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Talking about books by Mythic Scribes members

Discussion in 'Ask the Staff' started by Amanita, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. Amanita

    Amanita Maester

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    After having gotten answers to my question how to read e-books without a kindle, I've bought a book by a fellow forum member.
    I haven't started reading yet, but when I'm finished, I'd like to discuss it as well and it's always more fun if the author can respond directly. ;)
    I don't want to hurt anyone's chances however, so, are there any special guidelines for dealing with the works of fellow members? Normally, I try to be polite about it, but I do say what I dislike about something I've read as well. My taste isn't exactly highly represantive however.
     
  2. JCFarnham

    JCFarnham Auror

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    In the past I've simply private messaged the Mythic Scribe in question (I've read a few from our members in fact). I had a nice talk with one author about NaNoWriMo and chances of publishing such a work.

    But in answer to your question, if its constructive and known to be so then I see no reason why anyone need get upset :)
     
  3. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    I would ask the person in question for permission, or even if they would be willing to start the thread themselves. And I'd do it in the Showcase so things aren't visible to everyone who googles the book (by which point, some of your crits might even be fixed). Also, I'd try to encourage others to get the book and read it so you have more to discuss.
     
  4. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Auror

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    I will state this as a published author with works already out there:

    The vast majority of authors would not object in the least if their works were read and discussed, in an open forum would be fine for most, I strongly suspect. And a reader shouldn't be worried about hurting a writer's feelings if they have negative opinions about some aspect or all aspects of a novel. Not every reader will enjoy every novel written. The author, in the end, may not agree with the reader's opinion, but mature adults can agree to disagree and not get upset. It's someone's opinion.

    Authors should have thick skins, and if they don't, they need to develop them if they hope to have a career in writing. Just as when you're critting another writer's as yet unpublished work, you're critting the work, not the writer--or you shouldn't be critting the writer. If it's done professionally, it's certainly not personal. Do remember, however, that a published work is unlikely to be 'changed' by reader input (unless it's a glaring error/inconsistency both the writer and editor missed), but that doesn't mean the writer cannot take into account what's discussed and apply it to future works. Both what worked well with the writing/story, and what was found to be lacking--at least by that reader.

    If a reader is uncomfortable voicing a negative opinion (or a postive one) for a variety of reasons, that's okay too. Many folks may be hesitant, but there's no reason the reader (especially if he or she is working to improve their writing) cannot learn from viewing a discussion, even if they don't directly participate.

    That's my two cents on the topic.
     
  5. Amanita

    Amanita Maester

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    Thank you for your answers.
    Of course I didn't believe that published books would be changed because of my opinion on something in there.:D
    I've just been wondering if they should be discussed in the novels sub-forum like others or if it would be better to do it in more private ways. Now I think that the latter probably is better. ;)
     
  6. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    I wouldn't suggest otherwise, but the consideration, in my mind, is that Amanita said the person is a peer in this community. I would just expect to see some level of tact because of that.


    It depends on how well established the publication is. If the book is selling through a traditional publisher and getting good reviews, probably not. If it's self-published with fewer than a hundred sales, absolutely it might be changed based on the opinions of another Mythic Scribes writer.
     
  7. Telcontar

    Telcontar Staff Moderator

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    It's a tricky subject, especially in a writer's community like this where we are likely to consider each other a bit closer than a cold, formal relationship (and thus a bit likelier to be hurt by an out-of-the blue negative review from peers here). I myself say "bring on the pain" but I can't imagine everyone here would say the same.

    In any case, starting off with a PM to the person in question sounds like a good idea.
     
  8. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Auror

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    I've picked up a copy of Mythic Scribe Member Michael Sullivan's Theft of Swords and hope to read it over the summer. I'd be willing to participate in a discussion about Michael Sullivan's novel if other members would be.
     
  9. gavintonks

    gavintonks Maester

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    Everyone has an opinion even if it is not voiced, the reason you write is so that someone reads it. The feedback is required as it means you have touched someone. You will never touch everyone the same and not everyone is touched in the same way. I would be proud that someone is inspired enough to say something at all, good or bad as it means you have succeed in your writing in causing a reaction to your work.
    I find if you have as many bad as good then you know its good
     
  10. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Auror

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    Actually, there's a thread started where his book is already being talked about/discussed.

    Here it is: http://mythicscribes.com/forums/novels-stories/1683-theft-swords.html

    Guess I'm just a little bit behind everyone else.
     
  11. Kelise

    Kelise Maester

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    I'm going to get it in a few weeks - hopefully sooner - from the publisher to review for a website I write for. Requested it six or so weeks ago and getting antsy!

    I'd be interested in discussing it then also :)
     
  12. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    As an author and artist, I would say that I have an AC of 10, but HP bordering on infinite when it comes to criticism (for non 2nd Edition D&D'ers, that means it is easy to hurt me but I keep on going and going and ...).

    I do agree that I always want to hear what people think and that people need to approach things maturely and professionally. If someone is worried about their constructive criticism sounding too harsh, then I recommend using the "sandwich" method, where you try to sandwich negative criticism in-between positive criticisms or support.

    And if the criticism is constructive, then this is definitely something that the author should WANT to hear. I know one of my first early readers gave an opinion that ended up resulting in the creation of an entire character in my first novel, even though I fundamentally disagreed with what they were saying!
     
  13. robertbevan

    robertbevan Troubadour

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    as far as my books go, consider my permission granted. discuss it from the mountaintops.
     
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