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Writing Forums

Writing Forums is a non-profit community managed writing environment. We provide an unlimited opportunity for writers and poets of all abilities to share their work and communicate with other writers and creative artists.

We offer an experience that is safe, welcoming and friendly, regardless of participation level, knowledge or skill. There are several opportunities for writers to exchange tips, engage in discussions about techniques, and grow in their craft. Participate in forum competitions that are exciting and helpful in building skill level! There's so much more to explore!

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The Poem is Not the Poet

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If you read a poem by John Ashbery, does it tell you anything about the poet? Maybe a little, but very little. If you read 50 poems by John Ashbery, do you know any more about the poet? A little more, but only a little. If you read all of John Ashbery’s poems you might begin to form a picture of the man, but you would hardly know him. If you spent a day talking to John Ashbery in person, would it help you understand his poetry any better? Probably not. But if you read a hundred of his poems, you would probably grasp the poems better than if you talked to the poet for weeks.

On the other hand, no one but John Ashbery could write these poems. They are his voice, his poems, but they are not him and he is not them. The poems exits outside him and he outside them.

As much as a poem is an expression of the poet’s inner world, creative mind, experiences and prejudices, it is also an exploration of the outer world; part projection and part inquiry. As soon as the poem is read or heard...

Announcement  WF Bookstore - Members' Published Books

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Today the Writingforums.com owners and staff are pleased to announce the creation of a new forum, titled Members’ Published Books. This is a WF Bookstore where books written by our members can be found and purchased.

Published authors (of every type), please visit the Forum, check out the rules in the FAQ, and start showing your stuff. :) We encourage members to browse the offerings to help support our authors and the site. You can easily look for books of your favorite genre.

A portion of the proceeds will help support WritingForums.com, at no extra cost to purchasers OR authors.

Now, when looking for our next great read, we can support each other and this site!

Other  Members' Published Books - FAQ - Please read

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Today we're introducing a new Forum on WF as a perk to engaged members of our community who have published.

We encourage you to browse books in this forum and try out the genres you enjoy. It's a great way for our members and authors alike to support each other and learn more about each other.

What are the requirements to post my book on this forum?
1. You must be either a Friend of Writing Forums, a Financial Supporter, or a Financial Patron.
2. You must have been an active member for at least three months.
3. You must have a Reaction score of at least 50.
4. Your book must be for sale on Amazon.com or another recognized book publishing outlet.

If you qualify:
1. Drop down the menu from your User Name at the top of this page.
2. Select Preferences.
3. Scroll down until you see "Members' Published Books.
4. Check the box for "I'd like to feature my book(s) in the WF...

Copyright Primer

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As a writer, how would you feel if someone stole your work and used it for self-promotion or to make money for themselves?

If you're like me, you'd be furious.

In my four decades working as a professional illustrator, photographer, and designer, that's the sort of stuff that happens to me and my colleagues all the time. Every time we post to the internet a custom image created by us, we risk having that image stolen and used by someone without our permission.

It's aggravating.

Most of the time the person doing the stealing does so out of ignorance, not knowing the implications of what they've done.

While I'm not a lawyer and this isn't legal advice, I AM a creator of visual content with an interest and a stake in promoting proper use of mine and others' intellectual property. This short article is an attempt to put my meager knowledge to good use in order to help fellow writers navigate these sometimes confusing waters.

Keeping It Simple

This topic –...

Share the joy: what's your writing success today?

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Just finished chapter 23 of the first draft of my next novel. I'm heading into the climax of the story - feeling excited.
Changed the title yet again, now it's Afterworld: Redemption.

Announcement  The Red Light Room (Erotica Forum)

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WF now has a private forum dedicated to Erotica for Senior Members. (Members with 10 posts plus).

The Red Light Room- Introduction
Erotica is a genre dealing with provocative themes and highly charged content. It can be subtle with soft phrasing and mild sexual intonations or extremely bold and explicit in content. Members of the Red Zone are encouraged to relay their stories or poems with a degree of finesse and sophisticated taste. Erotica is not concerned with light romantic scenes per/se but deals with light as well as dark themes (horror, romance etc) and imagery of a highly sexual or violet nature.

The Red Zone is intended for strictly adult content and discussions.

There is no automatic membership. Anyone who wishes to participate must apply for a ticket.

The Red Zone - Requirements

To be allowed to enter the Red Zone, a member needs to:
  • Request a ticket via personal message to PiP, VRanger, or rcallaci with a...

Announcement  Simply Lit II - Submissions Close 15th June 2023

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Good news! We are now accepting submissions for Purely Lit II (WF Senior Members ONLY).

The tentative pub date: Sept 2023

Submission length from flash fiction to short stories, (I.E.: 6 to 8,000 words). If your work doesn't meet those length limits, submit anyway, and we'll see.

You may submit up to five stories.

Authors of accepted submissions will be required to contribute an author picture, a short author bio, and a list of presently available on Amazon published works with their Amazon links.

GENRES ACCEPTED: Any, but with the following prohibitions:

  • CONTENT LIMITATIONS: NO steamy or graphic sex scenes. No graphic violence, gore. Try to keep profanity to a minimum and excise/substitute if possible. If the profanity is necessary, it should be there for a reason and contribute to the story.
  • GENRE LIMITATIONS: No "steamy" romance, erotica, slash, smut, or pornography, and no graphic gore or violence. No gratuitous...

AI Fiction has Arrived

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For those who haven't heard of it, Chat GPT is an artificially intelligent chat bot, capable of replicating human interactions, via text.

It can also ... write fiction. Instaneously.

And at a level that, arguably, approaches "semi-pro" quality. 😳

Watch this sixty-second video clip, where Flash Fiction Online's publisher, Anna Yeats, explains how she asked Chat GPT to write a story for her ... and the quality of it left her shaken.

What do think this means for us, as writers?

How are you all editing your novels?

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I am officially in new territory: having plotted a suitable outline for my WIP, I am now starting to draft out chapters. My drafts always start out just terrible ("word vomit" as I like to call them), so that I can get something on the page to come back and edit later on.

Now, with short stories, I've never had to question the process: draft, edit, re-edit, play word-whack-a-mole, rinse and repeat.

The new territory is that with a novel, I am not sure if I want to edit after each chapter, or every few chapters, or wait until I have drafted the entire thing so I don't get caught up with editing and lose momentum on the story (though to be honest, I don't think I could wait that long to edit). I'm sure I'll eventually find the method that works for me, but in the meantime, I am curious: how are you all editing your novels??

The Oxford Comma War

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Perhaps the riskiest of all topics, in my experience. What are people's thoughts on the Oxford Comma?

I never cared about this until I read Lynn Truss' "Eats, Shoots & Leaves", which is one of the greatest (and funniest) books on punctuation ever written.

I've heard good (and very strident) arguments for both sides. I tend to land in the punctuational territory of "if it is necessary, yes; if not, no" camp. But it's been several years since I've engaged in this topic. What is the WF consensus, if there is one? Is it "red, white and blue" or "red, white, and blue"? Is the comma a superfluidity when there is an "and"? I've even seen a case made for "red white and blue", completely eschewing the commas altogether. Much depends on style and I think there is a generational thing going on with how we were taught (I'm pushing 40, so putting "and" after a comma was always taught as being redundant).

For me, it's all about context. If I say, "I need a stick of dynamite, your...

The writing rules you don't like

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Talk about them here. Okay, I'll start.

"Don't show a character waking up in bed."

So describing a character brushing their teeth for several paragraphs is permitted? Eh, don't buy it. Somehow I don't think that's relevant to the plot. On the other hand, either one of those things can be done as long as the content is interesting in some way.

Sharing my Results from a free ebook promotion

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I had put my 3/3 update in a post, but it makes sense to update my initial post:

3/3 Update:

So, it's Friday, 3/3. I set my book to free for 5 days beginning Thursday, 2/23. I paid for 2 free promos:
  • Thurs, 2/23 - Fussy Librarian - resulted in 385 downloads in two days, 2/23-2/24.
  • Sat, 2/25 - Freebooksy - adding a minor tail from Fussy, I had 1,005 downloads on this day alone. I was pretty impressed. This was the first time using Freebooksy. I had used Fussy back in November for the same book, which likely affected its effectiveness this time around.

All in all, I counted 1,720 total downloads for the 5 free days. However, I did something different this time. I immediately dropped the price of the ebook to 99 cents from 2.99. Not sure if that was smart or not. Time will tell. For the first 4 days following the promo, I had a total of 5 sales. None today (so far). And no Kindle page reads, which doesn't surprise me. Most subscribers probably would...

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