I want to thank you for your high level of participation so far in Rough Trade.
I know some of you are chafing under the rules regarding positive feedback and asking questions. I wanted to talk about that a little bit. I understand your curiosity and excitement. We have some very talented people on Rough Trade and they are weaving some outstanding stories. You feel engaged and you’re eager to tell the author that. I get it. We want you to enjoy what’s happening on Rough Trade this month.
For you grammar cops out there — it must be an exercise masochism to participate and we ALL appreciate your restraint. These works are rough drafts so, of course, there are errors of all sorts–missing words, misused words, comma abuse etc etc. I’m sure it’s driving you crazy. Do not be tempted to contact an author outside of Rough Trade to nitpick them. It’s rude.
Why can’t you ask questions or attempt to engage the author in debate or discussion regarding their plot or character choices? My gut instinct is to answer: Because I fucking said so.
BUT, I’ll give you a more satisfying (and less inspired by my mother) answer.
A writing challenge is a stressful experience. It’s difficult to explain if you’ve never been in one. Each author has personal expectations and goals for this challenge we also all have a word count goal. For some, that is a daunting and scary task.
Many of the authors on Rough Trade work full time jobs and some have kids (furry or otherwise) and that means they might have as little as 2 hours a day to write. My goal with Rough Trade is provide a positive and safe environment for writers to explore their craft, stretch themselves, make mistakes, and make discoveries about themselves and their writing. They can’t do that if they are constantly explaining themselves and their work to you. They can’t even write if they are so distracted by debate or discussion.
So, I don’t allow questions. I’m going to edit your comments if you break my rules. If you do it a lot, I’m going to ban you from commenting FOREVER. I’m not going to allow you to lure authors into debates and discussions regarding ANYTHING on Rough Trade itself. I work hard to keep Rough Trade relatively task oriented and distraction free. That’s why there is no chat room or forum on the site. When authors are on Rough Trade — they’re at “work”. So keep that it mind — it might be your entertainment but these ladies and gentlemen are currently working their asses off.