Hello I’m not sure what to offer in terms of an introduction but it seemed appropriate to post something, at least! I signed up to the forum quite some time ago but haven’t posted anything so far. I have, however, read the posts here fairly regularly in the hope of learning from others’ questions and suggestions (given that most issues are relevant to any writer). Hmm. About me? I am in my mid-thirties and new to writing fiction. Most of my experience has revolved around writing academic essays with a sideline hobby of attempting to construct some poetry. The former was much more focussed on precision and adhering to the style and rules of the field (which probably encouraged a particular type of discipline), and the latter was at the other end of the spectrum in terms of creativity and playing with language. Between the two I feel as if I have fallen into an awkward habit of alternating between a blunt style of writing that lacks the vivid sensory and emotional hooks that make for better fictional stories, and veering off in to a kind of purple prose that is more poetical than prosaic. I’ve yet to find the happy medium and am not convinced that I have it in me to write fictional prose, but I want to give it a bash anyway! I love writing; I love language and playing with words. I am far less skilled at developing plots and characters that can be sustained consistently over a longer piece of writing. That said, it probably reflects (or is reflected in) the kind of book I like to read. I have to admit I prefer to read something that feels like I am soaked in linguistic, molten chocolate, regardless of the plot or content, than something which ticks all the boxes in terms of construction and action but whose style of writing doesn’t engage me in any depth. I am not very action-motivated, I guess. That makes it tricky when I try to write anything myself because I end up feeling as if I am trying to write in a style that I am not particularly fond of and it shuts me down fairly quickly. In terms of my literary inclinations… My current favourite book probably would still be ‘The Lovely Bones’ by Alice Sebold, both in content and style. I also have a soft spot for ‘Little Women’, but my idea of heaven would be most of the characters, plot and themes of ‘Little Women’ combined with the writing style of Rachel Carson’s ‘Silent Spring’ (which is non-fiction, I know). I also have a fondness for books such as ‘Girl, Interrupted’ and ‘Even Cowgirls Get The Blues’ (but definitely not the film adaptation of the latter) in the way in which they alternate between story-telling and dialogue, and addressing the reader directly (explaining thoughts or dynamics as if they are confiding in a friend or chatting with someone). I get the impression that is somewhat frowned upon in fiction writing, though – in general? As you can tell, I have a tendency to write too much! Hopefully I will begin to post a little bit in forums rather than solely reading.