Saturday, November 26, 2005

How to Critique

How to Critique

It's written for (narrative) fiction, but the basic advice is sound for critiquing any kind of writing.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Messageboards, Forums, Chats for Writers

The Links

Some Thoughts on The Messageboard Experience
It's very easy to dismiss the whole "chat scene" or the whole "messageboard experience" because of a few bad apples, the trolls who are so miserable in their own real-life existence that they feel compelled to use the internet in all its anonymity to reach out and hurt as many people as possible. There is not a single messageboard that has not been affected by the phenomena.
For your own protection and for the well-being of any community, it pays to be aware that trolls do exist, you will encounter them, and you must strengthen yourself against the viciousness of their baseless attacks and carry on as if they aren't even there. Ignore them. Do not feed the trolls.
Yeah... as incredible as that sounds, you know you stand on a sure foundation of bedrock self-knowledge and self-esteem and some anonymous mental defective out there in cyberspace cannot and does not have any power to remix, reshape, or in any way determine WHO you are. That's only ever and 100% entirely up to you. Do not let them upset you. Do not give your power away to someone else. Only you control your own destiny. You own you. That is all.
There are many people worth knowing out there in those online communities. I am grateful for all the many friends I've made in cyberspace and I'm grateful for the helpful advice and connections, too.
One of the online communities that was worthwhile in its earliest days was Project Greenlight. It came out of the screenwriting contest spearheaded by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon and Chris Moore. I know the big fellas at Project Greenlight believe their main strength was one lucky winner and its resultant product but what the powers-that-be have never acknowledged and seemingly remain oblivious to is that the true online community that formed up around Project Greenlight may have been their most valuable... and powerful... base and resource.
Because they lacked the sight to recognize the potential of this community other than throwing an occasional "partner advertisement" up on their website, they never gave it the care and grooming it desperately needed. And so the trolls were allowed to take over and a once thriving community of over 10,000 participants dwindled to probably not even over 100 regular members.
Wow... it takes some doing to do that. Here are a few more reflections on Project Greenlight:
A Few Observations on
a Grand Notion