1. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    Greetings to all.

    Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by obsidian_cicatrix, Jul 15, 2013.

    I know this needs to be done for the sake of community spirit, but I find myself overcome by bashfulness.

    If I'm so reluctant to step forward and expose myself, then why am I here, you might well be asking? The simple truth is that the predicament I find myself in is not a permanent state of being, it's being spurred on by a generalised lack of self-confidence, stemming from a life-changing event that forced me to leave school at the age of fifteen, long before I had any sort of grasp on my potential.

    I suffer from a condition that makes it difficult to concentrate and learn new things. It causes me to blow hot and cold, floors me and elevates me, and often renders it impossible to deal in abstractions, only in the tangible.

    I don't remember how I came to write my first awkward lines, even though it was only a short time ago, but I knew I had no choice but to continue. I have no intention to publish, perhaps because I fear that no-one in their right mind would would see value in my words. I'm not particularly intelligent or witty and I'm neither educated nor well read. I hold little in the way of strong opinions. So what, exactly, do I have to offer? In truth, I just don't know.

    The thought of criticism scares me half to death, although I realise it is a necessary evil that must be endured in order to facilitate improvement. I have great difficultly understanding punctuation; in fact, the only way I can relate to it is by viewing it in the same light as the note values and rests in music. Primarily this is the help I seek. Even if I write just for myself, I wish to properly understand the rules and concepts. If I wish to break them, that is up to me, but I'd at least like to understand what they are and how, ideally, they should be applied.

    I am a natural empath, who also has the unfortunate habit of projecting my own feelings onto others, whether it be the case or not. The thought of criticising others scares me, almost as much as having others dissect my own writing, but fair's fair. I can hardly expect to have my work constructively criticised if I'm not prepared to return the favour. I'm not fit to comment on the technical aspects but I can, at least, tell you how a passage makes me feel. Hopefully the words of others will make up for my shortcomings.

    Have I mentioned already how incredibly long-winded and verbose I can be?

    And with all that, I am now away to peruse the boards. My thanks, to all of you who have taken the time to read this; your perseverance is appreciated.
     
  2. Thomas Gatehouse
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    Thomas Gatehouse New Member

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    You really do remind me of a friend of mine, I wont name names but he's got a fantastic imagination and creative mind because of his situation.

    I can't wait to read some of your work and don't be afraid of criticism, the fear is purely psychological. Like many things I was once scared or fearful of I just twisted in my head to enjoy them. Strange, I know but now I've learnt to look forward to criticism as it can only better my skills.

    Oah, hello but the way.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Hello Obsidian Cicatrix, Welcome to the Creative Writing Forums.

    (That's quite a handle :))

    Please read How to Use the Writing Workshop before you try to post there. Posting your own writing for people to comment on should not be among the very first things you do here anyway. It is worth taking the time to see what other people have done to improve their writing, and see if some of it applies to your writing as well. That is part of why we require members to review other members' work before posting their own for review. On the other hand, there are no restrictions, other than content and copyright rules, on showcasing your work in your member blog.

    Also, be aware that posting a piece of writing on any public site, including this one, will greatly diminish your chances of selling it for publication. Removing the writing later does not alter that fact - once posted, it is irreversibly considered published. So do not post anything more than a small excerpt of any piece you are planning to submit for publication.

    If you haven't explored the site yet, you should probably do so soon. Newcomers often gravitate to the Lounge, the Writing Prompts, or the Writing Workshop, but there is much more to be discovered if you poke in the corners. Remember to check out our FAQ as well, and be sure to read through the site rules, too, to avoid any misunderstandings or hurt feelings. Respect for one another is our principal mandate.

    As for the Writing Workshop, new joiners often wonder why we do things a bit differently on this site than on other writing sites. We emphasize constructive critique as a vital writing skill. Training your eye by reviewing other people's work helps you improve your own writing even before you present it for others to see. Therefore, we ask members to review other people's writing before posting work of their own. We also impose a two-week waiting period before you may post writing for critique, to give you time to become familiar with what is expected and how the site operates. The Writing Workshop forums on this site, therefore, are true workshops, not just a bulletin board for displaying your work (and on that note, please only post each item for review in one Writing Workshop forum). Also, please use the same thread for all revisions and additional excerpts from the same piece of writing. See this post, Why Write Reviews Before Posting My Work? for more information.

    And while you're looking around, don't forget to check out the RPG forum for improvisational fiction. Also try our Weekly Short Story Contest and Weekly Poetry Contest. They actually run more than one week apiece, but any member may enter, and all members are urged to vote for their favorites.

    Enjoy your stay here, and have fun!
     
  4. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    Thomas,

    Thank you for your response. I hoped you would reply.

    Not you and all! You wouldn't believe how often people tell me that. And not only that, I'm constantly being told am I the spitting image of a friend-of-a-friend too. In my more psychotic moments, I can almost convince myself that I am a doppelganger who not only haunts myself, but half the population as well. ;)

    I checked out your favourite authors before I threw that simile together. I'm not so sure you'd have the stomach for my stories. I started out with a concept for a novel, a feudalistic piece that stopped short of fantasy. Because of my difficulties with concentration, combined with my grammatical ineptitude as a whole, I had to shelve it, thirteen chapters in. I needed a rethink. My world lacked colour and no matter how many notes-to-self I wrote, I couldn't keep track of all my ideas, not to mention express them in a way that others could make sense of them.

    I needed to find a way to make my creation as real to me as the situations I find myself in everyday. The thought of writing short stories had never appealed me, but it appears I wasn't giving them enough credit. What I'm attempting to do now is write an intersecting, twelve story collection*, the lynchpin of which is a house of ill repute, situated by the port of the city where the main action of my novel was to occur. This has allowed me to shape my world, by introducing characters from other cities and countries, bringing to life their appearance, cultures, customs and religious beliefs, without overstretching myself.

    There has been an unforeseen side effect all to this. I have realised that my strongest asset, is an ability to portray unusual interpersonal relationships, and given the setting, sex plays a hefty part. Some of it is quite X rated, and I'm not so sure the steamier bits, would be indulged on these boards. One story might have a romantic ending, others in tragedy or violence; sexual motivations hold the stories together for the most part. When I do get round to posting, it will only be very short excerpts, with a view to inviting criticism to help with my grammar and punctuation, especially in scenes involving dialogue.

    So... still up for it? <G>
     

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