My Writers Circle

Writing => The Writers Circle => Topic started by: Fairestheart on March 03, 2009, 01:39:20 PM

Title: A must read
Post by: Fairestheart on March 03, 2009, 01:39:20 PM
There is something I would like to say and I would like for every one to stop and think about it for a moment.

You come here, to a writers forum, looking for advice and for people to critique your work. To help you learn and improve your writing. There are some people on this boards that do just that. They are here of their own accord. Using their own time to help you. And yet some of you turn on them.

If you don't like the advice they give you, thank them for giving it and move on. No need to be rude or ugly about it. This is the reason more editors and agents do not come to forums such as these to help you. Some of you get it. Some of you listen and are thankful for the advice whether you follow it or not. But there are some of you that run off these people that want to help.

You are here on these forums for a reason. They are as followed:

1.Actually looking for advice and help to improve your writing.
2.Your here to ďlisten to yourself talkĒ and be damned what any one has to say.

Its these second people that run off those that are willing to help. Do you see Stephen King here asking for advice on his work? Danielle Steel? Nicholas Sparks? James Patterson? No. If you are as good as they are you wouldn't need to come here looking for someone to ďReviewĒ your work.

So please, if you post something and ask for a critique or advice do not get nasty when someone gives it to you. Thank them and move on. Other wise your going to run off the people that do actually want to help. I promise you, they are far and few in between. Be nice to them. It is your discretion if you want to take their advice to heart or throw it out the window.

If you are critiquing someone's work, again be nice. Critique their work and not the writer. If you have an issue with the writer stay away from his threads. Its as simple as that.

Fairestheart
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: cadey on March 03, 2009, 02:00:32 PM
publishing is a particularly tough world. If you only want nice and encouraging reviews, why not state this or have a page where only nice reviews are allowed, then those who don't really want advice, only support (which is fine) could avoid the devastation of a poor review !!! I speak from experience.
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: Fairestheart on March 03, 2009, 02:21:25 PM
I am not saying that all reviews should be nice. I am saying do not attack the person that is reviewing your work. There is no need. If they have the experience and wish to share it with you then take it for what you feel its worth. There is no need for hostility all around. You can critique the work with out critiquing the writer.  You can give a harsh review. Just don't make it personal. If you don't like how they critiqued your work don't attack them. Just move on.
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: cadey on March 03, 2009, 02:30:00 PM
I'm sorry I think you misunderstood me, when I said 'you' I meant it as a generic 'you' directed at anyone. I was really agreeing with your point but suggesting that people who really get upset by a poor review might feel more confident posting in a forum where support rather than review is the purpose.
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: pb on March 03, 2009, 02:33:05 PM
aren't artists like famously temperamental though?

i do love a big diva strop

but anyway i don't think fairestheart is saying 'nice reviews only'; the emphasis is on the writer taking criticism well.

talking of stephen king... 'it's your faith, against his face'
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: cadey on March 03, 2009, 02:39:07 PM
I agree, there's nothing more satisfying than a diva strop (for performer or spectator). I was actually agreeing with the point made by fairestheart and trying also to be subtle - failed there I think. I was suggesting diplomatically that people who do respond badly and attack the reviewer are not really looking for a review, but rather they want someone to tell them how great they are. There, very undiplomatically put, now I will suffer!
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: PaulW on March 03, 2009, 02:49:29 PM
The funny thing is, nobody really knows who is on this forum. There are thousands of members. If Stephen King was here then he'd be unlikely (extremely) to put that as his screen name or announce himself. The same would apply to editors, agents, publishers, etc. They'd be deluged by crap in no time. In fact, I'd be very surprised if there weren't at least one or two such people as members. People in the industry are curious, particularly about writers and if you look for writer's forums, you'll end up at MWC at some point.

Some of the advice you'll get is crap. Some is brilliant. Working out the difference between the two is the trick. This applies out in the real world as well as on this forum. Listen to what people say. If it really annoys you, take some time and then listen to it - it's possibly the best sort of advice if it cuts that deep. Then, having listened to the advice do it the way you prefer.

If Stephen King (say) was to give you some advice, it may be excellent advice, but not right for you. There is no magic formula. You can always learn from people though, even if it is what you shouldn't do. If the advice is honest and well-meant, that is the most you can expect from it. You have to do the rest yourself.

 



Title: Re: A must read
Post by: Wolfe on March 03, 2009, 02:51:20 PM
Writers often wonder why agents, editors, and published authors don't respond with feedback to queries or manuscripts.  Why do they remain silent or slip a generic rejection letter? I once asked this of my fellow editors and authors as well.

Why don't we help our novice brothers and sisters?

Because most novice writers cannot or will not hear the truth. Don't ask for an honest opinion, and then get into a pissing contest when you read something addressed in your work.

And keep this in mind: I, like most in the field, have a long memory.  Whenever someone displays a round of foolishness, I mark the name as someone I will not deal with again.

This includes seeing your query letter or manuscript.  This includes asking for a reference.  This includes when an agent or editor asks for a recommendation for your book.

I'll say no.  Then, they'll ask why.

Don't burn your bridges here. You never know who's reading your responses.

Edit: And ironically, Paul mirrored my thoughts before I posted this.  :)

Wolfe
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: cadey on March 03, 2009, 03:04:13 PM
 Wow Wolfe, I am shocked at your posting, it was threatening and arrogant.

'I, like most in the field, have a long memory.  Whenever someone displays a round of foolishness, I mark the name as someone I will not deal with again.This includes seeing your query letter or manuscript.  This includes asking for a reference.  This includes when an agent or editor asks for a recommendation for your book.'
I'll say no.  Then, they'll ask why


When someone displays 'foolishness' you vow never to deal with them again - can't people learn from mistakes? Are you so perfect that you never did anything foolish? How power corrupts. I have a very responsible position and allow all to make mistakes, and learn from them - including myself.
I imagine I will be banished from this land for making this foolish mistake.
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: Wolfe on March 03, 2009, 03:08:31 PM
No, you can't make mistakes like that.  Ever.  If you responded to an agent with the silliness shown as of late, in a query letter, do you really believe the agent will 'forgive' your mistake?

And agents talk.  Editors talk.  The business talks.

Your name gets around. Some agents and editors even keep a file of the 'undesirables' in their offices.

It's harsh, yes.  But it's also reality.

Wolfe
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: PaulW on March 03, 2009, 03:16:17 PM

Wolfe is just being honest Cadey. In the same way I have certain people on this forum that I will never waste time reviewing. It's not a big deal, I've just wasted as much time on them as I'm prepared to. New people are always coming along and I'd rather give my time to them rather than waste it on lost causes. I'm sure there are people who ignore me for just the same reasons. I'm not talking about someone who just disagrees with me - I have great respect for some people who *never* seem to agree with me. I'm talking about idiots who go out of their way to cause hassle.

You are right, people can change, they may have just had one bad day and are normally receptive to comments. Life is harsh though and how you deal with other people reflects how they will deal with you in the future. If someone is being a pain in the butt on here, where it doesn't really matter, can you imagine how much more annoying they would be if dealing with them in a business context?

So, I'd absolutely agree with what Wolfe is saying. It's nothing contentious or arrogant - if there are a hundred submissions on your desk and one pops up by someone who irritates you, what are you going to do? Exactly - straight in the round filing drawer on the floor.



 
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: cadey on March 03, 2009, 03:28:32 PM
I am in a very competitive profession and know very well the harsh realities of business and of reviews. I still think the comments were ill-judged and presented in a way that was aloof, you too Wolfe, do not know to whom you are talking all the time.

My point is really that irrespective of the truthfulness of what was said - those  who actually 'do' what was said are the people who make these things harsh - nothing happens in a vacuum. Sorry Wolfe I think the tone in what you said was ill- judged and made you appear a little full of yourself. I need no more lessons on how harsh the world is - I am no wet behind the ears novice, that is no excuse.

Anyway I am not here to argue with anyone or to create bad feeling, so if I have offended I humbly apologise.
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: Spell Chick on March 03, 2009, 03:41:47 PM
This has been rehashed for maybe five million, two hundred and seventy-three thousand, and six hundred, twenty-eight times. I don't understand what is so difficult about the concept.

In sports it is called play the ball, not the man.
Here it is critique the work, not the writer.

And when you don't agree with the previous critique, the method of winning hearts and influencing people is to give an even BETTER critique pointing out YOUR points of view and listing why YOUR point of view is valid. You don't need to insult other people who have taken the time to critique. If the only way your critique can have any merit is to defame another poster, your critique can't stand the scrutiny test.

When you disagree with someone or something, you don't need to denigrate your opponent. In fact, that weakens your premise. It screams: Mine is only good if I can weaken the previous offering.

If your critique has merit, it has merit. Not because you are smarter, wiser, better employed, or with more letters after your name. If your critique has any merit, it is because it is a good critique.

There are many of us who came here to learn. I certainly did. I can't take as serious, any argument presented in a "contest" manner. Mine is better than [fill in the name of the opponent]. No. It isn't.

Yours is either better because it is a clearer, better fit with reality or it isn't. When the only way you can make a point is to make an enemy, you need to re-examine your strategy. That isn't a way to get along in the world at large. No man is an island [someone famous said that].

* all "you" words here are generic you, not a particular person.

** respect is earned, never granted.
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: Fairestheart on March 03, 2009, 03:48:39 PM
I think what is being said is that in the public eye people form opinions about you as to what you do and say. For instance, I work at a dealership, if I make a mistake on my paperwork it is corrected and forgiven. No harm no foul. But Chris Brown beat up Rhianna. They are in the public eye. More than half of all radio stations have pulled his music vowing to never play it again. He says he made a horrible mistake and is taking steps to correct it and never to do it again. How does his world, the music industry, perceive him now? As a woman beater. How does his world, the fans, perceive him now? As a woman beater.

The same holds up in the writing world. Its not as large as you think it may be. Here you have a bad day and just let loose on someone that was trying to help you. You manage to finish your manuscript and shoot it off to several agents. Someone gets it and recognizes it and remembers how you treated them. Because we are only human what does that person do? Tosses it. If a fellow agent asked them to review it asks their opinion do you think they will shrug and say it was okay? Likely they will rant about how you treated them when they tried to help you and the other agent who may have though of giving you a shot ends up just tossing your work as well.

If you feel you have been slighted or do not like what someone has said then before you make a rage/haste post on your feelings then take a step back and a deep breath and think before you post. If its rage mail someone will always remember and talk. I say if you feel rage about what someone has said politely thank them then move on and never bother with them again.

Fairy
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: cadey on March 03, 2009, 04:09:40 PM
with all due respect this was another lecture on the harshness of the world. Do not make the mistake of thinking that people do not know how harsh the publishing world is and need a course in the school of hard knocks as the answer to every single comment they may choose to make.

The guy who beat up Rihanna will be forgiven, believe me it will happen - she has already forgiven him. Jonathan Ross has been forgiven, Peter mandelson has been forgiven, it happens. The press have short memories, making money is the driver.

Grudge holding is not defended beacuse a few people in privileged positions in publishing do it.  If a person has no talent, then they are rejected, fair enough. People who are temperamental may be very talented - I'm sure you could give me a huge list of talented divas so don't tell me that foolish behaviour is always punished.

My point, and it seems to have been missed, was only that Wolfe was warning people not to be foolish, then giving his own personal practice of grudge holding as example and warning to all of us, with the undertone that on this forum you better be careful because there's lots of big boys here with long memories. The tone, especially for a man skilled in words, was ill-judged.

Title: Re: A must read
Post by: salvatorepublishing on March 03, 2009, 05:30:07 PM
Well I can honestly say I've never seen so many attacks on a MWC member. This is bordering on (attempted) bullying. While I have no doubt that the recipient of this constant barrage of snide remarks can more than handle himself, I still want to address the issue. Why? Because these attacks are subversive. They apparantly come from several different members but there is a theme here. Indeed there seems to be an obvious attempt to MAKE these members seem like different people. The phrase I want to use is 'planned and co-ordinated.'

Did someone leave the doors open at the local asylum?   
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: Gyppo on March 03, 2009, 05:35:09 PM
It would seem so.

Gyppo
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: rewh2oman on March 03, 2009, 06:00:31 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism

I normally don't get involved or respond to such threads as these, but, this time I'm going to through my 2-cents into this witches brew.

I'm far from a literary expert, but, this debate has reared its ugly head one to many times. Let's get back to writing and being civil. We're all supposedly here for one purpose: the written word. If those of us who have such a common bond can't get along or agree to disagree, then it's no wonder the World is such a messed up place.

Take any critique here at MWC with a grain of salt. Take what you want or can from whoever you wish. Personally, there are those here whose feedback I respect a great deal. Others...not so much. Keep in mind there are few here at MWC who've ever meant and have gotten to know each other as individuals. Thus, everything posted, can and is, interpreted in various ways depending on who is reading it and their personal disposition at the time. Don't read into something that's not there.

In today's world, everyone must have rhino skin. Why, because that's the way society has made it.

Perhaps the reason why we're so touchy is due to the economy?  :D

IMHO.

... peace and love, Russ
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: salvatorepublishing on March 03, 2009, 06:04:27 PM
Quote
Perhaps the reason why we're so touchy is due to the economy?

Err, well it wasn't, but now you've reminded me I feel even WORSE!!

Peace and whatever

Guy
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: pb on March 03, 2009, 06:28:05 PM
i've read loads of good advice and the best yet i reckon was the wolfe one. for what it's worth i didnt think it was, like, in any way bad/conceited/ blah de blah etc etc...it was the sort of advice you want to hear SURELY.

i owuld LOVE to hear some stories about the 'foolishness' wolfe has experienced that made him decide 'vever again'.

also...i think the instinctive educational lean towards dialectic response and linear ideas of progress perhaps fuse at a subconcious level in readers of posts. for example someone will read a post that comes after their own and assujme eveything in it refers to them even when it quite obviously does not and then incredibly take up a counter argument to the one they had originally based on an originally wrong surmise that the next person was talking to them. yes/no dialectics work in science experiments but diffuse impressions formed by the overall conversation is what suits conversations about art/
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: ma100 on March 03, 2009, 06:46:20 PM


Well, it beggars belief what has been happening the last few days on MWC. I take umbrage at being used as a pawn in very stupid game playing.

I have the highest respect for the members on here, especially the likes of Paul, Wolfe, Guy, Gyppo, Cathy, Nadine, Amie, Don etc.etc., In fact, the list is so long. Shall I tell you why? These people dragged me kicking and screaming through the learning process. Not once have any of them belittled or even balked at any one of my silly questions. They have never patronized or made me feel inferior. Nor have they ever bullied me.

Indeed with my first post my hackles rose when Paul gave me some advice. Did I take it? Well, after I told him off yes I did. See I was embarrassed. However, after a day of thinking about what he said I realized he was trying to help me. Wolfe, his crit must have taken him hours, but he gave me those hours free of charge, and I took in what he tried to show me.

Advice is like gold dust and I am only thankful we have such wonderful members we can call upon. New and old ones.

In fact, some of the new people that have come on here are coming out with great crits. They are never cruel or attacking the writer or previous reviewers. As writers we can digest all advice given and take or disregard because we have the choice to do this. Just as when we do crits we can choose who we do or do not crit.

We have some wonderful newbies who have come here because they really want to learn, and they will too if they leave themselves open to all advice and learn what is good and bad. This is part of the learning process.

Cadey the people named above and hundreds of other members have earned my respect. We may not agree all the time, in fact, it would be a boring old world if we did, but we all have a mutual respect no matter how high or low on the writing ladder we are. That respect was earned.

I urge members let's get this show back on the road and look forward to the up and coming competitions. :)
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: Don on March 03, 2009, 09:10:01 PM
Quote
I urge members let's get this show back on the road and look forward...

Can I get an amen?
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: Plain_Jane on March 03, 2009, 09:39:20 PM
I completely agree with ma100. I'm pretty much still a newbie here, and definitely a new writer. I have tons of silly questions, and need a lot of work on my writing. However, I have found nothing but support from this forum. I love that the members are completely honest and willing to show me the way.

That being said, I have seem some comments or criticisms lately that I don't feel are appropriate. They may have been too harsh or attacking a person directly. I think everyone just needs to be mindful of what they say and how their words come across. Hopefully, the rudeness will diminish.
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: winniethepooh4102 on March 04, 2009, 12:54:59 AM
I have my impressions from a few other forums and I already know,
there are people, who are wandering between the forums. Some of
them I can recognize instantly only from a few words. They can only
flaunt with their good English, but cannot write anything sensible or
at least deserving readerís attention. The only their way to show
their possibilities is to put a stick in the wheel of somebody. Now
Iím observing one person on other two forums, but I donít know
yet if one person here is the same. With its critiques this person
hinder the real critiques. I refused to critisize one work to not add
fuel to the fire, but this work had the need of critiques.
But as a whole this forum is the best from what I saw so far.
So goes the world everywhere and on the forums is as in the
life, but it is good that we are here of our free will and have
many other possibilities to express ourselves. I have a little
experience with agents and publishers, trying to get some help
with my bad English. No one of them said my project is bad,
because they donít know what will happen further and can
appreciate some things. But they want to see a real written story.
Do we know, who presenting for the first time here will become
one day a real and famous writer. We can only guess from his
first attempts and can encourage or destroy him. When we have
nothing positive to say it is better to keep silence. And if the
corresponding person can understand it will understand.
But this forums I think are not only schools for writers, they
are places for exchange and fight of ideas about the writing and
the world as a whole. Everyone who can say something different
and interesting in this sense of the things is welcome, because
someone has ideas and someone else has a need of ideas. As for
me I feel myself open in the two directions. And I know some
people are coming here mainly to see something new as ideas or
written with new ideas. Therefore I think we have to be more
broad-minded and more tolerant each to other.
 

Title: Re: A must read
Post by: Vienna on March 04, 2009, 02:51:51 AM

well I think "we" are on this forum  for a number of reasons and I stopped wanting or needing anyone to tell me why I am in or on a certain place a long time ago :)

with respect of course
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: winniethepooh4102 on March 04, 2009, 04:18:54 AM
This higher up was about the conflict of the reasons, for which
"we" are here and  I didní want to tell you something personally.
But as I see you are at my age and Iím getting curious, what are
your reasons.


    with respect only
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: Annmarie on March 04, 2009, 04:43:48 AM
Spring must be coming. Everybody's been so jumpy lately (me included).  :)

Let's bury this dead horse now, shall we? All whiners will be ignored. No offense will be taken. All well meaning comments will be pondered and appreciated even if we don't agree with them. We all give each other something precious here: our time. Don't forget to be grateful.

Annmarie
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: Vienna on March 04, 2009, 04:49:58 AM
 ;D
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: winniethepooh4102 on March 04, 2009, 05:02:14 AM
The early spring always make people nervous, but we here
eventually can have a little laugh. :)
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: patti on March 04, 2009, 06:21:09 AM
I know you want over with this thread but I just want to say as a newbie I have already learnt such alot from all you guys. I've been writing for about 6 years and I blew a golden opportunity awhile back because I wasn't professional. I learnt a valuable lesson. Be professional - always. I totally respect Wolf's posts, I don't know who you are but you know your stuff. On the other hand I also hope this forum is a place I can let my guard down a little and air my feelings once in awhile. After all, we're all friends - right?? :)
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: Fairestheart on March 04, 2009, 05:37:34 PM
I know you want over with this thread but I just want to say as a newbie I have already learnt such alot from all you guys. I've been writing for about 6 years and I blew a golden opportunity awhile back because I wasn't professional. I learnt a valuable lesson. Be professional - always. I totally respect Wolf's posts, I don't know who you are but you know your stuff. On the other hand I also hope this forum is a place I can let my guard down a little and air my feelings once in awhile. After all, we're all friends - right?? :)

Yes! We are all friends here and please let your hair down and air your feelings and some dirty laundry too! :D
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: lesleyslfree on March 05, 2009, 12:14:32 PM
Hi only joined this morning,

I do however believe that any critique that is given always be the work not the person. This does not just apply to writing to everything in life, no matters where life takes you. We all have other life experiences and will have been critques in them positive and negative.

I hope this helps, treat everyone as you would like to be treated.