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Author Topic: New book idea, would love some feedback...  (Read 29691 times)
Sunny Dawn
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« Reply #15: June 08, 2007, 09:20:36 am »

Hmmmm....something occured to me.  If it is non-fiction and you name names within the coven, you will need to watch for libel.  Not to mention that most covens have you take oaths that what happens in the coven remains there.  That will a thin line to tread; you don't want to be declared oathbreaker by your audience.

Elspeth Sapphire

I am still trying to learn how to respond to msgs, so please bear with me.  Elspeth, I'll get to this in a just a second, because I seem to have messed up my post to Randall S, so I'm going to include that response in your post.

Randall S.

Good ideas - it will be longer before it sees publication due to costs, though.  I would need to save money to pay an editor, and I would most likely need a significant amount for Lulu, although I haven't looked into this yet.  I have read estimates of $16,000 to $20,000 for self-publishing, including a legal liability policy against possible libel suits, and I simply don't have that sort of money to commit to this project.

Elspeth,

Names are not named within the coven.  The coven's general location is described as “central Illinois”.  Although I took an oath in my first coven, I came into my second coven through the back door, and did not take an oath because I was an associated member, rather than a full member with voting rights.

Permissions are a big part of a writer's job, particularly if they don't have a publisher with a dedicated permissions staffperson.  Everyone who I have quoted by real name or Craft Name gets an email of how they will appear in the text, and a chance to make comments.  Their feedback does not mean that I have to make changes to what I have written, but I will certainly take their opinions seriously.  Most people are being portrayed positively, and don't have concerns about how they are being quoted, but they still like to see the text in advance.

Then there is permission to write about a particular festival, also described positively.  You wouldn't at first be aware that the festival organizers want a say about any description of their festival that appears in print, but they do.  I'm hoping they will give approval once they are assured of a respectful analysis.

Finally, there is the issue of people with fictitious names.  There is a lower level of consent here.  They aren't going to be as happy about what I have to say.  They aren't necessarily being portrayed positively.  They probably will get a heads up before it goes to print, but they won't be able to change what is being written.  They will have the option of publishing a refutation.  The best I can say is that I have tried to portray these people fairly.
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Star
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« Reply #16: June 08, 2007, 09:50:14 am »

Aack, wait, let me get to this.  I'm still trying to figure out how to respond to earlier post.

Looks like you mostly figured it out--if you have any more trouble, please feel free to ask.  You can post a thread in the folder I'm linking to here asking for help, or if you'd rather, feel free to PM me.  (To send a PM, click on the little speech bubble underneath my name/avatar/etc. on the left.)

Just a coupe of side note, though...  Firstly, please respond to each post separately instead of grouping them together.  If you don't quote/reply each one separately, we lose the quotes and the links back to what you're replying to, which are really important to help everyone follow the conversation.

Also, I see you edited your earlier response to to Randall add the response part.  After 2-3 minutes have passed, we really prefer that you not make major edits like that.  That's because by that time, on a board this busy, several people have probably seen the original version, so if you edit, they'll miss whatever you add or correct.  Wink  (And by an hour or so later, a LOT of people will have seen the original and will miss the edit.)  It's better just to make a new post instead.  

Thanks!  And I hope this helps!
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« Reply #17: June 08, 2007, 09:54:51 am »

I use the generic term pagans to describe polytheistic believers.

This doesn't directly relate to your book, I suspect, but in order to understand why we might be a little touchy about how the word "Pagan" is used, you might want to read this:
http://www.ecauldron.net/forum/index.php?topic=661.0

I understand that you need to appeal to a wider audience and all, but thought you might want to be aware of the history of the issue here at TC in order to understand the responses you might get to that kind of usage here.  Wink
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« Reply #18: June 08, 2007, 10:01:20 am »

Here we go.  This is an excerpt from Chapter Three:  Bowl of Heaven.

Actually, this discussion is continuing in its own thread, here:
http://www.ecauldron.net/forum/index.php?topic=1438.msg21112#msg21112

I'm going to try to move your reply over there so you don't have to repost it, and so that we don't have two parallel discussions going.  Wink
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« Reply #19: June 08, 2007, 10:55:36 am »


There is also fluidity at the terminology level.  Wicca has become an umbrella label which outsiders use to identify pagan believers.  These phenomenon also influences my decision to use the broader, more inclusive term of "pagan".  This book will eventually be read by people who are not pagan, who are less interested in the myriad distinctions among us.  This doesn't denigrate a traditionalist's desire for respect conveyed through proper terminology.  It is simply a realistic attempt to appeal to a wider readership.

Sunny,

You and I are having a discussion in another thread about sources, but this is separate.

Telling people that Pagan = Wiccan is so wrong on so many levels that I can hardly begin to address it. Amongst non-Wiccans, that association is just flat out wrong and causes more disgust than I can say.  It's not even CLOSE to the truth and you're perpetuating a lie by tying the two together.
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« Reply #20: June 08, 2007, 10:56:15 am »

I understand that you need to appeal to a wider audience and all, but thought you might want to be aware of the history of the issue here at TC in order to understand the responses you might get to that kind of usage here.  Wink

Heh...you mean like mine?
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« Reply #21: June 08, 2007, 11:15:13 am »

I use the generic term pagans to describe polytheistic believers.  Most of the people in our coven considered themselves Wiccans, in that they believe in a God and Goddess, and focused on the Celtic roots of Wicca. I would describe myself as pagan rather than Wiccan, because I do not focus on specific Wiccan beliefs, even though I received good old-fashioned Wiccan training in my first coven.

Many Pagan religions have no more in common with Wicca than they do with Christianity. That is, they do not have any more deities, beliefs, holidays, rituals, or moral systems in common with Wicca than they do with Christianity.

I loathe books that tell or imply those who know little or nothing about Paganism that everyone who is Pagan has very (Neo-)Wiccan like beliefs, practices, and morals. I get very tired of being told I can't be Pagan because I don't follow the Rede or celebrate the Wiccan wheel of the year or have covens or other things that Wicca and its offshoots do that all the Pagan religions unrelated to Wicca do not do -- just because they read some 101 book that states this nonsense as fact. I've had to unteach too many people who have read such books and think Pagan basically equals Wiccan to be very polite about the subject. Sorry.

Quote
There is fluidity at the coven level between the terms "pagan" and "Wiccan" in this particular coven.

That's fine as a single coven is not a book that could misinform hundreds or thousands of readers.

Quote
This book will eventually be read by people who are not pagan, who are less interested in the myriad distinctions among us. This doesn't denigrate a traditionalist's desire for respect conveyed through proper terminology.  It is simply a realistic attempt to appeal to a wider readership.

A book on monotheism could eventually be read by many people from polytheistic societies who might not be interested in the fine distinctions between Christian, Islam, Judaism (let alone the minor monotheistic religions, so my your logic it would be okay for the author to refer to all monotheistic religions with term "Christianity" as that is the most common term and doesn't risk confusing people with the fact that each monotheistic religion is very different in its beliefs, practices, morality, history, etc.
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« Reply #22: June 08, 2007, 11:19:05 am »


I loathe books that tell or imply those who know little or nothing about Paganism that everyone who is Pagan has very (Neo-)Wiccan like beliefs, practices, and morals. I get very tired of being told I can't be Pagan because I don't follow the Rede or celebrate the Wiccan wheel of the year or have covens or other things that Wicca and its offshoots do that all the Pagan religions unrelated to Wicca do not do -- just because they read some 101 book that states this nonsense as fact. I've had to unteach too many people who have read such books and think Pagan basically equals Wiccan to be very polite about the subject. Sorry.


You said that so much better than I could have. I can't begin to say how pissed off this sort of thing makes me. My religion IS NOT Wicca and has nothing in common with it. And I get very tired of having to unteach what people have "learned" by picking up some book that says it is.
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« Reply #23: June 08, 2007, 11:39:28 am »

There is fluidity at the coven level between the terms "pagan" and "Wiccan" in this particular coven.

There is also fluidity at the terminology level.  Wicca has become an umbrella label which outsiders use to identify pagan believers.  These phenomenon also influences my decision to use the broader, more inclusive term of "pagan".  This book will eventually be read by people who are not pagan, who are less interested in the myriad distinctions among us.  This doesn't denigrate a traditionalist's desire for respect conveyed through proper terminology.  It is simply a realistic attempt to appeal to a wider readership.

Sunny,

In addition to what LyricFox and Randall have already said (well said, both of you!), can I add that it really sounds like you're more concerned about selling your book (and possibly getting back at some folks) than accurately reflecting the reality of pagan beliefs? Please don't take that as an attack, but just an observation based on what you've said.

I say this in sincere hopes of helping you... please rethink the way you're presenting your views, because you will lose readership among people who might have otherwise supported your writing career.  You may have a very valid story to tell, but keep in mind that your story does not represent all of our stories.  Please make it clear in your work that you're presenting one small portion of the pagan world, not a representation of the whole.
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« Reply #24: June 08, 2007, 11:43:52 am »

Please make it clear in your work that you're presenting one small portion of the pagan world, not a representation of the whole.

That would go a long, long way to solving the problem. Not misrepresenting what you and your coven do as something "all pagans do" helps tremendously.
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« Reply #25: June 08, 2007, 12:39:21 pm »

Everyone who I have quoted by real name or Craft Name gets an email of how they will appear in the text, and a chance to make comments.  Their feedback does not mean that I have to make changes to what I have written, but I will certainly take their opinions seriously. 

So are you trying to say then that, even if they email you back and say "I do not want you using my real and/or Craft name in your book" that you do not have to abide by their wishes and remove them? Shocked

I'm not an author but, IMO, that is very rude, very wrong and could very well lead to a lawsuit for, at the very least, defamation of character.
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« Reply #26: June 08, 2007, 12:45:29 pm »

Telling people that Pagan = Wiccan is so wrong on so many levels that I can hardly begin to address it. Amongst non-Wiccans, that association is just flat out wrong and causes more disgust than I can say.  It's not even CLOSE to the truth and you're perpetuating a lie by tying the two together.

Am I correct in thinking that Wiccans = Pagan but Pagan does not equal Wiccan because of the many different types of Pagans that are not all Wiccan?  Is that how this works?

And yes, I do see where, why and how the vast majority of Pagans tend to get so pissed off over this generalization that's not just rude but also wrong.

Take me for example... I call myself Pagan but I'm NOT a Wiccan; I am a "Wandering Seeker with Celtic and Hedgewitch Leanings". How does that description make ME Wiccan?  The only things I know about Wicca and Wiccans I have read in books and here on TC!
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« Reply #27: June 08, 2007, 12:55:57 pm »

Am I correct in thinking that Wiccans = Pagan but Pagan does not equal Wiccan because of the many different types of Pagans that are not all Wiccan?  Is that how this works?

Yep.

Quote
And yes, I do see where, why and how the vast majority of Pagans tend to get so pissed off over this generalization that's not just rude but also wrong.

Take me for example... I call myself Pagan but I'm NOT a Wiccan; I am a "Wandering Seeker with Celtic and Hedgewitch Leanings". How does that description make ME Wiccan?  The only things I know about Wicca and Wiccans I have read in books and here on TC!

It doesn't make you Wiccan. It's horribly inaccurate to use that terminology. I'm to the point now that I can't even be polite about it. It is so wrong. So much discussed. Such a hot button with non-Wiccans (and maybe even with Trad Wiccans, but I can't speak to that).

It's also one reason that a whole lot of Recons have very negative opinions about Wiccans and eclectic pagans. Those of us who aren't of Wiccan extraction are sick to death of having to explaing that we're not Wiccan and why. This is one of those topics that will turn the air blue in a Recon only group.
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« Reply #28: June 08, 2007, 01:02:09 pm »

So are you trying to say then that, even if they email you back and say "I do not want you using my real and/or Craft name in your book" that you do not have to abide by their wishes and remove them? Shocked

I'm not an author but, IMO, that is very rude, very wrong and could very well lead to a lawsuit for, at the very least, defamation of character.

Not only that, but merely disguising the name but leaving in enough details by which the person can still be identified can lead to a lawsuit as well.

Sasha
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« Reply #29: June 08, 2007, 01:14:37 pm »

It doesn't make you Wiccan. It's horribly inaccurate to use that terminology. I'm to the point now that I can't even be polite about it. It is so wrong. So much discussed. Such a hot button with non-Wiccans (and maybe even with Trad Wiccans, but I can't speak to that).

I certainly understand this. It's like all us Pagans are being painted with the same Wiccan brush or like we're being lumped into the same (Wiccan) mold.

Quote
It's also one reason that a whole lot of Recons have very negative opinions about Wiccans and eclectic pagans. Those of us who aren't of Wiccan extraction are sick to death of having to explaing that we're not Wiccan and why. This is one of those topics that will turn the air blue in a Recon only group.

By Recon, are you meaning the entire Recon "family"?  Or do you mean specific Recons?
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