My Writers Circle

Writing => All the Write Questions => Topic started by: johno on February 08, 2007, 09:13:15 AM

Title: A very basic question
Post by: johno on February 08, 2007, 09:13:15 AM
     Having just started writing, I am very green to almost everything that is going on here, but learning quickly (well, kinda quickly).  Working third shift in a factory makes it task intensive to meet with others while keeping to my shedule.

I do have a writing contact, of sorts.  I eat breakfast at a local spot, and meet with a woman there who has writing experience, she is a great help. Explaining to her that I have joined a small writing group, and the next meeting is when we bring some work to share, I could barely hold in what I had started. 

After explaining to her the story, and graciously accepting some pointers she asked me for a byline when it's published.

I have no idea what a byline is, can someone shed some light on this for me please?

johno
Title: Re: A very basic question
Post by: SuzieHarris on February 08, 2007, 09:46:35 AM
Basically she is asking you to give her some credit for the book. A byline is what tells a reader who had input into the story -i.e. the author!

My advice is = Beware!

Suzie
Title: Re: A very basic question
Post by: Foxy on February 08, 2007, 09:46:52 AM
A byline is a line giving the name of the writer of a story or article. Although in this case I Think your friend is asking you to include an acknowledgement for her contribution to your story.
Title: Re: A very basic question
Post by: Foxy on February 08, 2007, 09:48:41 AM
We must have posted at the same time, Suzie. What's that they say about great minds...?
Title: Re: A very basic question
Post by: johno on February 08, 2007, 10:16:11 AM
Thank you for your replies, of course now, just by looking at the term, its pretty self explanitory.

The work is just going to be a short story.  When I have a first draft, I might post it here first to get a little feedback (nobody can see me cower under my computer desk in shame  haha).  I can't believe I take this stuff so personal.  It's time to grow a nice thick shell huh? 

more later

thanks again

johno
Title: Re: A very basic question
Post by: Gyppo on February 08, 2007, 11:03:38 AM
Thank you for your replies, of course now, just by looking at the term, its pretty self explanitory.

The work is just going to be a short story.  When I have a first draft, I might post it here first to get a little feedback (nobody can see me cower under my computer desk in shame  haha).  I can't believe I take this stuff so personal.  It's time to grow a nice thick shell huh? 

johno,

The thick skin comes with experience and is made from scar tissue.  The scar tissue comes from exposing your work to others and learning what works, what doesn't, and learnng how to judge this for yourself.  In contrast to the thick skin you'll also develop a resilient core of self-confidence, growing every time something works out the way you intended.

Most people on here are more than willing to help, so get posting ;-)

A few years down the road you'll realise that even hardened old hacks have a thin skin sometimes, but have, by then, learned to trust their own judgement.  Sometimes there's a thin line between help and interference ;-(

As I said, join in, try stuff out.  Different foks will advise on different kinds of writing.

As for the byline question...  The only time someone deserves a byline in your work is if the work has truly been a joint effort.  Just helping someone out, or proof reading, or feeding them a good idea to work on doesn't justify a byline.  But it's the sort of thing which writers often say to each other as joke, and not to be taken seriously.  "Don't forget to give me a mention, seeing as I created one of your characters."

Best wishes,

Gyppo 
Title: Re: A very basic question
Post by: SuzieHarris on February 08, 2007, 01:19:58 PM
Foxy,

Yeah, but they also say: "Fools rarely differ" hehehehe. I think I prefer your version  :P

Suzie
Title: Re: A very basic question
Post by: Nadine L on February 09, 2007, 12:49:59 AM
On the thick skin issue. Keep in mind any comments besides things like "You are BRILLANT" are almost always not meant to be personal. Complements are personal. A really good crit is meant to help improve your work. It isn't meant as a personal attack or even an attack on your work.

What I have seen happen is that it becomes a joint venture to help each other get their best work out and to succeed in the industry. Mostly, it is just plain cool to write something that takes the reader's breath away.

There are tons of writers more than willing to help each other ~ no byline expected. MWC is a great place to find these people.

Nadine
Title: Re: A very basic question
Post by: thatollie on February 09, 2007, 11:58:20 PM
Quote
The work is just going to be a short story.  When I have a first draft, I might post it here first to get a little feedback
I know that I have to say this, I don't want to harsh the buzz of a completed story [because it's a great feeling]. If you put a piece here. You have to tell the expected publisher that people can view the work here, that usually means they won't accept it. [something about the type of copyright they'll have] but you're free to PM it someone and recieve feedback.
That's if the same piece is posted here and being submitted to a publisher.
Title: Re: A very basic question
Post by: crystalwizard on February 10, 2007, 01:57:01 AM
I can't believe I take this stuff so personal.  It's time to grow a nice thick shell huh? 

That's normal for anyone that creates. We put a lot of our time, effort, energy and ourselves into what we make. It becomes a part of us and we tend to take comments about IT as comments about OURSELVES.

You'll get angry, upset, have crying fits and scream nasty things at your computer screen at times when you read a critique. That's ok. Just take a deep breath after you let it out, re-read the critique objectively and think about what's said.

Remember that you never every have to TAKE the advice given, it's your writing after all. But do think about it unemotionally once you calm down. It might be useful to you and you might like the results. If not, ignore it.
Title: Re: A very basic question
Post by: crystalwizard on February 10, 2007, 01:59:48 AM
I know that I have to say this, I don't want to harsh the buzz of a completed story [because it's a great feeling]. If you put a piece here. You have to tell the expected publisher that people can view the work here, that usually means they won't accept it. [something about the type of copyright they'll have] but you're free to PM it someone and recieve feedback.
That's if the same piece is posted here and being submitted to a publisher.

That's a good caution, but be aware that it's not true of all publishers. Some refuse to publish anything that's online anywhere else. Some will, but want you to submit the work as a re-submission. Some could care less as long as it where it was posted wasn't a competing magazine/book publisher's site.

Go visit various places where you might want to submit the piece and read their guidelines. If you can't find out their take on stuff you've posted online, email them and ask.
Title: Re: A very basic question
Post by: N.Mott on February 10, 2007, 10:49:49 AM
Quote
If you put a piece here. You have to tell the expected publisher that people can view the work here.


No you don't.

Self-help forums such as MWC are only one step away from asking a friend to give their opinion of your work prior to submission. After your work has been reviewed simply delete your whole thread - see bottom left corner for this option.

Even if you do tell a publisher/agent your work can be viewed on a forum like this - although I have no idea why you would want to do that - the chances of them doing so are minisucle - they have better things to do with their time.


If, however, your work has been published on an e-zine - even if you have recieved no money for the work - then you must tell them because there may well be issues about publication rights.

This is different, however, from stories which have won prizes in writing competitions. There are usually no publication or copyright issues with such pieces, and agents like to hear such sucess stories as it proves the author's writing credentials.
However, if you are touting the story that has won the prize, they may well consider that the work has recieved enough exposure already, and refuse it on those grounds




Title: Re: A very basic question
Post by: N.Mott on February 11, 2007, 07:43:17 AM
Quote
but you're free to PM it someone and recieve feedback.

There is a buddying system where you can ask for volunteers to review your work in exchange for you reviewing theirs. Usually this is for longer pieces/complete novels - see the Stickie on the Review My Work board.
PM'ing another MWC member with your work usually comes after you have developed a relationshiip with someone who's reviews you trust and who is happy to continue critiquing your work in private.
Personally I believe a range of reviews are usually better than just one person's opinion. Post it on the 'review my work' board, and don't forget to review other member's work in exchange.
Title: Re: A very basic question
Post by: thatollie on February 11, 2007, 11:29:45 AM
Thank you, both of you. I must have mistaken the meaning of the book I read that in. I can't even remember what book it was.
Title: Re: A very basic question
Post by: johno on February 11, 2007, 11:31:15 AM
Thank you all for your very supportive and informative replies.  I have taken the liberty of printing them off so I can refer back to them as the need arises.  The short story that I am the process of writing now (and learning a great deal about orginization too), is for the sole purpose of submitting to the writers group I have joined, a requirement of the next meeting.  I doubt it will go any further than that.

I am truely flabbergasted ( I really hate that word), at the amount of interest and support that my post has generated.  I fear that my wordsmithing prowess will greatly fall short of what I think you all deserve to read.  In a few days we shall see though, I expect to learn a lot by the posts it will receive.  

Thank you all again

johno
Title: Re: A very basic question
Post by: thatollie on February 11, 2007, 11:34:47 AM
Johno, you're posting intelligent and thoughtful ideas. I'm sure your piece will be just as good.
Title: Re: A very basic question
Post by: johno on February 11, 2007, 12:05:38 PM
Thank you,  very much thatollie, I can tell that I indeed have my work cut out for me.  This is more exciting than if ever was before.  Like a challenge that I can't resist, I must get busy to the task before me.

thanks
very nuch

johno
Title: Re: A very basic question
Post by: Gyppo on February 11, 2007, 01:03:00 PM
Johno,

Just bear in mind that the 'challenge' is against yourself- to find out what you can do -  rather than anyone else in the circle.  Generally speaking we're here to help each other, not to prove we're the best.  I'm sure most of us who have been writing for more than a few years have a pretty good idea of our own strengths and weaknesses.  And occasional vanities ;-)

If some of us lock horns occasionally or try to 'pee highter up the wall' like naughty schoolboys it's because we're all human and not Gods, even if our readers sometimes send us emails suggesting so ;-)

Join in, go with the flow, and be assured that some of us will learn as much from you as you do from us.

Gyppo
Title: Re: A very basic question
Post by: crystalwizard on February 11, 2007, 02:38:23 PM
I am truely flabbergasted ( I really hate that word), at the amount of interest and support that my post has generated.  I fear that my wordsmithing prowess will greatly fall short of what I think you all deserve to read.  In a few days we shall see though, I expect to learn a lot by the posts it will receive. 

Thank you all again

johno

If your wordsmithing in your stories matches that of your posts, it will be just fine. You're very well spoken.

>flabbergasted ( I really hate that word)

How about one of these then:
    agape, aghast, amazed, astonished, bamboozled, beat, bewildered, blown away, bowled over, breathless, buffaloed, confounded, confused, dismayed, dumb, ffloored, knocked, licked, nonplussed, overcome, overwhelmed, puzzled, shocked, speechless, staggered, startled, stuck, stumped, stunned, surprised, taken aback, thrown, thunderstruck

(dictionary.com is your friend)
Title: Re: A very basic question
Post by: Lynn10240 on February 11, 2007, 05:33:22 PM
I fear that my wordsmithing prowess will greatly fall short of what I think you all deserve to read. (johno)

I'm with you on that sentiment. At least you know your target audience. I'm never sure who, if anyone, will read my ramble.

Writing about writers (and the writing process) is fun for me -- and easy. Writing to writers, though, is a whole different story.

Just relax and be yourself. Happy writing!
Title: Re: A very basic question
Post by: thatollie on February 12, 2007, 07:04:35 AM
Just relax, everything will be fine.
Title: Re: A very basic question
Post by: Nadine L on February 12, 2007, 07:22:25 AM
Johno,

Everything will be fine. Most of us have had (and expressed) the same awe at finding this place.

Welcome to the forum.

Nadine
Title: Re: A very basic question
Post by: N.Mott on February 12, 2007, 11:44:25 AM
Quote
Re: A very basic question

Well if this is what you call 'basic' I'd hate to be around when you post something 'complicated'

- my holiday dates are ...... :D :D
Title: Re: A very basic question
Post by: thatollie on February 12, 2007, 12:12:55 PM
Naomi, when he said "A basic question" he was asking what a byline is.
Title: Re: A very basic question
Post by: N.Mott on February 12, 2007, 12:19:57 PM

It was a joke, <sigh> A very bad one, admittedly. I'll go lie down in a darkened room, now.

 8)
Title: Re: A very basic question
Post by: thatollie on February 12, 2007, 12:22:19 PM
There's no reason to leave because of me. I just didn't get it.
Title: Re: A very basic question
Post by: N.Mott on February 12, 2007, 12:24:24 PM
Ok, when I said bad I meant really, really, bad  :D,  but since it's you, I'll cancel the plane tickets.

Ok, I'll stop now,

:D
Title: Re: A very basic question
Post by: crystalwizard on February 12, 2007, 12:53:12 PM
There's no reason to leave because of me. I just didn't get it.

She was being sarcastic.
Title: Re: A very basic question
Post by: thatollie on February 12, 2007, 12:56:42 PM
I know that now, it's just that sarcasm doesn't show up well in text boxes.
Title: Re: A very basic question
Post by: N.Mott on February 12, 2007, 01:12:05 PM
I wasn't being sarcastic.  It was self-depreciating humour.

<sigh>

Geez, can't anyone be in a good mood around here without people slapping you down? 

ok, now in a grumpy mood, I'm off to the freezer to check up on those peas - I hear chuckling.


:D
Title: Re: A very basic question
Post by: thatollie on February 12, 2007, 01:23:03 PM
I think we might have hijacked this thread, I didn't even notice it happening.
Title: Re: A very basic question
Post by: Gyppo on February 12, 2007, 01:56:28 PM
Friends, Countrymen, before the swords are drawn and we start butchering each other...

"All I am saying, is give peas a chance."  ;-)

Gyppo
Title: Re: A very basic question
Post by: amalia on February 12, 2007, 02:08:00 PM
Hear hear for the peas!
Title: Re: A very basic question
Post by: thatollie on February 12, 2007, 05:22:48 PM
I think everyone really wants peas.
Title: Re: A very basic question
Post by: crystalwizard on February 12, 2007, 05:34:19 PM
I think everyone really wants peas.

Ok, this is getting downright corny.
Title: Re: A very basic question
Post by: thatollie on February 12, 2007, 05:40:45 PM
So you decided to take the vegatable puns in a fresh direction?
Title: Re: A very basic question
Post by: crystalwizard on February 12, 2007, 05:49:40 PM
Actually, I was hoping I could squash them.
Title: Re: A very basic question
Post by: Dr Stevil on February 13, 2007, 06:30:25 AM
Provocative, you rapscallion    ;D