What's Wrong With Writerscafe? : Forum : "Levels"


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"Levels"

11 Years Ago


Please No CSS

Writers on the Cafe are all at different skill levels in their writing abilities, with one thing in common, we are all learning. It's not appropriate for a writer who just picked up a pen yesterday to critique someone who has been writing all their life or makes their living from it. Likewise it is not appropriate for experienced writers to rip apart writing from someone just starting out. The problem is that we don't know who is who until we've already sent that review and get the “F-U!” in the inbox. SO, we need to label ourselves.


There will be Five Levels because there used to be five stars. The general breakdown of the idea is as follows:


Level 5- Veteran, Published, I know what I'm doing writer
Level 4- Serious Amateur trying to get published so spare me no wisdom writer
Level 3- Amateur just writing, hi how are you writer
Level 2- Beginning writer would like some encouragement writer
Level 1- Brand spanking new go easy on me writer


Here's the thing, writers will decide what level they think they are and that tells other writers how we should be reviewing them. Level 5's probably don't need too much help with grammar or technical stuff, they probably are just looking to see if a potential audience likes their new work, whereas a Level 4 is looking to get bashed and knows that if their stuff doesn't shock and awe then they're doing something wrong and want to know exactly what it is. Level 3's are the social writers who are looking for indepth but not harsh reviews. Everything below we know are just learning and need encouragement, not scathing reviews about how childish their writing is. People change their level whenever they think they're ready. People can only bash other people of their same level. Level 5's can bash everyone. No one can bash level 1's. Oh yeah, and level 5's have to do community service and review a level 1 every now and then.


There are teenagers on this site (unfortunately). There will be a different Level system for them. They are minors and deserve special care and consideration. There will be 4 Levels for 17 and under's. No Level 5 because no teenage authors are published or really much good, and if they are, they'll use the regular scale. There will be no teenage bashing. Period, not even by other teenagers or published writers. There will be no cyberbullying on the Cafe. Things are bad enough in high school as it is and the last thing this site needs is a news story about kids committing suicide because they got bashed on Writerscafe.org (great PR, we'd never get anyone to sign up ever again but any press is good press right).


We'll eventually draft review standards for the Levels. What users are going to do is decide what Level they fall into and post it in BIG BOLD LETTERS in their bio section so we know who we are dealing with. Users can change their Level whenever they want, just know they are inviting the possibility of harsher reviews if they do so.


Anything I missed, please post below.

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[no subject]

11 Years Ago


I'm not really liking how this feels already. The very way that you define writers you throw some backhanded shots. I would think that this whole thing would require almost an entire rewrite. Why to the types of reviews a person want have inherent judgments as to their skill levels? Why do the people who you categorize as the best writers get described as people who don't want to hear about their grammar failings? Grammar is the first thing that we learn. The most unskilled of writers should at LEAST understand the laws of grammar?

How about detailing what manner of reviews you would like without a label? I think that I'm a pretty good writer, but I want to KNOW when I make a grammatical or spelling error. I happen to take pride in attention to technical detail. What I do NOT want, is someone who doesn't know when to use "there" vs "their" vs "they're" trashing my writing in order to buttress their own ego. According to your standards that would make me a beginner. That is an affront to me and to writing. Beginners struggle with spelling and grammar and become indignant when someone tries to help them. They are so unsure of their own writing prowess, that they need to go kick someone else around in order to avoid feeling inferior. Lets lose the caste system and class names and simply define the sort of reviews that we would like. Let us make the pledge one to respect these defined boundaries that other writers set. If that's what ends up happening ... count me in. If you are talking about something that resembles what you have written above, I doubt that I can participate.
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[no subject]

11 Years Ago


HOLD ON!
Alright, people are here to read and review everyone, not just those who are new or those who are old writers.  I have some very informitave reviews from vetrans which I welcome wholeheartedly, I have also given reviews to newbies which I hope was informative and constuctive to their future writings.  If someone gets a review from a vetran thats is harsh and ver critical, then its still up to them whether they accept it, and use it, or if they ignore it.  It doesn't hurt for them to look through it and see how to improve.  Likewise, if a newbie reads a vetrans work and sees some grammar or story part that doesn't work well on whole, they can say it freely to the vetran.  The vetran can look, and since he knows what he is dooing can decide if that review was really warranted.  if it wasn't then he can simply talk to the newbie and tell them why or why not it would work.  That gives a chance for a learning experience on both parts. 
This is a comunity for writers to help others out, if you can't live with that then go somewhere else.  Also WTH is up with the teen bashing, over and over you say Nicole that no teen is any good at writing or has ever been published.  Both of those are absolutly wrong, the fact that adults have a better chance to get their writing published has a lot to do with it.  Have you ever read the Inheritance series?  Maybe thats not your taste, Try reading Scott Free's works on here.  If you really beleive all that crap about teens they you need to go to an asylum.  Also, you say no teen bashing, which is exactly what you did in your other post about what is wrong with writerscafe.
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[no subject]

11 Years Ago


I have to say I am in complete agreement with what the creepy pig guy has had to say up to this point.  I will not be joining any bashing parades in the near future.  I think the idea of defining what level of experience would be a good one although I am not sold on the levels as yet.  I would like to know more about the writers I engage with, but I suppose it is up to me to find out what I can through emails and such. 

I have come to appreciate this site for what it is...a place for writers to come, kick up their feet, join friends and toss around ideas.  A place where writing is displayed as the main topic of discussion.  I have longed for such a site for many a year, and am grateful for the support it gives.  Writing can be such a lonely affair, it is nice to be understood by those who can relate to this.  There were many times in my youth when writing through out the night I had dreams such a place existed. 

The fact that we have such a place to come to should not be over looked, nor the fact that it is so easy to navigate.  Many institutions would be envious of such bragging rights.  The fact that it is free learning only sweetens the deal in my opinion.

I give a huge thumbs up to the creators of the site and thank them from the bottom of my heart.

Tigra

 

 

 

 

 

 

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[no subject]

11 Years Ago


Wow, all this sounds like vigilante justice. Nicole, I'm sorry but it sounds like you're trying to take over the site.
I don't like the way Writer's Cafe has gone either, but it's not like the world; if we mess up the world, we can't just head to Mars. If we mess up WC, we can always head to other sites. We could join together in a group and go to one site so that friends would still know each other.
See my post on 'The Problem' thread to see where I suggest dissatisfied writers should go.
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[no subject]

11 Years Ago


Someone really has a dislike of teens. This group seems to have been created more with the goal of insulting teens than really trying to improve this site.
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[no subject]

11 Years Ago


It's great to see that we're getting a dialogue started. This is just a general rough breakdown, if you don't like it, then lets work together to draft a system that we all like and that will work. The reason we need to organize ourselves based on skill is precisely for what "The Titan..." said, to encourage informative reviews between writers and not just "i liked it it was good" reviews. Those are the only kinds of reviews people are giving out anymore because everyone's scared to give indepth critiques or is pissed off because they have to curtail their critiques. Freedom of speech is important, so instead of curtailing it and telling everyone to ease off their ways of reviewing, lets match the writers who want harsh reviews with the reviewers who want to give them.

For instance, me personally, I want harsh reviews. I want to know exactly what is wrong with my writing and if you don't like it, I want to know why because I'm doing something wrong and I want to know exactly what it is. Other writers don't want that and they're looking for encouragement more so than constructive criticism, that's okay, so we need to avoid online confrontation by steering writers who want constructive criticism to reviewers who want to give it. One of the main complaints on this site is that people can't say exactly what they want to say about the writing they read and they can't find the writing they want to read anyway, so the community comes to a stand still.

It's not like we can eliminate "bashing" but we can steer it in a better direction. We need to better organize ourselves because it's like downtown Los Angeles in this place! Everyone is floating all over the place. Even sprawling metropolises have neighborhoods.
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[no subject]

11 Years Ago


"One of the main complaints on this site is that people can't say exactly what they want to say about the writing they read"


Sounds more to me like this is YOUR main complaint. You seem desperately to want to tear down others. There is a thing called decorum and if you are a part of a group that agrees to those types of reviews then that's fine. But you are wrong if you are trying to try to create an environment in which it is okay to tear down writers who do not wish to be torn down.

Feedback is good, and honesty is good. But these can be achieved without being mean and beating up egos. I won't ever back down on this point.
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[no subject]

11 Years Ago


No, you're missing the point, we don't want writers to tear down writers who don't want to be torn down, we want them to tear down writers who want to be torn down, so how do you suggest we get them to do that?

We can't just say "no one can be honest with reviews." That's wrong.
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[no subject]

11 Years Ago


I like the level thing... if the writer sets it.
 Maybe there should be two levels set...  One is what we think of ourselves and one is what the public thinks of us.   Because to be perfectly honest,  we're not gonna sell a doggon thing unless the public buys it  and the public is not gonna buy based on our opinion of who we are,  but on the flip side if we want to be published, it would help to learn from ones who have been there.
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[no subject]

11 Years Ago


The levels don't necessarily have to be dead-set five level system. We can break it up however we want, but we just need a uniform system to match people with.

The Levels don't really determine actual skill, they just determine what kinds of reviews you get. You can be the greatest writer in the world but are only here to write casually, so you could list yourself as Level 3.
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[no subject]

11 Years Ago


I find it inconsistent and troubling that a person who was so vehemently oppose to numeric ratings for writing would be so willing to affix a numeric rating or level to a writer.

[cold shivers]
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[no subject]

11 Years Ago


The levels system doesn't seem so bad, but I just don't think it's needed. If we want good solid, critiquing reviews, we go to people who give them. Sure, there are few people like that. But I know a few, and I can get good feedback from them.
I'm afraid you're trying to convince the wrong crowd, Nicole.
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[no subject]

11 Years Ago


I’m still trying to understand what is meant here by “Bashing” and why anyone would want it.  I just had to go and look it up on the dictionary again and thankfully, it still seems to mean what I thought it did.  ‘To strike with a crushing or smashing blow, To engage in harsh, accusatory, threatening criticism, etc.’  I have been here on and off since 2006 and although I my oldest poem has received 144 reviews, including one from the moderator, no one has ever ‘Bashed’ any of my work.   Those who have read my stories and poetry have included Teenagers and older readers as well.  Many just give a quick “It was great” or “It made me cry” comment while others offer serious criticism which is what I want.  I assume you would all want serious criticism and comments too.

 

There seems to be an obsession on the part of some that �Being published� somehow makes you a better writer than someone who is not �Published.�  My best friend is an 84 year old Professor Emeritus at Yale and considers himself �Non-published.� Although countless of writings have been read by students over the years.  He is working on a book that he wants to publish as he is nearing the end of his journey here on Earth.  He honors me once in a while by asking my opinion and how he can appear less academic and more personal, and I have given him my criticism on a few occasions.

 

I certainly wouldn�t be pretentious enough to give myself a 1-5 rating and I have seen many �I�m new to writing,� or �I don�t care about punctuation� comments in writer�s bios and that seems to work fine.  The old system of �Stars� was sort of a way for the reader to rate us 1-5 but, as I told Charlie back then it was terribly flawed because the writer could see how many �Stars� they were given by each reviewer.  Friends were showering friends with stars rather than rating the work.

 

They should bring back the �Stars� perhaps using 10 and just make them anonymous.  Just write a review and rate the work.  Charlie could easily control those who would hatefully post 1 star or 10 for a buddy by limiting comments to one per IP address and throwing out the lowest and highest scores.  Hey, it works for the Olympics.

 

We could also take an idea from EBay� who allows you to comment on a bad rating offering an explanation of what happened.

 

We could also learn from other writing sites who for example list how many pieces have been posted as well as how many have been removed.  We all know the �If you throw a lot of stuff at the wall, some of it will stick� rule.

 

If I may close with a borrowed idea from Martin Niem�ller�s famous poem� First they came for the teenagers and I didn�t speak up because I wasn�t a teenager, then they came for the Erotic writers and I kept silent because I wasn�t an erotic writer�, then they came for those whose writing style they did not like� Eventually they came for those who they thought could not write as eloquently as they could�

 

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[no subject]

10 Years Ago


Okay, first off, I just turned thirteen in April, which would qualify me as a teenager.  I was OK with the first part.  Although I'm not an adult, I would like to be critiqued like one, which would label me as a level 4.  I was totally fine with your idea, until you started talking about teens.  You say that teenagers aren't good enough to be a veteran, and that they're too inexperienced to be published.  Have you ever heard of Christopher Paolini or Nancy Yi Fan?  Both young people, both teenagers, both published.  Also, you said that teenagers cannot be "bashed."  Well, what if we want to be critiqued?  Maybe, if you put yourself into any teenager's shoes, you would be angry too.  Just saying.

--Solitude

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[no subject]

10 Years Ago


Honestly? I think this is a really bad idea.

First of all, how do you know how good or bad the teens on this sight are? You never know.
Second, I don't think anyone wants a label. Who wants to be called a beginner writer who has no idea what they're doing, so just say, "I liked this", pretty pretty please with a cherry on top? No. It's degrading to an writer with confidence.
Unless, of course you rate yourslef a level 5 with a considerable boost in ego and an ability ot give out bashing reviews to anyone.
Third, Sometimes the newer writers can spot things that veterans can't. It would be, to re-use a word, degrading to pretty much say "No, no, you're not allowed to so anything other than "BRILLIANT!" about my work because I am obviously superior to your childish writing style. Just kneel in awe before my wisdom."

Sorry if I'm being obnoxious, but that's just how I am. I have to get my point across.
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[no subject]

10 Years Ago


I'm a teenager, and I've been published--twice.

And I don't see a need for levels.  People join this site to get their work ripped apart and to improve.  At least, that's why I joined.  If someone doesn't want people to critique their work, then they shouldn't post it.  Simple as that.
~Lauren

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[no subject]

10 Years Ago


 

Well I am 17. First off I will say that when you said �They are minors and deserve special care and consideration.� I almost blew a fuse. I agreed with most of what this group was about until I took a closer look at the forums. This part in particular is completely undermining and you are offending people just by saying this.

 

You also say �no teenage authors are published or really much good� Well I have an example. Sylvia Plath is one of the greatest poets of all time. She was first published when she was 8!! So you are way off by saying that. And I find it completely disgusting that you would discriminate against people like that.

 

Next I will say I personally haven�t seen any �bashing� on this site that would drive anyone to suicide. �News story about kids committing suicide because they got bashed on Writerscafe.org� But maybe I am just missing these things. The worst thing someone ever said to me was that I had no heart. Yes it was mean, yes I was upset (I blame lack of sleep and the bloody meds) in the morning I woke up and I was over it. If you are a true writer nothing will hold you down.

 

Gah basically I think you made yourself out to be a hypocrite. You go against teen �bashing� but your words here make you seem as though it is all one big joke.

(But I know your trying :))

 

As for Lauren. We get it, okay! You�re published. We know. Jeeze. -.- I like your writing and everything girl but seriously. How big is your ego? I remember when I first joined. You told me you were published twice. I was not impressed then either. -.-

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[no subject]

10 Years Ago


My ego isn't very big.  Don't worry.  And as I recall (my memory isn't that great) you asked me who published me, or something to that effect.  I don't go around telling people that out of the blue.  I'm sorry if I came across that way. :(  It was never my intention and I apologize.

~Lauren

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[no subject]

10 Years Ago


Actually I never asked you. And I never would have cause I have no idea about publishers or anything like that. I think all I said was "Cool" But if your getting mixed up that just makes me think your ego is even bigger X_X Gah I am not trying to be rude or anyhting. Cause like I said I actually enjoy your writting. But meh >.< if you want to argue about it, thats fine. But you'll be arguing with yourself >.< I have book to write :)

 

 


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