Here's a biggie: "Any and all ideas offered in feedback to my creative works should be considered 'donated' to my work, surrendering copyright. This is the only way I can legally allow myself to read your comments without running the risk of lawsuits down the line. If you disagree with this policy, do not post to this blog!"

That comes from Stefan Gagne's amazing blog, and it serves my purposes well enough to use it here. I hope that it would go without saying, to tell the truth, especially at White Marble Block. One of the main purposes of this blog, after all, is to spit out ideas that anyone can use, free of charge. While I won't look at you funny if you go ahead and use something without paying it forward, I do think that I have the right to think that you're a little strange if you want to use something and then present an idea (on the "full of free ideas for everyone to use" blog, remember) that you don't want anyone else to use.

I feel that it's kind of like writing Harry Potter fanfiction but getting mad if somebody writes fanfiction of your fanfiction without talking to you about it first. You know, that category of "This just doesn't make sense."

I also feel the need to explain how I go about writing reviews (which will be appearing in the near future), just to head off any potential unpleasantness in the future.

Nobody pays me to write a flattering review, or any other such thing. This may be especially important to note because I don't expect to post many bad reviews on this blog. If I'm lucky then I'll go through a hundred stories or more before I have to post a bad review, but that could look suspicious. The reason for this is very simple, however: At the time of my writing this (and I'll update this page as soon as the situation changes) I not only have complete control over what I do and do not review, I am usually the one to initiate talks with an author.

Because I have no interest in reading a bad story, I don't contact an author about a book that I think is going to suck. Accordingly, the only way that I will end up posting a negative review is if I messed up somewhere and missed all the warning signs of a horrible book.

The unusual weighting toward good reviews on this site is therefore due not to any kind of deceitfulness but because I am being highly discriminatory about which stories I am going to review in the first place and, if I may say so, I'm pretty good at catching a bad story before I ever start reading it (you have to be, if you're going to read fanfiction). Admittedly, I probably miss out on some good stories this way because I'm too selective, but most of the time I would rather lose a couple of good stories than suffer through a couple of bad ones.

By the way, I made "Stefan Gagne's amazing blog" into a hyperlink up there for a reason. Go check it out. It's made out of stories.

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