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The Coffee Shop / Re: The MWC Bar/Red Barren Bar
« Last post by JTetstone on January 18, 2021, 07:04:48 PM »
Some people prefer ghost towns. Apparently, you're one of those people.  Why are you trying so hard to turn writers[people] away from MWC. This site has more information [POSTS] for new writers than any writers site I have visited.   jt
The Coffee Shop / Re: The MWC Bar/Red Barren Bar
« Last post by Noizchild on January 18, 2021, 06:56:32 PM »
Don't start with lame puns. No one really comes here anymore.
The Coffee Shop / Re: The MWC Bar/Red Barren Bar
« Last post by JTetstone on January 18, 2021, 05:20:06 PM »
If MWC is a ghost town forum----Why are you so upset that  the ghost here are ignoring you ???
 Just couldn't resist posting the question.    jt
The Coffee Shop / Re: What kind of person are you?
« Last post by JTetstone on January 18, 2021, 08:30:35 AM »
Hi everyone!
If time travel were possible and you were given the opportunity (but only the once) which would you choose, the past* or the future?
See the things you already know? Or those you can only imagine?
I would definitely go to the future. I would like to see all of the really cool stuff, the inventions, the progress we'll make.
How about you?
*I'm going to invoke the rule that you can't change anything in the past, if that's your chosen destination.
Thank in advance.

If I had one chance to change time, I would not use it. The past is more than the moments past. The past is the teaching and warning years, about man's ability to change the world; the time one is fully awakened to both, the good and bad in mankind. The evil that rests in the future ,as in the past, and in the day, stems from those who live in them. Yesterdays are gone; tomorrows will take care of themselves; It is the day that nurtures my spirit, and prepares me for any tomorrow that awaits me,     jt
The Coffee Shop / Re: The MWC Bar/Red Barren Bar
« Last post by Noizchild on January 17, 2021, 08:04:10 PM »
I'm just telling you the reality. It's just a ghost town this forum.
All the Write Questions / What Should Every Young Writer Know?
« Last post by JTetstone on January 17, 2021, 06:17:52 PM »

18 Things Every Young Writer Should Know

01. Don’t try to write a great novel. Don’t try to write a good novel. Don’t try to write a decent novel. Don’t try to be witty, beautiful, deep, thrilling. Just write a page. Today. A stupid page. You can fix it later. It is better to write a stupid page than nothing.
– E Lockhart, author of We Were Liars.

02. The thing I most want to stress is that different writers’ brains need different things. A lot of people will tell you: write a fast draft, then make it better. This is the way to write a book. Well, it’s a way. It might work for you, but if it doesn’t, don’t force it. My brain requires me to edit as I go and fix problems as they arise. I need to be able to connect with the story and love it on a sentence level every step of the way. It might sound crazy, but hey, some of us are crazy! “Process” is about managing our particular crazy as best we can, so you need to understand what your brain needs in order to do this thing, and then cater to it.
– Laini Taylor, author of Strange the Dreamer.

03. Finish the first draft! Don't look back to revise, edit or tinker. Don't think about how bad it sounds or the massive plot holes – you'll work them out later. Power through to the magic words, 'The End'. Then begin again.
– Ayisha Malik, author of Sofia Khan Is Not Obliged.

04. I am here to tell you that you do not need magical conditions to birth your bookbaby. Searching for the perfect place to write, designing a special writing cape, and/or waiting for a new moon are procrastination not preparation. Stop faffing, stop fetishising, start writing.
– Lydia Ruffles, author of The Taste of Blue Light.

05. Make a habit of writing. The biggest thing that ever happened to me as a writer – bigger than the book deal or awards – was working out how to produce words regularly, finish what I started, and do it again. Everything followed from there.
Zen Cho, author of Sorcerer To The Crown.

06. Put your characters in strange places and free write. Even better, get someone else to give you prompts. In my new work-in-progress, a 13-year-old boy is dancing to Simon and Garfunkel's "The Boxer" in a flat above a kebab shop dressed in Gryffindor robes.
– Patrice Lawrence, author of Indigo Donut.

07. Write with someone. And if you’re not the type to write collaboratively, find someone to swap work with and share honest and constructive feedback. Having a person who guilt trips you into getting up off the coach on a Sunday and writing something can end in a finished manuscript…we’re living proof.
– Lucy Ivison & Tom Ellen, authors of Freshers.

08. Be sure and selective of your novel ideas, and then always finish what you start. If you abandon too many novels, you'll become well-practised in writing beginnings, ok at middles and terrible at endings. Moreover, a completed book is infinitely more valuable than an unfinished one.
– Taran Matharu, author of Summoner: The Battlemage.

09. If you want to write, you need to be curious. You have to eavesdrop and be nosy, explore new roads, and open closed doors. You have to be a magpie, and build your stories from the treasures you find and steal.

And you have to actually finish writing your goddamn book.
– Melinda Salisbury, author of The Scarecrow Queen.

10. When editing a piece of work, change the font. It makes you look at what you've written in a new and different way.
– Joanne Harris, author of Runelight.

11. Be your own worst critic. Don't be lazy. Write and rewrite until it's the very best it can be. If you're honest with yourself , you'll know when the work is ready.
– Sarah Crossan, author of We Come Apart.

12. Write all the time, when you can. The imagination is like a muscle & needs training! Even if just for five minutes a day.

Write like yourself – beautifully – all the time as much as you can. Don't even dare write a text message, an email or put pen to paper without sounding like yourself. You might have heard the phrase "writing voice" being thrown about and that's the best way to access it – by sounding and speaking like you all the time. It doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to sound like you.

Don't try and sound how a "writer' sounds. Write how you talk.

Don't sit on your work for too long like a greedy hen atop a stack of Steph golden eggs or else the work will rot, change and lose its spark. Get feedback as soon as you can – and NOT from somebody that loves you inside out who is not going to give you an honest opinion. I have a few writer friends that I reach out to for feedback and return the favour to also. That way it takes the pressure off and you know you're getting genuine feedback.

Go with you gut –not all feedback is gospel. If somebody gives you negative feedback or suggests changes that don't suit you you don't have to listen to them – it's your story.

Keep everything. Even if you think a piece of writing is not useful to you, you're not proud of it or believe you can do better; still keep hold of it. Leave it for a month, a year even and come back to it, without being too judgmental. You'll be surprised how much you like about it and there will be tons of stuff to recycle into new work.

Reward yourself! When you've achieved a word count or got up early to finish a chapter, treat yourself and mark that moment but don't set yourself overly ambition ridiculous challenges because then you'll fall into the pit of "I am rubbish who will ever want to read my work?!" And WE HATE that voice!

You can only call yourself a writer if you write so get to it! The time is now!
– Laura Dockrill, author of Aurabel.

13. A writer needs to love their hero, but they also need to do abhorrent things to them.

Only by wringing every last drop of emotion from their lives, will a reader truly fall in love with them and join them on their journey.
– Phil Earle, author of Mind the Gap.

14. Have fun with it. There is no point in making up stories that don't excite and engage you. When you start a book, you have no idea if it's going to end up on shelves or in the hands of readers. It's a journey you begin alone, and it can take years, so make sure your story is a good companion on the road. That's not to say it has to be all explosions and jewel thieves and sexy were-unicorns with small goatees and bad attitudes (though I kind of want to read/ write that now), but it has to be fulfilling, and worthwhile, not for what it can bring you, but by itself.

Read everything you want to read, and more. I would not trust an apple farmer who did not eat apples. Because how would he know his apples were any good? HOW? Make sure you try all of the beautiful paper apples, so you learn from their sweetness and tang.

Make writer friends. It can be such a solitary thing to do, especially with your first book where you're ploughing away all full of hope. You need people who understand how important the things that grow inside your head can be, and who will boost you when you need boosting and critique your work when your sexy unicorn's career as a jewel thief is not a realistic plot point because hooves.
– Deirdre Sullivan, author of Tangleweed & Brine.

15. I have zero writing advice as I'm still trying to work it all out myself, but I know a man who does! Please read the poem "So You Want To Be A Writer" by Charles Bukowski. He's answered for me, he might just do you the same turn.
– Brian Conaghan, author of We Come Apart.

16. When I'm struggling with a draft, I always come back to two pieces of advice I inherited from the wonderful Jenny Downham (author of Before I Die and Unbecoming):

"Abandon effort and treat writing like fly-fishing instead of weight lifting."
"Be a wicked child and write a badly behaved novel."

Both remind me that writing should, above all, be a joyful experience.
– Lisa Williamson, author of All About Mia.

17. Finish something. Anything. A poem, a short story, a 500k fic, it doesn’t matter. You only need to do it once to know you can do it again. Knowing you can finish is the only way to stave off the ghosts of half-finished ideas that haunt would-be writers the world over.
– Non Pratt, author of Truth or Dare.

18. Becoming a published author is a magical blend of tenacity, talent, timing, and luck. My biggest piece of advice is to learn to not take rejection personally and to not give up. Easier said than done, but just keep going. Keep writing, keep trying. You’ll get there.
– Katherine Webber, author of Wing Jones.

Best of luck with your writing.
Review My Poetry / Your Abortion
« Last post by Krizzle on January 17, 2021, 02:34:59 PM »
Hey everyone,
It’s been awhile since I’ve been in a place to write again. Please give me your honest thoughts and reviews on my newest poem. Definitely needs some polishing.

Your Abortion

I cradle her
hold her space in my body
feel her pain in my heart

I carry your abortion
a partially developed child
terminated by her father
mangled by his sick love of her
she is so small and so heavy

I’m going septic
she poisons me
my arms ache to lay her down
to feel her weight lift from me
to free me

But she is mine and I am hers

The Coffee Shop / Re: The MWC Bar/Red Barren Bar
« Last post by JTetstone on January 17, 2021, 12:28:15 PM »
No!  Noizchild, here I was thinking you really had MWC's best interest at heart. <smile>
All the Write Questions / Re: Writing tools
« Last post by JTetstone on January 17, 2021, 12:23:13 PM »
What is the dramatic prognosis?

Let us first recall the basics of plot: a plot tells a series of facts during which a character (aka Hero) has a goal, struggles to reach it, against the action of antagonistic forces, and arrives at the result, positive or negative or ambivalent.

We can define the prognosis as follows: the prognosis is the calculation that the audience makes about the Hero’s chances of succeeding in reaching the goal, or conversely about the Antagonist’s chances of succeeding in defeating the Hero or preventing them from achieving the goal.

This prognosis varies depending on the information provided by the story. Yes, information. This can relate to:
•events, actions: for example if the Hero is a soldier whose goal is to win the

battle, and he is seen tripping, putting his helmet upside down, failing to load his rifle, and finally taking a bullet in the thigh, then we will conclude that he has little chance of reaching the goal
•context: the characteristics of the characters or the situations, the motivations of the characters, their past, their intentions, etc: if the Hero is Rocky, and we see his old trainer calling him lousy, see Rocky even accuse himself of being a loser, and see that he is challenged to a duel by a champion, even if we have never seen him fight or get knocked out, we say to ourselves that he has little chance of winning. Similarly, if we learn that the soldier in the previous example has pacifist convictions and that he refrains from killing, this drops his prognosis without even having to show him in difficulty as a soldier.

Prognosis is closely correlated with dramatic tension, yet it does not equate to it.

For example, in a horror story, we may see an isolated person and a killer lurking: this increases the tension without changing the prognosis. But if we have seen two horrific murders on victims with a given characteristic, and we see a character with that characteristic, we think that this character has a chance of becoming the next victim: it changes the prognosis without changing the tension.

Like tension, the prognosis should vary frequently, otherwise the audience will get bored and feel like nothing is happening.

In fact, the prognosis directly determines the expectations of the audience in empathy with the story, and it is you the author who directly manipulates their hopes and disappointments, it is you who directs their psychic and emotional activity.

An example of a well-designed dramatic prognosis

We will take an example from Godless, a mini-series in 7 episodes, a beautiful postmodern western.

Its main plots are based on the following facts: (beware of spoilers!)
•Frank Griffin, a cruel and ruthless outlaw, leading a gang of 30 gunmen, had an adopted son, Roy Goode, who betrayed him•So we have a revenge plot, of which Griffin is the Hero and Goode the Antagonist, and which aims for Griffin to kill Goode, or for Goode not to be killed by Griffin.

•To take revenge on Roy Goode, Franck Griffin and his gang burn down a small town he accused of having given asylum to Roy Goode, and exterminate all its inhabitants.•This sequence shows that the Hero has the qualities required to achieve his goal: he is powerful, ruthless, violent, determined, the prognosis therefore turns in his favor.

•We see a lone horseman arriving in the night at an isolated house, and a woman armed with a gun shoots him in the throat; we then learn that it is Roy Goode, and that he was already injured.•It starts badly for this character who, in his first appearance, narrowly escapes death

•We learn that Roy Goode has already faced Griffin and his gang (that’s precisely why he was already injured), and that he managed not only to survive, but to kill 7 of them, he alone against them all.•This sequence shows that the Antagonist has – contrary to what his pitiful appearance had us predict – the qualities required to achieve his goal: the prognosis meter is therefore approaching equality.

•Learning of the massacre of the small town by the gang in Griffin, the sheriff of a nearby town decides to go and arrest Griffin•Even if the sheriff acts independently of Goode, his action influences the plot of the conflict between Griffin and Goode, since if the sheriff arrests or kills Griffin, it necessarily resolves the Griffin / Goode plot; but the prognosis is unfavorable to the sheriff, because what can he do against 30 men?

•We then learn that this sheriff is an excellent gunman who successfully stood up to several armed men•The prognosis tends to level out in part, the sheriff’s odds go up, and his prognosis correlates to Goode’s: the first of the two who meets Griffin will have a chance, if not to defeat him, at least to weaken him, so that the chances of the second encountering Griffin are increased

•But then we see, in several scenes, that the sheriff is going blind – he trips over an object he didn’t see, a yard away from him, and can’t read a sign a few meters away•This new information crumbles the prognosis of a possible victory for the sheriff: an excellent shooter gone blind is no longer useful

•We then see that the young and fiery deputy of the sheriff is also an excellent gunman… but, the sheriff doesn’t allow his deputy to accompany him•The prognosis for the sheriff goes up… then collapses again

•The sheriff buys glasses from a street vendor at an inn and gets his sight back•The sheriff’s prognosis goes up

•The sheriff stumbles upon Griffin and his gang. The sheriff is in a weak position crossing a river and Griffin’s gang have surrounded him by surprise; after a tense and menacing argument, Griffin lets the sheriff get away•The sheriff’s prognosis falls

•As Griffin and his gang make their way to a town that is home to Roy Goode – a town where only women survive due to a mining accident that killed all the men – the women are seen arming themselves and taking refuge in a house transformed into a stronghold, preparing to face Griffin•The prognosis for Goode goes up a bit… the house / stronghold gives the defendants an advantage (they will see Griffin without Griffin first knowing where they are hiding), but, can these women challenge the experienced Griffin gang?

•In total, we therefore have this balance of forces:•Griffin side: 30 armed, experienced, ruthless men
•Goode side: Goode, excellent shooter; the sheriff, excellent shooter; the deputy, excellent shooter; the women, inexperienced except 2 of them who are good shooters, and with the surprise of their fortified position
•The audience can therefore calculate that the odds are quite favorable for the fiendish Griffin – an ideal setup to generate suspense and poignant angst.

•From the start of the attack, the deputy is killed by surprise!•The prognosis is a little more in favor of Griffin


In this example, we see that the prognosis varies frequently, long before the moment of the final confrontation between the two enemy characters. I mentioned 12 major variations above, but over the 7 episodes, the prognosis changes are much more numerous.

Also note that at the crucial moment (the crisis of the plot which will lead to its resolution), the characters that the audience likes should be losing: it is much better than the reverse because if they are winning, we would not fear losing them, there would be hardly any stakes, and thus suspense and tension would lag.

Build the dramatic prognosis before the plot

Just as the series of variations in dramatic tension can be traced in advance, the better to invent the actions and situations which must correspond to it, so can we trace the series of variations in prognosis in advance.

For example, do you want a heroic struggle story that ends well, the victory of the weak against the strong? If so, start your Hero in the negative, ignite hope and then shatter it, rekindle the faint flame and throw water over it, before resuscitating it one last time for the final great fire! Or in other words: -6 +6 -2 +5 –6 +2 -4 +9!

You can even first draw a graph that you think represents the effect you want to produce on the audience—to discourage them, to excite them, to deliver them higher or lower—and then invent the facts and information that correspond to these variations: it makes the plot design easier because you know exactly what to look for!

We can, for example, write:
•An Antagonist is strong: Hero’s victory forecast = -5
•But the Hero seems just as strong: prognosis +5 = total prognosis 0
•Suddenly, the Antagonist allies with a much stronger character: prognosis -10
•Learning of this alliance, the Hero recruits a team – but they are poorly equipped and not very united: prognosis +5 = -5
•Just before the confrontation, 2 of the Hero’s allies fall into a trap and are killed: prognosis -5 = -10
•And so on

It’s best to avoid accumulating too many changes in prognosis going in the same direction: if a plot tells us “the Hero will win, the Hero will win, the Hero will win,” it will appear monotonous and without stakes. If as the story proceeds, we can predict what will happen, you’ll kill the suspense and lose audience interest. So favor changes in direction, and ensure subtlety by varying the amplitude: small negative change, medium positive change, large negative change, etc.

Last advice: nothing forces you to say things clearly; you can present certain facts or certain information as doubtful, thus you complicate the calculation of the prognosis, you make it less certain and therefore you create suspense. For example in Godless we were first shown the sheriff’s deputy doing acrobatics with his two guns: it looks classy, ​​but that does not guarantee that he is as good a shooter as he is a juggler. We’re left in doubt. Later, we see him confronted with three thugs and he dispatches them easily: there, and only there, is it confirmed that he is an excellent shooter; even if it is not 100% sure since we do not know how formidable these thugs were. The same effect is obtained with troubled characters, or traitors: they can add their strength to either side, so they represent an unpredictable factor in the calculation of the prognosis.

Improving a plot thanks to the dramatic prognosis

Let’s say we designed a story intuitively, because we “felt it.” And once the story is conceived, we realize that it does not turn out well, it does not have the desired effect, it does not gain in strength, it wanders or it stagnates at times, but we do not quite know how to rewrite it because we can’t identify what’s wrong.

Well in this case, we can apply the prognosis filter to the plot to ensure its quality:
•We evaluate and quantify each change in prognosis
•We draw the graph, the curve of the prognosis
•If the prognosis stagnates for too long at the same point, we know that we must correct, add a variation
•If the prognosis leans too much in one direction, we know that we must rebalance it


The next time you “consume” a story, watch the prognosis changes. They should jump out at you now.

Over time, it becomes second nature and you’ll write each scene, each character, each characteristic of the characters, intuitively taking into account their impact on the overall prognosis.

Try it, you will see!

This article is brought to you by Story&Drama which offers storytelling lessons and analyses of famous works.

I hope the above link is helpful.  Best of luck with your writing!   
O.K. to Kick-off this 'Avalanche' of writers replies....,

I must admit that I also don't always make time for it, and comment that much on Writing Blogs myself, however on some Blogs I do regularly write comments & replies

and I do think that it can be helpful to get a certain practice in
training to formulate your thoughts.

Also when ever I encounter words I don't know yet, it offers me an
opportunity to learn new words and to get new Insights,


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