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An Open Letter to the HFO Debate Team

A place to debate issues or to rant about what's on your mind. In addition to discussions about historical fiction, books, the publishing industry, and history, discussions about current political, social, and religious issues and other topics are allowed, so those who are easily offended by certain topics may want to avoid such threads. Members are expected to keep the discussions friendly and polite and to avoid personal attacks on other members. The moderators reserve the right to shut down a thread without warning if they believe it necessary.
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MLE (Emily Cotton)
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 3562
Joined: August 2008
Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Sun November 21st, 2010, 4:15 pm

Hey, wait a minute. As the person who made the comment on political expression and readership, I strongly object to calling it 'blackmail'. For one thing, one person's opinion does not constitute 'blackmail'. In fact, I put that in as a writer, from the perspective of one who is working very hard NOT to present my work as coming from a 'conservative' writer. And yes, I do censor myself according to my goals for projecting an image to my potential reader. And I don't even have any books out there yet.

I like C.W.'s writing, but I do not agree with his politics. I know he does not agree with mine, but I would hope that he might like my writing in spite of that, because we share a common love of Spanish history. However, if I go around expressing vehement agreement on hot-button issues that half my potential readership feels very strongly about, I can expect that this will color a reader's experience of what I write. So I leave that elsewhere, because my writing is not about current political situations.

So how does my comment, which was intended to point out a danger area that another writer was getting into commercially, amount to 'blackmail'?

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LoveHistory
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Posts: 3751
Joined: September 2008
Location: Wisconsin, USA
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Post by LoveHistory » Sun November 21st, 2010, 6:35 pm

I agree that blackmail is not only a strong term, but an inaccurate one. I am prepared to get out my dictionary to back up this claim.

Writers can say whatever they want, just like anyone else can. They also need to be aware that they may lose readers over what they say. If they can live with that, fine.

"Some people's idea of freedom of speech is that they can say anything they like, but if anyone says something back it's an outrage." Winston Churchill

I'll refrain from sharing my thoughts regarding Levi Johnston. I do stand by my remarks about American Idol though.

The problem I believe is a cultural one. Perhaps just not discussing American politics would be sufficient.

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Kveto from Prague
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Joined: September 2008
Location: Prague, Bohemia

Post by Kveto from Prague » Sun November 21st, 2010, 6:38 pm

[quote=""MLE""]Hey, wait a minute. As the person who made the comment on political expression and readership, I strongly object to calling it 'blackmail'. For one thing, one person's opinion does not constitute 'blackmail'. In fact, I put that in as a writer, from the perspective of one who is working very hard NOT to present my work as coming from a 'conservative' writer. And yes, I do censor myself according to my goals for projecting an image to my potential reader. And I don't even have any books out there yet.

I like C.W.'s writing, but I do not agree with his politics. I know he does not agree with mine, but I would hope that he might like my writing in spite of that, because we share a common love of Spanish history. However, if I go around expressing vehement agreement on hot-button issues that half my potential readership feels very strongly about, I can expect that this will color a reader's experience of what I write. So I leave that elsewhere, because my writing is not about current political situations.

So how does my comment, which was intended to point out a danger area that another writer was getting into commercially, amount to 'blackmail'?[/quote]

Ok, then lets call it an underhanded tactic. or call it what ever makes you comfortable as it was scemantics that tipped off the original post.

Ill call myself an observer. you are not discussing politics that have anything to do with my corner of the world, therefore im reading the postings for the effect that they had on me personally. I agree with Miss Moppet that I consider public figures and politicians in particular fair game for name-calling. in fact you can be sure that the post is not going to be balanced if it starts out calling someone a name. Therefore easy to ignore if you disagree. maybe this is a cultural difference but I really dont think so.

I just said that I found what you said more distasteful than anything else. To me it amounted to "you better quiet down or conservative readers wont like you." CW artfully refused to be cowed so I wont presume to speak for him or anyone else. I also fail to see how insulting a SINGLE politician amounts to HALF his readership. I dont know any politician with that kind of power.

Let's use your own logic here. You have warned him against alienating half his readership. What about yourself? I notice that whenever a political thread pops up you are quick to jump on it. In one breath talking about how this isnt the place for politics. then in the same breath talking about how the conservatives on the forum are so much more polite and measured in their posts on the site. Arent you alienating half of your own potential readership right there? By claiming that your side is somehow "better" than the other side. Gosh, I hope nobody who disagrees with you ever reads your past posts. they might take it personally and decide not to buy your books.

You said you hoped he would like your writing in spite of the politics. Then why identify yourself politically at all? doesnt that simple label alienate potential readers? Or do you just think readers can be alienated on one side?

Or maybe, readers are much more intellegent than that as i stated originally and can separate the two?

And remember, I can speak freely. I am not trying to sell any books :-) If you were truly concerned about CW you could have warned him in a private message. Instead you took the opportunity to put your own political agenda (namely that people on your side are more polite than the other side) so dont be surprised if that backfires. It certainly did from my perspective. If you are personally working hard to censure yourself, you sure mention your own political leanings a lot.

I just wanted to applaud CWs stance. Sometimes there are things more important than sales. One of those things might be refusal to be centured by veiled threats.

I like you MLE which is why I didnt single you out by name. But I didnt like what I read coming off your keyboard. Ive stated how it came off to me as a reader of the thread and have tried not to offend you. But as i said, I have no readership to potentially alienate :-)

I hope we dont lose the debating forum. im starting to get into this :-)
Last edited by Kveto from Prague on Sun November 21st, 2010, 6:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: found the word i was looking for in english

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