1. littlebluelie
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    littlebluelie Member

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    Sharing your project- Should you do it?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by littlebluelie, Dec 30, 2008.

    I'd love to talk about what I'm currently working on. I feel like doing that will help me think about it deeper, make me consider possibilities I couldn't have considered on my own; it's always productive to bounce ideas off others since they'll likely be your reading audience when you're done. But should you do it? Specifically, should you do it here online? Most people wouldn't steal. I know that. But is it possible that subconsciously your ingenious idea might find it's way into their work? Or maybe what you've got going is so great and fresh, you don't want to release it into the world until it's complete?

    :p Just curious what your guy's thoughts are on this topic.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Story concepts mean nothing. Until your develop it into a finished written work, it has nearly no value top anyone other than yourself.

    However, I do keep some things close to the chest. One of the two novels I have in the works, I am keeping the title and certain other elements to myself. The chances are that no one could make much of it, but if someone else liked the title and got something published with it first, it would make it a bit harder to push mine. And I LIKE the title, and would not like to have to change it.

    So the general wisdom would be, don't worry about it. But if you come up with something that would take the wind out of your sails if someone put it out first, keep it to yourself.

    The writing itself is another matter. If you have any interest in publishing the piece you are writing - ever - then don't post more than short excerpts. Publishers invariably want to buy first publication rights. and if your piece is posted on the web, or has ever been posted on the web, most publishers would consider the work previously published. That would be grounds for them to terminate your contract with them.
     
  3. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    I tend to keep a bit to myself too...

    While i do post snippets, and chapter's on my blog, I will skip one's that i know have really integral parts to the plot...leaving questions that lead to wanting to read the whole thing.

    How much, or how little, you wish to share is totally up to you of course.
     
  4. laurelin
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    laurelin Member

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    Hm...now that I've seen this thread, I think I've changed my mind about posting more of the novel I'm working on. I was going to put the chapters on my blog as a means of back-up, but I don't think I will anymore, since I'm not really looking for critique. Thanks for the insight
     
  5. Mr Vampyre
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    Mr Vampyre Member

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    Ah, welcome to my world of suffering. I was a very naive person and I sent chapters of my work to people to read. The idea being they could give me some feedback from readership.

    1 person received about 9 chapters. (most chapters have since changed)
    1 person received about 7 chapters. (most chapters have since changed)
    1 person received about 16 chapters. (most chapters have since changed)
    1 person received about 21 chapters. (very few changes)

    How many of those chapters remain the same? Not many actually. In fact a ton of the book has been rewritten since then. Are there excepts posted on the web? Yes, one paragraph on a blog that no longer exists. Have any of the four people published my work to the web? Maybe, but I doubt it. Actually I know number #4 hasn't. The other three I don't know since I no longer speak to them.

    Do I regret it? Yes. Emphatically, yes. I suffer from intense paranoia at the best of times. Through a naive act where I thought I was helping myself, I ended up seriously ill through sickness and worry and almost had a breakdown because I thought someone else would publish.

    I still haven't the courage to type into Google excerpts of text to see if it's up somewhere. I just hope. If it is then seven years of hard work is down the drain and I'm feeling sick just typing this.

    I'd never share anything about my work again unless I physically hand it to them at the beginning of an evening and take it from them at the end of an evening.

    I haven't really got a choice. I will go ahead and push to try and get publication and simply hope my stupid act doesn't come back to haunt me. Even if I do get a publishing contract, I have left myself open to blackmail. Effectively I've put a noose around my neck and opened the trapdoor and I'm slowly choking.

    I wish I'd have been smarter, and I hope my life is not to be defined by a careless act. But ultimately I will have no one to blame.

    EDIT - Actually, after writing that I became dizzy and got chest pains. So I googled in some excerpts of chapters it turned up no result so touch wood...

    EDIT - I did post a short story on here, but the stuff I post on here will never be for publication
     
  6. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    laurelin, I can wait for that game to come out on the ps3. Or did it come out?

    I enjoy talking to fellow writings about our ideas in voice chat. I come up with a lot of ideas that way.
     
  7. Cestralisk
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    Cestralisk New Member

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    I’m rather weary about providing essential information regarding most of my unfinished manuscripts. To make something 100% original (technically) sounds insane to me, even alien. The setting and path a story takes, how each scene unfolds into the next, are examples of things I value dearly and fear to show to others. This is because I believe that concepts for stories can develop rapidly into a possibility worth guarding.

    Aside from fan fiction (an interest that I have not and likely will not pursue) I tend to take tiny pieces (if any) of information I see and warp them. By the time an idea, taken from elsewhere or not, has become part of a project I have shredded it and warped the remains. Also, taking ideas tends to degrade my enthusiasm if not weighed and altered properly. It is a reason why I look to foreign works as an added filter. I find the Japanese interesting in how they often alter American items to which, if taken back west by someone else, becomes doubly filtered. Fair trade, yes? :rolleyes:

    Moving on, I do not know what others would do and even then it might not be wise to show the full details of some ingenious idea to anyone you do not trust completely since they could potentially step on your territory in several ways. As far as stealing names I find it distasteful but there are sure to be some that would be so bold.

    To Mr Vampyre : In the past, when I have showed works to others, I have felt good upon hearing praise but ultimately I have also felt sick. People come and go and their memories can't simply be erased but hopefully they are not invested in doing anything with the new information (if that is a concern). I have not dealt with providing projects to other authors but in my head everyone has the potential to screw up hard earned work even if they themselves get no success out of it. Solution...unknown on my end. :(
     
  8. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's really a double edged sword. Tell them the ideas, they might steal them, don't tell them, then you don't get the benefit of hearing what others have to say. If they didn't like it, perhaps it could indicate that you are going in the wrong direction and you can change that direction before it's too late. If they do like it, it's reassuring and inspiring.

    I post my serial on the web. It's not a novel so it'd likely never get published anyway. I don't post my novel on the web. I've sent a couple of early chapters to friends, and such chapters have drastically changed since. I do tell them about the story to get their opinion on it, telling some closer friends more details than others, but I don't post anything from the actual(Or eventual, lol) manuscript.

    Now, I don't think my work is anything to really write home about. (lol) I've been told that the ideas are good, but I am not convinced it is anything revolutionary. So I would hope that the ideas are fairly safe. Still, I do use caution.
     
  9. tehuti88
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    tehuti88 Contributing Member

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    I, too, post my writing (mostly serials) to the Web.

    I'd love the chance to share my ideas and thoughts about my work with others, use them as a sounding board. In fact that's part of what I've been seeking through my writing all along, somebody who likes to talk and hear about it as much as I do. I sometimes share my thoughts in my online journal. I'm not really afraid of anybody stealing them or of their work being influenced by mine. And talking about my work doesn't make it stale, it makes me more excited about it.

    Unfortunately, I can't find anyone who's even remotely interested enough. :( Even the occasional person who says they love my writing isn't interested in actually discussing it. I practically have to beg and plead and threaten not to post any more work just to get somebody to offer a weak "Great story, write more!"--forget about actually talking about the story with me.
     
  10. Show
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    Yes, talking about my writing always makes me more psyched to write it. If anything, what makes it get stale is not talking about it. :D

    What is your writing about? I can't promise that the genre will be the kind I get into, but I am willing to at least listen.
     
  11. Nilfiry
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    Nilfiry Contributing Member

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    The only things I share is story ideas, concepts, and maybe some other supporting ideas, but never the story itself. I prefer to keep my stories to myself.
     
  12. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Laurelin,

    Consider emailing chapters to yourself (such as a free yahoo account) if you're looking for an outside backup.

    It is difficult to get others to read one's work. There is so much out there. It is best, in my opinion, to join or form a crit group, for consistent and quality feedback and support.

    I really don't share my work online. I have a crit group and also a group of readers who read over my fiction and provide input. I never pressure and never ask readers to read every piece I produce, and I try to match it with what the reader's tend to like or enjoy.

    An author's response to a reader's input has a strong bearing on if someone will read again. Many writers are very defensive and really don't 'listen' or really aren't open to suggestions. (Yes, in my experience writers say they are but in practice--body language, comments, etc.--they're not). And also, the quality of what many writers produce, especially early in their writing career/efforts are very poor quality.

    It's kind of the same catch-22: You need experience to get hired for a job. How can one get experience if nobody will hire me.

    You need input to improve your writing. How can one improve their writing if nobody will provide input.

    I do occasionally get emails and comments from total strangers over pieces I've had published. It's kind of neat, but doesn't happen all that often.

    Terry
     
  13. robertpaine
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    robertpaine Member

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    If you are happy with sharing then you should. Personally, I always post a few chapters of my novels on forums like this one just to see the reaction it recieves.

    I suggest you post say the first chapter of your work on, put also find a couple of close friends who will read your whole novel and give a good critique.

    I think sharing ideas is the way forward, for instance at the moment I am writing with one of my friends, and we bounce ideas off each other and it works really well, we both think of things we wouldn't have thought of if you weren't stimulating each other.

    Hope I've helped,
    Rob
     
  14. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    Another alternative...

    Is if you're old enough, and have one nearby, you could always have english students at a local college critique it Sometimes you might have to pay, or if you know some professors, then you could have them offer it as extra credit. All of it works to help you in the long run.
     
  15. robertpaine
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    robertpaine Member

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    Use anyone, friends, teachers, anyone.
     
  16. TwinPanther13
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    TwinPanther13 Contributing Member

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    In my opinion its all been done before.

    Like cog said there are some things I hold close to the chest because I really like it and want it to remai as original and me as possible.

    Other things, especially ones that are not that me you could say I like to discuss. I was chatting with someone from the site about a steam punk novel.

    We threw some ideas around and came up with an interesting concept. We could both write stories based on that concept and be ok cause he would not write it like me and I would not write it like him.

    I would not have looked at the idea as closely though if I had not had someone to talk with about it.
     

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