WRITING STUFF: WRITING FORUMS -
DO THEY HELP?
Writing is a solitary pursuit – and we can't all be fortunate enough to live within range of a SISTERS IN CRIME chapter or a ROMANCE WRITERS OF AMERICA group. So how can we interact with other writers? Well, blogs like this one are one way. But writers message forums are another very good resource to add to you computer's Favorites list.
I post regularly at several online forums dedicated to writing. I have done this for years, and have seen a couple of my favorite forums (NOVEL ADVICE and THE SILVER QUILL) cease life online after several fine years of operation. Right now, one of my favorite online writers' forums is ABSOLUTE WRITE.
Other forums that I post to are WRITERS BEAT and THE MYSTERY WRITERS FORUM. But Yahoo and Google are a good way to find others – just search on "writing forum" and see what pops up.
One thing writing forums can offer is the chance to chat with other writers. This can be fun and enlightening. You can learn from other writers and many forums offer critique groups, marketing information, research resources and links to a myriad of resources just for writers. You might make contacts, become involved in panel discussions, receive good criticism of your works in progress and get helpful information about the latest markets, contests, prizes and awards, as well as good information about the latest scams, too.
Many forums have separate areas for genres, novels, short stories, childrens, poetry, non-fiction, freelance, etc. Some have areas for playtime and word games or grammar, too – or political discussion, health, current events and other topics not necessarily related directly to writing.
But forum cruising can also be a colossal waste of good writing time if you are not disciplined about it. And like anonymous posting forums everywhere, there can be flame wars, name calling, bad feelings and general unpleasantness, too. Good forums are moderated by people who can keep any unpleasantness in check. Good forums which offer critique groups also offer password protection for these areas, so the likelihood of any of your work or work in progress being lifted from the site by unscrupulous folks is minimized. Good forums also ask you to register if you want to post, thus minimizing the hit-and-run flamers and spammers who might target forums looking to cause trouble or harvest information or hawk their dubious goods.
I gain a terrific amount of information, camaraderie, goodwill, interesting tidbits and genuine wonderful interaction with other writers on the writing forums. And I could easily spend a whole day doing nothing but chatting away.
So give writing forums a try – see if it's for you. You might see me there!
THREE BEAUTIFUL THINGS
A hot cinnamon roll this morning.
The Mexican Sage plants that got hit by the frost are shooting up new growth, bright green under the grey withered stems
My Dear Husband and his sister Sandra and sister-in-law Pris at dinner last night. We all went out for spaghetti. Fun! It's so great to have sisters now - another advantage of being married.
Thursday, February 01, 2007
WRITING STUFF: WRITING FORUMS -