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  1. jaywriting
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    jaywriting Member

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    My thoughts on this site's posting policy

    Discussion in 'Support & Feedback' started by jaywriting, Jan 27, 2011.

    Greetings. I'd like to say that the requirement for two detailed critiques of other people's work, as a prerequisite for posting your own work, is in my opinion ridiculous. The skills and mindset to write a critique are quite different from what is required when doing your own creative writing. Though both are valuable activities, to make one conditional on the other is artificial and counter-productive.

    I write this post in some anger at having an earlier thread of my work blocked. Inspired to write a novel, I have had some excellent feedback on the first chapter I posted. That thread has now been blocked on the authority of an admin who decided my two reviews of others work did not meet his standards. I must confess that although my two reviews were written in good faith with comments I believe relevant, they would hardly qualify as stellar literary criticism. That is simply not the skill set I possess. That this should preclude me from ever posting my work on this site seems perverse and short sighted.

    I hope the admins consider the harm the strict application of this policy may be doing. Best wishes and inspiration to you all.
     
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  2. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    The requirements are there for a reason. Actually two. Firstly, they ensure full participation in the Review Room as a workshop. Members are required to give as well as take, which makes the whole thing fairer.

    Secondly, it helps you develop your skills at critiquing. You're right, that it's a very different art to the writing process. But if you want to be a writer, it's every bit as essential. The skills you learn critiquing the work of others can be turned on your own work in the editing process.

    The rules are quite clear, and if you hadn't rushed straight to the Review Room, and tried to meet the requirements doing the absolute minimum, then you would have known the requirements. There's a reason that you're directed to the rules and to post in the New Members Introduction forum when you first sign up.

    The policy stands, and will continue to do so.
     
  3. jaywriting
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    jaywriting Member

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    This seems to me a fundamentally flawed attitude on what purports to be a creative writing forum. A forum where original work is unwelcome and "creativity" is conditional on jumping through the appropriate hoops to appease a select few. Since when did a bureaucratic approach ever facilitate innovation or inspiration?
    I was surprised to find that you have now deleted my comments on another writers work. Perhaps his contribution wasn’t to your liking either, yet it was fresher and more humorous than a great deal of the turgid material your regular posters seem to be offering.

    Browsing your activities on this site, I would politely suggest you step down from your policing role. If indeed your motivation is the promotion of this site rather than some personal power trip, surely you can see the limits of your narrow approach to the creative process.
     
  4. The Degenerate
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    The Degenerate Active Member

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    Look at it from everyone's point of view. This is an online forum here. It's a bit different from a standard workshop. Workshops are fundamental in exchanging and reviewing one another's work, and there's a sort of rhythm that comes along with it. A mutual respect. Growth. Here, members join left and right and expect a full critique in their first post.

    Think of it this way. You probably only joined so you can post a story, get some form of praise for your amazing writing, and then shotgun it out of here, contributing nothing in return. Why should a writer spend their time critiquing your work if you won't even return the favor for them?

    I'm a fan of the post policy. It ensures that everyone who posts here has made an investment in the community.
     
  5. jaywriting
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    jaywriting Member

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    I've read the rational for the posting policy and in general I support it. Critiquing is a useful skill and also a courtesy to others to reciprocate their input. What I am suggesting is a little more flexibility in its application. Is it really necessary to delete a thread that already has multiple replies? I am now unable to read some of the useful comments that were made. That feedback has been stolen from me. Perhaps by the standards of this forum I had not earnt it in the first place. However as a result of this policy, those who showed an interest in my work will be unable to read it, I will be unable to read their feedback, and none of us will be able to view works by other new members who fell foul of this policy.

    I understand the problem with transient writers who don’t want to contribute fully. Well perhaps that is a price worth paying. Some will stay and participate, perhaps not all, so be it. Deleting work that has already been posted and responded to cannot be the way forward here.
     
  6. The Degenerate
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    The Degenerate Active Member

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    On this, I actually agree with you. I remember I posted a lengthy critique on another poster's writing, only to find that it was shortly removed. Had I checked the member's post history, I suppose I should have seen it coming. But I don't think every member should have to check everyone else's posting history to see if they critiqued to the minimum.

    I was fairly peeved about that. I did put a lot of work into the critique. Perhaps then there should be some sort of archiving system, or at least keep the current reviews active and lock the thread until the poster contributes more.
     
  7. Etan Isar
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    Etan Isar Contributing Member Contributor

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    You know, if you just post two valid critiques, you can then see the feedback.
     
  8. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    The work you put in was chiefly for your own benefit. The exercise was worthwhile. Move on with your life, soldier.
     
  9. Etan Isar
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    Etan Isar Contributing Member Contributor

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    It is my understanding that reviews in locked threads are soft-deleted. That means the posts can be restored later.
     
  10. jaywriting
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    jaywriting Member

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    Hmm, well I'm critiquing the posting policy. Does that count :rolleyes:
     
  11. The Degenerate
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    The Degenerate Active Member

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    Sadly, you are correct. There should be a market solely for critiques.
     
  12. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Reviews deleted because the original poster hasn't met the requirements are not deleted, but rather hidden. They are restored if and when that poster meets the requirements. But other than that, they are visible to moderators and will still count as qualifying critiques for the people who gave them. Beyond that, I'm afraid it's just an unavoidable consequence of people being unwilling to meet the requirements.
     
  13. The Degenerate
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    The Degenerate Active Member

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    Unfortunately, people usually just duck out after their thread is deleted because they don't want to waste their time critiquing two stories. I mean, to think, they expect to be critiqued, but can't be the critiquer. The insanity.
     
  14. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    To avoid having your critiques deleted, I'd recommend looking out for members with only three posts. A three post wonder is often (but not always) an indicator of someone who has given two non-reviews in an effort to circumvent the rules and post their work for critique.
     
  15. The Degenerate
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    The Degenerate Active Member

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    I learned that lesson the hard way. Granted, my critique probably wouldn't have done him any good because from his rather pompous introduction to the story, he wanted nothing more than to posture about his writing anyway.

    Though I realized this forum is unique in a sense that it's designed to increase your ability to critically review rather than seek feedback, so as Art said, it was a useful exercise.
     
  16. Etan Isar
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    Etan Isar Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm afraid not. :(
     
  17. Forkfoot
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    Forkfoot Contributing Member Contributor

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    Your reviews were crap. You put no effort into them. You should have, since you obviously got a kick out of the reviews your piece got. To say nothing of the fact that the only reason you got so many reviews in the first place is because of the very thing you're griping about.

    You must be very young.
     
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  18. Etan Isar
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    Etan Isar Contributing Member Contributor

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    You know... that's rather offensive stereotyping...
     
  19. Forkfoot
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    Forkfoot Contributing Member Contributor

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    Wanna make a sig bet that he's too young to legally drink?
     
  20. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    Legally drink where, old boy? I suspect he's English.
    Over here the rules are
    18 in a pub
    31 from the supermarket
    13 from your local cornershop

    I guess mid-20s. An unusual Englishman too: no detectable sense of humour.
     
  21. Forkfoot
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    Forkfoot Contributing Member Contributor

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    You can buy booze at 13 over there? Dag. I thought it was eighteen in the UK.

    Eighteen or younger, then. He cannot possibly be a day over seventeen. Mid-twenties? I'm 27, and I'm at least a decade removed from such immaturity.
     
  22. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not really arguing either point, but I do know a lot of people older than you that act 13. :(
     
  23. HeinleinFan
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    HeinleinFan Banned

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    If the original poster is interested, there's a bit of advice on the Writing Forums already about how to do a decent review, even if the reviewer is uncertain how to proceed.

    http://www.writingforums.org/blog.php?b=4042

    Also, there's some good stuff in the reviewing area of the site, such as the Reviewing FAQ at http://www.writingforums.org/showthread.php?t=18466 and Cogito's Guide to Successful Critiques at http://www.writingforums.org/showthread.php?t=20627.
     
  24. Etan Isar
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    Etan Isar Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm not an idiot...


    Just don't lump all the incredible young writers that are out there in with this guy. It's about experience, not age.
     
  25. Forkfoot
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    Forkfoot Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sorry. I'm pretty much just projecting anyway. I only thought about his age because it strikes me as something I would have done myself, many years ago.
     
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