Have you read this page, and what do you think?

edited September 2009 in - WM and WN
Have any of you read page 32 in October's Writers' News?

Are any us called "shakespearesgrandma" :) and if so, should the rest of us avoid them? :)

I'm just wondering, what do you think about Novel Forums, inviting the unpublished novelist to put up several chapters of their masterpiece. Why do they do that?

Comments

  • I read it today. I thought it was a weak article, poorly researched and unnecessarily negative.
  • Will have to read that- haven't read all of the articles yet.
  • Unfortunately I don't read Writers News, because I buy Writing Magazine from a News Agents rather than suscribe. So what is a Shakespearesgrandma?
  • It is a name somebody uses when they don't wish to reveal their real name.

    Yes Howard I could feel negative vibes when I read it. Maybe the picture didn't help, after all she didn't look too happy.
  • I agree, I didn't feel there was much meat on the article. I admit I was hoping for something about TB as well!
  • I can see what she means, but it would have been more balanced and useful if the writer had written about the positives aswell.
  • This is the one Pixie I am referring to.
  • I agree. Very pessimistic, and a lot of the down-sides can apply equally to 'real live' writers' groups anyway. I'd never have got as far as earning from my writing without the support of TBers. I didn't know any other writers locally for a long time so a forum really filled a gap. And it's been much more fun than the article implies.:)
  • I've missed this article, I must read it!
  • You can't possibly miss the miserable vibes that come with it Stan. :)
  • You have all succeeded fantastically in proving Elaine Everest right! Elaine's argument is that Forums do have some real benefits but can detract from the 'main activity' i.e. writing. There appears to be a lot of energy invested on this thread in unhelpful criticism. Elaine Everest is a respected writer, who has written for the Daily Express, countless weekly magazines and has two books published by mainstream publishers. The article DID cite both sides of the argument. A lot of the comments made here are unecessarily personal in nature even referring to Ms Everest's photograph! I'm afraid all of which substantiate her claims.
    The article was well written, by its nature well researched and an enjoyable unstuffy read.
    So let's stop all this uneccessary tittle tattle and get to work shall we?
  • Welcome to TB Katie!

    I haven't read the article, so I can't comment.
  • I don't think I'll ever get used to having someone called Katie on the board...

    But welcome anyway...
  • [quote=Katie]The article was well written, by its nature well researched and an enjoyable unstuffy read. [/quote]



    Well, everyone is entitled to air their opinion. It doesn't mean though, we all have to agree with each other, and I don't agree with this, above. My opinion, it was negative which to me, isn't enjoyable or unstuffy.
  • [quote=dora]Maybe the picture didn't help, after all she didn't look too happy. [/quote]

    was it as negative as your opinion above?
  • Hi Katie, welcome to TB.
    What do u like writing?

    I've been a member on here a while and I think there is a good balance, negative and positive on all matters, sorry to hear you don't agree.

    Re the article I thought it was just all so obvious really , like a lot of them in WM these days, as though they can't find anything else to write about.
  • Hi, I just feel that although it may be obvious to a lot of people, WN & M have lots of readers who will find addressing simpler principles very useful. How many people are afraid to ask questions lest they are judged by others who believe they have more knowledge? This article answered many questions and was not wholly negative. What I find upsetting is that the tone of some of the posts here are very cynical and personal in nature.

    I am a published writer, my work has been published in several national titles and I am working on a novel currently.

    I appreciate the welcomes I have received and was hoping to enjoy and swap some constructive ideas. I'm now not sure if forum life is for me.
  • HI all,
    I've just had my membership approved and am trying to work through the recent threads to see what you are all up to!
    I just happened to have a copy of WN on my desk and have taken a look to see why some of you are so against thisa article.
    Well, to be honest the photograph looks very prefessional and after a qucik google on this writer I can see why - she is a full time writer and not a hobby writer. Better then to have a proper pose than a toothy grin which shouts wannabe and amateur as so many of the pics do in the magazine - keep then for the family album I say.

    The article is about the negative side of forums so she does not need to promote happy places - also it would be unprofessional as the piece is not an advertorial after all. I suppose if you treat writing as a hobby and hang around forums all day long (honest I don't) then you don't like to see your territory blasted and that is the only reason I can assume some of you have written as though you are sucking lemons.

    Be careful what you write on forums as it may cvome back and bite you on the bum when you are successful!

    Hope to chat again soon

    PS Sorry about the name - my husband suggested it - its better than what I'm usually called!
  • LizLiz
    edited October 2009
    You mean your normal name is worse than writebag? How unfortunate!!

    Hello Katie and writebag.

    This is a nice friendly forum and this thread isn't very long yet... I can virtually guarantee that later down it there will be people with your views too... we agree to disagree here in as friendly a way as possible, as on the whole manage it. We are all so different. It's good to have a place where you can express your opinion whatever it is, without being blasted for expressing the opinion, only on the opinion, if you see what I mean.

    As for me.. well I spend WAY too much time here instead of writing, so if I'd seen the article, I'd probably agree with it. I do wish someone would ban me. Perhaps I should say something outrageous??
  • You mean your normal name is worse than writebag? How unfortunate!!

    Well, I've been called worse!
  • Hi all I'm a new member to the forum and have spent some time today reading through the discussions currently taking place (instead of working). Having just recieved my WN November issue I quickly read page 32 of Octobers issue again (Elaine Everest's article on Writing Forums). From experiance, I know that the editor would not have commisioned an article that dwelt only on the positive aspects, and probably asked for exactly the article he published. However some of the comments made have sounded personal and have proved exactly what the article pointed out, to be true.

    Ah well back to work.
  • Hello alpaca, what a lot of new people!
  • But how sad that new members have chosen to criticize people for giving their opinions.

    I haven't read the article but I would like to tell our new members that there are hundreds of positive threads on this forum too.

    I think most members try to be tolerant of opinions they may not agree with, whether positive or negative. I would hate to feel unable to voice an opinion for fear of criticism. Please let's respect and allow all opinions with tolerance and open minds.
  • I agree Claudia that forum members be allowed to make their opinions known but I for one was horrified by the blatant rudeness of some of the posts and thought them uneccessary! If they had been made in one of my classes I'd have thrown the blackboard rubber at the offending student and stood her/him in the corner.
    Sadly those posters proved that the author's article was correct.
  • Correct or incorrect, everyone is excercising their fundemental right to free speech. Opinions are neither right or wrong and do not reprensent fact, and that is the joy of debate.

    And as a student I questioned everything my teachers told me...
  • I suppose because many of us know each other so well, and forgive our little foibles; we have a tendency to forget that to some we might sound slightly pompous.

    Having said that, I wouldn’t want to swop any of you, because in total you are much more than what appears on the surface. I hope that makes sense :)
  • [quote=claudia]But how sad that new members have chosen to criticize people for giving their opinions.[/quote] -

    this is in itself a contradiction! I thought that's what you were promoting. As new members are we only allowed to agree? What shouldn't be promoted- and my initial point - was that Forums should never be dragged to the depths of personal criticism ie. about photos and appearance but should instead promote difference of opinion and positive argument.

    It is indeed a tribute to the original article that it has sparked off such a lively debate about a fundamental issue- freedom of expression.
  • Only just spotted this one.
    Firstly, welcome to Katie and the splendidly-named WriteBag and Alpaca
    Secondly, That article (haven't read it yet) certainly got ya talking, TeamTB!
  • Katie, it's not a contradiction... claudia doesn't say 'what a shame that you chose to disagree with people's opinions' but 'what a shame that you chose to critisise people for giving those opinions'.

    The point being that you called people's opinion 'unnecessary tittle tattle' which is itself rather rude and condescending.

    The main bulk of your defence of the writer and the article is fine.
  • Liz, I have NOT criticized people for giving the opinions. Again, i have criticised people for being negative in a personal nature.
    [quote=dora]Maybe the picture didn't help, after all she didn't look too happy. [/quote]
    [quote=dora]You can't possibly miss the miserable vibes that come with it [/quote]

    The 'unnecessary tittle tattle' referred to the nature of the comments NOT the comments themselves.

    I have no wish to upset people but I hate the fact that an article written in good faith drew so many personal & unconstructive comments. Surely an article is going to reflect negatives too?
  • LizLiz
    edited October 2009
    Well, I haven't read the article of course, so can't comment on the content of it.

    And I don't normally wade in on disagreements as I think it's counter-productive.

    But dora and claudia are very nice, productive members of this forum.

    And I don't see saying someone look unhappy in a picture as being a personal remark, merely observational... photographs for articles, as we all know, are chosen very carefully, not only to add interest but also to give a hint for the general feel of an article, so if she looks serious or unhappy then it isn't too much to presume the article is meant to be negative one, albeit with some remarks on the other side as it were. I don't know, as I said, I haven't read it. It's also perfectly possible to have pleasantly smiling photo which looks professional, as I should know.

    But irrespective of all that, if dora has found the article to be negative, that is her opinion. It doesn't matter how excellent or experienced the writer is, her article has left that impression on dora. And dora has a perfect right to express, one, how the article made her feel, two, how she felt the article was weighted, three, what she thought of the picture.

    Ayone in the media, putting their picture and name to anything, has to accept that there will be both negative and positive crtiticism of it. This board is no different in its expressions of those opinions than anywhere else.
  • [quote=LizB]But dora and claudia are very nice, productive members of this forum. [/quote]



    Awww, what a lovely thing to say. Thank you Liz. :)
  • I can accept all that Liz and no doubt Dora and Claudia are very nice, I would never jump to conclusions. In the same way I would never jump to the conclusion that Elaine is miserable. I respect Dora's opinion that she found it negative but as I have stressed I do not think being personal is productive. It just completely backs up the whole ethos of Elaine's original argument in the article.
  • Sorry, Liz- just pushing the vacuum cleaner around I was thinking about your comment that one of my mesages was 'rude and condescending'.

    [quote=Pixie J King]I don't think I'll ever get used to having someone called Katie on the board...

    But welcome anyway[/quote]

    I assume the above comment was intended to be light and humourous, which is exactly as I perceived it- my reference to tittle tattle was meant in a similar vein. However, my comment is understood very differently. I wondered if this was because I am a new member and not an established member.
  • Hi all,

    I've looked at the photograph again and cannot even say that Elaine looks miserable - she just doesn't have a big gaping grin on her face like some of the pics in the writing mags. Remember than when you send in a photo to accompany an articel you shouldn't just poick out something from your last family holiday - it just shouts 'look at me I'm an amateur and just had my first thing pub;ished - that will not impress an editor! Lets be honest here, if she had given a big toothy grin you'd have no doubt accused her of smiling because of her supposed negative comments!
    I've reread the early threads and the whole thing was set up by asking forum members what they thought. As soon as the first person made a slightly negative comment the thread started tore in -it wasn't nice at all.

    Perhaps what has happened on this thread will in future make you all think before making negative comments.


    "...Well, I haven't read the article of course, so can't comment on the content of it..."

    LizB It is all very well to pop in and support your friends - we all need friends but as you have not read the article one must question how you can even comment here? As for reiterating that the photograph shows the author not smiling I beg to differ. Some of you are falling into the trap of bad writing groups and bad classes - that of patting your friends on the back for mediocre writing (or for being part of the clique) and then being negative to those you do not know? Dora's response to your post enforced that.

    ..."Ayone in the media, putting their picture and name to anything, has to accept that there will be both negative and positive crtiticism of it. This board is no different in its expressions of those opinions than anywhere else..."

    Yes but nastiness is not acceptable. I can't accwept that many of you are new to writing and have not yet learned the ropes or the etiquette of the writing world but spitalfulness is just a form of bullying.


    As Katie said, you have just reiterated the whole point of Elaine's article and good on her for being so observant.

    Hi Red, your comment:

    "...And as a student I questioned everything my teachers told me... "

    Yes as writers we should question things and look at topics from another angle - just as the author did in her article. But when at writing classes the only time you should question your tutor is when you have been more successfully published than they have. Until then listen and learn!
  • Nothing to add to this discussion but:
    It's not fair! How come I've been toddling about on TB for just over a year (and find it a massive relief from my full time job!) and I still don't know how to do that 'quote' thing where people's words come up for you all quoted out. Katie knows on her FIRST DAY here - so please, please someone, if it's that easy to do, I must be teachable - tell me how!
  • Are you saying I'm spiteful?

    I have certainly never meant to be to anyone.

    And I don't think anyone here has meant to be either.

    I'm a well published writer and also (moons ago) have been a photographer... and been instructed in just how to take those photos of authors/people the article is about to 'hint' at the gist/mood etc of the article.

    I'm not commenting on the article but the reaction to it and the comments here, so have as much right as anyone to state my opinion.
  • O!. I have the same problem ceka... I've tried and managed a coulpe of times but other times it just didn't work for me...
  • ceka- it's really easy, if I can do it anyone can!! All you need to do is highlight the relevant text and press quote in the top right corner of the 'post box'. Gosh does that make sense? not sure what the thanks thing is though?
  • How do you get the jumping frog thing?
  • If you like what someone says you can press that and it puts a 'thanks' on the comment you like...
  • LizLiz
    edited October 2009
    Ah... now way back when I joined, there was a thread with very detailed instruction o f how to get an icon. Somewhere on photobucket. I wanted a frog. So I trawled for about a month (well maybe an hour) looking for one and he was what i found. Then followed the instructions as how to get it on my page. Somehow he has stayed up, as many icons seem to have disappeared over the years.

    Should have mentioned you can search for threads and find the instructions....
  • [quote=LizB]ceka- it's really easy[/quote]
    Hey!
    I can do it too! And Pixie was nowhere in sight! Or Jenny!
    Cheers, Katie!
  • Neph got me my icon, the fred was called: I'd like an Icon too, please. If you put that in the 'search' box, Katie, you'll find it. lots of people tried to help me on that one but i am Very Stupid about some things and had to be carried!
    Sorry, off fred again.
  • [quote=ceka]And Pixie was nowhere in sight! [/quote]

    I was out ceka...but I'm back now until I have to go back home...
  • [quote=LizB]I'm a well published writer and also (moons ago) have been a photographer... and been instructed in just how to take those photos of authors/people the article is about to 'hint' at the gist/mood etc of the article.[/quote]

    In which case you should know that if she had been grinning like a cheshire cat it would have been wrong for the piece? The photograph himts at a smile but is not a learing grin - which is not acceptable in a serious piece.

    Thank you for the hints for quotes and thanks - I will now try to use them correctly rather than copy and paste.
    It was so much easier in the days of parchment and quills!
  • [quote=writebag]Yes as writers we should question things and look at topics from another angle - just as the author did in her article. But when at writing classes the only time you should question your tutor is when you have been more successfully published than they have. Until then listen and learn! [/quote]

    I understand your point, writebag, but I do not need to listen and learn, nor do I need classes. I've have been writing for over 20 years. Like many members here, I am also a published writer and author, but I have also written a lot of teaching aids, articles and web pages about creative writing. I'm imparting my knowledge and experience to others, and welcome a challenge of conventions from students.
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