Obviously I'm a new member here and have just been approved today! :)I'm excited to be here and hope to learn a lot by participating as much as I can.
Just a little background information on me. I basically began writing about two years ago. I was still in recovery of some pretty major health problems and had grown frustrated with some internal issues within my particular religious denomination. A friend of mine encouraged me to write about some of those problems. Other than a few letters to the editor in local newspapers, I'd never written anything before. But she'd seen a couple of my letters and thought it was worth trying out. So I began to write (and research) a lot.
Long story short is that what I had been writing eventually turned into a book which was published last year by a small religious press on the east coast. I haven't made much money from the book (again, we're talking about a very small press) but it was nice to be published. I immediately began writing another book on a different religious topic but writing non-fiction made me catch the fiction bug, and I've caught it pretty bad.
I've only recently begun writing fiction, and I have begun with short stories (obviously). On George R.R. Martin's website, he suggests (in his Q&A section) that new writers should learn how to tell a story before tackling that first novel. I thought that sounded like pretty sound advice. (Though I admit, I've already started a novel, I'm focusing on short fiction).
I'm continuing to write non-fiction, but I love the idea of grabbing someone and taking them for a ride. I'm slowly learning about my mistakes and how to better craft a story, but I want to get better. That's why I'm here. I am a member of a writer's group, and they've been a BIG help with my non-fiction books (helping me understand where I'm too technical) but they are out of their element a bit with SF and Fantasy. (Though one new member has been helpful.)
Anyway, I hope to get to know everyone and do what I can to learn and maybe help others as well.
BTW, though my name is Charles I always go by Chuck -- though if I ever get published in fiction, I'll be using a pseudonym.
You know what Joker said: "Whatever doesn't kill you, only makes you stranger." But we're all a bit strange here (some more than others).
I've been writing for a decade and a half but only now I've realized that Martin might be right. I was going after the novels before but after recently finishing up a novella I learned a novel is something else entirely.
Pseudonyms can be fun. Just don't go too far because I heard they may induce shizophrenia.