1. ParanormalWriter
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    ParanormalWriter Contributing Member

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    What Do You Like to See in a Writers site?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by ParanormalWriter, Jul 11, 2008.

    This is a question I've been asking many of my friends in the various writer's forums I belong to. I've recently created a website as a resource for writers. It's about a week old and I'm still adding pages,so I'm looking for suggestions. I've already got agent and publisher listings, links to writing related articles, tips on submissions, and articles on everthing from how to construct query letters to what should be included in a novel synopsis.

    That being said, I'm still wanting to expand. Anybody got any unique ideas you wouldn't mind sharing? If you'd like to take a look at the site, you can follow the link below. If it strikes you that anything is missing from the site that you would like to see added, or if you have a link to a writing related article you would like me to consider adding to my Links section, you can contact me with your suggestions at the email address located on the home page. I invite your ideas. :)
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    How about references on the technical elements of writing? That could include links and book recommendations, everything to online andf offline dictionaries, thesauruses, phrase and quotation collections, grammar and style guides, and . You could even include a section of specialized resources for your genres like compendiums of legends and mythological creatures.

    Oh, and of course a link pointing to us! :)
     
  3. tehuti88
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    tehuti88 Contributing Member

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    I guess I'm kind of different with writing sites. There are so many out there that offer info on getting published and such...what about people who don't care to get published, or it isn't their primary focus? I often feel like the odd-man-out on writing sites for this very reason, because this isn't what I'm seeking. I'm more into entertaining people, and the camaraderie of fellow writers who aren't all about "PUBLISH PUBLISH PUBLISH!!" It'd be nice to have a place to chatter with writers who just want to talk about their characters and plots and the writing process without the thoughts of agents and submissions and editorial guidelines hovering over everything. Yes, this is what writing forums are for, but isn't there anything more personal?

    One thing that I think would be REALLY great in a writing site is a sort of "personals" area where amateur writers (or even published ones, if they want, I guess) can look to find other likeminded writers just to be friends with. Not necessarily to critique each other's work, though they can if they want. Just writer buddies. They could list their interests, their primary genres and writing types (like fiction or nonfiction, novel, short story, poetry, etc.), their plans or reasons for writing (seeking publication, or just entertaining people, or expressing themselves, etc.), what they're looking for in a writer buddy (critique or just friendship), etc. I think this would be FANTASTIC on a writing site, because it removes the necessity of HAVING to offer critique and such when you pair up with somebody, yet it leaves the door open for such things. Meaning, it's more about making a friend who understands your writing than about just getting a review partner. Some sites have areas where you can be paired up with somebody but it always seems to be for critique or review or something, not actual friendship.

    Anyway...seeing as no writing sites seem to offer this, maybe it's because all the writers out there already have all the friends they need and I'm just weird that way. Thought I'd toss the idea out there anyway.
     
  4. ParanormalWriter
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    ParanormalWriter Contributing Member

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    Thanks for the great ideas, guys.

    Cogito, I definately like the idea of putting up links to technical guides. That idea hadn't even occurred to me, but I know I'm always having the search the web for things I need (like a good online thesaurus), so I'm sure it would be useful to writers to have a single place they could go to and refrence that information. I'll look into adding some technical links to my Links page (and a link to this forum). :D

    tehuti88, my site is really geared more toward encouraging writers who are looking to advance their careers. That being said, I know there are a huge number of writers who just love the craft, and enjoy writing to entertain themselves and others, so I understand where you're coming from. Sometimes the obsession with publishing can become an unhealthy thing when it starts to effect how you look at your art. I like your original idea about pairing people up with writing buddies. That's one suggestion no one has ever offered me. I haven't yet put up an area on the site where visitors can interact and meet one another, but I'm definately wanting to, and when I do, I'll implement your suggestion. Thanks so much. :)
     
  5. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    My good friend owns a major fishing forum and website. He offers an extensive "links" page that includes everything from fishing products to weather reports to winter underwear. There are so many links that it becomes a daunting task to find anything. I prefer a simple Google search where I can refine the parameters of my search. Also, I fail to see the need for his exhaustive links library with such powerful search engines today.

    I get the same impression of your offering. For example, I can do a query letter search on Google and find more examples than I need. Same with advice on just about any aspect of writing. So, I wonder where is the unique value to your service? Please understand, this is not asked in sarcasm or derision. I genuinely wonder "why" I would go to your site as you have described it.

    Also, there are many scams out there that rely on writer-emotion to squeeze money out of frustration...we all know about them...many non-traditional "publishers", some "independent editors", etc. Are you going to "screen" your links or provide some kind of rating system to help your visitors separate the wheat from the chaff?
     
  6. ParanormalWriter
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    ParanormalWriter Contributing Member

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    Thanks for the questions, NaCI. As a matter of fact, a side purpose of my site is to educate writers about the many scams targeting the desperate and unwary. I include links to sites like Predators&Editors and Writer Beware, which many writers may otherwise be unaware of. These watchdog groups post warnings about current and past publishers, agents, etc. and how to avoid falling prey to their schemes. I also open each agent/publisher listing with a warning about these dangers, and encourage anyone who uses my list of resources, not to rely on the list alone, but to conduct their own careful research before entering into any agreement with a publisher or agent.

    About your first question, don't worry that I'm offended. Of course there are many other sites offering some similar features to mine. I understand this is a competitive area and that there are a great many resources already available to writers looking for an agent or publisher. That's why I target my site toward one specific area: fantasy and/or paranormal romance. I've spent the last couple of years tracking down information on these various agents/publishers, so I know what a long, tiring process it is to search all over the internet, looking for scattered listings about different agent/publishers. After that, a writer is stuck with the task of filtering through these individual agencies/publishing houses to figure out which ones are interested in their genre. I thought it would be nice if I kept one comprehensive list of fantasy/paranormal agents and publishers, where writers can find all of this information at a glance to shorten the process. I hope the focus on subjects only relavent to these two genres is what makes my site unique.

    Edit: on the question of links, I don't intend to clutter my site with a huge number of links to everything in the world pertaining to fantasy and romance. It's only my intention to provide easy search and access to subjects I consider necessary or helpful to writers looking to hone their craft.
     

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