Author Topic: Thoughts about new member reviews  (Read 12741 times)

Offline ma100

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Re: Thoughts about new member reviews
« Reply #30 on: March 30, 2014, 11:57:38 AM »
Bill, if you were born to tell a story, you will tell it no matter what. Imagination is not something you can switch off because someone has told you that your writing is not up to par. Determination is key to being a writer even if you know you have made tremendous cock ups like me. ::)

Once your wounds are licked you come out fighting. Achievements are gained by baby steps and an opening of the mind to all sorts of criticism. Okay I might want to cry at times, but still.

They reckon there is a book in everyone and everyone believes this, especially when they have time on their hands. I did, I just didn't realise what a ropey writer I was until I came on here.  :-[

Newbies, if they are determined, will soon have their minds changed when they notice their work improving. If they give up at the first hurdle, well then they really didn't want this in the first place. And believe it or believe it not, scalded newbies do come back here with a changed attitude and a new name. Us mods know this. ;)

Offline wanderer

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Re: Thoughts about new member reviews
« Reply #31 on: March 30, 2014, 12:06:07 PM »
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Please offer your feedback with tact and diplomacy.

The problem is they are driven away before they reach 50 or 100 posts.

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If they give up at the first hurdle, well then they really didn't want this in the first place.

My experiences are different in other disciplines. Maybe they just move on to another forum, it would be an interesting study.

Again, I'm probably a minority of one, and can only see things through the lens I created over time.  Apparently my vision doesn't understand this forum.


Wolfe

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Re: Thoughts about new member reviews
« Reply #32 on: March 30, 2014, 12:23:21 PM »
The problem is they are driven away before they reach 50 or 100 posts.

Again, I'm probably a minority of one, and can only see things through the lens I created over time.  Apparently my vision doesn't understand this forum.

Let me understand this correctly. You want to criticize the people giving feedback to newbies, but you won't give feedback yourself until those posters are no longer newbies? Instead, you'll give them silence until they've 'proven' they're writers.

You seriously don't see how that flies in the face of everything you've said? It reminds me of this old saying, "Your actions speak louder than your words."

And my thought about new member reviews? "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth."

Offline wanderer

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Re: Thoughts about new member reviews
« Reply #33 on: March 30, 2014, 12:57:16 PM »
It isn't about me, but ideas that help to retain new members. Obviously there is not a major interest.

Offline heidi52

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Re: Thoughts about new member reviews
« Reply #34 on: March 30, 2014, 01:04:25 PM »
Let me understand this correctly. You want to criticize the people giving feedback to newbies, but you won't give feedback yourself until those posters are no longer newbies? Instead, you'll give them silence until they've 'proven' they're writers.




Wanderer has been more than generous with his time. He comments quite frequently and they are always well thought out.

I think it comes down to differences in personality. Let's face it, some people are tactful and kind, others are forthright and brusque. This is the real world, if you post for review here you will get feedback from all sorts of people with all sorts of temperaments. I think it's expecting too much to ask people to change their styles, as long as they keep their comments focused on the work in question.

I guess I kind of see it as a natural cull. If you only post a few times and then run away how serious are/were you? Someone said the more people the more money, but really unless you are serious enough to buy the books that keep this place running, there is no money to be made from people coming on here and posting their work. I'd be willing to bet that there's a certain percentage, probably around than 10%, of people who come on here and stay and learn and become members of the community. The other 90% no matter how nice you are to them, don't have what it takes to stick it out anyway.

Wolfe

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Re: Thoughts about new member reviews
« Reply #35 on: March 30, 2014, 01:26:26 PM »
The other 90% no matter how nice you are to them, don't have what it takes to stick it out anyway.

This is true for publishing as well. That ninety percent tends to give up after the first round of rejection letters. And, to be honest, most don't even get that far with their publishing ambitions.

It is what it is, but most also don't want to hear this truth either. Everyone's the next King or J.K. All they have to do is simply put print to paper and the next name they'll be.

If anyone thinks the reviews here are cruel, publishing itself will be a hell of a wake-up call.

Offline Gyppo

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Re: Thoughts about new member reviews
« Reply #36 on: March 30, 2014, 01:47:32 PM »
When I taught creative writing for the WEA I soon realised that about 10% of each class had real ability, and only a rare few out of them had stickability as well.   Out of those few some kept writing and even selling short stories and articles for a few years, but most fell by the wayside.

Some were immensely talented, but lazy. (These tend to be discontented writers.)   Some had very little natural talent but worked hard and became competent non-fiction writers. (These are often happy and fulfilled by their successes.)  One such chap still works for the local paper, many years later, and can turn in good solid copy on almost any subject. He had a few stabs at fiction, but hated it.

Most, at the end of the course just ticked a mental box to say they'd tried, and looked through the prospectus before choosing  bricklaying, flower arranging, or Pilates for the next year.

As far as I know none of my students ever sold a novel, despite some promising first drafts.  As Heidi said, there's a natural cull takes place.  Many are called , but few are chosen.

Gyppo
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Offline 2par

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Re: Thoughts about new member reviews
« Reply #37 on: March 30, 2014, 02:32:13 PM »
 I think the way for this site to go on is to have a variety of styles, especially in critiques. A balance is struck when there are harsh, encouraging and gentle responses to newbies.  The variety echoes life and the people we meet daily.

Offline Dawn

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Re: Thoughts about new member reviews
« Reply #38 on: March 30, 2014, 03:06:28 PM »
This is an interesting thread. However, you will never resolve it. There are are too many strong characters, so you will never come to a compromise. You always get members who feel after a while they are no longer new, and can change things, and you always get older members who don't like change. Stalemate.
Time to take it serious and get the job done

Offline 2par

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Re: Thoughts about new member reviews
« Reply #39 on: March 30, 2014, 04:09:58 PM »
Oh, I don't know if oldsters resist change so much as reluctant to try something that was introduced as "change" so many times before and didn't work. A lot of younger people don't know history very well and don't realize their brilliant, new ideas aren't so new after all.

Offline wanderer

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Re: Thoughts about new member reviews
« Reply #40 on: March 30, 2014, 04:37:47 PM »
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A lot of younger people don't know history very well and don't realize their brilliant, new ideas aren't so new after all.

However, that is one reason most young people excel at new things, whether the sciences, music, art, etc.

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Re: Thoughts about new member reviews
« Reply #41 on: March 31, 2014, 11:03:18 AM »
No, Wanderer, you're not in a minority of one.  I agreed with most of what you said.

As Wolfe points out, as a (many) published author I have long experience of publishers and their comments; I have also been a professional book reviewer in my newspaper days.  I'll tell you something: it is much easier, and much more fun, to savage somebody's book than it is to give a balanced view of its strong and weak points.  But like most things that are fun (sex? chocolate cake?) it's necessary to show a certain amount of restraint. 

What is the common goal of writing/publishing/reviewing books?  Better books.  Is that more likely to be achieved by humiliating someone, or by pointing them in the direction of improvement?  What they do with that guidance is up to them; but honestly trying to help is really the only justification for being unkind to someone, novice or otherwise.  If you don't want to help, don't read for them; if you honestly think they should try another hobby, say so, but don't expect them to like you for it!

It is a tough world out there, but I've never felt any of the publishers I've had dealings with - including the ones who didn't want my books - were unreasonable or mean-spirited.  It's perfectly possible to write a pleasant rejection note - I have a file of them!  Anyone who wants to do this is going to end up with a file of them.  You have to deal with them in a professional manner.

Being gratuitously offensive, either as someone reviewing a book or someone whose book is being reviewed, is not professional.  And it certainly isn't necessary.

Offline Annmarie

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Re: Thoughts about new member reviews
« Reply #42 on: March 31, 2014, 01:05:19 PM »
Certain reviewers on here are blunt. They're also some of the most valuable critiquers. I look at them like my harder schoolteachers. When I get an A from them, it means more to me because I know they're tough cookies. A tactful critique is just as valuable. There should be room for all styles.

That said, I agree with Jo and others that we should stay professional, even if the poster gets catty.

« Last Edit: March 31, 2014, 01:07:06 PM by Annmarie »
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Offline wanderer

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Re: Thoughts about new member reviews
« Reply #43 on: March 31, 2014, 08:24:49 PM »
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No, Wanderer, you're not in a minority of one.

Thanks Jo. I was beginning to doubt my own values.  :o

Offline Neghe

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Re: Thoughts about new member reviews
« Reply #44 on: March 31, 2014, 09:38:06 PM »

I have never received a mean rejection letter. They have always been polite and kindly--other than the fact that they were rejecting my MS that is.
“Poetry is what happens when nothing else can.”― Charles Bukowski