1. Tufty Williams
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    Tufty Williams New Member

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    Hiya!

    Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Tufty Williams, Jul 13, 2014.

    Hello, everyone!

    I've joined the forum to connect with people and to talk to people who understand the madness of a writer's brain. I don't have many people around me I can talk to and share work, so I thought I would try a forum.
    I am a little apprehensive, as I've never used a forum before,making so this is a whole new experience, but I hope I can make some new friends and confidantes as well as discuss methods and madness.
    There's nothing better than rambling about a project to someone who knows that buzz of excitement. :)
    I hope to speak to you all soon, thank you for reading :)
     
  2. Andrae Smith
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    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

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    Hi @Tufty Williams,

    Welcome to the Forums! My name is Andrae, and I invite you to read our New Member Quick Start, which has almost everything you need to know about our rules and getting the most out of your membership.

    Don't be nervous. We have a fun, supportive, and diverse community of writers of varying backgrounds and experience. We're all pretty friendly and generally encouraging. Just be friendly, participate, and have a good time. The more involved you are the more we all get from your time here. :agreed:

    I remember when I first joined; I was fresh out of high school, literally, and so nervous about joining a forum. I'd generally kept my writing to myself, so I wanted a place that would be supportive and help me learn the things I didn't know and didn't know I didn't know... you know? ;) This forum offers just that.

    So tell us a little about yourself. What do you like to write? how long have you been writing? I tend to write more general fiction these days, but I'm still young and new to this and my interest has always been a bit of fantasy. My current project is something of a superhero novel, although I've only just gotten started. Do you have other interests?

    Pardon my enthusiasm. :rolleyes: Sometimes new members excite me.

    Once again, welcome,

    Andrae :cool:
     
  3. Tufty Williams
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    Tufty Williams New Member

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    Hello @Andrae Smith!
    Thank you for the warm welcome :)

    I had a read of all the rules before I posted; I wanted to make sure I wouldn't post anything inappropriate by accident - but realised that was me being pedantic!
    I shall have another read, though, I'm sure, to make sure I know what I'm doing! :)

    I feel I'm nervous as everything's unfamiliar to me; I notice a lot of discussion goes on and I hope this is where my wings will spread as I've not had much opportunity to openly discuss my work or others, or just methods, techniques and even - I noticed with a little glee of delight - books!

    I will try to impart my time on here often, but using my phone a lot more than my laptop may cause personal frustration, so let's hope I can get past that hurdle!


    I'm glad the forums have been so useful to you! That gives me more confidence in what I'm going face. I felt as though I'd gone to the ball without a date!

    I guess I crave a little companionship from someone who knows where I'm coming from when I get the dreaded 'block' or someone to offload about something I've come across whilst writing myself! :)

    As a child/teenager - poetry was always my thing. Sometimes they were lyrics, with no music being made for them, or poetry to help loosen that dark feeling that had taken hold of my stomach. It was refreshing and challenging as I love to rhyme with my poetry.. I once spent 4 weeks writing a long poem in a notebook. Anything that happened to me -good or bad- became part of this intense, long piece of work.
    These days, I seem to have moved to prose and the short story. I'm also attempting my arch-nemesis from school - non-fiction writing. Trying to break into the world of freelance. I'm doing some stuff in my job alongside my duties - I spoke to some people who kick-started that off for me. It's only newsletters and such but it's something!

    I've been writing as long as I can remember -and then some I discovered one day when I dug out a poem from age 6! Had quite a lot of poetry from around that age; but I was 13 when I 'realised' I suppose that I enjoyed writing poetry.

    As my works are short stories and the like; I sort of write what comes to me; I have a few projects that I'm in the process of editing; but nothing that I am working on that stands out right now! :)

    My other interests at music and reading, really. I'm on a taster panel for a publishing company; reading manuscripts and providing my feedback on them. I also volunteer my time a couple hours a week at my local hospital as a radio DJ!

    I have a few side projects that aren't in full bloom with some musician friends as I love singing; but I have written my own music. I just feel I'm better at singing than guitar; so have sought help from friends so we can create music together with both sides creating it. :)

    The enthusiasm needs no apologies - it is lovely to receive such a lovely welcome as I'm a person who's 'shy'!

    Thank you :) x
     
    Andrae Smith likes this.
  4. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Welcome to the forum, I'm sure you'll fit right in. :)

    It's also nice to hear you get to do things in your working life that support your passion to write, that's awesome. :)

    See you around, have fun!

    -Kat
     
  5. Tufty Williams
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    Tufty Williams New Member

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    Thank you very much, Kat! It is nice to meet you too :) xx
     
  6. Andrae Smith
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    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

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    Don't sweat the rules too much. The mods are very nice. They're serious about enforcing the rules equally to all members, but they take a more laid-back approach overall. The big ones are really: 1. no illegal, inappropriate, or copyrighted material; 2. no advertising anywhere; 3. no current school work (cuz that's like cheating). Regarding posting your own work for critique, just know that you must be a registered member for 2 weeks, have 20 posts across the forums (participation ;)), and write at least 2 critiques in the workshop (per every work of you own that you post).
    Most members naturally have more critiques than posts anyway so don't sweat that either.

    Don't worry, you'll get the swing of things soon enough. There is a lot of discussion here, but if you have an opinion on something, don't be afraid to chime in. You may or may not get responses right away; don't get discouraged by the latter. Your name will get around. You can ask your own questions or start discussions of your own too. (Most of us don't mind repeat threads after a while, but it's helpful if you use the search bar to find similar threads before asking things.) You can also start a blog or go to the Applied Writing section and create a progress journal. The best advice I have is to just dive in head first by browsing the forums, seeing what interests you and talking to people until you're comfortable.

    Don't trip, come and go as you please. We all do. :cool:

    In all honesty, I can't stress participation enough. By that I mean, read, explore, comment. The more you read, the more you see. Don't be afraid to ask your own questions either. As the saying goes, "closed mouths don't get fed." Come when you can, offer your thoughts see what others say. Our most powerful tools here are our words. USE THEM ;)

    Well we have a very active community. The more you're involved, the more easy it will be to make friends. You can't count me as your first. :agreed: If you have questions or want to get a discussion started, you can write on my wall, or Start a Conversation (PM), or tag with @Andrae Smith in the thread you're starting.

    If you're interested in Poetry, I think I know a couple people who wouldn't mind talking poetry with you. Keep an eye out for a member named thirdwind. You can also hang out in the poetry workshop. I think all writing can be therapeutic. My first novel length project helped me work through some emotions and build a fun world. It was all garbage, but I learned a lot. I also keep a continuous journal, have since I was in 10th grade.

    Short stories are great. Many writers will say that if you want to write fiction, you should learn how to rite short stories because it will teach you how to craft a story from beginning to end. That is good advice, as you will learn a lot about story; however, I don't take too much stock in it because novels and shorts are very different crafts. I write mostly shorts, based on whatever happens to come up. Right now, my shorts tend to focus on domestic interactions and things in the home. My current project came up from my interest in superheroes (particularly Superman and other DC properties). I tend to believe that people can rise above darkness and hardship to be better than they ever imagined. but now I'm rambling. :oops:

    It's also really cool that you get to incorporate writing into your work. I'm doing a little online freelance editing. I'm buying a ton of books and doing research to learn the skills I need until I go back to college. I'm thinking about getting into editing or publishing, though I need to improve my writing skills and editing acumen a bit. It all comes from experience though. After that, I'll likely go into teaching (which was my plan before I discovered how much fun editing can be). I'd teach English Literature and/or Writing and Composition or some combination. If you ever want a detailed critique of something just let me know. :agreed:

    Those are some cool activities. I recently critiqued a friends novel manuscript (he was very please), and I thought it was so much fun. I've also always wanted to play an instrument, but I never learned. Writing, reading and editing are my main interests. I also love watching movies, talking about movies, and on occasion writing about movies. :pop::write: It's kind of a newer thing, but it's a fun hobby. I'm just hoping to land a job soon so I can afford to go see movies. :rolleyes:

    Not a problem. Everyone likes a warm welcome. I'm glad to have ya. looking forward to seein' ya 'round. :cool:
     
  7. Tufty Williams
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    Tufty Williams New Member

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    Well. That took me a while to respond! I am sorry! I have been so busy working and doing other things that I just barely turned on the laptop. I'd completely forgotten to check! I must get better at this!

    I have never really critiqued work before. We had to read things out in lectures, and give feedback for each other, but I've never properly critiqued anything before!

    I will take a look around soon, but this is a whole new world for me, so trying to get into the swing of things is taking me a while. I tend to hold back unless I have a strong opinion, I'm not one for saying what I think. I hope I can change that!

    This makes perfect sense to me, I just need to find the time to get on here. We've had a lot of heat here (I'm in the UK) so I've been having trouble sleeping as well as being busy. What I really need is to get some form of routine for my writing. That is my WORST problem right now. Having the time to work, sleep, eat, be social, and an hour or two to catch up on my internet bits and bobs, and an hour or two to write.
    I started a diary and a "Wordsday" project earlier this year - My friend was doing Tunesday so I made up my own! :p I missed a few days, and had some bad days, but I mostly got a lot done. I then went into hospital and didn't keep it up after that. It's getting back into the habit and trying to realise my writing is more important than I think it is.

    I'm trying hard to get into freelance, but I can't find the right people to contact, and I need some work on my writing to be of a sufficient standard to do so!

    I'll keep an eye on the poetry thread, but from what I was taught in school it made me close up. I didn't feel I could call my work 'poetry' because it wasn't what Maya Angelou, or Keats had written. Yet it is poetry because of all the other factors. Again, that self-confidence factor keeps popping up! thirdwind? I'll have a look for them as soon as I get chance!

    I worry that I don't have the patience to write a novel. I have the stories, but I just don't feel I could have the patience to fill a story out so it keeps someone so interested and occupied that they would like to keep reading. Short stories I can get it all out and not worry about the excess baggage needed to keep it alive! That sounds so negative, but I really mean the intricacies of a novel require a lot of forethought and planning.
    I could write a novel, I just don't know if I could write it well...

    I've read somewhere that writing stories can also help you write non-fiction. How to create an article by using the prosaic method; the article made a lot more sense that how I just described it though! :')

    ^ I really like that; that sounds like a great idea :D

    You are doing what I want to be doing around my job at the moment, but I just don't know where to start. I have thought about books, but I wouldn't know which would be best, and I've tried contacting local editors, to see if I could fit in somewhere; but it's a waiting game for me. When it comes to freelance I'm trying to think of what I could write that is interesting for people.

    The writing in work is taking some time. I was meant to have a meeting yesterday and it was cancelled. I turned up early to sit and wait for someone who wasn't there! I'm hoping I get it sorted soon, because once I've done that it should get steadier than just waiting on one person to relay messages back and forth! I know he's the manager, but it's just a little frustrating waiting for me.

    ....I'm not portraying myself as a very patient person, am I? I can be patient, honestly! :) I just prefer work things to be done 5 minutes ago so they're done and over with! :p

    The movie thing sounds really good! You don't need to go see a movie, there's lots of the TV, even the older films could do with a recent review now and again :) I once wrote a review for Frankenstein when I was in uni; but I forgot to save my edit, and they deleted the old website, so I lost it! :O :(
    I just generally don't know where I'm heading or what to do at the moment, so that's why I've come here (when I can) to get myself more proactive and to learn more through my peers than struggling to figure it out myself.

    I find I learn more from other people, because just little tips and hints will come back one day and be the turning point of something you never realised :)
     
  8. Andrae Smith
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    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

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    No worries, I've been on and off infrequently myself, which is why this particular response almost got buried.

    What would you consider a proper critique. People here critique in their own styles, nothing too formal, unless you want to be formal. I try to create an something a little more organized as a Reviewer, but it doesn't have to be broken into sections or provide commentary on every element. Just your take on the piece. There are plenty of examples, and if you're still not sure, you can visit The Art of Critique forum and find out what others have to say.

    Well don't feel pressured. Open up at your own pace. and Don't worried about being ridiculed, no one here does that. We have some nitpickers and some who'll challenge some things, but it's all in good spirit.

    I hear ya. I bought a dry-erase calendar and put up deadlines for each of my goals so I could start getting things done, even if it's not necessarily a routine, I'm okay with deadlines. Life is just too full of stuff to do everything. What's funny is that mathematically, even if you work 40hrs/week (8hrs/day) and sleep 49hrs/week (7hrs/night) you should still have 79hrs in a week... that's just over 11 hrs/per day to eat, socialize, clean, or whatever... but that doesn't seem like enough most of the time ha ha.

    Whatever you can get done is good as long as it works for you. I keep an infrequent journal for writing thoughts and self-reflection. I'm going to start doing some writing (if not in my journal, then for my ne project) every week. Perhaps said a word count I want to reach. I'll have to see what's realistic, as I have a lot of other ambitions and responsibilities right now as well. :/

    Freelancing is hard, but there are plenty of websites that can help you connect to people. I was checking out elance.com recently and they've got an okay set up. If all goes well, we might get something set up here to help with that, but we'll have to see. You definitely want to make sure your skills are on point, especially if you don't have a degree in writing, editing or journalism or something, and or some notable experience. Word of mouth helps a lot.

    Poetry is a funny thing. There are many different kinds of poems. Don't let someone tell you you haven't written a poem simply because it doesn't fit a certain style. Traditionally poetry is about form, but more modern poetry is about how you can "work" the elements of language. It's about the experience you can create within the members of your audience. What do they feel? What sensations can you conjure for them? How precise and poignant can your words be? Can you do something with the you diction and syntax and rhetorical devices that makes this poem stand out and enjoyable? If so, you've got a poem. That doesn't warrant "good" or "bad," as that is generally subjective, depending upon what individuals consider poetry.

    I had a class mate who looked at many successful poems by great poets and say "this is not poetry" because they didn't do what he wanted them to do, they didn't fit his definition of poetry. So yeah, write what you've got and go with it.

    One nice approach to the novel is to take it in parts. Don't try to do everything at once. Start with the skeleton and add layers. Then add more little details. It's a process, it takes time, but if you keep yourself interested, others most likely will be too. You just have to have a clear direction. A lot of writers will tell you that, while it takes a lot of forethought and planning, it really doesn't always. There are lots of discovery writers, who figure out their stories as they go along and then fix it as they start to see what's really there.

    I believe this to be true. Humans tend to process things in story. We live in story, to a degree. Story by default is progress and change, i.e. motion and emotion. If you can write an article that has the same movements as a story, you could write a rather compelling or entertaining article.

    Well if you ask around, here, I'm sure there are plenty of members who'll have recommendations. I have a list my mentor sent me that might be useful guide. What I do when looking for books is read the back cover, check the table of contents and read the first few pages of some chapters. This helps me to get an idea of what the book has to offer me. Do I know it? Would I do well to have this person's perspective? Is it worth the money? Even if I'm not sure I agree, it's good to have an experienced perspective because you, then, become somewhat educated and capable of bringing something to discussion.

    A lot of freelancers look for job postings. This way people in need of writers can post what they need and writers and editors can assess whether or not they have it. The more jobs you get, the better reputation you build. The bigger the rep, the more recognizable you might be if you decided to run your own site or write for a site.

    Patience is a virtue, as they say. I understand, though; waiting is hard. I got out of school in May, and It took until just last week for me to finally get a job at Wal-freakin-mart lol.

    Oh darn! Gotta remember to back up all of your stuff. I've learned this the hard way (and still don't back things up as often as I should). I can definitely review older movies, but doing newer ones keeps the writing relevant and more likely to pick up a following, especially if I can get comments. I could research the art of film critique too. (I'm a bit of a research guy sometimes. I like to look up what I'm getting into so I have an idea of what I'm doing... always a good habit.)

    Well don't worry. Neither do I. Right now I've just been going through life rather passively. Now that I'm working, I ant to take a more proactive approach to everything as well. You'll never get anywhere by just doing things. You have to take action, which I define as doing with purpose, moving with direction. I don't exactly know where I want to be just yet, but I have enough of an idea to start moving towards that. As long as I stay in motion, I'll be happy enough, even if I change directions. My biggest uncertainty is where I want to go to college, and where I want to live.
     

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