Monday, March 22, 2010

Whom can you trust?

Thanks for all your comments on my snippit.  I love your feedback. I actually inspired Christine H at the Writers Hole for a Cute Fest.  Check out the details on her site.

Your manuscript.

Some consider it as one of their children.

You produce an idea, brought it to life, gave it breath, fed it,corrected it's mistakes to make it better, nurtured it, poured blood, sweat and tears into it-- even sacrificed some things for it. All to see it grow up and  make it in the world but what happens in between. 

What happens to it as it's growing? You try to keep it safe but you need feedback to help steer you in the right direction.
The main reason --I would not let anyone read what I wrote is because I thought they would laugh at me and tell me I had no chance in hell calling myself a writer. The other reason is-- I was afraid someone would steal my idea.  I know crazy but it can happen. I thought there could be a better and faster writer out there and they would claim my baby as their own.  My idea is nothing new and by far no Harry Potter but it is my idea.  It is personal and dear to my heart.

Along this journey, I have found honest people who are also dear to me. My CPs for one. They are the best and I trust them completely. I trust my followers who comment on the snippits that I post for feedback but what about those people I don't know-who take a quick glance, trying to piece it all together and get a story. I may be paranoid, gullible, naive and yes, I know I opened myself up to this by blogging like crazy but I like the feedback I am getting. It is helping me become a better writer.

I am also try to be careful with my snippits-- trying not to give too much away.  I do want you all to read it but I have to keep some mystery :) Should I erase these snippits when I am finished posting them?

I know I have become more trustworthy as I go along but am I too trustworthy now?

What are your thoughts on keeping your baby safe?

Have you taken any special precautions?

What if someone said they would critique your WIP but they need the whole manuscript would you send it to someone you don't know?even if you did a little research on their background?

Maybe I am paranoid, tell me if I am but this has been bothering me for a while. I want to hear your thoughts on this subject.

I hope everyone had a great weekend. Tomorrow will be contests post, and awards--yeah awards. Thanks guys:).  Check out my contest bar to see the new contests.  I am also getting that much closer to 100--holy cow! Contest is brewing:0


  1. Christine, I just did a post on this last Thrursday. I posted my "Something-Something" (that's what I call it) and told my friends/followers that it would only be up for two days. If they missed it, sorry. I am paranoid, I'll admit it to anyone. And I never post anything that has the main plot in it. Usually I give part of the setting, or mostly dialogue that's taken out of context. I don't post anything that I think could be crucial.

    I also erased all other previous posts that had any kind of excerpt/snippet on them. This new story is my baby, is the best thing I've written so far and I'm not taking any chances.

    You are understandably right to feel this way about your ms. I also wouldn't give anyone my full ms. for a critique unless you knew them personally, in person, not from the web. It sucks to have to say that some people arent' what they should be.

  2. I'm not sure how I feel on this, mixed emotions I would say. I leave mine up on the blogging world, so anyone has access to them, however since it's all been written things have changed, the path has changed and that part I don't share to much of because I think it's something for others to want to buy.

    I would think anyone who is a writer is okay to be a bit paranoid but we each have our own voice and one little snippet that someone could take may take them a completely different direction. Chances are you both don't write the same, and that person wouldn't even know where to begin. At least that's my take on it. No one writes the same so if they decide to take it that's there fault because it would never be as good as their OWN idea. :)

    Great post!

  3. Please forgive me... it's killing me... this is one of my pet peeves.

    It's "whom can you trust," not "who." Whom is the object of the transitive verb trust. "You can trust whom?"

    Sorry. I just had to say it. I'm done. I feel better now.

  4. You caught me:) Thanks. I should know better. Never type a post while being distracted. Remind me to come to you when I'm line editing :)

  5. So far, only 3 people have read my complete manuscript - my best friend, a pen pal I have had for many years who is also a writer and a woman I met recently via Twitter (who has her own WIP). Usually, I am rather careful when handing things out to read before they are ready, but I trust my guts, and until now they have hardly ever betrayed me. But at times I am very naive and - uhm, foolish?

  6. Well, I have a tight group I trust--only because they share their work, too, so it's a give and take. Plus, I know where they live. LOL!!

  7. I'm in the same boat, Christine. I've often wondered who I can trust and I do post snippets of my work, but never the plot. I have one plot that is very near and dear to my heart and I'm afraid to share it, though I do have a brief tagline that doesn't reveal much. It's the unfortunate reality with being a writer - getting scooped can happen anytime and anywhere. I trust the people in my critique group with the story I'm sharing with them; plus it's a story that only I can write because it's about my family and my experiences. The good thing is, even if someone does steal your story - there's more where it came from as far as you're concerned!

  8. I think it's natural to have an air of paranoia around you in this day and age. Ultimately, I think you need to choose what's best for you. If you want to keep a snippet up for a couple days, then remove it - do it. If you want to leave it up for others to read over time - do that.

    I'm an ultraparanoid person. But sometimes I realize I need to knock it off and just trust things will be okay. I can't prevent every bad thing from happening.

    But I definitely do what I can to keep my baby safe, while remembering my parents couldn't stop every crappy thing that happened to me. So to, I can't do it for my little novel.

    Isn't she cute, though? Hehe.

  9. Ooh, I have thought about this before. Right now I'm in a critique group with four other lovely ladies and I completely trust them. We only crit one chapter at a time and I'm comfortable with that. The way I look at it, I have a lot of revisions to make so my WIP is going to look very different before it's finished. I have only posted two excerpts on my blog, but they do not reveal anything of the plot. Not sure if I will post any more in the future - I've developed the same fears that you have.

  10. I think it's totally normal to have a bit of paranoia, especially with the internet. But I think it's pretty rare someone would steal your idea, etc. I've attended some writing workshops where writers are so paranoid they won't even pitch agents in front of others - I think that's a bit over the top.

    I'm more worried about my *bad* writing bits getting out than I am about someone stealing it, and I'm always incredibly impressed at people who put their work out there for critique.

  11. I think a little paranoia isn't bad. Especially if you feel your idea is something new that isn't really out there yet. And you should absolutely be cautious where you send your stuff. At least I am. :)

  12. our writing is like our children. We love them beyond words :) and we don't want to ever let them go...except for money of course. :)))

  13. I don't share too much about my stories, even with the blogging world. I guess I'm just secretive that way. I think the only people who really ever know what's going on with my story are my CPs. And believe me when I say you should feel sorry for them because my story is a MESS right now! : D

  14. I've been wondering about this a lot lately too. I see so many people post bits of their writing on their blogs and I wonder who else is reading it? I think it's good to be cautious, I like what Piedmont writer said. Good advice.

  15. I'm not too paranoid. I figure there are lots of people with ideas, but if people are too lazy to come up with their own ideas, they're probably too lazy to write an entire manuscript based on someone else's idea.

  16. Found your blog through Jen's and love it! I'm pretty guarded about sharing specifics from my manuscript online. Especially a WIP. I feel like sharing it during the "closed door" phase (as Stephen King would say) might invite unintentional changes. Fun post!

  17. I can relate to your feelings (and it looks like your opinion is a popular one, from reading the comments.) I'm paranoid about my work, and haven't yet shared a significant excerpt publicly. Besides family, I've only had two or three friends read some or all of my first book.

    But even though I'm paranoid, I admit that while I've read dozens of snippets and synopses on the internet, not once have I EVER had the desire to copy someone's work. Maybe I'm just giving others the benefit of the doubt by assuming they would be the same way, but I think other writers especially are (usually) smart enough not to steal.

  18. On my blog I'll share the first chapter or very vague, non-essential-to-plot bits, but I won't give anything away. Still, I'm pretty open about my general plot (like what you would see in a query). Maybe this isn't very smart, because someone could read it and go with my idea.

    But-- it'd be written so differently and the author would take their own spin on it, and they wouldn't have the same voice as me, so it would still be a totally different story. Does that make sense?

    As far as crit partners go, my main CP found me and we talked on messenger (for a couple hours!) then swapped first three chapters. We liked each other, so we kept going. Now we talk about our whole stories: plots, characters, twists. There's no competition between us even though we both write YA fantasy because our writing styles and ideas are so different. I totally trust her and am not worried in the least that she'd ever try to steal my ideas or anything.

    When I finish edits on this new wip, I'll be wanting a couple more beta readers, so we'll see how that goes! I wouldn't want to just give someone my work, I'd want to trade so we're kind of even, you know? It just seems more fair.