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Dear writers (and readers),

My colleagues and me are starting new online service for writters & readers. We started a Google survay with the few questions that will help us to determine on what we need to focus in our development process. We would be grateful if you could spare 2 minutes of your time to help us :)

Google survay - http://goo.gl/forms/viNzLTCzux

p.s.
Our poll doesn't have any promo materials or URL links what so ever, we just want to collect your opinions.

Thank you very much.
 

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I have to admit the questions did spark my interest for what the project is, but it also sounded like my worst nightmare. I think I would have too much stage fright and freeze up under the pressure if anyone ever watched me write.
 

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"Survay"? "Awethor questionnaire"?  ;D Anyway, I'd never let anyone watch me write. It would be impossible to focus and it would be way too embarrassing. I'm not interested in watching someone write either.
 

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I filled out your survey. I have to say though that watching someone write would be super duper boring. Like tonight I'm alternating between staring at a screen hitting keys, and having my feet up on my desk eating Pringles and reading the KBoards on my phone. Can you guess which one I'm doing right now? Lol
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I stand corrected for my spelling mistakes :) However, I am not from english speaking country and it is hard to get into writing community when you are not perfect at spelling at least.
 

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Yeah, I'd have no interest in watching other awethors write, and letting people watch this awethor write would mean having to run a brush through my hair and make sure I hadn't put my shirt on backward that morning. Which sounds like way more work than I signed up for with this writing gig.
 

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Just a quick clarification - Awethor is the name of our project. It's a portmanteau, not a spelling mistake.

As for watching the writers, watching the text appear would be a more accurate description, not the person doing the writing.

Thank you so much for your responses!
 

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dpskvn said:
Just a quick clarification -- Awethor is the name of our project. It's a portmanteau, not a spelling mistake.

As for watching the writers, watching the text appear would be a more accurate description, not the person doing the writing.

Thank you so much for your responses!
Watching the text appear? So just big 'ol spoilers and everyone can just see the book as a write it? No. Friggin. Way.
 

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Stephanie Marks said:
Watching the text appear? So just big 'ol spoilers and everyone can just see the book as a write it? No. Friggin. Way.
This particular project is a brainchild of mine, so I feel compelled to defend it or at least explain it, even though I should know better.

Maybe the poll questions are too vague.

Let me give you a bit of background. I do a lot of creative writing -- for myself, it's an outlet, not a career for me. That didn't stop me from striving to be as good at it as I could be. Through a bunch of crazy (and fortunate) circumstances, I ended up doing most of my writing in a language that's not my own -- English. As I do most (if not all) of my reading in English, it seemed natural to use the same language for writing. I was at a point where my personal English lexicon exceeded that of my native language. But knowing what words mean, and using them properly isn't the same thing. Add idiomatic expressions to the mix and you have quite a mess. It added another obstacle to my hobby, one I wanted to overcome, not only because I could become a better writer, but it would improve my knowledge and use of English as well.

As I wrote more and more, getting feedback from friends and fellow hobby writers (many of them native speakers), I could see my writing was improving.

And yet, I would find myself doing ridiculous blunders, many of which had nothing to do with grammar. Not directly anyway. After writing three chapters in one tense, I'd realize I just wrote five paragraphs in a different one. Or maybe I'd see that I started off a chapter with a room POV, something that I'd successfully avoided throughout my story. Or I'd see that my latest paragraph was telling instead of showing.

Those kind of mistakes happen. You can find them while beta reading for other writers, or even in advanced reading copies. That doesn't make them any less frustrating.

At some point, I figured out it would be comfort for me to see an established writer do the same mistake. From that desire bordering on schadenfreude, I started building a system/app/service/whatever in my head that would let readers watch writers as they write.

It didn't take me too long to recognize that seeing that my favorite authors were also human wouldn't be the most interesting part of such an application. Watching them create their story, refine it, edit it and so on could teach me a lot. I also thought it would be interesting, not just educational.

That's where Awethor comes from.

Now, the actual real-world scenario wouldn't really include writing a whole book for everyone to see. You could, if you wanted to, but as I imagine you'd like to publish the thing at some point, why spoil it by broadcasting it to the world?

But think about this: you could tweet to your followers (or announce it on FB or whatever) that you'll be giving them a sneak preview of the first chapter of your upcoming book. You could create it in front of them, or you could have it already written and just type it out (or parts of it) for them, make some intentional silly mistakes, throw in some jokes, rant about a character that keeps breaking away from the plot... You could write a short story, or describe an interesting scene from your life.

It could be a teaching tool, it could be a promotional tool, or it could be an outlet for some exhibitionist tendencies you may or may not have. You could use it privately to watch how you've created a chapter or a story. It could probably have a myriad of uses that have yet to cross my mind.

Or it could be a complete and utter bust.

This is why we've created the short survey. We have this idea and while we all think it has some potential, we're not sure whether it seems that way just because it's been in our heads for so long. This is where you come in and provide a sanity check for the lot of us.

So, thank you, once again! We really appreciate it.

Oh, and my apologies for what is most likely an overly long post.
 
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Word of advice. Don't look for solutions to problems that don't exist. If you really want to create a new service for authors, create a service that actually HELPS THEM.

I don't want someone reading over my shoulder while I write.

I don't want "writing by committee" where a I get random feedback from dozens of total strangers who may or may not even be qualified to comment.

If I DO want feedback, there are already dozens of writer workshops and writer forums where I can actually find qualified people to offer feedback.

If I was REALLY in a bind, I could post an excerpt here at KB and get feedback from people I know and trust.

My suggestion if you are serious about creating a service for authors? Hang out around KB for a couple of months. Pay attention to the things we complain about. Pay attention to the things we say we want. Compile that information, and do it. Take the time to actually learn about what WE NEED instead of force-feeding us what you think we should want.
 

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I filled it out, however I would never let anyone watch me write, I can't even write with my back to the door in case someone walks in an sees what I'm writing, it's just too personal to me. I'm also a really slow writer so I'm sure watching me write would bore anyone to tears.
 

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Bards and Sages (Julie) said:
Take the time to actually learn about what WE NEED instead of force-feeding us what you think we should want.
I apologize if we've come off as so aggressive. It's not our intention to try to make anyone use the service. We're really not trying to sell you a product here. We just want to see if there's enough interest to justify making it.

Thank you for your reply.
 

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Charles C. Bailey said:
I filled it out, however I would never let anyone watch me write, I can't even write with my back to the door in case someone walks in an sees what I'm writing, it's just too personal to me.
Me too-I blank my display when my husband comes into the room, even if I'm working on edits he gave me. Stage fright. :D I like to do my thing in private.
 

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Never be afraid to explain yourself further. I now have a better understanding of where you're coming from. But that also allows me to say, oh heck no, with more confidence. Sitting there watching another writer's screen will not help us. Ok that's totally my opinion. It will not help ME. And I highly doubt that watching me will help anyone else. I wasn't joking when I said that sometimes I write for 5 minutes then just stop and f*ck around on my phone for 20.

The writing process is so unbelievably personal. If anything I would just feel stunted and freaked out to know someone was watching my screen.

I agree with the previous posters, come up with an app that TRULY helps writers. Find out what we ACTUALLY a need. We all already know that other writers make mistakes. Why do you think there is always some sort of editing battle going on? We all know that a first draft is a FIRST draft. Seeing someone else's crappy first draft helps nothing.

And if as a writer you're so insecure about the fact that you're making mistakes in your first draft that you need to watch someone else make mistakes in order to feel better then all I can say to that person is... Get over it. Write your story. Then hire an editor. That's what they're there for.
 

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Z. Rider said:
Me too--I blank my display when my husband comes into the room, even if I'm working on edits he gave me. Stage fright. :D I like to do my thing in private.
It's comforting to know that I'm not the only one who stops dead in their tracks whenever someone walks into the room.
 

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Hi Dpskvn. I did get the impression you were a foreigner. Are you the one who created Calibre? Your nick looks familiar. Anyway, I had decided to do this already, but for my fans. I was going to record my desktop using ezvid while I write my first short for SBRA, my serial. I was going to post it on youtube, for my blog. But it was going to be a fan thing. It is a crucial scene. I was going to film myself writing it, editing it and putting it up online. Not going to last more than 3 minutes at least. I was going to include a scene of me doing re-writes as well. But like I implied, it would not be for a long book length. Now, that would actually be a hassle because I have gotten into the habit of dictating my work for expediency.

But I am still going to try to do it. I also plan to post film of me editing my own book covers, that sort of thing. But like I said, it would be for hardcore fans, not people who want to be a writer. No big deal, no reason for documentation of the whole affair.

I had actually contemplated this other option: having the films turned into an app for google cardboard for really diehard fans later on when I develop a real following. If you haven't been introduced to google cardboard, this is it: https://www.google.com/get/cardboard/

I think it is revolutionary, and totally amusing at the same time. It is fun. I think that would be fun for people who like the series to see that side of my writing. But not for a long period at home in that state. A writer's time of writing is quiet time, very rare in hectic situations. Knowing that someone is watching you while you write might be too critical a practice for writers to develop the story right in that kind of situation.
 

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And if as a writer you're so insecure about the fact that you're making mistakes in your first draft that you need to watch someone else make mistakes in order to feel better then all I can say to that person is... Get over it. Write your story. Then hire an editor. That's what they're there for.
Yeah. We'll all admit we make spelling and grammar mistakes, go in the wrong direction with the plot, use the wrong character for the protagonist, mess up with the POV and the tense, and all the myriad other things writers do in the process of getting a story written. There. You're not alone.

Want to learn to writer better? #1: Write more. #2 Read more. #3 Repeat steps 1 and 2. #4 Join a critique group. #5 Get an editor worth paying for. #6 Take classes in writing. #7 Repeat all previous steps as needed.

I honestly don't see how putting up work this way would help anyone, reader or writer. Personally, it would stop me dead in my tracks, and I'm already suffering a bad case of writer's block. Imagining putting up the first words I might get out on any given day, where people I don't know can see them, freaks me out.

Plus, there's the possibility of having the work stolen. It's easy enough for thieves to get hold of our work and upload it as their own, and I see no reason to make it any easier for them. I'm not one of those people who freak out over piracy, but copyright theft is very real and hard to fight sometimes.
 
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