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Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

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Old August 22 2012, 12:41 AM   #1
JD
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Authors on the Boards

Recently we've been starting to see some criticisms of some of the writers responses to comments from other members. Personally, I don't think I've seen a single instance of any authors reacting inappropriately. I think the thing to remember when writing comments on and criticisms of books, not just Trek but books in general, is that the authors spend months, and in the cases of original fiction sometimes years, developing and writing books. They're not just thrown together for the hell of it, a lot of thought, and time goes into these things, so I think it's perfectly understandable if perhaps authors get a little passionate about there books. It's also worth keeping in mind that the characters, concepts, and actions all come from the authors, with some input from editors, so if you're calling any of those things stupid, you're basically calling the author stupid.
So if you're going to be criticizing a book, please try to put at least a little bit of thought into what you're writing. I think what the authors go through to write a novel earns them at least that much.
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Old August 22 2012, 01:29 AM   #2
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Re: Authors on the Boards

It's also worth pointing out that we have nothing against criticism per se; recognizing the flaws in our work and striving to overcome them is how we got good enough to get published in the first place, so constructive critical feedback can be very helpful. When certain posters' comments have evoked negative reactions, it hasn't been because they criticized, but because of how they criticized, if it came off as petty or mean-spirited or unfair. There's a right way and a wrong way to critique a work.
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Old August 22 2012, 02:02 AM   #3
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Re: Authors on the Boards

My thoughts on the matter are here and here.
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Old August 22 2012, 08:03 AM   #4
Timewalker
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Re: Authors on the Boards

Christopher wrote: View Post
There's a right way and a wrong way to critique a work.
There's also a right way and a wrong way to receive criticism. Some authors are gracious; some are not.
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Old August 22 2012, 08:26 AM   #5
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Re: Authors on the Boards

Timewalker wrote: View Post
There's also a right way and a wrong way to receive criticism. Some authors are gracious; some are not.
You didn't really read all of Christopher's post, did you?
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Old August 22 2012, 08:57 AM   #6
Timewalker
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Re: Authors on the Boards

sojourner wrote: View Post
Timewalker wrote: View Post
There's also a right way and a wrong way to receive criticism. Some authors are gracious; some are not.
You didn't really read all of Christopher's post, did you?
I refuse to be drawn into yet another round of "Let's all bash Timewalker because she was mean to Christopher!"

I was speaking in general terms. I've met a fair number of SF/F authors over the past 30 years, and on the occasions when I had something critical or otherwise less-than-positive thing to say about their work, some of them were gracious and polite, and a couple of them were downright rude.
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Old August 22 2012, 09:35 AM   #7
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Re: Authors on the Boards

Ah we already have some excellent examples of how not to criticize/receive criticism on this thread. How efficient we are.
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Old August 22 2012, 11:29 AM   #8
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Re: Authors on the Boards

JD wrote: View Post
Personally, I don't think I've seen a single instance of any authors reacting inappropriately.
When you're telling people to "shut the fuck up", you've reacted inappropriately.
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Old August 22 2012, 11:39 AM   #9
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Re: Authors on the Boards

I've been thinking about this recently and my concern is that this could lead to the Treklit threads been seen as a hostile place. Whether or not any authors have voted with their feet in the past, I don't want to see it happen now. A large (for me the largest) attraction to the site is the authors participation - it makes it way more interesting.

There certainly shouldn't be any prohibition of criticism and I don't think the authors would want that either, but things seem to have got pretty negative in places. No author will have a 100% record of great books but we've had some pretty harsh statements about certain authors output, some of whose work I have found enjoyable.

Lets try not to get into arguments, even when we disagree, whether its authors or fans involved. Sho's code of conduct sounds good. It's possible to express opinions without making personal attacks and to discuss in a non confrontational manner when our opinions differ.

I'd actually like to see MORE authors on here regularly - if our current authors could 'spread the word' I'd be grateful, but they're unlikely to do so if they feel unwelcome.
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Old August 22 2012, 11:47 AM   #10
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Re: Authors on the Boards

Compared to the old usenet newsgroups, this place at its worst is like some posh Victorian gentlemen's Club in a Sherlock Holmes movie...
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Old August 22 2012, 11:49 AM   #11
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Re: Authors on the Boards

BillJ wrote: View Post
JD wrote: View Post
Personally, I don't think I've seen a single instance of any authors reacting inappropriately.
When you're telling people to "shut the fuck up", you've reacted inappropriately.
Depends on context, often it's completely appropriate, often it's the only sensible response - especially when dealing with some of the puffed-up blowhards on here who think that because they have knocked out some shitty fan-fiction this means that they have the same insights into publishing and writing as professional paid authors.

That doesn't mean that people can't have a view but they should try and match their ego to their talent and actual output.

Moreover, the faux outrage when an author has the temerity to point this out is hilarious - you think they were expected to get down and suck the reader's dick the way some of the posters here hyperventilate.
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Old August 22 2012, 11:58 AM   #12
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Re: Authors on the Boards

Lonemagpie wrote: View Post
Compared to the old usenet newsgroups, this place at its worst is like some posh Victorian gentlemen's Club in a Sherlock Holmes movie...
'Sir, your latest offering has failed to please me. Should you continue in a similar vein you shall leave me with no alternative but to tell you again...'.
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Old August 22 2012, 12:01 PM   #13
JoeZhang
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Re: Authors on the Boards

"I bid you good day sir".
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Old August 22 2012, 12:05 PM   #14
Relayer1
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Re: Authors on the Boards

JoeZhang wrote: View Post
"I bid you good day sir".
''Cad !''

Seriously, though - if we all play nice, we get to carry on playing...
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Old August 22 2012, 12:16 PM   #15
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Re: Authors on the Boards

I think Greg Cox sets the best example of how a professional should conduct himself when dealing with a fangroup message board. He will respond to legitimate questions and comment freely but I haven't seen him get baited into a stupid flame war over his work.
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