I post a lot of fiction over on the ReadWave site. However, although the tagline to the site is ‘Read new stories on ReadWave,’ increasingly there’s stuff from worthies that are not stories. We get a lot of ecowarriors bemoaning the state of the world’s oceans. Yes, I see their point, but it’s not fiction. A fair number of feminists going on about the misery of being a woman. No real problem there, either, but it’s certainly not fiction.

I reached breaking point this weekend. Some clot put out a guide to innovative ways to pave your garden path. Somebody else had a guide to nine handy ways to clean like the professionals do. That was the last straw. I sent the author ever such a polite message, a private not a public one so there could be no accusation of slagging her off. I pointed out that ReadWave is a fiction site, household hints don’t count as fiction, and accurately pointed out that some of the fiction authors are getting restless. I emphatically did not attack her personally, and even went as far as to say the site is open to her to post what she likes, but stories are its true essence.

This did not go down too well, if I’m honest. She said I’d been rude, which I hadn’t, and she wasn’t going to have any grumpy old men telling her what she can and can’t post, when I’d made it clear the choice was hers.

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