Everybody: put your keyboards down, take a deep breath, sit down, and listen to old Unka Tip for a moment, all right? After all, your old Unka Tip is an honest-to-goodness published writer type who traded enough prose for cash to almost support a family of five for three years a long, long time ago.
And that even included buying enough Moosehead to float an armada.
First of all, not every story written by a friend is awesome.
My cherished daughter draws lovely, busy drawings for me, complete with flowers, clouds, rainbows and smiling stick people. They, of course, are all awesome, despite her colouring outside the lines and forgetting to properly put a big belly on Stick-Daddy.
But she's four, and well deserves her cookie.
It is assumed that most of us are a good deal older, and somewhat interested in improving our craft.
Poor spelling, shifting POV, bad grammar, clunky dialogue, run-on and fragmented sentences, and weak similies should form only a sliver of what we crave comment upon.
If we high-five and awesomize our friends' and faves' every word, we are further lowering our collective standards.
Secondly, there should be no divided mentality here, be it old vs young, new vs vet, Protags vs Ficlets, or beer-swillers vs tee-totallers. I much like the lovely Tasha's view that we're all writers who happened upon this site via different routes. I'm of the Sixties, and happily fall back on the old chant that All We Need is Love.
Thirdly, let us quietly accept that Sly just may be right in his vaporized ratings filibuster. Assigning 3's and such without comment is like the juvenile prank of leaving burning doggie-do on someone's porch (E-mail me for instructions on how to have fun with this, by the way), and then running away. You're a reader, for goodness sake. Your opinion matters, but your anonymous raspberry doesn't.
Lastly (I promise), let's do a little math. If there are two-hundred active writers here, and each posts two chapters or branches per day, then we have....well....(I hate math)... well: many, many, many stories to read each and every day. It would be impossible to keep up, and we would necessarily end up reading only our friends' stuff. This, of course, would prevent our enjoying many other fine writers, and create an ugly sort of inbreeding best left to monarchies and the Appalachians.
I'd talk about tagging, which can also be very exclusionary, but I think it's better if we all just get back to writing and reading now. Let's just be very careful that we remain a writing site, and not a wall of graffiti.
Thanks. Old Unka Tip needs a nap now.