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Writer's Circle

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Writer's Circle is a place to work with your fellow writers to improve your skills, get advice, get help and to provide more opportunities for writing at Gay Authors.

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Writing Club
  1. What's new in this club
  2. The novel is entitled, "Pig-Boy and The Insectorator." Without claiming any equivalence, I might describe the story as a cross between The Jungle Book and The New Testament, leavened with dashes of mysticism, veganism and naturism. It's a story of love between boys and takes place in the modern world shaped by the climate crisis, the COVID pandemic, fossil fuels, carnism, mass extinctions, and the world wide web. When do I want it by? What are my turn around expectations? I would like it to be read in a month or, preferably, less. Have I worked with an Editor / Beta before? I have worked with several editors for this book, but not from Gay Authors. What do I need? I need someone to read it and advise me as to its suitabiliy for the Gay Authors website. If the reader thinks it not suitable I would welcome suggestions for what needs to be changed. What do I expect? I think spelling, punctuation, and grammar are okay. I am not looking for line by line editing or copy editing. How much I have done? Where am I in the writing process? The book is complete. I don't propose to alter it except in response to any advice I might receive from a GA beta reader. What software do I / can I use? The final draft is in html chapters that can be read in any browser, but I can work in libreoffice or Word too. Do I prefer comments or inline edits or do I not have a preference? I'm looking for general comments in the context of the GA readership and the GA content guidelines. Here's a snippet from the first chapter. A red pickup streaked past, thirty-six miles per hour above the speed limit. The deputy turned on the flashers and burped the siren as he accelerated in pursuit. The pickup slowed and parked on the shoulder. Pete ran a quick check on the plates but found no outstanding warrants or unpaid tickets. He grabbed the citation pad and strolled to the driver’s window. A beardless teenager sat there with an intense expression on his face. There were small wounds on his head and hands. The blood had dried on most. “What happened to you?” asked the deputy. “You look like you fell on your face into a blackberry patch.” “You wouldn’t believe me.” The boy’s voice shook. “Well, try me. It’s gonna take me a few minutes to fill out this citation. Lemme see your license, registration, and insurance, please, then get on with your story. And while you’re at it, you can tell me why you don’t clean your windshield more often. It looks like you parked under a chicken-house.” “It was birds,” the driver said. Pete scanned his documents. “They just come outta nowhere and attacked me, up on Jana Mountain.” “Birds attacked you?” Pete spoke in a neutral tone as he handed the documents back. “That’s a pretty strange story, for sure. You been smoking something?” “No, I wasn’t smokin’ nothing. I’m just tellin’ you what happened.” “No need to get riled up. You’re one of the Jameson brothers, aren’t you?” “Yeah.” Townsfolk knew the two older Jameson boys, twins Ricky and Nicky, as rowdies. They drank too much on weekends and were loud and obnoxious, but nothing violent or criminal. The deputy had had a few run-ins with them in the past, but he figured they were okay, just young animals with more energy than sense. “You the youngest brother?” asked Pete. “No, there’s my little brother, River.” “Okay, so tell me about the birds.” “I was up Jana Mountain, just mindin’ my own business, when suddenly a whole goddam flock of birds attacked me. So, I jumped in the truck and took off, but they followed me down the mountain too, pecking at the windows and shitting on the windshield. Hundreds of ‘em, black birds, sort of shiny. Crazy!” “Crows?” Pete tried to visualize what the boy described. “No, smaller, maybe the same size as a robin, but there was hundreds of ‘em. That’s why I was driving so fast, to get away. It was self-defense. They’d like to kill me if I’d stayed there! I never saw anything like it.” “Maybe blackbirds, or starlings,” mused the deputy. “But they don’t usually flock till September, October.” He glanced at the 30-06 rifle racked against the back window. Another smaller rifle rested on the floor of the cab with the barrel leaning against the seat. “What were you doing up there anyway? It’s not hunting season, and they’ve finished logging up there.” “I wasn’t hunting. I just went up there to do some target practice.” He gestured at the smaller gun. “I bought that little .22 last week, and I wanted to try it out.” ******** Please let me know if you're interested - I'll send you a couple of chapters and you can decide if you want to read the rest. Thanks. Biff Spork
  3. The results of the last poll indicated a pretty even split between one or two themes, with there being little support for potluck themes. There was also discussion about submitting themes to vote on or else having a set theme or opposing themes with no votes from authors or readers. Based on all this, I have created another poll to further narrow down what authors/readers would like to see as far as anthology themes. This poll will close on 11/17/22 at Midnight EST.
  4. Based on the responses to the number of anthologies poll and the ensuing discussion, I have created another poll to see what people prefer as far as anthologies offered along with a possible secret author contest. For those who may be new to the site, in the past, we had several 'secret author' contests, where the stories were posted anonymously by staff and readers voted for their favorite story via PM without knowing who wrote which story. The author with the most votes won. There is generally an incentive tied to the secret author contests, such as free Premium for a certain amount of time. This poll with close on November 17th at Midnight EST. I have allowed two weeks for voting/discussion.
  5. You can write whatever you want there. It's a messenger like WhatsApp or iMessage. No censoring.
  6. I'm writing a quick piece right now where my central guy does daily updates on Telegram. Can any users tell me that platform's policy on "bad words"? Do postings there have to look like this: "Who really give a sh*t anymore?" Or can I just use the whole word Thnx in advance
  7. We can always do a single anthology AND a secret author contest that is outside of the anthologies. They don't have to be one or the other, and we can even mix it up with entry levels. Secret Short Story, Secret Pick the Poet, Secret Not-telling Novelist... would let us do a single "Secret Author" contest but let different lengths/styles categorize content to make it more fair and give people something "lesser" to shoot for if they aren't up to writing that much outside of their normal content but want to do something longer and shorter for the different events. I used to do all sorts of newsletter writing games before I had my work school job, union volunteering, and college classes consuming all my time. I miss them a lot!!
  8. I don't have time around Christmas, ever, because a certain someone comes up with should we maybe do something around Christmas?
  9. Who said that? We're talking about next year, not this year, so there's plenty of time
  10. Who would you off this time? Rudolph? Frosty? An elf massacre? A flock of adorable, innocent penguins?
  11. I think the secret xx is an interesting concept. My vote is two anthologies. I think one regular and one secret gives a nice mix. ✅ Opposite @AC Benus, my only chance of winning is if my name IS attached to the story lol. Still sounds like fun though!
  12. Me too, but I don't have time, what about a Secret Admirer themed thing? I'm not here Val.
  13. I might be interested in another Secret Santa themed, guess who the author is one. But just to come up with an idea would be the trick for me? (Or am I banned, Val?)
  14. Thank you all for the invaluable feedback and discussion. @wildone thank you for summing up the history of the anthology. I think it's important to realize where we've come from, especially for members who are newer to the site. As @Myr stated, the author and reader make-up of the site has changed, so retrying things from the past may be something for us to consider. There's definitely a lot to take into consideration.
  15. It's sounds like no one loves the potluck, but I still would prefer two themes. I have written for two themes at once before and while it was rough, it was still fun and challenging.
  16. That could work for me. Just avoid the potluck stuff. Those are more like weekly prompts in my mind. I want to write about the same thing other authors do and enjoy the different takes on a theme.
  17. @wildone, I think that captures it, yes. That said, we need to be careful of relying too heavily on historical datapoints, as both author mix and audience mix has changed a lot in the same timeframe. Would a concept like two opposing themes set off in October be appealing? Like "Into the Dark" and "Into the Light" or "In" and "Out" ?
  18. I think the success of the Anniversary anthology had several reasons: 1. Loyalty to the site, to myr, Cia and the team, we wanted to say 'thank you'. 2. The continuous advertising. 3. The team idea was back. In the past, anthology authors would always read the other authors's work and comment on most of the stories. This worked again, mostly. 4. Because of the team idea and our general enthusiasm, we managed to spread the excitement; our and not only our readers read, reacted, commented and reviewed many, many stories. I'm still awed by the outcome. 5. It was only one theme. Okay, I shut up now .
  19. Everything you said seems valid, though I have not been around that long and this was my first anthology participation. Now, it's clear many things have been tried and changed in the past. I think riding the wave that Valkyrie and Myr have created is smart, and I think having one general theme would be the way to go. That doesn't mean it will stay one theme forever, but it worked for the anniversary, so maybe it will work for the next couple of anthologies? I don't know if the number of anthologies a year is in stone or not. I think 2 would be good. I think 4 sounds exhausting. I can tell you right now, it's unlikely I would do that many. In reality, I will do my best to participate, regardless. The reason I hadn't done one prior to this is because the potluck theme kind of took away the challenge. I also would not be interested in voting on the theme. It makes it way too easy to get attached to an idea, only to be disappointed if it doesn't make the cut. Just tell me what the theme is, let me gripe about it for a minute, and let me go. Easy peasy.
  20. If it comes close or a bit indecisive, we can try next year having one Anthology with 1 Main Theme + Potluck, for the Spring or Fall. Then one Main theme for the other with no potluck. Then evaluate the experiences going into the year after. The shelf life for both might be easier to determine after people have participated in them. The Anniversary anthology is a bit of an oddity, because there was a special underlying incentive to participate since it was GA's 20th. So, this one specifically, may not be the best example in looking towards the future without that added incentive. I personally liked not knowing what the themes were until they were announced. No short list, no voting prior, no being involved in the subcommittee that discussed themes, etc.
  21. It has been interesting reading all the different opinions and suggestions, including the jokes , that are being made. I would really encourage that anyone that has an opinion to share it to get a general feeling of the group. As being around in the heyday as @Aditus mentioned, I agree that it was the commitment of a lot of promoted as well as a lot of non promoted authors all coming together to make a successful anthology. Be it single themed and the interpretations on that theme or having the potluck option being presented too. Myr can correct me if I'm wrong in my history, but sometimes we can learn from what we have tried in the past to different results from those trials. I believe when I joined and for several years, the choice of the theme was made by staff. Then it evolved to a small group of 'Hosted Authors', now Signature and Classic in modern terms. Slowly there was some grumblings and such that not enough authors were being given a chance to choose the theme so everyone was not invested in writing since they had no say in the selections. Also if you weren't part of the group then you felt you were not being given enough input on the decision. Then, we went to a voting suggestion on themes. I believe the original was for all authors to have input on the decision making. This was enlisting multiple entries of any kind to be put forward. Then, those authors would go through several rounds of voting to come up with one theme. With this in place, a suggestion came up that maybe the readers should have a say as well. Based on the idea that if the theme didn't appeal to readers, then there would be no audience. So we took the same idea but with all of members of the site to come up with ideas. This made for a really large list and rounds and rounds of votes to get to a theme. Believe it or not, it then became a dual edged sword where Authors didn't want to be narrowed into what the whole site wanted. This may have turned out to be a case in trying to please everyone, it alienated more and more people. Then the readers, if they didn't get themes that didn't interest them, they would be less motivated to read. I think the decisions for the past few years was to have one or two main themes and a potluck of other themes to give more choice. I guess in theory this should have worked, but it did not. Entries continued to go down each anthology. Next was to scale down from up to 6 anthologies to 3 to 2, and then this year 1. The great thing about this years was it was a celebration of any theme you wanted with tying in what we were celebrating this year, an anniversary which tied in well with GA's 20th anniversary. From my POV, it is a tricky line to pick a theme that gives everyone latitude to choose how they want to interpret it and to have some restrictions as was suggested, to make it the challenge of an anthology. I would even suggest to make it an event to be looked forward to all on the site At this point, I am not in a steadfast position to suggest any option. Trust me, I do have one , Just I'm very receptive to change my POV as if we don't encourage some new thoughts or even revised old thoughts, we might be missing out on continuing on the great momentum that Valkyrie and Myr got going for the recent one. Especially with the hard work of every one of you
  22. I would have to become one of the stereotypical women who stay up all night watching True Crime reruns. Don't put that kind of evil in the world by choosing Dave as a theme.
  23. Sounds juicy... *blows whistle* "Dave is BACK in play!"
  24. Back then, authors wanting variety - more or less got tired of similar themes always being voted into the mix when voting for a theme was a thing. I'm okay with one theme, or two to separate them into two smaller anthologies. Not that I'll make the deadline nor the word count like usual, but the last two anthologies an effort on my part was at the very least made. I see where the potluck worked to alleviate some stress of actually coming up with a theme and not overusing them or making them too similar. --- and if Dave is a theme, I have an Ex by that name so that could get a bit messy. *whistles* (I'm not bitter)
  25. There are a lot of good points that have been voiced on this topic, humour has also been included in many. Let's take note of the serious posts, they have good points, and enjoy the humour in the others, it's good to laugh.
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