Jan 14 2009

An Overview to Editing for Our Volunteer Moderators

Published by at 12:35 am under Superhero Nation,Volunteer Moderators

Our overriding goal is to provide a friendly and professional meeting place for aspiring authors.  Please keep that in mind!

Our Approach to Editing Comments

We want to set a professional example by editing for grammar, spelling, punctuation and capitalization. In rare cases, we may also make changes to style and organization. When you edit comments, the main question is which changes are necessary to help the typical reader.

Please do not change the substance or ideas. The only time this is acceptable is when the detail is totally and obviously irrelevant. (For example, what color is Jihad Joe’s hair? Who cares?)

It’s ok for comments to veer off-topic, as long as the tangents are related to superheroes or writing or writing careers. We can find or add a more appropriate article for them later. If the tangents would interest only a very small amount of people, please delete them after a week or two. (That will give the recipients a chance to read the messages). Otherwise, our comments will get clogged with year-old discussions that no one cares about anymore.

Editing Comments on Review Forum

The purpose of review forums is to encourage authorial autonomy. So the editing rules are slightly different. When an author posts on his forum, please do not edit his posts except as he specifically requests. If his grammar and spelling are atrocious, he will only improve if his readers tell him that he needs to get better. However, please edit other comments on review forums.

Our Approach to Criticism

When writers post their work on SN, we want them to receive friendly but honest criticism. Please fix any reviews that are too personal, nasty and/or insulting.

For example, “the characters could use revision” is fine. “Your characters tend to be flat” is fine. “Your characters need a lot of work” is fine.

“Your characters suck” and “you’re awful” are not acceptable and need to be softened. If a commenter is repeatedly nasty, please point out to him that most of our writers are really young and everyone tends to suck when they’re inexperienced. You can point him to more-refined authors, either on our site or elsewhere. If he’s still a problem, please let me know and I may ban him.

EXCEPTIONS TO THE ABOVE PARAGRAPH: If someone wants to self-publish, let the mobs run loose with him. He needs to know what people really think about his writing. Also, don’t worry about any criticism directed at B. Mac or Cadet Davis. They’ve heard worse. (However, if the criticism is unduly profane, please tone it down for the benefit of our guests).

What We’d Prefer to Avoid

Remember, we’re helping young adults learn how to write. People come to us for writing advice, particularly superhero-related writing advice. Accordingly, please be careful about comments that relate to politics, sex, psychological problems, and other touchy subjects. If any of these subjects would unsettle the typical reader, please place it in our moderation queue so that B.M. can look at it later. Also, please edit out heavy profanity on our posts. A lot of teachers use us as an academic resource, so we’d like to avoid anything that scares them away.

EXCEPTION TO THE ABOVE PARAGRAPH: If an author wants his review forum to be highly profane, mature or unusual, that’s fine. We will accept any kind of story that’s not rated R for sex. However, if a forum is very mature, let me know so that I can tag the forum for adult content and let readers know what they’re getting into.

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