Yep, it's been a while since I actually posted one of these. So here is the round 5 answers. We only had a few answers that I could find in my inbox, so thank you to everyone who sent in answers.
Authors: What first got you into writing? What was your first story about?
@Timothy M. Reading about how writing erotica online was becoming a trend (years ago). After reading some of the stories on a Danish site I thought "I can write a better story then this." Also, if you contributed stories, you didn't have to pay for membership. So of course my first story was about sex, more specifically how my alter ego was seduced by a slightly older couple and realized he was bisexual. And I have to say, it''s a lot easier to write pron, than the stories I write for GA.
@Superpride What first got me in writing was being an angsty high schooler who created, in his head, a fictional small town in the state of New York where my characters, mostly teenagers as well, lived and had so much drama. I developed their individual stories like they was episodes of a teen drama, and I knew that I wanted to share their stories to my friends. The need to share what I created was what first got me into writing since all you have to do to start is to put words down, whether that is pencil on paper or typing the words in a word document, and then you improve from there. It's different from making comic books which requires a bunch of other skills like drawing, coloring, etc. That goes to the next question which is what was my first story about?
My first story was actually a short story, about twenty pages in length, and it took place in the fictional small town in New York. The main character was a guy whose father was a pastor and was overshadowed by his older brother and sister who were both popular when they attended high school, while the main character was less so. Despite that, he had plenty of friends, including his best friend who was one of the star soccer players of their high school and after the main character's boyfriend breaks off their relationship to go to college, he sought comfort in his best friend's arms. This leads to their friendship transforming into something else, something more, and it ended with them becoming boyfriends. Of course there was a lot of drama since his best friend used to be in a relationship with his other best friend who was a girl. I know this story totally falls into the friends-to-lovers trope, but I was still a teenager during the time I first wrote this story, and it definitely allowed me to release a lot of my angst I was experiencing during that period of my life. It also allowed me to share my story with my friends and get honest feedback to improve this story which was actually the catalyst that caused me to write more seriously and eventually post future stories of mine on this site.
@Thorn Wilde I always just made up stories in my head. I can't remember a time when I wasn't making up these worlds and scenarios and spinning tales. When I was a kid, if I was bored and had nothing to do, I'd just sit on my own and make stuff up, sometimes drawing pictures to go with it. I just always wanted to be a writer. My first written down stories were about animals.
Poets: Has your idea of what poetry is changed since you began writing poems?
@Valkyrie Yes. I started writing poetry in high school. In the beginning, I never edited my poems. I thought poetry flowed directly from my brain to the pen and just “happened”, therefore editing changed the fundamental nature of the poem. *facepalm* Then I took a poetry course and the first thing my teacher told me was to edit my poems. It was an eye-opening experience for me. I learned to appreciate poetic form, and my favorite challenges involved conveying thoughts with an economy of words. I think this is why I like Haiku so much. Now when I read and write poetry, I appreciate the form as much as the content, and am not afraid to slice and dice with the red pen.
@Thorn Wilde I used to think of poetry as this difficult, unattainable skill that only a few special people could master. I thought I wasn't a poet because the word poet in and of itself carried all this baggage based on things I thought were universally true about poetry. But since I started to properly write poetry (which is something that only truly happened a few months ago, really, not counting song lyrics), I've come to realise that the core of poetry is emotion, and conveying that emotion. Then there are just different ways of approaching that, and there's no right or wrong way to go about it. So maybe I'm a poet after all.
Editors: Sometimes editors and authors clash over aspects of writing. One such thing is independent body movements. What is your stance on independent body movements?
@Valkyrie I am not a fan of independent body movements. When I come across them in stories, I picture disembodied parts crawling all over people or eyes floating around the room. It immediately brings me out of the story. I’m reminded of an episode of “The X-Files” that featured a man who could detach parts of his body and send them wherever he wanted them to go. So if you’re describing that episode, or a character with a similar ability, then use independent body movements to your little heart’s content. Otherwise, it lends an air of inauthenticity and conveys weak writing, IMO. When I edit, I always encourage authors to provide attribution to random body parts. Unless said parts are part of a murder investigation and are actually disarticulated from the body.
Readers: When reading online, do you wait to read a story until it's finished? Or do you read in progress stories as well? Why?
@Thorn Wilde I read in progress stories. I sometimes prefer it, even if I run the risk of a story being left unfinished, because otherwise I have a tendency to binge-read, pulling all-nighters reading whole novels in one go.
@Valkyrie I don’t mind reading in progress stories, as long as the author remains active on site. I think most authors value feedback as the story progresses.
Bonus: What is your all time favorite quote?
@Thorn Wilde Always be yourself. Unless you can be a unicorn. Then always be a unicorn. —Unknown
Well, that's it for this round. I'll try to get some new questions posted in the next few days if people are still interested in doing Q & A posts.