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The Writer's Block - Rules & Guidelines

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Jason

Voorhees a jolly good fellow!
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The following rules are in addition to any other general / global rules & guidelines of the site...

1) If you wish to receive constructive criticism then you must ask for it otherwise you may not receive it. If you receive said suggestions DO NOT TAKE THEM PERSONALLY. All writers can and do write total crap. (See Stephenie Meyer)

2) No straight-forward erotica. If you use words like "manhood" or "money-shot" take your work to a site that specializes in sex fiction. No writings that can be considered bigotry or abusive. (Unless in the context of the character. i.e. You're writing a piece about 1950's Alabama and you're featuring dialog between two characters.)

3) If you have a question on if a piece is appropriate to post then please approach a staff member privately first.

4) Do not plagiarize. Do not do this. Never ever do this. You will be mocked until the end of the internet if you do this.

5) You can use this section of the forum as a tool to either express your work or become a better writer -- that choice is yours.

6) We welcome - narratives, fiction, poetry, prose, creative non-fiction, flash fiction - if you wrote it it's welcome here. (Exception see rule 3)

Originally written by: COA
 

Jason

Voorhees a jolly good fellow!
Founder
6,916
5,204
537
Jesse's Guide to Constructive Criticism

Presently, any idiot with a keyboard and an internet connection can post their “masterpieces” online for the masses, no matter how absolutely horrendous it is. But in this world of online literature, constructive criticism is a dying common courtesy. I’m a veteran of fanfiction.net, having made a nearly six year stay there. I know pure shit when I read it – and trust me, I’ve written my fair share of things that have made readers want to kick small animals, too.

Every reader has encountered it. The story that has a good plot, or some good ideas in general… but everything is horribly implemented. It’s riddled with grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes. The tenses are messed up. Subject verb agreement sucks like a two cent whore.

Most anyone would read this and say, “Screw this!” and move on to the next piece of crap in line. Of course, you always have the few who are tempted to reply with, “This sucks. Never write again and kill yourself.” We all know that this is a first class way to get your ass banned from sites, and a lot of displeased trolls.

How do we avoid this situation? Keep your mouth shut. Everyone has written complete crap in their time, and you aren’t a whiny American Idol judge.

But you, good opinionated reader, can do no such thing! For the love of all aspiring writers everywhere, please learn how to make a comment tactfully and helpfully.

To properly give a good constructive criticism, you have to address the issue. Tell them what’s wrong – their grammar, verb tense, punctuation – and (notice the italics) tell them how to fix it. This is important. How ever is someone going to improve if you can’t tell them what they’re doing wrong?

Example: “Your spelling is a bit off. Spell check doesn’t always catch everything, so read through your story yourself, or grab a friend to help you.”

Please keep in mind that it’s mildly ridiculous to criticize someone for something you fail at horrendously, such as spelling. It makes you look like an idiot, and your concrit loses some effect.

For the sake of all things good and right in the world, don’t be an asshole. I know it’s so very tempting to reply with a “You suck!” or some other more well written variation on how their particular piece of crap is a complete mockery to the art of writing… but please, refrain.

Instead, point out the good aspects of what you just read. If there’s something you liked, point it out. If that something needs improvement, point that out, too.

It irks me to no end the idiots who sit and complain about the state of fandom these days. Of course, it’s never going to get better if you can’t point out the wrongs and help make them right. No one can grow and improve with shitty comments. So please, be kind to your writers and give them helpful ideas and corrections. You never know when you may need the same of someone else.

And remember the old saying, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”

Originally written by: Jesse Static
 
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