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Those Writer Girls

Welcome to the spa...

Posting Access:
All Members , Moderated

The basics: Writer Girls is cleolinda's baby. She created it, she's in charge of it and she loves it. She is assisted by two co-moderators, katiefoolery and lee_scribbles (and formerly, emargaret, who doesn't seem to be on LJ any more).

What we're about: everything to do with writing! Post queries or requests for help. We're very big on the whole critiquing thing, so please ask for critiquing help if you've reached a difficult bit in your book or story. If you do post any of your own work, be sure to Friends Lock the entry.

Give and you shall receive: we're a pretty friendly lot here, but we do live by one rule: If you ask for a critique, please try and give some yourself. You know how fantastic it is to receive helpful feedback on your work. Try and share that feeling with other writers and help make this a fantastic, interactive community.

Introduce yourself! We want to get to know you all, so please post an introduction when you join.

Cleo's introduction...

Writer Girls? Yeah, I didn't think about that until after I'd created the community; the name comes from a conversation in which a few of us talked about how we were each "that writer girl" in school. If you're secure enough in your masculinity to join a comm called "Writer Girls," you are more than welcome. On the other hand, if you'd rather create some sort of Writer Guys/Boys/Dudes group, I'll happily list you as a sister brother community.

What's this community about? In creating WG I wanted to focus on a few things: concrit, writing prompts and exercises, and writer support. Prompts, exercises, tips and tricks can be posted by anyone, and are here to help you get jumpstarted if you feel blocked. If you get stuck on something specific and just want to talk about it with people (my example: "I need a good name for this character and I'm stuck!"), you can post about that, too. Basically, this is meant to be a very laidback community where people who want to improve and help others improve their writing can get together. As such, we don't really care how good a writer you are when you walk in the door.*

*That said: Use wall-to-wall netspeak or spell like a crack monkey and I will smite you.

How do I join? We don't have a scary admission process. You want in? You join the community. Introduce yourself in brief post--who you are, how you found the community, what you write, whatever--and then hang around for a little while. Comment on a few posts or critiques, get the feel of the place. When you feel comfortable, you can post something of your own to be critiqued.

Posting: put anything longer than... I don't know, ten lines?... behind a cut. You can post whatever you want content-wise (sex, drugs, violence, whatever) as long as anything that might be "objectionable" or "not safe for work" is behind a cut. Fiction, poetry, nonfiction, script, whatever: any format is welcome. I'm pretty sure we have some fanfic writers in the group, so fanfic is welcome as well.

What is constructive criticism (concrit)? You laugh, but it's worth defining. For our purposes, concrit is advice or commentary intended to help the writer improve her work. Concrit is not "brutally honest." Concrit is not "telling the truth even if it hurts the writer's feelings." For that matter, concrit isn't "giving someone's ego a tongue bath," either. Unless you've got a Pulitzer on your desk, and probably even then, you can stand to improve your writing; we all can.

Start off with something--anything--you liked about the work. If you're really stuck, try something like, "I can tell you really care about this story," "You've really put a lot of thought into this poem," "You've really put your emotions out there," "I think this could really go places with some more work." If there's nothing, then lie. Seriously.

Next: the actual critique. Examples of helpful suggestions:
"This transition doesn't really work for me... you might want to try picking up a word from the last sentence."
"I don't quite understand what you're trying to get at in this line of the poem--can you explain it for me?"
"You know, a great place to begin the story might be with that third paragraph."

Not so helpful (taken from actual critiques):
"Read more poetry." (At least suggest a specific writer, man.)
"Your last poem was cringe-worthy on account of your choice of diction and use of capslocks."
"This poem is too goddamn long." (Yes, I got this on one of mine in a class.)

Do feel free to throw suggestions out there--sometimes really good ideas come from group brainstorming. At the same time, the writer should remember that she is free to pick and choose only what she finds helpful, and that suggestions are just that--suggestions.

If you don't like these guidelines or this definition of constructive criticism, you're free to join a different community.

Conflicts: If you have a problem with something or someone, come to me first. If someone's legitimately crossing a line and refuses to stop after being asked more than once, they'll be banned. We haven't had any problems so far, so this is mostly a preventative warning. Also: I reserve the right to play the Bitch card, the "Because I Said So" card, and also the "I'm Sorry, I Was Wrong" card at any time. Because I said so.

From your community creator and maintainer, cleolinda.
Heartily seconded by her co-maintainers, katiefoolery and lee_scribbles.

PLEASE NOTE: when including a piece of your own writing in your entry for critiquing purposes, make sure you friends lock the entry. This is for your own protection and also relates to copyright issues.