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  • Introducing myself
    by Barny at 10:51 on 27 June 2013

    I'm taking the trial membership here on WriteWords - not too surprisingly I'm interested in developing my writing skills, and I'm hoping that WW will help me by being able to see answers to other's questions, seeing different types of writing, etc.

    For the past couple of years I've been taking creative writing evening classes near my home in Surrey and really enjoyed writing flash/short stories.

    Now I'm interested in how I might write something longer - I've got one idea from a short story I wrote that I think I can add more cplot/omplexity/conflict to, and I've got an idea for what might be a novel, but I'm finding it difficult to work out how to approach both those longer pieces of writing.

  • Re: Introducing myself
    by CarolineSG at 11:26 on 27 June 2013
    Hi Barny and welcome to Writewords! It's a friendly place

    Joining one of the groups might be a good plan. Have a look under the Groups tab and see if any look like what you're after.
    Good luck with the writing.
  • Re: Introducing myself
    by Jennifer1976 at 13:15 on 27 June 2013
    Welcome Barny, I hope you enjoy your time here.
  • Re: Introducing myself
    by EmmaD at 13:29 on 27 June 2013
    Hi Barny, and welcome to WW

    As others have said, if you want help and support with your writing, the best thing to do is to join a group which is right for what you do, and looks lively. As a part member you can join one group, and upload a piece of work, and of course join in with the talk and feedback as much as you like. There will be lots of thoughts about how you might go about developing longer work.

    And if you get stuck, just stand in the forum and shout, and someone will be along to help.

  • Re: Introducing myself
    by SandraD at 05:46 on 28 June 2013
    Hi Barny and welcome - certainly I've found a lot of support here. Re longer pieces, I took up the NaNoWriMo challenge, not having a clue what or whether I could write 50,000 words and found it was possible. (But the I have difficulty writing short stories!)
    Best of luck anyway.
  • Re: Introducing myself
    by debac at 10:54 on 28 June 2013
    I also recommend NaNoWriMo. It's a good exercise and helped me a lot:


    As well as the advice from others to join a group and get involved in the critiquing, I also suggest you ask technical questions in Technique. I love to read and take part in discussions about writing technique and you'll get some great advice.

    Welcome, and I hope you really enjoy it here.

    Just one more thing to mention - you will have access to more of the site if you become a full member. For instance, a lot of discussions take place in two forums which are closed except to full members (Private Members and Lounge), so if you like what you see so far and have the money to take a punt on being a full member, you will get to see ALL that the site offers you.

  • Re: Introducing myself
    by Pen and Ink at 12:17 on 28 June 2013
    Welcome, Barny. This is a fantastic site and has been so useful in helping me with all sorts of writing related stuff.
  • Re: Introducing myself
    by EmmaD at 15:33 on 28 June 2013
    Good point about NaNo, Deb. And about Private Members, come to that...
  • Re: Introducing myself
    by Barny at 09:54 on 29 June 2013
    OK so I'm probably complete messing this up, but here's my reaction at the moment.

    I had a look in the intensive critique group, but that seemed a little tense. I read comments about not critiquing trial members work so there didn't seem much point hanging around. I might have posted some comments/critique but even when a user said they had something to review I couldn't see an obvious 'and this is the one I mean' link to it - some people had many pieces and it wasn't obvious which were open for comment.

    The Flash Fiction group was deathly quiet. Couldn't hear a pin drop apart from the weekly comp with 2-3 entries.

    I joined the short story group - doesn't seem to be all that much happening there either.

    Figuring I may as well do *something* I uploaded a piece which I think has ended up in the short story group. I can't edit that or post it to a different group because trial only allows one upload.

    One thing I can't work out is - what's the 'process' for finding stuff that people would like comments on - and would they appreciate comments from a trial member - and how do I solicit comments on my work.

    The reason I took a trial is because I want to develop my writing skills - and apart from simply doing writing one of the ways I will improve is by reading work by other developing writers with critique to point out what others reaction is. Another key way I'll improve is by getting feedback on my own work. The posting/critique aspects of WW should be the key reasons to use it.

    I understand lots of the 'action' (whatever that means) is in the private areas. Overall my feeling at the moment is that the trial doesn't give any accurate way of assessing whether I will actually get real value for my 20/year.
  • Re: Introducing myself
    by debac at 11:07 on 29 June 2013
    Hi Barny,

    You're not messing anything up, but a few pointers to help you find your way round.

    If you join a group, the work people want critiqued right now is in a list next to their names.

    There's a forum part of the group at the top, but under that is a list of members of that group, and against each member's name it will either say the name of a piece of work, or "no work uploaded". The most recently uploaded works are at the top of the column, so those are the best to start critiquing. They will be the most current pieces.

    If you click on the name of the work, you're taken to a page where the piece of work appears and all comments about it appear below the work.

    My advice is that if you get in there and critique a few of the recently uploaded pieces to that group, then if you upload one of your own to the *same group* (that's vital), then you will very likely get some critiques in return.

    I don't think people are against critiquing temporary members, but they are against temporary members uploading and expecting critique without having given any, and then disappearing, thus taking and not giving. So if you give first, you will then get people more than willing to give back to you.

    I hope that helps.

    Have fun!

  • Re: Introducing myself
    by AlanH at 14:13 on 29 June 2013
    Hi Barny,

    Regarding participation in the groups, debac has given you excellent advice, and yes, groups do go through quiet periods.
    As a regular of Intensive Critique, I can vouch for the effectiveness of the group. In fact, I think at the moment it is the only full group. That tells its own story.

    And if you can find a better way to spend your 20 pounds, then go ahead and spend it. I don't know - I'm an ex-pat, but what does 20 pounds buy these days? A meal for two in a so-so restaurant? A ticket to a lower division football match? 3 or 4 bottles of wine?

    For what you get here as an aid to your writing, that sum is truly peanuts.

  • Re: Introducing myself
    by Barny at 15:40 on 29 June 2013
    AlanH, Debac

    > if you can find a better way to spend your twenty pounds

    It's not a case of finding a way to spend it - I'm having to watch every penny ATM, so twenty pounds is a lot in one hit.

    And writing is but a (highly enjoyable) pastime so there's no prospect of getting that money back except in the highly unlikely event of me placing in any of the few competitions I've entered.

    OK thanks for both your responses (and just realised I didn't thank everyone who responded to my introduction, sorry that' was thoughtless of me - Thanks!), as I managed to upload my work to the short story group I'll head off over there and see what I can find to mess up ;-)

    Thanks again for your time and words

  • Re: Introducing myself
    by debac at 15:47 on 29 June 2013
    what does 20 pounds buy these days? A meal for two in a so-so restaurant?

    Oooh, barely. A couple of pub meals of one course, probably, so long as it's not a gourmet pub.

    As for 20 being a lot, Barny, I'm sorry you feel strapped for cash at the mo, but isn't the temporary membership time-limited? If I'm right (am not sure), then you're going to be hard pushed to get a lot of value from the site in a really short space of time because it's got to a lot to do with developing relationships of giving and taking help.

    But by all means give it a good go in the time you have, and I hope you manage to find the 20 at some point.