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Has anyone participated in a formal writing workshop?

Bondi Beach

By "formal" I mean anything from Iowa on down to your local community college, i.e., a structured group where you may or may not have had to pay a fee to join, with organized discussions and critiques. And in-person, as opposed to online interaction only.

If you have, was it helpful, not helpful, something in-between? Did you submit any of your SOL work, posted or prospective, for discussion?

(If it matters, I have not participated in any kind of group workshop.)

bb

Ernest Bywater

In the past I was involved in a couple that related to technical writing, and I found them to be useless if you already knew what you were doing in writing technical documents, but good for beginners.

Replies:   Wheezer
Wheezer

@Ernest Bywater

but good for beginners.

My experience with a local community college 25 years ago was similar, but in my instance it rapidly devolved into a social gathering with more interest in where to meet for pizza & beer after the 'official' meeting than any actual interest in improving writing skills. I think I dropped out after the third or fourth meeting.

Replies:   Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach
Updated:

@Wheezer


social gathering with more interest in where to meet for pizza & beer after the 'official' meeting


Not that there's anything wrong with pizza and beer, of course ...

My question was sparked by a comment by John Gardner in his On Becoming a Novelist, in which he argues very few workshops are led by a good writer who is also a good teacher, but even a bad workshop is probably better than no workshop, because writers need to interact with other writers.

Whether any of that [ETA: "that" being whether workshops are ever led by a good writer who is also a good teacher] is true doesn't matter for the moment, but I'm interested in whether anyone here has actually done a workshop. The closest I've come is listening to my wife talk about her online writing workshop, led by a Stanford instructor, and her overall positive assessment although she admits she would have gotten more feedback if she'd been willing to read and critique others' stuff more than she did.

bb

Replies:   StarFleet Carl
Joe Long

I haven't attended an in-person workshop or class, but I do enjoy and have learned much from K.M. Weiland's blog.
https://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/

StarFleet Carl

@Bondi Beach

because writers need to interact with other writers.


I sort of thought that was what we did on this forum.

Replies:   Joe Long  REP
Joe Long

@StarFleet Carl

I sort of thought that was what we did on this forum.


Yes, but most of the conversation is about English grammar and not so much about the craft of writing.

Replies:   Switch Blayde  REP
Switch Blayde

@Joe Long

Yes, but most of the conversation is about English grammar and not so much about the craft of writing.


You weren't around when we had those. They were nasty.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Switch Blayde

They were nasty.

Color me surprised.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@robberhands

Color me surprised.


is that where you look lovely in various shades of black, blue, purple, and yellow?

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Ernest Bywater

is that where you look lovely in various shades of black, blue, purple, and yellow?

Yeah, but the others looked even lovelier!

awnlee jawking

@Bondi Beach

My writers' group's course junkies have attended a huge variety of courses, ranging from University degrees and week-long writing holidays down to one-day workshops. They never have a bad word about the courses, saying that they're hard work, great fun and they learnt a lot. However, they're still attending the writers' group and, at best, are still stuck at the 'self-publishing for a handful of sales stage'.

If you do venture on one, expect to have a good time but don't expect miracles from it.

AJ

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Bondi Beach

I once thought of taking a Creative Writing class at a local community college. But I never did.

I don't know if it's applicable or not, but someone on wattpad asked for advice on a character in her story who was taking a Creative Writing class and wanted to know if you'd have group assignments and such. Some of the replies were interesting:

I did Creative Writing as a minor last year, but I'm in an English university so it might be different.

We did an introduction and poetry and I think we did a bit on scriptwriting and graphic novels but I'd stopped going to the lectures by that point. Biggest waste of time ever.


Oh man, where to begin...

The lectures were pretty useless. A few did teach us about technique and style, but the rest seemed to be an excuse for the lecturers to market their books to us. Often the lecture would be on something abstract -- there was occasionally a creative writing exercise thrown in there, but usually we would just be sitting there for an hour watching the lecturer.

The worst lecture I ever went to was when the lecturer got us to stand up and do yoga (we were in a fairly traditional style lecture theatre with narrow rows). Then he put on some slides he'd pulled off the English Language course and rambled for twenty minutes about how babies learn to talk. Finally he got one of the international students to come down to the bottom / front of the theatre and talk to us in their native language, which happened to be Italian. We then had to guess what they were saying. The topic of the lecture was "communication" or something stupid.

The workshops were slightly better but not by much. The tutor was up her own arse with how "literary" she was, and we were forbidden from writing genre fiction, which was pushed away with scorn (we even had a lecture on, "don't be judgemental about genre fiction even though it's basically inferior"). One of the guys wrote a fantasy piece for his final assignment, which she approved. I'd approached her asking if I could write fantasy, about a term before, and she'd said no. -_-

So yes, as a fantasy author myself I am rather embittered with the grandiose pretentiousness of the Creative Writing department.


I took Creative Writing classes in high school and in college, but high school was a terrible experience, because my teacher actually marked me down for using "And" and "But" at the start of sentences. (And it became this passive-aggressive thing I intentionally did throughout the rest of that semester.) I have no idea what she was doing teaching Creative Writing, when she didn't even actually want us to be "creative." ... It was basically a second English class, and it was boring as heck. I did more creative writing in my drama/theatre classes.

Replies:   robberhands  REP
robberhands

@Switch Blayde

It sounds like at least the writing class experiences are multilingual comparable. I've heard the same stories about German writing workshops.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

My writers' group's course junkies have attended a huge variety of courses, ranging from University degrees and week-long writing holidays down to one-day workshops. They never have a bad word about the courses, saying that they're hard work, great fun and they learnt a lot. However, they're still attending the writers' group and, at best, are still stuck at the 'self-publishing for a handful of sales stage'.

In my case, I've always been skeptical because most people who frequent 'writers groups' never seem to complete their books. Instead, they read a passage, and everyone picks it apart, so the author ends up second guessing every decision they make, continually coming back with revision after revision, adding more and more crap to their stories until they become too ponderous to float. In the end, the story becomes so boring, even the authors can no longer read them.

In trying to reach out to other authors in my local community, I attended several local authors groups. I found a similar situation: a workshop lead by a 'failed author' (someone who'd only written one or possibly two unsuccessful books, but hadn't written anything since, leading a bunch of people who had no clue what they were doing and were wasting their time fretting over form rather than focusing on the story itself.

I can't complain about 'people who are stuck at the "self-publishing" stage', because that's exactly where I'm at, simply because I have no desire to write exclusively for publishers, but like many here, the work groups tend to get bogged down in details, rather than simply cranking out the story.

My advice, if you want to write, then write. If you want to discuss the craft, then discuss the craft.

By the way, I've long maintained that the various LinkedIn Authors groups (before LI yanked the rug out from under them and most abandoned the site) are much better at discussing the craft of writing than forums like SOL is. That's because they're populated by individuals who are serious about success in writing, they're hungry for advice from people who gone before them, but most importantly, since LI is populated by people's employees, future employees and publishers and requires read names, not pseudonyms, NO ONE trashes anyone else and everyone is exceedingly polite to each other!!!

Even though the groups aren't what they used to be (with fewer authors contributing, most of the entries are self-serving promotional pieces), the conversations and posts are still much better, honest and useful than what we get here.

Crumbly Writer

@robberhands

It sounds like at least the writing class experiences are multilingual comparable. I've heard the same stories about German writing workshops.

"Ze vill write creatively, and ze vill do it NOW! Anyone caught using actual dialogue in their dialogues will be sent to special 'writing camps'."

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Crumbly Writer

"Ze vill write creatively, and ze vill do it NOW! Anyone caught using actual dialogue in their dialogues will be sent to special 'writing camps'."

It looks like your humor regarding Germany originates from the midst of the last century. Maybe it's time for an update.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@robberhands

It looks like your humor regarding Germany originates from the midst of the last century. Maybe it's time for an update.

I'll admit, it's a dated reference (dating to "Col. Klink" from "Hogan's Heroes") but seeing how the American press is occupied with neo-alt and other Nazi groups, I couldn't resist making the obvious parallels when someone suggested the reference to German writing groups enforcing group think.

The problem the U.S. is facing now are an isolated group of poor whites shouting at everyone 'SHUT UP and quit talking about EVERYONE ELSE, or else we'll attack people in your cities and shut down public expression'. In a way, that seems the very definition of Nazism, bullying and silencing opposition so no one dares criticize you for anything.

Now, I've made my pun AND made the necessary Nazi reference, so does anyone else have anything positive to say about writing groups before we shut the discussion down?

I'm gathering that few here have anything positive to say about them.

For me, the best advice is delivered when someone asks for it, rather than when people go looking for it because they're bored and want to be distracted.

REP

@StarFleet Carl

I sort of thought that was what we did on this forum.


Except we don't get to go out and have beer and pizza together. :)

Replies:   Crumbly Writer  Joe Long
REP

@Joe Long

Yes, but most of the conversation is about English grammar and not so much about the craft of writing.


The use and intentional misuse of English grammar is part of the craft of writing.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@REP

The use and intentional misuse of English grammar is part of the craft of writing.

Absolutely! The ten main points of a good story are:
1-9 the story
10 Grammar, orthography and style.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
REP

@Switch Blayde

I once thought of taking a Creative Writing class at a local community college. But I never did.


I had to take a number of classes at my workplace that were presented by 'Training Companies'. The classes were normally so basic that they were useless, and since the presenter had to go at the pace of the slowest student, they covered very little and were boring.

When I started writing, I decided to see what I could do without taking such a class.

Switch Blayde

@REP

I had to take a number of classes at my workplace that were presented by 'Training Companies'


Yeah, but the community college class would be made up of 18-yo coeds.

Crumbly Writer

@REP

Except we don't get to go out and have beer and pizza together. :)

Hey, some of us are drunk when we make suggestions, as if the rest of you couldn't tell! ;)

Replies:   StarFleet Carl
Crumbly Writer

@robberhands

Absolutely! The ten main points of a good story are:
1-9 the story
10 Grammar, orthography and style.

Or, in binary terms:
1 for the story issues and 10 for the grammar.

Replies:   robberhands
Crumbly Writer

@REP

I had to take a number of classes at my workplace that were presented by 'Training Companies'. The classes were normally so basic that they were useless, and since the presenter had to go at the pace of the slowest student, they covered very little and were boring.

When I started writing, I decided to see what I could do without taking such a class.

Most 'writing courses' are geared towards people who've never written a thing in their entire lives, thus they focus on the basics. If you've already written a decent amount, you've already mastered those, so if they 'sprinkle' in something applicable, you'll never even notice it cause you've already zoned out.

Like you, I prefer discovering the information on my own. Or better yet, asking other people about their experiences with it. It's best knowing what works and what doesn't upfront, rather than continually running into the same brick wall until you learn to step around it in the future.

Replies:   REP
robberhands

@Crumbly Writer

Or, in binary terms:
1 for the story issues and 10 for the grammar.

I thought in binary terms it would be 9*1 for story and 1*1 for grammar, orthography and style.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Crumbly Writer

rather than continually running into the same brick wall


When I hit my brick wall, I got around it by asking for help. I got some help, but not exactly what I was looking for.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Joe Long

@REP

Except we don't get to go out and have beer and pizza together. :)


Virtual beer and pizza. Just like virtual sex, we can get online and describe how drunk we are.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Joe Long

we can get online and describe how drunk we are.

U;n rirskkt ouaaws~

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

U;n rirskkt


Up skirt? You pervert!

AJ

REP

@robberhands

I thought in binary terms it would be 9*1 for story


You mean 1001*1 for binary.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@REP

You mean 1001*1 for binary.

No, I've no idea about binary. I thought binary expressions are either 1 or 0.

REP
Updated:

@robberhands

Binary means base 2 and there are only two characters (0 and 1). Decimal means base 10, and there are ten characters (0 through 9).

The value of the individual characters that make up the number is the individual character's value times its positional value. The positional value is the base raised to a exponential value. The exponential value of first position to the left of the decimal point is always zero, that value increases by 1 with each position further to the left. So 2 places to the left is 1, 3 is 2, 4 is 3, 5 is 4, etc.

Consider the decimal value 608 ---- 608 = 8 x 100 (10 to the 2nd power) + 0 X 10 (10 to the 1st power + 8 x 1 (10 to the zero power).

Same type of thing for binary. 1001 = 1 x 8 (2 to the 3rd power) + 0 x 4 (2 to the 2nd power) + 0 x 2 (2 to the 1st power) + 1 x 1 (2 to the zero power).

Note: the same system works for octal (0 through 7) and hexadecimal base 16 (0 through 9, A, B, C, D, E, and F) with A = 10 and F = 15.

StarFleet Carl

@Crumbly Writer

some of us are drunk when we make suggestions


Actually, I've noticed that my writing tends to flow better when I've imbibed an adult beverage or two, and then I do my editing when sober.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
helmut_meukel
Updated:

@robberhands

As with every other numerical system you can express any number in binary.

eg. bin 10000000000 = dec 1024.

As you can see higher numbers expressed in binary become quite unwieldy, so in computer science and programming they were transformed into octal and later hexadecimal.

Writing in octal was simple:
oct 0 = dec 0;
oct 7 = dec 7;
oct 10 = dec 8;
oct 20 = dec 16;
oct 50 = dec 40;

oct 100 = dec 80;

Because our numbering system is base 10 and therefore has only 10 digits (0–9) you need to create 2 additional digits for duodecimal and 6 digits for hexadezimal.

Because the ASCII character set was limited in size they re-used the characters A–F as digits for dec 10 to dec 15.

hex 9 = dec 9;
hex A = dec 10;
hex B = dec 11;
hex C = dec 12;
hex D = dec 13;
hex E = dec 14;
hex F = dec 15;
hex 10 = dec 16;

BTW, telling the reader they use an octal system there, and then showing all numbers in octal notation will certainly confuse the reader.

The numbering system of the old Babylonians was base 60 and they used 59 different digits, no zero.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babylonian_numerals

HM.

Replies:   Dominions Son  REP
Dominions Son
Updated:

@helmut_meukel


The numbering system of the old Babylonians was base 60 and they used 59 different digits, no zero.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babylonian_numerals


No, they don't use 59 different digits

Looking at that link, they don't actually have 59 unique digits(number symbols)

Looking at the chart at your link, the Babylonians had 12 unique number symbols with values of 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,40, and 50

11-19 are a 10 symbol plus a 1-9 symbol.

20 = 2 10 symbols.

21-29 = 2 10 symbols + a 1-9 symbol.

30 = 3 10 symbols

31-39 = 3 10 symbols + a 1-9 symbol

41-49 = 1 40 symbol + 1 1-9 symbol.

51-59 = 1 50 symbol + 1 1-9 symbol.

If you ask me, trying to fit this into the modern paradigm of base(x) number systems is complete nonsense.

The Babylonian numbering is no more base(anything) than Roman numerals.

Roman numerals use 7 symbols

I = 1

V = 5

X = 10

L = 50

C = 100

D = 500

M = 1000

What base would that be? base(1000)?

No, it would not be base(1000). Generally speaking pre-zero numbering systems use a set of unique symbols that don't represent a contiguous set of values, so they don't fit into the base(x) paradigm.

REP

@helmut_meukel

oct 100 = dec 80;


I think you meant 64.

Replies:   helmut_meukel
helmut_meukel

@REP

Yes! I said it would confuse the reader, obviously it confused me too.

HM.

Crumbly Writer

@REP

When I hit my brick wall, I got around it by asking for help.

The "running into a brick wall" wasn't directed at you, it was directed at my asking for assistance to keep from making the same mistake again and again.

Crumbly Writer

@robberhands

No, I've no idea about binary. I thought binary expressions are either 1 or 0.

Binary:
0 = zero
1 = one
10 = two
11 = three
20, or 0100 = four

Binary equals 2, which means you add a an extra digit each time you reach the next even number. (Trust me, I used to program by punch tape, so I had to check the correct holes were punches in the tape before submitting it.)

Crumbly Writer

@StarFleet Carl

Actually, I've noticed that my writing tends to flow better when I've imbibed an adult beverage or two, and then I do my editing when sober.

If it's good enough for Hemmingway (a famous falling-down drunkard) ...

Replies:   Joe Long  Ross at Play
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

The numbering system of the old Babylonians was base 60 and they used 59 different digits, no zero.

Zero was a very late addition to math, contributed by the Arabs. That means the Egyptians, Greeks, Carthens and Romans had NO concept of zero.

Dominions Son
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


Greeks, Carthens and Romans had NO concept of zero.


Yes, and our entire modern conception of base(x) (binary, octal, decimal, hexadecimal) number systems is very zero dependent.

Trying to put a base to ancient zeroless number systems is futile and pointless.

Joe Long

@Crumbly Writer

If it's good enough for Hemmingway (a famous falling-down drunkard) ...


I've heard mention of 'writing drunk' which is to turn off your internal editor, just let it all gush out, then clean it up later.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Joe Long

@Crumbly Writer

That means the Egyptians, Greeks, Carthens and Romans had NO concept of zero.


They never went without?

JohnBobMead

I don't know about other Writer's Workshops, but I've heard good things about Clarion and Clarion West in the Science Fiction field.

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

If it's good enough for Hemmingway (a famous falling-down drunkard) ...

I believe was actually an extremely disciplined author first, then the drunkard.
He started work very early every day, hangover or not, and did not have his first drink until after completing a long day of work in mid afternoon.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Dominions Son

@Joe Long

They never went without?


Of course they did.

However, number are for counting things. The idea that you can actually count nothing is a fairly big leap.

helmut_meukel
Updated:

@Dominions Son


Looking at the chart at your link, the Babylonians had 12 unique number symbols with values of 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,40, and 50


That was my first thought too. But:

Their system clearly used internal decimal to represent digits, but it was not really a mixed-radix system of bases 10 and 6, since the ten sub-base was used merely to facilitate the representation of the large set of digits needed, while the place-values in a digit string were consistently 60-based and the arithmetic needed to work with these digit strings was correspondingly sexagesimal.


And they needed something like zero:


A space was left to indicate a place without value, similar to the modern-day zero. Babylonians later devised a sign to represent this empty place.


I'll try to simulate some numbers higher than 59 by enclosing the decimal value of the 59 babylonian compound digits in brackets.

[2][58] = dec 178

[1][ ][1] = dec 3601

[1][ ] = dec 60

I guess the use of a space to indicate no digit at this position was so error prone they finally created a placeholder symbol. Looks to me similar to a zero.

HM.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play
Updated:

@helmut_meukel

I guess the use of a space to indicate no digit at this position was so error prone they finally created a placeholder symbol. Looks to me similar to a zero.

Meanwhile, their editors were telling their scribes, "Stop using those stupid dropped end quotes too. They are just as error prone." :-)

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
awnlee jawking

@Crumbly Writer

That means the Egyptians, Greeks, Carthens and Romans had NO concept of zero.


I have no idea how that idea arose but it's clearly invalid. Although those cultures may have lacked a symbol for zero, they had words for it in their vocabularies.

AJ

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Joe Long

I've heard mention of 'writing drunk' which is to turn off your internal editor, just let it all gush out, then clean it up later.

The original reference was a quote by Hemingway, where he states that he "Writes drunk, but edits sober" (hence my joke about his being a notorious drunkard (which he was)).

Replies:   Ross at Play
Crumbly Writer

@Joe Long

They never went without?

No, they just had no concept of a 'base', or of balancing your books by subtracting one number from another to reach zero. Previous to the 'invention' of zero, no one ever tried to reconcile numbers, they just counted whatever money they had and went from there. (I'm assuming that employee theft was rampant during the Roman Empire!)

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

I believe was actually an extremely disciplined author first, then the drunkard.
He started work very early every day, hangover or not, and did not have his first drink until after completing a long day of work in mid afternoon.

You're absolutely right. I was having fun referring to his public perception in his later years, long after he gave up reporting and worked on his own in his 'semi-retirement' years.

He was always highly professional. But the saying remains relevant, because when writing creatively, you want to turn OFF your internal editor, and just write whatever the hell comes out.

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

Meanwhile, their editors were telling their scribes, "Stop using those stupid dropped end quotes too. They are just as error prone."

And they said, "We'll keep using 'em 'til the dinosaurs come home!"

Replies:   Joe Long
Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

I have no idea how that idea arose but it's clearly invalid. Although those cultures may have lacked a symbol for zero, they had words for it in their vocabularies.

Mathematically, there's a HUGE difference between having a word for "nothing" and using a system to reconcile different numbers.

REP

@Crumbly Writer

means the Egyptians, Greeks, Carthens and Romans had NO concept of zero.


They probably had the concept of zero (nothing), but chose to not express it as a mathematical symbol.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Joe Long

@Crumbly Writer

And they said, "We'll keep using 'em 'til the dinosaurs come home!"


I see what you did there.

Ross at Play
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer

The original reference was a quote by Hemingway, where he states that he "Writes drunk, but edits sober" (hence my joke about his being a notorious drunkard (which he was)).

I almost certain you'll find a different writer said those words.
He was a drunkard, but he didn't start drinking until after he'd finished his writing and editing for the day.

ETA: I note your later post stating your previous one was joking, and the reality was close to what I just said.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@REP

They probably had the concept of zero (nothing), but chose to not express it as a mathematical symbol.

No. They had the concept of "Nothing", which is an entirely different thing than the concept of a mathematical zero starting point. Without a zero, you can't perform basic accounting (balancing one balance against another balance in another account to zero them both out against each other). You also don't have base anything. You simply count until you run out of numbers!

The invention of zero changed the entire field of mathematics, which, coincidentally, is WHY the Western World never bothers to mention the Arabic Countries invented it. We prefer believing that Greek, Roman and then European cultures were all vastly superior to the ever warring, primitive Arabic cultures.

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

I almost certain you'll find a different writer said those words.

If you find the original source, please, tell me, as I currently have him listed in my ever-growing list of epigraphs/quotes. The few authentic quote verification sites (i.e. those NOT making money by printing shirts and posters of various people saying various things) have a shit-poor record of keeping up on who said what, and when! I have a hell of a time validating many of my quote attributions. (Most stopped keeping track of the original attributes after the 'classical period' (i.e. there's no way to easily determine who first said what without performing the research yourself, by hand.)

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

If you find the original source, please, tell me, as I currently have him listed in my ever-growing list of epigraphs/quotes.

These three sources all suggest Peter de Vries was the first to say something close.
https://quoteinvestigator.com/2016/09/21/write-drunk/
https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/84190-sometimes-i-write-drunk-and-revise-sober-and-sometimes-i
https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Talk:Ernest_Hemingway

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
awnlee jawking

@Crumbly Writer

Completely diverging off the point, I remember a famous scientist once saying that there's stronger evidence for alien visitations than man-made climate change. Do you have it in your list? If not, please could you let me know if you ever come across it.

Many thanks,

AJ

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

These three sources all suggest Peter de Vries was the first to say something close.

Damn! Now that you mention it, I remember hearing the same thing, but it completely slipped my mind (I believe it was on another author's postings, criticizing other people posting the incorrect attributions).

Thanks, I update all of my records to ensure I don't forget it again!

Alas, when people take random quotes from various famous people, they often don't recognize that those people are often referencing someone else, and they never expected anyone to credit them for the message. It just shows that everyone peddling 'sayings' aren't terribly with accurate attributions, especially seeing as many sites only credit a third (at best) of the various quotes they advertise and sell! :(

Selling quotes is basically as scammers cottage industry, and doesn't require the capital investment a REAL scam entails.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@awnlee jawking

Damn it! Once more, non-closing parentheses have destroyed a fairly detailed response, leaving me to recreate the entire thing by rote memory!

Completely diverging off the point, I remember a famous scientist once saying that there's stronger evidence for alien visitations than man-made climate change. Do you have it in your list? If not, please could you let me know if you ever come across it.

I'll keep an eye out for it, but it doesn't sound like something I'd ever keep track of. I'm more interested in what authors say on various subjects, so I can list their quotes, rather than various unknown individuals.

Since most readers recognize famous authors, quoting them makes sense (and I considers scientists like Einstein to be 'authors' in this context, since he spent most of his life writing about his discoveries). That's also why I NEVER waste my time quoting people like the Kardashians, who'll be forgotten in another generation. I'm NOT looking for notoriety, but ideas that others recognize and accept.

Update: Curious, I just looked it up and the result popped up immediately. It was said by Roy Spenser, Ph.d in Physics.

However, one line in his response:

In fact, the relationship is so strong, if this was an epidemiological study it would be time to regulate UFOs.

makes me think he's having fun at everyone's expense. I'm sure that there IS a strong correlation between the two events, but there's NOTHING that suggest a direct cause-and-effect relationship between them.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

Knowing your interest, I suggest you look at the quoteinvestigator.com site I stumbled across.
I may be a scam, but it looks like something that could save you a lot of effort.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Ross at Play

Knowing your interest, I suggest you look at the quoteinvestigator.com site I stumbled across.

That's one I haven't seen before. I tried a variety of authentication sites (quotes.com, etc.), but they only validated quotes from books written in the 1800s or early nineteenth century, so was worthless for finding any recent quotes. A useful site, just note very useful very often.

I'll tell you what I think, as I REALLY need to document many of my references (not just WHO said them, but when, when, and in what context (i.e. whether in a novel, an interview or an article, with references so I can include it in an appendix).

Update: Sigh! While it looks promising, it's like most of the other quote verification websites. It's operated by a single man, and serves mainly as a way of promoting his existing books. Rather than being a clearing house for checking recognized quotes, the best you can do is search by a specific author (the list is VERY limited), but you'll only find a single quote at a time.

He also clearly states that although 'anyone contact me at any time', that he's unlikely to respond to any specific question, as he typically investigates questions raised in press reports or in social media responses which generate tens of thousands of queries.

(i.e. It's next to worthless for validating individual quotes.) While there's BIG MONEY is listing quotes to any source available, there's clearly NO MONEY in investigating and authenticating those quotes. :(

I tried researching several quotes, and never found more than a single quote by any single author, whereas the authors listed have THOUSANDS of quotes attributed to them on a regular basis. It's like battling a forest fire of unauthenticated quotes with a teacup full of water.

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

makes me think he's having fun at everyone's expense. I'm sure that there IS a strong correlation between the two events, but there's NOTHING that suggest a direct cause-and-effect relationship between them.


The whole global warming scare is largely predicated on confusing correlation with causation.

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