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Storyfixer
06-18-2009, 03:40 AM
Hey fellow newbies, just wanted to share a recent experience here. A few days I ago I started a thread I thought might be interesting, since the issue is a bit polarizing... and I got my head handed to me. Ever been to a costume party -- go with me here -- but nobody told you about the costume part, and you arrived happy and ready to engage, and no matter what you did you felt like an outsider? Oh, and the party was on another planet, forgot to mention that. Well that was me, and it was pretty much my fault -- when I began the thread and stated my opinion, I was jumped and thumped, big time. Plus, I blasphemied the name of a God in this genre, which isn't the way to make new friends here. When I attempted to clarify my position, and defend it, it was preceived as me talking down, which increased the trampling. There was no way out, the beat down continued.

Here's what I learned: humility and respect is key. I came off edgy and too confident, and I was shown the door pretty quickly, and tagged with ballbats as I crawled toward it. There are plenty of experienced and published writers here, and I made the mistake of trying to share my professional experiences, which, as it turned out nobody wanted to hear. At least the way I presented them.

So don't make my mistake. My lesson learned: I'm here to learn and listen share, not to teach (even though that's what I do for a living, and I have a lot to offer in that regard) or preach. In the end it was a gift... but as newbies, fair warning, bring a helmet.

mscelina
06-18-2009, 03:49 AM
Storyfixer, telling other newbies they need a helmet to negotiate this forum is not only misleading, it's unfair. Your mistake was in presenting your ideas as absolutes--and they're not. With grammar, there's a right and a wrong. With storytelling, there isn't. it's whatever works for the writer.

Plus, the prerequisite for any teacher to be successful are students who want to learn. If you joined Absolute Write in order to teach the thousands of members here how to write, which is what I gathered from the threads you began, then you're not going to meet with a lot of success. Share your insight, by all means, but don't make the mistake of thinking that yours is the only correct one.

And just as an FYI, 'warning' newbies about the site while using a thread ON the site you're warning about is not a smart way to make friends and influence people. Even Stephen King would be aware of that.

KTC
06-18-2009, 03:55 AM
I made the mistake of trying to share my professional experiences, which, as it turned out nobody wanted to hear.

I promise you...I do want to hear it. As I am sure others here want to hear it too. I felt talked down to when I read the post that you are talking about. But I would love to hear your advice.

Kris
06-18-2009, 03:56 AM
Hi Storyfixer! I think I saw the beginning of the thread you're talking about. I'm relatively new here myself, but here are my thoughts: this forum is vast, and if you nose around a bit you realize that there are some very wise, aged, experienced, much-published persons who post here. (actually not all of them are aged...some, on the contrary, are rather intimidatingly young.)

I think what I realized is that a certain amount of awe is in order. :)

However, I for one will not hold your sins against you. I like this forum a lot in part because it is pretty tightly moderated... real creeps don't seem to last!

jamiehall
06-18-2009, 03:56 AM
It is best to know the rules and expectations. Have you read all the stickies?

Storyfixer
06-18-2009, 04:10 AM
msclenia... you missed the two key concepts... mia culpa... and sarcasm. Maybe a sense of humor. I dunno, but thanks for proving my point. Read it again -- I get it.

Cyia
06-18-2009, 04:30 AM
Dude, you're still here. No one showed you the door - if they had, it would have locked behind you.

This is a discussion board, that means people aren't lining up to jump on whatever spambandwagon passes by. There are disagreements - and even *meep* arguments - and in the end, everyone goes onto another topic until another new thread pops up when the thread drops off the main page.

Storyfixer
06-18-2009, 04:39 AM
Like I said...

storylady
06-18-2009, 04:42 AM
Well I did not read the thread but it sounds as if you except you made a mistake and that's the 1st step :)

Stew21
06-18-2009, 04:57 AM
Storyfixer,

Welcome to AW. Usually best to test waters before you jump in. We get a lot of enthusiastic newbs, so understand that it's a completely forgivable offense.
Wander around, look at the threads and offer advice to the folks who are asking and need/want the help. If you offer good advice, sound reasoning and respect and kindness you'll get it in return.
Getting a feel for the game does allow you to take the helmet off on occasion (though in some threads we all need full-body pads.)
Again, Welcome. Enthusiasm isn't a bad thing, but from unknown people, it can sometimes be seen as a bad thing. I hope you get the hang of it here and find you like it. We can all learn from each other. I hope we get the opportunity to learn from your experience and in turn are allowed to teach you things. that's why we are all here and it will make us all better writers.

Storyfixer
06-18-2009, 05:00 AM
To Stew212... you give me hope. Thanks so much for your words.

scarletpeaches
06-18-2009, 05:02 AM
Yay! Sarcastic mea culpas. I like. Sarcasm is always good.

Personally I think it took guts to start this thread and see nowt offensive in recommending newbies wear a helmet.

thethinker42 runs around this place with an axe so it's for the best.

Cyia
06-18-2009, 05:04 AM
thethinker42 runs around this place with an axe so it's for the best.

So that's what swung over my head! It's a good thing I'm short ;)

Silver King
06-18-2009, 05:14 AM
Once you’re here for a while, Story, folks will get to know you better and will be more apt to warm to your ideas. It’s difficult at first to get your thoughts across when members don’t know you and haven’t heard your voice before.

It’ll take time and a few more posts, but you’ll get the hang of it with more experience. And I can tell you from my own experience that I had the hardest time acclimating to this site, and it took several hundred posts before I felt comfortable sharing my thoughts without fear of reprisals when my opinions were unpopular. By then, however, most people understood where I was coming from and realized I was sincere.

One thing I learned early on here is that people should simply be themselves. There’s no need to affect any personality other than your own, and most folks will accept you eventually, warts and all.

Anyway, good luck to you, and welcome to AW.

Madisonwrites
06-18-2009, 05:18 AM
:hi:

Brutal Mustang
06-18-2009, 05:20 AM
I second Stew's post.

Many of us have done what you did in forums before - voice strong opinions right off the bat without getting to know the layout of the land first, only to get our heads handed to us faster than you can say "one Mississippi, two Mississippi".

Also seconding what others have said ... there are a lot of good published authors here, and I wouldn't be surprised if there were a few REALLY good multi-millionaire authors here (posting under aliases). If you had kept a low profile and just observed this board for awhile, you'd have figured this out, and might have worded that particular post accordingly.

You live, learn, and move on. It's water under the bridge now. Welcome to AW. :D

Jersey Chick
06-18-2009, 05:22 AM
Story, I'm glad you reconsidered and decided to give us another chance. Welcome! :welcome:

CACTUSWENDY
06-18-2009, 05:25 AM
So, you still up for some popcorn? I have more than enough.

sheadakota
06-18-2009, 05:34 AM
:welcome: Hi Story fixer- so glad you decided to stay. So sorry your first experience here was a little rough- you had the misfortune of picking a topic that has been discussed ( ranted about?) many many times here- there are two camps ( betcha figured that one out) and we defend each side a bit too vigerously:tongue

Glad to have you here and I hope to learn from your experiences.

Cassiopeia
06-18-2009, 05:38 AM
I'm willing to give you a chance, Story.

Welcome to AW. :)

HapiSofi
06-18-2009, 05:43 AM
And just as an FYI, 'warning' newbies about the site while using a thread ON the site you're warning about is not a smart way to make friends and influence people. Even Stephen King would be aware of that.
What do you mean, even Stephen King? I've never heard of him being especially gormless on those issues.


msclenia... you missed the two key concepts... mia culpa... and sarcasm. Maybe a sense of humor. I dunno, but thanks for proving my point. Read it again -- I get it.
1. Mea culpa.

2. Your ironic delivery didn't work, so you blame the reader, accuse them of having no sense of humor, and say they've proved your point? Tsk. Bad form.

So, are you going to get around to answering some of the questions that are still pending from your last visit?

HapiSofi
06-18-2009, 05:50 AM
Actually, I've got a question right now. Why did you suddenly go from doing well-reviewed and quite successful hardcovers at Onyx, to doing paperback originals at Signet? I've spent a lot of time staring at the dates and figures, and I just can't make the story add up.

MacAllister
06-18-2009, 05:53 AM
Heh. If I gotta wear a helmet, I don't see why everyone shouldn't oughta have to wear one.

No worries, Story. Everyone gets a do-over or two. Welcome to the Cooler. And I'm actually really interested in your answer to Hapi's question, too. A lot of what we spend time on here is discussing the ins and outs of how publishing works.

Chumplet
06-18-2009, 05:58 AM
I read the thread in question because I'm a pantster and I'm currently exploring the advantages of outlining. Even with my limited experience (only 3 POD novels, each with different publishers) I was slightly annoyed by the presentation of your theories.

When other members jumped in with their patented tongue in cheek responses, I didn't blink an eye. That's because I got to know these people over the last couple of years and I know where they come from.

Unfortunately, you didn't. You immediately took offense because you didn't know these people. You seemed to think they were upstarts. Sure, some are still learning. Some are in the querying stage. Some have many, many legitimate publications under their belts, and some are NYT Bestsellers.

I lurked on this forum for at least six months before I finally joined. I had a lot to learn, and everyone was really helpful. I occasionally offered advice to newbies, but only from life experience, not from writing experience.

I'm offering this advice to you as a person, not as a writer. God knows I still have a lot to learn in the writing field, but as a mature woman who has lived in a lot of places, had a lot of different experiences with people, and who managed to raise a couple of kids (and a husband), I can only say that you can only benefit from the cameraderie (and occasional flame wars) on this forum.

Be as wise as you want, but don't lose sight of your humility now that you've found it. We can all benefit from your experience as long as it is presented with a open mind.

Welcome, by the way....

Sean D. Schaffer
06-18-2009, 06:00 AM
I'm willing to give you a chance, Story.

Welcome to AW. :)


Ditto. :)

scarletpeaches
06-18-2009, 06:04 AM
Sean's one of the nicer guys round here.

Me, I'm evil. :D

cooeedownunder
06-18-2009, 06:06 AM
Hey, welcome...you might get more attention by putting some rain boots on. They sell green ones somewhere, then you can slush through the slush without getting your feet wet.

C.bronco
06-18-2009, 06:15 AM
Welcome to AW! This is an amazing place where I've gotten expert advice. The list of published members keeps growing too.

If you want to share sarcasm and snarkiness, stop by Office Party, where we are all wisenheimers (TM).

This is the best place on the web for writers, as I have found. Look around and enjoy!

KTC
06-18-2009, 06:22 AM
I am guilty of exacerbating the issue in the thread in question, Story. I apologize for that. Welcome to AW. I hope you do decide to stay. It really is a great place. Sorry for my part in the aforementioned thread.

mscelina
06-18-2009, 08:58 AM
msclenia... you missed the two key concepts... mia culpa... and sarcasm. Maybe a sense of humor. I dunno, but thanks for proving my point. Read it again -- I get it.

Hmm...if this thread was intended to be funny and/or sarcastic, why then did you need to prove a point?


Welcome to AW! This is an amazing place where I've gotten expert advice. The list of published members keeps growing too.

If you want to share sarcasm and snarkiness, stop by Office Party, where we are all wisenheimers (TM).

This is the best place on the web for writers, as I have found. Look around and enjoy!

And ditto. Hopefully, once you settle in you'll find this a great home for everyone connected with the publishing industry. Welcome aboard.

bettielee
06-18-2009, 09:13 AM
I am guilty of exacerbating the issue in the thread in question, Story. I apologize for that. Welcome to AW. I hope you do decide to stay. It really is a great place. Sorry for my part in the aforementioned thread.

KTC is now officially a bigger person than me.

but I welcome you with my non-outlined arms open wide.

aadams73
06-18-2009, 12:56 PM
So don't make my mistake. My lesson learned: I'm here to learn and listen share, not to teach (even though that's what I do for a living, and I have a lot to offer in that regard) or preach. In the end it was a gift... but as newbies, fair warning, bring a helmet.

It takes some stones to try and make another go of it. Good on you. I respect that, and I look forward to reading what you have to share.

underthecity
06-18-2009, 04:20 PM
Nice of you to come back, but I've been waiting to see you follow up on a few of the points brought up in your Outline thread. But you never returned.

It's considered poor form to step into a forum and preach. This forum is designed to be an exchange of ideas and discussion. I've seen posters come in before doing the same kind of thing. One AW member would write a blog post about some topic, then copy and paste it in here, then never follow up. The posts overall came across as preachy "lessons," as if he were there to teach us his most-excellent ways. After a while, I stopped reading his threads, and eventually he disappeared.

If you had posted your Outline thread a little differently, you would have had a much better response. Say if your post read something like, "I'm new here. I personally like to outline; it's worked for me and I have several things published. How do you guys feel about it?" Or words to that effect. Granted, there was very recently another outlining thread, but if it were something different, maybe it would have stuck. Then, after garnering a few responses, you followed up with why outlining works for you and how you go about doing it.

Instead, the post read more like another one of those lectures, and teetered on self-promotion for your services, as hinted at by your very name.

Which was what I got out of it.

To make things worse, you never came back to answer questions brought up later in the thread.

Sarcasm or no, newbies don't need helmets, nor do they need to be careful about what they ask for. All anyone wants is a thoughtful exchange of ideas. You respect us, we respect you. AW is different than some other writing boards, and if you spend some more time here you'll see that.

Mr Flibble
06-18-2009, 04:55 PM
Well gratz on having the wazzocks to come back and say that

But 'careful what you ask for'?

I wasn't aware you had asked for anything. Your original post was a statement. It told us how you thought we should write. As said upthread, you maybe phrased it badly -- a 'this works for me and why, what do you think?' works so much better than an (apparent) 'you must do this cos I says so'

Cos us artistic types *throws artistic hand against forehead, in attitude of artisticness* don't take kindly to orders. Especially ones we ( some of us) know don't work for us.

Now, I'd love to know your experiences in the publishing field, and what works for you. But I'd like to make up my own mind about whether it's right for me.

Once you get the hang of this site, you'll love it. Promise. And newbies don't need helmets, they need to know that one person cannot know everything about what works for every writer.

Friends?

Roger J Carlson
06-18-2009, 04:58 PM
Hey fellow newbies, just wanted to share a recent experience here. A few days I ago I started a thread I thought might be interesting, since the issue is a bit polarizing... and I got my head handed to me. Ever been to a costume party -- go with me here -- but nobody told you about the costume part, and you arrived happy and ready to engage, and no matter what you did you felt like an outsider? Oh, and the party was on another planet, forgot to mention that. Well that was me, and it was pretty much my fault -- when I began the thread and stated my opinion, I was jumped and thumped, big time. Plus, I blasphemied the name of a God in this genre, which isn't the way to make new friends here. When I attempted to clarify my position, and defend it, it was preceived as me talking down, which increased the trampling. There was no way out, the beat down continued.

Here's what I learned: humility and respect is key. I came off edgy and too confident, and I was shown the door pretty quickly, and tagged with ballbats as I crawled toward it. There are plenty of experienced and published writers here, and I made the mistake of trying to share my professional experiences, which, as it turned out nobody wanted to hear. At least the way I presented them.

So don't make my mistake. My lesson learned: I'm here to learn and listen share, not to teach (even though that's what I do for a living, and I have a lot to offer in that regard) or preach. In the end it was a gift... but as newbies, fair warning, bring a helmet.This is a perfect example of an effective writing technique -- saying one thing and meaning another. It's a bit heavy-handed, of course, but I assume that's exaggeration to demonstrate the effect. However, to be complete, you need to offer the opposite. Here's what you could have said by simply removing some words:


Hey fellow newbies, just wanted to share a recent experience here. A few days I ago I started a thread I thought might be interesting. The issue is a bit polarizing, and it was pretty much my fault. When I began the thread and stated my opinion, it was preceived as me talking down.

Here's what I learned: humility and respect is key. I came off edgy and too confident, and I was shown the door pretty quickly. There are plenty of experienced and published writers here, and I made the mistake of trying to share my professional experiences the way I presented them.

So don't make my mistake. My lesson learned: I'm here to learn and listen share, not to teach or preach.

See? The effect is entirely different without changing a single word, just removing some.

NeuroFizz
06-18-2009, 04:59 PM
Welcome back, Story. As I mentioned in a couple of posts around here, I am very interested in hearing your ideas and about your experiences. This place is loaded with new, developing, and experienced writers, and the overall "IQ" of this place is very high. We all have the same destination, but there is a fierce independence here, based on success and experience, that there are as many paths to the destination as there are people moving in that direction. We want to hear about your path, your experiences, what you think on the various issues that come up here. What we don't react to very well is any suggestion that one person's path is the only paved, well-lit avenue with directional street signs; success, keep straight.

We also sometimes tend toward the exacting side. For example (these are general comments not directed at anything you've said), using a "such-and-such authors do it" defense for a personal stance on a controversial issue is generally rejected if just as many examples of writers doing it another way are just a Google away. And if generalizations are made in support of an argument, you can probably expect someone to ask for data or citations to back up the generalization.

And please excuse us if initially we miss your sarcasm (which is generally accepted, even embraced, around here). It takes a little time to get to know someone here, to understand their brand of humor and sarcasm. And we can admit that your intial posts did create more than a bit of suspicion as to your approach and your motives. We do want to get to know you, to pick your brain about your writing experiences, and we want to hear your opinions and your advice. And you can bet your last nickel that someone here will disagree and object to you what you say, as we have all found out from our posts. But that is the beauty of AW. We are all individuals who have come to writing in very different ways, and we each have our own path to achievement. Even if we get in knock-down disagreements, we try to always react to what is said and not carry it to the person who is saying it (we can think an argument is idiotic, but we shouldn't think the person forwarding the argument is an idiot). And heated feelings should stop at the borders of a controversial thread so outside of the thread, the two topic-specific combatants can still be good friends or at least good colleagues.

On the humor side, we can never have too many characters of "ill-resolute." So, come play with words with us.

Christine N.
06-18-2009, 05:23 PM
Well, you showed up here sans introduction and started preaching, not teaching, without really seeming to understand the audience. I'm all for second chances, but THEN you come back and give us the "they're not friendly, beware" line. Even sarcastically, that's not cool. We are VERY friendly, helpful to those who ask, and we have many discussions about writing. Discussions.

We discuss a lot of things about writing here - some of us ARE new to the craft, some...not. I don't know what you expected when you came here, but this here is a professional community, pardner. We're peers, collegeues (I know I spelled that wrong), and don't appreciate someone swaggering in with the attitude that you know better.

Just trying to put your reception here into perspective. You walked into the costume party not without a costume, but loudly stating yours was the best and you were the best costumer in the world. It was simply your lack of etiquette that got you your reception.

But I'm willing to try again - as long as you quit trying to act like a victim. We're all writers here, some with more success than others, but all equal.

Phaeal
06-18-2009, 09:12 PM
I can't respond. I'm having too big an attack of the cynics. So I'll just continue to eat my popcorn in the corner. Hmm, anyone got any dark chocolate covered popcorn? No, dark chocolate covered caramel popcorn, with almonds and cashews. That stuff rocks. Categorically. If you don't like it, you're cracked.

:popcorn:

Medievalist
06-18-2009, 09:28 PM
Hmm, anyone got any dark chocolate covered popcorn? No, dark chocolate covered caramel popcorn, with almonds and cashews.

OMG

Does that stuff exist?

vox
06-18-2009, 09:31 PM
We are VERY friendly, helpful to those who ask, and we have many discussions about writing. Discussions.



Yes, this has been my experience. I haven't participated a lot, but I've watched a lot of advice be solicited and dispensed. There's a whole lot of camaraderie here. It is a VERY friendly place.

Storyfixer, I'm impressed by your credits and accomplishments. I've looked at your site and found useful information there - thank you! I'm eager to see what comes of your participation on AW. I think you'll be an excellent addition to the community. But as in any community, it would be great to get to know you as a person as well as a professional. I think maybe that could've been one of the sticking points in this whole thing. I'm sure you've heard the old addage: People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. Sure it's cliched, but there's a lot of truth there. Can we get to know you a little?

Siddow
06-18-2009, 09:46 PM
What's wrong with wearing a helmet?

quickWit
06-18-2009, 10:23 PM
No worries, Story. Everyone gets a do-over or two.

Quoted for future reference.


Welcome to the Cooler, Story. :)

CaoPaux
06-18-2009, 10:46 PM
OMG

Does that stuff exist?http://www.bartonscandy.com/index.php?p=product&id=30&parent=4
http://www.bestbuycandy.com/productcart/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=459&idcategory=17

:D

brainstorm77
06-18-2009, 10:47 PM
Telling people what to do is never a good way to start off. Like many have said already in this thread; there are many here who know the publishing game inside and out. They have already had a novel or novels published and know what it takes to make it within their own writing.
I read the other thread and you came on really strong which never flies here; newbie or not.
Telling newbies to wear helmets sucks in my opinion. It does not make a very good start to what I'm guessing is supposed to be an apology. Many people come here and love it from the very start.
Anyway good luck.

Apsu
06-19-2009, 04:30 AM
So don't make my mistake. My lesson learned: I'm here to learn and listen share, not to teach (even though that's what I do for a living, and I have a lot to offer in that regard) or preach. In the end it was a gift... but as newbies, fair warning, bring a helmet.

Hey there. I've been reading the posts you make even though I haven't said anything in them (I think). I kind of got the feeling that you were new to internet forums in general. I've been on quite a few and have seen people come off as you did, but they're generally younger people. It was interesting to watch an older person go through it.

I don't post a lot, mainly because I'm here to learn, and often if I have something to offer to a discussion, I find it's already been said before I get around to it.

But I read these forums to learn, hell that's the motivation behind most everything in my life. I found something interesting in your thread -- it wasn't really what the thread was about though. After reading the first page I started thinking about how you were generating conflict, and how so many people reacted. It wasn't necessarily what your message was, but how you presented it. I think I learned a little bit more about generating conflict from you, and will click on the next few topics you start as soon as I see your name. If you stop generating so much conflict however, your topics are going to have to be interesting to get me to click them :)

EFCollins
06-19-2009, 04:49 AM
OMG

Does that stuff exist?

Yes, it does. :D My boys sell it for Boy Scouts twice a year. (If you want some... I know the web site Medievalist... hint hint) There's even caramel chocolate popcorn. Oh man it's yummy.

Storyfixer, it's easy to be excited on AW. You feel like you have much to give. I understand. But ease us in. Get to know us. We'll be receptive to your ideas after we get to know you.

Cassiopeia
06-19-2009, 04:57 AM
OMG

Does that stuff exist?well, yes...it does. :) Right here in good ole' Utaaaaaaaaawwwwwh.

If ya want, I can drop in on them and see if they have an online shop. :D

Cassiopeia
06-19-2009, 04:57 AM
What's wrong with wearing a helmet?I wondered when you'd show up. :Hug2: good to see you ;)

Williebee
06-19-2009, 05:04 AM
Glad you stuck around, Storyfixer. You'll get the hang of the place, and get hung here a few times -- as with any decent writing group.

Btw, I dug into your resource material a bit. And ordered Sid Field's book. It looks very interesting. So, thanks for that.

Medievalist
06-19-2009, 05:10 AM
well, yes...it does. :) Right here in good ole' Utaaaaaaaaawwwwwh.

If ya want, I can drop in on them and see if they have an online shop. :D

Oh, no, please no. It looks yummy and horribly addictive.

Medievalist
06-19-2009, 05:10 AM
Yes, it does. :D My boys sell it for Boy Scouts twice a year. (If you want some... I know the web site Medievalist... hint hint) There's even caramel chocolate popcorn. Oh man it's yummy.

You're NOT helping !

:D

dnic
06-19-2009, 05:16 AM
:D The only place where I've seen a need for a helmet is in the SYW. And even then, you're the one arming everyone with the nerf bats.

I think because since AW have pretty high traffic, it does attract spammers and scammers. ;) Members look out for each other, so suspicion and wariness naturally arise when new members "pop in" in a certain manner.

That said, welcome to AW.

Dale Emery
06-19-2009, 05:20 AM
I'm here to learn and listen share, not to teach (even though that's what I do for a living, and I have a lot to offer in that regard) or preach.

Welcome back!

I think you'll find lots of opportunities to teach and even preach, as people ask questions that you know how to answer, and describe problems that you know how to solve.

And whatever the sins of your "outline" post, the thread did find its groove, and continued in a generally respectful and helpful way.

Dale

Cassiopeia
06-19-2009, 05:28 AM
Oh, no, please no. It looks yummy and horribly addictive.but...you'd really really like it!


You're NOT helping !

:DWe're not?
:D

Come to the darkside....we will show you addiction in it's finest form. :)

benbradley
06-19-2009, 05:29 AM
Hey there. I've been reading the posts you make even though I haven't said anything in them (I think). I kind of got the feeling that you were new to internet forums in general.
I'm hearing something to the tune of "One Night in Bangkok" that goes:
"Ten years on Usenet and the world's your oyster."

I've been on quite a few and have seen people come off as you did, but they're generally younger people. It was interesting to watch an older person go through it.

I don't post a lot, mainly because I'm here to learn, and often if I have something to offer to a discussion, I find it's already been said before I get around to it.

But I read these forums to learn, hell that's the motivation behind most everything in my life. I found something interesting in your thread -- it wasn't really what the thread was about though. After reading the first page I started thinking about how you were generating conflict, and how so many people reacted. It wasn't necessarily what your message was, but how you presented it. I think I learned a little bit more about generating conflict from you, and will click on the next few topics you start as soon as I see your name. If you stop generating so much conflict however, your topics are going to have to be interesting to get me to click them :)
Conflict is a good word for it, and it points out the applications of such interactions in writing fiction. I've seen a lot of it on unmoderated discussion forums fora such as those on Usenet. This conflict often goes by such names as drama and trolling. One can learn a lot about people (as well as fictional characters) by their responses to different situations and stimuli.

Robert E. Keller
06-19-2009, 05:36 AM
I can't speak for anyone else, but debate--heated or otherwise--does not offend me. I don't think anyone needs a crash helmet here except those who plunge headlong into controversy. I'm fairly new to this forum, but I've noticed that if someone is experiencing heat, it's only because they dished some out. A lot of people don't outline (including myself half of the time) and some people felt heat from the statement that their methods were insane. It's no surprise (to me, at least) that it was returned in abundance. But I try to keep an open mind, Storyfixer, and I'm always looking to learn something new, so I find your advice and opinions welcome.

Robert E. Keller
http://www.scrollsofatlantis.com

Matera the Mad
06-19-2009, 06:33 AM
Yeah, there he goes again.

Dude, hang around and read what's happened, you get clues.

som1luvsmi
06-19-2009, 06:55 AM
:D The only place where I've seen a need for a helmet is in the SYW. And even then, you're the one arming everyone with the nerf bats.

P&CE. You definitely should have a helmet at least near you in there. :D

Storyfixer, I'd love to know what you think of all the comments and feedback you've gotten(in this thread and the others), but I haven't seen that you've come back to any of them. Hope you do soon. :)

Cyia
06-19-2009, 07:02 AM
P&CE. You definitely should have a helmet at least near you in there.

Nah, just jump in a trench and keep your head down unless lobbing grenades at the other side. Be sure and watch for the occasional decoy as a serious argument can slip in without notice. :D

James D. Macdonald
06-19-2009, 08:18 AM
Sarcasm should seldom, if ever, be used in an on-line discussion. It's too easily mis-read.

It is wise for anyone to avoid filling in squares on the Troll Bingo card (http://www.vivtek.com/troll_bingo.html).

Christine N.
06-19-2009, 02:06 PM
And ordered Sid Field's book I think I have that one. Doesn't he also have a screenplay book? The name sounds familiar.

swvaughn
06-19-2009, 03:46 PM
Sarcasm should seldom, if ever, be used in an on-line discussion. It's too easily mis-read.

It is wise for anyone to avoid filling in squares on the Troll Bingo card (http://www.vivtek.com/troll_bingo.html).

Ha! I see what you did there, Uncle Jim . . .

Uh, wait. Maybe I don't.

I'm so confused! :cry:

Roger J Carlson
06-19-2009, 04:19 PM
Troll Bingo card (http://www.vivtek.com/troll_bingo.html).Brilliant! Why didn't I think of that?

ccv707
06-19-2009, 04:21 PM
I promise you...I do want to hear it. As I am sure others here want to hear it too. I felt talked down to when I read the post that you are talking about. But I would love to hear your advice.


Story, I'm glad you reconsidered and decided to give us another chance. Welcome! :welcome:

Seconded on all counts.

Diana Hignutt
06-19-2009, 04:47 PM
Hi Storyfixer, and welcome to AW.

I didn't read your earlier post. Must've missed it.

However, your advice in this post--that newbies should wear helmets in AW is way off base.

New posters should consider wearing humility, but not helmets. There's a lot to be learned here, but not if you're already convinced that you know everything.

jodiodi
06-19-2009, 06:57 PM
Like Diana, I haven't read the thread/posts in question. However, the gist seems apparent from the comments in this thread.

I understand how easy it is to have one's feelings trampled, especially when faced with folks who have strong opinions and have no problem sharing them. I have experienced a few moments of, "WTF?" when reading some of the responses to some of my own comments.

I can only echo the advice given by others: Get a feel for the board and how others might respond before making any unequivocal statements. Opinions should be identified as such and not passed off as absolute truths. Failure to designate them appropriately may often result in bloody takedowns by the pack (been watching a lot of Dog Whisperer lately).

Welcome and enjoy your time here.

thornhill
06-19-2009, 07:06 PM
I read a few posts on the outline thread and thought, "Whoops, didn't know I was supposed to do that. Better make one up and back-date it - just to be safe."

Wear a helmet? Nah. I came here looking to get beat up.

skelly
06-19-2009, 07:17 PM
I like this forum a lot in part because it is pretty tightly moderated... real creeps don't seem to last!
Not true. I've been here since 2007.

scarletpeaches
06-19-2009, 08:00 PM
I've been here even longer. Banned twice and they keep letting me back.

skelly
06-19-2009, 08:13 PM
I've been here even longer. Banned twice and they keep letting me back.
True, but that doesn't make you creepier :D

Phaeal
06-19-2009, 09:17 PM
OMG

Does that stuff exist?

Yes, indeed. In fact, it's easy to make for yourself.

Bag of caramel popcorn
Almonds
Cashews
Like other nuts, or maybe some raisins or dried cranberries/blueberries/cherries? Toss 'em in, too.

Mix 'em together in a bowl. About six cups altogether.

12 oz bag of dark chocolate chips. Ghiradhelli's or plain old Nestles or even snootier choccie than Ghiradhelli's, all work. Milk chocolate would work, too, if you prefer it. Or even white chocolate.

Melt the chocolate gently, pour it over the popcorn mixture, stir to coat the popcorn mixture well. Now, before the chocolate rehardens, drop spoonfuls of the glop on waxed paper and let harden. Store in a tin or sealed plastic bag. Munch on down.

Ambrosia.

Old Hack
06-19-2009, 10:20 PM
I've been here even longer. Banned twice and they keep letting me back.

Only twice? Lord. I was sure it was more than that.

Perhaps the mods' collars had run out of juice on the days when you said those things about Haggis.

scarletpeaches
06-19-2009, 10:22 PM
I said 'em loud and I said 'em proud. The supers didn't ban me 'cause I had photographic proof that what I said was true.

Yes, Haggis, even snapshots of the donkey and the bucket of custard.

KTC
06-19-2009, 10:22 PM
I've been here even longer. Banned twice and they keep letting me back.

It always shocks me how much (or is that how many times) I have not been banned.

CaroGirl
06-19-2009, 10:24 PM
I am also shocked at how many times KTC has not been banned.

scarletpeaches
06-19-2009, 10:25 PM
I think we should start grassing him up reporting his misdemeanours so this situation can be rectified.

Diana Hignutt
06-19-2009, 11:37 PM
It always shocks me how much (or is that how many times) I have not been banned.

I should have been banned at least twice...but I'm like a national hero or something so they let me slide.

Kris
06-19-2009, 11:48 PM
I'm really nice. :) Even that is probably a bannable offense if it starts to get annoying, though.

skelly
06-19-2009, 11:58 PM
I'm really nice. :) Even that is probably a bannable offense if it starts to get annoying, though.
I think you can be banned for having an avatar depicting a pink teddy bear toking on a big honkin doobie.

Kris
06-19-2009, 11:59 PM
I think you can be banned for having an avatar depicting a pink teddy bear toking on a big honkin doobie.

I know, it's a really offensive image. I've already gotten called on the carpet for my cruelty to animals. I'm trying to help the pink bear quit. But he has a lot of stress.

scarletpeaches
06-20-2009, 12:00 AM
That bear's out turning tricks to feed its habit.

Kris
06-20-2009, 12:02 AM
That bear's out turning tricks to feed its habit.

I know. And I try to be compassionate, but it's a thin line between being a sympathetic ear and being an enabler.

At least he's not selling drugs to other children's toys anymore. Or so he claims...

skelly
06-20-2009, 12:20 AM
I know. And I try to be compassionate, but it's a thin line between being a sympathetic ear and being an enabler.

At least he's not selling drugs to other children's toys anymore. Or so he claims...

http://i118.photobucket.com/albums/o88/sak2112/avatar29640_1.jpg

yo bitches....chill...it aint even like that...

Kris
06-20-2009, 12:23 AM
http://i118.photobucket.com/albums/o88/sak2112/avatar29640_1.jpg

yo bitches....chill...it aint even like that...

You perfectly captured his street slang and his strong Spanish accent (he's Argentinian by birth although he grew up in Cuba).

skelly
06-20-2009, 12:42 AM
You perfectly captured his street slang and his strong Spanish accent (he's Argentinian by birth although he grew up in Cuba).
Of course. I know him well. Out on the street we call him "dime-bag" pinky. :)

Medievalist
06-20-2009, 01:12 AM
Yes, indeed. In fact, it's easy to make for yourself.



Get thee behind me. It was just last year that I discovered, through the kind efforts of a friend [firstonesfree] the existence of the divine substance known as kettle Corn.

I hate to think what heights of debauchery this stuff would inspire in me . . .

Medievalist
06-20-2009, 01:20 AM
I should have been banned at least twice...but I'm like a national hero or something so they let me slide.

That avatar's lookin' a mite peaked though . . .

NeuroFizz
06-20-2009, 01:30 AM
Of course. I know him well. Out on the street we call him "dime-bag" pinky.
Sure he isn't a she? Looks kind of pink. And where does one get doobies with a filter. I think she's just a spoiled drop-out who is rebelling against her parents' pushing for her to collect berries and catch salmon. She's trying to get in with the delinquent gang who ransacks campsites.

skelly
06-20-2009, 02:17 AM
Sure he isn't a she? Looks kind of pink. And where does one get doobies with a filter. I think she's just a spoiled drop-out who is rebelling against her parents' pushing for her to collect berries and catch salmon. She's trying to get in with the delinquent gang who ransacks campsites.
Wow. See, I totally saw that the other way. Man is my face red!

And if you've got time to goof about somebody's avatar you've got time to write us another poem. Scoot!

:D

Kris
06-20-2009, 05:23 AM
Wow. See, I totally saw that the other way. Man is my face red!

And if you've got time to goof about somebody's avatar you've got time to write us another poem. Scoot!

:D

It's possible he could go by the name "dime-bag pinky." He has many aliases. His current passport identifies him as one Charles "Cha-Cha" White. But I'm told his real name is Fernando.

He'll probably kill me for telling you this. If I ever see him again...he didn't come home tonight! *sob*

NeuroFizz
06-20-2009, 08:19 AM
Time for a cotton ball check. Have it turn its head and cough.

Sean D. Schaffer
06-20-2009, 08:24 AM
As many stupid things as I've said over the last four years, it's a wonder I've not been banned permanently. All the arguments I've gotten into over whether talent is necessary to be a good writer or not, among other things.... I'd say this is one of the nicer boards around the 'Net. :)

Apsu
06-20-2009, 08:30 AM
I'm hearing something to the tune of "One Night in Bangkok" that goes:
"Ten years on Usenet and the world's your oyster."

Conflict is a good word for it, and it points out the applications of such interactions in writing fiction. I've seen a lot of it on unmoderated discussion forums fora such as those on Usenet. This conflict often goes by such names as drama and trolling. One can learn a lot about people (as well as fictional characters) by their responses to different situations and stimuli.

The best teachers go the extra mile. Examples like these are better than a thousand lectures. Really.

Ali B
06-20-2009, 11:37 AM
This guy starts threads and never comes back to answer questions, huh?

emilycross
06-20-2009, 01:07 PM
New posters should consider wearing humility, but not helmets. There's a lot to be learned here, but not if you're already convinced that you know everything.

Exactly! As a newbie, you have to test the waters before you jump in. People don't know you or what you're about, even after an intro. definitely preaching only one opinion and not being open to others doesn't give you brownie points here.

calley
06-20-2009, 03:32 PM
He'll probably kill me for telling you this. If I ever see him again...he didn't come home tonight! *sob*

He came home, all right. Just not with you. *draws in a long, slow puff*


*is a newb who rather likes it here, though is a bit afraid of Ms. scarletpeaches, Ma'am, Sir*

Kris
06-21-2009, 03:54 AM
He came home, all right. Just not with you. *draws in a long, slow puff*


I knew it!!!! *sob*

Bubastes
06-21-2009, 04:19 AM
There's a lot to be learned here, but not if you're already convinced that you know everything.

Agreed. One thing that really irked me in the other thread was his assumption that he had more writing experience than anyone here on AW. A little exploration would've quickly disabused him of that notion. He's not the only one here with a bestseller or with enough experience to share good advice.

Silver King
06-21-2009, 06:27 AM
I think we've pretty well established that Story may have gotten off on the wrong foot. From my experience, having read tens of thousands of posts on this site, it's not that uncommon for members to strike a sour note when they first arrive. As I've mentioned earlier, this place requires some getting used to, and it takes longer for some to ease into the culture and environment that is AW. And I'm no longer surprised when members, who may have started out having to learn the painful process of crawling before they could walk, suddenly run circles around even the most experienced writers among us, and now their advice is cherished.

One thing that I always carry with me is the memory of when I first joined this site, and how intimidating it all seemed. The first person to offer a kind word is still my friend to this day. Since then, I've stumbled and skinned my knees, and tender pride, more times than I care to remember. But through it all, I was fortunate to receive the benefit of the doubt from most people. And that's what I would encourage here, not only with Story, but with anyone else who doesn't strike our fancy. Give them a chance to show their true colors, and you may be surprised by the depth of hues they have to offer.

Cyia
06-21-2009, 07:23 AM
He came home, all right. Just not with you. *draws in a long, slow puff*


*is a newb who rather likes it here, though is a bit afraid of Ms. scarletpeaches, Ma'am, Sir*


Nah, SP's harmless. Just dangle a shiny Collin Farrell in front of her and you're golden. ;)

citymouse
06-21-2009, 04:34 PM
I didn't read Story's post. There was no real need to since it was pretty much distilled here.
I went to Story's website/blog. As I read parts I felt I was back at one of the hundreds of seminars I sat through in my career at DuPont.

Some here have been, as I was, extruded through the periodic "we gotta energize our people" programs which companies large and small inflict on their employees so you'll recognize the technique. I've eaten five star meals, while someone I never met, and have not seen since, droned on about success and why I personally need to achieve it. I've been led blindfolded through a field teeming with Lyme disease carrying deer ticks so that I might learn confidence and trust.

I've been roped, hoisted up and flung from tall trees and then caught before I hit the ground by a co-worker. I still have the gold caribener awarded to those who didn't get their heads smashed on the ground.

Story's site reads like one of these exercises. It's all marketing jargon. It's clear Story wants to sell something--his services as a writing coach for one.
He uses all the corporate buzz words that, in some cases, make the unsuccessful(?) listener/reader feel needy. That's the gimmick.

I've no doubt that Story is smart. I'm also confident that he could say what he wants to say with half the words. Key to a good website is not to wear out the visitor. An invalid or an insomniac might be able to get through all of it. I certainly didn't. That said, I spent a good hour sifting through his site. Then I skipped to what I was looking for. Story has written a book. The title is:Writing Better Fiction: Inside the Six Core Competencies
I wanted to know what he feels these are. The book isn't out yet and the run up is full of teasers but nothing that would make me pursue it.

As for Story and AW goes, my guess, and it's only a guess, is that he's lurking. He's clearly a confident man. He knows what he knows and he's used to expressing it without dissent. I think he got a shock at AW.
He may never respond or post here again. It will be interesting to see if he does.
C

CaoPaux
06-21-2009, 06:59 PM
I wanted to know what he feels these are. The book isn't out yet and the run up is full of teasers but nothing that would make me pursue it.
Be careful what you ask for here... ;) http://storyfix.com/drumroll-introducing-the-six-core-competencies-of-successful-storytelling

citymouse
06-21-2009, 07:11 PM
Thanks CP, I found that page. Anyone who has hung around AW and paid attention has gotten those tags. Perhaps not in a row, but they're here. I should add that I'm not suggesting Mr Brooks should be panned or shunned but be regarded someone selling something. In some measure he succeeded. I sought him out. I read parts of his site. I understand he's coming from.
C




Be careful what you ask for here... ;) http://storyfix.com/drumroll-introducing-the-six-core-competencies-of-successful-storytelling

Christine N.
06-21-2009, 08:46 PM
Oh dear Dog, he's still panning Stephen King. If you put aside that the advice of just sitting down and writing (BIC is still the key to writing, no matter how you do it), there is a lot of other information in ON WRITING that is just plain truth. Like: to be a writer, you MUST be a reader, and you MUST have good grammar and vocabulary (even if you don't use it all in every book) in the top level of your Writer's toolbox, and sitting down and asking yourself "what's the book ABOUT".

I used most of King's techniques before I ever read the book. I put my work away for a few weeks before I go over it a second time. Because it works for me. And no matter how we write the books, I think most of us here learned how to do it by DOING IT, not by following some roadmap or presecribed steps we read in a self-help book. That's not to say I don't have writing books: I do, but they're mostly about mechanics or editing or some such thing. None are in an infomercial format.

I'm sorry, I'm sure Story is a nice enough man, but he's out to sell the world his book. What you get when everyone writes like he's saying we should is a bunch of books written the same way, and after awhile they all begin to sound the same. Variety is the spice of life. I'm sure he'll find a market among those who are new to the craft, or who are frustrated with their lack of success, or maybe just looking to shake things up a bit. But I think many professional writers will not be interested. I'm not, just because his attitude is a total turn-off. Very Billy Mays.

Medievalist
06-21-2009, 09:36 PM
If you want to sell a book about writing fiction it's a very very bad sign when your prose comes off as standard marketing dweeb prose.

It's particularly telling when your initial post is identified as marketing prose by many people who would ordinarily be in your readership.

Good marketing is about telling a story.

Cyia
06-21-2009, 09:39 PM
And no matter how we write the books, I think most of us here learned how to do it by DOING IT, not by following some roadmap or presecribed steps we read in a self-help book.

ABSOLUTELY.

For me, nothing dries up a story faster than trying to force it out in some particular way just because that's how the steps go.

Siddow
06-21-2009, 09:44 PM
IF storyfix comes back, I have a question: What makes your book different from the hundreds of other books on writing?

bettielee
06-21-2009, 09:45 PM
Now we're linking to his site... I am going to go bash my farking head in!

Linda Adams
06-21-2009, 10:16 PM
I'm sure he'll find a market among those who are new to the craft, or who are frustrated with their lack of success, or maybe just looking to shake things up a bit. But I think many professional writers will not be interested. I'm not, just because his attitude is a total turn-off. Very Billy Mays.

Or looking for a "silver bullet."

A friend was a marketer, and though he insisted he was never looking for the "silver bullet," the way he talked always said he was. He kept trying to find the right elements that would turn a novel into a best seller, convinced that all he needed to do was discover what they were. I kept telling him that if publishers knew, they would have been using them, but he just dismissed that, claiming they hadn't done the right research.

I guess the thing that bothers me about the marketing spiel is that gives the writer a false sense of success. If they do A, B, and C like so-and-so promises, they'll be published. That's what my friend kept thinking. And you know what? He's given more thought on how to market the book and hasn't done any actual writing.

Medievalist
06-21-2009, 10:17 PM
Now we're linking to his site... I am going to go bash my farking head in!

See ? He read Web marketing 101: Join Forums and Drive Traffic to Your Site.

CaoPaux
06-21-2009, 10:37 PM
Too bad he didn't read the footnote re: good attention v. bad attention.

Medievalist
06-21-2009, 10:46 PM
I guess the thing that bothers me about the marketing spiel is that gives the writer a false sense of success. If they do A, B, and C like so-and-so promises, they'll be published. That's what my friend kept thinking. And you know what? He's given more thought on how to market the book and hasn't done any actual writing.

This is something that happens over and over and over; writers spending inordinate amounts of time and effort around "how to write" and on marketing the unwritten book--instead of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair and writing.

There's actual value in reverse engineering novels to see how they work in terms of larger structures and plots, but not when it's an attempt to extract the formula.

Rufus Coppertop
06-21-2009, 10:51 PM
Storyfixer,

I just stumbled across this and had to see what you were all talking about.

I read your advice on the thread in question about a week ago and I have to say I definitely got value out of it. I was working on my plot structure after some fabulously uncompromising critiques I received here and a lot of what you said resonated with me and it enthused me.

You seemed enthusiastically pro-outliney to a point heading towards a degree of fanaticism. To me it came across as more passionate than arrogant, although I must admit, I can see where many of the others were coming from and I believe people who say that they work better without an outline.

I hope you stick around and contribute more.

citymouse
06-21-2009, 11:48 PM
I wasn't driven to Story's website by him or anyone. I was curious and my curiosity wasn't satisfied through these postings. I looked at his website. Having satisfied myself there I looked away.
C

Scribhneoir
06-22-2009, 12:30 AM
You seemed enthusiastically pro-outliney to a point heading towards a degree of fanaticism. To me it came across as more passionate than arrogant

I'm pro-outliney myself and Storyfixer's post raised my hackles, so I knew he was in for it. He definitely came off to me as an arrogant know-it-all who was here to save the wannabes from themselves. His assumption that everyone here was far below him in skill and accomplishment was more than a bit insulting, too.

His attitude, coupled with his inability to share his ideas in a way that respects other people's work habits, doesn't inspire me to believe that he's the great teacher he says he is.

Dale Emery
06-22-2009, 12:51 AM
I would like these threads to continue with less characterization of StoryFixer's (or anyone else's) attitudes, abilities, and intentions.

My intention here is not to defend StoryFixer, but to defend my sense of this community.

Dale

Christine N.
06-22-2009, 01:23 AM
Agreed, Dale, and perhaps Storyfixer has become the sacrificial lamb for a conversation about books like the kind he's promoting, which is a valid conversation for writers to have. I don't necessarily mean to pick on him, but use his book as an example of a certain type of model that some people wanting to write might try and hold on to - not better or worse than anything else - but that may provide false hope, a kind of shortcut around putting in the manhours that becoming a professional writer requires.

I'm not particularly comfortable with the way Mr. Storyfixer goes about handing out his wisdom either: to openly bash someone who is unequivocally a success in the industry by stating he's out and out wrong and full of excrement is an instant turn-off, especially for those who are searching to write in his genre or are fans. I have great respect for Mr. King, and I listen when he talks, even if I don't necessarily agree with everything he says. I LIKE taking notes and doing character studies, but I also agree that many of the things he talks about in his writing book were fairly intuitive to me, because I'd already done them and they work for me. His manner is open and friendly as well, conversational instead of instructional.

I also know that his way doesn't work for everyone. So for someone to say "THIS IS THE WAY, ANY OTHER WAY IS CRAP" is completely disingenuous.

Most books on writing that I've read state in no uncertain terms that this is the way that worked for the writer: unless it's "Self-Editing for Fiction Writers" which is a total goldmine and it's about mechanics of story, not actually writing the story.

So personally I'm sort of deconstructing his type of book and the way he seems to have gone about marketing it, as a current example.

Williebee
06-22-2009, 01:30 AM
I would like these threads to continue with less characterization of StoryFixer's (or anyone else's) attitudes, abilities, and intentions.

My intention here is not to defend StoryFixer, but to defend my sense of this community.

Dale

Well said, and thanks.

now we can get to work supposing on YOUR intentions here. :)

Dale Emery
06-22-2009, 01:33 AM
now we can get to work supposing on YOUR intentions here. :)

I'd appreciate any insight you can offer as to my intentions. I got no clue. ;-)

Dale

Christine N.
06-22-2009, 01:47 AM
On the other hand, there may be those writers who need the type of encouragement Mr. Brooks provides. I just wouldn't put too much stock in his very near promises of publication after using his methods. I guess that's what it seems like to me - the following his advice will garner a book contract.

bettielee
06-22-2009, 02:29 AM
I think this guy is a straight up spammer, he makes untrue comments about at least one writer (Stephen King) and talks down to us. He is just a careful, creative spammer, and it makes me a little sick this thread has gotten so long and is driving up hits to his sight. It just encourages him. Anyone who tells you "This is the way you must do it!" or ends his posts full of unasked for "advice" with "Hope this helps," like we're a bunch of idiots makes me cringe.

People who have said "this has sparked debate" - yeah, the same debates that pop up without his help, organically, that have a point and are aimed at helping someone, rather than driving people to someone's website.

Gillhoughly
06-22-2009, 02:53 AM
I think all writers go through a "blabbermouth" phase.

I did when I sold my first novel. After getting that kind of validation from a major publishing house I thought I knew everything.

Then, at a thankfully early point in this phase, I shared a panel talk with a writer I'd never heard of who'd sold more than 60 titles in her life. (It's up to 100 now.)

She was generous, kind, very knowledgeable, and never once pointed out I was full of it. She made recommendations to the audience on a number of writing books to check, including Elements of Style, which, astonishingly, I'd never heard of until then. All I did on the panel was point at my lone little paperback with my name very small under the title and recommend people read IT.

To their credit, the audience didn't laugh me out of the panel room.

After that I figured out I didn't know squat about the craft of writing, but I had gotten away with it at least once.

Also after that I stopped (for the most part) being a know-it-all when it came to writing. It took years, and I'm still working on it.

Put me in with Joe Bob Briggs:

"If you can explain how to write a book, then you donít know how to write one. If you can write a book, then you wonít be able to explain how you did it. Itís stupid, but itís true."

From Joe Bob's America (http://www.joebobbriggs.com/jbamerica/1991/jba910510.html).

I've got that one printed and tacked up over my desk, and it's given me more help as a writer than the whole 808 section of the library.

Medievalist
06-22-2009, 03:04 AM
After that I figured out I didn't know squat about the craft of writing, but I had gotten away with it at least once.

Writing is too much like work, and thus, in my opinion, best done in moderation. Writing fiction is too damned much work, even if I had the story mindset, which I haven't.

But I do know enough about what's worked for hundreds of other novlests and poets to know that:

1. It's magic.
2. It always involves the seat of the pants and the chair and the endless cycle of write/revise/write.
3. Every single one of you madmen dark wizards writers does it differently.

Salis
06-22-2009, 03:27 AM
madmen dark wizards

I always knew I was missing something all the other writers had.

Sacrificing infants!

Man, if only I had known the merits of black magic years ago.

Also, there's always the route of Coleridge, Fitzgerald, and countless others:

Get really high or really drunk. Suddenly, you are magically transformed into an amazing writer!

colealpaugh
06-22-2009, 04:15 AM
nm

The Lonely One
06-22-2009, 05:39 AM
I'm going to chime in, since I feel I was extremely harsh in the threads started by storyfixer. And I do feel bad and would like to apologize, explaining why now:

I think the format of the posts I saw LOOKED very much like spam, which may have sparked my aggression. This is because it was presented sort of like a seminar of sorts, with a link to a website at the bottom (I do not know if it was a sig or part of the post, which added to my confusion. Seemed like "go here for infinite wisdom" or something, which probably wasn't the case). But my point is that there are users who make similar posts that have a "guess what" kind of approach, that turn out to be spammers that never again visit. Spidey sense, thus, was tingling and caused me to never really give you a fair shake.

Upon later reflection, I came to some of the conclusions you posted in this thread; that you were treated unfairly, sort of pounced on (I did my share), and that you were actually just stating an opinion based on your experience and looking for reactions.

Well, I do sincerely apologize. I hate that I got off on the wrong foot with you, especially because I don't see you as aggressive, cruel or ignorant, the qualities I presented when responding so harshly to you before.

We are all adults, mostly, and even if you (general 'you') aren't you should ACT like one on AW.

I didn't.

But I will. So. Hope you can forgive me for being so pigheaded.

Christine N.
06-22-2009, 06:34 AM
No, I think you had it right the first time :). I believe he came here to do some kind of marketing for his book. It's probably ALSO his opinion about writing. HOWEVER, he sort of just jumped in here with guns blazing as if to educate us. And if he didn't and wanted to be welcomed, he missed the mark.

I agree we also jumped on him a little bit. And I'm willing to welcome him here as long as he realizes he's among collegues not students; peers who DO learn from each other. His apology didn't do much for me either. Humility doesn't seem to be his thing, or maybe I'm misreading him badly. And if I am, it's telling about his abilities as a writer to get his message across to a reader. Would I want to buy a book about writing who can't do that?

(That must really sound snarky, and I'm not judging Storyfixer, though it seems it: it's just a general observation. There have been others who have done it, and I'm sure I've been guilty of it at one time or another.)

The Lonely One
06-22-2009, 06:44 AM
To be fair, storyfixer, the reaction you got has nothing to do with you being a noob.

There are some strong-minded individuals on AW and if I posted something that gave off a certain 'vibe' of presenting opinion as fact, I will guarantee you money on the dollar I'd get my ass served to me.

Even from those I've gained kinships with here. It's not a personal attack on you. It's the way they read into your arguments.

That's what's great about AW. Honesty (though I think I and others took it too far in your previous threads), and the adult attitude that, though we'll get caught up in arguments here, at the end of the day we're here for each other.

We'll apologize if we stepped out of line. And if we feel we haven't, we won't.

Though as I said, I do feel I stepped out of line.

We learn from each other. As long as that happens AW serves its purpose.

EDIT: From hearing reactions from other users, it appears the general feeling is that you're using AW for promotion. I think a good way to reconcile that is to use the appropriate areas in the forum to that end, throw it in your sig (we all do) and approach us with the respect that we're on a level playing field. We all have strengths and weaknesses. Ask questions, state opinions as opinions looking for feedback, and participate in others' threads with your own input. I for one would love to see your responses to some of the questions I have. You're very strong-minded and you believe in your methods. You obviously have something to contribute here.

I think it's just the approach that's putting people off.

Storyfixer
06-22-2009, 09:29 AM
Good feedback, good coaching, thanks.

Storyfixer
06-22-2009, 09:40 AM
Actually, I've got a question right now. Why did you suddenly go from doing well-reviewed and quite successful hardcovers at Onyx, to doing paperback originals at Signet? I've spent a lot of time staring at the dates and figures, and I just can't make the story add up.

To clarify: all four of my books were paperback originals. Only hardcovers were bookclub editions (Literary Guild, Doubleday, Mystery Guild). Moving from Onyx to Signet was a promotion. My last book was selected by Publishers Weekly as the lead entry in the "Best Books of 2004 -- Mass Market" category. Not a step down.

You asked. This isn't spam. My paperbacks are out of print and only available used on Amazon and in the occasional used bookstore. Not a dime in it for me. Not spam. As most of you have so enthusiastically pointed out to me, I probably can't hold a candle to your success. I teach fiction. It's what I do. Just trying to contribute.

The signature line with my website is just that -- the sig line. I don't add it to any posts. Just when I signed up.

Storyfixer
06-22-2009, 09:42 AM
[quote=The Lonely One;3720767]I'm going to chime in, since I feel I was extremely harsh in the threads started by storyfixer. And I do feel bad and would like to apologize, explaining why now:


Thank you for this. Apology accepted, explanation understood.

Medievalist
06-22-2009, 10:13 AM
I teach fiction. It's what I do. Just trying to contribute.

The signature line with my website is just that -- the sig line. I don't add it to any posts. Just when I signed up.

Well, no, actually, there's more to it than that, despite your disingenuous tone.

You've started five threads, all of them designed to drive traffic to your Web site, a site that's explicitly designed to market your forthcoming how to book on writing.

It's not your sig that's the problem; it's the relentless marketing-speak in almost every post, and the threads designed purely to market your services and book.

Who is the publisher for your book, by the way? I notice it's not on your Web site, or in the Ingrams or B and T or Voyager databases, and it doesn't have LOC CIP data registered. How close to release is it?

Exir
06-22-2009, 10:13 AM
To be fair, I've seen some constructive responses by "storyfixer" in threads started by others.

aadams73
06-22-2009, 01:03 PM
3. Every single one of you madmen dark wizards writers does it differently.

This is the biggest truth--for me--in writing. Everyone has something different that works(or doesn't) for them. And even that may vary from book to book.

James D. Macdonald
06-22-2009, 02:22 PM
Then I skipped to what I was looking for. Story has written a book. The title is:Writing Better Fiction: Inside the Six Core Competencies
I wanted to know what he feels these are. The book isn't out yet and the run up is full of teasers but nothing that would make me pursue it.


For those of you who are wondering about what the Six Core Competencies of Successful Storytelling might be, they're the conceptual hook, characterization, theme, structure, scene construction, writing voice, and the process itself. According to him.

He's a neopro. They go though these phases.

scarletpeaches
06-22-2009, 02:23 PM
For those of you who are wondering about what the Six Core Competencies of Successful Storytelling might be, they're the conceptual hook, characterization, theme, structure, scene construction, writing voice, and the process itself. According to him.

He's a neopro. They go though these phases.

Hmm. I just read a lot and hang out on AW. Maybe that's where I'm going wrong.

JJ Cooper
06-22-2009, 02:25 PM
I've read through this thread and have come up with some very informative responses that many will no doubt enjoy. I'm certain my vast experiences and expert analysis of the points raised, coupled with my witty responses, will assist others become better writers.

I have decided to post these invaluable responses on my website and/or blog - maybe even my group facebook account.

Unfortunately, I'm very busy with the upcoming release of my blockbuster (predicted by many) debut thriller. Please continue to visit my sites and I'm almost certain said responses will appear eventually.

Just having some fun. Enjoy and all the best, Storyfixer.

JJ

Exir
06-22-2009, 02:32 PM
He's a neopro. They go though these phases.

Lol. :roll:

Christine N.
06-22-2009, 03:23 PM
As most of you have so enthusiastically pointed out to me, I probably can't hold a candle to your success.

And I wouldn't say that either. We all have something to contribute, and no single member is elevated above another (maybe Uncle Jim; but even he treats us as equals). You've had some success, obviously. Congratulations. And I'm always interested in the processes of writing, especially when something I usually do isn't working for me.

I give author visits to schoolkids. I have a big Powerpoint presentation with pretty pictures and all the bells and whistles. I tell them how I write a book. I show them my character worksheets, and pics of my whiteboard covered in notes and stickies, and a pic of a printed out manuscript all scribbled on. I explain how I got from one step to the other. And I stress that it's MY way, and that other writers might do it differently.

There are some inherent truths I do pass on: you can't be a writer without being a reader, and in order to get better, you have to practice. But other than that, I tell 'em it's wide open.

You might find, if you stick around here a bit, that you will learn a new way to do something. I learn from this place all the time.

Diana Hignutt
06-22-2009, 03:32 PM
That avatar's lookin' a mite peaked though . . .

I brought it with me from the old site. I'll tell you what, just for you, I'll have another avatar up by the end of the week.

James D. Macdonald
06-22-2009, 04:03 PM
no single member is elevated above another (maybe Uncle Jim; but even he treats us as equals).

I certainly hope I'm not! I'm just a mid-list hack, and I'm proud of my hackery. I also like to hear my jaws flap.

Many here (e.g. Gillhoughly) have better careers than me.

There's a saying in the Army: "No combat-ready unit ever passed inspection." In the same way, no working writer ever matches some theoretical "how to write" standard.

Years ago I knew a Master Sergeant in the US Special Forces. Once I heard him say, "I don't care if the troops wear tenny-runners if it helps them get rounds down range." He knew what was important and what wasn't.

In the same way, I don't care what writers do if it helps 'em get words on paper. That's the important part.

Siddow
06-22-2009, 04:16 PM
Jim, I always looked at your avatar and thought it looked like you were wearing a judge's robe. Now I see it is a biker jacket. I am amused.

Carry on.

JJ Cooper
06-22-2009, 04:24 PM
To use the same analogy, Uncle Jim, I too have seen many a senior NCO with the same mindset. I've also seen a shedload more of the same rank 'blindly' follow the 'rules' with mixed effect. ie 'twenty rounds fire' command and twenty-two were let rip with disciplinary action to follow.

My point is, writing is like life - about the choices we make. We need to identify the advice that will advance our writing, take onboard other opinions, and learn to identify what will work for us as individuals.

This site alone has so many differing points of view that one could get lost in what is 'right' or 'wrong' when we dive in for the first time. So, I suppose we need to ask ourselves who we want to follow, and what we want to achieve.

JJ

Storyfixer
06-22-2009, 09:05 PM
Well, seems I can't catch a break here, nor will my apologies be accepted by all (some of you are at least civil, thanks to you), and that first impression you can never take back?... it's true, you can't. Everything you're saying about my naive approach here is true -- I'm new here, I'm new on writing forums, I don't get it, I don't understand you, you don't understand me, I came on too strong... yep. And yeah, I misspelled mea culpa... probably the only person here who's misspelled a Latin word. Oops, there's that sarcasm again, doesn't fly here, you've made that very clear.

But some of you have crossed the line. Interesting, too, since you're the ones who are crawling up my ass because I crossed the line. And you're the ones who won't let me fix it, or explain or apologize. You remind me of old farts in country clubs who won't let "them types" in here. Not all of you, for sure, some of reached out. But some of you define the word curmudgeon, which I'm not really sure how to spell but suggest you post your picture next to it in the dictionary.

You've gone to my website looking for ways to make me wrong, to minimize and criticize. Everything from calling me Billy Mays to just some hack to a spammer. If that's you, here's a newsflash: you are exposing yourself to your peers here in way I don't think you intend.

And then you criticize me for not showing up again to defend my position? Maybe you love the in-your-face culture here (and certainly, some of you career critics will jump on that one...), but I don't especially love it. Especially when it's my face (maybe that's it, I should have some whacky avatar instead of my mug. I've acknowledge that I'm no more successfull, no smarter and completely clueless. And yet, some of you continue to keep your boot on my throat. Interesting. You accuse me of all this crap, and then look at you. You're exposing yourself.

Nothing I can add or say here will soften or change what I originally said or did. Didn't mean to be the guy that you rally around to throw righteous stones... don't you people have better things to do with your time? Like go write something productive? Nor will it soften or change the position of people who continue the beat down here. To the many who have said welcome, that you accept your apology (more of you devalued it... like I said, I can't win), and offered constructive criticism and feedback, thanks. To the rest of you, this is my final post. I'll go elsewhere and make a fresh start, and take these lessons -- thank you -- with me. But rest assured, you haven't quieted my passion for writing and for teaching, you've just helped mold it. And helped me understand how to approach certain audiences and groups. Believe me, I never thought I was better than any of you, and with your continued assurances that I'm not, and that I'm actually just a spammer hack -- well, sorry, you can't say what you want. Not gonna kill the spirit.

But I'm not leaving until I clarify my original intentions. Some of you have asked for that.

First, a few of you recent posters have denigrated my instructional model, the six core competencies of successful story telling. Fact is, it's hard to find the basic tenets of fiction described that way. I have writers tell me all the time how clarifying that is. Every writing book or theory out there is just a repackaging of what is true about the craft and process -- there is nothing new under the writing sun other than a fresh way to say it -- and this is just another and new way of putting it into terms that newer writers will find accessible and helpful. Bashing it is arrogant, it's just you saying you're above it all. If you don't need it, don't bash it, because what's true about it isn't something you can successfully argue against. It's basic stuff. You can say there's a better way to tell it, but can't challenge it, at least if you have a clue what fiction is about, which you clearly do.

Why is putting together something in a new and fresh way, in an effort to bring value to newer writers, something to be denigrated? Maybe that's the problem -- none of you are new, you know it all, so anyone who sets out to give order to the chaos of writing should be banished and beaten. Well, criticize my style, but tread carefully into challenging the content. Hey, if you've got a better way to teach writing, I challenge you to write your own book instead of belittling people who are trying to add value. (And that's all it is... nobody's getting rich writing about writing, trust me.)

Am I arrogant? You've certainly accused me of that (and some of you assure me this isn't a personal attack... read the posts again, it is). Certainly I must of come off that way. Not intentionally. I see enough arrogance right here to realize that's the last thing I want to be accused of. One of you (and only one) got it right: I was overly enthusiastic and passionate about an approach that works for SOME writers... obviously not most of you here, who have it all figured out. I get that from the thousands of people -- not an overstatement -- who have attended my workshops and, with as much of the self-assured (ironic, here) bluster I see here that says, hey, "by God, nobody's gonna tell ME there's perhaps a better way to go about this," writers continue to tell me that what they've heard has changed their writing life. If you heard that feedback, would you back away from taking it to a bigger place? Writing a book? Starting a website? Where's your writing book? Your instructional offering to the writing world?

Have you changed a writer's life? I have, and that's not brag, it's actually humbling, because as you say, I'm not half as good as most of you here, and I know it. And if it gives me the confidence to take my story development model to the world, then your own egocentric bluster isn't going to dissuade me. I'll just take my ideas elsewhere, with the value of what you've taught me in hand. And sincerely, thanks for that. I'll be more effective in integrating with the next group.

One final clarification. Despite how poorly I initially presented it -- and because of that -- you don't seem understand what I was going for initially. Those of you who fully understand the basic criteria that underpins successful stories -- I won't go into them here, since most of you assure me you are in complete command of them -- then you're right, outlining is optional, you can just plow ahead into manuscript without pre-planning and see what develops there. But in retrospect, I wasn't really talking about outline -- that sells it short -- but about creating "story architecture based on story criteria." A different thing, a much more robust realm of the craft.

Because you already know the basic needs of the story, you already know the essence of pacing and what elements go where, and you've mastered the art of characterization and arcing. Good for you, just start writing. You don't need to outline, I get that. The rest of us, the less aware and experienced, DO need some blueprint to work from, or else the story won't work. Stephen King knows all of it in his head, so of course he can just sit down with an idea and "just start writing." I get that. But to advice a new writer to do it that way... it's just plain lousy advice.

But here's the truth: most people who write a first novel don't have a freaking clue about all that. They don't know how to set up a story, what a plot point is, what backstory is, what character arc is, what a mid-point context shift is, how to escalate tension, how to imbue a story with theme... did you know that when you started? Do you know it now? No... most writers who don't know this stuff just sit down with an idea and, as King advises, just start writing. Do you maintain that this is an efficient and effective way to write a first novel? Without knowing what you're doing? (The operative words are "effective" and ""efficient" -- hey, you can build a house without a clue, but it'll look like a treehouse when you're done.) Or any novel written without a clear grasp on the fundamentals? Would you send a new pilot into the sky without knowing the fundamentals of flight? Would you send a new med student into the OR without knowing the fundmentals of surgery? What would happen then? And how is that any different than the inevitable crash and burn of a new novelist who doesn't grasps the fundamentals? And how will they ever grasp them by just writing manuscripts that don't embrace them? Who hasn't cast their story out over an architecture of those fundamentals, and then crashed and burned. Guess there are lot of the one-in-a-million storytelling prodigies here, I didn't realize that. Most most writers who try it, the patient dies on the operating table. If they never learn they go a lifetime without publishing. Rewrite after rewrite after rewrite, all in quest not so much of their story, but of a workable understanding of the basic fundamental skills required to render a good story. You may content that those fundamentals aren't teachable. I disagree.

That's all I'm saying here.

But of course, most of you know all that stuff, you've mastered it. But I challenge you to ask a new writer to just "start writing" and do it with good conscience, without having a clue what they're doing.

That's what I was going for. Writing an outline -- moreover, creating a story structure -- before you write, is one way, and a great way to see if those fundamentals are in place. And to understand them if they're not. Trying to grasp the basic criteria of storytelling (and argue as you might, there ARE criteria... ask King) mid-manuscript... that's like trying to get your head around landing an airplane in a wind storm without having gone to ground school. Writing a manuscript shouldn't be ground school. Not if you intend to publish it. And all of us are intending to publish.

Hey, I'm not talking down to all of you here who know all this stuff. Just making a point of clarification to those of you who didn't get this out of my original post. And yes, I'm passionate about imparting those fundamentals. Sorry if that offends. Just like you are passionate about making me wrong and telling me how lousy my approach was. If you have a better way to summarize and teach the basics of storytelling than my six core competencies model, I suggest you write a book, because this message is lacking and very much in demand out there.

As for the forthcoming book I talk about, which some of you have challenged, it's in progress and my agent is eagerly waiting to take it to market. If he doesn't sell it, I'll publish it myself.

Please, stop coming to my site. I'm tired of the spamming accusations. I get quite enough affirmation and assurance that this is helping people elsewhere.

Sorry I came here, sorry I offended so many of you. And you're right, writers like JJ Cooper have sold many more copies than the measly 200K copies I sold of my first novel, and received much more critical acclaim that the starred reviews and best-of lists that Publishers Weekly tossed my way. Clearly I don't know what I'm talking about. So ask JJ Cooper and James McDonald Your Genial Absolute Sage (self-annointed, I gather) and the others here who blow me away in terms of crediblity and wisdom... am I wrong about what I've just clarified? Would you send a new pilot into the sky to learn how to fly? Is just starting something you know nothing about ("you" in this case not being the folks here, but the collective "you" of people who are eagerly waiting for someone to show them a way to their book written successfully within the next millenium) REALLY the best way to learn this craft? I'm not saying it's the only way. But I'm betting, even though they're lining up to piss on my grave here, they'll have to admit that I have a point. It's not the only way. Just A good way.

Hope that clarifies. Hope the one of two of you who actually showed some class in this thread (not counting myself among them, rest assured) got something out of it.

I came here to connect, to learn, and to share what I know. Obviously a failure on all counts. So I'm gone. Some of you should be ashamed, too. I know I am.

Storyfixer
06-22-2009, 09:09 PM
Sorry about the typos above. I banged it out with a bit of steam.

Diana Hignutt
06-22-2009, 09:15 PM
See ya!

quickWit
06-22-2009, 09:27 PM
Good luck, SF.

Toothpaste
06-22-2009, 09:28 PM
Storyfixer -

When a person apologises through sarcasm, it isn't an apology.

That's the crux of the issue. EVERYONE steps out of line here, everyone screws up. But when they apologise for it they do so sincerely and without putting people down (or a whole website - I call serious BS on your "advice" to newbies about wearing helmets, dude that isn't funny and isn't likely to win you any friends with the people who are veterans of this site). So get off your high horse. You screwed up. Not just in how you posted the first time, but in how you apologised. You want to teach writing, then how about taking responsibility for your words and how they affect people.

As to your actual advice, I'm sure it is sound. But it isn't just about what you say but HOW you say it. That's what makes a good teacher truly great. I would know, my entire family are teachers, I've observed the best of the best, and none of them would ever come into a forum and proclaim their knowledge over everyone, nor proclaim it as absolute. Further they would never apologise with a sarcastic tone.

Lastly they wouldn't flounce off of the site like a five yearold, throwing their credentials around at everyone and dissing other members here in the process. You don't know anyone's credentials here, you are making assumptions yourself. With your 200K book sales. Congrats. Bully for you. Remember you don't much respect King and he's done WAY more book sales. What's your point?

I'm sad you are leaving because I saw through all your ill attempts a true desire to be here. But after this last post it seems like you just will never get it.

Here's my lesson to you sir: be responsible for what you say, don't blame your readers if they interpreted your words incorrectly. And be a friggin' grownup.

Phaeal
06-22-2009, 09:35 PM
I need some more popcorn after that epic farewell post, which snuck in some more advertising and some juicy sarcasm to boot. Yum.

Has the screen door really slammed this time? Or is this like one of those movies where you have to wait until the credits run for the startling extra scene?

:popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:

scarletpeaches
06-22-2009, 09:35 PM
He made Toothpaste say 'friggin''! :eek:

Phaeal
06-22-2009, 09:41 PM
He made Toothpaste say 'friggin''! :eek:

I KNOW! I choked on a friggin unpopped kernel!

Mr Flibble
06-22-2009, 09:45 PM
No... most writers who don't know this stuff just sit down with an idea and, as King advises, just start writing.
I did. And, as always with myself ( cos I know myself see) I learn best by doing.


Do you maintain that this is an efficient and effective way to write a first novel? Without knowing what you're doing? (The operative words are "effective" and ""efficient" -- hey, you can build a house without a clue, but it'll look like a treehouse when you're done.)

It was an effective lerning experience yes. It taught me more than any book on writing I've ever read.

Who hasn't cast their story out over an architecture of those fundamentals, and then crashed and burned
I haven't.

I know from experience that I learn best by doing. So that has worked best for me. Are you saying that I'm wrong in knowing how I work? Sounds that way.

I don't doubt that it works for some people, SF. I don't doubt that at all. I don't doubt your passion. But saying to a newbie with no confidence 'You MUST do it this way' could kill them as a writer if it doesn't work for them. Because if they fail at the 'only' way, they'll think there is NO way. And that ain't true.

I digress. Your first posts looked like advertising. There is a forum for self promotion, and that wasn't the one you used. Now maybe that's what you were doing, and maybe it wasn't. But it sure as hell looked like it. Maybe we jumped ya a tad, because we see a hell of a lot of people who only come here for what they can get.

And then you 'apologised' without the all important feeling that you actually meant it. With a hint of 'huff' if you will.

And now we're curmudgeonly for not seeing it your way. Newsflash - not everyone sees things your way. And I don't see things the same way as other people on this site, quite a lot as it happens. Yet we don't attack each other, strop about it or flounce hard enough to show our pink frillies. Oh, wait, your frillies are blue.

Cos, as Toothpaste says, we try to be grown ups. And grown ups know there is always more than one way to see things. And more than one way to do things.

Christine N.
06-22-2009, 09:47 PM
Who's got epic flounce on their BINGO card?


Do you maintain that this is an efficient and effective way to write a first novel? Without knowing what you're doing? (The operative words are "effective" and ""efficient" -- hey, you can build a house without a clue, but it'll look like a treehouse when you're done.)

Which is why the #1 rule of writing is to read widely and voraciously. You learn how to build a house by building them, and by figuring out what makes a great house. There are other ways too, of course. In the same vein, do you pick up a book about playing the piano, study for a bit, and are suddenly a concert pianist? No, you need to DO IT. Over and over again.

Dude, nobody's first novel is their best. That's why it's a first novel. You get it all out and then figure out where you went wrong. Mistakes are a great teacher. I think that's where I find the rub in this technique - that this is some sort of magic formula, that any first time novelist will just pull this perfect book out and get it published if only he were to follow the steps. That's my personal rub with it - there's none of the blood, sweat, and tears that go into the making of a writer.

You flounced. Your choice. I like having these debates. You like thinking your right. I guess we DIDN'T get it, but neither did you. Not once.

Mr Flibble
06-22-2009, 09:48 PM
House!

Do I win the cuddly toy?

blueobsidian
06-22-2009, 09:48 PM
I came here to connect, to learn, and to share what I know. Obviously a failure on all counts. So I'm gone. Some of you should be ashamed, too. I know I am.

Two stars for the flounce. While it had sarcasm, insults and grammatical errors, the sheer length turned me off. Brevity is a wonderful thing.

swvaughn
06-22-2009, 09:50 PM
How sad.

Goodbye, thread. I'll miss you.

Cyia
06-22-2009, 09:58 PM
I've misplaced my scorecard. Was that the 3rd or 4th flounce?

scarletpeaches
06-22-2009, 10:00 PM
*rolls up sleeves, hoping this thread doesn't get locked before I can reply*
Oops, there's that sarcasm again, doesn't fly here, you've made that very clear.Sarcasm does fly here, once you've earned your stripes, as in got to know people and let them get to know you.

There's no-one more sarcastic than me round here - well, apart from thethinker42 who styles herself a 'sarcasm ninja' - and I get away with it most of the time because people know me. I'm eccentric, irreverent and if I'm pissed off with someone I'll say so. When I use sarcasm it's mostly good-natured.

When it comes from a newbie, we don't know how to take it. We just assume that if you sound like an arrogant douchecock, it's because you are an arrogant douchecock.
But some of you have crossed the line. Interesting, too, since you're the ones who are crawling up my ass because I crossed the line. And you're the ones who won't let me fix it, or explain or apologize. You remind me of old farts in country clubs who won't let "them types" in here. Not all of you, for sure, some of reached out. But some of you define the word curmudgeon, which I'm not really sure how to spell but suggest you post your picture next to it in the dictionary.Sorry, what, we're crossing the line? Hmm. Hello Storypot. I'm the kettle. What's that you say? I'm black?
You've gone to my website looking for ways to make me wrong, to minimize and criticize.Anyone who went to your website did so out of curiosity to see what you had to say for yourself.
Everything from calling me Billy Mays to just some hack to a spammer. If that's you, here's a newsflash: you are exposing yourself to your peers here in way I don't think you intend.Oh believe me; anyone who called you a spammer in public has the balls to own their words in a way you never will.
And then you criticize me for not showing up again to defend my position?There have been many hit-and-run posters round here and we thought you were one of them. If you're leaving, then...maybe you were.
maybe that's it, I should have some whacky avatar instead of my mug.Cool. Colin Farrell always goes down well.
You're exposing yourself.Dude, this thread says a lot more about you than it does about any other member here.
don't you people have better things to do with your time? Like go write something productive?Yeah. Already done...lemme check...

...897 words today. But I stopped to do some chores and get the shopping in. Perhaps you could let me know how many words I have to write to earn the right to tell it like it is?
you haven't quieted my passion for writing and for teaching,That was never anyone's intention. I'm sure of that. If I'm wrong, then I'll eat my socks. The ones I haven't washed for a month.
well, sorry, you can't say what you want. Not gonna kill the spirit.Sorry, we've filled our quota for professional victims this month. Come back in July.
if you've got a better way to teach writing, I challenge you to write your own book instead of belittling people who are trying to add value.I think you'll find the over-riding mantra here is "If it works, it works." I hate outlining with every fibre of my body save those reserved for the use of Colin Farrell but soon, I'll be trying it in a bid to 'swap methods' with my bestest AW buddy, thethinker42.

My point is, you were the one who presented yourself as a hardcore outliner with no respect for those of us who prefer to wing it.

Take your own advice. Recognise there's more than one way to boil a monkey.
(And that's all it is... nobody's getting rich writing about writing, trust me.)Try just writing then.
I see enough arrogance right here to realize that's the last thing I want to be accused of.I told you, bud, we have enough professional victims here already.
One of you (and only one) got it right: I was overly enthusiastic and passionate about an approach that works for SOME writers... obviously not most of you here, who have it all figured out.Jesus Christ on a fucking pogo-stick. :rolleyes:
Where's your writing book? Your instructional offering to the writing world?Most people round here prefer to just get on with writing their own novels.

Where are yours?

Your literary offerings to the world?
Have you changed a writer's life?Yes.
most people who write a first novel don't have a freaking clue about all that. They don't know how to set up a story, what a plot point is, what backstory is, what character arc is, what a mid-point context shift is, how to escalate tension, how to imbue a story with theme...You sell them short. Not everyone's as thick as you seem to think they are.
did you know that when you started?I had a fair old idea but I was too damn up my own arse to work with it. The idea, I mean. Not my arse.
Do you know it now?Yes. Got the tools, need to master them.
I challenge you to ask a new writer to just "start writing" and do it with good conscience, without having a clue what they're doing.My Fair Lady, Stephen King-style, you mean?

Hopefully such a writer would also be a reader.
Just like you are passionate about making me wrong and telling me how lousy my approach was.Dude. Pull your head out and call the waaahmbulance.
If you have a better way to summarize and teach the basics of storytelling than my six core competencies model, I suggest you write a book, because this message is lacking and very much in demand out there.Don't need to. Here it is in two easy steps:

Read a lot.

Write a lot.
If he doesn't sell it, I'll publish it myself.Oh dear.
Please, stop coming to my site. I'm tired of the spamming accusations. I get quite enough affirmation and assurance that this is helping people elsewhere.Are you related to Stephenie Meyer by any chance?
But I'm betting, even though they're lining up to piss on my grave here, they'll have to admit that I have a point.You make my brain hurt.
Hope the one of two of you who actually showed some class in this thread (not counting myself among them, rest assured) got something out of it.Ouch! Zing! etc.
Some of you should be ashamed, too. I know I am.Instead of throwing your dollies out of the pram, if you do decide to come back, perhaps you could speak to the people to whom you refer in the above quote personally instead of being passive-aggressive about it and flouncing?

Dale Emery
06-22-2009, 10:01 PM
Would you send a new pilot into the sky without knowing the fundamentals of flight? Would you send a new med student into the OR without knowing the fundmentals of surgery?

No and no.


And how is that any different than the inevitable crash and burn of a new novelist who doesn't grasps the fundamentals?

I see three important differences: First, when a new novelist messes up a manuscript, nobody dies. Second, the novelist can repair the damage after it's been made, at relatively little cost to the novelist and even less cost to anyone else. Third, at any time during the process, the novelist can decide not to finish this one, with little damage to self or others.

Both pilots and surgeons spend a lot of time practicing. Every current med student once--back in high school biology class--hacked up a fetal pig or similar, with only the most rudimentary understanding of the principles of surgery (cut with this sharp thing, that soft thing opens up). And some of those med students made a fleshy mess. And some of those med students learned something about surgery, even though that wasn't the point of the exercise.

I do agree that practice without principles is a slow way to learn, especially if you have no guidance on how to distill your experience into fruitful skill and knowledge. But even without guidance, people learn a great deal from play.

Dale

Cranky
06-22-2009, 10:09 PM
What a disappointment.

Strangely, most flounces make me laugh and reach for the popcorn. This one just makes me sad. Dunno why.

dpaterso
06-22-2009, 10:25 PM
Calling time on this one, it's gone on far too long.

-Derek