Hi. My name is Jem. And waffle is my favorite word. Everyone needs a favorite word. Especially if they like to write. Fortunately I refrain from using it in my writings for it is not a very graceful thing. But nor are cute, cuddly-wuddly kittens and they're still grand. Speaking of which, want one? I have four. And six adults. My furbabies. Never did much like summing myself up in a few paragraphs. Not that I was actually asked to, but I have an obnoxious tendency to elaborate on details and big pictures alike. Perhaps that's why my writing needs so much help. I've been writing a fantasy novel trilogy for over five years. While I was in high school, I did poorly on all subjects. Turns out it was largely because I'm sick, but more to the point, I failed English 1 six times. I remember always having problems in school but one thing I really wanted to do well on was writing stories and I thought I was very good, until my grades came back and I scored the worst in the class. Every time. Who knows if I ever got any better. All I know is that a friend got me into forum roleplaying after I got my first computer and I got so into melding myself with my characters that the burning desire to continue to do so took over my thoughts from then on (and still does). Eventually, however, everyone I used to write with moved on to have real lives, and here I am stuck on disability and begrudgingly forced to write for myself. Since I was 'abandoned', so to speak, I had only written one short story. It was bad. I knew it was bad. I'm more into interaction partly because I lack a degree of mental focus and energy... and plots just aren't my strong points. But over a few years I became very, very frustrated and decided I would have to learn to write on my own or else I would go crazy. I rewrote that horrible little short story five times. A fundament of my personality would have to be my intolerance of doing something more than once, so it came as a surprise to me that I had the patience for this. Also, if I could read it that many times and still realize how bad it was, it meant I could do better. That short story seemed to me like part of something much bigger and more important rather than a standalone story. Thus begins my writing career. But I lack formal training, especially in the realm of grammar and sentence structure. Much to my horror, I know it shows in my first novel badly, because my writing evolved... in the middle of the story. The editing job has become a waking nightmare. And turns out, I had slowly invented the wheel through my more amateur days, only to discover the wheel had been invented a long time ago. Sure wish I knew I was going to be serious about this a long time ago. Hopefully I'll find the answers to some very important questions here to help me make something I'll no longer be upset with. I think that would help tremendously. My muse has been seasick lately (waffleboats aren't very stable)... but I guess writing over 150,000 words and then wondering if what you wrote is still trash does that to people. Told you I have an obsession with digression. I look forward to meeting everyone (and a big hug to Halcyon!). And mister Cogito, I've read and understand the formal introduction you post on everyone's intro thread. Thank you!