.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I think yours are pretty solid ;p they're all relevant and you were involved in the concept, if not the actual creation.

I totally judge books by their covers :lol:
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:iconladyofgaerdon:
LadyofGaerdon Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2012  Professional Writer
Thanks. :)

...Most people do. I just use that to my advantage. :giggle:
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:iconmagdalagarza:
magdalagarza Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
You have the most beautiful preview images I've ever seen here in dA! :heart:
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:iconladyofgaerdon:
LadyofGaerdon Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2012  Professional Writer
Thank you so much! The novel preview images were made by =pisatielnitsa (probably should have mentioned that in my original post) and my book cover image is by *AkuBaka who is amazing!
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:iconmagdalagarza:
magdalagarza Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Eeek, I'm so sorry for the late response! I'm only here once a week so I'm very slow with my replies...

But thanks for the links! :D I have to give their galleries a looksee. (And I seriously have to read your work now, it's been on my to-read list forever)
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:iconapocalypticangel4792:
ApocalypticAngel4792 Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2012  Student Writer
For one, I hate previews because they don't allow you to see what the text is without clicking it (unless they've found a solution to that. It has been suggested to them as a part of the mass changes they've been wanting to make).

But, if a story has a preview image, I expect two things:
1) It needs to fit the work itself. Don't use a great dragon drawing to preview a romance peace.
2) It either needs to be your own work, or you must have permission to use the artwork you choose.

And the main reason I don't use previews: I don't have tons of hours to dedicate to finding one and attaining the right permissions, and I have no skill when it comes to mediums other than literature. I do make my own lit tags, but I'd rather use another person's quality image as a preview as opposed to a crappy drawing done by moi.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
No...but that's a good suggestion :o how would they set that up?

Oo, that's the main reason I avoid previews. I'm anal enough about the writing, I'm not gonna go nuts on the preview.
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:iconapocalypticangel4792:
ApocalypticAngel4792 Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2012  Student Writer
I don't think he said, but I commented in the Suggestions forum on a thread asking for thumbnail-related changes, and the guy moderating it liked the idea. I bet if I dug around the Suggestions gallery I'd find some plausible examples. I know I'm not the only one annoyed by them.

Same here. I did want to find a good one a while back, but most of the stock accounts I found were filled with crap, and I knew I'd never get exactly what I wanted unless I made it myself, which wasn't happening. So, I decided just to put my energy into making a good story instead. It ended up falling through, but it's a good point for anyone who goes crazy over the preview.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh word. (i think submitting a visual helps too, I'm envisioning that hovering over the image switches it to scrolling text)

Truth.
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:iconmagdalagarza:
magdalagarza Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
:iconfb-likeplz:

>>> I'm envisioning that hovering over the image switches it to scrolling text
I really wish someone would do this. Best of both worlds!
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Suggestion time :la:
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:iconkyteglory:
KyteGlory Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2012
I get annoyed when I see art theft. I get annoyed when ugly things show up in my inbox. I get annoyed when I click on something that I think is a drawing only to find out that it's writing. I get annoyed when I have hideous portrayals of the writer's "OC's" shoved in to my face, thereby ruining whatever mental image I'd already had of them. I get annoyed when the covers/preview image of stories have absolutely nothing to do with the story they represent.
Talking about all the ways that previews can annoy me makes me wonder if I should have some sort of cardiovascular disease. There are, of course, a small handful of previews which do not annoy me, but in practice they're quite few and far between. I wouldn't recommend anybody trying at previews unless they're really certain that they know what they're doing.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Haha, I try not to let it bother me too much...I just get sarcastic.

Great point though, you should know what you're doing with the preview.
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:iconkyteglory:
KyteGlory Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2012
I should be fair. It's not as if I smash in my computer monitor and begin to sob every time I see a badly-done preview. But I do smirk condescendingly and spend my time looking at some of the hundreds of literature pieces in my inbox without unpleasant previews. I find it strange that so many authors are willing to spend dozens or hundreds of hours writing a story and yet don't feel the need to spend more than a few minutes on the summaries and previews that will represent those stories.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Haha, I'd hope not.

Oo...there's that, too. I like just seeing the scrolling preview, but I still think it is really frustrating when the person included the title and byline in the text, so there's even less story in the preview.
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:iconkotabork:
Kotabork Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2012  Student Writer
I judge them. If they're related to the piece, then I have a good opinion of them. If it's the picture that inspired the piece, then I still have a good opinion of it. If it's not related, then I know it's just for show, and I don't like it (example: picture of a sunset on a poem that has nothing to do with sunset).
dA is a largely visual site, so I don't find it bad that a writer would want to use an image. The option is there for them, so if someone wants to use every tool at their disposal, I say let them.
I don't use them myself, only because it's a hassle, and I don't upload writing on this account as much as I did on my old one.

(Sorry for any grammar mistakes. My English gets sloppy when I'm tired.)
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
That's true, previews are effective marketing. :nod: and, like all marketing, they need to sell the product they're attached to.

(i didn't see any ;p)
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:iconcrumpetsharvey:
CrumpetsHarvey Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2012   Writer
I used to use previews until they brought in the system where you can actually use text. When I did it was always just a way of signalling what the poem/story was about, usually using stock photos very lightly manip-ed (because I'm no expert) an always including the title and that fact that it was poetry/prose. Mostly because that was the only way of signalling anything distinctive about your story in those days.

I don't mind previews if they're relevant, like they inspired the piece, and the author has permission. That seems fair. Or if they're very good illustrations. Or if they're not trying to be flashy, just trying to signal something like an atmosphere or a theme.

I suppose what I'm saying is of course I "judge" - I reach some sort of conclusion based on the picture, because otherwise what's the point of a preview? - but I don't always judge harshly.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
:giggle: maaan...yeah. I used to try to creatively present the title, haha.

Eh...I kind of hate it when it's someone who's amazing at visual art and posts like a really short, not very edited descriptive poem...I think there are times when a work needs to be posted in the category that's the strongest.

That seems more or less reasonable. :nod:
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:iconcrumpetsharvey:
CrumpetsHarvey Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2012   Writer
Oh yeah, good art an rubbish "poetry" posted as poetry not art bugs the hell out of me.
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:iconangelstained:
angelStained Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2012   Writer
I can't stand previews most of the time, since few are even good. *magdalagarza has awesome ones, though.
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:iconmagdalagarza:
magdalagarza Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Oh my goodness, you! :hug:
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:iconangelstained:
angelStained Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2012   Writer
...oh hello. ;P
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I'll have to ogle :O
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:iconnudedoctor:
NudeDoctor Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2012
One of the groups I'm in was talking about this recently.
I use Previews for my poetry, mostly because I have a bit of trouble with my vision. The images help me distinguish them in my gallery at a glance. I usually use my own images, or stock images (with credits in the description).
Though... I recently removed a lot of the Previews, since I'm cleaning up my gallery a little. :)
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:iconkotabork:
Kotabork Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2012  Student Writer
(Oh hey, you!)
I was wondering where your previews went when I visited your page the other day. What's the reason for the gallery clean up?
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:iconnudedoctor:
NudeDoctor Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2012
:shrug: I just don't have a lot of use for some of my older stuff.
Most of it is saved on my computer, in case I ever want to look back at it.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I think that's a good reason for it :o I font think about it much but that text is pretty small....
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:icontheskaboss:
TheSkaBoss Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I hate previews. Hatehatehatehate. >:(

/me spews hatred everywhere

It makes it annoying to tell what's lit in my inbox and what isn't. I have a habit of deleting everything that isn't lit without even looking at it, which means if you use a preview I'll probably just delete it. And I hate doing that. I usually make a point of reading everything that comes my way (eventually - it might take months, but I'll get there) and previews make that harder.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
:giggle:

yeah...on my end, I usually open up all the visual stuff right away--so it's kinda bad when there's lit mixed in because I need tmore time to read it.
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