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Etiquette and Politeness in the Madhouse (1 Viewer)

bazz cargo

Retired Supervisor
It has been a little while since my beloved wife persuaded me to join a forum, because just scribbling bits in note books was rather a solitary past time, and as she ( who must be obeyed ) said, I will never know if I'm any good unless some one reads it and lets me know. I admit I was very reluctant to just 'put it out there,' but so many of you put me right, in a positive and helpful way. Now I would like to be an active and good member of this community myself.

I would like to do my bit. After a hard day at the grindstone I put in an hour or two on my first novel, and then try to find time to read someone's forum post, but there is a problem. How do you help someone when your own skills are somewhat rudimentary ?
Due to the fact that that no one in the education system realised I was actually a genius, no one bothered to teach me anything useful, so my spelling is terrible, but a spell checker has helped me there enormously. My grasp of grammar is pretty rough, but there are people out there who are kind enough to help, ( I did buy a book, but all it's good for is curing insomnia ), and I have discovered that being critiqued with help as the intention, is actually quite nice.

How do you help someone who has a wonderful imagination, and something worth saying, but their first language is not English? It must be so disheartening to put so much effort into a story, only to find that it may be viewed a hundred times, but no one says anything. I take my hat off to them, because I would have no clue as how to write something as complex as a good story in a foreign language.

This is a vast virtual place, and it goes back years. How far back should you go? How do you know if the threads are still relevant?
I have read a few threads of people who are having a fun conversation, and would dearly love to join in, but how ?

Like the folks in performing arts, I think a lot of us are somewhat terrified of showing off in public, we are driven to it by some kind of irrational compulsion. Sometimes we try a bit too hard, and end up looking like an egotistical pillock.

If I have offended anyone, or if in the future I do offend anyone, I apologise, it may just be my inappropriate sense of humour, or crass insensitivity, or me just being stupid. What ever it is, it is not meant to be cruel or disrespectful.

No good deed ever goes unpunished, but don't let that stop you.
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Bazz
 
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Dudester

Senior Member
Writers come in every shade, from the very reclusive J.D. Salinger, who only wrote one book (but had a hit), to Lewis Grizzard, who wrote prolifically, and also did some stand up comedy (based on his writings), and whose favorite activity was "holding court" in a pub where he would entertain a group of people.

Writers are among those who require external validation of their ideas-you can't continue to have inspiration unless someone tells you that you're good at it. This is why your wife is telling you to publish in a forum. The only downside to writing in a forum is that every forum has bullies who scold you for not being like they are. You have to have a thick skin, but do that and you're golden.
 

bazz cargo

Retired Supervisor
Thanks Dudester
I am discovering a whole new me through this writing place. I'm trying new things, meeting interesting people, and my spelling is improving. I will take your advice to heart, and try not to bully anyone.
Its a small world, I'll see ya round.
Bazz
 

Foxee

Patron
Patron
Bazz, if you want a little good guidance on how to go about offering critiques there's a really excellent WF article to guide you here: Reviewer's Handbook.

As for politeness, just pretend we all are actually face-to-face and I imagine you'll be fine. ;)
 

qwertyman

WF Veterans
We are all trying to produce something which will engross and entertain the reader. If you are a reader your opinion is valuable.
 

Mistique

WF Veterans
We are all trying to produce something which will engross and entertain the reader. If you are a reader your opinion is valuable.

Yes, I agree with that. My own writing skills are somewhat rudimentary too and my spelling and grammar aren't too amazing. When I give feedback I do it based on my perspective as a reader. I just simply say what I liked and didn't like and if I have an idea as to why it might be that I don't like it or do like it (I don't always know that) or how it could be different (I defenately don't always know that) I say that too.
 

bazz cargo

Retired Supervisor
Hi all
this started by accident, almost a stream of consciousness. My fear of how I might injure someone by saying the wrong thing. My lack of knowledge in the writing field. I hold experts in high regard, and know how little I know.
Maybe it is wrong of me to treat this thread as a personal conversation, but without discussing the purpose, and the way we act on this forum, how will I know what is polite, and what is unacceptable.
On a lighter note, Foxee, I have tried Reviewer's Handbook. but I don't seem to be allowed to access it. I will try seeking advice else where on the site, thank you for trying.
Mistique, I Thank you for your kind words, and will steal your Peter Benenson quote.
Qwertyman, You are right, I must be a reader, if some one has written something, it is only polite to read it.
And strange as it may seem, the act of writing this thread has given me food for thought.
 

Foxee

Patron
Patron
Maybe it is wrong of me to treat this thread as a personal conversation, but without discussing the purpose, and the way we act on this forum, how will I know what is polite, and what is unacceptable.
You've made it to 72 posts without the staff slinging out out of the forum for a mandatory vacation. I think you'll probably be fine.
On a lighter note, Foxee, I have tried Reviewer's Handbook. but I don't seem to be allowed to access it.
This is where you let me know about the lack of access (which you did) and I try to find out why you can't access it. You really should be able to so if you can't something needs to change. Thanks for letting me know!
 
B

Baron

There have been a few problems with permissions since the upgrade but this should be fixed now.
 
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