Hello there. I'm Manwards, or Manny for short, or Joe if you insist upon using my given name. I really should have sought out this site sooner. Writing is something that has always fascinated me and something that is always on my mind, but attempting to discuss it with most people I know in anything more than a cursory fashion is usually met with apathy, confusion or downright disdain. I grew tired of forums years ago, but this seems like the kind of place I could settle into. I've been writing for years, beginning with fanfiction scripts and progressing slowly through fanfiction prose to arrive recently at original prose. I've been developing plans for a novel for over a year now, but I'm holding the reins on that and doing other, smaller projects until I have the confidence to attempt it. I'm deeply fond of words and of language in general, although it can lead to me coming across as ostentatious. My favourite authors, and uncoincidentally my biggest influences, would be Stephen King and Sylvia Plath. His "It" weaves an incredible tale of nostalgia, and her "The Bell Jar" is one of the most personal things I've ever read, and her use of metaphor is something I deeply enjoy and, I'll admit, attempt to emulate. Other favourites include Tolkien, for obvious reasons, and Ian McEwan, whose "Enduring Love" I read at college and never forgot. Recently I've read Dan Simmons' "Hyperion" and Ken Grimwood's "Replay", both of which are now firmly on my favourites list: "Hyperion" for its effortless building of a universe and its simultaneous incorporation and circumvention of practically every sci-fi cliché; and "Replay" because it answers one of my favourite "What if?" questions with ease and warmth. Oh, and Enid Blyton, whose "Malory Towers" series is just as charming a read today as it was when I was a child. I'm also a big fan of video games and anime - the subjects of my fanfiction - and generally anything that celebrates the imagination. My apologies for the long introduction, but this seems as good a forum as any to be voluble. I look forward to being an active contributor, and getting to know you all. Oh, and my favourite word is "replenish". Or perhaps "verisimilitude".