PLEASE READ: Tips For Using This Forum.
'Discuss Writing From ABCtales' is the forum for you to do just that! It is here that you can tell others what you think of pieces of writing on ABCtales, get feedback on your own work and give feedback on the work of others.
Below are a few suggestions to help you to get the most out of this forum.
1. Leave An Address!
When you flag up a piece of writing, you need to leave a link to it so other people can easily find the piece to which you are drawing their attention.
A link or URL (Universal Resource Locator) sounds very complicated but is very simple. All you need to do is highlight the address in your browser and then copy and paste it into your forum post.
If you are clicking through to 'Discuss Writing at ABCtales.com', remember to copy the address BEFORE you click the link that takes you to 'Discuss Writing'. It'll save you having to go back and retrieve it!
The forum software converts any addresses into links automatically, so all you need to do is paste it as you see it in the address bar of your browser.
When you submit your post, you'll see that, as if by magic, your address has become a clickable link!
It is always nice to drop people an email, so that they aware that their work is being discussed. It's a generally nice thing to do, and it helps you get to know other users on the site! If you are unsure how to email a fellow user, check the ABCtales Frequently Asked Questions Page at http://www.abctales.com/abctales_faq
2. Feedback Is Never Bad!
The process of taking criticism and suggestions is vital to your growth as a writer. The feelings of an audience towards your writing will always prove useful.
Most people are looking for honest feedback about their work. When you flag up a piece of work, people appreciate it if you tell them what you think. It's great when people say what they like and why, as this gives the encouragement to keep going.
What is also useful, but takes a bit more delicacy, is telling people what you didn't like. In this case, it is always better to give very specific examples of what you thought could be done better, and try where possible to make suggestions and lend a hand. Remember, though, ABCtales is slightly different to a writing class or a critique group. Many people who put their work up onto ABCtales will not be used to the kind of no holds barred critical dissection that can go on in such settings.
Unless you are sure of how used to taking constructive criticism someone is, it always worth thinking about what sort of things would have stopped you in your tracks when you were beginning to write. We want to be a nurturing community where people can learn and grow, rather than a place where people feel as if they are going to get their work ripped to pieces. Always ask yourself 'Are my comments constructive and supportive?'
That said; never feel that 'Discuss Writing from ABCtales' is simply a place to pat people on the back. Never feel that you should stifle your views on a piece, just treat the author of the work you are discussing with respect and remember that no matter what piece of writing you look at on ABCtales, someone has put their time and effort into writing it.
3. Asking for Feedback
A perennial issue, it is only natural that people should look for feedback in 'Discuss Writing From ABCtales'. In the past, there has been some disagreement as whether it was fair of people new to the site to ask for feedback before they had contributed feedback to anyone else.
We feel that it is fine to ask for feedback on the understanding that people offering feedback are giving their time, ideas and experience. On this basis, it isn't really polite to demand feedback, or complain when others don't give it.
The best way to ease yourself in is to politely ask for some feedback, including a link to your work (see 1 above) so that people can find it easily and have a read of some work by other people, joining in with some of the discussions that you find about other pieces.
It is also a good idea to acknowledge the time and effort that others have put into giving you feedback. There is nothing that will reduce your chances of getting feedback in future more than not acknowledging feedback that others have given you. It leaves them feeling that their time has been wasted.
4. Code of Conduct
Your attention is drawn to the fact we have a Code of Conduct for these forums (and the rest of the site).
You can read it here:
Please be aware that we intend to enforce it, and persistent breaches may result in your access to ABCtales.com being restricted.
We will be adding to this guide as time goes by, so any suggestions or ideas are gratefully accepted.