I recently got an email from a dear friend mentioning that the owner of a certain writing forum wanted to know why things were going downhill and my friend mentioned my name as a person to ask for feedback from. While I’ve not been approached yet, I do have opinions about what dooms a forum.
Egos. A lot of threads turned into pissing matches over who had the better writing and who thought they were the second coming of Nabacov or Steinbeck. Frankly, if they were that good, then why spend their time on a forum? Throw in the arrogant ones who think they know it all, or are using the forums to plug their own free writing and you get a disaster.
Artistes. These types are the ones who are so convinced they’re artists that they refuse to compromise on their writing. This leaves them in a position of being unlikely to ever be published because of that inability to adapt.
Take these two combined and you have a forum that’s getting ruined in a hurry. Too bad it takes people like myself and my friend, who both look at it from the outside, to notice this. Maybe the owner will, maybe he won’t, but that’s not my concern. I’m busy writing and making query letters for an attempt to get my novel published. I just don’t have time for that kind of bullshit.