Community Interaction Rules
Rules for Everyone
You own your own words. That means that you and you
alone are responsible for the content of your posts and any
consequences of those posts. With that in mind:
Treat others the way you would wish to be treated.
Don't ask for location, age or other personal information about a
member of the site, either on the boards or in chat.
Discuss issues, but do not point fingers. "That is a stupid
idea," is an acceptable post, though perhaps not a particularly
well-thought-out one. "You are a stupid person," will result in a
moderator removing your post without warning. People who use
name-calling, harassment, or abusive language toward other members
will be removed from the community.
Do not leap into the flames. If you see an inappropriate
post, IGNORE IT. Let a moderator know it's there and one of us will
remove it. Do not respond to it -- the only effect that will have is
that your post, too, no matter how erudite and well-thought-out,
will vanish with it.
If you wish to discuss in a reasoned manner something that is
going down in flames elsewhere, do so in a separate post with a
similar title. That way people will be able to find your post,
but it won't be deleted or get you into trouble in the community.
We are a Writing Community. While some discussions go
far a field of writing, remember that the purpose of the site is to
help improve writing skills and how to best meet the needs of those
Do not post fiction on inappropriate boards. This includes
poetry, short stories, chapters, excerpts, etc. Remember that
we are not a site for readers. Fiction material posted on the site
must be on the critique boards and be posted for the purpose of
finding help to improve the work.
Legal Issues Broadly, don't do anything
illegal in here or your membership will be revoked. More specifically:
Respect people. Don't harass, stalk or verbally abuse anyone.
Don't post inappropriate material to minors. That means
don't discuss your drug use, personal sexual activity, or how you
shoplifted the DVDs. Don't post story material that would be
considered sexually explicit.
law. Do not attempt to use these forums for the illegal sale or
purchase of any form of contraband. (That includes the exchange of
illegally made copies of music CDs.)
Respect copyrights. Don't post anything for which you don't
own copyright, and don't copy anything for which you don't own
Chat is part of the community
and the rules posted for the site apply there as well.
The following rules on religion, war debate and politics have mostly
to do with being polite and accepting that we are a diverse group.
We can find common cause in our pursuit of writing. Always
keep in mind that if you keep a discussion on touchy subjects
focused on the writing aspects you should be fine.
Don't attack anyone else on their beliefs, and don't start a debate
to tell the world your own. This is not the site for those
Religious and Personal Belief Discussion
The following rules have been put in place to protect all members
from harassment, and to keep this site pleasant for everyone who
comes here. If these rules do not suit you, you are welcome to join
other communities that are less strict in their implementation of
"No Proselytizing." I will strictly enforce this rule.
Always remember that we are a writing site. Discussion about
a religion for the sake of writing material is allowed.
However, never let the discussion slip over into a defense of a
religion or an attack of another.
People on this site have the right to their own beliefs. No
one requires any member to discuss or defend their religious
People may stop any conversation about religion simply by saying,
"My beliefs are personal and I don't wish to discuss them." If a
member pursues a personal religious conversation past that point,
either in chat or on the boards or in private message on the site,
he may be warned or removed from Forward Motion, depending on
persistence or attitude.
If your religion demands that you try to gain converts,
this is not the place to look for them.
We have a firm NO PROSELYTIZING rule -- this means that you
cannot approach any member of the community at any time (including
using site member lists to gain access to member e-mail addresses)
with the intent of trying to convince him to join or consider your
religion or personal beliefs.
This includes any personal belief that may not be recognized as a
religion, from vegan choices to PETA and anything of the like.
If any such discussion starts into an attack/defend mode, drop it
and move on.
WE ARE A WRITING SITE. WE ARE HERE TO WRITE, AND TO TALK ABOUT
WRITING. Religion in this neighborhood is an interesting side venue,
to be studied for its value as story background and character
development, the way one studies insects or botany or grammar and
scene construction techniques. Nothing more and nothing less.
Iraqi War Related Debates
rule on this one is very simple.
matter what your opinion on the events of September 11th, 2001, or
their ongoing aftermath, you may
not discuss the events here.
Do not post links to Iraqi War News, do not
discuss the war on the boards or in chat.
As with religion, discussing
historical war-related material is
always allowed for writing purposes. If the discussion drifts
over into a debate the people involved will be banned from the site.
discussion (whatever your country and affiliation within it may be)
falls into the same categories as religion and the war debate.
Politics may be discussed for writing purposes, but if the
discussion (on the boards or in chat) starts to turn into a shouting
match over whose side is better, it will be removed and the people
involved warned or banned.
Specifically for Writers ---Purposes and Goals
Our main goal is to help each other get published. We do this by
presenting and participating in workshops on our varied areas of
expertise, by reading and critiquing each other's work, and by
encouraging each other to submit finished works. We also provide
networking, contacts with professionals in the field, and a chance
to work with writers who have similar interests.
Some of our members are pros, others have published in small
presses, and still others are just now beginning to submit work.
Some are still learning how to finish work.
are open to members of all levels of experience, and of all ages and
interests. If you can't find
someone who shares your interest, tell us and we'll see if we can
recruit someone who does.
We are a working writers' group, and our main premise is that
writers write. If you join we'll do our best to help you achieve
your goal of getting your stories into print---your goal is one we
share. You have to take an active part in the work, however.
While you might learn a great deal just by lurking, you can achieve
more by joining in the classes, critique groups and other parts of
you are interested in improving your writing, but not in
publication, you are still welcome. Just be aware that the
others will be offering you publication ideas.
Rules of Critiquing
All material to be critiqued
must be posted on the boards. No external links are allowed.
The only exception is when critiquing an entire novel where the
manuscript is sent to a specific person who has agreed to read and
comment on it.
1) Critique the writing, never the writer. Never say, "You are..."
or "You should..." Instead say, "The writing is..." or "The story
2) Find what is right in each piece as well as what is wrong.
3) Critique the story as it is, not the way you would write it.
4) Remember that subject matter is personal. You don't have to
like a story to give it a fair critique for things like grammar
5) Remember what your biases in story material are and critique
6) Remember that real people wrote this stuff, and real people
have real feelings.
Things you may not say while critiquing.
"You couldn't write your way out of a paper bag."
Rules of Being Critiqued
Read your critiques carefully. The person who has written them has
taken the time to listen to your work, and wants to help you find
ways to make it better.
Explain only if necessary. Don't rebut.
Be willing to make changes. Conversely, don't change anything you
feel must remain in order to make the story yours.
People at FM assume you are serious about learning to overcome
problems, whether you want to be published or not. If you are
not going to work with the critiques, don't post your stories and
waste their time. This is not a reading group -- we're not
here just to tell a writer how good they are.
Things you may not say when being critiqued.
Membership is a privilege and not a right. This is a private site,
and I will revoke the membership of anyone who causes problems,
whether it is a reason clearly defined in the rules or not.
People are inventive, and writers are often the worst -- they come
up with interesting ways to cause trouble.
You can be warned, or banned temporarily or permanently.
However, this is not something that often happens.
Forward Motion is a site dedicated to helping people reach
publication. We have members at various stages of their
careers, as well as people who just want to learn to write better
for their own enjoyment. Thousands of people have found help
here at some level. It is an enjoyable site that does not
require you to do more than be polite to the other members and avoid
posting material that will lead to hot tempers.
with that in mind, have fun and good luck with your writing.