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Thread: This may get moved, but...

  1. #1
    Needs More Hands.... Fallen's Avatar
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    This may get moved, but...

    For bewares and background checks (publishers, agents, etc), is there any chance this could be widened to writing sites too?

    I've been on a thousand and one, some brilliant, some good, some bad and some down right useless as far as advice goes. I've seen people get published on good adviced and I've witnessed others break pens and run off in tears just because some advicee stubbed their on the coffee table getting to the computer desk. I know there seems to be some sort of secret code that no site belittles another, but purely from a writer's pov, knowing which site offers the best possible advice for writers would save a hell of a lot of wasted time and energy.

    Not that I'd like to see any thread reduced to a 'bitching' thread, or an adveritising section for other writing sites to try pinch members, just an honest section that would allow members themselves to review good and bad sites. Even just a voting thread where you just can rate the sites on questions set by a mod (a comparethewirterssites.com, thing). Just anything to moderate the verbal crap I keep seeing going on in some of these things...

    AW is probably the biggest site I've been on and it seems a perfect base for comparing other markets purely because of the amount of people you have pass (and stay) through here. You could argue that nobody wants to leave when they arrive here but honesty shows that writers move and shift around to dip toes in every available pond. Giving authors the pros and cons of these other sites may help members steer clear of potentially lethal footings.

    Writer's sites are a first-stop for many an aspiring and weathered writer, As AW prides itself on objectivity, is there any chance that professionalism could regulate a beware and background check on these writer's sites in recognition of them being a first (and potentially dangerous) step for those writers?

  2. #2
    The cake is a lie. But still cake. shaldna's Avatar
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    I think that might be a good idea.
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  3. #3
    Persisting AW Moderator Maryn's Avatar
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    I don't know that it won't appear to be self-serving. The reason I'm here is because the other writing sites I tried were poor in multiple ways. Our (meaning AW's members) announcing the low quality of competing sites seems spiteful and small.

    That said, I totally slammed a writing site the other day at another website, where someone wanted to know what other writers thought of it. It was a collection of links to writing sites, pages and pages of them. I saw vanity presses, and the conspicuous absence of the 'serious' writing sites I go to, including AW, Preditors and Editors, SFWA, AgentQuery, Duotrope, and more.

    The site owner clearly had some kind of alert system going and came to that thread to say hi and to ask that I click on his site's "add links" button. I told him it was nice to meet him and I wished him luck. I didn't add any content for him, or tell him the site names. His site's crap.

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  4. #4
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    I think this would be a bad idea for here.

    But ... if you want to add a page to your home page where you rate and compare writing sites, have at it.

  5. #5
    I should be writing. Alpha Echo's Avatar
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    Maybe it would be a better idea to have a list of other recommended writer's sites rather than a list of sites to avoid? Cuz I see Maryn's point. AW is the best site I've been on for writers, and I wouldn't want to diminish that by putting down anyone else who may have honest, if misguided, intentions.

  6. #6
    phoenix blazing Parametric's Avatar
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    While I agree that some writers' sites are more useful than others, I see no way for one writing site to talk about how others are useless without hurt feelings and general drama. I also note that Preditors & Editors runs an incomplete list of writing forums, including AbsoluteWrite, Backspace, Verla Kay, etc.

  7. #7
    I grow my own catnip JulieB's Avatar
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    One of the problems with that sort of listing is that rating sites can be very subjective in most cases. It's like trying to find a good crit group. What may work for someone else might not be a good fit for you. Think it gets bad sometimes when a publisher or agent shows up to defend their business? At least with publishers and agents there are some solid criteria for evaluation. (What have they sold?) I'm afraid this would devolve into who was teh meenz in the crit area. No thank you.

  8. #8
    Teh doommobile, drivin' rite by you mscelina's Avatar
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    I don't think any writers' forum should get into the business of evaluating other writers' forums and sites.

  9. #9
    Girl Detective Stacia Kane's Avatar
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    Sadly, I have to agree. I think this is a wonderful idea in theory, and I love the thought of people being directed to quality writing sites and avoiding/learning to avoid bad ones. But it would probably look bad here, and might devolve into a mess.


    However, I wonder if there isn't a way to start a "What to look for in a writing site" thread somewhere? That simply gives tips on what you might expect to find from a quality writers' forum, and lists some possible red flags (if the person who runs the site owns a vanity press and plugs it all over the place, for example?) So instead of talking about certain sites by name, we're just offering ways to evaluate a site to get what you want out if it.
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  10. #10
    I grow my own catnip JulieB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stacia Kane View Post
    However, I wonder if there isn't a way to start a "What to look for in a writing site" thread somewhere? That simply gives tips on what you might expect to find from a quality writers' forum, and lists some possible red flags (if the person who runs the site owns a vanity press and plugs it all over the place, for example?) So instead of talking about certain sites by name, we're just offering ways to evaluate a site to get what you want out if it.
    General advice could work. I just fear it could devolve into something nasty.

  11. #11
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Such sites are Indexed under "Writers' Associations, Communities, Forums & Workshops".

    Attempting to rate forums would be a Bad Idea, not the least because they are usually personal projects. So, other than sharing general information, or bringing to light something egregious (e.g., getting kickbacks from funneling members to a vanity pub or something), it'd be better to focus on spreading the word about pro-level sites like Backspace.

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  12. #12
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    I think it would bring Mac more trouble than it's worth.

  13. #13
    Needs More Hands.... Fallen's Avatar
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    I'm just so sick and tired of seeing these sites go god on everyone. I've been on one who adamantly and so insistantly, with long stick and whip that threatens to will whip you stupid if you so much as even DARE try, they cry rape if an unpublished author offers an opinion on how to write creativly: it's published author's advice we die by or nothing, y'hear! And another promotes the American way is the only way (yeah, take the pee here if you want), and god help anyone if they, byjesus -- space their em-dash.

    Design always creates debate and you shouldn't have to be published to have your say on the issue -- and it's a global friggin market you're writng for, GLOBAL, which usually means anywhere in the world with a friggin internet connection, and that includes those tiny obscure places that like to have their own slant on the grammatical system.

    But yeah, it could cause more trouble than it's worth. People couldn't stay objective; I know I couldn't.

    But thanks for giving me all your thoughts on it. It's been good getting it off my chest.

  14. #14
    Teh doommobile, drivin' rite by you mscelina's Avatar
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    For the most part, I think people get out of a writing site what they put into it, you know what I mean? Every site has its benefits and drawbacks. But, just like with everything else in the writing world, you have to learn to negotiate the paths of every forum and find the benefits in that site for yourself. Their grammar assistance may be crappy, but perhaps their critique session is out of sight. Or, perhaps, it's just a great place for writers to meet other writers with the same priorities they have, and talking about writing leads to a mutual recharge of creative energy.

    The best way to learn about grammar is to buy a book. The best way to get into a fantastic, creative, informative debate about writing is to start a thread on a writer's site--any writer's site.

  15. #15
    Preditors & Editors Requiescat In Pace DaveKuzminski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parametric View Post
    While I agree that some writers' sites are more useful than others, I see no way for one writing site to talk about how others are useless without hurt feelings and general drama. I also note that Preditors & Editors runs an incomplete list of writing forums, including AbsoluteWrite, Backspace, Verla Kay, etc.
    More would be listed if we knew of them.

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