1. Writing Forums Staff
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    Writing Forums Staff Moderator Staff

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    New Member Quick Start Guide

    Discussion in 'Announcements' started by Writing Forums Staff, Apr 27, 2014.

    NEW MEMBER QUICK START GUIDE
    This is the quick and dirty to get you up and running in the forum. We will give you links throughout that will take you to the more detailed information.

    First and foremost:


    :rules:

    Yes, I know… You didn’t click the above link. That’s cool. Continue on to the end and then come back to this one. Seriously. Come back. ;)

    Our Community

    Admins are in Red
    SuperMods wear Orange
    Subforum Mods and Contest Admins are in Burgundy
    Supporters are Green
    Regular Members are differing shades of blue depending on how long they’ve been with us and how much activity they have had within the forum

    Your Screen Name


    There is more detailed information in the Forum Rules concerning screen names, but one important point that should be mentioned right now, before you get started: If you are using your real name (or some version thereof) as your screen name, you may wish to reconsider. WE DO NOT DELETE ACCOUNTS. EVER. If your digital footprint is of concern to you, using your real name is not a smart move. If you want to change it, please contact Wreybies, the Operations Manager now before your name gets quoted or mentioned in forum conversations, posts, etc.

    Language

    Though our membership is worldwide, English is the language spoken here.
    We are NOT a G-Rated forum, but that's not license to swear like a drunken sailor.

    We are a Xenforo™ forum

    If you've not used a Xenforo™ forum in the past, please know that it handles broken, wonky or missing BBtags differently than other forum platforms. VBulletin forums and other platforms just leave broken or unpaired tags as they are rendering a "broken quote" or "broken tag" while Xenforo™ tries to remedy the situation when it can (sometimes it just leaves it alone) by adding the missing or broken opening or a closing tag at the beginning or the end, respectively, to even up the pairs. If you're that person who loves to explain to forum newbies the ins and outs of BBtags and this is your first Xenforo™ forum, the [noparse][/noparse] tag in Xenforo™ is the [plain][/plain] tag.

    Bloggers

    We're a writing forum. The venue is writing. If you're here to push and link your off-site blog in every post you make, this is poor forum etiquette and you're gonna' have a bad time.


    Your Profile Details
    If you want to change things in your profile, just hover your cursor over your screen name to the right of the forum and you will get the following pop-up window. Pretty self explanatory after that.

    [​IMG]

    But I want to post my STORY!!

    If you’re here, you probably have a work in progress that you’re dying to post to get critiqued, right? Of course! And we’re dying to give it a thorough critiquing, but our forum has some requirements that all of us have had to meet prior to being able to post in the Writing Workshop.

    • 2 weeks of membership with the forum
    • 2 constructive critiques given to items already in the Workshop for every item you want to post. This means 2-for-1 all the time. If there are 10 unique items you want to post for crtique, you need to have at least 20 critiques given by you. 2-for1. All the time. It's not 2 crits and then empty your hard-drive into the Workshop. Have I been annoyingly clear? :whistle:
    • 20 post minimum (other than the first 2 critiques, the other posts can be from anywhere in the forum)
    Itching to post and can't wait to meet the requirements? Consider becoming a supporter, and bypass the requirements of 14 days and 20 posts!

    If you're familiar with the critique process or want to hone your critical eye, perhaps our Reviewers Group is the place for you. :agreed:

    And here are 7 questions you should answer before posting your work for critique.


    A word on Copy-Paste


    When you meet the requirements and get ready to copy-paste your story into the forum, your formatting is going to go a little wonky. This is a common issue with all forums, all platforms, and has to do with the fact that different word processors, different kinds of computers, and different forums all use different formatting tags. You may need to add missing or remove extra line breaks. Also there will be no indents at the beginnings of your paragraphs. Don't try to cleverly include them with invisi-text, please.

    I've met the Requirements and I still can't post!!

    If, after having met all the requirements to post in the Writing Workshop, you still can't start a new thread in there, please PM a moderator. We are happy to help you get your thread up and running.

    So, where is this Workshop, you ask? So many subforums! Where is it?! Here’s a map of the forum to guide you:

    THE MAP

    I. The top section is where you can post questions concerning different aspects of writing, publishing, brainstorming etc.
    • Publishing - Exactly what it sounds like.
      • Publishing Discussion
      • Query & Cover Letter Critique
      • Self-Publishing
      • Electronic Publishing
      • Marketing - We do not actually market in here, we discuss the ins and outs of the topic.
    • Character Development - Fill in and flesh out those actors.
    • Plot Development - Get help moving the story from A to B to C.
    • Setting Development - Build that world!
    • Word Mechanics - Slept during 6th grade grammar? It’s cool. We all did. Here’s where to get help with the nuts and bolts.
    • Research - Have a question about a thing? Here's the place for the question about that thing!
    • General Writing - For when your question doesn’t fit in the other areas. Don’t be lazy and dump all your questions here.
    • By the Genre - For when you want to ask questions specific to your genre.
    II. The second section is Applied Writing - This section is new and may undergo changes as it finds its place in our paradigm.
    • Insights and Inspiration
    • Progress Journals
    • The Art of Critique - This is NOT WHERE YOU POST YOUR WORK. This is where we talk about how to give good critiques.
    • Collaboration
    • Software
    • Success Stories
    • Writing Contests - We have plenty!
      • Bi-Weekly Short Story Contest
      • Bi-Weekly Poetry Contest
      • Bi-Weekly Flash Fiction Contest
    • NaNoWriMo - A discussion forum for National Novel Writing Month.
    III. The third section is the Writing Workshop. Yes! This is where you give and get critiques on Works in Progress (WIP’s) including your own.
    • Short Stories
      • Children’s Stories
      • Flash Fiction
      • Mystery
      • Western
      • Crime and Thriller
      • General Fiction
      • Romance
      • Young Adult
      • Erotica - This forum is age restricted and has its own rules. Find them here: Erotica Subforum Rules
      • Horror
      • Science Fiction
      • Fantasy
      • Humor & Satire
      • War & History
    • Poetry
    • Songs
    • Non-Fiction
      • Autobiography & Memoir
      • Essays
    • Scripts
    • Fan Fiction
    • Novels
    IV. The fourth section is the Leisure and Chat area
    • The Lounge - Relaxed topics, enjoyable chat.
      • Entertainment - Specific to topics concerning TV, Film and Gaming
      • Debate Room - Not for the faint of heart. The 1st rule of Debate Club is that you don’t cry over a busted lip. You can view the area when you've made 20 posts and been a member for 14 days. You can participate after you've been a member for 90 days and made 100 posts.
    • New Member Introduction - Say hello and tell us about yourself.
    • Role Play - Role Playing Games served hot and fresh.
      • Role Playing Discussion
      • Archive
    • Book Discussion - Want to chat about your latest read? Here’s the place.
    • Writing Prompts - This is our word games area.
    V. The final section of the forum concerns site information
    • Announcements
    • Support & Feedback
    • Articles
     
    Zack, assirekaevas, caroljean and 9 others like this.
  2. Andrae Smith
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    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

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    This is a great idea. I love the layout, the tone, the content... The overall presentation is a nice introduction. Kudos staff.
     
    Jair, Helenn8, Adhulari and 3 others like this.
  3. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    It might be better to have IV at the very top of the forum and to have the General Writing subforum at the bottom of I. Perhaps the Workshop section could go near the top as well. I guess we'll have to see what Daniel thinks because he's the only one who can make the changes.
     
  4. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I absolutely agree with General Writing being dropped to last position in the upper quarter. :agreed:
     
    YouBeTheDelta likes this.
  5. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    My impression is that General Writing is one of the most - if not the most - popular forum. If that is the case, I think it should stay at the top of I, IMHO.
     
  6. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    That's the problem, though. Too many members use that subforum to post threads that would better be suited for another subforum.
     
    YouBeTheDelta likes this.
  7. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I'm not sure that changing the order would change the behavior. OTOH, changing the order would work an inconvenience for those who use it appropriately.
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i have to agree with ed... besides which, 'general' just naturally makes more sense being placed before getting specific, doesn't it?
     
  9. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    The problem is that a lot of new members post threads about plot creation, characterization, or grammar in General Writing without bothering to check the other subforums. The mods have had to move a lot of threads lately as a result.
     
    YouBeTheDelta likes this.
  10. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Add Introduction Threads to that list, @thirdwind. All the time... o_O

    Cleaning up General Writing is #3 on my daily routine of things to do.

    #1) Check the Mod-Chat for any goings-on I've missed.
    #2) Deal with reported posts that haven't been already taken care of.
    #3) Move threads out of General Writing to where they should go...


    It may not seem like much of an issue because I do try to stay on top of it, but one less mundane chore means more time for other things...
     
  11. Andrae Smith
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    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

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    While I agree with Ed and maia's concerns, I also think moving General Writing down might be a good idea so that new members actually look through the other forums first. Then again, there is a chance that it wouldn't change anything, as Ed suggests. Members may see the other forums, but they may not be entirely sure of where to put their posts... Although, then I might question their reading comprehension since the forum names are pretty self-explanatory and one would think people cognizant enough to scroll through the whole page before deciding to post anywhere... Maybe it would be good to sticky this somewhere like New Member Introductions and/or add something into the rules (or here) about being sure to read the forum descriptions before deciding where to post new threads.
     
  12. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I will only make one other point - it seems that the assumption is that members post inappropriately in General Writing because it is the first category listed. But one can plainly see all the other subforums at the same time, which suggests that they post inappropriately because they either don't recognize that it belongs elsewhere or just don't bother giving the matter sufficient thought. If that's the case, I doubt changing the order of the subforums will make an appreciable difference.

    I'll keep mum.
     
  13. Andrae Smith
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    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

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    That's what I was getting at in the middle of my previous post. :) Hence the section to to add a comment about the forum purposes in the rules, or stickying this in New Member Intros.

    Hey @Wreybies or @minstrel, is it possible to add a tag line or short blurb/description below each of the sub-forum titles. It might provide some clarification if members are actually confused and not being lazy. Otherwise, you might want to post a sticky of some sort to the Generel Writing forum providing a brief explanation of the purpose of the forum or type of questions that should be direct elsewhere. I mean it looks pretty self-explanatory, but you never know...
     
    Oscar Leigh likes this.
  14. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I like the idea of moving General Writing down to the bottom of the list. It's kind of like taking a multiple-choice test - the "none of the above" option is the last one. You look at the previous options before settling on "none of the above." I was, I think, the first to suggest moving General Writing to the bottom when @Wreybies started discussing it.

    It's just too easy to select General Writing for a question when it's the first on the list. It almost begs people not to look at the other choices.
     
    Oscar Leigh likes this.
  15. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    This is a really good way of thinking about it.

    I also like Andrae's idea of adding a short description under each subforum title.
     
  16. mattbmaine
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    mattbmaine New Member

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    very cool layout
     
  17. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Thank you. :) Since this is meant for brand new members like yourself, is there anything you were hoping to come across here that was missed?
     
  18. Mohwak
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    Mohwak New Member

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    Hi,
    New here and was just wondered if the was a critique button or how do we know when we have met that requirement? Does someone look out our post and judge if a particular comment was considered a critique. I just want to make sure I meet all the requirements.( by the way this is post number 4 for whoever is counting)
     
  19. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    The forum software automatically counts your first two critiques in order to get the Workshop Guardian to move aside. That bit is automated. After that it's up to the mods, the Reviewers and the general populace to keep track of things. When it comes to giving a critique, just think about what you are hoping to receive in the form of critique. If you followed the link concerning constructive critique, you'll have at least a basic idea. No one is expecting anyone to write a doctoral thesis analyzing the social commentary made in any piece, but a genuine effort must be seen to have been made. ;)
     
  20. Earl Slocombe
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    Earl Slocombe New Member

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    Thanks for the rules... !!
     
  21. Autumn Hazel Rain
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    Autumn Hazel Rain Member

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    great intro...i shall get started!
     
  22. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Okay, how about this? I can see the problem with the General Writing tag. How about listing all the other categories first, then re-naming GW "Other Writing Issues." Or something like that.

    That makes it clear it's for things that are not covered in the other catgories?
     
  23. beauxsox
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    beauxsox New Member

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    Thanks so much for this wonderful information.
    Very helpful to those that are just getting started with the forum.
    Page has been bookmarked!:)
     
  24. SD92
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    SD92 New Member

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    Did I break the rules with my introduction? I wrote very short story that seems to have been deleted. Is this not allowed?
     
  25. Komposten
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    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Staff Supporter Contributor

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    You may only post your writing in the Workshop (unless it's like a sentence or two that you have a question about) and the rules for posting there are the following: You need to have been a member for 14 days and have at least 20 posts of which 2 are critique on other peoples' work in the Workshop.
    For any further work you want to post you need 2 more critiques for each.

    Does that answer your question?
     

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