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  1. 1. See the post below for the question.

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I've gotten into a discussion at another site to try and prevent a flame war. And I'm curious as to what you think in this situation.

Let's say an author has his/her own site for his/her stories. The author provides no means of contacting him/her.

Because of this, should readers start discussion topics at sites (like AD) so they can discuss the authors work?

Jan

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AD has a forum specially for discussing writing on other sites. If the guy doesn't provide a discussion forum on his site we can assume he's not sufficiently interested in other people's opinions of his work. That doesn't mean they won't have opinions, of course, and may wish to discuss them. Nothing he can do to stop them doing so in a free country. If there's no web forum they'll discuss it over a pint at the pub.

If he doesn't want his work discussed he could try posting a request to that effect on his site, but it probably won't work... the only way to stop discussion of his work is not to publish it.

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Let's say an author has his/her own site for his/her stories. The author provides no means of contacting him/her.

Because of this, should readers start discussion topics at sites (like AD) so they can discuss the authors work?

I don't see why not, provided the discussion takes place in a relevant forum.

'Driver' is a case in point. He's a great writer who has no board or contact details. Of course people are going to natter about his work, and where's the harm?

Camy

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It is in the spirit of free speech to discuss the work of others.

I mean do I have to get someone's permission to discuss Plato's Socratic dialogues? No of course not.

It seems quite valid to me to discuss the works.

Spoilers need to be notated, however.

Personally however, I wouldn't condone attacking an author's work just for the sake of a discussion.

Criticism needs to be constructive. Analysis of a work also needs to be objective with balanced views being presented.

:icon11:

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i think if the author doesn't leave any contact information, he or she is missing out.
Still, it IS the choice of the author. If he/she wishes to remain anonymous, that's his/her choice.

Yes, there's nothing they can do to prevent discussion of their works, but criticizing them (as people seem to have done) for their desires isn't very charitable.

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I've chatted (IM and PM) with a few authors who have been quite disillusioned with the quality of the feedback they received, namely, "You're an asshole. Put in more sex." and worse, and that's why they don't want feedback. It goes further, and that they don't even want to hear about it from anywhere, and dislike their works being discussed at all. They offer it for us to read, but NOT to tear apart. Sure, we can do it, but really, what's the point. You either like the stuff, or you don't, but discussing it will not result in any change, and the author doesn't want the feedback, so really, why even bother to say anything? At most, maybe a nod to other readers that you've found something worth looking at.

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I really find it strange that someone would want no feedback at all.

If that's totally true, then why is he posting his story? He evidently wants people to read it. But then he doesn't want to know what they thought of it? How very weird that seems.

I certainly don't have an abundance of self-confidence, and I think a lot of authors share that trait, but when I put a lot of effort, and incidentally a lot of myself, into a story, I'd like to know if people enjoyed it, and if not, why not.

Is there a reason other than that they're afraid of rejection why they wouldn't want feedback? I can't think of one.

C

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If an author doesn't want people to comment on his/her stories, then they shouldn't be posted anywhere, or published and given away or sold online, sold as ebooks, as printed books, as audio books, or printed in magazines. By doing any of these things to get the story to the public means the story is fair game to be read, commented about, reviewed, criticized, recommended, etc. By posting or publishing the author gives up an important right about his/her work: the right of secrecy.

That isn't to say that an author has a moral imperative to provide a discussion forum, or to participate in such a discussion forum if it is provided for the author by the site where his/her stories are posted, or if such a forum is started by independently by someone known or unknown by the author. The author likewise does not have an obligation to read and/or respond to any of the comments, reviews, criticisms, etc. posted therein, or (if his/her email or IM or postal address become known) to respond to email or IM or letters.

Colin :icon11:

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It does seem to me that if an author specifically ASKS his work not be discussed and you respect said author, one would comply.

Of course that means the detractors will still post for those same reasons.

Someone here mentioned Driver specifically. I love his works and everyone knows that because when asked I gladly admit it. But I don't start threads, and don't say much in them specifically because he's made it widely and clearly known he doesn't like it. I feel the need to respect his privacy.

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Just to add to the difficulty, an author who doesn't want his material discussed, and who is maintaining 'silence' by not having any contact information, is put in an impossible position of having to break the 'silence' in order to even ask people to please not talk about his work. What a pickle. :hug:

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Someone here mentioned Driver specifically. I love his works and everyone knows that because when asked I gladly admit it. But I don't start threads, and don't say much in them specifically because he's made it widely and clearly known he doesn't like it. I feel the need to respect his privacy.

Yes, that would be me: 9 posts up.

I said:

'Driver' is a case in point. He's a great writer who has no board or contact details. Of course people are going to natter about his work, and where's the harm?

Are you speaking on his behalf, Wibby? I ask, because if it's 'widely and clearly known he doesn't like it.' - presumably people talking about his work - which I greatly admire - then I missed it.

Perhaps, for clarity, there should be a list in the 'Roamin' Reader' forum: Writers who would prefer their work wasn't discussed.

Camy

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I am not authorized to speak for Driver nor would I ever presume to do so without his express permission.

However, I can tell you, with absolute certainty that if he had a delete button, every single forum with a mention of his stories would be gone in an instant.

To be honest, I would LOVE to discuss all of his stories and set up threads for all of them. I think most people do love his stories and could discuss them productively. However, because I know his feelings on this are adamant, I would never disrespect him by doing so. I can safely he say he would be much happier if all of you would just not discuss his works ANYWHERE ever again.

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I had no idea Driver didn't want his work discussed. I knew he was private, that he didn't take mail, that he didn't reply to mail, but I had no idea he disliked people discussing his work on-line. That's entirely different from an author not wanting any personal interface with his readers, and not something I could or would have assumed; and in fact, I didn't.

I may not have speculated on the point of his current story had I known that. However, I was writing in defense of it. I guess, if someone doesn't want his work mentioned, analyzed or discussed, he might also object to someone defending it?

This is getting very confusing.

C

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For what it's worth...if an author chooses not to leave contact information, that is his decision. I think he's missing out on a great deal of enjoyment but so be it. In the last few days I've done a bit of research about this author and found out he has been harassed, threatened, and who knows what else because of his work. So cutting off contact with everyone is understandable.

Yet I can't agree with his disdain of "fans" discussing his work, whether they praise it or bash it. I am not a fan of Driver's work, but I have never bashed his writings or his words nor will I ever. Author's spend a great amount of time creating and I've never felt comfortable putting a fellow author down.

That being said, if you write something and decide to share it with the world, then you must take the good with the bad. If he doesn't want this work discussed, then he should keep it to himself. Of course, this is my opinion and it really doesn't matter to anyone.

Jason

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I agree with Jason, Cole and Colinian above. If you post your work on the web, then as far as I'm concerned, you're giving your tacit approval to anybody to read and discuss the work. Period.

I think what Driver was getting at to WBMS was that he was very hurt in the beginning by people who sent him angry, nasty, even violent emails about his work. (I had a very brief, albeit very positive correspondence with him. and always praised the majority of what he did.) I think it got fairly serious, to the point where some Internut got hold of Driver's phone number and started harrassing him. (Proving you have to be careful how and where you register a website.)

But I don't think a writer can say, "I forbid anybody to discuss my work on the web," just as they can't say, "I forbid anybody to talk to a friend about mo work." There's a thing called the 1st amendment (at least in the U.S.), and we can discuss any damn thing we want, as long as it doesn't involve criminal activities. Honest criticism is certainly allowed, and I think it should be encouraged on forums like this one.

I also agree with the others that it's crazy for an author not to provide an email address in his or her online stories, in my opinion. As far as I'm concerned, the only "payment" an author gets is the small ego-boost when a nice letter comes in. I'm positive my Yahoo account has well over 3000 pieces of mail archived over the last few years, and I think less than a dozen of them were negative (let alone hostile). All you can do with the hostile or crazy ones is to either ignore them, or send them a curt "thanks for your comments" message.

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