View Full Version : Happy Uncle-Jim-Thread Anniversary! Come celebrate with Us!

11-13-2009, 09:34 PM
Six years ago today, Jim Macdonald wrote:
It strikes me that there's a need for a thread on the art and craft of writing commercial novels.

To that end, I'd like to start that discussion...

A few weeks after that, I followed a link from elsewhere on the web to Absolute Write, because a writer and editor I respected was heartily endorsing the Uncle Jim thread, as we've come to call it, over the years. I've been here, since.

Learn Writing With Uncle Jim (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6710) is now six years old, hundreds of pages long, and in its second incarnation (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=154203&page=21). We've done an index (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8754) and a compilation (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7987&highlight=uncle+jim%2C+undiluted). And still, new people are finding the thread and asking their questions.

Happy Anniversary, Uncle Jim, and thank you so very much for your tireless efforts to offer succor and aid to newbie writers everywhere. I can't imagine how different this place would be without you.

11-13-2009, 09:35 PM
Thank you, Uncle Jim! What an amazing gift you've given us.

11-13-2009, 09:39 PM
Jim proves that uncles are one of the bestest relatives to have. :D

Thanks, Uncle Jim.

11-13-2009, 09:41 PM
Thank you so much Jim Macdonald. You've made an enormous difference in so very very many ways.

11-13-2009, 09:41 PM
Heh - Did you guys see what our own Old Hack did to celebrate (http://howpublishingreallyworks.blogspot.com/2009/11/learn-writing-with-uncle-jim.html)?

11-13-2009, 10:23 PM
long time lurker on uncle jim's thread here.....

many many thanks to you, sir!

Little Red Barn
11-13-2009, 10:25 PM
Thank you kindly, Uncle Jim!

11-13-2009, 10:28 PM
Awesome, awesome thread, Uncle Jim.

You're a star. :Hail:

11-13-2009, 10:29 PM
Thank you for sharing your invaluable insights, Uncle Jim! :)

11-13-2009, 10:32 PM
Thank you Uncle Jim.

bawk bawk!

11-13-2009, 10:35 PM

11-13-2009, 10:37 PM
Thank you for sharing your wisdom and knowledge with us, Uncle Jim!

11-13-2009, 10:37 PM
Six years -- wow!

Thanks for all the years of advice and encouragement, Uncle Jim. It's the best course in fiction writing anyone could ask for and all for free. What a truly amazing gift you've given to writers everywhere.

11-13-2009, 10:38 PM
What a great resource from a great mind. Hats off and happy anniversary!

11-13-2009, 10:39 PM
Thanks for the advice and counsel, Uncle Jim!

11-13-2009, 10:43 PM
Thank you, Uncle Jim! Your wisdom has been such a big help to so many.

Old Hack
11-13-2009, 10:49 PM
I have worked in publishing for a while, on several sides of its oddly-dimensional fence, and I can say with all honesty that I've learned more from Uncle Jim and his brilliant, inspirational thread than from many of the publishing professionals that I've met over the years.

My warmest thanks for all you've done, Mr Jim. It is much appreciated.

11-13-2009, 10:49 PM
Thanks Uncle Jim!!

The original thread two or three AW incarnations (and a few years) ago got me writing again, participating in NaNoWriMo (aka B-i-C for a month), then submitting to Viable Paradise, and now finally submitting to agents and paying markets.

Not to mention it got me a great crit group, a new community, and many new friends!

11-13-2009, 10:52 PM
Thank you uncle Jim,
I am learning a lot from you!!!

11-13-2009, 10:54 PM
Thanks, Jim, for all the wonderful advice, colorful comments, and rich examples of how writing should be. Allen

11-13-2009, 11:01 PM
Thank you for your expertise, common sense, and valuable time. We're grateful.

11-13-2009, 11:05 PM
Yes, well done and congratulations from a newbie. I love your no nonsense, no frills approach. And I really wish you'd write that how-to book.

11-13-2009, 11:09 PM
You are who I asked my first question to when I first signed up. It was obvious you were the all knowing even when I only had 5 posts. You also answered me right away. I'll never forget it. *sniff* You rock! Thanks for everything!

Calla Lily
11-13-2009, 11:17 PM
:partyguy: Uncle Jim, you're the best!

Miranda S.
11-13-2009, 11:29 PM
Thanks for so many great insights, Uncle Jim. Happy Anniversary :)

11-13-2009, 11:30 PM
Learn Writing was the thread that sucked me into the AW portal. I have found the advice priceless.

Thanks, Uncle Jim, for teaching us all so much.

Wayne K
11-13-2009, 11:34 PM
Uncle Jim, you've made me a better writer. I don't know how to thank you for that.

I'll never forget it. That you can count on.

Happy anniversary.

11-13-2009, 11:38 PM
Happy Anniversary, Uncle Jim! Thanks for being there for us all!
:partyguy::Clap::PartySmil:Jump::e2dance::Clap: :banana: :Jump::Cake::Clap::hooray: :Jump: :TheWave::Clap: :Jump: :snoopy::partyguy:

11-13-2009, 11:38 PM
Thank you so much for sharing all of your advice so freely! I'm a long-time lurker on the thread, too.

Happy Anniversary!!



11-13-2009, 11:38 PM
Happy anniversary, Jim. And thanks for all you do.

11-13-2009, 11:43 PM
You've given so much of yourself, Uncle Jim, that has helped me. I hope you get an idea of how much we appreciate you!

11-13-2009, 11:47 PM
Thank you Uncle Jim. I suggest your thread to everyone, and read it myself.

You're like the uncle everyone wants... rather than the creepy, beer guzzling, bad- advice-giving-schlub we're stuck with in real life... :)

11-13-2009, 11:47 PM
Woop! You rock, Jim! :D

11-13-2009, 11:52 PM
http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l50/kdhart226/web%20stuff/smileys/4abcddf0.gif Thanks!

11-13-2009, 11:52 PM
Happy Anniversary, Uncle Jim, and thanks for all you do!

11-13-2009, 11:57 PM

This is the first time I've used a snoopy.
I think you know what i'm saying...

11-13-2009, 11:58 PM
Whenever I talk about writing, people who know me always look at me oddly and go, "You don't have an Uncle Jim."

Yes, I do.

11-14-2009, 12:03 AM
I know I'll have a much greater chance to publish, and publish well, because of the advice you've shared. I'll never look at magic or a game of chess the same way again.

Thanks for everything you've given!

11-14-2009, 12:06 AM
:hooray: Happy anniversary, Uncle Jim! *Iz dances*

11-14-2009, 12:21 AM
Thank you, Uncle Jim!

Kevin, your constant advice reader.

11-14-2009, 12:23 AM
Happy Anniversary, and thanks for everything you do. You don't have to, but still you give of yourself freely. The rest of the world could learn a lot from you.

11-14-2009, 12:27 AM
In the words of the Moxx of Balhoon: My felicitations upon this historical happenstance!
And thank you deeply for providing the source of motivation which I and so many others needed.

James D. Macdonald
11-14-2009, 12:27 AM
Guys ... Mac ....

Doyle just told me.

Mac, could you make sure that everyone who needs to be thanked ....


This is me, being at a loss for words.

Thank you all so very much.

11-14-2009, 12:29 AM
Congratulations and thank you, Uncle Jim. :D

The knowledge and help you bring is invaluable.

One of these days I'll finish vol.1 and be able to start commenting and asking questions! ;)

11-14-2009, 12:41 AM
Hi Uncle Him,

Three years ago, I didn't know a thing about writing. It's because of your patience that I can offer my advice with confidence. I see an improvement in my stories because of you.

Thank you.

11-14-2009, 12:46 AM
I remember my first week on AbsoluteWrite forums. I believe it was Caths, JVC or Pthom who pointed me in the direction of your thread, Uncle Jim.

I still remember that first bit of advice. BIC. And you know, it took me three years to finally put that into practice and you were so right. Thank you.

Then for a time, (before I ripped down my office and put it back together in another part of the house), I had printed out the certificate you made up that allowed me to write crap and then to edit it till it was ready and submit it until hell itself wouldn't have it. (I need to find it again) But, I haven't forgotten that either. Thank you.

I've learned to stop being the editor until it's time to rewrite my first draft. Thank you again.

And thank you for your nonsensical approach to writing and your wonderful contribution and efforts in keeping our board a great place to hang.

To me---http://www.cornercafeforum.com/images/smilies/star.gif

Jersey Chick
11-14-2009, 12:57 AM
I'm still working my way through that thread and have gotten some invaluable information from it.

Thank you, Uncle Jim and Happy Anniversary!! :D

11-14-2009, 12:58 AM
Happy AW-versary, Uncle Jim! You rock, and AW is lucky to have you around.



11-14-2009, 01:16 AM
I may not have posted in there personally, but I have read a TON of the discussions and I really, really appreciate them!!!

11-14-2009, 01:20 AM
We're very lucky indeed. Thank you for all you do, Jim (and thank Dr. Doyle for colluding with us, too!) :)

11-14-2009, 01:28 AM
Been silently reading the thread since I first came here. I just dug down to find a post that I actually remembered. Because it was something I needed to hear way back then...and I try to live by it now.


Even when we don't post, we're listening. So thanks again.

11-14-2009, 01:45 AM
Jim, the insights that you have shared are priceless. Combine that and the humor you slip in along the way beats any kind of class on writing hands down.

Thank you so much for the time and devotion you have given AW. Let me add another standard to the ones already shared.

Sean Craven
11-14-2009, 02:03 AM
Just wanted to add my voice to the chorus. Thanks much, sir, for both your knowledge and your encouragement -- as well as some assistance with the physical world.

11-14-2009, 02:57 AM
Thanks Jim. I'm still in the early pages but it's a most worthy read indeed.

R.G. Alexander
11-14-2009, 03:03 AM
Thank you SO much Uncle Jim! You are the best evar!

11-14-2009, 03:07 AM
ME Too Uncle Jim, I've lurked your pages a number of times, because it is painfully evident just how right you are.

Happy Thread B-Day

11-14-2009, 03:53 AM
Thank you Uncle Jim! You are the glue that holds us together when we think we are no good at this and the rock we cling to when hope of ever publishing is distant. You are my idal.

11-14-2009, 04:41 AM
Alas, I'm still not any better at chess. But thank you so much for all the thought-provoking and useful advice. It's become part of my writer's DNA.

11-14-2009, 04:42 AM

11-14-2009, 05:45 AM
Thanks, Uncle Jim! We always know we can count on you for factual, realistic and succinct advice. You've contributed to AW so consistently, for so many years, and helped so many of us to stay focused and get on with the job of writing--you're a hero.

11-14-2009, 05:45 AM
I want to add:

Go buy and read a copy of Doyle and Macdonald's Land of Mist and Snow. It's available in paperback, and several ebook formats, and it's a lovely lovely read.

11-14-2009, 06:10 AM
Happy Anniversary, Uncle Jim, and thanks. May your day be full of baked apples, and of beautiful women with toothaches.

I want to add:

Go buy and read a copy of Doyle and Macdonald's Land of Mist and Snow. It's available in paperback, and several ebook formats, and it's a lovely lovely read.

+1. I would point out that it's instructional to the writer in many ways, but that might detract from its power as a ripping good yarn. Either way, read it.

11-14-2009, 06:33 AM
Thanks so much Uncle Jim!

11-14-2009, 06:52 AM
I'll admit to not having read the entire thread, but the wisdom travels around AW many times over and is much appreciated. :)


11-14-2009, 08:13 AM
I want to add:

Go buy and read a copy of Doyle and Macdonald's Land of Mist and Snow. It's available in paperback, and several ebook formats, and it's a lovely lovely read.
I just got mine a few days ago, so far it's great!

11-14-2009, 09:56 AM
Yay! Uncle Jim. You've inspired us more than you know. Thanks! :PartySmil

11-14-2009, 10:13 AM
Yay! Uncle Jim. You've inspired us more than you know. Thanks! :PartySmil
Uncle Jim knows that, but his admirable humbleness would never let him admit it.

Matera the Mad
11-14-2009, 10:53 AM
Well. Six years. My goodness. Coolness. :D

DL Hegel
11-14-2009, 11:36 AM
Happy Anniversary Uncle Jim!!!!! Thanks for being such a big help to the AW community. You totally rock!!!

Wayne K
11-14-2009, 12:38 PM
a classmate who (i thought) wrote in a pedestrian way about boring topics. he really worked hard on his writing. kept at it. scott turow. the difference between inspiration and perspiration.

Way, way, way upstream I said something to the effect of "revise, revise, revise."

And rewrite.

Once you have the first draft, or a strong outline, anyway, you have the equivalent of a potter's ball of wet clay. Sure, there's a vase in there somewhere, but all you have at first is the clay.

I'll get practical about how to outline, and how to revise (at least a scheme that works for me), but first, before anything else, you have to have the raw material.

A story in your head doesn't count. What counts is what's on paper. Yeah, it's going to be dreadful. That's okay, I give you permission to be dreadful. The revision process will take care of the dread.

This is my favorite post Uncle Jim. Permission to write dreadfully. Thanks, I needed that.

11-14-2009, 03:55 PM
I'm always in and out of your thread, Uncle Jim, and the relative Index. I also often refer folk there and I still love the Chess analogy. Thank you.


11-14-2009, 06:49 PM
Just wanted to drop in and add my appreciation for all you do for both aspiring and established writers.

11-14-2009, 07:29 PM
Same here. Thank you for your time and insights! Wishing you a good health for years to come...that and may this year (in your life) be better than the last, but not as good as the next! :)

11-14-2009, 09:56 PM
I've been bookmarking individual pages from the thread to re-read and re-read again, and I've even saved some pages so I don't have to go online to brush up on what I really ought to know anyways.

It's not just me, right?

11-14-2009, 10:15 PM
Many thanks and a happy anniversary! Like a lot of others, I lurk and read often, though I rarely (only once, I think) commented. You've managed to get a thing or two through my thick head that way, though. :)

11-15-2009, 02:16 AM
Thank you, Uncle Jim.

We don't say it often enough.

11-15-2009, 03:21 AM
I've started re-reading Mac's filleted version of Jim's thread. My favourite quote so far:

If you're capable of writing two consecutive pages of grammatical English prose with standard spelling, you're already in the top ten percent of the slush heap.

11-15-2009, 04:40 AM
Thank you Uncle Jim! I'm relatively new to AW but have already learned a lot from your threads and appreciate the time and knowledge you have shared.

11-15-2009, 07:28 AM
So very many, many thanks to you, JDM, and a happy anniversary. Your tireless wisdom and humor are with me whenever I sit down to write, and I do think it makes me a better practitioner of the craft. *big enthusiastic hugs & a beer*

11-15-2009, 11:33 AM
Thank you. I would say more, but I don't know where to begin or where to stop, so thank you.

11-15-2009, 12:57 PM
Happy anniversary, and thank you for everything that you've done for everyone here. :) You're amazing, dude. :D

11-15-2009, 10:08 PM
Thank you, Uncle Jim!

Your thread has been more instructive than a shelf full of how-to writing books! :)

11-16-2009, 12:38 AM
Thank you for all you do, Uncle Jim. So many writers have gained from your knowledge, including this one. Thank you.

11-16-2009, 02:49 AM
Thanks Uncle Jim. Even though I've yet to actually ask you a question, I lurk, and lurk and sometimes smirk, at your replies! Keep up the good work.

11-16-2009, 05:41 AM
Thank you so much Uncle Jim. I've only made it through half the thread (but I read that half twice, so that has to count for something), and I know my chess game has improved.
As far as writing, I like to think your wisdom, whether as nuggets or cascades, has helped me.
I guess we'll see in a few years when I'm a best-selling author (or not).

Sharon Mock
11-16-2009, 07:50 AM
It's the Uncle Jim thread that brought me to Absolute Write, and that persuaded me to de-lurk and stay.

It's also how I heard about Viable Paradise.

Thanks for everything. You're truly one of the Good Guys.

11-16-2009, 09:41 PM
Thank you so much, Uncle Jim, you've helped me immeasurably.

Before I found this site, I couldn't get any real help anywhere with my writing, even on other writer sites, which seemed elitist and unhelpful.

You have done a world of good, the world over, and we thoroughly appreciate you for it! :Hug2:

11-18-2009, 02:41 AM
Isn't it just amazing the way simple things like honorable, simple truth can change and affect so many lives? Thanks, Unca Jim, for your gentle leadership through the minefield that so many of us want desperately to call home: the world of the writer.

The Japanese have a saying: "To say thank you somehow cheapens the gift." I'll risk it:

Thank you.

11-18-2009, 04:42 PM
I made my very first AW post in that thread. Thank you so much for all the work you've put into helping new writers. You truly are a wonderful mentor to so many. Happy thread-versary. ;)

11-18-2009, 08:53 PM
It's gotta take some stamina to maintain that section. Thank you, Uncle Jim, for such an important contribution! :partyguy:

11-21-2009, 01:40 AM
Thanks for being such a guiding light, Jim. It's always been a comfort knowing you were here. And I remember you from the old days.


11-21-2009, 01:14 PM
We love you Uncle Jim! :D

Thanks a bunch for your invaluable advice.

11-22-2009, 03:50 AM
Thank you, Obi Jim Kenobi! You were my only hope!
You steered me clear of the bad guys, made me realize I had to tweak my query letter, and now I'm getting requests for full manuscripts from fantastic agents!
I hope to take your advice for many years to come!

Good Word
11-24-2009, 05:51 AM
Big thanks, Jim. I brought my daughter to one of your book signings in Cambridge a few years back (I think she was four) so she could absorb some of your excellent writer-energy. Hope I absorbed some, too.

01-04-2010, 08:12 PM
Thank you Uncle Jim! You're the best!