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How do you encourage new writers?


Talo Segura

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It spins around in my head, how to support and encourage new writers. I feel myself I passed a step and started getting involved here, met lots of nice people, got lots of support and encouragement, but I also feel I was lucky and it was random. Does anybody have any suggestions for how to support new writers, new members coming to write, so they stick around, have someone to talk to. My own thoughts were for a sort of buddy system, because as soon as I found one very important person for me here, he helped a lot, and changed everything around. Now I try to do the same, even if I'm still finding my feet, I want to pass it on. A suggestion would be, to spare the time to read one new writer's first story and to contact that writer so as to help, to answer questions, to encourage, to be a buddy. You don't have to like the story, it's more about virtual friendship. What do you all think? Is it a good idea or a dumb idea? It need be nothing formal, just a personal thing, and who knows, one day you may be the person who discovered and encouraged the next great author of gay fiction!

 

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I got my encouragement from my readers in the beginning.  I still do.  And I do my best to let them know I appreciate them.

If you got the story in your head, some helpful criticism as far as how they write can be helpful.  But, beyond that, It's mostly up to me to tell the story and hope it entertains a few readers.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I haven't published here, but I have on other sites. I got encouragement from some very talented people who to this day, I still believe are on drugs. I honestly was suspicious of the compliments, and my joining one site was described as 'being dragged over kicking and screaming.' Since them, I've written a couple of stories. I have problems writing, something which I had all through school. The only things I could write now were memos, policy, legal documents and training materials. My constructive grammar still sucks and that fear really holds me back from writing.  I have been taking a break from writing due to some medical & personal issues but reading lots of posts here for information. I received one email in response to my last story published, and I've been wrestling with how to deal with it. I was told that my stories were always about the characters being affluent but with strong positive morals, helping others, things ending positively after resolving the traditional gay story conflicts. For the longest time, I've taken that as a negative comment meaning 'just another gay story the same as lots of others.' Three months later, I've finally thought about it enough to formally respond with "Yeah? so what?" 

Maybe I'm just nuts, but if I was to suggest one thing to help new writers is possibly having a mentoring program available. Nothing formal, but a pool of people who would be prepared to work with a new author and help them onto their feet. Consistent answers and guidance would go a long way for a new writer.

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52 minutes ago, Snowblind said:

Maybe I'm just nuts, but if I was to suggest one thing to help new writers is possibly having a mentoring program available. Nothing formal, but a pool of people who would be prepared to work with a new author and help them onto their feet. Consistent answers and guidance would go a long way for a new writer.

i don't think you are nuts ... but i guess the question is who is going to do that? ... i met my editor because i read his work and he read mine.. we started talking.. he offered to help me ...  i've done that for others..  but honestly .. i think people need to come here and get involved with the community, and meet people that way.  I'd want an editor or mentor who likes my voice and my work. Someone i can relate to on that level.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Relating to this site specifically - comment on what they are writing.  As a new writer, I was (am) very appreciative of anyone who takes the time to actually comment.  And yes, some of the onus is on me too, which is why I always try and respond.  Sure it's (kind of) nice to see that people have read something, but comments are significantly more encouraging than just a number.  Beyond that, there's actually discussion and conversation although that seems to happen in a more unstructured way.

As @Mikiesboy says, get involved both as a reader and as a writer.

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1 hour ago, Sam Wyer said:

Relating to this site specifically - comment on what they are writing.  As a new writer, I was (am) very appreciative of anyone who takes the time to actually comment.  And yes, some of the onus is on me too, which is why I always try and respond.  Sure it's (kind of) nice to see that people have read something, but comments are significantly more encouraging than just a number.  Beyond that, there's actually discussion and conversation although that seems to happen in a more unstructured way.

As @Mikiesboy says, get involved both as a reader and as a writer.

I think comments and reactions are both kind of important.  People comment and react more when you engage with the readers on here, I find.  Reactions (the "likes, loves, etc.") are like the change in the tip jar in front of the street musician as he's performing for whoever happens to walk by.  The comments are what tells you just how your story is affecting a reader, for good or bad.  Both kind of work together to keep a writer encouraged to keep going.  If no one had given me any kind of reaction to my first story in the first few chapters I likely would've just given up on it.

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