I know about writing.com but thats not exactly what im looking for. Im looking for more of a forum than that is. thanks.
A copyright is established the minute you write something. It is yours. However, a copyright is only as good as the high priced lawyer you get to defend it. It's a big world out there. And you cannot control it, no matter how much you would like to. If things are posted online, they are subject to be stolen. Then what do you do? How do you defend it if it is stolen by someone in another state? Another country? The answer is ... you don't you just lost your work. You couldn't possibly afford to hire an attorney who would go to court to defend it for you.
A lot of people here talk about the so called "poor man's copyright" where you put yoru work in an envelope and mail it to yourself without opening it until you need to prove you wrote it. The truth is - it isnt worth the 42 cents and the envelope. No court is going to accept that as evidence. There are a hundred ways to Sunday to beat it. I could have a whole stack of envelopes I mailed to myself a year ago unsealed. When I see something I want to steal, I could just print it out and tuck it inside one of my stamped envelopes and lick it shut. BAM - I own it. I did that for an entire writing class one day. I put each and every one of their finished stories in separate envelopes and showed them how easy it was to steal their work. Or I could backdate my computer (easily done) and burn your story on a disk with my name. Again, I own it.
As for purchasing a copyright under the Federal Copyright Protection Act, it is a very bad idea if you ever intend to try and sell this material. Agents and publishers consider it unprofessional and amateur. It shows you don't trust them with your work. If you ever do manage to sell it, copyrighting the work for you will be done by the publisher in accordance with a clause in your contract.
So what is the answer? The smart money is on KEEP YOUR WORK OFF THE INTERNET. If you wish a critique, join a face to face real live writers group. Libraries and bookstores have them. Or take a course at a local community college. Or ask a teacher to mentor you. There are many things you can do.
This is the best advice I can give you. I know a lot of people like to show off their work. But think about how long you have worked on this book. Is it worth it? Hardly. You can always join Absolute Write Water Cooler and discuss writing in their forums with others, but do not post your work. I will post nothing here despite many requests and I closed my website down long ago. I also stopped contributing to websites long ago when I had a story stolen.
Be smart - the internet is a buffet for plagiarists. If you are on my fans list, I have many questions about writing with great answers starred for you to copy and study. Pax - C
bookplace.com might be a good place to start.
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