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Forum Suggestions Box

Posted: February 8th, 2010, 7:57 pm
by Nathan Bransford
Hey all, now that we've had the forums around for a couple of months I thought I'd check in to see if you have any thoughts/questions/suggestions on how to improve the forums. Do you like the subcategories? Think we need more/less? Any features you'd like to see?

Thanks so much for participating, I'm really enjoying reading all of the different topics each day. Fun fun!

Re: Forum Suggestions?

Posted: February 8th, 2010, 8:09 pm
by charlotte49ers
I'm really liking the forums so far! Really nice addition. :-)

I can only think of a few suggestions. You might want to end up separating the agent and query stuff (I know you kicked this around). I'm afraid questions will eventually get buried in the mass of query letters as your forum grows.

Also, this is an actual forum option that I'm not even sure is possible with what you've used (I'm only familiar with vbulletin's inner workings), but you know how you can hover over a topic and get a short preview? Is there anyway to do that with this? I'm just lazy, really. So if not, it ain't no thang.

Thanks for creating this for all of us. :-)

Re: Forum Suggestions?

Posted: February 8th, 2010, 8:13 pm
by JustineDell
Ditto....totally LOVE the forums. I really spend too much time on it though (laughing at myself).

Unless I'm totally stupid (which is entirely possible) I haven't figured out how to delete a post I started. Is there a way to do that? I guess I was thinking that maybe once something ran it's course, it could be deleted? I realize that there are new members joining everyday and they may want to go back and look at all the old topics, so I guess I am thinking more along the lines of the query topcis we start. Once our queries are done, is there a way to take them down? If not - can there be?

Much thanks for the forums Nathan!!!


Re: Forum Suggestions?

Posted: February 8th, 2010, 8:16 pm
by christi
I don't know if it needs to be a subcategory or not, but it might be if a lot of people want to do it: There's a lot of us helping with queries and also PMing for review of sections and chapters we want opinions on/tightening up suggestions, that sort of thing. Maybe a subcategory for posting this sort of thing would be nice, and cleaner if it were separate from the usual forum traffic.

I also concur that we are doing a lot of query stuff on the 'Agent' section, so it might need to be separated to avoid burying needed help too quickly. I love this aspect of your forum, btw. It's amazing how easy it is to help others when compared to writing your own!

Re: Forum Suggestions?

Posted: February 8th, 2010, 8:54 pm
by Holly
I love the friendly tone of the forums. My suggestion: add subcategories under your five main topics before the forums grow into a Baby Huey.

Re: Forum Suggestions?

Posted: February 8th, 2010, 8:55 pm
by r louis scott
I'm enjoying the forums quite a bit. I wish I was a little better at keeping track of which ones I had read and posted in though.

Re: Forum Suggestions?

Posted: February 8th, 2010, 9:08 pm
by Seamus
I am enjoying the forums and checking them entirely too often. Does anyone else think there is room for some modest critique. Nothing as high-commitment as critiquing chapters -- maybe no more than 400 or 500 word jags. You'd have to figure out how to make that day's writing sample all there is to talk about that day.

Re: Forum Suggestions?

Posted: February 8th, 2010, 11:52 pm
by Jaime
Ummm, maybe make them less addictive? Ha! No, seriously . . .

I think Seamus made a good suggestion about possibly having a writing critique section, and I agree that maybe there could be a sub-category for query critiques.

I was also wondering how you would feel about a competitions section? I don't read every blog under the sun, but I stumbled across an agent blog last week by chance, announcing that they are having a submissions pitch this week which suits my manuscript perfectly. Maybe it would give your followers (and I mean that in a non-Simpsons' 'Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na- Leader' kind of way) more opportunities to put their work in front of agents - especially in categories that you don't rep??

And, Nathan, thanks so much for making these forums. I finally have a place where I can talk to other writers!

Re: Forum Suggestions?

Posted: February 9th, 2010, 2:20 am
by Dankrubis
I agree, I'd love to critique! Have a forum where people post not only their queries, but excerpts, short stories, first pages, first paragraphs, etc. Hell, if a query is good enough, I wouldn't mind critiquing an entire manuscript.

Re: Forum Suggestions?

Posted: February 9th, 2010, 6:29 am
by Bron
I don't have any ideas of my own, but I wanted to second a few. I like the idea of having sub-categories, especially on the Finding an Agent section. I also like the idea of being able to critique people's first pages, etc. And the Ask Nathan thread is very interesting!

Re: Forum Suggestions?

Posted: February 9th, 2010, 5:01 pm
by Dankrubis
Another suggestion- A TV Subcategory. It is a bit of a running theme on your blog.

Re: Forum Suggestions?

Posted: February 10th, 2010, 11:22 am
by Mira
Oh good, a suggestion thread. I always have suggestions. For what they are worth. :)

Here's my suggestion: I'd love to see two more categories. An "All about the forum" catagory, and a "All about critique" catagory. I know you want to keep the category numbers down, but two more would still keep it pretty small.

The agent thread is just getting lost in all the queries. There are lots of interesting things to talk about regarding agents and it would be great to have a space devoted just to that. And no, I'm not going to use this forum to rant about the industry - that's not my motivation, it's not appropriate here - it just would be nice to talk agenting. And an 'all about critique' thread, or whatever you wanted to name it, opens the door for critique of queries, first pages, etc., all of which would be interesting to folks, I think.

The nice thing about a category devoted completely to the forums is it builds community. You can have a suggestion thread up at all times, explanation threads, welcome to newbies thread, etc. It also gives a chance for informal leadership to develop. Informal leadership on forums is part of what builds them; when you have people taking ownership, welcoming newcomers, telling them the 'rules', developing connections.

Anyway, those are my suggestions, thanks for giving me a chance to suggest them. :)

Re: Forum Suggestions?

Posted: February 10th, 2010, 3:14 pm
by marilyn peake
I love these Forums, Nathan. Thank you so much for creating them, and for asking for suggestions!

I love Seamus’s suggestion for a critique section where individual samples could be critiqued for an entire day.

I also love Jaime’s suggestion for a competitions section.

And I’d love to see a section where Forum members could post excerpts just to share without asking for critiques.

Re: Forum Suggestions?

Posted: February 10th, 2010, 8:43 pm
by Nathan Bransford
Thanks so much for the suggestions, everyone! I created a new forum specifically for All Things Feedback - query critiques, first pages, etc. Hopefully this will leave the Finding an Agent forum clear for questions and will clarify things. I went ahead and moved all of the Feedbacky things into the new forum. Let me know if I missed anything.

Re: Forum Suggestions?

Posted: February 11th, 2010, 1:50 pm
by Mira
Nathan - thank you! :)

Much prefer the term 'feedback.' :)