Kurahieiritr

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Posts posted by Kurahieiritr

  1. We shouldn't have to tell people that they need to be civil, or how to be civil for that matter, but we do have to tell them because that ability now evades the general internet denzien. If we didn't have to explain to people what courtesy was, then it wouldn't be an issue to begin with.

    A: I spent several days thinking about how tragic things have become, such as you noted, Rogue. Honestly, I have contemplated your input deeply. The reality that civility has become a lost art is something to be mourned. For all that we like to perceive ourselves as being civilized nations, one would think civility would be deeply ingrained in the masses by rote. Yet the opposite seems to be the truth. I've been asking myself if this is a case of rebellion against social values because the internet remains somehow anonymous? The anonymous nature of hiding behind a computer screen emboldens some people to act out poor behavior because they are not easily held accountable.

    Thinking of it in this light, I wonder if there will ever be a happy medium discovered for the quality reviewers who often get frustrated and feel abused when they only seek to give advice, or helpful tips to aide fellow writers. Personally, I have not read anything in the archive of late because I dislike the high risk of trying to give a quality review backfiring yet again. Only writers that have retained any of my reviews are getting checked to see if they have added any updated stories/chapters and so forth.

    Since thoughtful feedback is unwanted, trying to read anything in the archive suddenly feels downright stifling. In fact, I have skipped 3 reading days completely at this point. My once a week ritual is on hiatus. Since people do not seem sincere to me about the things they request, why should I bother to play into their trap is my feeling at this point. Has anyone else become so disenchanted with the whole disrespect for quality, concrit review techniques that they are no longer inclined to read other writers offerings?

  2. spoiler heavy works, as it's still your original writing. The concern with this is the lifting of content from the show scripts. If you use descriptives, for example, that are EXACTLY as they are in the script, that would need cited.

    A: Hm, I have never seen the show's scripts, so not certain if the descriptives truly classify under that heading. I compact multiple episodes into a single chapter when it comes to car races Takumi participates in as a rule. Sometimes I have the race squarely in Keisuke's point of view such as he hears radio commentary from teammates at different points of the course that describes the actions. Other times I may need to cite, but would placing a "Spoiler heavy episodes 6 through 9 from Initial D 1st stage" at the top in my A/N section an acceptable alternative to the bottom of the chapter?

  3. Yep, that's exactly it.

    You can look through many, many buffy 'verse stories and find examples of exactly this, where an episode is rewritten, and the author then cites the source at the bottom of the chapter.

    Using the above as an example:

    Say you rewrote Chosen, the series finale for Buffy. You made it fairly different from the episode itself, but it was critical to the chapter to include some of the episode dialogue. At the bottom, you'd have something like this:

    *some dialogue from Chosen, Season 7, episode 144.

    Although the title of the episode would honestly be sufficient.

    A: I place a spoiler heavy tag at the top of every chapter where I am twisting the anime I write. I do not write anything verbatim for dialog, while keeping it true to the original commentaries made. I tagged in the top of chapter 1 that I am following the cannon story closely as an additional tag to cover the spoiler nature of the prequel I am writing. Does a somewhat accurately written description of visual car races from the show I have watched fall under the rules as needing some form of additional citing in each chapter? Or, does the spoiler heavy alert in the Author note heading suffice in this instance?

  4. I apologize to anyone who was waiting for the next installments of both WIP novels for taking so long. Driven Heart 17 is posted. Having suffered a case of acute writer's block has thrown my schedule into complete chaos recently. Please forgive me for my tardiness in getting new chapters written and posted for everyone to read.

    Thank you to those individuals who have sent me encouragement emails while my Plot Bunnies were on strike. I truly appreciate every positive and supportive comment received. It helps to know that I do have a few die hard readers waiting for each new installment. As the Smoke Clears chapter 40 is getting worked upon at this very moment. I have been doing the bare bones version of the actual chapter, but with new research notes included, it is slowly evolving into a decent reading chapter.

    Special thanks to Raymy for reading over raw drafts, and being a most welcome sounding board when I get so annoyed that I have not portraying Keisuke's upheaval well enough to suit myself. I truly appreciate the input you gave me to help me unlock my stubbornly silent bunnies. Glad I am not the only person who has noticed all the subtle "Takumi is a psychic" references found in the actual anime/Manga also. Here's hoping that the Keisuke drawn to Takumi because they are soul mates continues to make this a worthwhile read for everyone as I get more Driven Heart chapters written.

  5. After beating an unexpected case of writer's block, Chapter 17 is finally complete, and posted. I apologize for the inexcusable wait. It is a shorter than normal chapter due to not being completely back into the groove of writing daily. I am crossing my fingers that this will not happen again for another couple of years. Hope everyone enjoys the newest moments of insanity as Keisuke wrestles with his unwanted emotions.

  6. The whole thing seems dubious at best, and rife for abuse. Right off the bat, if Amazon isn't going to do a thing about stolen works, then they should not be providing a venue for these works. They seems to be declining any and all responsibility in return for money they really are doing nothing to earn.

    A: I have been following this whole Kindle World division's evolution since I learned about it. Some things about the Kindle World program equal a possible nightmare scenario in the making. With the amount of wealth investment Amazon has backing the venture, I can only hope the current listing of fandoms do not turn into an all out war upon fan fiction archives which feature Pretty Little Liars and the other universes featured at Kindle worlds. worst case scenarios happen when greed is involved, and Amazon has a track record of being greedy.

    One thing I have noticed about the terms offered to fan writers: Amazon can take any original characters and settings submitted by a fandom writer, and turn them into tv/movies without giving the fan fiction author any kind of compensation, nor credit for creation what so ever. So Amazon not only refuses any kind of responsibility in this scheme, but they my also be actively looking to defraud the fan fiction writers in the future. The only remedy for this kind of theft is if the fan fiction writer remains purely cannon in both character and setting in anything they choose to submit. They are truly wasting time in submitting anything at all that falls outside of this particular parameter.

    Writing pure cannon fan fiction is a tougher job than free writing whatever the imagination conjures up, another negative to the program. Their guidelines will thwart many writers creativity, and we all know that fanfiction often targets the population sectors that the main stream ignores and excludes. Amazon is adhering to mainstream rules which goes against the company's gains category in some respects. Staying true to the original creator's work requires a very strong understanding of the universe getting written. Scenarios can be diverse, yet if a fandom writer submitting a tale adds anything outside of the cannon-verse, they lose everything. Anything outside of purely cannon character and setting will be going into the loss write off column that the blind will come to understand at some point once they start getting burned. Once they get burned, then Amazon's new division will go down in flames the same as Warner Brothers similar scheme did a few years ago.

    As to the Anime comment, Amazon has yet to talk to anyone in Japan from the many articles I have been collecting as I go. The Japanese have a very well established system for licensing fan works. I do not see their interconnected publishing houses jumping on board Amazon's Kindle World program with the current policy terms offered to the fan based creators. The Japanese have legitimized fan works for decades, and they do not treat fandom authors and artists in such a shabby manner. Their pride will probably insure they seek real protections for any fandom based creators before they will sign onto Kindle Worlds if they are ever approached is my feeling about the subject.

    Only American companies are taking any interest in this Amazon specific scheme. J.K.R. said that although she does appreciate the fan fiction sub culture, she has no intention of ever letting Amazon get their hooks into Harry Potter. She flat out refused to consider the offer Amazon gave her about joining Kindle Worlds. According to some articles I've been reading, Amazon is talking to DC and to Disney, trying to cut deals, but both companies seem to be of the "we are considering test runs" variety answers which may or may not pan out as a long term license agreement for Amazon.

  7. So many people to answer so please bear with me here as this post got a bit long. Cannot say I am the type that belongs to the Review Whore listing per say, but I do have a preferred kind of review that makes me happiest when I receive one. I love getting told the details about whatever problems any of my stories contain so I can weed those out of the chapters I share. Once I complete the newest revisions, I abuse my replace button to load the repaired chapters. Concrit is a very misunderstood beast. More thought goes into concrit reviewing than the "you have spelling errors and grammar problems" variety responses. Some concrit deals squarely with the boring, perfectly spelled and grammar checked tales without any emotional evoking underpinnings. Concrit is about telling the author about their strong points, and reminding them to give enough details to create a setting to ground characters in a reader's mind. All concrit reviewers give genuine helpful tips in hopes the writers will consider their input before deleting the review. Some concrit points out the rapid shifts between character Points of Views which can make it difficult for the reader to follow the plot lines involved in the story's telling. Tense shifts might also get mentioned by a quality reviewer.

    Sadly, quality reviewers are becoming increasingly scarce. Getting their thoughtful reviews deleted so often is the reason quality reviewers have stopped trying to help other writers. The remaining quality reviewers brave enough to still attempt leaving a concrit review are getting rarer with each passing day because of the underlying "go away" message they get far too often via deleted reviews they gave others. Quality reviewers feel deeply disrespected by the authors they sought to help, and encourage through giving tips of value. They no longer talk about the strengths they saw within the stories they have read, nor point out the weaknesses they noticed. Instead, one by one, they are going completely silent. Such an outcome is understandable, yet means that I no longer can get my favorite variety of reviews. Therefore, I stopped actively seeking reviews soon after I noticed quality reviewer comments on many threads.

    . . . and while I love knowing that someone out there likes my story, I occasionally find myself hoping to get some rather more in-depth feedback, which scares me silly because then I imagine some fic pro who has been reading and writing for many years, and they'd tell me that I should go back home and grow up. Complicated, eh? biggrin.gif

    A: A real concrit reviewer who inspires quality writing will never do such a thing to you, Morningstar. Not one quality concrit reviewer will ever tell writers to go back home and grow up. They will only try to help you to revise your stories to make them memorable, and stronger reading stories you can be genuinely proud of having written. They only ask that you consider the advice and implement the parts you are comfortable with adding, or removing from the existing story they gave you feed back about to be very honest.

    a good review . . .
    Reviewers who not only say that they love or hated your fic, but tell you why. Why is the hardest question to get answered sometimes. I personally love it when a reviewer points out oh, I loved it for X, Y, Z. This quote "blah, blah" had me in stitches. Ext.
    Even negative is good. If something feels off, rushed, tell me. I'll improve.
    It reminded me of a review this morning I got after posting the next part of the Way of the Sword. The girl said the last chapter wasn't as good as the others and that she'd stop reviewing, but she didn't mention why. It gave me a chill down my spine and a shot to my confidence, but not the piece of mind to know where I could improve.
    To me, that's a bad/useless review, because I can't grow off of it.

    A: A very good attitude to have about reviews is expressed in this and the preceding post which pinpoint elements involved in giving/receiving reviews. The lack of input about what makes a story compelling does exist in many reviews people do manage to get. I have gotten a few this chapter is not as good reviews that do not explain the problem, and I do understand your perspective in bringing this topic to the forefront because I think many have had the same thought at some point about vague reviews

    And I'm right there with both of you. I've had a story up for like eight months, completed for close to two, and it's had a five star rating all along. The other day, it went down to four and the twit who rated it down didn't say anything as to why. And I noticed the hits had gone up and I was thinking, is this some kind of grudge rating? A jealousy thing? What? What honks me off is seeing good stories rated down like that, and crappy ones, loaded with bad spelling, grammar and incomplete plots, with five star ratings. I've rated those down, but it doesn't make a dent, they still stay at five.

    A: Those tend to be the "fanpoodle fics" which somehow or another laud anything involving the more rabid fan girls/boys fave pairings or fandom elements I'll bet. Despite horrific writing and lackluster delivery, so long as it revolves around a certain pairing or situation that the rabid want, they will always do their level best to promote the tale. Quality has no place in the rabid fan girl/boy mindset, so my advice is to simply avoid those tales as if they had the plague if you are thinking of giving a review. The rabid tend to attack anyone who dares say one thing is off about such a story I have discovered. It may be a retaliation if you left any kind of thought provoking review that pointed out weaknesses in said fanpoodle service fic that is now causing the sudden rapid drop in your own stories ratings. The rabid tend to do such things out of spite.

    NightScribe, on 21 Oct 2006 - 08:23 AM, said:
    I'll leave reviews and most of the time, I'll start with suggestions; format better, put spaces between your paragraphs, create new paragraphs when another character starts speaking, spellcheck, the usual stuff. But I always try to find something positive to say as well; good descriptions, interesting idea, something. Only if the author gets a little pissy or prima donna-ish will I get a bit more critical and I'm convinced those authors are pesky, smart-ass kids. With good, or great, stories, I'll try to explain what grabbed me; the tight plotting, the empathy created for a character, the knock your socks off ending that you didn't see coming but made total sense. I believe the latter lets an author know they've got the right stuff, the former is a means to help them along the way.

    A: You describe a normal concrit review sandwich that should contain an opening "I liked this about your story," then add the weaker elements, and finish with another thing you liked to give them encouragement to continue writing. Hope your reviews have not beeen systematically erased as other reviewers attest to having their similar helpful reviews deleted time and again.

    *head desk* Yes, that and the people who have no clue in heck what a ONESHOT is. Four million "please update soon" reviews on a oneshot = useless, in my opinion.
    Or the ones that totally ignore your warnings, no matter how big you write them... and then have the gall to scream at you for wasting their time and "making" them read something that contained X when they /hate/ X. I always want to tell them that they are wasting /my/ time by reviewing like that. If they can't read the insanely huge font that says what is contained in the chapter, right next to the word "Warnings:" well... that's their own fault and I shouldn't have to read them screaming about how sick I am. <insert stabby smilie here> *cough*

    A: Cracks up laughing so hard over this post. I've had that happen to me several times with the begging for updates for one shots, and completed posts despite the big bold Complete listed on the actual synopsis section before they even opened the story.

    As to the "Hated X topic" type reviews, AFFnet is strict about adding tags to the synops section to try and curb those kinds of "You're Sick" reviews. Those also qualify as trolls, and are not permitted in this archive. Hand such reviews over to admins and they will explain the actions you need to take when you get something of that nature in a review. I tend to write controversial themes so I always clearly tag even if I am doing so in my A/N notes before chapter 1 starts so I stay within posting guidelines. So long as I am inside of the posting guidelines, I cannot get in trouble with admins who will investigate the matter. The trolls will get into trouble for ignoring the clearly marked warnings in every single case. It is the brightest star of joining a moderated archive that I have found to date. By having A/N tags and warnings, the writers are freed from such obnoxious behavior, so do not be afraid to let the admins know whenever you have such a problem arise. They are a great team of people who will always adhere to the ToS guidelines.

  8. As we've discussed here, the REASON reviewers of quality are scarce is because we feel the authors don't necessarily want to hear what we have to say.

    A: You hit the topic of this thread perfectly with your comment, DG. I created this thread as a place to allow anyone in need of a frustration venting place to discuss why they feel they were disrespected by authors. Some people are begging for good concrit reviews in a number of threads also, so perhaps giving concrit reviewers a place to vent is the starting point. Frustrated writers who want concrit reviews can also weigh on on this thread, and have been doing so.

    Perhaps this thread will attract enough people who also wish to receive quality, concrit reviews over time. The two elements can then begin networking with respect for each other. I do not believe that this thread will solve the lack of reviews problem, yet it might help quality reviewers realize they still have a place in this site's review system. Everyone deserves to have a place where they are accepted, and that includes those who love to give quality reviews which can help writers actively seeking to improve their work enough feedback. My sole intent is to help each faction find their best suited fit here within AFFnet society.

    The other side can create their own thread to discuss the kinds of reviews they want to their heart's content. I'm completely pro companion thread where the Diva types can feel at home also. Let them vent frustration about getting a quality review to their heart's content among their peers. Each side needs a place to feel welcomed and appreciated.

  9. We have a promo forum ya know. Promote a Story. You add that particular data to your post.

    A: I know this, DG. ROFL. Another person was talking about adding an Author Promotion section to help inspire people to leave reviews. I told them they needed to look for a beta type of individual in that thread because their mentioned review criteria matched a beta, not a reviewer. I figured their idea would go nowhere when they started talking about it because of Promote a Story and similar sections that are here for that purpose. Still, it makes me wonder about the growing number of people who are frustrated as reviewers become scarcer.

  10. Usually, if I start a story and the spelling and grammar are really bad, I just quit reading it. I just can't stand reading stories like that--the language distracts too much from the story--and anything I could say in the way of concrit isn't going to make much of a dent, anyway. So any spelling or grammar problems I point out in a review are likely to be minor. I generally spend more of the review talking about what I liked about the story, because if there weren't enough things that I liked, I wouldn't have read through to the end.

    A: Very good point, George. I am similar in my reading and review actions. I do talk about the good points of a story if I do review, and as often as not I leave the spelling and bad grammar to a single "please use a grammar/spell checker program before posting" comment. Some of the reviews I leave ask where the characters are located if the story has zero setting. Or I might find a fic where the Point of View shifts so fast it makes me dizzy trying to keep up with which character is speaking. A few have a lot of tense shifts, so the character is jumping back and forth through time without end in a given scene.

    As the "lack of reviews" and several other threads all point out, the Diva types have ruined many people's desire to give reviews at all. Even a couple mods have had to explain to the Diva variety writers sending in reasonable reviews as trolls about the difference between concrit and trolling. Hearing that reviewers are actively leaving disclaimers before they leave a review is another sad evolution caused by the Diva's "Leave Reviews Tantrum fests" which is unfortunate for everyone who puts up stories here. A lot of people have stopped giving reviews at all because of the situation. The drop in reviews is connected to such Diva minded individuals in part. Other factors do exist, yet the common denominator really has been the Diva writers throwing tantrums if they don't get ego strokes alone.

    Therefore, is it any surprise that talking about ideas that will provide future reviewers a sense of security through asking about creating an Author Promotion sector where we each have to list guidelines for our own reviews has begun in another thread? I know you've read that particular post, George. It is a sorry state when authors have to point out in detail which types of reviews are acceptable because of a group that has made many readers leery of posting any kind of reviews. I cannot see an Author Promotion addition changing this situation with reviews tapering off and even shutting down completely. The threads where Review requests are asked for by giving the story before it a review before posting your own tale(s) is about the only one I've seen that has worked. For anyone who does not wish to post a story though, it becomes irrelevant. If a person does not know the fandom, they cannot review as often as not due to lacking the background expected of them. So again, we have the same problem with finding a solution that lets reviewers feel comfortable with reviewing for strangers.

    Easy solutions do not exist for the escalating problem that has sparked several diverse threads here in this forum. Several posts by people who once gave reviews speak of getting insulted by the Diva writers to the point they no longer bother to review for anyone. The number of individuals who have the experience with getting their thoughtful reviews deleted has been growing. The topic is included within multiple forum categories. Perhaps it will come to a conclusion when nobody outside of their specific support group, or buddy system gets reviews here any longer. Having to contemplate such a sorry statement is truly sad. Yet, it seems to be about the only viable option when people are reluctant to share their thoughts and opinions in the review system because of feeling disrespected. People are leaving fewer reviews of any classification as time marches on according to the different threads. Due to this phenomena increasing in repetition, I can only assume that the problem will get much worse in the future.

  11. You are welcome, and what you are looking for is at the bottom of the screen, when you are doing your lessons. There are little boxes down there right in the middle of the screen. Clicking on them will change the writing style. ;)

    Happy birthday to you as well. I hope you're having as much fun with it as I am.

    A: Thanks so much for the additional tip. :) My birthday is a few days away, but some of the longest standing friends are aware of my obsession to learn Japanese so they searched for a copy for me. :) Seeing as how they live several states away, they shipped me the box and it arrived early. :)

    AS to the main topic of this thread about best and worst reviews, I got another review recently that made my day brighter. This review is to my one shot I posted recently called Shop talk.

    I enjoyed watching INITIAL D, and this dialogue reminds me very much of what I heard on the show--a lot of tech talk that I find interesting even though I can just barely follow it. :) I like the added twist of comparing American and Japanese racing and racers. I saw some misplaced commas but no other language problems. Thanks for posting.

    I love knowing I stay true to my fandom universe's expectations. Guess being a shade tree mechanic has days where it really does pay off in the small details shared through dialog in this instance. Had I not known about the diverse kinds of street/off road racing due to my decades of participation and fan following, I would never have been able to get such a nice review I'm fairly certain. Soon as I can figure out where the misplaced commas are, I'll be able to repair those problems to make the story even better.

  12. There are quite a few who QC before allowing addition.

    A: Hm, interesting to know. Quality Control was never the core issue that this rant focused upon when I posted it, and still has nothing to do with the main focus of my particular tirade. My whole rant was completely grounded in those who beg for reviews nonstop, then get mad when someone actually gives them one if it involves concrit feed back. My frustration exploded because such writers scream to get reviews they do not honestly want from the rest of us. The overall intent to vent frustration with review demanding that leads to reviews getting deleted, if said review is not purely glowing was the only reason for this particular tirade. ROFL. It was my intention only to rant about those specific writers who have the Diva style attitudes when I wrote this specific rant out. I was not speaking about others who do not review whore to the limit in A/N's per every chapter. Several threads bring up this same exact issue repeatedly in this forum, and it is something of an issue that I am not alone in expressing across thread domains. It is a topic many here have expressed, so I know I am totally not alone in the frustration felt over this specific issue.

    Still, some automatically see all concrit reviews, which point to strengths and weaknesses alike, as trolling. I have no problem back button clicking when I start reading something that is very poorly written. It is not so much that I find such fics beneath me, rather such fics are often too difficult to follow with any personal enjoyment because I am thrown out of the story so often I stop reading. Yet, those writers are not screaming for reviews with every single chapter and to the limit of A/N format either. They are not the issue to me, because they are not throwing "give me reviews" tantrums.

    If such intention to give reviews of the caliber I hope to receive from others makes me an unforgivable troll, then I am proud to be one. I used to make a living being a troll when I was an actual editor in the Print Media Publishing industry. Can't help but have a high standard because of my work history, I suppose. I've always endeavored to point out the strengths of every single story I have reviewed, but I always give the kinds of reviews I wish to receive from others because to me that is part of the expected game of writing. My favorite reviews have all come from fellow trolls who have helped me to revise my current stories a lot in recent months. The stories are steadily evolving into a better reading series since I began posting my work here. I'm grateful for the pointed out typos and other as sundry pointers I have received. I personally love knowing I have a few grammar and spelling trolls who like my stories enough to take the time to mention flaws they see in my work. Since I began posting here I have gotten some great feedback and am doing slow but steady revisions to all my tales to bring them up to a better standard. Guess this means I adore getting trolled. :)

  13. I was just given the Home school version of the program levels 1-3 for my B-day. Am already rolling with laughter over how my inflection is definitely missing the mark since I loaded the program onto my laptop yesterday. I am glad I got the Rosetta Stone though cause it is a really neat program. All the lettering is in the Japanese style font at the moment, so I hope I can figure out how to get romanji up once I understand the program a lot better than I do at the moment. :) Thanks so much for the tip, Aysha.

  14. I actually didn't create the term. It's been around for quite awhile. :D

    A: Oh, I'm sorry if I gave credit incorrectly. I had never heard the term before you posted it in a thread here in Forums. But it was such an apt term that I simply adored it the moment I saw it. I got a mental image of a circus poodle doing tricks for an audience and it has stuck with me. Seeing as how it does make a specific pairing story more popular without merit has caused me plenty of three ring circus monstrosity moments of thought, so yeah, I wanted to give credit where I thought it belonged out of respect for the person I heard it from first. :)

  15. My only pet peeve as far as reviews go is what I call anti-flamers, or as Kurahieiritr puts it, fanpoodles. The people who say "Great job, nice work, keep it up!" Ok, so you like it, great, but for the love of the Muses, can you at least tell me why?!? Is my descriptive work the 'great job', or is it my dialogue 'nice work', or should i stay with the pov format I was using, or was something else? I spend more time agonizing over vague compliments than over flaming trolls. Unless I'm writing a fantasy involving the spontaneous-combustibility of troll-kind. Then the logistics of burning underpass dwellers takes top pick.

    A: I got the word "fanpoodle" from our lovely Admin, DemonGoddess. She gets full credit for her awesome phrase. It fits perfectly in my book. So be sure to thank her for giving it such a nice name. Empty reviews do tend to leave you feeling like you are staring a cute puppy in the face and it is drool begging for your sandwich, or nipping at your heels so to speak.

    I don't so much hate fanpoodles, but I do get a bit tired of the "Oh my gawd, loved it!" type reviews after I see a handful in a row. Unfortunately, the review erasers have sort of forced people into a corner if they are still willing to post reviews any longer. Perhaps part of the reason for so much fanpoodle class reviews is to keep from getting deleted if they have a concern. Maybe it is due to the amount of slop posted which could make even a person as sharp as myself go numb after a dozen fics if the typos did not drive me into hair ripping fits of torment. Many people have stopped reviewing all together due to assumptions that their reviews will get erased if they give a thought provoking review. It is due to the act of coming to this understanding that I am now experiencing myself which has induced such a hot headed rant in my case.

  16. There doesn't seem to be an in between market of beta-editors who cater to wannabe authors, those stuck in limbo between wanting to be good enough to be professional and not having mastered/perfected the skill despite a vast knowledge or god forbid, the education and training. If I was to send out a manuscript and it was sent back with 'no thanks' and nothing more I'd be driven to suicide. Not because I consider my writing a precious baby or expect it to be a masterpiece at the first, second or even seventieth draft before an editor would take it but because I have done everything in my tax bracket to learn, study and understand this craft. Unfortunately life tests you first then you learn a lesson, not the other way around and writing to write as best one can is hard without a patient beta armed with a red pen. The other issue is that despite understanding the need, I don't believe in the possibility.

    A: Rarely happens that way. The majority may send a rejection form letter, however, one or two intake editors will often take enough time to give you a few tips such as your started with back story and we cannot publish back story. Then you know to cut the back story, build up chapters and start with the trials and tribulations. From there you can revise so that the character is better known through inserting elements reminiscent to a back story while keeping the flame cooking on the tale's evolution. Starting before the actual first major act is what normally gets new author manuscripts dumped in file thirteen. The second thing is bad writing, not following submission guidelines. Agents are the way to go in this daya nd age if you really wish to get published, but it does have to be original tales to qualify.

    I simply assumed that once I was brave enough to feel that what I had produced was worthy of at least an agent's time, the terrible and brutal experience that is making the dream come alive would begin as it does for everyone else without a 'writing-nanny' to see me off.

    A: I once had the proverbial writing nanny are you termed the phrase. You are correct that they are a rare item. Mine died of a heart attack, and I miss him tons to this day. Still, keep in mind that giving up is a disservice to yourself.

    I am sure a beta would be amazing but I'm a kid from the school of hard knocks and we look at unicorn pictures but we know they're not real. We get our hands dirty and our armpits sweaty and we try and try and try out little hearts out but anyone who comes along to say 'hey, why don't you do it the easy way? I know a guy!' usually goes missing, never to be found. Its a long-held natural suspicion of shitty human beings (it could also be cultural) coming to take, rob or steal from the niave and thanks to being churned through that grinder in ways that shattered my life more than once, I have become perhaps a little protective of my writing in the sense that I would rather do things with the lights on... in an office where everyone can see me. I know that might be a self-imposed stumbling block but thems the cards I gots to play with.

    A: As a fellow kid of hard knocks, I can say I do understand your sentiment, although I figure anything worth fighting for is one thing I won't stop fighting for. Betas worth knowing do exist, but they are rare. Find someone who is willing to belive in you as a person, and you might be surprised by what you can achieve. Yes there are frauds out there. I was once naive and it cost me a lot in heartache, and in my case, money to learn the difference. Places like Writer Beware exist to keep others from getting ripped off and taken for a ride. You should probably start looking over their site and reading regularly about the various scams going around.

    I can't think of anything to make this less personal so I might tap out of this topic. I feel a bit nudged out anyway, but I did appreciate all the time and effort put into the answers I got and hope this helped out a few others as well.

    Thanks, Slayitalldown.

    A: Nobody is trying to nudge you out of the topic. Sorry if you took the idea the wrong way. Scratching my head now. Not sure what to say beyond keep at it and continue to grow as a writer. The rest will fall into place over time if you keep tenaciously plugging away to improve.

    As to beta readers, there are some good ones out there, but they're not easy to find. You do build up a relationship with your beta, to be sure. I know when I used to do this, I'd take on anything from a drabble, to multi chapter (with loooong chapters), without issue. But that would be when I had the time to actually beta read, and give the author who sent me the work my full attention.

    A: It is awesome that you used to do beta work. The real world does tend to get in the way of such projects though, so it is also kind of sad that you found yourself having to stop. Still, the fact that you were among the ranks for a while is a good reminder that there are a few good cookies in the basket of eggs who offer to be a beta. People with the education for it are becoming a rarity in this decade unfortunately.

  17. I actually adore my current editor. She ignores my whining and is merciless about what needs to be done, but she's also encouraging at the same time. It's a fine line, and I honestly have to credit her with making my story stronger and better in so many ways.

    I'm trying to incorporate what she's teaching me into my current WIPs. Let's see if I can do it, and then we can move to the next level of editorial interventions. :D

    A: Okay, now I am officially envious. J/K. But, finding a good editor is often a tough job since some are great, and others are only seat warmers inside the trad publishing industry I learned when I was working with a micro publisher. Truly good editors do make stories stronger once they are fine tooth combed to omit the unneeded, if prettier, empty crap from a manuscript. Glad you got a good one who is able to bring out your best strengths and style as a writer. Doubt I will ever get back to the point of being a capable editor before I got so ill. Still, I can keep plugging away and improving my abilities as best I am able every day I figure. You'll have to tell me when your book is ready for market. I'll have to see if I can scrape the funds together to buy it. Happy grins.

  18. It is rare that I bother my sounding board people because I know how busy they are in the real world. Short of a genuine writing block moment, I persevere without asking them if they can pinpoint the problem that has me stymied. Setting a aside a completed story for several months while working on other things has often granted me fresh enough eyes to shred my own work with a vengeance to clean out many mistakes and weaknesses within first drafts.

    I have yet to enact that step with the two stories I have been posting as I complete a chapter this round. I am very unhappy with both stories I have been posting as I write chapters because I did not sit on them for months before doing my normal "this is garbage" hard shred phase. Guess I need to get my motivation back up to speed. Only then will I stop being so disgusted with the latest two tales I am working on in tandem. To be very honest, I am thinking about a back pedal to do precisely that and not worrying about putting up the newest chapters before I am clearly ready to shred them both from beginning to end. Might increase my productivity since doing it the way others do it seems to be creating a real blockage to my creative flow. Amazing how missing a step of the tried and true routine clearly screws up my imagination. :)

    My problem is finding more of an editor capable of really picking everything apart at a core level. ROFL. Betas are not editors of the class you work with in submission settings most of the time, so I can see why you would work solo. Not many betas are harsh enough to suit me, so I also go it alone on the day to day writing.

  19. I would suggest, if you want a good beta, to find someone whose writing you do like, someone whose work you enjoy. Try and establish a connection, either via reviews and replies, or even a forum PM or email. Get to know them a bit. There's a lot more to a good beta than just skill. Personalities have to match to a degree as well.

    You also need to decide what it is you want from a beta. Is it someone who will give you solely grammar and technical assistance, or do you want someone who will be honest and tell you when something isn't working for them? If you write original work, you don't need to worry so much about whether or not they know your fandom, but do they grasp your world? Does your setting make sense for them? If you write fantasy and your beta is not a fan of fantasy settings, you already have an issue since they can't get immersed in your world.

    Then there's the dreaded real life issues. If your beta has a family or is in school and is subject to papers and finals, real life is going to intervene from time to time. Nothing is more irritating than waiting for your work to return, but on the other hand, it's equally annoying to feel like your real life is supposed to take second place to the free services you offer as a beta. This is also where having a good rapport comes into play.

    It's not so terribly dire. You can find decent beta readers, but it does take more than leaving a post on a thread. Like anything else worth having, you need to work at it a bit. Just don't give up. :)

    A: Very true. You summed up beautifully a very real portion of my thought to Slayitalldown's post about an author promotion section getting added to forums to detail the types of reviews sought from the readers of an author's stories. Yet, I do not think anyone can expect all the reviewers at the main story page to act in the same role of a real beta, which is what the post I answered implied to me, possibly erroneously on my part. Betas are the ones most likely to answer the types of questions posted. Finding the right fit is very important in the beta search. Some find a beta easier than others do. A good fit requires very real lines of honest, if occasionally brutal communication about expectations for handling the weaker spots. To me that is a key element to designing a great storyline. Expectations for what is and is not acceptable tends to be one factor we all have to weigh before seeking such services from anyone.

    Available time is a problem for the vast majority who are willing to beta. They have real lives, and limited time to read critically to find the majority of glaring mistakes. I have a couple people who I ask to play sounding board, and they do whenever they can clear time on their real world schedule. The input is valuable when I feel stuck on how to make something clearer. However, real world issues do make the necessity for me to do my own research and hard line all revisions whenever I can make time for such necessary also. The majority of reviewers simply do not have the patience, nor inclination to act as betas was my honest intent in answering. Sorry if I did not get that thought across adequately.

  20. I have been vigilantly studying this topic and gobbling up every bit of advice I can find. So far, from what I can fathom there IS a formula but like a really good recipe it’s a lot of ingredients and flavours - the chef decides when it’s done. . . .

    It also has me pondering the ‘review, no, not that kind of review!’ for the casual review whores among us. Some like praise, others prefer concrit, others want all the reviews, others don’t care and I’m wondering if there’s a way to get an unofficial support network going. The ‘promote a story’ area could easily be used to push not just a story but enough about the author to understand what sort of review they require. Let’s not kid ourselves, reviews are water in the desert. A lot of reader/writers do their best to pay it forward by planting the good Karma, writers often demand reviews, beg for them or have more A/N’s than actual story in an attempt to fish for them and in all fairness as a reader I just want THE STORY and as a writer I just want THE REVIEWS. As a reader I need to be nourished with what I’m searching for before I review, as a writer I try to put as much as I possibly can into the story to ensure readers have a reason to review. I’ve received some spectacular reviews but to be honest the buzz is worse than light beer – it wears off so quickly! I never do get the answers to the questions “did I do ____ right/well and is ____ creating a payoff and did I obey all the rules and did I ____, _____, and ____???”

    Maybe a ‘promote an author’ thread? Hi, I’m ________ and I write _____ because/for/about and I get the most from reviews that are ______.”

    Just a random thought. Good writing is still up for interpretation, good writing is broad term for a complex issue and writing – hobby, lifestyle, obsession, interest, career or ambition is either too hard to summarise or I haven’t found the right words.

    Yet. :thumbsup:

    A: To be honest, there is no such beast as a great first draft. Some are more interesting than others, but so long as the writer is too close to their writing, they will tend to have my precious baby syndrome. Even I get this problem, and I am a retired editor. Part of the problem with requesting specific types of reviews is the lack of understanding about the process on both sides of the fence. Beautiful as the idea is, few people can handle a genuine Pro level review system. You have to tear the original tale apart multiple times to get to a publishable draft. Good writing comes down to less formula than you seem to think. Yes there is a set of criteria that are most often seen in good writing, however, it is not the end all to the process.

    I am all for a support group for the serious among our ranks. To get answers to the questions you have about the overall material, you have to find a genuine beta, which is next to impossible in this kind of place. Seeing how the current generation lauds very poorly constructed stories overall, I am not hopeful for getting the kind of feedback such as you are proposing in a place like AdultFanfiction, or any other fandom type free archive. The people who come to read only wish to distract themselves, not switch their brains on with a critical eye for details. You are wishing for details the majority are not seeking to find when they immerse themselves in reading at places such as this one. I get headdesk, or facepalm syndrome with the vast majority of reviews I have received due to the phenomena I have noticed since I got back into fandom writing. If the story is better than the average, readers do fawn over the tale, and ignore the weaker points and lackluster delivery paragraphs.

    Really good writing to be had has the single most important denominator: The author pounds out the novel in raw without stopping no matter how off track their plot bunnies get some days without worry about the problem spots. After finishing, they go back and shred their own darling very critically. I am not talking typos and grammar errors. In shredding, I mean they surgically dissect their baby as if it is a piece of garbage that needs getting recycled. They groan about the mediocre phrases, and eradicate the cliches. They recognize the difference between a prettily turned yet very empty of content phrase and a less than perfect, yet high impact sentence. The high impact sentence which spouts gold gets revised while the prettily turned empties get deleted. Before I got here, I only posted stories that I had already shredded and revised multiple times. Once I complete the current mess on my plate so to say, I intend to return to the old rhythm since it works better for me as a writer.

    Limp plot threads should get destroyed, and the stronger plots remain as core elements that get polished. Themes should be tweaked and brought into alignment to improve the flow and impact of the overall storyline. To be a good writer means you cannot be lazy. You have to be your own best friend, and worst enemy at different stages. You have to be your own cheering squad, and your own judge/jury at different points along the creative path. The formula you mention is like a good recipe, and it comes down to personal writing style that must be developed over time. Style in the end becomes the foundation of a good story, not any dried out formula that anyone can use equally well. So if you are thinking to write as a formula writer, buy some really expensive software, plug in some perimeters, and the computer will produce most of the work. Read what it spits out. It follows a patent formula, and is as boring a read as you can imagine because it cares nothing for imagination. Imagination is the foundation of style, which is what makes or breaks any storyline.

    As to the Author promotion thread idea: The best writers do enjoy feedback, however, I do not think they believe reviews equal water in the desert. The best writers do enjoy knowing people liked or hated what they wrote, but their greatest satisfaction comes from completing the project properly with very tight prose, and hoping someone comes along to let them know that they still can polish any weaker spots they cannot help but miss. Too many fan fiction readers are numb to the nuances to be capable of giving the top notch input that can put a manuscript over the top into a genuine publishable, tightly woven story format. Some readers still have the capability because of understanding things like syntax, and are the exceptions, not the norm. Concrit in any fan based archive tends to lean toward grammar and typos because that is as far as the majority of readers understand they can go. In truth, a pro level edit marks even the best offerings up with red ink, and makes a writer rethink everything they have written. So, although I like your idea, personally I do not see it happening due to the lack of comprehension on how to make it work on the part of the masses. In some aspects, the major reason it will never happen is due to the number of liars who say they want reviews, but who delete the basic typo and grammar problems variety mild reviews. Who can handle the reality of a shred and dice, really in-depth analysis? Very few. Those who can happen to be on the Traditional published ranks list within our archive.

  21. I frequently start my stories with a warning along the lines of, "If you don't want to read about cartoon teens/preteens getting it on, please use your Back button now." So I wonder whether this author simply has poor communication skills and was trying to say something along the lines of, "If you don't like the CONTENT of my stories, just don't read it, instead of leaving me reviews about why you hate the 'ship I write about, how my story doesn't jibe with the Hagrid/Hermione/Fang relationship you fantasize about, or why I'm a sick bitch or son thereof."

    Or, he or she could just be a dillweed.

    A: Rogue was actually talking about a profile instead of a story starter, but you have the right Idea. I give very clear warnings about how dark and twisted my own stories are so people can leave without getting offended also. However, in truth I think Rogue and IO can agree that in the case of such profiles, there is an understated arrogance of such writers who say they wish one thing, yet in truth only accept fawning reviews, which the writer in question's profile specifically hints upon in the delivery of profile specific lines. The contradictory nature of the phrasing gives clues to the real intention behind the writer's mind set. :)

    Ah, yes. Like the disclaimer FFN adds on that website's guidelines that MA is mentioned although not permitted simply to illustrate what is not allowed in M rated fiction. I can bet almost no one actually read that part. By then, you just want to click that you agree and post your story already. There are things there rated M that are well beyond that rating, and contain enough graphic sex, unusual; fetishes, and gratuitous violence to require nearly every tag we have. They're not in prominent fandoms, however, which means they may never get caught and purged. The hypocrisy astounds me.

    A: Very well said, Bronx. Yet, when all is said and done, if there is legal pressure upon them to clean up their sites or risk penalties, it may be that the hypocrisy will get toned down for a year or so to save the owner's hide, and the site's existence. I do not doubt the same trouble will happen yet again, but for a short time, FFnet will have to continue purging stories with the help of the groups who have made it their great work to report all of those very adult and graphic rated stories.

  22. And in regards to making a statement about wanting honest reviews, this is from an author's profile:

    Quote

    I will tell you right now that if you do not like [my stories], you can leave.

    (edited to remove specific detail)

    And beneath that:

    Quote

    Remember, I appreciate honest reviews!

    Contradictory much?

    Honestly, as a reader, seeing that makes me click the back button very quickly. I'm not going to bother. Why? Because you're going to get offended if I do anything but fanpoodle.

    I don't think I need to weigh in on the kiddies on site bit; fairly certain any one who's been about for at least two months in forums knows where I stand on that one. ;)

    A: Very contradictory. This smacks of honest reviews equals fanpoodles to me also. The second line is the lie. I have come across a couple writers that say they like honest reviews and my review got deleted both times. They did not have the if you hate the story leave part, but I would say that this is still indicated by the tone of the profile input. **Headdesk**

  23. Perhaps the saddest part of this particularly insulting removal of reviews is how many people are affected because of those individuals who are too immature to accept real concrit. On my once a week scheduled Reading Day, I do nothing but read, and try to review someone else's writing. However, I am now treating reading days with caution, especially when it involves giving any reviews. Changing my behavior has become necessary to prevent me from getting insulted by other writers on this site. Now, I have to read over the story reviews before I bother to actively open any story. I no longer read any story if I can not verify the accepted class of reviews first. I used to read whatever caught my curiosity, but I no longer am willing to do so after the mass of insulting reactions I have been given by other writers.

    A specific pattern seems to be emerging by actively checking out reviews before proceeding to read a story. My conclusion is that if the reviews are shallow, empty fanpoodles, there is going to be a problem. The pattern I am noticing includes Author notes that beg for reviews in every chapter. Once I see two in a row, it is time to reconsider reading anymore of that specific story because I can not say anything about the problems involved with the raw draft that was posted. I am deeply irritated when I know giving tips, and pointers to help the other party create a great story is not going to be accepted. When I have doubts about the writer accepting reviews that point out problems, I am abandoning their stories outright. This means I am having reading days where I start reading, yet must stop, and leave while giving no feedback at all. I know I am probably going to be deleted if I bring up the spelling and grammar errors that I do notice. Therefore, I have not left any reviews anywhere during my last two free roaming reading days.

    One of the biggest Pet Peeves I have been developing personally; Grammar based punctuation problems such as the lack of Direct Address Comma, or Oxford commas in a sentence. This pair of commas makes a huge difference in the meaning of a single sentence. The Oxford comma's omission changes the meaning of a single sentence in very dramatic ways. I can not understand why so few people seem to know how to use it.

    Example of the missing Oxford Comma: We invited two dogs, George and Michael to the barbeque. This does not have an Oxford Comma so it means the dogs are George and Michael.

    Using the Oxford Comma: We invited two dogs, George, and Michael to the barbeque. The Oxford Comma tells the reader that two dogs, and two different people were invited to the barbeque.

  24. As far as minors reading things they shouldn't. as we've all said countless times, parental supervision is a large part of that. My kids' computers are in the living room so I know where they go. I've always monitored them. That's part of being a parent. If you want to be your kid's friend, you need to first be their parent and teach them what they'll need to know in life, like obeying rules and not indulging in inappropriate behavior.

    A: You are quite right, Bronx. Many parents refuse to take their responsibility toward their children very seriously which makes a big difference. Giving a child needed parameters that protect them from things they are not ready to face is vital to a child growing into a decent adult. Do as I say, not as I do, has never worked very well in the "Child Rearing" department. Time and again I have seen the disaster from parental permissive behavior backfiring violently most of the time when they become teenagers. Respect for the parent's dominance has never been established. Boundaries are non existent, and the teenager is next to impossible to reign in when they most need structure and balance. The children have been left to raise themselves as best they can in such situations. It is a genuine tragedy when it happens because such kids don't know about boundaries, respect, or following rules once they reach adulthood.

    In my own home, my sons shared a single computer, and each had a set amount of time for internet type playing. The same applied to video games, and television programs. When the timer dinged, I shut the video game/computer system off if it took more than 5 minutes for them to comply with the rules for the video games and internet access as fun time pursuits. Television never exceeded four programs, or a single full length movie, their choice. If they skipped homework, or their grades dropped, they lost those fun privileges until their grades recovered. More than once I got scolded by other children's parents for being too strict or even downright cruel, and yet my kids have never been in the kinds of trouble their children have in recent years. Now that both of my sons are adults, they think about possible consequences before they go along with their friends schemes. Twice such thoughtful consideration has saved my younger son's life.