@Havenstone, Wow! Thank you. Those links are awesome. It’s clear that I’m diving into an established conversation here. It’s especially helpful that you’ve linked to @Lucid as well, it’s great to see my sentiments echoed by an established HG author.
Thanks @Szaal, that’s definitely the approach I’m familiar with.
Hahaha, @Jacic, I might have shot myself in the foot there. I’m one of the people who introduced that rule. We based it off the Brandon Sanderson lectures available on YouTube. The idea isn’t that you discount reader feedback, but more that you take everything they say with a grain of salt. If you keep getting the response that a particular scene is boring–you should add in more action–you go away with the understanding that ‘people don’t like this scene. It could be boring (or there could be some other problem at the root of that feedback), and it may be that adding some action would help (but I should also consider other options).’
It’s more or less the same process, but we kind of mentally reduce feedback to a thumbs up or a thumbs down. ‘Characterisation? Thumbs up! Pacing? Thumbs doooown.’ That way we still get targeted feedback, but there’s not struggle to retain the creative vision in a sea of 'you should’s.
So I’m thinking I might chuck in some ‘tester friendly’ infrastructure (frequent save points comes to mind) and then put it up for the open beta in a day or so. It’s a very experimental piece, and definitely not the usual CoG style, so I’ll be interested to see what y’all think. (Sorry for the clunky Americanism. I’m an Aussie.)