We want to respect your privacy. Nobody wants random strangers to know everything about them. So help us protect you.
• No staffer will ever approach a user with the request for private information, regardless whether it's for online or offline matters, including but not limited to such items as password, address, telephone number and so on.
• Should anyone, at any time at all, approach you under the guise of a moderator or administrator to request such information, please contact one of the administrators of the board immediately (we're the ones with the red names).
• While we do our best to provide a good environment for all, Writer's Beat cannot take responsibility for interactions between members.
• Writer's Beat does not accept responsibility for any inconveniences or damages that may possibly result to a user caused by their own negligence or irresponsibility.
• Do not give out private information to anyone you do not feel you can trust. The staff can try to help, but you make your own decisions in the end. When in doubt, just think of our friend Little Red Riding Hood, except the wolf is probably ten times more friendly than some people out there.
Plagiarism and Copyright
Picture this scene:
Person A: Hey, that’s my work. Stop using it, it’s not yours.
Person B: But I changed the color it’s written in and I changed the font too!
Person A: It’s still my work!
Person A tries to get the piece of paper from B. Result? A fight that led to the law crashing down. Person A is free but his pride is wounded. Person B is stuck behind bars. He has bad food, no blanket at night; you get the picture.
Would you like to be either Person A or B? Didn’t think so. You lose either way. So follow these simple rules and make sure you never end up in a similar situation:
• Plagiarism is defined as the unauthorised use and representation of someone else’s words or ideas as your own. It is a criminal offence and punishable by law.
• As with writing, the rule of copyright goes for the images used for avatars and pictures. If it is in the public domain, and is free for use by all persons, feel free to use the image. However, if there is an expression of copyright, as is the case with most images out there, the staff will take action on it. Your own photos or avatars are, of course, free for you to use. Staff note: If an artist finds an image here that is in breach of their copyright, please contact a member of staff and it will be removed immediately.
• Copyright infringement is the unauthorised use of someone else’s copyrighted material in violation of the copyright holder’s rights, which are enshrined in law. You cannot use any written material that is not your own without permission.
• Writer’s Beat takes plagiarism and infringement on copyright extremely seriously. If a member is found to have committed either one act, it means an immediate ban.
• For further information on US copyright law, try looking here
• For further information on UK copyright law, try looking here
• For further information on Australian copyright law, try looking here
• For other countries, try a google search on ‘copyright law’ followed by your country name.
You have been warned. *Dramatic music plays*
We like to have you, and only you. No clones please!
• No multiple accounts permitted. If you would like to change your username or delete your account, contact any member of the staff.
• If a friend or roommate using the same computer as you wishes to join us, please PM the staff so that your accounts will not be deleted because of a misunderstanding: the system picks up multiple accounts from the same IP, so we need to know if they are genuine members or simply spambots.
Is there a new book or short story you want to advertise? Follow these simple rules and you may be presently surpriced by the turn out.
• All advertisement must relate to writing. If the subject is unrelated to writing (such as a website selling snowblowers – yes, it actually happened) the link will be removed.
• Advertisement on markets, services or your own work are allowed in your signature and in the “Classifieds” section only. That section is made especially for this purpose, so make good use of it!
• We run a zero tolerance policy on any links to warez, pornographic and illegal content of any type. Posting such links will result in an immediate permanent ban.
• If unsure if you can advertise something, please PM the staff and we'll let you know!
Linking To Your Work
We know you're all talented in different ways, and some of you may want to share your blogs or other writing endeavours outside of WB with other members. That's perfectly fine, as we love to see what you're working on! Just remember the following to keep your link from being removed:
• The link should go directly to your work or blog, but not to other writing sites where your work is under critique/showcased.
While we understand the temptation to post academic related work for feedback on out boards, we also respect the teacher’s wish to see your true talent.
• Schoolwork in any way or form should not be posted asking for critique. If the staff notices anything that is or could be seen as schoolwork, the piece will be removed and the member will be contacted.
Signatures and Avatars
We want to let you enjoy WB to the fullest, and part of that lies in creating a calm, non-distracting environment to read other members' work and to work on your own pieces. Aside from the aesthetic value and the peace of mind, there's a more practical note: Part of our members don't have access to fast internet, and any picture (especially animated) makes a page that much slower to load. So follow these simple rules, and the staff and you can enjoy a cup of crunchy tea instead of arguing over signatures:
• Keep your signatures age-appropriate. Members of all ages roam the boards, and while teenagers these day have been exposed to a lot more than in the days before the internet, it can't hurt to avoid throwing it in their face.
• The maximum height is four lines as in the following example:
If you use a font that's twice the size of this one, you should only use two lines so the total height remains that of four lines in a regular font.
• No excessive font use (a million colors or a font so large or tiny it makes you want to scream).
• All avatars should be static, no exceptions.
• Static emoticons are allowed, animated ones are not.
• No images, banners or marketing in your signature. If you want to advertise, use "Classifieds"
The staff are generally nice furry creatures, but have you seen how sharp their teeth can be? You definitely don’t want to get them angry. Want to avoid being bitten on the butt? Well, that’s easy enough.
• No excessive use of chat speak or 'elite chat' (e.g. rofl 0mfg lyk tht shyt was tyte). Doing this would just lead to it being edited or removed. Ending a sentence with 'lol' and other saying of that calibre are of course allowed.
• No caps locks, as it is considered shouting online. HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE SHOUTED AT ALL THE TIME? If the staff see either the subject of a thread or a post in all caps, we will edit or remove it, if only to save ourselves from becoming deaf before our time.
• Post in the forum you think your post fits best in, and if you're unsure feel free to contact a staff member! We're really not as scary as you'd think, and we hardly ever bite.
• Don’t post the same or a similar post with slight alterations. You can make those changes with the 'edit' button (lower right-hand corner of each post) to avoid other members wanting to stab you with an ice pick.
• If you don’t think your post fits under any forum and would like to suggest a new forum, contact any member of the staff via PM.
• Quoting is encouraged, as threads can get long and diverted at times. Just make sure your quote isn't outdoing your response. What fun is a turkey without stuffing, right? So please refrain from quoting five paragraphs with a one-line comment. Quote the part you are replying to specifically instead of the entire post. If you are unsure how to do this, take a look at these posting guidelines
• No one likes a person who is so self-centered they miss out on all the fun. Please don’t post simply to drive up your post count or to bump your thread. If you do, other members might ignore the post, or staffers might have to remove it altogether.
• Most of the time one-liners should be avoided, but sometimes they are appropriate, so use good judgment. Just don’t become that person in class or work that everyone ignores because they talk too much about nothing.
• Too much of anything is never good. When posting, instead of making multiple posts, use the 'edit' button when you have something to add before someone else replies. We want to encourage discussions, not a monologue or soliloquy. Last time we checked, Writer's Beat was not a Shakespeare play. So if you want to plot world domination, please do it somewhere else.
• Please don’t raise the dead. We find ghosts a bit spooky. If a thread is old, the poster most likely already revised their work and moved on. The member may not even be around anymore. Similarly, if there is a dead discussion you wish to shed some light on or take in a new direction, please do so in a new thread so you can have a more active discussion.
• Don't reply to spam. Doing so might only make it more frequent. Instead, report the post, and the staff will help you squash that particular fly. Yeah, we like our jam as much as you do.
Newbies and Introductions
Who is that stranger who just hits and run? It’s a bit like someone dumping a bag of garbage on your doorstep when you’re out. Here at Writer’s Beat, we want to know you as a person, not simply a name. So help us learn more about you. The more we know, the more we can try and help. Here is how you can receive more feedback by allowing the other members to feel like you are one of them.
• Introduce yourself in the “Introductions” forum. You don’t have to bare your soul. Simply talk a bit about what you like writing, reading, what are your hobbies etc.
• When you have introduced yourself, you require 4 more posts before you can open your own thread in the “Write Here” forums. This is not to annoy you or watch you get frustrated. We know you're anxious to get your work out there. But it's important to get to know the community, and allow them to get to know you, before putting work up for critique. The more people you know around the boards, the more likely you'll be to get useful responses. So get out there and show everyone how dedicated and awesome you are!
• Creating five introduction threads will not get you around the 5-post rule. Your threads will be deleted or merged, putting you back to square one. Similarly, posts along of the lines of “That was great” or “Keep up the good work” will be deleted. You came here to get constructive criticism, right? Then give some as well! If you thought a piece was great, let the writer know why
. If you thought the piece was no good, again, explain why
you felt that way. Don't refrain from critiquing because you feel you can't be technical enough, or because you don't want to be negative. As long as you're clear about the why
and don't get personal, your critique should be helpful!
• Remember those days you stood shivering in the corner wondering just how to start a conversation with that cool person over there? All new members need a good welcome and an invite to come sit around the campfire. Remember how nice it was to be welcomed by the settled, cool people when you first came here? You
are in fact that cool person the newbie could be afraid to talk to, so take the first step. The staff does their best to stay on top of introduction threads and offer everyone a warm welcome, but as the majority of the community, feel free to join in!
Getting a bucket of water is a better way to quench fire than adding another branch. We understand discussions may get heated, but that is no excuse to start a flame war. Be the bigger person and follow these rules instead of ending up a bad guy yourself.
• If you have a complaint or a concern about another member, send a PM to any of the staff members or report the post in question by pressing the green button in the top right-hand corner of any post. The staff will handle things from there. In your report to the staff, please provide as much information as you can about the incident.
• While reporting a possible misbehavior, keep a sense of proportion. Do not complain about minor issues you find personally annoying, but which do not constitute a violation of what would generally be considered acceptable behaviour. For instance, if you hate the color brown, do not turn yourself against members who keep claiming brown is the best color in the world. Let them have their opinion, and keep your own.
• Openly arguing with a member you don't get along with is never a good idea and usually ends up with sanctions for both parties. By responding to abusive comments you risk starting a flame war, which benefits no one.
• If you see a member doing something that disagrees with the aforementioned rules, refrain from responding to it and simply report the post in question. As Aloha From Hell sang in one of their songs: 'All I wanna do is walk away . . . '
• Commenting on such matters openly on the board will lead to the post being deleted. Not because we want to censor your opinion – you can express it without problems via PM – but because we want to keep the public humiliation quota to the bare minimum.
Abuse and Swearing
Head into the dark forest of abuse at your own risk.
• The definition of abuse on WB includes any and all personal insults whether delivered by means of a post on the public forums, through a private message, or even through emails or instant messaging services (if the member’s details have been acquired through our web site).
• If a member makes a personal attack at another member, depending on the gravity of the situation the staff will issue a warning or an immediate temporary ban. The member in question will be informed via a personal message.
• Obsessive swearing under any case will result in editing of your post by a staffer, a warning, and if it persists, a ban.
“But Member X is causing all sorts of trouble, shouldn’t I help out the staff?” Writer's Beat has a team of staffers who try to keep on top of things, but due to different time zones and real life getting in the way from time to time, we cannot be everywhere at once. So yes, you can help us! By all means report the post(s) in question, but please refrain from taking matters into your own hands. A gentle reminder of the rules is fine, but sayings such as 'this member should be banned!' in public or implying the staff are not doing what is necessary in a given situation are considered backseat modding.
• To avoid embarrassment for all, we prefer taking action discreetly. Often we act so that only the member in question is notified, so in some cases it may appear we are not taking action while wheels have been set in motion behind the scenes. If you are worried a matter is not being handled, feel free to send any member of the staff a PM to notify us or ask about the state of things.
• You are more than welcome to help us out by sending any of the staff a PM or via the green “report” button at the top right corner of every post if you see behaviour you consider to be out of line.
• Behaviour considered backseat modding will result in a warning.
So by all means sing, but please don't shoot.
We have all been in situations where the contents of a post or thread were a lot more explicit than we expected. You think 'Hey, interesting . . .' *Click* And then, kaboom! *Shock!* We don't want to impede upon freedom of speech, and an f-bomb here or there is not going to hurt anyone. But this is a family-oriented forum, and we want to be able to let parents have their kids roam this site without any life-lasting traumas. You get the drift. So stay safe by following these simple rules:
• Disclaimers or warnings should always be visible in the title of a post and repeated at the top of the first post.
• These are some of the categories they can fall under
- Violence: Excessive violence, that is anything graphic or gratuitous.
- Adult Material: We recognise that not all sexual content infers graphic detail, but if your work contains visual imagery that might offend or is not suitable to all, please label it accordingly. As a rule of thumb: Would you want a child of 13 (the minimum age to be part of a forum) to read/see this? If not, consider it adult material. Similarly, if your work contains hard-core drug use, please post it with an adult warning. All graphic material must be posted in the 'Adult Content' forum. If you have no access to this forum, under 18 (21 in some locations), you should not be posting anything there.
• We allow slight to moderate swearing in posts and pieces, but not in titles. If your title contains a swear word, please substitute the word, fully or partially, with asterisks.
• The responsibility of contents in any post is held by the poster and not Writer’s Beat.
• The staff retains the right to remove or edit any content deemed inappropriate. If content is removed or edited, the original poster will be informed of this and a notice of editing will be seen under the post.
• If you feel your post has been treated unfairly, please contact the staff and we will work with you to resolve the problem.
“Why should I care when Member X clearly doesn't? Surely my time can be better spent somewhere else.” You never want other members to ever think this about your piece, right? Enters, drum roll please, spell check and grammar check. Make them your life-long friends.
• Spellchecking your work before posting tells others that you care about the quality of the piece. Doing your best with grammar does the same thing. If you don't want to read a piece that's full of spelling and grammar mistakes, the chance that someone else will is very slim.
• If you are unsure, use the spell-check on your computer or any processor. Can't find a spell check on your computer? There are plenty of options online!
• For grammar, there are books and sites out there to help you. Too lazy to walk out the door or search the web? Well, we are too, which is why, we have made our very own Reference Room
full of articles written by Writer's Beat members explaining grammar in a fun way!
• If you are struggling with spelling and/or grammar, feel free to visit our SPAG Ninjas in their SPAG Workshop
What if you came onto Writer’s beat one day and see posts by: Member X, Member X, Member X, Member X, Member X . . . Member X? He is writing a new version of the Iliad
. Brilliant, no? But after a while your eyes start to tire and you want to track Member X down, break into his house and confiscate any electronic devices he can use to post anything else. We don’t want some stranger in the night doing the same thing to you, so the following rules are extremely important. If you choose not to follow them, make sure to change your locks regularly.
• Maximum limit is 3 posts per week. This applies to the following forums:
- Adult Content (+18-21)
• For forums above, the word limit is at 3,000 per post. If your post exceeds this, split it up over several threads as long as it doesn't exceed 3 per week. (e.g. Work of Staggering Genius Part 1 and Work of Staggering Genius Part 2).
• The posting limits mentioned thus far does not apply to the following forums:
- Prompts & Challenges
- Nine And Sixty Ways
- Contest Entries
- All discussion forums (i.e. Writer’s Café)
- The SPaG Workshop
• You can post twice a week in the SPAG workshop, with each post having a maximum word limit of 500. This sounds like a small number, but the goal of the workshop is to pinpoint your most common mistakes and teach you how to improve. It's up to you to apply it to the rest of your piece. Besides, Ninjas tire too.
• If you exceed the posting limit, the staff will contact you and remove any post considered excessive.
Giving and Receiving Critiques
Here are two choices. Would you rather be a grumpy old man who finds fault in everything and thinks everyone's out to get him, randomly attacking people on the streets, or someone who is nice but still constructive and helpful? Keep in mind the following rules to avoid becoming the former.
• “I know exactly what I want.” That’s great, all you have to do is to make sure everyone else knows. It can save both you and other members a lot of time. What’s the point in getting a seafood pizza when what you really want is vegetarian? Just like making your money's worth, make sure the feedback you get is what you're looking for.
Introductory paragraphs can specify:
- the genre of your work
- the word count
- whether it is a self-contained work or part of something larger
- a recap for readers (ie where the story left off) if it is part of a serial work
- information about any disclaimers (which should be present in the thread title)
- whether you are looking for a detailed critique or more general comments
• When you comment, take the time and effort to do it properly. You wouldn't like it if anyone let a hasty remark showing they didn't really
read the piece and didn't really
want to critique, so don't be the person to give another member that feeling.
• If you are unsure how to approach a piece, take a look at our Critiquing Guidelines.
• “I will grow old before I ever get a reply on this thread.” We all experienced a lack of replies to our thread, yes? Check your formatting and SPaG (Spelling and Grammar). Readers usually don’t have the patience to battle through a jungle of misspelled words or a text so dense they might as well be cutting their way through with an ax. If you feel you have trouble with SPaG, we have a lovely forum
where you can practice with the help of our very own SPaG Ninjas. If the thread started a discussion or posed a question, check the information you provided. You may need to rephrase your question. Others might simply be unsure what you mean and be afraid to give a wrong answer.
• Focus on the writing instead of the person
• If you are unsure if a response is appropriate, imagine someone else saying the same thing to you. How would you take it?
• Critiques are about your work, not about you as a person. If you feel a critique is too personal or inappropriate, report the post and the staff will look into the matter.
• By critiquing the works of others, you'll get to know members around the board and you show you're an active member of the community. This will likely lead to more critiques on your own pieces when you post them. Keep in mind that creating a position for yourself on the boards may take a little time. Critiquing one piece does not automatically mean you will get a critique yourself. Sometimes you will, sometimes you won't. Being an active and constructive member increases the chance of more replies.
We're sure everyone has been in the situation where you help someone out, and instead of thanking you they ignore what you've done. You don’t expect them to buy you a thousand dollar present as a thank you, just seeing a smile or a nod can go a long way in lifting your spirits. Members here are no different. Everyone likes to know they have been helpful. To ensure you don’t become that cold fish who never thanks anyone, here are some simple things to do:
• Say a quick think you whenever someone comments and gives you feedback, even if you think they are totally wrong and you don’t find it useful.
It is the civil thing to do and lets others know that you are an approachable person, which can earn you more feedback in the future.
• If the post from another member is particularly useful, or if you simply appreciate them taking the time to comment, click the “Thanks” button on the bottom right corner of the post.
• At the top right of a person’s post or in their profile, you may see something like that:
• The top “Thanks” represents the number of times the member has thanked someone and the bottom one shows how many times the member has been thanked. So for Member X in this case, he have thanked others 22 times and been thanked by others 62 times.
• This is not a contest to see who is thanked more times. It is simply a quick way for you and others to show appreciation of others. Please also keep in mind that it really is intended as a 'thank you,' and not simply as a button similar to the 'like' button on Facebook. Do not hit the 'Thanks' button every time someone posts in your thread just for the fun of it. Please consider whether you really appreciated the post.