[REV] End of Month Reviews - August 2004 [spoilers]

Dave Van Domelen dvandom at haven.eyrie.org
Sun Sep 5 00:14:01 PDT 2004

In article <20040904221332.04530.00000209 at mb-m02.aol.com>,
Arspitzer <arspitzer at aol.com> wrote:
>Helpmeet?  Is this some Australian slang you're using to confuse us 

     It's out of the Bible.  King James, at least.

>(Ah, whatever happened to all those Omega writers?)

     Marc Singer is now on the professor track, so he kinda has to write for
professional stuff a lot now.  Matt Rossi has a book out (Things That Never
Were, from MOnkeybrain Press).  I think Jeff McCoskey has children or
something, but I may be crossing threads on that memory.
     And, while he's not an Omega writer, Tony Pi is trying to get that whole
tenure track thing going as well, and get published professionally.  This
eats a lot of his creative time.  And August was just really busy and
draining for me, between a conference out of town and the start of the

     Snipping with abandon....

>I think it's probably because less people are reading USENET and more 
>are drifting towards Web forums or Blogs or whatever.
     I'd say that, for most groups that I follow, traffic and number of
participants hasn't dropped much, if at all.  RACC just never was THAT
active, compared to other RAC* groups.  Heck, there have been more active
RAC* groups that got rmgrouped.
     I suspect the real problem is that RACC's main crop of writers all came
out of a single event (the emergence of the LNH on RAC and RAC.misc), and our
replacement rate has simply not been high enough to compensate for those who
dropped out.  For every one new person we inspired to join in the fun, two or
three have given up on writing here.
     Why do we drop out?
     Some drop out to turn pro.  As mentioned above, a lot of us are now
writing with an eye towards tenure, or making a living at it.  That doesn't
leave a lot of room to put free stuff up on a newsgroup.
     Some just lose interest, for whatever reason.
     Some have to give up something to make room for new priorities (work,
kids, etc), and writing fiction is dropped.
     Some, as you say, have turned to other free outlets, like blogs, in
which the urge to write SOMETHING can be satisfied without having to meet
ever-higher self-imposed standards.  After all, most writers get better over
time, and most of THEM start having problems with posting inferior work.  And
if they don't have time to do it right, they don't want to do it at all.  I
know one guy whose blog output, if turned into stories, would result in a
full episode every few days.  But he can't turn out "good work" in 200-500
word chunks, whereas he figures he can turn out good blogging in that way.
     Some have trouble with the low density.  I know I write more and faster
when I'm bouncing ideas off someone else's stories than when I'm carrying the
entire thing myself.  In the Good Old Days, I could ignore a lot of LNH
writers and still have plenty of stuff to play off.  Now, to be honest,
there's not enough LNH writers I'm willing to read, much less take cues from,
so I don't write LNH.  And with Superguy output at nearly zero, I have
trouble sustaining momentum there as well.

>I wonder if someone made a call right now to create a serious superhero 
>universe, like Badger did along time ago if anyone would take that call 

     I'm certainly willing to let more writers into ASH.  Heck, I've got at
least three who are trying to get something going, but are stalled for
various reasons.  

     Dave Van Domelen, really should get to bed now, it's 2:13 AM.

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