Dear Miss Snark:
Your Snarkiness surprised me with an offhand comment a little while ago (Post: I'm Almost Finished with the novel) where you advised everybody to stay AWAY from online writing forums.
Gasp! Far be it from me to snark back at you, but WHY?
I've been part of an excellent online forum for two years now, and it would be hard to measure either the quality or quantity of the myriad benefits I've gotten from it.
My willingness to learn trumps my pride. What am I doing wrong? Please help my nitwit brain to understand! If you have a reason why we should avoid online forums (and you must, or you wouldn't have said anything), then please, PLEASE, share it with your loyal Snarklings, so that we may learn the better path.
For sake of reference, the forum in question is Forward Motion. In fact, it was someone there who first recommended you to me.
Thank you for considering my question. May your ginbucket (gin pail) never run dry.
P.S. My cats send regards to Killer Yapp, and want to know: would he consider it tribute or copyright infringement for one of them to adopt the name Killer Yeow? (KY here: no trademark infringement as long as I get to chase them up trees in Central Park regularly)
Ok, it was an offhand comment, and I should have qualified it a tad more.
I don't mean places that actually talk about writing or critique your work. I meant places that talk about aspects of the writing life and seem to be full of people who are doing everything but writing, and are chockablock full of "information" from people who aren't in the industry and aren't published. Questions that start "I heard this on a writer's forum" seem to have a high proportion of utter bunk in them. And my dog, some of the people who post on them make Miss Snark look like Merry Sunshine.
Additionally, the question was from a novelist who was 80% finished and struggling to make that 100%, and that's a very critical point requiring focus and dedication. At that point the ONLY thing is to finish and anything that distracts you from that path should be ruthlessly pruned away...even to the point of (dare I say it) NOT reading Miss Snark daily. The great thing about archives is they are there when you are finished with the novel. There's nothing here (or on those writing forums) that is so date specific that it needs to be read the minute it's posted. NOTHING.
It's easy to squander time and it's really easy to get caught up thinking you're learning how to write by reading how to do stuff, but you learn to be a writer by writing. It's like math class: listen to the teacher all you want, but you actually have to put pencil on paper and figure out x and y to learn how it's done.