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I was a member of AW for a while, and I find myself going back every few months to check up on some of the horrible discussions. The advice is juvenile and hardly critical or informed...incompetent in many ways. Creative writing is being taught on this site as though there were rules to writing fiction! Any opinion given as advice that challenges this status quo in any way is immediately dismissed, as though there were one way in which fiction must be undertaken, and one way only. I have also gotten into EXTREMELY passive aggressive debates with other users and mods on several occasions, and, although that is the lay of the land when it comes to internet forums, there tends to be causes to incite such exchanges. On AW, no such causes are needed. It is also important to note that the vast majority of advice being given is coming from fellow amateur/unpublished writers, many who are far too inexperienced in both life and actual writing to possibly have the perspective to form good critical advice, and many of whom clearly don't read books--how are they expected to write?!? I would put good money on 75% of the users not even knowing who Borges is, and these are people who are supposed to be giving legitimate advice? Their credibility isn't helped by the fact that several of the published authors on the site are self-published (not inherently bad), and most of the published works (both self and not) are horrible supernatural romance/horror romance/fantasy romance (notice a trend?), the kind with well built white vampire dudes on the cover. Again, nothing inherently bad about this fact, except that, to me, the trendy YA/teenage audience these cookie-cutter works cater to is further evidence that they actively perpetuate and defend a kind of status quo, in which anything that challenges the fiction they write is artsy/pointless/breaking nonexistent rules/evil.

Further proof that many of the users are incapable of reading critically, including mods: I tend to word my posts very carefully, using very specific vocabulary and always prefacing and qualifying what I am saying with caveats and so forth, so as to allow for the possibility of my opinion on said writing subject not meshing well with others, so anyone who puts a smallest amount of effort into reading it will be able to understand I am offering a single perspective on an otherwise all-encompassing issue. Yet I would get post after post, some from mods themselves, dismissing and attacking points I made, almost always ones I prefaced with something like "to NEEDLESSLY do this is bad", as if I did not go out of my way to state clearly that I did not mean what I said as an "absolute" truth. If the people meant to be giving advice cannot even read an internet post carefully enough to grasp what was actually said, I doubt their ability to truly help anyone. Thankfully, I can say in the few years I was with them back in the day, I gained a few pointers on how NOT to teach someone, and, now that I'm an English tutor at my college, I hope to do what AW can only dream of doing--actually helping someone improve their work with thoughtful criticism.

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  • Mo
      26th of Mar, 2012
    +1 Votes

    I was a member there on and off for quite some time. Met some great critique partners there, but sadly, the moderators and their minions have a way of running people off the boards. They are abusive to the members and will ban/suspend anyone who defends against the abuse. I've watched it happen to too many good people. If you prove one of their lies wrongs, they will delete your post and ban you. They are using their power to hide the truth. What is worse is that they then start rumors and/or misrepresent new authors and publishing houses.

    This is where my most recent receive comes into play. After seeing how they treated others, I long since left, but as I started a new publishing house, a thread was started there, and so I revisited to answer some questions. The moderator (VeinGlory) approached the situation that was very clearly to everyone witnessing attack. Anyone who posted to say that and defend our publishing house had their post immediately deleted; anyone who agreed with VeinGlory had their posts remain. This created a false sense of what the community as a whole thought of our publishing house. If anyone doubts this, contact me and I can send you references for our publishing house, and you will see clearly that there are no posts from them on absolutewrite. There is a deceitful reason for this.

    They said that my editing experience, having assisted several authors previously into print deals with publishers in goodstanding, was not enough to prove we know what we are doing.
    They said that our first book being a 5-star, bestseller, did not count.
    They called the author of that bestselling novel an "aspiring author" and that, to them, was further evidence we don't know what we are doing (can anyone explain the logic on that one?)
    They said that ranking in the top 1% on editing skills tests also did not count.
    My experience in business, having helped my husband set up and run a successful business, does not count if I don't offer proof. I offered the only proof I can (proof of income and assets) and they ignored that and moved onto the next thing to attack us for.
    Several times throughout the conversation, and politely requested they just let us do our thing. Withhold judgment until they had more to go on. Let others decide for themselves. But they would not let it go. On and on they went. They denied they were attacking us and every time someone said otherwise, they deleted that person's post and banned their account. They claimed THAT person was attacking THEM ... but that they were not attacking me. The reality is, they are attacking us, and this is not the first time they have done this. And they feel they are allowed to do this but no one else is allowed to say contrary. The "gang mentality" there is frightening.

    The reality is, as veinglory showed in the thread with one of her comments, that a small pub once shut down without paying her the money they owed. I am so sorry that happened to her. But our business works on available funds and not credit, which means we don't spend money we don't have, and any money that comes in for a book will go directly to the author (we don't have creditors to repay!)

    Veinglory says we won't be around in 2 years. I asked her to check back with us in 2 years, then, but apparently it's actually her MISSION to spend the next two years making that happen. We will not be deterred, but I did want to bring this to light in a place where Veinglory is nor a moderator who can delete the evidence.

    If you are an author looking for background information on a publisher that is based on fact and is NOT biased, try preds and eds instead. They investigate and go based on fact, not whim.

  • Ju
      22nd of Jun, 2015
    -1 Votes

    In my experience with the forum, all I ever did once was post an outline with a 'racist' main character. So because I was 'noobie' to the board, they all swarmed around me and sought to belittle me and equate me with having the same opinions as the main character.

    They proceeded to stalk one of my word press blogs, and apparently got wind of some of the post I written in that were supposedly private blogs based on word press security settings. Then when I asked about what an author should write about on their blog to build their platform, instead of answering the question they instead said 'You could write about anything, though talking trash about people probably wont get you any readers.'

    How would they know this, if they had not personally found some way to get into that blog despite word press security settings? And now they spread rumors about me on twitter, and apparently 'turning off' various agents about me. Thus these agents are relying on the information said about me rather than through the horses mouth.

    Avoid this website like the plague.

  • Re
      10th of Apr, 2018
    +1 Votes

    As of April 9th, 2018 I have been banned from AbsoluteWrite. Their reason was that "I find personal amusement at the expense of the AW community" . What does that even mean? I researched the internet, concerning AW, and found plenty of warnings but thought I would check the site out anyway. As it turned out, all the warnings were true. Most of the moderators are actually bullies with badges and the site is misleading as it advertises itself as being "open minded". Open minded as opposed to what, Stalin's Soviet Union?

    I waded into a political thread where the future POTUS, Trump, was being trashed by Clinton supporters. Yes, I voted for him, but that's not the point. I should've been allowed to express my opinions in a thread on a site that is supposed to be "open minded". I was immediately blocked from that thread and accused of being a troll. My next negative experience with AW came when I ran across a thread that was actually discussing why there needed to be ages of consent in regards to sexual relationships. I'm not a prude but I chose to get involved when somebody on the thread said that it is completely okay for a 60 something year old man to have a sexual relationship with a ten year old boy. As a father who suspects one of his sons was molested by my ex wife's father, I absolutely disagreed with this opinion and expressed my own. AW responded by removing that thread.

    I find AW to be extremely politically correct and oversensitive to the point they have become tyrants. If you don't agree with their group think opinions you are labelled as a troll or a sock puppet and they threaten to ban you as if somehow that is of the same magnitude as being excommunicated from the church. I write dystopian fiction but don't want to belong to a dystopic writers' group so I have accepted my ban as a boot to my fanny to find a better group to join. I'm looking at Reddit, Scribophile, and SFF Chronicles as a replacement for AW. They need to change their name to Absolute My Way or the Highway Write.

  • Ai
      21st of Apr, 2018
    +2 Votes

    On Apr 21 2018 I made a post to this forum and immediately was attacked with a tirade of accusations plus the F word. Those reacting to my post didn't take time to ask for clarification but made (false) assumptions and lashed out based on those assumptions. I conclude Absolute Write is an uncivilized place to get ripped apart but not a place to find community.

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