Rules and Tips

Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.


Your friendly neighborhood Chat Op
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Aug 16, 2010
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There's been some questions lately about chat rules, what's allowed and what's not allowed, etc. So, I'm going to go out on a limb and post some basic guidelines:

There we go.

That's them.

"But JMC..." you're probably saying, "those are the guidelines for the forums." That's right. The Absolute Write Chatroom is an extension of the Water Cooler. As such, we abide by the Cooler's rules. Rule: Respect your fellow writer.

Yes, yes. We're well aware that that is rather broad and what's considered disrespectful to one person isn't necessarily considered disrespectful to another. It *is*, disrespectful, however, to continue a behavior once someone, anyone (not necessarily an Op, who, by the way, are not policemen), asks you not to repeat it. If you feel someone is being overly sensitive, please feel free to talk to an Operator (we're wearing the @ hat) about it. They can try and figure out a solution.

Ok. So, go read Mac's guidelines now. I'll give you a moment.




OK. Some specificities to chat:

Registration - It's helpful if you use the same name in chat as you do on the forums. Helps people put two-and-two together. To register your name on StarChat, type:

/msg NickServ Register emailaddress password
/msg NickServ Register [email protected] luckystar
When you just can't get along with someone --

/ignore nick 3

/ignore JMC 3
This one is especially helpful as there is little to no tolerance for people who start cursing each other out and essentially starting a flame war in chat. Want to get kicked out in a hurry? Yup, you gotcha.

Otherwise, it's all basically the same. You may encounter some Ops who are more lenient than others on what they consider disrespectful and what they permit. C'est la vie. Get used to it. DON'T be disrespectful to them when they ask you to not do something by arguing. Ask for clarification, but don't argue. And for the love of whoever, don't be sarcastic, hyperbolic or snarky to the op when they ask you to stop doing something. That WILL get you kicked out for being disrespectful.

In general, a few (BUT NOT ALL), of the things that might earn you a gentle scolding include:

-- Seeking medical, psychological, legal etc. advice. Chat is not the place for it. Ask a professional who is familiar with your situation. We all vent, we have issues at times that we want to share with are chat buddies, just don't be dominating about it and don't get into the territory where it could be uncomfortable to people around you. If it's something you'd go to a professional for, go to the professional. Or if you need to discuss it with someone, take it to your own room or to private messaging.

-- In general, the a/s/l thing. If the person volunteers it to provide context to the conversation, fine, but out right asking is iffy. It's too personal.

-- Overt sexual conversations. We have members who are under the age of 21 and we welcome these members in chat. However, because of this, it is necessary to keep things as PG as possible. PG-13 is tolerated for short periods of time, and innuendo is often funny. Just don't over do it. If you write erotica and want to discuss work, that's fine, just keep it clean and professional. Pasting lines out of your WIP to get advice on a particularly steamy scene is best done in your own room. You can type /join #aroomname to create a room to discuss these issues.

-- Slang Derrogatives. Is that what they're called? If you want to say something is stupid, say it's stupid. Don't call it gay. Don't call it retarded. Don't call it <substitute your favorite label here> It's offensive. End of story.

--Generally disruptive behavior. This one is hard to put a finger on at times. What may seem disruptive to one person may not be disruptive to another. So, seeing how we're all writers - communication is key! If you're in there chatting and you have a problem with something that's going on, tell that person or an Op.

--20 second rule!!!! Yah know, the one where you can drop some food, let it sit for 20 seconds and... oh, that's only 5 seconds? Er...umm.... Oh, this is the one about giving people time to say goodbye! For no other reason than to give Peter a chance to say good bye:

"<@Peter> It is [a rule] because when people don't give me a chance to say good bye (and that might mean hanging around for an hour or two), I get really sad and when I'm sad I get grumpy and you do NOT want a grumpy Peter sitting at the top of the pile."

So there you go folks! No, really, would you hang up on a friend you've been talking to without an exchange of farewell pleasantries? It's like that. And honestly, this one isn't so much a rule... It's more of a guideline, really.

-- Others.

You may encounter some Ops who are more lenient than others on what they consider disrespectful and what they permit. C'est la vie. Get used to it. DON'T be disrespectful to them when they ask you to not do something by arguing. Ask for clarification, but don't argue.

Oh, did I just repeat myself? If you wouldn't do it in the Cooler, don't do it in chat.

Speaking of repetition:

Just in case you lost it.

Other links you may be interested in:

And, because I once had a speech teacher who said you should always end a speech with a quote, I will provide a bit of inspiration from La Jefe herself, "It's really not complicated. Seriously. It means don't act like a jerk. You don't name-call, or bait, or sneer, or taunt, or generally be unpleasant to the people around you; at least, not if you want to stay here very long."
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Old Hack

Such a nasty woman
Super Moderator
Absolute Sage
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Jun 12, 2005
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In chaos
...and so little time.

You don't have to follow them, but then you don't have to be allowed into Chat either.

ETA: I cross-posted with Medie. Great minds and all that.


killin' all teh werds
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Feb 5, 2010
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The Licking FAQ

Clarifying the subject of licking on chat, and why various excuses of "I didn't mean it that way [whatever way the op on duty has called you on it for]!"

Reasons for publicly licking another human being:
1. Because you think it's somehow sexy and provocative, in the same way some people think Jersey Shore is classy, intelligent TV programming.
2. Because you have nasty germs and want to infect others with them.
3. Because you are contemplating going into cannibalism.
4. Because you know it's gross, and, having the sort of mindset that still laughs at peepee-poopoo-booger jokes, you think it's funny.
5. Because you're an ass who likes making other people uncomfortable for no reason other than 'just because', and don't care that it's a room, and a community, in which you are a guest.

Want to lick someone in chat? Please be prepared to answer which of the above is your motivation, in the brief moments you have before we kick you off with prejudice.

(Also, don't try to pedanticize your way around with synonyms or similarly-loaded words, or the difference between virtual and real licking. It'll just make the Zanz angry, and you won't like me when I'm angry.)

Happy Thanksgiving

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