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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Next, Please Introduce Yourself » Getting the Toes Wet

   
Author Topic: Getting the Toes Wet
M.D. Nelson
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Hello there!

I usually go by AraPersonica online, but I messed up the login thingy. I graduated from the University of Central Florida as an English Lit major in December last year, and I work in Instructional Design. I'm also a freelance illustrator on the side, and I'm totally in love with animation!

As for writing, I've been doing so for a long time, but it wasn't until recently that I started seeking feedback outside of my friends (partly from crippling self-doubt, and partly from college, work, and life stuff). After trying a few local writing groups (of which there are sadly very, very few in my area, and about 50 miles apart) I asked some very kind people about writing workshops and was directed here!

I'm still very unsure of how writing workshops work generally. I fear I upset some people in my local area by barging in with my loud mouth and many exclamation points (I am excitable, like a Pomeranian). Are there are any etiquette rules for this forum, or just in general for a workshop or critique group? I'm hoping to not repeat past mistakes!

Thanks so much for reading!

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extrinsic
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Welcome to the Hatrack. I guess this is where hats go to rack like it's a river.

The first and foremost workshop etiquette rule across the cosmos is address the writing -- not the writer. That one encompasses a large swath of trespasses best practice to avoid. One other rule of substance is keep confidential intellectual property, the copyright right that protects writing from unimaginative poachers.

One more workshop etiquette rule for thought, more of a guideline, really, is that for every writing rule there are exceptions. How that erupts is that writing rules are more principles than absolutes. Though the rules are many and often self-contradictory, they're worth consideration on the sacred Poet's Journey toward publication. Intimately knowing a rule -- the boundaries of rules evaporate. Transcendent!

Basically, what works for one reader-writer-workshopper maybe doesn't work for another. An ideal is a more-than-most target of works for many readers: publication potential's goal. I generally believe I've succeeded with a method, expression, writing, whatever, if a workshop is galvanized about it: some passionately approving, some passionately disapproving, some ho-hum okay enough. Between and within the dissonance is a way through to a greater satisfaction.

Excitable? Passionate writers are.

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Meredith
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Welcome to the treehouse.
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Disgruntled Peony
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Welcome! [Smile]
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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I wonder if your question is an indication that I need to repost in the Please Read Here First area to make the topics visible again. (That's where the guidelines and "rules" are for this workshop forum.)

Will go see about that now.

And welcome, welcome. Hope we can be of help to you with your writing.

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wetwilly
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Give honest feedback about writing. Don't take criticism personally. You are always welcome to ask follow up questions, but don't argue with or critique the critique. Gives critiques on others' work as well as getting your work critiqued.

Those are some rules, but most of us won't get bent out of shape if you misstep. We're just a bunch of people who like discussing the ins and outs of writing.

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M.D. Nelson
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@ extrinsic: Thank you so much!! I'm excited to be here! [Big Grin]

When you mention keeping intellectual property confidential, do you mean protecting your work/others work from being stolen? Does this happen often? And if so, are there certain precautions to take?

I will keep your advice in mind as I traverse the hilly valleys of workshopping! I think I have found personally that in-person groups don't work well for me. I'm very good at expressing my words in writing, but ask me to speak to you in person; well, I stutter and my glasses fall off sometimes!

And I can be annoyingly excitable, haha, so I hope I don't annoy anyone!

@ Meredith: Thank you very much! [Big Grin]

@ Disgruntled Peony: Thank you!

@ Kathleen Dalton Woodbury: Thank you so much! I'll take a look at those also; I did read over many of them, but I may have missed something!

@ wetwilly: Thank you so much for your advice! I will definitely keep what you said in mind as I wander through the forum!

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Meredith
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quote:
Originally posted by M.D. Nelson:

When you mention keeping intellectual property confidential, do you mean protecting your work/others work from being stolen? Does this happen often? And if so, are there certain precautions to take?

No, it doesn't happen often. Really. Do not be afraid to share. We haven't had one in quite a while, but go look at some of the writing challenges that used a prompt. The variety of stories that came from one prompt shows just how differently authors treat the same idea.

Mainly, I think that referred to not copying any comment here to another forum. We had a slight misunderstanding about that awhile back.

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Grumpy old guy
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Welcome, AraPersonica.

Phil.

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M.D. Nelson
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@ Meredith: Thank you so much for the clarification! It was a worry I'd had about sharing my work online! And I see what you mean. I will be sure to keep things confidential [Smile]

@ Grumpy old guy: Thanks so much! [Big Grin]

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extrinsic
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quote:
Originally posted by M.D. Nelson:
When you mention keeping intellectual property confidential, do you mean protecting your work/others work from being stolen? Does this happen often? And if so, are there certain precautions to take?

Hatrack's thirteen lines protects members' intellectual property rights to a great degree. Meredith notes that migrating posts from here elsewhere is also subject to protection and problematic. As well, posting others' copyrighted content on Hatrack is restricted, like post no others' poetry or song lyrics.

If others' copyrighted prose or text is posted, limited to thirteen lines at most and under the fair use doctrine's criticism purposes. Public domain content is unrestricted though brevity is encouraged and no less should be attributed to writer and publication source. Respect for others' rights protects self's rights, basically.

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M.D. Nelson
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@ extrinsic: The 13-line rule was what I liked here; I feel like it allows for a good first impression, and that catching the reader ASAP is very important!

Thanks very much for the information also, I greatly appreciate it! [Smile]

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