Run Screaming: When Other Writers Want You to Do the Work for Them

I belong to a number of writing groups on Facebook, and it has been my experience that a couple times a week, the requests for advice or writing aid tick over into "do my homework for me" territory. I'm not talking about the people who ask for suggestions for names or how do you approach world-building? I mean the ones that ask, "name my world for me?"

Sure, a lot of times these requests are worded so that it seems like the request is coming from an inexperienced writer seeking the aid of more seasoned creators (like, "I'm having trouble deciding how the book should open", which means "write the first line, or better yet, paragraph for me"). Others are blatant in their wording. Like the person I saw who posted the scenario for his book's plot and then said, "tell me what should happen to the characters next".

However it is worded, these requests are asking for the same thing. They want you to do the writing for them, but they want to be able to take the credit for the work. These "writers" are no different from the kid you were friends with in high school who was always asking to borrow your homework so that they could copy it.

My advice to you when you see one of these posts is to do to them what you secretly wanted to do to that friend of yours: turn around and run away screaming. If you're so inclined, you can also add a "hell, no" before you run the other way.

Anyone who asks you to do the writing work for them doesn't need to publish. There are plenty of people like you and I who put the work in on our own with just a slight bump here and there from other helpful writers. We didn't ask someone to do the writing for us. So, run, run away from those that do.

A.M.