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Author Topic: Hey, you...yes, you!
skadder
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Who are you and what are you doing here?

Why did you bother coming and what are you hoping to achieve?

Have you achieved some of it? What?

Anything else to say for yourself? Do you do anything else interesting?

-gets cuffed about the ear--

Now, be off with you.


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Teraen
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Why are we shouting?

I stumbled across this site a few months back while looking for writing advice. Why do I keep coming back? Because I am looking for good feedback on my novel. I get the indirect feedback here by reviewing other's works to avoid some mistakes (and I have seen my writing improve as a result.)

I'm plugging away on it, and when its done and published, I'll be forever in debt to those here who helped.


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Meredith
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I arrived here not quite a year ago. Who'd want to leave a treehouse with a magic fridge and unicorns in the basement?

Seriously, I'm here to improve my writing and learn what else there is to learn here about this business of writing and trying to get published. I've seen my writing improve through the critiques of others and by critiquing others' work.

I've actually managed to write a couple of short stories while here. (That's hard for me.) And I must be crazy but I'm starting my fifth novel. One of them will get published.

Edited to add:
Do I do anything else interesting? Well, that depends on your definition of interesting. You do know the old curse--"May you live in interesting times" don't you?

I take care of my 91 year-old mother who has advanced Alzheimer's. That can get pretty interesting from time to time, but not necessarily in a good way. Did I ever tell you about the time she ate a pat of butter? No? How about refusing to take a shower? Or me hyperventilating as I tried to get her to use the nebulizer when she had bronchitis? (She kept blowing the medicine back out, like she was smoking a pipe.)

Other than that, I usually escape once a week to go to my dog agility class. It's my therapy. Not this week, though. The instructor is in Scottsdale at the Nationals.

And I go through monthly acrobatics trying to keep the financial ends within sight of each other.

[This message has been edited by Meredith (edited November 12, 2009).]


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LAJD
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Um. I'm here because I've been reading books under the covers since I was two and I figured that at 52 I could finally write one.

I've done a lot of things, been a scientist, mom, engineer but what I want to do is write.

So about a year later, I have published my first story, (yay me) and I am working on that novel. I think I have learned a lot.

8)

This is a really good place. Nice people, helpful. From all over.

Thanks everyone.


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BenM
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Ben pushed open the cafeteria door with a wry smile. The sign outside had been new, he was sure, a weather beaten board painted in garish red and yellow that read Hatrack Writers Forum Bar. It was imaginative, he'd give them that, but it only reinforced his opinion that he really didn't get Fridays. His boss had shown up in an AC/DC t-shirt this morning, the bus driver had stopped scowling and wished him a happy day, and now the cafeteria seemed to have been dimmed and redecorated to resemble a seedy medieval tavern.

A tavern. The image made his mouth water. Latching onto the possibility of a beer well before happy hour rather than the coffee he'd planned, he made his way to a figure at the counter, silhouetted by a single flickering lamp.

"Hey, you," called the figure. "Yes, you."

Looking around, Ben realised that with the lights down he couldn't tell if there was anyone else in the cafeteria at the moment. Unsure whether he was alone, he approached the counter. Back lit, the figure failed to resolve into more than a human-shaped shadow.

"Who are you and what are you doing here?" The voice seemed male, but then again, could he be sure? As with the appearance of the speaker, it seemed veiled by anonymity, a pseudonym in a sea of names.

"I, er," Ben began, then reconsidered. "Hey. I work here, who are you?"

The figure pointed at the door. Turning, Ben saw that outside, instead of sterile office space and rows of cubicles, leaves brushed the threshold. Beyond them, and some distance below, stretched a green landscape, lit by a summer's sun. Somewhere, a donkey brayed.

"Okay," he said, turning to regard the figure with new curiosity. "I guess I'm not in Kansas any more." He scratched his beard, a fortnight-old growth his wife had commissioned for Movember. "Well, I'm Ben and I'm here because," he paused, frowning. "Well, because the door was open, and I had some time. The compiler is slow and takes a long time on big projects. Is that a problem?"

The figure picked up a damp glass from the counter and began drying it.

"Why did you bother coming and what are you hoping to achieve?"

"Here? Well, originally to get a drink. Or at least some fresh air and have a conversation with someone. I can only sit behind a computer for so long these days." The figure picked up another glass and began drying it.

That sign. It had said Writer's Bar.

"Actually, you know, I'm interested in writing. It started as a hobby twenty five years ago, I dropped it when I got busy with starting a career, and then seem to have picked it up again now that I have kids and need a creative outlet."

Ben stopped and tried to signal for a drink, but the figure picked up another glass and continued silently drying.

"You're kind of hard to figure out, you know. Anyway, I guess a place like this would be perfect for aspiring writers, wouldn't it? Somewhere to learn the craft by chatting to others or listening in on their own exchanges."

"Have you achieved some of it?"

"Improving my writing? Sure."

"What?"

"Well, not to the level of publishing yet, but I'm working on that at the moment. But the improvement over the last year has been pretty dramatic."

"Anything else to say for yourself?"

"Yeah, I'm er, really thirsty. Are you open for beer yet?"

The figure shrugged. Ben wondered if its eyes had rolled, but couldn't make them out.

"Do you do anything else interesting?"

Ben scratched his beard again. Bring on December and a clean shaven face. That question, well, that was part of the challenge lately, wasn't it? He felt he'd done plenty of interesting things in the past, but these days it was chase after the kids, pay the mortgage, and try and find a spare second of energy for writing. He leaned forward conspiratorially.

"I get thirsty."

The figure reached out and cuffed him about the ear.

"Now, be off with you," it said.

Turning, he found the threshold had changed again. The sea of cubicles had returned and in the distance he could see his monitor blinking with the compiler results.

And he was still thirsty.

Can we respond with a little magic realism? It's a response, not a fragment, after all... (...prepares to be nuked)


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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Ah, what the heck. Sure.

But you can't count it for NaNoWriMo, and if you put it into a story, it had better be heavily rewritten.

Okay?


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InarticulateBabbler
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I was smuggled here in a suitcase...
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satate
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Who am I? That is a very deep question and could take a while to answer so I will be brief. I am a mother, musician, teacher, wife, daughter, aunt, sister, cousin, niece, writer.

I came here because I'd gotten as far in my writing as I could on my own and I had learned a lot from reading the writerly discussions.

I want to be published one day.

My biggest achievement so far is getting an HM at WotF.

Anything else? No not really.
Interesting? No not really, I don't train dogs, never been a scientist. Actually science and math were never strengths of mine. I've never given anyone a tattoo or even recieved one. Never worked with famous chefs or started restaurants. Never rode a horse. Hmm, I've played the flute in a rock band does that count? Oh and I've played a djembe in an African drumming ensemble.


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BoredCrow
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I'm here for the shiny things, of course.

Caw, caw!


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KayTi
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I'm not here. You just IMAGINE I'm here because of the words on the screen, but really I'm somewhere else entirely.
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arriki
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Why am I here? Or, why do I stay here?

For the chance to get critiques, obviously, though my current offering didnít generate but three. (Why is that, I wonder. Is it so-o-o-o good thereís nothing much to comment on, or so bad thereís no hope to improve it?)

But more than that is I keep hoping to get some serious discussions going on writing -- here or in the groups area. The one on Bickham and Swainís ideas was interesting. But people get tired of them (?) and I find myself alone in this echoing hall doing a soliloquy.


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Kitti
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I keep coming back here because ya'll help me improve my craft and learn new things about the industry. Plus the groups are excellent motivators.
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shimiqua
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I'm here because occasionally people here say things like, "I agree with what shimiqua said." or "I respectfully disagree Sheena," which proves to me that somewhere someone is reading the words I write.

That's the addiction, because what I really want in life, more than chocolate, or a pile of money, or even a clean house, is to say something that matters. I want to write the words some girl with glasses and bad hair and her nose always in a book will read to distract herself from the awfulness that is the years between 11-15 for a girl with glasses and bad hair and her nose always in a book. I want to pay it forward.

I want to be a word in a book.

So I'm here, because I learn something everyday, and every time I come on here I find that others know more than I do, so there is still more to learn.

So my biggest accomplishment is that my words today are better than they were when I started. Just think where they will be ten years from now.

What I've learned from Hatrack.
Don't start with waking up.
Don't switch pov's in a paragraph, or in a sentence.
Take the time to describe.
Slow the heck down.
Don't write when grumpy, or else your characters will end up grumpy.
No matter how good you think something is, there will always be something wrong with it, and you can't please everyone.
If you love a sentence, it's distracting from the story. Cut it out.
Characters need to grow.
Character's need to fail to grow.
My job as a writer is to torture my characters. Find out what is their very worst thing that can happen, and then make that happen so they can see they can survive it.
Stall before the power moments... It adds tension.
Correct your formating. You and I both know that High Tower text is more pleasant to read, but courier is better.

So thank you Hatrack, and all of it's denzions. I sure love it here.
~Sheena


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tchernabyelo
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I hung around at Hatrack a few years ago and learned a lot about writing that helped me start on the road to publishing.

I've since sold more than thirty stories, so I'm here to pay back for how the site helped me.

And, of course, I'm not dead, so therefore I still have much to learn myself.


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Owasm
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I had an old novel I wrote by hand a quarter century ago. I had it printed out and sent it out to twenty publishers back then. My goal was rejection slips. I got 12 responses out of 20

Then I pulled it out in December, 2008 and rewrote it. This time I researched the internet and found out about agents. I decided to get another flight of rejections slips. I was successful. 28 out of 31, but I did get two requests for more of my writing (eventually rejected, but a glimmer).

Energized by rejection, I wanted to see what writing was like out there. I wrote to a Utah author about writers groups in Utah. Zero response. Then I stumbled onto Hatrack.

I've learned a great deal since here and that has kept me coming back. Point of view? First 13? The WotF group is the best I've found. Open Discussions provides an endless procession of things to think about.

I came to write novels and realized I needed to build up my skills through short stories. What I've picked up has even helped me pop a few stories into published status.

I've got lots more to learn and Hatrack's relevance in my quest to become a writer remains high.

[This message has been edited by Owasm (edited November 13, 2009).]


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MAP
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Now Skadder you do know that you have to answer these questions too, don't you?

I am here for the same reasons that everyone else is. I want to be a published author, and I know that I have a lot to learn from others, and I hope I have something to offer as well.

I stalked this site for a long time before I joined, and I was impressed with the level of knowledge, the respectfulness, the writing abilities, and the dedication of the members.

I don't personally know anyone who is interested in writing, so it is nice to associate with others with a similar interest. I thought this looked like a nice community to join.

quote:
I'm here because occasionally people here say things like, "I agree with what shimiqua said." or "I respectfully disagree Sheena," which proves to me that somewhere someone is reading the words I write.

I also agree with Sheena.

I have learned a lot in the short time I have been here. I know that my writing has improved immensly. I have learned the most from reading the critiques of the first thirteen lines, specically, POV, beats, how to write more concisely, etc.

Other than writing, I am a full time mother of two who occassionally teaches Chemistry at my local University.


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Crank
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I'm here because I lost a bet.

Real reason...I chose this board because I suspected that hanging around other fanatics of the writing arts would motivate me to up my game in ways and at levels I could not possibly achieve---or even imagine---on my own. I look at the progress I've made since being here, and I'd like to believe I was right.

Bonus for me would be to find out I was influential, if even in some small way, in someone else's realization of the same growth I have enjoyed.

S!
S!


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skadder
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I joined a couple of years ago. I initially began writing a novel, then came across critters.org and sent a chapter (disguised as a short story) in and got some good feed back.

I found the process of waiting (4 weeks) to get a crit a little slow.

I then found Hatrack and have recommended it to writers I meet elsewhere ever since.

What would I like to achieve?

Well, I would like to give up my crappy day job and write full-time earning at least what I earn now.

Have I achieved any of this?

No, I'm nowhere near it. I've published a few stories for peanuts--one for pro-rates. I got bored subbing to small mags--and pretty much stopped doing that about a year ago.

I decided to focus on WOTF--paid off with my finalist slot.

My focus is going to be on getting professionally published, or not at all. I may send the odd thing to a semi-pro venue, but I just get annoyed with the waiting and formatting when you have thirty odd subs constantly out there.

I'm going to follow a bit of advice, which is to pick 6 markets to aim for--if your story is rejected by all of them stick it a drawer.

You'll note this doesn't agree with Hienlien's rules...

[This message has been edited by skadder (edited November 14, 2009).]


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dee_boncci
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I've been around for a couple years now, maybe three.

There isn't much interesting about me.

Can't say exactly what got me here to start with.

I come around because I enjoy talking about stories and writing, and where I live there isn't much of a literary community. The forum here is well-moderated and generally pleasant, so participation is fun as well as enlightening.

The best thing about it has been seeing a few of the old names who were around when I first started achieve a fair level of success with their work.


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Robert Nowall
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Being here has forced me to dig into my depths to come up with some kind of advice...and coming up with that advice has forced me to examine my own work. Maybe it's better, I dunno...but I have tried to make my characters sympathetic and avoided setting my sympathetic characters in ways of life I know little of---to an extent.

Other than that, it's the comraderie. If that's how it's spelled.


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philocinemas
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What a great thread, skadder! Letís just hope that no one gets mad about spelunking Ė remember that thread?

Who am I? I am as you see me - in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. I am the brain, the athlete, and the basket case. However, I am not the princess or the criminal. That is how I see myself. I was brainwashed by John Hughes movies while in high school.

What am I doing here? I was actually trying to find out when the Enderís Game movie was coming out. That was a year and a half ago. Come to think of it Ė a lot of help you guys have been!

Why did I bother coming? I was trying to write a science fiction novel at the time and realized that I had other things I needed to learn and do before completing it. Also, the people here seemed a little weird, like me, and I hadnít been around many weird people since college (almost 20 years ago). I missed it.

What are you hoping to achieve? Recognition, success, a movie deal, money Ė I suppose these were what got me interested again in writing. In many ways, these aspirations still drive me. However, I now simply aspire to be published Ė short stories and a novel or two, or more. I suspect what I am really looking for is immortality, not the spiritual or physical kind, but the kind that dwells in the hearts and minds of others and on the shelves of libraries.

Have you achieved some of it? No, but I have learned a great deal about the craft. I also would like to echo what shimiqua wrote in What Iíve learned from Hatrack.

Anything else to say for yourself? Iím short, 5 ft 6 and shrinking. Napoleon Complex and all. I am married to wonderful woman and have a seven year old son, who is too smart for his own good. Also, I live in a rural setting. Iím sitting in my dining room looking out of French doors at fields, trees, a pond, and a mountain.

Do you do anything else interesting? I counsel with and teach life-skills to people with schizophrenia, autism, mild mental retardation, and other mental disorders. I am a fairly decent artist Ė I prefer drawing and comic book style art Ė but I donít do it that often anymore. I am into exercising Ė I tend to switch off between running and lifting weights; however, Iíve been kind of lethargic over the last month and a half. I am good at billiards and chess. I like playing video games, but seldom have time. I listen to audio-books when Iím driving, which is often. Oh, and if no one figured it out yet, I really enjoy movies and television Ė especially science fiction.

Iím done, for now. Bye.

(Edited to stick out my tongue)

[This message has been edited by philocinemas (edited November 14, 2009).]


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tnwilz
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quote:
Who are you and what are you doing here?.

(Long pause)...Interesting. How did you know? Is it because my gold brown iris's are too large to reveal the whites of my eyes the way yours do? I had special covers for them that made me look like you, but I lost one when two of your street people tried to take my things during the night and I had to fight them off. It was no use putting in just one - but it didn't seem to matter. Most people of this world just assume I'm wearing "creepy contacts". Or is it the way I bounce too much when I walk in this low gravity? It's only thirteen percent lower than what I'm used to but I can't seem to compensate for it. I completely quit tossing things since anything you throw on this little planet seems to fly forever before your meager gravity gets a grip on it. I suppose, given enough time I would get used to it although I think it would be harmful to me. I already feel I am losing muscle mass.

quote:
Why did you bother coming and what are you hoping to achieve?
Have you achieved some of it? What?.



I had to come. We are related you know. All of us are in this part of the Galaxy. We are not so different, you can see that. Only the trimmings of time and isolation - and living for generations in this silly gravity. I just wanted to see for myself. They say that you would never see that we are all brothers. That you let your own people die of starvation out of greed and selfishness. That everyone here is selfish, that this behavioral aberration is too great to correct in your people. I think the investigators did not give it enough time. I now believe that if something united you, some common purpose, great strides could be made within a few generations. I have watched you in particular Adam. You help people who can't help themselves, that was your choice. Oh, you call that "crappy" some days, I know. But those you have helped don't see it that way. It's always that way I suppose. I whine about the weak gravity and the blinding white light of your star, but I have discovered some wonderful things in my time here. I believe I may be able to change official opinion about Erets. That's the real name of your world. You knew that once.

quote:
Anything else to say for yourself? Do you do anything else interesting?

Not so much about myself but I have many questions. This thing you call "Football" that drives the people of Erets by the millions with unbridled passion. I believe I am missing its significance. Perhaps you could explain to me. I suppose I am not interesting. I'm a watcher. I make reports. Confirm or correct preliminary assumptions. It is interesting to me. Sometimes sad. Sometimes heartbreaking. Sometimes I feel alone in this world full of my brothers and sisters. But mostly I feel hope.
Besney Elestin Reaperson. Investigatory corps - Eltanin 4.


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NoTimeToThink
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About 5 years ago I was going through my version of a mid-life crisis (what's the big deal about cars?), and decided to remake myself, Creativity is a big part of what makes me tick (theater, writing, music, drawing, anything), but I had lost it while trying to...live? Decided I wanted to write, leaning toward sci-fi. Started reading (some book I read recommended knowing what had come before). Read Ender's Game - really liked it. Ran across Character & Viewpoint and How To Write Science Fiction & Fantasy at a used book store. Found Hatrack (but didn't realize for a year what that "Writer's Workshop" link was for.

I want to write, actually complete something, and get published. I like Hatrack because I learn from the conversations, the first 13's that I crit, reading other's crits of those, and reading and critting an occasional story. And sometimes my ego gets a boost when someone else writes "I agree with what NTTT said..."

Sadly, I can put so little spare time together, I've done little actual writing - 1 flash, 1 short that I'm cleaning up this weekend (trying again to commit), and another short I started last month (halfway done). Trying to carve out more time - and kill that damned internal editor...

Interesting? This is it.
Boring? I analyze and think about everything, including thinking.


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skadder
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...and analysing?

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NoTimeToThink
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...and thinking...and analyzing...it is a truly vicious circle.
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snapper
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It was all those sweet smell treats being baked in that tree house that got me here. Now I'm like John Belusi's 'the thing that wouldn't leave'.


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Merlion-Emrys
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Who am I? Well, as my namesake has so often said, who I am is a bit of a long story for right now.

Or perhaps to quote a long line of boy mech pilots...I am...myself.

I started writing several years ago but when I finally decided to try to get published I didn't really know what to do or how to find places to submit to. Around the same time I started reading Simon Logan's "industrial" fiction and I started corresponding with him a bit. He pointed me to ralan.com so I finally found some venues to submit to. It was on the website of a magazine...I think it was Shimmers old site...they were recomending that authors join a writers group and Hatrack was mentioned. I followed the link, read a bit about the site and joined soon after.


Goals? Well I'm not really a goal oriented person in the usual sense. I'm something of a mystic and philosopher, and most of my goals relate to that. I write as a medium for storytelling, because telling stories is part of who I am. It is one of my ways of both trying to figure out and understand the world, myself, people, how things work and maybe hopefully a way to pass some of what I've already learned to others. To that end, I would like to get my stories out and seen by people, and certainly being paid as much as possible for it along the way is great. However, in the end my desire is to tell MY stories (although that may some times mean trying to tell the stories a particular someone or someones want to hear.)


I stay here, despite the fact that a lot of the time I don't feel particularly...in sync... with many of the other residents because I do get lots of excellent feedback. My purpose here is to improve my storytelling and writing...not in pursuit of some illusory objective "better", but to become more the storyteller I wish to be...to be more effective at conveying what is in my mind to others and evoking the feelings I wish to evoke and at using the creation of stories to further my own understanding of things. Along the way I hope to help others do the same...improve their work within the sense of its own context, not try to help them change it.


Have I achieved some of my goals? Certainly. I learn things and further my understanding with every story I tell. I help others and myself with every crit. My stories are being seen by others even if only a few, and I've even gotten one published for pay (hopefully many more will follow.) Plus which, for me, I don't really have a choice but to let whats in my head out anyway.


No, I don't really do anything else interesting to be honest. I work a mediocre uninteresting job. My free time is spent in various often simultaneous combinations of writting, reading, critting, watching lots of anime, steeping myself in unusual music, watching various other strange movies and shows, writing more, editing and polishing my writing, doing a little baking now and then and of course studying up on various philosophical, religious/spiritual and other forms of arcana and esoterica.


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Dark Warrior
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Who are you and what are you doing here?
My name is Donavan- Celtic for Dark Warrior. I am here to learn. I had some issues in a former life, which I will talk about later, but decide to reignite the writing desires I had when in college. Knowing I had, and have, much to work on I was reading through the Elements of Fiction Writing series. During the Characters and Viewpoint book by some cat named OSC, he mentioned, once, his book Enders Game.

I had never heard of it so put it into my next book order. I went to read it, and started with the prologue, despite his own words telling me to skip right to the story. I grew bored with the prologue and filed the book back on the bookshelf. Many months later I revisited Ender, skipped right to the first chapter, and loved it.

So, while researching authors websites, I found Hatrack, and the Writing Lessons section. I look back, and I know that I learned a little reading the Elements series, but I am still amazed at how much I learned from Writing Lessons.


Why did you bother coming and what are you hoping to achieve?
So, hoping to continue that learning curve I hesitated at the edge of this forum, then jumped all in. I am trying to contribute to the crits, discussions, the fun, and most importantly absorb all the critical crits thrown back at my writing. In essence, I initially joined to learn, but realize that in learning, it is important to be a contributing member of this society and I am doing all I can towards that end.

Have you achieved some of it? What?
Yes, I have learned as much here as I did in the Lessons, thanks to the great crits AND from reading how others draw up their stories then change the face of them based on input by readers. I like the concept of give and take so much that myself, and some local writers, are starting up a real-life writers group after they wrap up Nano.


Anything else to say for yourself? Do you do anything else interesting?
I was in the Gulf War, luckily I am no longer on that aircraft carrier because it was destroyed in Transformers 2.
I was a Federal Agent in a former life, but the stress forced me to return to something happier, like writing.
I am also an actor and have been in many hollywood films and HBO series. Tomorrow I am excited about being a car rental agent in Cedar Rapids a comedy with the queen of sci-fi Sigourney Weaver.

And if anyone really really wants to know more about me, or just jump into more networking look me up on facebook, Donavan Darius, I would love another friend.

Edited to add humor...but I can't get the [/funny] to work here.

[This message has been edited by Dark Warrior (edited November 15, 2009).]


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adamatom
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I'm here because 2 people on the Critters Writers Workshop recommended Hatrack as a place to get much faster feedback. I started writing to deliver a message, not to get a big check or a famous name and certainly not to enjoy myself. I have a degree in journalism and success with nonfiction. My venture into fiction is recent. My career goal is to market literary ideas as an editor, agent, or producer. I'm trying to launch an online magazine for new writers.

My first novel and my first short story turned out to be way too serious for everyone's taste, everyone being other writers. The novel, Lonely Are the Strong, is about the implications of cloning.. The short story, Thirst, is about the global water crisis. Now I'm working on a sports science fiction story, Many Gladiators, Young and Skilled. This one's not so serious and will probably be a lot more interesting. And a few other stories.

A lot of you are full of it, especially the Style Police. The editorial process is rigged against new writers. The death of Old School is one of the biggest myths in the science fiction community, as evidenced by the number of Old School stories posted on workshops.

I teach English as a Second Language overseas. I have worked in, lived in, or traveled to 18 countries and counting. This involves more adventures and misadventures than I could recount.

China, Korea, Japan, Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Burma, Mexico, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, plus Hong Kong and Taiwan. Africa is next.


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skadder
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Don't you mean the Style Guidance Counsellors? After all they offer advice, not arrest. I would also consider re-wording your comment:

-A lot of you are full of it, especially the Style Police.

Full of what? Insulting the majority of people at this forum isn't the way to go, influence people, or make friends--so I would re-think that.

Generally people here are learning a set of rules (guidelines) that when applied to writing fiction, in the present day, result in higher likelihood of being published. If you have no real interest in being published or you think you know better--then refuse their advice. Insulting people is not required.

But, then why come here?

I thought, Carl, that you wished to improve your writing? That can only be done by listening to other people's point of view, applying ideas and advice suggested and seeing if you get better feedback.

I know you have been trying a little experiment, and I am not sure I am comfortable with what you did...


[This message has been edited by skadder (edited November 16, 2009).]


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KayTi
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I'm going to ignore the first sentence in this para that I'm selectively quoting from and instead just quote this part:
quote:
The editorial process is rigged against new writers. The death of Old School is one of the biggest myths in the science fiction community, as evidenced by the number of Old School stories posted on workshops.

and say I honestly have no idea what you're saying here. Would you mind expanding on these thoughts? What is "Old School" in scifi? I first thought Golden Age (Asimov/Heinlein and that era stuff) but that doesn't jive with what I've seen lately in workshops. Very few scifi writers seem to write in that golden age style. And how is this evidence of the editorial process being rigged against new writers? I don't disagree with your statement, I just don't quite understand.


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InarticulateBabbler
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What I've Learned From Hatrack:

  • Don't type in boldface in fora
  • Writers (myself included) are so passionate that they argue like little children over the slightest point of contention.
  • Some people are here to learn, others to impede, but given a little time the patterns become evident.
  • If I read advice without imagining insult, I learn new things. Admittedly, this is sometimes hard.
  • There are a lot of very good/published writers that add to this site and donate valuable time to helping us get better, but not all of them mention it.
  • There are a plethora of voices right here, which can be studied to make dialogue truer and more effective.
  • Not everyone is at the same level, or comes here for the same reasons, but everyone can teach you something.
  • I'm not Hemingway, Faulkner, Conrad, Dostoevsky, Heller, Bronte, Yeats, Steinbeck, Woolf, Burgess, Clark, Elliot, Fitzgerald, Joyce, Kafka, Kerouac, Orwell, Sagan, Salinger, or Shakespeare and I never will be. The harder I try to imitate, the less my own voice comes through.
  • Adverbs are not evil, but they are indicative of a lazy mind; most of the time there is a stronger, more fitting verb.
  • You don't have to have good prose if you've got an awesome story; if you have both, your chances are better.
  • The proper format for manuscripts.
  • There is no possible way to please everyone; you have to figure out just who your audience is.
  • There is much more to writing than just writing: Varying short story submission formats, agents, contracts, research, learning your audience, and writing to a target market.
  • Critiques sting for 2 reasons: You are so close that you think the critiquer has to be being obtuse to not understand something or you can see how they are right, but don't want to admit it. A little time and distance will soothe both.
  • A hook is important, but it doesn't have to be in your face.
  • Writing communities are much like physical communities: there are all different types. You get along with some; others are aquaintances; still others clash with your personality. You can ignore a post or person simply by seeing who the author is or that it is insulting or childish. (It took a while for me to be able to let stuff go.)
  • There is always more to learn.
  • Last but not least: If you desire to improve, you will. Nothing about writing is easy. Perserverance and adaptability--like raising a child--are the most important tools to success.

But what do I know?

What I've achieved:

  • Publication.
  • Improved my prose.
  • Learned a bit about my audience.
  • Learned how to write to market.
  • Networked with some very talented authors--even befriended a couple.

I'm boring, so that kills the "Anything else to say for yourself? Do you do anything else interesting?" questions.

Who am I? Well, I'm learning that, huh?

What am I doing here? Sometimes I wonder. I've had times I wanted to walk away (I do frequent other writers fora), but there are a few people who've asked me to stick around. (I know, right?)

[This message has been edited by InarticulateBabbler (edited November 16, 2009).]


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skadder
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Good answer.
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Robert Nowall
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I am reliably informed that I should have spelled it "camaraderie."
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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If I'm "full of it," I would like "it" to be chocolate--dark chocolate with little bits of ginger in it.
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skadder
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Or with caramel...
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Marita Ann
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Who am I and what am I doing here? Well, I am a college student, so I'm not quite a real person yet. I get to be a real person when I enter real life. I'm here because I love to write, and I learn so much from everyone. It's quite addicting, and my writing has improved dramatically since I first discovered this site.

I bothered coming here because I read Ender's Game (surprise) and then read all the writing classes, some of them many times over (surprise surprise). Then I thought, "Wow, I wish there was more great writing advice like that!" And then I discovered this forum! My goals here are simple: improve my writing, particularly for novels. If I get published someday, then great, but it's not a requirement. All I want is to write a good story. And I certainly have achieved better writing, but in terms of finishing a novel, no, not even close. I've simply succeeded in re-writing a number of times. The ideas are much farther developed though, and I "feel" closer.

Do I do anything else interesting... well, right now I should be studying for a test. Is that interesting? (I certainly don't think so.) One day when I don't have so much school work, I hope to be more active here, and perhaps give back a little of what I have received.


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philocinemas
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There is no "real life". Everything is fiction - the only difference is what page you are on.
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BoredCrow
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Well, as far as I know, I'm full of organs. And some red liquid too, and shifting concentrations of oxygen and CO2.

Apart from the shiny objects, I'm here to improve my writing. I think two major steps for me in learning to write were reading others' work, and learning how to be critiqued.

I've definitely learned that, in most cases, the critiques that annoy me the most are the ones that are most right. Not always, but mostly.

I've improved a LOT since coming here. Not pro yet, but working on it. The help and critiques I get here continue to be invaluable, and thus I stay.


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Igwiz
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Who are you and what are you doing here?

Hi, my name is Thane, and I'm a write-a-holic. Ooops. Wrong meeting...

Like many of us, I decided (in Sept. of 2007) that I was getting too old (at 38) to not actually do something that I'd always wanted to do. So I did what many of us do... I started writing a novel. I hit 27,000 words, hit the wall, and realized that I didn't have a clue what I was doing. So, I started looking around for ways to learn the craft. And, that takes us to...

Why did you bother coming and what are you hoping to achieve?

I came to Hatrack because it seems like a regular first step in the journey of genre writing. OSC is very supportive of new writiers, and between Hatrack and his writing books, he provides a great place to help people grow their skills. So, I came here. When I joined, I'd hoped to write best-selling novels, win the Hugo and Nebula awards, and still find time to pull off a Pulitzer prize in literature.

Now, though, I'm reassessing my interests. I'm more interested in getting published in magazines that I like, respect, or enjoy reading myself, regardless of the money. Since I'm primarily a poet, I'm not EVER going to make a million dollars. And since I lack the formal academic training that is a pre-requisite for poetic triumphs in the literary world, I'm just trying to come to peace with the quality of my own work.

As to Hatrack itself... I've come and gone. There is certainly a lot of diverse points of view here, as well as diverse motivations for writing. Sometimes I feel that this has become more of a social/discussion site rather than a site that is really focused on producing work.

It is probably unfair, but I often compare Hatrack to Liberty Hall. LH is password protected, so entire stories can be posted for feedback. Crits for entire pieces (not just first 13s) can happen in real-time, and you are encouraged to both read/crit more and to produce more through the weekly flash challenges and the monthly polish challenges. Due mostly to its format and setup, LH is just more focused on the technical attributes of actual writing, rather than talking about the concepts of writing.

However, I still keep coming back to Hatrack, so obviously there's something here for me.

Have you achieved some of it? What?

I've been published in numerous online and print venues. All have been semi-pro and lower, and that's just fine by me (across ALL genres, there are only 25 or so pro-level poetry publications). As to my personal goals, I feel that I'm writing better poetry. In the long run, I'd like to publish a chapbook of collected poems. I assume that sometime in the next 3-5 years (depending on publications) that I will have enough to sub a chapbook's worth of work.

And since my hiatus following last year's Nano, I feel that I have a better perspective on my fiction writing as well. It has made me more cautious, though, so I am having some confidence issues in getting started on my new piece, regardless of diligent research and outlining.

In short, I feel like I can write well when I have the mental energy to do so. And, I know that Hatrack has played a large part in giving me those skills.

Anything else to say for yourself? Do you do anything else interesting?

I make some seriously hardcore ribs (rubbed with French Roast coffee and cocoa nibs, lots of spices and then slow-smoked over hickory for 6 hours), and bake numerous types of sourdough and yeast breads from scratch (including French-style levain, Detmolder-method rye, and Poil‚ne-style whole wheat Miche). I do my best to be a good father, a loving husband and a responsible member of society.

In the past I lived in Sierra Leone West Africa for two years, hitchhiked/trained through Europe for several months afterward, and ran a grant-writing and non-profit management business for a while. I've also worked for a local non-profit orgs., municipal government, and state governments.

I have a Master's Degree in public policy with a focus in Environmental Policy. I currently work for a US Federal Agency that is responsible for implementing environmental programs, and I review and evaluate their implementation and their management approaches to achieving the outcomes they are supposed to be getting with YOUR money.

[This message has been edited by Igwiz (edited November 17, 2009).]


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