Newbie Stories.

Hmm, figured this might be a good idea. Seems to work on FTT for their art sections.

I think the idea of a newbie story forum, where people aren’t allowed to completely shred a new persons story might allow us the freedom of critiquing a story but without inadvertently scaring off new members.

Seems kind of lame I know, but there are writers out there whose stories may not be very good but it’s clear they ARE indeed trying. Maybe having a forum for new writers who aren’t quite ready for the big leagues but still want some advice would help.

(BTW, It’s midnight here and I just woke up so if my grammar sounds fucked up, my apologies).

Re: Newbie Stories.

Not a bad idea, as long as it’s voluntary. Some people may be ready to roll with the punches their first time out, but I would be all for the idea of a gentler sub-forum where shy newbies could get constructive criticism without the harsher stuff.

Re: Newbie Stories.

This has come up a few times before and there have been arguments for and against.

People seem to worry that it will result in no one reading the newbie stories and reducing overall story-orientated traffic.

I for one have largely been in favour.

Re: Newbie Stories.

I remember a discussion regarding a beginner’s board. At any rate, the question now is would such a board be voluntarily utilized if we offered it?

Re: Newbie Stories.

I, for one, think that such a board would be redundant.

Firstly, what constitutes ‘shredding a story’ is very, very subjective. Some writers can take direct criticism, some become discouraged if they receive one not-too-encouraging post.

Secondly, most of the critiquing going on here is actually pretty soft already. If a new writer posts, even if the story is atrocious, most of us will hold back on negative comments and try to give some suggestions for improvement. We only unleash the fury, so to speak, if the same poster does not show any improvements or changes in subsequent posts.

Thirdly, if, as Jaks said, the writer is indeed trying, most of us will - and do - recognise that and will moderate our posts accordingly. I don’t think they need to post stories in a special story board just to get a non-critical review.

Yep, my 2 cents worth on this topic.

Re: Newbie Stories.

Hmm. Casper has a good point, but so does Jaks. I’m on the fence on this one.

Re: Newbie Stories.

Firstly, what constitutes ‘shredding a story’ is very, very subjective. Some writers can take direct criticism, some become discouraged if they receive one not-too-encouraging post.

Secondly, most of the critiquing going on here is actually pretty soft already. If a new writer posts, even if the story is atrocious, most of us will hold back on negative comments and try to give some suggestions for improvement. We only unleash the fury, so to speak, if the same poster does not show any improvements or changes in subsequent posts.

It’s not about what writers can “take,” it’s about what you say. There are ways to politely give criticism without coddling.

“This story is really terrible” can be “This story needs some serious work.” Ten times less offensive. Unfortunately, there ARE situations on the board members stories forum where people do flat out say it’s a terrible story (I’m honestly not sure how you can miss them). Because of the occasional lack of niceties and politeness, I thought of a newbie story forum. The former forum you could say what you want and just exactly how you want it, without having to be politically correct and the newbie forum you’d have to be a little more lenient. It would give writers a sense of security in that they could ‘practice’ in the newbie forum for a couple of stories, or even just a few chapters, and then move onto the regular forum where people will likely be far more direct albeit harsher in their views.

Here’s an example, lets say you find a story that’s a paragraph or two long, is grammatically fucked, has no setting, character exposition, hell not even a name. All it’s about is a girl who wakes up in a wet bed and gets caught by her mother, who proceeds to diaper her, baby her and humiliate her with little reason. How many people would take that story seriously? How many people would offer up some actual worthwhile advice to help that writer?

Depending on how many responses there are, if you try to, you’d likely be the only one. That’s a problem. Now I remember one instance there was a story like that, in chapter one I decided to try and give reasonable and sound advice, and chapter two came out and it was just as terrible, proving he had no intention of actually trying or even listening to us. Yes at that point it went down in flames, but the FIRST chapter could have been handled better.

I understand why it wasn’t and a part of me even agrees that it wasn’t going to get a positive reception to begin with, but that is precisely why I’m suggesting a newbie forum. It’s not to coddle members or force people to give a positive reception, it’s to help new writers learn to write better if they actually have an interest in continuing.

Thirdly, if, as Jaks said, the writer is indeed trying, most of us will - and do - recognise that and will moderate our posts accordingly. I don’t think they need to post stories in a special story board just to get a non-critical review.

Much like your first point, what constitutes “actually trying” is also very subjective.

Re: Newbie Stories.

Mr. Admin, sir, I’d like to report a problem. The previous poster appears to have hijacked Jaks’ account and posted a coherent, helpful and reasonable reply under his name. I fear the real Jaks is tied up in a basement somewhere. ;D

Re: Newbie Stories.

Don’t antagonize Jaks, Peter. That was uncalled for.

Re: Newbie Stories.

My sole remaining worry is that people will use it as a place to post absolute shit because they can’t be told off and consequently no one will read anything there.

Re: Newbie Stories.

I foresaw that myself but I don’t think it’ll happen for one major reason. The people that write with one hand under the keyboard likely wouldn’t care where they put the story, and thus it’ll go to the board members stories rather than the newbie section, and it’ll be thrashed like it deserves.

Furthermore, those people are likely not going to give a shit about anything else in the forum, such as the forum description. Therefore, in theory we could add a small disclaimer to the forum description for members to include P.E.A.C.H. in their thread title (Please Evaluate and Critique Honestly). Anyone who is serious about becoming better at creative writing would see that or eventually see that and put it in their thread titles.

That idea may not be the best one as those who are serious about improving their skills at creative writing aren’t always going to pay attention to their thread titles or the forum descriptions. But it’s an idea.

For now, I will say that I think the newbie story forum at least deserves a trial and error period.

Re: Newbie Stories.

The whole idea of this forum IS to critique writing. I’m not going to sit there and add PEACH to all my thread titles when all that would be doing is asking people to do what we set up the forum to do in the first place. Besides, it sounds really silly.

Yeah I know it sounds kind of ridiculous. I just got the idea from Wizards of the Coast forums, it’s a common acronym for custom pen and paper material written there.

Unless I see heavy support from (established) members on this, or my fellow administrators disagree with me, I don’t think we will be going this route.

Fair enough, I’ll start a poll.

Re: Newbie Stories.

I’m not entirely sure about the criticism as well because actually, looking at how long some of us spend logged on here compared to the post rate (/our response times), I’m thinking that we’ll read it, whether it’s shit or otherwise.

Re: Newbie Stories.

You’re right, comment withdrawn and apologized for. I was intending to express a tongue-in-cheek positive reinforcement, and failed rather miserably. Sorry.

deleted

Re: Newbie Stories.

I understand the consideration, and it’s drive to encourage fledgling writers. However I think that there are places to post if you want to post without any strong evaluation or criticism. DailyDiapers for instance.

The idea of a newbies story section seems antithetical to the reputation of the forum as a place for serious and considerate feedback.

Just my opinion.

I don’t think its a bad idea, I just don’t think it’s necessary.

Re: Newbie Stories.

I feel that this would be a great idea and heres why. 1. It allows new writers to get help with their stories whether it’d be grammar or spelling issues.

2.It allows New Writers to understand how to fix things wrong in the plot of the story overall.

  1. It gives experienced writers a chance to help new writers out with their stories

Re: Newbie Stories.

Can’t we do that with the current boards? I see people doing these things already. Since new writers post more stories than the experienced ones it seems the current boards are new writers boards.