I shouldn't have to say this, we've all had the "Welcome to the internet!" speech, but maybe we need a reminder. Look at ourselves and the way we post and the way we read. We're assuming the worst of every troper that posts here, except for maybe a handful of our personal favorites. Whenever we read someone's topic or post related to the topic, we jump right to the conclusion that the only thing they've ever written, or what they consider to be the most important part of their story, is that one post. We read in a fashion that every troper is trying to sell their book/written work to a professional publisher/me/you, and this
post on this
thread on this
forum is all we're getting.
This assuming has derailed a lot
of threads. In recent memory, the "epic fights" thread didn't even last one post
before it got derailed, going headfirst into "you people think fight scenes are too important." Then there's the "worst thing done to your character" thread, which recently got locked due to more generalizations of the posters. Everyone just jumped on the idea that every troper on the forum (besides themselves and their few favorites) is a horrible writer, and that what they've described in the matter of two or three paragraphs is the sum of all their written work.
There's also the number of threads of "analysis" on the subforum that is Writer's Block. Threads that randomly ask "have you guys noticed that this forum typically talks about...?" They come off quickly as "now I
don't write all about that, so aren't I great?" This is just more assuming. More assuming that anyone who does write about those subjects or topics, as demonstrated on these forums, are probably bad writers that have a one-track mind.
We tend to talk a lot about how there's hardly any written work actually posted on the forum. There isn't any solid work to actually critique and work with, just a lot of general threads that encompass a wide range of concepts. But considering how people react to those threads, completely generalizing dozens of writers based on a post
about their work in a thread
dedicated to one concept, what incentive do they have to post their actual work? If you people jump shit on writers for simply talking about a particular fight scene, what makes you think they'll gladly post the rest of their work for you to generalize and tear up?
Let's discuss the matter. There's a few ideas I want to talk about here.
- What is the purpose of these "general concept" threads? Threads that are basically "What if the most something you've done in a story?" Are they places to post ideas and inspire other writers with similar ideas? Or are they circles of bad writers trying to compete for the most awesome something?
- How much of the writer's skills can we determine based on a few paragraph's worth of their book's information? Are we able to smell out totally bad writing and accurately snoop our way into determining what the writer needs to do to improve? Or are we just prideful little bastards that are trying to demean others and the way they write? In the end, are these "general concept" threads really the place to try and critique others?
- Is there any real purpose to the "tropers tend to write about" threads? Do they actually inspire insightful conversation? Or do they boil down to "my writing is sooooooo good because I'm different?"
Hopefully this thread can inspire some difference in the forums. I've been hesitant to post any of my work here, not just because of the issues above, but general internet insecurities. Anonymous folk on the internet always assume the worst - they see what they think is a grammatical error or plot hole and enter a man-child induced rage. Writer's Block at least has a good number of sane posters I can probably trust, but I have no incentive to post actual work when I can't even post a few stray ideas I've written without people assuming I'm a blind sheep in a crowd.
Also don't let this turn into a "yeah that one particular thread/poster is horrible." The examples I've mentioned are just references and should not be seen as a direct attack on any troper. They're evidence to show this has happened. You can reference other threads, just don't focus solely on them please. This isn't a fire pit to start a war, this is a thread to discuss the issue of this bad habit most writers here have. Sorry for the length, but please, actually read it. Again, this is not a place for flaming. Nope. Just discussion.
I'm pretty sure the concept of Law having limits was a translation error. -Wanderlustwarrior