1. UnknownBearing
    Offline

    UnknownBearing Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Void

    Something that's been bugging me

    Discussion in 'Support & Feedback' started by UnknownBearing, Aug 27, 2009.

    I've been questioning the practicality of writing forums, not just this one particularly, but in general. This nagging thought stems from the fact that posting one's work on the internet diminishes the chances of publication by a considerable amount. I make this thread because I would like to continue posting, but fear it would affect me should I ever have the opportunity to publish my ideas in the far future. While I do not regret the fantastic critques I've recieved from the community here, and have thoroughly enjoyed writing critiques myself and participating with the site, I find myself wondering why I ever came here in the first place. I'm hoping there's something I've overlooked, or that someone can easily relieve these troubling thoughts in a way I hadn't tried, because I do enjoy this forum.

    So really, I'm hoping someone can easily answer this question (though it's probably been asked before) that's quite frankly, in accordance with my selfish desire to keep posting my work, however unlikely it may seem: Why post your writing here when it could very possibly ruin chances of publication?
     
  2. Gannon
    Offline

    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    Messages:
    3,977
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    Manchester, England
    Only of the piece that you are posting, and then only if you post a significant part of a final or near-final draft. The learning process we all go through from submitting small extracts of early drafts is vital, as is the critique gained from those submissions. You needn't ever submit an extract or draft from a piece you intend to submit to a publisher. Simply learn through other of your works. Chances are that any character development or SPaG issues you may be having would be replecated in another of your works.

    Secondly, the critiquing process is two-fold. You benefit from receiving it and you benefit from giving it. From identifying what works and what does not (or less so) in others' work you can learn to improve your own.

    On top of these benefits the forums outside of the Review Room allow for research, technical and theoretical literary questions to be posed to an increasingly knowledgeable member base. I find these resources invaluable.

    I hope this restores your faith in this type of site and what it aims to achieve.

    Happy writing.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Rumpole40k
    Offline

    Rumpole40k Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Messages:
    7,290
    Likes Received:
    54
    Location:
    Paradise City, Street of the Gods
    y


    There are three reasons I can think of. First to evolve you personal writing style. Perhaps a story you post here will no longer be suited for publication but the characters, basic plot, ex., can be reworked into a new piece. Second, it gives you access to some reviewers who are quite experienced and can offer a point of view that most times only comes from a paid editor. Finally, immersing yourself here can build friendships and connections allowing you access to people with real life experience in the industry so many of us want to break into.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. losthawken
    Offline

    losthawken Author J. Aurel Guay Role Play Moderator Contributor

    Joined:
    May 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,150
    Likes Received:
    79
    Location:
    Maine
    Another thought in addition to those already posted:

    Despite how we may feel, most of the idea's we come up with are not as original as we think. I've realized that originality comes in how a piece is written. I used to feel very protective of my storylines believing that they were a unique intellectual property. Now I've loosened up and realized that I need to learn how to write first foremost; to develop my unique style. There will always be another great storyline around the corner. There's no reason for there to be a shortage of publishable ideas, and so no reason to obsessively hold on to the ones you have today.

    Protecting an investment is a different thing, so if you've put a lot of time (months/years) in that might be a different story...

    my 2 cents.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. Etan Isar
    Offline

    Etan Isar Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2007
    Messages:
    1,183
    Likes Received:
    32
    Everyone has already made good points. The fact is, if you are ot currenly submitting anywork, then you are likely not yet done wit your "million words(or whatever)", and so most of what you post here will not be up to a publisher's standards anyway. You shuld take advantage of sites like this to improve your learning curve.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    For my part, there are the pieces of writing I post to try out ideas or techniques, or just for fun; and there are the pieces I am working on for publication.

    One of the publication pieces began as a couple of short stories here. I then began to toy with the idea of turning it into a novel, and I posted a couple of early prologue excerpts. Since then, I decided I am going to develop it to submit, and am no longer posting pierces of it. The pieces I did post won't look much like the finished product at all.

    Another novel project pf mine is completely under wraps. I haven't posted any of it, nor will I.

    You just have to make choices. If you plan to publish a piece at some point, keep it off the Internet except for small excerpts. If you are writing for fun, and don't have any plans to formally submit, then post freely. When I joined, I had absolutely no interest in publication. I just wanted to improve my writing.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. UnknownBearing
    Offline

    UnknownBearing Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Void
    I don't have any plans for publication, but I wonder if I ever will, which brings up the question. From what I can gather, posting excerpts of drafts is not likely to do any harm, it'll just come down to when I choose to stop posting drafts. It doesn't do any good to have an entire first draft of a novel on the internet, does it?

    I never really planned to leave the coummunity because the spike in my writing skill since coming here is obvious to me. I see what you all mean about learning through critiquing other stories and posting smaller more casual stories that are not intended for publication. I'll stay here and continue learning from the boards and members like it was suggested and I might post a few ideas I have for short stories after I'm done with my current project.

    Hah... this helped a lot. I was right in my hopes this would be easily answered, it didn't really occur to me that I don't have to focus on my one main project in regards to this site. A few other enlightenments as well.

    Thanks a lot everyone! :D
     
  8. ManhattanMss
    Offline

    ManhattanMss Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2009
    Messages:
    626
    Likes Received:
    14

    Speaking only for myself, I learn quite a lot about my own writing (and reading) by engaging in discussions about writing and--as you pointed out--by trying to offer critical, maybe useful, comments about what others have written. I won't post stories here I intend to submit, for the very reasons you mention. The one story I've posted I did for two reasons: (1) I think it's a good idea to offer up a sample of your own work now and then if you plan to be critical of someone else's; and (2) it gives me a good picture of what readers here like and object to.

    Although there have certainly been critical comments I've found especially useful, I prefer independent, anonymous feedback to open discussion critiques. In my experience with both, anonymous feedback from various sources places the oneness upon the writer to make good choices among criticism that varies (sometimes a lot) about what's helpful and what isn't. I think it's crucial for a good writer to learn how to determine what improves his own work. Open feedback (both positive and negative) tends to breed a consensus that’s sometimes less clear (to me) in its usefulness than criticism by a single reader who's trying to convey some very specific, particularly significant message. Some readers do that even in an open forum (but I think it's harder to sort that out from comments that are just part of the bandwagon).

    I also think there's a very big difference between writing a piece of work designed to "reach" a broad audience and writing a piece of work designed to express oneself in a fictional story. While I place value upon reader accessibility and I do like to consider how I'm read, I don't seek commercial success nearly as much as the satisfaction of having used the artistry of fiction to express myself in a story. My aim is to do so well enough for a reader's take to coincide with what I hoped to deliver. So, I think different kinds of forums probably work differently for writers with different objectives, as they probably do, too, for various objectives of the same writer.

    If you enjoy it here (as I do when I have time to participate), then you're probably gaining something of value that will benefit your writing. It's just a matter of figuring out what exactly that is. And learning what that is may tell you a lot about WHO the writer inside you actually is or could be.
     
  9. AmandaC
    Offline

    AmandaC Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2009
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    Absolutely. I never, ever post my work online for that very reason. I will discuss some things in vague terms but never anything that could be used against me in the future. Might as well figure that if you put it online it will never be published because it can create real issues with copyright if someone else shows up with your piece down the road.
     
  10. yournamehere
    Offline

    yournamehere Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2009
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    0
    Practice makes perfect. Any songwriter knows that they could go through hundreds of songs before they hit one that would make it to a record or concert of any kind. They often seek to perfect those songs as much as possible to learn what to write about and what not to write about--not to mention how to write it. As a storyteller, I'd expect to go through scores of stories and essays before one was publishable. So, why not just go the easy route and get critiqued here?

    peace,
    -nick
     

Share This Page