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  1. EricaJRothwell
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    EricaJRothwell Active Member

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    Cant post in Fan fiction section?

    Discussion in 'Support & Feedback' started by EricaJRothwell, Sep 4, 2012.

    Hi!

    I want to post something in the fan fiction section but the 'start new thread,' button isn't anywhere to be seen. Does anyone know why?

    Thanks.
     
  2. DefinitelyMaybe
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    DefinitelyMaybe Contributing Member Contributor

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    Don't you have to wait until you've made 20 posts before you can post your own work for critique?

    I don't now if this is automated, but I'm pretty sure "them's the rules".
     
  3. ...
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    2 weeks, 20 posts and 2 critiques.

    Not sure how weaker writers are meant to critique in a positive way though myself, seems like it actually causes more harm than good in some cases... but those are the rules. I think most sign up willing to share their work right away and get some advice, right away.

    From what I've seen though it seems all these types of forums have the same rules or similar... and it's a case of finding the good members you can rely on to provide decent advice. This seems to be one of the better forums from what i can make out.
     
  4. idle
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    idle Active Member

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    Everyone is a reader here, I hope. Even those who are just starting to write must have some experience with books, stories. You don't have to give advice, just feedback - what works for you, what doesn't. Which parts you liked, which ones you didn't understand, what put you off, what was boring, where you'd like to know more. It's true that plain readers (not writers) usually don't think much about this kind of things, but without doing that, how can you ever write anything?
     
  5. DefinitelyMaybe
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    DefinitelyMaybe Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm frustrated by not being able to post work yet. (As far as I could see in the rules, my entering the short story competition is OK because "newbies" are permitted). However, I can see the point behind the rules. If a forum is to work, then it can't just be a whole lot of people expecting to "take" help, without prepared to "give" an equal amount back. It simply wouldn't work because the people that could give the most valuable help, the experienced writers, wouldn't get enough out of it for themselves, and their time is valuable too.

    If one sided help and critique is wanted, an alternative is to pay someone to do it.
     
  6. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Offering critique of others' work is actually a great 'teaching method' for those giving the crit - by seeing problems in what others have written, they learn to recognize those same problems in their own writing. It also teaches the writer to discriminate in what advice they should or shouldn't take - ie, they learn to change things not just because someone else said they should, but because it makes sense for their story.
     
  7. ...
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    I can't see how somebody is meant to teach when they don't understand what they are doing themselves.

    You will always get a hard core group of members on any forum that like to give out advice. they usually get made into mod's or admins because of the amount of time they spend on site. They will also usually have the most knowledge on the subject, and used to giving out the same advice over and over again. They do it because they genuinely like helping people and love the subject they are teaching. Expecting noobs to critique before they've even shown their own weaknesses can make them feel pretentious.
     
  8. prettyprettyprettygood
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    prettyprettyprettygood Active Member

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    You don't have to be a great writer to critique writing, just as you don't have to be a great singer to critique a singing performance. Sure you might not pick up on all of the technical aspects of writing, and you might not know terminology for something you want to say, but as a reader your opinion is valuable, as long as the effort is made to be specific about what you do and don't like. Critiquing definitely helps improve your own writing, I've found it a huge help, and anyway personally I wouldn't like to ask people to spend time and effort on me without doing the same in return.
     
  9. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is not correct. The expectation that new members critique cannot make the members "feel pretentious." As shadow and idle said, everyone here is a reader and as such, is capable of formulating and expressing an opinion as to what they may have found confusing, boring, enlightening, profound, easy to read, difficult to read, distracting, or entertaining. Someone who takes the stance that they alone know what is ultimately best for a particular creative expression and implies that their suggestions are, in fact, superior to the original writer's work may be (and likely are) pretentious. But one need not take that position. If it makes you feel more comfortable, you can state that you haven't critiqued much, or are not as familiar with the particular genre of the piece you are critiquing, but you can and should know whether a piece of writing flowed easily for you, whether you thought it got repetitive, or confusing, and whether you enjoyed it and want to read more. You can phrase your opinions in either a pretentious or an unpretentious manner. Your job as a writer is to express your opinion in a manner consistent with how you really feel and think. Critiquing will help you do so. And by thinking about and realizing what in a particular piece of writing makes you like or not like the piece, you learn how to either avoid or emulate those techniques in your own writing.
     
  10. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    You read, correct? Do you see things in your reading that don't make sense, that confuse, contradict? Then you "qualify" to critique. You don't have to be a Tolstoy to give constructive criticism; you don't have to have a degree in English. You don't even have to be a writer! All you have to be able to do is read and say, "This isn't clear; this is confusing; this character seems wooden, not real." Those are all things writers need to be told. And, as I said, finding those things in other's writing teaches you how to see it in your own.
     
  11. Pheonix
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    Pheonix A Singer of Space Operas and The Fourth Mod of RP Staff Contributor

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    I've learned way more from critiquing others work than i did from having my own work critiqued. Like Stephen King says in "On Writing", you can't write well without seeing both what TO do, and what NOT TO do. Critiquing others work really helps you with that.
     
  12. ...
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    Well that's certainly how it makes me feel.

    I can understand giving people an opinion on a story, that's different to a critique, as is explained in the rules here. Giving somebody an opinion is fine, I don't mind doing that. Unless i've been published before however I wouldn't like to critique anyone's work as I'm not qualified to do so. I could give incorrect advice. I've seen many so-called critiques here that do little more than suggest a new way of writing what is already written and the original is actually better. One person will advise not to give too much description then in the next breath reform somebody else's sentence with far more description than needs to be there. Yes it makes the sentence far more grandiose as a stand alone sentence, but ruins the flow of the story.

    I see the critiques here can hinder as well as aid... and i believe a part of that is forcing people to give critiques that ordinarily wouldn't feel comfortable doing so.
     
  13. ...
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    You already need to know how to do both in your own work before you can offer anyone else a (worthwhile) critique. Otherwise it is pretentious.
     
  14. Pheonix
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    Pheonix A Singer of Space Operas and The Fourth Mod of RP Staff Contributor

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    There is no right way to write as long as you follow the rules of grammar. Critique is based on opinion of the one critiquing, no matter what they say. Of course there will be bad critiques, but there will be good ones, and mediocre ones, and ones that don't make any sense, but the same thing happens in book review journals.

    Look at it like this, you're still getting opinions. It's like a survey, from the data you get, you can form a idea of what is needed. I know I got criticized pretty heavily for over describing. Then I got praised for the same thing. That told me that i needed to balance it out, there's always SOME merit to a critique, unless the person is just a troll.
     
  15. prettyprettyprettygood
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    prettyprettyprettygood Active Member

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    As far as I'm aware there aren't that many published authors on here, certainly not enough to guarantee a 'qualified' critique to everyone who wants to post their work. So if you only respect the opinions of published authors there's no problem- don't critique, don't be critiqued :)
     
  16. ...
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    This is a contradiction and made me disregard the rest of your post, sorry.
     
  17. DefinitelyMaybe
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    DefinitelyMaybe Contributing Member Contributor

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    "There is only one thing worse than being critiqued by inexperienced writers, and that is not being critiqued by any sort of writer at all"
    - Oscar Wilde-ish.
     
  18. ...
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    There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about. - Oscar Wilde

    so your quote should read: There is only one thing worse than being critiqued by inexperienced writers, and that is not being critiqued.
     
  19. Pheonix
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    Pheonix A Singer of Space Operas and The Fourth Mod of RP Staff Contributor

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    Well that's your problem. And you clearly don't get the point. There is no right way to write, style wise. There's books about it, and everyone has an opinion, but all that you can do is write whats in your heart, and try and make it as coherent and understandable as you can to others. That's what I meant. And you already took that quote out of context. Read the rest, I said as long as you follow the rules of grammar. You can't ignore those if you want to be successful. I don't see the contradiction.

    And if you aren't open minded enough to realize that you could learn something from the process, then maybe you need to re-evaluate your reasons for being on the site. Are you just here to get help with YOUR writing, YOUR problem? That's totally selfish and egotistical. There's a better reason to feel pretentious right there. You critique to help, with good intentions, as a peer, not as an authority. Ever had to do peer review in school? Same idea.

    Keep an open mind, otherwise you won't let anything new in and whats in there will stagnate and die. If you can help someone, why not try, and if you can't or don't want to, keep you thoughts to yourself.
     
  20. DefinitelyMaybe
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    DefinitelyMaybe Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thank you for your critique, but I prefer it the way I wrote it :D
     
  21. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    No. Just... no. Readers can give valuable constructive critiques without ever having written a single story. Why? Because they know what works for readers and what doesn't. Pretentious is only giving a critique when you consider yourself an 'authority'.
     
  22. ...
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    then you should have signed it as yourself and not made out like it was Oscar Wilde-ish when it is so far removed from his original quote.
     
  23. DefinitelyMaybe
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    DefinitelyMaybe Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thank you for your critique. But I think that enough of the essence of the original was retained so that attributing it to "Oscar Wilde-ish" was still appropriate.
     
  24. EricaJRothwell
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    Whoa. I did not intend to spark a debate about who is qualified to critique work lol

    With everything being said, however, you are all going off of the assumption that a new member is a new writer which probably isn't the case. I'm 26 and I've been writing since I was 14 but I only just stumbled across this site recently. My Father was a writer and my Mother enjoyed it too so I have been brought up in 'writing family,' so to speak. So in my opinion, I'm far from a noob.

    Anyhoo, I don't have an issue with having to post a number of times before I am allowed to submit my own stuff. I think that rule is more for the moderating side of things as a forum, it is a rule in a lot of forums, and I understand it. I think the idea is that the owners of the site don't just want people passing through, they want an active forum with interactive members. So that's fine by me.

    Regardless of all this, I don't think that's the problem as the 'post a new thread,' button is present in the other catorgeries just not the fan fiction one.

    As for my opinion on the topic being discussed, I do not think that writing should only be critiqued by published writers. That's a ludacris statement. There are probably thousands of brilliant writers who are unpublished for various reasons. My Dad was one of them. And at the same time, there are lots of published writers who arent so talented. In general, I believe that if someone is interested enough to join a writers forum, regardless of their own experience with writing then they are capable of giving at least their opinion if not critique. Critique is not something that the writer MUST accept either, we read varied criqtique and take it on board, however, we are in no way obligated to change our writing styles from the opinion of one person. There are many different writers, some who use a lot of detail for instance and some who write vaguely. It is up to the writer to decide what critique suits them, and what they'll take from it. I do, however, agree that someone who has never written before and doesn't read much should not be critiquing, as such, but rather giving their opinions.

    In a nutshell, I can look at a painting and give my opinion and even critique but it won't be from a technical point of view as I know nothing of the technical side of painting. It will be from a personal view. And as a writer, we are not writing for writers, we are writing for readers.

    And one final thing, I think we are all taking this a little too seriously. We all know that this a forum and not a circle meeting of the most talented writers in history. The "critique," we recieve from the users of this forum is valuable opinions from writers and readers and nothing more.
     
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  25. Pheonix
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    Pheonix A Singer of Space Operas and The Fourth Mod of RP Staff Contributor

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    If we keep this argument up, the thread is going to be shut down for getting off topic.

    As for the original question about not being able to post in fan-fic, One time i couldn't start a thread, the button was just gone. When I closed the browser and opened it again, it worked. I don't know why that happened, but i think sometimes the forum software glitches. That might have been all it was. If you've finished the two weeks and two critiques, there should be no problem. If it keeps up, ask a Mod directly!
     
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