Quid pro quo

For confidential exchange of story critiques
MikeBach
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Quid pro quo

Postby MikeBach » Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:45 pm

I'm quite willing to work with other authors and/or a group, but I have conditions.

Anybody responding to this message must be serious - you have to believe you will be a winner. If not this quarter or year then at some point in the future. If your not confident enough at this point then you may not be able to be of value as an editor or provide useful creative feedback.

Secure documents (requiring password) in pdf format with restrictions on printing and copying. It is possible to allow highlighting and sticky notes on restricted documents that can be emailed back to the sender.

Electronically signed agreements concerning intellectual property rights/copy-write and public disclosure of private material must be exchanged. I'm very serious about my work and have seen my ideas and basic content published under other names. Do not exchange your work blindly. I'm willing to help any person or group find ways of securely exchanging editing notes etc.

I have two friend who are very talented visual artists. Each of these people have seen things in my work that I, as the writer, haven't fully conceptualized. I would love to be involved in a group that included visual art and artists - it brings perspective to my own efforts and has allowed me to find more dimension and depth in my own creative work.

I'm also willing to exchange simple story concept elements (assuming it doesn't break the rules), because every writer has something that they are unable to develop (writer's block). I've had the pleasure of working with multiple writers all looking to develop their craft and most benefited from sharing and developing premisses not of their own creation. There's a guy named Kevin who teamed up with a guy named Brian and did some serious stuff that Brian's dad created... wotf010
All things come out in the end... The only question is, from which end will they emerge?

BenjaminJacobson
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Re: Quid pro quo

Postby BenjaminJacobson » Fri Apr 12, 2013 6:23 pm

Serious? That leaves me out. wotf004

Just FYI, I have a free app on my iPad that can take a picture of a screen and run OCR and have a text version instantly e-mailed anywhere, so that security train might have already left the station. Not to bum you out or anything, just thought you'd like to know.

-Ben

MikeBach
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Re: Quid pro quo

Postby MikeBach » Fri Apr 12, 2013 7:19 pm

BenjaminJacobson wrote:Serious? That leaves me out. wotf004

Just FYI, I have a free app on my iPad that can take a picture of a screen and run OCR and have a text version instantly e-mailed anywhere, so that security train might have already left the station. Not to bum you out or anything, just thought you'd like to know.

-Ben

No that's cool. The limitations make it harder to rip someone. Agreement to protect each others' work is a start, but I'm not willing to hand anything over to anyone I haven't gotten to know. You have to assume your handing your work to someone you trust. Without a password others can't even download it or open a downloaded file.

So, if I send you a story I should have a record that you've agreed to respect it. If you pass the work on or attempt to online ocr, you could be traced.

If you send me a story and there's no security, anyone who gains access to my computer gains unrestricted access to your work.
All things come out in the end... The only question is, from which end will they emerge?

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s_c_baker
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Re: Quid pro quo

Postby s_c_baker » Fri Apr 12, 2013 7:31 pm

I'll assume good intentions, I suppose, but like Ben I'm not willing to go through all that hassle just to swap critiques. (And agree that if someone really wants to steal your work, nothing you can do will stop them.)

For what it's worth, I've exchanged stories several times with members of this forum, and not once has one of them stolen my work and then published it for mind-bogglingly large amounts of money. (Or, to my knowledge, at all.)

This means one of two things:

1) My work is not good enough to steal and sell
2) I don't pay attention

Or possibly both at once. wotf001

Anyway, a much better way to make sure people don't steal your work is to build relationships with them. Make friends, hang out, chat in the forums. You'll soon get a feel for who's who, and will probably feel much more comfortable exchanging after that. Even better, you'll know a bunch of writers who are pretty likely to be professionally published in the near future. Networking!

On a serious note, I think you're making a mistake limiting your critique partners to "people who think they are winners."

Why?

First of all, people who think they are winners may be deluded. Confidence in work does not necessarily equal actual ability. Likewise, lack of confidence does not equal lack of ability. Lack of winning or lack of publication, ditto. (Tina Gower, V29Q1 first-place finisher, had never placed above a rejection before winning.)

Second (and more importantly), you don't have to be a good writer--or a writer at all--to provide decent feedback. Some of my best feedback on my work comes from my wife (an illustrator, and not at all a writer). Her comments are consistently similar to those I get from editors. Including KD Wentworth, the previous contest judge, on my semi-finalist story.

My advice would be to relax and just let the good vibes of sharing and creating flow. All work and no play, and all that... wotf011

Anyway, welcome aboard, Mike!

(P.S. you have several typos in your post, and a few grammatically unclear areas.)
Stewart C Baker - 1st place, Q2 V32
My contest history: Semi-finalist, R, HM, R, R, HM, HM, R, R, R, R, HM, R, R, R, R, Winner
My published fiction, poetry, &c.

BenjaminJacobson
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Re: Quid pro quo

Postby BenjaminJacobson » Fri Apr 12, 2013 7:42 pm

No like buttons on post, but basically what Stewart said.

If you want to hear a horror story ask me about a certain Justin Timberlake movie sometime (wondering if Stewart remembers). wotf23

-Ben

MikeBach
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Re: Quid pro quo

Postby MikeBach » Fri Apr 12, 2013 7:51 pm

There's no hassle in making a doc secure. It's easy and it prevents anyone without an invite to have access to it.

My private facebook group of readers don't seem to have a problem with passwords or file restrictions... But, I know all of them.
All things come out in the end... The only question is, from which end will they emerge?

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s_c_baker
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Re: Quid pro quo

Postby s_c_baker » Sat Apr 13, 2013 11:02 am

MikeBach wrote:There's no hassle in making a doc secure. It's easy and it prevents anyone without an invite to have access to it.

My private facebook group of readers don't seem to have a problem with passwords or file restrictions... But, I know all of them.

Whatever works for you. wotf008
Stewart C Baker - 1st place, Q2 V32
My contest history: Semi-finalist, R, HM, R, R, HM, HM, R, R, R, R, HM, R, R, R, R, Winner
My published fiction, poetry, &c.

Jackie B.
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Re: Quid pro quo

Postby Jackie B. » Sat Apr 13, 2013 6:27 pm

Hi Mike! Not sure if you know this already, but the law protects your work even when it is not officially copyrighted. As soon as you write it down, you are safe. You'd obviously need proof of when you wrote it, but that should be easy enough to pull out of your word processor if it ever becomes necessary. If your agreements cover ideas you should know that courts will not enforce those. IP only protects the output (actual words written down and the names), not the stuff in your head. Just look at all the LOTR or Twilight knock-offs you see in book stores. Anyway, everyone on this forum is very trustworthy, but I second what Stewart said. Get to know some people. I'm sure we all wish you the best of luck wotf008
Finalist: Q3 V29
Semi-Finalist: Q1 V30
HM x 3

MikeBach
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Re: Quid pro quo

Postby MikeBach » Mon Apr 15, 2013 2:48 pm

Sorry, don't appear to have the ability to quote individual posts
From my iPhone.

Editing is important, but creative concepts and content are
Everything.

In short, I may seem paranoid, but I was engaged to a
person who is now a very successful writer (54 books and counting).

If you don't think a minimal effort to protect your work from easy
duplication is important, then it is a waste of time to work with
perpetual contestants. Arrogant maybe, but true.

What I write is me. I will not share that limb with an anonymous
entity.

I'm now at my work station.

I've never met a successful writer who didn't believe they would be successful. I never met a successful writer who spent much time worrying about spelling or grammar while they wrote.

This former illusion, of sense wakened me to an appreciation for personal fallibility. When we can we exceed who we are; But we are what we have become, because we are destine to be ourselves in our own time.
All things come out in the end... The only question is, from which end will they emerge?

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s_c_baker
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Re: Quid pro quo

Postby s_c_baker » Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:09 pm

MikeBach wrote:Sorry, don't appear to have the ability to quote individual posts
From my iPhone.

Editing is important, but creative concepts and content are
Everything.

In short, I may seem paranoid, but I was engaged to a
person who is now a very successful writer (54 books and counting).

If you don't think a minimal effort to protect your work from easy
duplication is important, then it is a waste of time to work with
perpetual contestants. Arrogant maybe, but true.

What I write is me. I will not share that limb with an anonymous
entity.

I'm now at my work station.

I've never met a successful writer who didn't believe they would be successful. I never met a successful writer who spent much time worrying about spelling or grammar while they wrote.

This former illusion, of sense wakened me to an appreciation for personal fallibility. When we can we exceed who we are; But we are what we have become, because we are destine to be ourselves in our own time.

To each their own, Mike.

For what it's worth, my lack of enthusiasm for the idea doesn't come from not wanting to put in the effort, but from not believing the effort would actually achieve any effects if someone were really interested in stealing my work. It might make the process take fifteen minutes instead of fifteen seconds, but that's no real deterrent. (I happen to know, for instance, that you can easily download programs which allow you to crack password-protected PDF files in a matter of minutes. Screen capture software is also pretty advanced nowadays, like Ben says.)

Like you, I also have no desire to share my work with an anonymous screen persona. Fortunately, I know the people I share with from my interactions on the forum. So you could say that my method (getting to know people) achieves the same thing yours (electronic protection) does, as I don't trade with anyone I think would steal my ideas or stories.

In fact, I don't believe you are paranoid. But I also don't know you, so you'll forgive me if I think that your fierce protection of your own work seems a bit much. If you were someone I knew, and if I knew your writing, it's perfectly likely that I'd agree it's necessary and reasonable.

(I suspect, in fact, that we're coming at this whole idea from the same angle, but different directions.)

I hope you do decide to stick around in this forum and get to know everyone. Even if you never swap critiques, the conversations and networking that goes on here are fantastic, constructive, and friendly. I'm glad to know everyone on the boards.

All the best to you, in any case! wotf008
Stewart C Baker - 1st place, Q2 V32
My contest history: Semi-finalist, R, HM, R, R, HM, HM, R, R, R, R, HM, R, R, R, R, Winner
My published fiction, poetry, &c.

azap
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Re: Quid pro quo

Postby azap » Fri Apr 19, 2013 2:20 am

This is a very interesting concept. I would like to know how to password protect and limit print copies. However, I also agree with the others that it is a wasted effort. I have friends who were ripped off, but it had to do more with where they sent the material. (a tv show took their pitch and made an episode without crediting them) The thing is, the person stealing it has to have the ability to publish, or produce it. Most likely, no one in that position is trolling here for other peoples work. People who turn out to be best selling authors have had trouble getting there own stuff published, never mind stuff they stole.
However, if it happens, in litigation, the biggest thing you need is prof of access, which can be established through rejection letters and email requests for the manuscript. That is why I feel good record keeping is so much more critical. Also, you cannot copy write a concept or idea. You can own characters, the way the concept is written, but not the concept itself. (sucks I know) Just things to think about.
Interesting points you make about commitment, and taking an action like a sighed agreement toward that commitment. There is a philosophy of fake it until you make it. Meaning take the actions that would happen if you are in such a position. For that reason, it may be very beneficial.
Just my thoughts for what it is worth.
May we always find ourselves well fed in body, mind and spirit... yet joyfully hungry for more of the adventure.
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DavidK
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Re: Quid pro quo

Postby DavidK » Fri Apr 19, 2013 3:14 am

Welcome Mike,

Having worked with these great people for a couple of years and before that the Online Writing Workshop, I can smile at (and understand) your concerns and your level of control and protection of your work. While I commend your concerns, I think you'll find that most of us adopt an approach where we trust each other implicitly, even though we've never met. I for one spend time encouraging others to improve their craft and win - and for that I only hope that I am equally supported and join them on the winners stage one day wotf008
8 HMs.


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