I Thought Writers Were the Open-Minded Ones?

Posted: May 26, 2012 by sirdiggy in Uncategorized

You know, my buddy and partner Chuck Spears has been MIA (versus hiding in MIA) for a minute now.  I know he’s been working on his comic book characters, and he’s been firmly entrenched in the battle for gainful employment.  Nowadays, with jobs being how they are, it’s more important to have the cash flow and then plan to build resources to create a venture for yourself.  It’s hard to do, because we are not taught, in general, how to work for ourselves.  The loyalty that many employers demand from their workers these days are not reciprocated in earnest.   It’s difficult to learn how to be loyal to yourself after you’ve spent years scrapping to be loyal to someone else – and I’m speaking about myself here.  Here’s hoping my man gets some paper back in his pocket so he can resume his master plans.

***

Meanwhile, I’m working on my master plan.  In finding a forum to solicit feedback and help from fellow writers, I signed up for absolutewrite.com.  They have forums with a wealth of information on various aspects of writing, editing, publishing, agent fishing, marketing, and so on.  I’ve posted a few comments and started a couple of threads, receiving some sound feedback – until my last thread.  In testing a subtitle to go along with my catchy title, I asked folks if they thought the subtitle I chose conveys what the book would be about.   As you may imagine, most of the comments were cynical and critical, accusing me of creating a “sophomoric” topic just to grab attention.  One commenter even suggested I was trolling, questioning whether the book was even real.

Perhaps I should have checked back a bit more often to respond to all of the comments instead of just some, but I didn’t think the thread would get as many responses as it did.  Despite the fact that there were a few posters that actually gave some thought to their responses and not a knee-jerk snarl, a moderator closed the thread.  I then sent a note to the moderator to clarify my intentions and to inform her that the book’s purpose is actually to educate certain men and to de-objectify top-heavy women.  I even invited said admin to view a ten-page sample of my manuscript’s rough draft to decide for herself.

Instead of a response by the admin, I get this message upon loggin in:

Wow…

Apparently, I have been labeled a troll, thus earning a lifetime ban.  My notoriety has begun to build.

There’s a few things to learn here:

  1. I may need to reword my request for feedback a bit better given the title of the book.
  2. I will need to illustrate and position the book’s purpose a bit better to fight off cynicism.
  3. Some authors don’t like really catchy titles – this baffles me.
  4. As a man, as soon as you utter the word “breasts”, some folks will view you as sexist no matter what you have to say.  That’s why the word doesn’t show up in my subtitle.
  5. People are wayyyy too fucking sensitive.
  6. The subtitle still may need some work, lol.
  7. My book is needed.

Because my ultimate goal is to promote understanding, I sent the forum’s webmaster a lengthy message as a rebuttal to the ban:

I would like to request audience with the admin or admins who decided to ban me for “trolling”. First off, I believe this decision is knee-jerk: there are many authors and artists out there who have use risqué titles that actually have in-depth meaning within their work. For example: “Good Pussy”, a book a female friend recently read, is not a book solely about finding good sex but about what men and women truly search for in their non-Platonic dealings and relationships. In music, “Dirty Money” is a recording group founded by, and including, P Diddy. While most may think of “Dirty Money” as illegal, he states that the group is named such because “we work hard to earn it”. Hard work = getting dirty.

My book’s title alone was a suggestion from a friend of mine whom is married and is also attracted to top-heavy women. So far, it has gotten many a positive response, including a few potential editors and the editor I eventually hired.

Let me post a comment from an editor who performed a sample edit on my work. This will give you a clear idea as to what I’m shooting for:

“How can I put it, being sensitive to the author’s feelings and while trying to be constructive…?

I LOVE IT!!!

Seriously. Beyond the subject matter (and FYI I prefer small breasts), what I like is a) that actually you’re as much in support of women and being respectful to them as you are seemingly being a dude, a lad; and b) your narrative voice is really good: it’s funny, laid back, most certainly coming (and unashamedly, unapologetically), from a man—a witty guy, a guy who questions his innate urges and feelings. Modern thinking man, if you will…

“In case you get a second opinion, whatever anyone else may possibly tell you, DON’T change the narrative style of this. It might need a little tidying (as all writing does that editors see), but the style is SPOT ON. Make sure you don’t get persuaded to tone too much down. It’s supposed to be irreverent on the surface, and it’s supposed to work on a higher level when you understand what’s actually being said. Any changes in style are going to dilute and confuse the 2 levels. So my advice, is whatever you do, keep this style totally intact.

“I’d say, from what I see here in this ‘snapshot’ that this has a good chance of picking up interest. Even if you go down the self-publishing and/or digital route, I’ll bet my ears you’ll get interest and a level of sales: You just need the right cover and some snappy appealing blurb to go with your excellent and catchy title (‘Boobie Trapped’ – I love it!).”

This person absolutely nailed (as in completely understood – not a pun) what the book is going to do. The work is real, and I am real person who is real about this undertaking.

I’m not necessarily asking to be un-banned. Nor am I asking for an agreeable opinion to the arguments I’ve presented. What I am asking is for those who oversee this site, a site for people to test their creativity, to have a constructive dialogue with me before rushing to judgement. I thank you for your time.

Diggy

P.S. If I were trolling, then I would not take the effort to write this message.”

The point is not necessarily to regain usage of the boards, but to combat being labeled a troll and as misogynist.  I’ve already fought one battle with elance.com over removing an editing job posting I put up because they felt the words “top-heavy” equaled sexual and mature content.  I challenged their decision over a couple emails, and I got my job posting put back up.  Let’s see what happens with this instance.

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