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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
Jason Denzel

Ideas for a monthly thing?

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Anybody have ideas for what we could do on a monthly basis? For example, maybe once a month we could share a chapter from a WIP. Or a synopsis. Or whatever?

 

What would be useful for all of you?

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i was actually just thinking about this yesterday. an excerpt share. like first sentences, opening paragraphs. or whatever we want to share and/or get feedback on

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First of all, I need to confess that, at the moment, life is too busy for me to find time to write. Having said that, I used to like when, in the old group, they would have a theme and we could all write something to do with the theme. It gave me a chance to write something different for me. I didn't put a great deal of effort into the pieces, but they were fun. 

 

I like Cross' idea, too. 

 

Another thought would be a writing prompt, maybe. 

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I like the prompt/theme idea as well.  Though I'm less likely to participate.

 

As I'm in editing phase I'd be happy to share pre and/or post edited works too.

 

I always like collections of what happens in writing articles around the web too.  I could help with collecting some from my favorite authors.  Or we could all post those that we liked/found useful etc.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Having been through a few writing groups online, i always found 3 things useful.

  1. Bi-Weekly or monthly challenges with a prompt that people vote on for the best use of the prompt. (Points earned for submitting and winning, if that is a thing). 
  2. Slashers - Sumbit something 100-200 words for people to literally tear it apart. Stubborn paragraphs or synopsis? These are Immensely useful. I have rules if people are interested. (i think. i need to look at my archives)
  3. Story sharing. Post a chapter, Or a short story, x-word limit, and just get a little feedback. 
Edited by Arie

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Posted (edited)

I really liked the themes as well.  Maybe we could do a combination of these ideas?  Like every month, you can get feedback on writing skill through responding to a theme/prompt challenge, or on your story in particular through an excerpt share.

Edited by haycraftd

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On 8/7/2019 at 12:08 PM, Arie said:

Having been through a few writing groups online, i always found 3 things useful.

  1. Bi-Weekly or monthly challenges with a prompt that people vote on for the best use of the prompt. (Points earned for submitting and winning, if that is a thing). 
  2. Slashers - Sumbit something 100-200 words for people to literally tear it apart. Stubborn paragraphs or synopsis? These are Immensely useful. I have rules if people are interested. (i think. i need to look at my archives)
  3. Story sharing. Post a chapter, Or a short story, x-word limit, and just get a little feedback. 

 

I love the idea of slashers!  Sometimes I have paragraphs I can't get right and having it dissected could help immensely!

 

Also, I love prompts!

 

We could also try some workshops.  Maybe a quick breakdown of "blocking," or hints for dialogue that flows, or how to build well rounded characters.  (@Jason Denzel, didn't you say you even completed the star charts for your characters?  A talk about something like this would be amazing!)

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Found the Shredder Write-up I saved from LegendFire.

 



The Shredder: A How-To-Guide
What it is:
The Shredder is a forum, specifically designed to examine a small excerpt of your story and examine the minute details. It is a way to dig deeply into your writing and critique it in the most thorough way possible. This process is known as shredding. It's harder to shred longer works, so sometimes it is better to take a piece of your writing and put it through the shredder. What you learn in this forum is often applicable to the other parts of your writing.

The number one rule in the Shredder is that the excerpt must be a work of fiction or non-fiction that is 200 words or less. No poetry is allowed. If anyone exceeds the 200 word limit, their story will either be cut down to 200 words by the forum leader, or if it's significantly large (such as 300 words or more) it will be moved to the story forum, and the poster asked to follow the rules there.

It is absolutely essential that people abide by those two rules in the Shredder forum. This will help keep the forum clean, manageable, and it will also help allow others to really focus on critiquing your work.
Shredding Guidelines:
Remember, constructive criticism is the name of the game; however, be warned, you will need a thick skin for the Shredder. All critiques are done with your best interest in mind, but your pieces will be shredded and all stones overturned in the name of helping you improve your writing skills.

This forum is also a great way for you to practice your critiquing skills. You can dig as deeply as you wish into an excerpt when you critique it - either go word by word, sentence by sentence, or examine it as a whole and then focus in on a section or two.

Note: one-liners, such as "that sounds pretty good, but I didn't see anything bad" or any variation of that, is inherently unhelpful. Yes, it may be a brief boost to someone's ego, but it does not help them improve their craft, and that improvement is the whole purpose of the Shredder. Dig deeper and focus not just on the technical aspects of writing, but on the sensory detail, show versus telling, ect...

Helpful note: If you feel you cannot offer any help on grammar, sentence structure, word usage, and other technical details, then try giving the writer your feedback as a reader. Explain how you viewed the scene in detail: your thoughts on certain sentences and imagery, your reactions, the atmosphere of the excerpt, how you viewed the characters, if it caught your attention and held it. Such critiques are just as helpful as the more technical ones.


The Shredder may focus on small excerpts, but it can provide a wealth of knowledge and training if you give it the due consideration, attention, and respect it deserves. Consider it a training ground to beef up your skills before you tackle longer works. Or consider it the place where you can examine the intimate details of your writing under a microscope, so you can find new ways to approach your writing, new techniques to try, and/or ways to improve a scene to give it the impact you wish it could have.

Good luck, and Happy Writing.

~Bird, the current Forum Leader for the Shredder 


The Shredder, Sadly Misunderstood: An Admin's Commentary
 
I have lived in this Legendfirian jungle for a while, so watching the wildlife and picking up on behavioral patterns comes with the territory. Here are a few that I've noticed around the Shredder waterhole:
 
prdp.gif Frequently someone posting in the Shredder says, "I had to edit this down to make it fit."
 
This is not necessary. If you want a particular sentence shredded, and that sentence falls at the end of a 200 word passage and makes the passage exceed 200 words, the solution is not to delete material from the excerpt but to shift what you include in the excerpt. Like moving a frame down the page. Another solution is to post the longer excerpt in the Stories forum, and in the template request, "Shred."
 
prdp.gif Another strange habit resulting in this unnecessary culling of words is that people seem to want their excerpt to end on a period. Why? We fully understand that what is posted in the Shredder is not the full story. Having your two hundred words end in the middle of a sentence is perfectly okay with us.
 
prdp.gif A third common misunderstanding involving the Shredder is when members think we are asking them to write a story that is only 200 words long. This is not the case at all. If you have the talent and brevity to do this, good for you, but this is not what the Shredder is demanding of your talent.
 
So, rather than make more work for yourself, just copy and paste the excerpt you want shredded, double-check your word count with the counting tool we too will use (www.wordcountertool.com), adjust your excerpt to fit, then sit back and brace yourself.

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