1. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    How do I ask my online friends about this?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Simpson17866, Sep 25, 2016.

    So I have a bit of backstory that I personally love for one of my characters, but I want to do right in my portrayal and I'm not sure if my googling on the internet has been enough to teach me.

    I have two friends on another website who've each talked about having the kind of backgrounds that I think they'd be able to share aspects of the experience that my writer's research might have missed.

    The problem is: I've only asked one of them so far, she agreed to look over my notes, I PMed the most relevant parts, and she said she'd get back to me on Friday but hasn't yet. Is there a way for me to not be passive-aggressive about either a) asking my first friend for an update, and/or b) asking my second friend for another opinion? Or should I just wait a while longer?
     
  2. Spencer1990
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    Spencer1990 Contributing Member

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    You PM'ed Friend #1 on Friday? As in yesterday?
     
  3. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I PMed her Sept 21, she said later that day that she'd get back to me in more detail on Sept 23.
     
  4. Spencer1990
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    Spencer1990 Contributing Member

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    Oh, ok. Sorry, I misread that part.

    It's only a day past when she said. Depending on how close y'all are, I'd wait at least a few more days. In the meantime, PM your other friend. Is it personal subject matter that is not easy to talk about?
     
  5. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks.

    EDIT: she's my absolute best friend out of everybody on the other site, bar none. Would 7 years be a good timeframe :D

    Partially, but I was more worried that PMing friend 2 while waiting for friend 1 to get back in touch would be more passive-aggressive than waiting until afterwards.
     
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  6. Spencer1990
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    Spencer1990 Contributing Member

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    I'm not sure I'm understanding why that would be an issue. You're just asking two people some questions. Why do those questions have to be exclusive to one person at a time?
     
  7. Simpson17866
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    Just wasn't sure if non-writers might take that more personally than writers do when we're told "I'd like you to look at my manuscript, but not only you," worried that maybe a non-writer might think I didn't trust her judgement.

    You may have noticed that I'm not good with people :(
     
  8. Lea`Brooks
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    I agree. PMing the second friend isn't passive aggressive. It's research. This second friend may have more or different information than friend one.

    In the meantime, you could send a friendly, "How's it coming? :)" to friend one. A gentle reminder normally doesn't hurt anything. Maybe she got busy and will tell you such. Or maybe she forgot entirely and your reminder saves you some time.
     
  9. Spencer1990
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    Spencer1990 Contributing Member

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    Seems you're over thinking it. Even if she does take that as a slight (which she probably won't), it's not your intention and that's her problem.
     
  10. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Would I be a good writer if I didn't?

    ... I don't know whether to follow that with a :D or a :(

    Anyway, thanks again.

    Yes, I was overthinking my reaction to being told I was overthinking, what's your point?
     
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  11. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I don't agree you are not good with people. You are good with people on this forum. :) I also see no reason for not asking more than one person. Asking lots of people seems prudent.

    Are personal experiences the only avenue you've been pursuing for this research? Would you be willing to tell us more what it is you are looking for?
     
  12. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    We should really start a thread about dealing with betas and the like who don't respond. It's a difficult, delicate, and frustrating situation.
     
  13. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would be on board with that.

    I sent my friend follow-up messages on Monday morning and Wednesday night, now I feel like a stalker checking her profile half a dozen times a day and I'm starting to catastrophize about whether she's avoiding me because my story idea made her think I'm a psychopath.

    I don't feel like I'm handling this right.
     
  14. Simpson17866
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    I got a third person and she gave me some pretty good feedback, but my first friend still hasn't said anything. She'd been consistently posting 5-10 times a week before I sent her my notes 2 weeks ago, but she hasn't posted anything to the website since. I messaged her again Sunday and today, and she's been online, but she hasn't been saying anything.

    Did I scare her?
     
  15. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    For me, this sort of thing usually leads to resentment and discomfort on my end and the beta reader's, respectively. My advice is to only get beta readers who are readers AND aspiring authors like yourself. Not only do they like novels, but they can emphasize with the writing process and the necessity of beta reading. You and I may not be friends (I like you, of course!), but we share a common goal and in some ways that makes you potentially more important to me than the people I happen to make plans with for dinner. There are some wonderful people here who actually offer to beta read, so I think WF is very useful in regards to getting beta readers.

    But if you're interested in why asking a random friend to beta read so often ends in failure, I have more than a few possible reasons

    1. They live in the 21st century. Facebook, twitter, tinder, netflix, gmail, etc. Too many distractions. Also breeds flaky behavior.
    2. They think your work sucks and they don't want to tell you.
    3. They're not really your friend
    4. It stresses them out and or they don't appreciate the responsibility
    5. You've broken the give and take balance of a normal acquaintance like relationship, which says "you talk a little then I talk a little," by giving them 300 pages of your thoughts.
    6. They find it too personal
    7. How many times have you picked up a good book but for whatever reason just stopped reading it?
     
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  16. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    @123456789 At this point, I'm not really worried about the feedback anymore. I just want to know if I scared my friend away or if I'm just catastrophizing and she's just visiting family or having computer problems or being buried in work or whatever else.

    Should I ask one of our mutual friends if they've heard from her?
     

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