Break Writer's Block With New Stories!
Have you ever landed yourself in a rut with one story? Find that you always come up with new ideas but never have the gumption to stick with them? This forum is for those who want to band together and kick writer's block in the proverbial butt!
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So, you're here because you're tired of hitting walls in your writing? Well, I've got an idea that will help us all out! <points at title of forum> Here's what you do: Every other month, spend the first two weeks with a new idea! This is sort of like a nanowrimo thing that you would do all year long...except where Nano is geared towards quantity, this project is geared towards quality. See, you spend 5000 words on this idea...5000 well edited words. Soooooooooo..... -Come up with an idea. A brand new one, just for can't just use another idea. -Spend *at least* 5000 words really getting into it and developing it (no two paragraph stories here, folks). -Edit it up, make it look purdy. -By the end of the odd months, we all submit our stories! (I figure tacking on an extra two weeks should account for real life... I know, it's tough to keep up sometimes). -We have a mass reviewing of all the submitted stories during each even month! Every story will get reviewed. (This *might* change if we get lots of participants...but I figure, we've got a month to review each new batch of stories, so we should be able to do it). You HAVE to put your story up on ficpress. There's no point in editing and working so hard to keep it tucked away! You can always delete it later...but in the meantime, you can get reviews! So, any questions?
3/1/2008 . Edited 3/3/2008 #1

Okay, here are the guidelines. Suggestions are welcome.

All reviews for the stories here must follow these guidelines.

Please choose two or three of these and write a review with a total of ten constructive sentences- that is, ten sentences that clearly describe your reaction to any of these topics. If you choose to talk about more than three of these characteristics, then you should write a little more. Since doing more is your decision, you may write as much or as little as you choose after fulfilling the ten sentence requirement.

No flames please. Constructive criticism is fine, but do not be rude or abusive. It is also best to sprinkle praise in with your comments, so keep that in mind.

Summary: Is the listed summary of this story interesting and exciting? A summary on this site is a 250 character blurb that has to catch a reader as they skim down a page of stories- does it do this well? Describe your reaction and offer any advice you might have. If it's good, say why you think this. Is the summary an accurate representation of the story so far?

Beginning: A good rule of thumb is that every story should begin with a "hook" of some sort to get the reader interested. Does this story do this? Explain why or why not.

Plot and Conflict: Is the plot engaging and believable? Are your questions answered as you go along? How does dialog and other aspects of the writing propel the story forward? Can you see any conflict in the story? Conflict can be either inner-conflict or outer-conflict:

Inner-conflict: When different values, wishes and desires are at war within the character's own mind. These can be, for example: greed, duty, fear, lust, revenge and love. Outer-conflict: When the longings/needs of different characters clash together.

Setting: Is the setting well described? Are all of the senses engaged? Do the characters interact with the setting?

Characters: Are they engaging? How are they described? Do you feel any sympathy for them, or at least some sort of connection? Does the author give you enough details and information about them? Is the dialog convincing and does everyone stay in character? At the same time, are the characters dynamic and does anyone (particularly the protagonist) change or grow over the course of the story? Is this change believable?

Style: This is essentially a combination of word choice and tone. Is the author's style distinct and noticeable, and does it contribute to the story? Does the author maintain this style throughout the piece? Feel free to comment on the language or any specific parts of speech and their effect on the delivery of the narrative (are the verbs/ nouns/ adjectives/ etc. clear and descriptive, or overly ornate, etc.), or any effect spelling and grammar have on the whole piece. How does the point of view contribute or detract from the piece? Is it used effectively? Does the author "show not tell" the different aspects of the plot, characters, setting, etc?

Moral/Theme: Is there a moral or at least a theme to the story? Do you notice any possible symbolism that makes the story deeper or could be used to do so, and is this symbolism appropriate? What does it seem that the author is trying to say with this story?

Other: Describe your overall impression, wrap up the review, or make note of any extra details or things that aren't covered in these guidelines.

How you fulfill these requirements is entirely up to you: make notes on specific quotes, ramble, whatever. As long as you detail your opinions on at least two different aspects and fill the sentence requirement, you can do what you want. I'll say it again, though, no flaming. If you really only have criticism, then try to be kind about it.

4/23/2008 #2
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