Hatrack River
Home † | † About Orson Scott Card † | † News & Reviews † | † OSC Library † | † Forums † | † Contact † | † Links
Research Area † | † Writing Lessons † | † Writers Workshops † | † OSC at SVU † | † Calendar † | † Store
E-mail this page
Hatrack River Writers Workshop Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » Another one bites the dust... (Page 1)

  This topic comprises 3 pages: 1  2  3   
Author Topic: Another one bites the dust...
skadder
Member
Member # 6757

 - posted      Profile for skadder   Email skadder         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It seems such a shame that yet another talented writer (tchern...)leaves Hatrack because of a constant re-hashing of basic advice---the waters are constantly muddied by people without the sales to back their authority/claims.

Hatrack used to be a place where a writer seeking professional publication could hone their talent, however, with such conflicting advice flying around I find amazing newbies get published at all.

What it comes down to is you can write anyway you want--do anything you chose--you may get published or you may not. Or you can choose to pursue a route/a style that improves your chances of one day being professionally published.

I think Hatrack has to decide what it is going to back so that people who come here can get specific, clear advice.

I chose to not become involved in the discussions anymore because it is always the same old arguments with the same old people. The trouble is they seem to have more stamina for arguing and consequently thier voices will go unchallenged--thereby appearing to a newbie as the correct advice.

If Hatrack's mission statement were clearer and more defined then the two groups could seperate. The other alternative would be to split the forum (fragments+ writing advice/discussion).

It would be a shame if all the people who have achieved professional publications left. What sort of advice would newbies get then?


Posts: 2989 | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BenM
Member
Member # 8329

 - posted      Profile for BenM   Email BenM         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think you make an important point, skadder. What I find just as worrying is how this moves out of forum discussions and impacts critiquing.

I chose to not become involved in the discussions anymore because it is always the same old arguments
I've tried to take the same line. In my experience elsewhere, people tend to vent on the internet when they have a captive audience and the safety of anonymity (which most unpublished members still have). My experience with pissing matches is just to stay the heck away.

What concerns me is, as you say, the lack of published writers who participate in the discussions - either because they've moved to some secret nirvana forum in a hidden nook of the internet, or because contributors who regularly and loudly exclaim but that's not how I want to do it discourage them giving advice to the people who most need it.

I'm not sure where it will all end up. On the one hand, this is a moderated forum and as such is much better than some places out there. On the other, if people who are serious about getting published are tempted to move elsewhere, then (a) who will value any critique I give based on my understanding of publishing, and (b) who will critique my work based on theirs?

Nevertheless, though browsing the archives is a little unwieldy, we see that the forum's been through this sort of thing before, and maybe this is just a way of it settling back to a norm of mostly unpublished writers with the occasional experienced hand throwing in a gem here and there.

Ultimately, I think I've benefited more from critiques than forum discussions anyway; I envisage the day when I've a few critique partners I can regularly swap work with via email without even needing a forum. At which point hanging out on a board like this can be just for fun.

Which maybe isn't such a bad thing.


Posts: 920 | Registered: Nov 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
shimiqua
Member
Member # 7760

 - posted      Profile for shimiqua   Email shimiqua         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I was thinking along these lines yesterday, I read the first thirteen of Twilight, and thought what I would have said to Stephanie Meyer if she found this site before being published. I would have told her she was info dumping, and that I didn't think she was starting in the right place. I would suggest she start closer to the speculative moment, maybe the moment where Bella meets Edward.

Now I think the books would have been better if she had come on here, however there is a really good chance that our telling her this would make her do rewrite after rewrite, and maybe never even submit the story.

But she didn't come here, and instead jumped off the cliff that is publishing, and got herself a mighty big paycheck.

So I think the best advice is to write as yourself, and don't depend on other people's good advice. Learn from yourself. Don't be afraid of submitting, because the opinion that really matters is the opinion of editors, and NO ONE knows how they will think.

Hatrack is a place for like minded people to meet and learn and grow in a safe environment. It should not be a place where we are all stuffed into a mold and come out sprouting the same acceptable prose, and ideas.

I think people have shouting matches because they refuse to accept the fact that what is right for one person is dead wrong for another.

So if you don't agree, be polite, and say "another way to think about that is..."

It is a shame about Tchern, hopefully he comes back after a quick break.

Don't let the next one to leave be you.
~Sheena

[This message has been edited by shimiqua (edited February 23, 2010).]


Posts: 1201 | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Brendan
Member
Member # 6044

 - posted      Profile for Brendan   Email Brendan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
It seems such a shame that yet another talented writer (tchern...)leaves Hatrack because of a constant re-hashing of basic advice---the waters are constantly muddied by people without the sales to back their authority/claims.

Skadder, I am not quite sure how to take this comment because, given the exchange that led to tchern... declaring his intention to leave, I certainly played a role, and perhaps was the straw that broke the camels back. In that exchange, I provided evidence from Silverberg's article that somewhat refuted a point that he was making and backed a point that Merlion was making. Given the way he addressed me, I even wondered if he thought that we were ganging up against him (although I do believe his issue was most likely with Merlion and not myself). However, this clearly makes me one of the "people without the sales to back their authority/claims" (which I don't yet have, unless you count non-fiction). Would you prefer that someone like myself left instead?

quote:
I think Hatrack has to decide what it is going to back so that people who come here can get specific, clear advice.

The site does give specific, clear advice, in the form of lessons from OSC, including one on showing and telling. I am not sure that the purpose of Hatrack forums, however, is to back one side or another, but to let all sides air their view. As for newbies seeking advice, part of learning discernment involves being exposed to contrary, even ill informed, advice and picking their way through until they come to a broad based understanding of the endeavor. They will get all sorts of opinions from professional writers/editors anyway. I can't remember which writer said (words to the effect) "The only advice on writing that really matters is the editors - because he is the one wanting to buy the story."

(Note, that last point in no way refutes your point about choosing to a route that improves your chances of publication - it is just an interesting opinion.)


Posts: 787 | Registered: Aug 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Wolfe_boy
Member
Member # 5456

 - posted      Profile for Wolfe_boy   Email Wolfe_boy         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hatrack is as Hatrack is. The internet is as it is. Drama is generated, and people take offense. This has been happening for decades now.

That tchernabyelo is leaving is indeed unfortunate, but hardly unforseen. The internet exists in a state of churn (or, in this chase, tchern) that is unavoidable as people move on from one site to another, driven by utility, ennui, or yes, even drama.

The forums are separate, unless you're suggesting a completely different board/website for discussion vs. fragments. Any further division (authorized pros with verified sales vs. unwashed newbs) defeats the purpose of Hatrack, which is to learn, share, and foster the growth of ourselves and others.

I am not advocating this at all, but Kathleen's #2 piece of advice at this point is quite relevant: if you don't enjoy the way that Hatrack is run, then other forums might be more to your liking.

Her #1 piece of advice is equally relevant: if you are in an argument, please feel free to begin ignoring each other.

(On a related note, an "Ignore" button would be a fabulous addition to the forums here.... just sayin'.)


Posts: 733 | Registered: Apr 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MAP
Member
Member # 8631

 - posted      Profile for MAP           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
As a newby to writing, I feel that a lot of what Skadder is saying directly applies to me. I would like to give you my personal perspective.

I feel that learning to write is a lot like learning to be a parent.

You read all of the books, scour the internet for more information, get solicited and unsolicited advice from people with kids and people without them.

Some of the advice is like gold, some you canít figure out how to apply, some while good you just canít use because it is so contrary to your personality. But mostly you are floundering, trying so hard to figure out what really works for you.

You have great triumphs, glorious failures, and real tragic heartache. But all of these strengthens you and makes you better.

You never become an expert. You are always learning. You can always be better.

But if you put your heart and soul into it and your intellect and you really truly love your children and never give up on them. You will end up with something that is very special even if not everyone agrees.

This may not be everyoneís experience learning to write, but it is mine. I donít think that any of us will follow the same path on our journey to publication.

I have learned a tremendous amount from the folks here; most of you at some point or another have given me golden insights into writing, tchern included (and extrinsic, did he leave?). I think it is a shame that he has left.

I also think it is a shame that Skadder wonít engage in discussions on writing. I canít speak for everyone, but I think most of us donít believe whoever is loudest or last to speak is right, but who makes the most sense to us. So no one needs to keep arguing their point once they make it.

Personally, I like a variety of opinions and points of view. I donít know if we want a community where only the published have the right to express their opinions, if that is what Skadder meant. What is rubbish to one person could be gold to another.

Well, that is just my personal, unpublished opinion. Take it or leave it.

[This message has been edited by MAP (edited February 23, 2010).]


Posts: 1102 | Registered: May 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kitti
Member
Member # 7277

 - posted      Profile for Kitti   Email Kitti         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
some secret nirvana forum in a hidden nook of the internet

They're out there but you don't learn the secret passwords until you're professionally published :-)

Seriously, though, I think a certain turn-over rate is to be expected regardless of what does or doesn't happen on the forums. It's probably good for us, the way it's good to switch critique groups every couple of years. And there are published writers who comment here; I especially see former boot campers who pop in, probably to visit their password protected sub-forum, and then comment in the Open Discussions About Writing threads.

As to re-hashing stuff... if I'm not interested in a topic, I just don't read that thread. It helps reduce the amount of time I spend procrastinating online.


Posts: 715 | Registered: Nov 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robert Nowall
Member
Member # 2764

 - posted      Profile for Robert Nowall   Email Robert Nowall         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, I think I've used up most of my "A" material on the subject of writing---I'm even pretty sure I've already used that phrasing for this subject---and often feel I can add little more to what I've already said.

I'm still looking for advice, believe it or not. And I still get advice. I do weigh what I receive---I won't necessarily follow it, but I do take it in. (Or at least I think I do...maybe I'm deluding myself.)


Posts: 8716 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
babooher
Member
Member # 8617

 - posted      Profile for babooher   Email babooher         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm reminded of a 2 and Half Men episode where Charlie needs to write a theme song for a cartoon version of a comic the kid reads. The kid thinks Charlie's song is terrible. Charlie plays it for Allen who loves it. Charlie quickly realizes that the song must suck.

I've been getting the feeling that there are two camps here. If I think someone is in camp Alpha, I normally regard what s/he says carefully. If someone is in campe Omega, I tend to ignore most of what s/he says.

I've been published. Nothing big, but I get paid. I think that a writer or artist has to know how to accept, and reject, criticism.


Posts: 816 | Registered: May 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Devnal
Member
Member # 6724

 - posted      Profile for Devnal   Email Devnal         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
babooher - I remember that song; it rocked

Oh oh oh, Ohhhh shirkuru.. Oh oh oh, Ohhh shirkuru... He's the guy that had to die, Shirkuru!!


Posts: 303 | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
babooher
Member
Member # 8617

 - posted      Profile for babooher   Email babooher         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It reminded me of Peggy Sue.

But back on point, I just ran across this:

http://mzbworks.home.att.net/why.htm

It is an article Titled "Why Did My Story Get Rejected" by Marion Zimmer Bradley. The best part is this tasty morsel: EDITORS DO NOT BUY STORIES BECAUSE THEY ARE WELL WRITTEN.

Interesting stuff.


Posts: 816 | Registered: May 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
posulliv
Member
Member # 8147

 - posted      Profile for posulliv   Email posulliv         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Some of the best feedback I get comes from people who aren't even writers. I like Hatrack the way it is, though at times I wish it was a little less serious and a little more... mirthful.

[This message has been edited by posulliv (edited February 23, 2010).]


Posts: 389 | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
Administrator
Member # 59

 - posted      Profile for Kathleen Dalton Woodbury   Email Kathleen Dalton Woodbury         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
(On a related note, an "Ignore" button would be a fabulous addition to the forums here.... just sayin'.)

Amen!

Thing is, if there were such a button, I'd be very tempted to inflict it on people who just can't seem to get along with each other, whereas now all I can do is ask them to ignore each other.

I believe in personal choice and accountability, so I really don't want to be tempted to take people's choice to ignore or not ignore (even when I ask them to) away.

<sigh!>


Posts: 8523 | Registered: A Long Time Ago!  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
skadder
Member
Member # 6757

 - posted      Profile for skadder   Email skadder         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Perhaps I have just come to a natural end with regards arguing the basics--from my own perspective. I know when I want to show and when I want to tell--no point arguing with someone else about it.


Posts: 2989 | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Zero
Member
Member # 3619

 - posted      Profile for Zero           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Haha - or, alternatively, you could have a dedicated forum called "the pits" or "outside" where people duke it out. So, should an argument break out, others (who are disinterested in the argument) can say "take it outside!"
Posts: 2195 | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Wolfe_boy
Member
Member # 5456

 - posted      Profile for Wolfe_boy   Email Wolfe_boy         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Better idea Zero.... Call the new forum The Bike Rack.

"That's it Zero, enough lip-outta-you! I'll see you at the Bike Rack! After school!"


Posts: 733 | Registered: Apr 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Teraen
Member
Member # 8612

 - posted      Profile for Teraen   Email Teraen         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
1) Maybe we should invite him back?
2) Any chance we could set up not only a discussion forum, but also a debate forum? Maybe that way people would be more prepared for argumentative postings and would enter it with thicker skins.

Saying we have decency standards is great and all, but since we can't always control if people abide by them.

I, for one, never try to be anything but polite and accepting here. But I'm pretty sure I've fallen short a few times. I'd hate to think that someone left, or even got offended, because of me. ESPECIALLY when I didn't even intend anything...


Posts: 496 | Registered: May 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
KayTi
Member
Member # 5137

 - posted      Profile for KayTi           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
I know when I want to show and when I want to tell

This sums up my feelings as well.


Posts: 1911 | Registered: Mar 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
satate
Member
Member # 8082

 - posted      Profile for satate   Email satate         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I like hatrack because it's peer learning which I think is one of the best ways to learn anything. I get a chance to play teacher and then get a chance to others play teacher with my work. I love it and have felt that my work has greatly improved since coming here compared to the very slow growth before coming here.

As for writing discussions I usually only comment if no one else has said what I think, or if I just really feel like it.


Posts: 962 | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Brad R Torgersen
Member
Member # 8211

 - posted      Profile for Brad R Torgersen   Email Brad R Torgersen         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Dean Smith talks about myths. And how lots of writers become emotionally invested in myths.

One reason I don't bother much anymore with threads on craft -- be it here or elsewhere -- is that I don't necessarily believe in some of the conventional wisdom that circulates at the aspirant level. I've found that disputing this conventional wisdom just makes people angry and then nobody is helped because when people get angry, they're done learning.

I'm out in Oregon for a week at a professional writing two-fer where I get to be surrounded by other professionals at various stages -- from people like me with a couple of pro short sales, all the way to people like Kris Rusch and Dean Smith, who have hundreds of short and novel sales between them.

The conversations I am having here are VERY different from the conversations I might have on an aspirant forum, and it's got nothing to do with anything so much as the pros seem to have moved on from the whole, "I need to be right!" thing, and are instead far more interested in LISTENING to other people. They LISTEN for different experience and they LISTEN for revelatory moments of insight. Even Dean the instructor freely admits he does these so that people can come share and he feels he learns a huge amount from the sharing.

Is Hatrack a place to share, or is Hatrack a place for people peddle conventional wisdom?


Posts: 386 | Registered: Sep 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MAP
Member
Member # 8631

 - posted      Profile for MAP           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
The conversations I am having here are VERY different from the conversations I might have on an aspirant forum, and it's got nothing to do with anything so much as the pros seem to have moved on from the whole, "I need to be right!" thing, and are instead far more interested in LISTENING to other people. They LISTEN for different experience and they LISTEN for revelatory moments of insight. Even Dean the instructor freely admits he does these so that people can come share and he feels he learns a huge amount from the sharing.

Is Hatrack a place to share, or is Hatrack a place for people peddle conventional wisdom?


Thanks for this Brad.

As writers, I would think we would be more open to ideas and perspectives of others that vary greatly from our own in all aspects of life. How else can we make believable, sympathetic characters that are completely different from us?

Babooher, Thanks for the link that was excellent advise, but Alpha and Omega, seriously? Nice stereotyping.

[This message has been edited by MAP (edited February 24, 2010).]


Posts: 1102 | Registered: May 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BenM
Member
Member # 8329

 - posted      Profile for BenM   Email BenM         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
They LISTEN for different experience and they LISTEN for revelatory moments of insight

Maybe it's worth remembering that for every person that posts in a thread, there are five or ten others who are just reading it quietly. So perhaps there *are* a lot of people here listening, forming their own opinions, and growing.


Posts: 920 | Registered: Nov 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Brendan
Member
Member # 6044

 - posted      Profile for Brendan   Email Brendan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I enjoyed reading your post above, Brad - it gave me some things to think about, and your points about the anger versus learning, and the need to listen are well said.

quote:
The conversations I am having here (at professional writing meetings) are VERY different from the conversations I might have on an aspirant forum, and it's got nothing to do with anything so much as the pros seem to have moved on from the whole, "I need to be right!" thing, and are instead far more interested in LISTENING to other people...

Is Hatrack a place to share, or is Hatrack a place for people peddle conventional wisdom?


This quote encompasses three different points that I think need to be understood separately: face to face meetings versus online forums, need to be right versus listening, and professional writer versus aspirant writer conversations. Without making these distinctions, a simple comparison between the two groups runs the risk of missing "revelatory moments of insight".

Online forums are very different to face to face meetings. In comparison to other online forums, this one is very tame and respecting of others, partly due to the people it attracts and partly due to how well it is run. However, it still is an online forum, which comes with a few weaknesses. BenM has already pointed out one, that you cannot see who is actively listening on an online forum. Compounding this is the lack of body language expressed online, which a huge part of understanding the activity of listening and often the lack can be interpreted as a threat. Additionally, online forums tend towards argument simply because people are more motivated to say something if they disagree than if they agree.

Need to be right versus listening: Now this was such a great point by Brad that I don't want to diminish it. I come from a background in science, where both are important and it is always a difficult line to walk. I will say, however, that I would be very surprised if it is something that professional writers as a group have moved on from - it has more to do with personality type and culture than professional sales, and I have heard enough interviews with different writers to know that some still have an "I am right" view of the world.

Professional writer versus aspirant writer conversations: Professional mathematicians don't usually discuss basic arithmetic or algebra amongst themselves, either. That doesn't mean that they disagree with them, the opposite is true, rather they don't discuss it because there is little perceived benefit in going over old ground when they have other, more interesting things to discuss. But if they were to discuss mathematics with an intelligent alien or child, for example, one of the first things they would likely discuss are the basic concepts. Many of these "myths" and "conventional wisdom" of writing were actually developed and actively pushed by professional writers, in the form of "How to Write" books, articles, and these days, blogs. (How to Win the Writers of the Future Contest comes to mind.) Furthermore, they use them, to write, to edit, to make assessments about theirs or others writing. But, unlike mathematics, even the basics of writing fiction have a significant element of disagreement and variability among professional writers, so you can expect that to filter down to aspirants as well.

So, in answer to your question, Hatrack is a place for both sharing and expressing (peddling if you must) conventional wisdom, and it is also a place for debating the merits of such conventional wisdom and listening for the potential nuggets of insight that can come through such debates.

[This message has been edited by Brendan (edited February 24, 2010).]

[This message has been edited by Brendan (edited February 24, 2010).]


Posts: 787 | Registered: Aug 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
rich
Member
Member # 8140

 - posted      Profile for rich   Email rich         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I try to be a dick as much as possible. That way, if I ever win the lottery, or get rich and famous, I can honestly say that the money hasn't changed me.
Posts: 840 | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
Administrator
Member # 59

 - posted      Profile for Kathleen Dalton Woodbury   Email Kathleen Dalton Woodbury         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hatrack is also supposed to be a place where writers can learn how to figure out what they need to do to make their own writing more accessible to readers (and publishing is one of the most preferred ways for people to access a writer's work) by looking at what other writers are working on and trying to help them also figure out what they need to do to make their own writing more accessible to readers.

I hope it's a place to receive by giving.


Posts: 8523 | Registered: A Long Time Ago!  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
InarticulateBabbler
Member
Member # 4849

 - posted      Profile for InarticulateBabbler   Email InarticulateBabbler         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I don't think it's so much a "Need to be Right" as "Passionate about What Works for Them".

We can learn Accepted Manuscript Formatting; Grammar; Outlining Techniques; Plot Tools; Types of PoV; Types of Penetration; Prose Rules-of-Thumb/Guidelines (such as limiting authorial intrusion, adverbs and adjectives); Control of Sensory Perceptions; Building and Sustaining Tension and Conflict--but how they are applied is Voice and that can't be taught.

Writing, by its very nature, has to be solitudinous: Eventually, you've got to do it alone.

I loved this quote from Neil Gaiman:

quote:

Remember: when people tell you something's wrong or doesn't work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.

Skadder's concern with giving "fruitful" vs. "controversial" advice is in concern for those who don't know the common expectations editors, slush readers and agents have. While it's TRUE that it is POSSIBLE to sell a story that goes--in every way--against convention, it is also a much harder row to hoe. Those conventions are there because writing is a form of communication, and the conventions are the distillations of hundreds (if not thousands and tens of thousands) of years and authors' trial-and-errors. So, why would you want to ignore all of that?

Robert Louis Stevenson:

quote:
The difficulty of literature is not to write, but to write what you mean.

[This message has been edited by InarticulateBabbler (edited February 25, 2010).]

[This message has been edited by InarticulateBabbler (edited February 25, 2010).]


Posts: 3682 | Registered: Jan 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Zero
Member
Member # 3619

 - posted      Profile for Zero           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
"That's it Zero, enough lip-outta-you! I'll see you at the Bike Rack! After school!"

Exactly! Except when I was a kid it was "the flagpole". Not sure why. Maybe those were more patriotic times...

"Meet me at the flagpole after school, wuss!"

@rich - got a good laugh at of your comment.


Posts: 2195 | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
Administrator
Member # 59

 - posted      Profile for Kathleen Dalton Woodbury   Email Kathleen Dalton Woodbury         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You know, one of the things that was pointed out at the BYU science fiction symposium that I attended recently was that editors (and this was from a panel of editors, by the way) will be more likely to acquire fiction that has a voice that works than they are to acquire fiction that has everything else right.

The reason the editors gave was that just about everything else can be taught, and they can work with writers who are still rough at the edges on those things. But voice can't be taught, and if the voice isn't "there" nothing an editor does is going to make a difference.

Kind of frustrating to know that we can spend all kinds of time on things that editors are willing to work with writers on, but the one, most important thing, voice, can't be taught and can't be argued over or discussed, because it's something that is either "there" or it isn't.

There is the possibility, however, that if a writer works hard enough on the other things, and writes and Writes and WRITES and !WRITES!, the voice will become stronger and grow more "there" as well.

But it truly isn't something that can be taught.


Posts: 8523 | Registered: A Long Time Ago!  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
dee_boncci
Member
Member # 2733

 - posted      Profile for dee_boncci   Email dee_boncci         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Voice is a tough thing, and I think a lot of it's development is through learning to write boldly and honestly (at least for those of us who don't just "blurt it out" naturally). I don't remember where I heard it, but one author said to write as if your parents are deceased. For me there's a lesson in that, especially if I extend it to include "as if I had no children". And in context it extends well beyond things like "adult" language and subject matter.

It's probably worth noting that I'm referring to the aspect of voice that is the fundamental voice of the writer rather than a narrative tone affected for a particular story/character (which also is a difficult thing to master and I'd venture to say can't be simply "taught" like grammer).


Posts: 612 | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Zero
Member
Member # 3619

 - posted      Profile for Zero           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I've always thought that voice was something everybody has, but getting it to come over clearly on paper is the challenge. A skill that can be acquired but not taught.
Posts: 2195 | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
elzoog
Member
Member # 4410

 - posted      Profile for elzoog   Email elzoog         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"I was thinking along these lines yesterday, I read the first thirteen of Twilight, and thought what I would have said to Stephanie Meyer if she found this site before being published. I would have told her she was info dumping, and that I didn't think she was starting in the right place. I would suggest she start closer to the speculative moment, maybe the moment where Bella meets Edward."

I have found that in my story, The Capiam Universe, people have told me to start in a different place. It seems like bad advice. Based on what you said here, it seems my hunch is correct.

Based on my experience, advice on writing shouldn't be set in stone. If you are a good writer, you should be able to judge for yourself how useful, or useless, any advice is.


Posts: 30 | Registered: Nov 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
johnbrown
Member
Member # 1467

 - posted      Profile for johnbrown   Email johnbrown         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
will be more likely to acquire fiction that has a voice that works than they are to acquire fiction that has everything else right.

I wonder if this is more a reflection of the tastes of the specific editors on the panel than it is editors in general. I look at John Grisham's THE FIRM, Stephenie Meyer, David Baldacci--they don't seem to have much "voice" but somebody loved them enough to buy. Maybe I don't understand voice. But these folks aren't anywhere near TC Boyle, for instance. They read to me like window pane prosers.

FWIW, here's my two cents on learning the craft and business.

#1 Stop looking for rules: http://johndbrown.com/writers/rules-vs-objectives/

#2 Focus on objectives. Dean Smith had a long brouhaha about agents because he felt so many folks thought there was only one method to break in. In the end it almost sounded like Smith himself was setting up his own sacred cow. But he himself would say: Forget all the cows! Look at the business or story objective first. Then use any method that looks like it might get you there. There are a LOT of ways to do almost anything.

#3 When someone proposes a principle or guideline, ask how it relates to the objectives. What's it good for? Then verify it with your experience. If you can't really see a difference, then who cares? Toss it.

#4 If you don't know what your reader response objective is with the first two pages of a story, with your character, with a scene, with the story as a whole, etcetra, etcetera, etcetera, then my suggestion is to take a step back. What kind of an experience are you trying to provide the reader?

If you were designing an airline service, a restaurant service, a comedy routine (another entertainment type service), vacation getaway service, clothes buying service--any service--it's always best to define the experience you want to generate and then focus on those things that will deliver.

McDonalds wants to provide one type of experience. Hamilton's $100/plate another. It would be ridiculous for McDonalds to start seating people and turn the lights low and offer plates and silver cutlery thinking that would help them deliver their fast, cheap service better.

Know what it is you're trying to do . . . to the reader. Then figure out what will get you there.

(Of course, I say all that knowing that a lot comes by feel and you sometimes only figure out what you want AFTER you're well into it, nevertheless...)

#5 None of it matters if you don't write

Whew. Anyone like some toast? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BILAFuSi-i0

[This message has been edited by johnbrown (edited February 27, 2010).]


Posts: 327 | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
satate
Member
Member # 8082

 - posted      Profile for satate   Email satate         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"The reason the editors gave was that just about everything else can be taught, and they can work with writers who are still rough at the edges on those things. But voice can't be taught, and if the voice isn't "there" nothing an editor does is going to make a difference."


It's funny, this was the same thing my flute professor liked to say, though he said "You can teach a pig to finger." He meant you can teach anyone the technicalities of music but not how to bring the emotion across. It also reminds me of Simon Cowell when he tells contestants that they have to have "it."


Posts: 962 | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
billawaboy
Member
Member # 8182

 - posted      Profile for billawaboy   Email billawaboy         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Skadder, I had no idea established writers on Hatrack felt this way - when I first came here over a year ago I thought newbie input was welcome...after all they are the potential reader market for the aspiring author.

I understand now this way of mixed critiques has a way of confusing new writers - and frustrating established writers - But I have a solution.

If it's just newbies critiquing that's screwing up serious advice - why not have a tag beneath all our Hatrack names that says [Newbie], or an [Established Writer]? I know I wouldn't mind.

That way the aspiring writer can look at newbie critiques as "reader input" (not to be taken as good advice), while accepting an established writers' critiques as "advice from an actual published writer" - to be taken as good advice.

That should work right?


Posts: 342 | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
rich
Member
Member # 8140

 - posted      Profile for rich   Email rich         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Let's not get carried away, now.

Arguing on the Internet is a pastime of mine, but a writer who has never been published can give just as good advice as one who has.

I like the parenting analogy 'cause I think it fits well. A great parent may not be able to tell you how to raise YOUR kids because that great parent's kids may be angels compared to your hellions.

I think Cormac McCarthy is a great writer, but I don't think he'd necessarily give good writing advice.

However, I also don't see the use of arguing over a person's comments concerning one's writing as productive. It's a criticism. Take what you can from the criticism, accept it or not, and move on.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: The best writing workshop is the one where you submit your story/novel to be published. The editors will let you know if you're a "good" writer or not.


Posts: 840 | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kitti
Member
Member # 7277

 - posted      Profile for Kitti   Email Kitti         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I would feel very uncomfortable with the idea of having "newbie" or "established writer" tags. Yeah, I've made a sale, but does that mean I suddenly know more than all y'all or that my opinions are somehow more important? I sure hope not! (I'll tell you right now - I certainly don't know everything.)

I think on Hatrack, as with pretty much anything in life, it's buyer beware. A bunch of us have websites or blogs (though I'm guessing the new blogging craze will not be a temporary phenomena here) linked in to our profiles so anyone who cares can do a bit of research on the people offering you advice and decide whether their "credentials" are satisfactory or not.

Me, I figured out who to listen to the old-fashioned way: I've been around for a while and gotten to know whose advice I can take and whose I can leave.


Posts: 715 | Registered: Nov 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
philocinemas
Member
Member # 8108

 - posted      Profile for philocinemas   Email philocinemas         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Here's a interesting thought (I hope):

What if there was an area in our profiles that allowed Hatrackers to include various levels of sales (pro and on down). I'm sure some wouldn't want to go back and type everything in anew, but some probably would. I think it would be a nice way of seeing how everyone is doing as well.


Posts: 2003 | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
halogen
Member
Member # 6494

 - posted      Profile for halogen   Email halogen         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Skadder, I had no idea established writers on Hatrack felt this way - when I first came here over a year ago I thought newbie input was welcome...after all they are the potential reader market for the aspiring author.

Hrm... I don't think this is where Skadder was going.

Here's how I see it (Hopefully I stay on topic). So in any genre of art you have three circles of groups:

The Hard: We feel that form and function is all that matters. The more technically complicated the work the better the work is.

The Real: We feel that a blend of experience, hard work and imagination is what makes true art.

The Soft: We feel that anything we create is art and any "rule" is simply a roadblock that must be forcibly dismantled.

Just about everyone in the art community falls somewhere between those three areas.

The problem is a true "Hard" artist (someone who only grades on technical complexity without looking at the 'full picture') will always butt heads with a true "Soft" artist (someone who feels that raw energy and emotion are the only prerequisites to true art).

And to make matters worse, the 90% of people somewhere in the middle usually get annoyed by both parties. Here's an example:

quote:

ARTIST: <Posts a charcoal still to be critiqued>

HARD_CRITTER: The shading really needs work, doesn't reflect the lighting, especially around the vase, the shadows are practically in the opposite direction as the rest of the set.

SOFT_CRITTER: I disagree I feel the change in shadow adds a certain "abstract something" that takes it beyond the traditional still life. Proper shading is just another "rule" that can be broken.

HARD_CRITTER: Yeah, that "abstract something" is lousy shading

SOFT_CRITTER: Coming from a corporate shill pan-handling hotel room art?

HARD_CRITTER: Hippy!



Now, speaking in generalities (so I can't be called out on my lack of research) I think most people enter the art community nearing the "Soft" side of the spectrum and over time they move closer to the "real-slightly-hard" section.

Every artist needs that explosive creativity that comes from the Soft section, but in order to produce real art they need the training and patience of the Hard section. Over time they learn how to channel that imagination through fundamentals and produce truly inspiring work.

So that's the problem. You have people in different stages and that will always cause conflict.

[This message has been edited by halogen (edited February 28, 2010).]


Posts: 207 | Registered: Sep 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
johnbrown
Member
Member # 1467

 - posted      Profile for johnbrown   Email johnbrown         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Folks,

Professional publcation may or may not correlate to excellent insight into the principles and concepts of story. There are excellent editors (and sometimes agents) who have never written a novel, much less published one, yet they can see exactly where a story isn't performing.

Would you, for example, minimize the input of David Hartwell, the editor from Tor who won the Hugo award a year or so ago, because he has never written a novel of any length?

There are 2 different areas of expertise--the concepts and principles of story AND the process of developing a story. Some folks who have never written a story have the first set in spades.

Many pros who are published advocate their particular method. Steven King advocates one way. Elizabeth George advocates one that's completely opposite. Some pros aren't analytical at all (Steven Brust) and so are hesitant to offer any insights at all.

Finally, getting a story or five, or a novel or two published doesn't guarantee that person has any more insight than someone who hasn't broken in. Think about this. It means we should have NOT considered anything JK Rowling had to say while she was collecting her rejections. NOT given any credence to Stephenie Meyer as she toiled away writing her dream-induced tale.

Expertise does provide insight. But are we really at that level here where Bob with 2 short sales is now the expert whereas Bill with 1 short sale is something less?

What I've learned is that ANYONE can have good insights or ask questions that lead to them.

The key is in testing everything against the objectives. Does X produce Y?


Posts: 327 | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
genevive42
Member
Member # 8714

 - posted      Profile for genevive42   Email genevive42         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I agree with Kitti. The number of sales you do or don't have has nothing to do with the ability to give good quality and insightful advice. The idea of labeling people based on sales is a form of segregation that I think would be foolish and counter-productive to having solid, open discussions that encourage everyone in the community to participate.


Posts: 1993 | Registered: Jul 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sunshine
Member
Member # 3701

 - posted      Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It's just as important to understand how to interpret feedback as it is to give it. Since I am unpublished, I will paraphrase from a published author's advice.

During Card's 2-workshop a couple of years ago, he mentioned that one of his stories was critiqued as being "too long" (I think it was an editor). Card realized the pace was too slow, so he upped the tempo and ultimately INCREASED the word length. The critiquer loved it.

As for this message board, group dynamics change here just as they do any human group across the world. Some people won't like it. When I get bored or irritated, I just leave for a while and come back when I'm more refreshed. Some of you should try it; it's what the hunter-gatherers did. : )


Posts: 90 | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
posulliv
Member
Member # 8147

 - posted      Profile for posulliv   Email posulliv         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
johnbrown's comment nails it for me. Here's a quote from a book Kathleen Dalton Woodbury recommended on more than one occasion:

"...I'm not a fiction writer myself, have never written a short story in my life, not ever even for a moment presumed to think I could."

This quote is from Rust Hills, in the introduction to "Writing in General and the Short Story in Particular." Hills is the longtime fiction editor for Esquire.

I'm happy to listen to anyone, and frankly, I'd prefer not to know anything about their background, other than that they are a frequent reader, or better yet, frequent buyer, of they types of stories I write.

Update: It has occurred to me that my comment could be taken to mean the opposite of my intention. So to clarify, there are scores of people who have good advice and who are not authors. Some of them are respected pros who earned their stripes as readers and lovers of fiction. Writers do not have a monopoly on quality advice.

In regard to Hatrack, I'd like to remain ignorant of the publishing history of posters because then I'm forced to consider their arguments on their merits, free of any bias based on their perceived experience, or lack thereof.

I value feedback from people who read and pay for they type of work I write, since that work is what I'm trying to improve, and those are the 'experts' I'm trying to please.

I hope I haven't hurt anyone's feelings by being unclear.

[This message has been edited by posulliv (edited March 01, 2010).]


Posts: 389 | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Bent Tree
Member
Member # 7777

 - posted      Profile for Bent Tree   Email Bent Tree         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Professional publcation may or may not correlate to excellent insight into the principles and concepts of story. There are excellent editors (and sometimes agents) who have never written a novel, much less published one, yet they can see exactly where a story isn't performing.

This is a very relevant point. I would like to expand upon this idea. I find the opinions of those who read alot more valuable than most others and it is often apparent in their comments. Afterall those that are reading alot of material which is currently being published in our genre have a much better foundation by which to make comparison than say, someone that read a dozen SF novels in their life and now want to write SF.

I am also very surprised just how little many aspiring writers in our field actually read. Although they would probably never admit it, I have read the stories, critique, and opinions of many that I could almost absolutely say have read no more than a handful of novels, or short stories available in our current markets. To me, above all else, this is highly noticeable ,not only in their writing, but also in their limited scope given in critiques.

I have often speculated on how much of the readership of SF publications actually consists of aspiring writers. I bet it is a very high percentage--more than fifty percent. I truly will never understand though how one might expect to get their work published without understanding the current markets in which they are trying to get published.

This among many other experiences has instilled in me the need to come to my own conclusions about the advice I accept. I have put in thousands of hours into researching trends in current markets that has negated a few generally accepted advice, such as writing in the first person among a few others.

I learned long ago to seriously filter all the advice I recieve and to look at things from a 'big picture' approach. You can also learn what to screen by getting a wide scope of what posters have to say in their crtis. If you notice that the certain critter has the same thing or things to say about everything the comment on, you can easily come to the conclusion to evaluate the worth of those particular comments.


Posts: 1864 | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
billawaboy
Member
Member # 8182

 - posted      Profile for billawaboy   Email billawaboy         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
rich:
quote:
...but a writer who has never been published can give just as good advice as one who has.

Kiti:

quote:
I would feel very uncomfortable with the idea of having "newbie" or "established writer" tags. Yeah, I've made a sale, but does that mean I suddenly know more than all y'all or that my opinions are somehow more important? I sure hope not! (I'll tell you right now - I certainly don't know everything.)

----

I agree with both of you - good advice can come from anywhere, and even published writer may give bad advice.

But that's not the point here.

The point is some published writers, who have gone through the editorial process, who take the time to give serious advice, feel their advice is getting "muddied" and going to waste when non-established writers are throwing in their two cents.

I am paraphrasing exactly what skadder wrote:

quote:
...yet another talented writer (tchern...)leaves Hatrack because...the waters are constantly muddied by people without the sales to back their authority/claims.

If all it takes is distinguishing published versus unpublshed writers' posts to make them feel like their advice isn't going to waste - I think that's a small price to pay.

I'm not saying that their advice is always good or bad - just that I would rather have any advice from them than no advice at all.

So I would try to appease tchernboyl and find some simple way to give credit where credit is due.


Posts: 342 | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
genevive42
Member
Member # 8714

 - posted      Profile for genevive42   Email genevive42         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
If all it takes is distinguishing published versus unpublshed writers' posts to make them feel like their advice isn't going to waste - I think that's a small price to pay.

This is a slippery slope when you start giving up measures that offer equality within a group.

I say let everyone make their comments and let the comments stand on their merits. If a published author truly believes that his/her comments are more valuable than those of others then they should believe that said comments will stand above the rest based purely on their quality.


Posts: 1993 | Registered: Jul 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
philocinemas
Member
Member # 8108

 - posted      Profile for philocinemas   Email philocinemas         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I for one, have never had a sale - either professionally or otherwise. However, I have only submitted twice, and yet, hopefully, I will some day become more prolific in my submissions as well as my sales.

That said, I interpret what skadder is saying to be the general problem with opionions and advice - everyone has them, and some are "better-equipped" than others. It seems that the advice has been all over the place of late. What has become most difficult is finding consensus.

Now, I feel that I greatly benefitted from this site when I first came here almost two years ago, but I feel less so today. I think some of it has to do with rehashing of old topics, but much of it has to do with old arguments that don't seem to go away. Instead, these arguments are driving away some of the best talent. There's a "write whatever way that makes you feel good" mentality that appears to be prevailing. That is fine if the goal is simply expression, but maybe not so beneficial if the goal is publication. Hard candy usually comes in clear packaging and sometimes you just have to suck on it.

I recently wrote something in one of the challenges that in retrospect was less than enticing. All of the problems with it are easily identifiable with the so-called "rules" or recommendations or whatever we are supposed to call them now. So why didn't I just follow the "rules"? Simply said - we are a society of rule-breakers and of "fairness". We often feel we can get away with it or compare ourselves to others. "Cormac McCarthy does this. Stephanie Meyers does that." I thought I was clever enough to get away with it, and my inner-editor didn't say anything. However, it would do me no good to deny the validity of the critiques, because ultimately it comes down to what readers like.

I think it's a real shame that people with various talents like Talespinner, Reagansgame, tchernabyelo, Sara Genge, extrinsic, and many more whom I cannot think of at the moment have left this site due to either conflict or not feeling able to get anything more from it. I suppose it is the nature of such sites, but I can empathize with skadder's sadness regarding their loss. I think much of it has more to do with people's conduct and other people's sensitivity than anything else. But it also is largely due to overall frustration.

Ultimately, it is up to each individual whether he/she stays or goes, argues or agrees, paticipates or watches. There are pearls of wisdom in many things that skadder states as well as what Merlion states (just to name two of our more avid debaters). It is up to each individual to find his/her best path. All the same, I do not see how having accomplishments able to be listed in our profiles would hurt this site or create a bourgeoisie/prolitarian environment. I can only think of benefits to such an availability. And maybe in some way it could help keep a few accomplished individuals from wanting to bail and help "newbies" to choose who best represents the approach they should take. And just because an "accomplished" writer suggests one way, I doubt that it will change the mind of someone who is determined to go another way. After all, we are a society of rule-breakers.


Posts: 2003 | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
billawaboy
Member
Member # 8182

 - posted      Profile for billawaboy   Email billawaboy         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
This is a slippery slope when you start giving up measures that offer equality within a group.

I say let everyone make their comments and let the comments stand on their merits. If a published author truly believes that his/her comments are more valuable than those of others then they should believe that said comments will stand above the rest based purely on their quality.


I don't think there will be a "giving up of equality". Nor should equality be given indiscriminately. All those choices should reside with the newbie-writer getting the advice. Not us advice-posters.

Once again, this not about separating good advice from bad as a reflection on our ability as writers and critiquers - although people seem to be taking it as such. It's about getting to know from whom the advice is coming from. It's simply extra data. Yes, it's creating categories - but not good vs bad. Let's not simply assume that.

If the advice-reader chooses to treat one category as better than the other - that's their choice. This whole thing is for the newbie writer's benefit anyway, not ours as a critiquer.

Furthermore, this avoids restrictions that will deny some of us from posting critiques - which private forums would do. I want to avoid this issue being resolved that way.

I think what I propose is a healthy compromise - everyone gets to post, but we get to know a little about you to qualify your critique - which is only fair. We don't have to know every little detail, just a vague idea. For example, knowing that a poster has published 5 sci-fi short stories helps distinguish advice from a poster who has 10 published fantasy stories. Details like this will help new writers judge the advice better.

Also if it makes advice-posters be more cautious and more thoughtful about the critiques they post - that's a good thing.

[This message has been edited by billawaboy (edited February 28, 2010).]


Posts: 342 | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
genevive42
Member
Member # 8714

 - posted      Profile for genevive42   Email genevive42         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Nor should there be equality given indiscriminately.

Doesn't equality mean freedom from discrimination?

If someone is posting a critique and wants to tell of their publishing experience to put some perspective on their comments then they are free to do so. No one is stopping them.


Posts: 1993 | Registered: Jul 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Crystal Stevens
Member
Member # 8006

 - posted      Profile for Crystal Stevens   Email Crystal Stevens         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Not long ago I told one of my readers that I felt unqualified to critique other people's works on Hatrack because I feel I'm a beginner and not near as educated as some of the other Hatracker's. Hence, I'm leary of critiquing anything for fear that I'll be wrong or give bad advice.

He responded by saying that I'm a reader, and that I know what I like and what I don't. I know what works when I'm reading a story and what sings. He told me not to be afraid, and that my opinion was just as good as anyone else's.

I couldn't believe the confidence this gave me, and I try to take everything anyone says on Hatrack with an open mind. I'd say 90% of the advice I've received has been right on the money. I follow my gut when others voice their opinions. If it sounds right, I follow it and see how it works. If it sounds fishy, I leave it lay, but still thank the person who said it and move on.

My advice has been way off base sometimes,too, and someone usually will point this out to me in a tactful way. I don't get upset by it, and re-read this advice several times before I understand what is being said. Most of the time, the person is right.

We may not all be professionals. After all, that's why we're here--to reach that golden ring and earn the right to be call a professional writer. That's what I feel Hatrack is all about.

So follow your gut and say what you think works when you critique someone's work. If you're wrong, someone will surely steer you in the right direction. Hatrack has been a gold mine to me. Everyone has been wonderful in helping to make my writing bloom. I am so close to making my first submission it scares me, but it will happen, very very soon, and I owe it all to Hatrack's Writers Workshop.

It's sad that some may leave with bruised egos or hard feelings, but Hatrack isn't for everyone. New members join everyday, and we'll be here to help prop them up, give suggestions, critique their work, and help them make that first submission and that first sale. It can happen.


Posts: 1320 | Registered: May 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
philocinemas
Member
Member # 8108

 - posted      Profile for philocinemas   Email philocinemas         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I really do not see this as a matter of discrimination. No one is stating someone cannot post or present an opinion. I'm not even one for labels. All I suggest is to have a place where people can post their accomplishments. New people could choose to go there or not. I for one would be interested, and even inspired, to see one place where all of someone's writing creds are presented. Furthermore, this is a standard practice in arenas of open debate, such as law and politics, and I don't imagine things could get much more political, or impolitical, than they have become now or in the past.
Posts: 2003 | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
  This topic comprises 3 pages: 1  2  3   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Codeô is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2