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Shwebb
07-12-2008, 11:42 AM
The people who post in here never cease to amaze me.

The answers that can't be easily found anywhere else can oftentimes be answered right here. And by an expert in the field, no less. We have doctors, lawyers, I AM betting if not an "Indian Chief," something equivalent. The walks of life run the gamut from the mundane to the exotic, and I'm impressed even more that everyone tries to be very helpful.

But I've noticed that on occasion, we have posts that gum up the wheels of progress. (Mmmm, gum!) So if you don't mind--and even if you do--I'll list a few things that I'd like to see less of.

When someone is asking for information on a subject in this forum, most of the time it's not an opinion that's needed. It's information. If someone comes in and says, "My MC is going to have an abortion during her second trimester. What types of abortions would be available, and how would they be explained to her? The MC lives in Florida and she's under sixteen--will her parents need to know?"


In this example, the OP isn't looking for opinions on why abortion is wrong/right or why parents should or shouldn't be told. Nor is she looking for opinions on why underage kids should or shouldn't have sex.

It's also not a place to critique any snippets of work that someone puts up for the sake of clarity when asking about a particular subject. This isn't the SYW forum; it's completely inappropriate and actually rather rude to bring up the viability of someone's novel in this forum room. To me, it's the equivalent of two ladies in the restroom--one of them turns to the other and says, "Does my slip look okay? It's not hanging below my dress hem, is it?" and the other woman replies, "Well, I studied fashion a few years ago. Hmm. That's not a very pretty dress. You know, you might want to rethink wearing this style, at all. It's rather unbecoming to you." And you'll notice that my "fashion" example didn't even answer the question!

If I'm being unclear or if you have any questions, please either PM me or you can post in this thread.

Thank you all so much for your helpfulness and the time you spend helping others find their own answers.

Puma
07-12-2008, 03:58 PM
Schwebb - Aren't you going to sticky this? You ought to. Puma

jclarkdawe
07-12-2008, 04:43 PM
Shwebb, I'm a bit confused about the following paragraph:


It's also not a place to critique any snippets of work that someone puts up for the sake of clarity when asking about a particular subject. This isn't the SYW forum; it's completely inappropriate and actually rather rude to bring up the viability of someone's novel in this forum room. To me, it's the equivalent of two ladies in the restroom--one of them turns to the other and says, "Does my slip look okay? It's not hanging below my dress hem, is it?" and the other woman replies, "Well, I studied fashion a few years ago. Hmm. That's not a very pretty dress. You know, you might want to rethink wearing this style, at all. It's rather unbecoming to you." And you'll notice that my "fashion" example didn't even answer the question!

This can be read two different ways, and since I don't read most of the threads here (if I'm not interested, I don't read the thread), this may have come up more specifically recently and I missed it.

Recently there was a thread on hitchhiking and getting arrested. Basically several of us challenged the credibility of her idea of a hitchhiker getting arrested. One of my problems with Lee Child's character of Jack Reacher is this six foot four guy going around hitchhiking with no baggage. He even has him getting rides with truckers (DOT regulations, insurance, and company policies have pretty much killed truckers as rides for hitchhikers).

To go back to your example, if the response was showing why the style didn't work, I think that could benefit the first lady. (I do understand it might also p*** the crap out of her, but in this forum people are asking for help.)

Now if someone was criticizing the actual writing, I understand what you're saying and agree with you completely. But if the OP has an idea for something and it interferes with the credibility of their story, I would think this is the perfect forum for the OP to discover that fact.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Shwebb
07-12-2008, 10:46 PM
Yes, Jim--I didn't mean to be confusing in my statement.

If someone is asking a question about a particular technique or theory or injury or somesuch thing that ends up not being feasible, then yeah--how could we not tell them that? I couldn't agree more. I'm assuming that when someone posts a question in here that he/she is seeking relevant and credible info.

I'm referring to situations where someone asks for specific information and he/she gets flack for taking his/her novel in a particular direction. Oftentimes the OP is quite focused on the plot and in moving along the story; we have to remember that it's his/her story. And furthermore, they're not posting in here for crits.

Does that help?

RJK
07-12-2008, 10:52 PM
As long as we're discussing inappropriate responses to questions, I think that the responses in this forum should be limited to facts, not guesses or opinions. If a responder is guessing or is passing on information from second or third hand sources, he should qualify his response with that information. I would hate to see an author leave here with what he believed to be facts and what he really received was someone's guess at what he thought made sense to him.

katiemac
07-12-2008, 10:57 PM
As long as we're discussing inappropriate responses to questions, I think that the responses in this forum should be limited to facts, not guesses or opinions. If a responder is guessing or is passing on information from second or third hand sources, he should qualify his response with that information. I would hate to see an author leave here with what he believed to be facts and what he really received was someone's guess at what he thought made sense to him.

This does make sense, although I would vouch for guesses as long as the poster makes it clear he isn't sure. After all, the author should be double-checking information anyway, and guesses can provide new research angles. The more information I have to play with, the more my brain works to make it right.

Cranky
07-12-2008, 10:58 PM
I'm just posting in here to cast my vote to sticky this, too. :)

brianm
07-12-2008, 11:18 PM
I'm just posting in here to cast my vote to sticky this, too. :)

Diddo.

(Oh, I just love it when I can answer a post with that word. Makes me positively gleeful. :D)

RJK
07-12-2008, 11:19 PM
I agree with Katie, as long as the responder explains that his response if just that, a guess. There is a question out there right now about detectives working weekends and overtime, etc. As a retired police officer, I was ready to answer the question until I noted that the OP is in the UK and is referring to police in England, a subject I know little about and would only be guessing.

Shwebb
07-12-2008, 11:35 PM
Okay, okay. I'll sticky it now--I was going to be coy about it and wait until the thread started sliding down the page, but I'll go ahead. Does this mean that other folks have been bothered by this issue, maybe?

I agree that when people give advice/information in here, they do need to qualify how they would know it. For instance, I was an EMT for more than ten years; I keep up with the new stuff that's out there even though I'm not currently certified, and my husband is a career paramedic with eighteen years under his belt and also works as an instructor on both the paramedic course at the local college and with the weekend certification courses with regard to emergency cardiac, trauma, and pediatrics.

So if there's a medical question on the board, I'm more inclined to assist. If I can add something that someone hasn't already said, of course. And if it's something I'm familiar with.

Opinions about a particular subject are fine to give if that's what the OP is requesting. And sometimes he/she is.

At the same time, when someone states an opinion, it is still not the appropriate arena for arguing for or against that opinion. If the thread descends into a debate, it will end up getting ported to another area on the forum where that type of conversation fits--like Office Party, TIO, or the P and CE forum. If a discussion like that ends up being something people want to participate in, y'all are welcome to start a new thread in one of those areas, as well and leave this thread intact, here.

JennieRose8
08-17-2011, 12:09 AM
"his isn't the SYW forum; it's completely inappropriate and actually rather rude to bring up the viability of someone's novel in this forum room. To me, it's the equivalent of two ladies in the restroom--one of them turns to the other and says, "Does my slip look okay? It's not hanging below my dress hem, is it?" and the other woman replies, "Well, I studied fashion a few years ago. Hmm. That's not a very pretty dress. You know, you might want to rethink wearing this style, at all. It's rather unbecoming to you." And you'll notice that my "fashion" example didn't even answer the question!"


I like this point, particularly because my story idea has received a bit of criticism.

But yeah, debating isn't cool. If someone doesn't like my story idea, fine. No one is making them read it. :)

Maryn
08-17-2011, 12:55 AM
Except, JennieRose, you've started a fair number of threads in which you asked if some aspect of your story was all right, and did not seem to want to hear any opinions that it was not. I vividly remember one that I bowed out of after it became clear you would not accept the validity of any opinions but your own on the concept of a romance blossoming between student and teacher.

So be it. Time to move on. But it's not fair to slam people for criticism when you asked what we thought.

Maryn, fan of logic

mirandashell
08-17-2011, 01:15 AM
And you've used an extremely old thread to do it on.....

But this is derailing so let's get back to the subject. There are plenty of other threads to discuss how to crit.

Cath
08-17-2011, 02:44 AM
This thread really doesn't need to be open for discussion. Shwebb's advice stands, and I strongly recommend that folks read it before posting here.