DCTP Writing Group

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DCTP Writing Group

Postby Kor » January 15th, 2014, 8:43 pm

Welcome to the DCTP Writing Group. Here we write, read and critique each other's works.
Every week, a writer would submit his work, and the rest would critique it, and give suggestions for how to make it better.

Our participants are:
Kor
mangaluva
Kaito Lady
CoolKid94 (potentially/eventually)
alicetama
aly_angelflight
bluekaitou1412

History:
01/24/14 - mangaluva
01/31/14 - Kor
02/07/14 - mangaluva
BREAK

Current Schedule:
05/16/14 - CoolKid94 and Catching up
05/23/14 - CoolKid94 and Catching up
05/30/14 - slot open

More people are welcome to join.
Participation: Whoever wants to participate (as in, submit your work so others can critique it), needs also to read and critique the works of the other writers. If you're super-busy and don't have time to read at a certain week (due to exams, work, etc.), just let everyone know, and you can read later. Beyond reading, though, it's very important to give your thoughts about what you read.

In case someone doesn't want to write, but just wants to read and critique, he/she obviously is welcome.

Guidelines for writers:
Acceptable kinds of works:
Short stories
Novels
Screenplays
(Feel free to suggest other types in case you feel something else should be included)

Length of piece you can submit (can change in the future):
Short story - the whole story (if it's not finished, but you really want to submit what you have so far, it's fine too)
Novel - one chapter (two, if the first chapter is very short)
Screenplays - up to 40 pages

In case your turn is coming up, and you still don't have your piece ready, take an extension of a day or two, but if you feel even that won't be enough, let everyone know, so perhaps another writer can submit a piece instead, and your turn will be reserved for later.

Guidelines for critiques:
Jd- gave some pretty good pointers: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=12136#p795994
Critiques will be posted in this thread.

Distribution of pieces: via email. There will be a list of email addresses the writer would have to send his piece to. Format of documents will be determined in the future (for now, it will most likely vary)

Any questions or comments regarding the group can be posted in this thread.






------------------------------

Idea stage. Leaving for future references.

So like, this was mentioned a few months ago, so how about trying to develop this idea?

Okay, so the point of this Writing Group should be helping others become better writers, critique, discuss, suggest ideas, read, having fun, and most importantly, write.

----------------

Below is a framework I came up with at 3 AM. This is merely suggestive and (for now) isn't definitive).

----------------

If we're really gonna do this, though, we need a clear format of how it's going to work. Here's what I suggest:

Every week one member submits a piece of writing he/she wants others to read and critique. We'll have a list of the writers and dates so everyone knows when it is their turn to submit their piece. All pieces must be fiction.
Acceptable kinds of works:
Short stories
Novels
Screenplays
(Feel free to suggest other types in case you feel something else should be included)

Length of piece you can submit:
Short story - the whole story (if it's not finished, but you really want to submit what you have so far, it's fine too)
Novel - one chapter (two, if the first chapter is very short)
Screenplays - up to 40 pages (this seems like a reasonable length to me, considering screenplays are pretty easy to read)

If we see after the first two weeks that the system above works really well, we'll try to do two pieces per week (so basically two writers submit their piece).

In case your turn is coming up, and you still don't have your piece ready, take an extension of a day or two, but if you feel even that won't be enough, let everyone know, so perhaps another writer can submit a piece instead, and your turn will be reserved for later.

Participation: Whoever wants to participate (as in, submit your work so others can critique it), needs also to read and critique the works of the other writers. If you're super-busy and don't have time to read at a certain week (due to exams, work, etc.), just let everyone know, and you can read later. Beyond reading, though, it's very important to give your thoughts about what you read.

In case someone doesn't want to write, but just wants to read and critique, he/she obviously is welcome.

Critiquing: This is a difficult area regarding guidelines. You should be able to write more than just "I liked it" or "thought it was good". Try to critique the writing, the plot, the characters, etc. Give suggestions on how to improve the piece. If you don't think anything needs to be fixed, at least say what you liked and why you liked it.
Do not summarize what you've read and call it a review or a critique. Not saying any of you are going to do that, but just in case.

Submissions: I think it should be done over email in either a PDF or a Word document.

The critiques should probably be posted in the official thread of the group, for the sake of creating a discussion.

I think we'll also need a supervisor to be on top of things and make sure everything is in order (keep track of the turns, make sure people post their critiques, etc.)

--------------------------------

Any comments/ideas?
Last edited by Kor on September 11th, 2014, 1:24 am, edited 10 times in total.
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Re: DCTP Writing Group (Idea Stage)

Postby mangaluva » January 16th, 2014, 2:36 pm

I like it. This sounds a lot like my University's Creative Writing Society, which has a similar sort of setup that doesn't work great on account of only three people ever actually turning up. But I'm always looking for input and critique on my own writing and am happy to offer it to others (so long as you don't mind immense levels of grammar nitpicking. Telling people that they're using commas and apostrophes wrong is what I do.0
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Re: DCTP Writing Group (Idea Stage)

Postby Kaito Lady » January 16th, 2014, 3:04 pm

I would really like this.
I have just started to write a little while ago and I might submit some of my own stuff, though I'm not sure since as I just said I have just started and its kinda difficult for me to actually write something, but even if I don't get to submit anything I would definitely love to read other's stories, so count me in :)
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Re: DCTP Writing Group (Idea Stage)

Postby kkslider5552000 » January 16th, 2014, 5:52 pm

...huh...


this thread I'll definitely keep in mind at the very least...
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Re: DCTP Writing Group (Idea Stage)

Postby mangaluva » January 16th, 2014, 6:05 pm

This would also be a good place to share writing challenges and competitions. Like, I'm writing for this right now (I probably shouldn't encourage competition but it's a cool challenge):

http://darkcontinents.wordpress.com/201 ... -romances/

Does anyone else go in for stuff like this?
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Re: DCTP Writing Group (Idea Stage)

Postby Stopwatch » January 16th, 2014, 6:35 pm

Neat idea. *hides away pathetic previous attempts at writing*
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Re: DCTP Writing Group (Idea Stage)

Postby Kaito Lady » January 16th, 2014, 7:47 pm

mangaluva wrote:This would also be a good place to share writing challenges and competitions. Like, I'm writing for this right now (I probably shouldn't encourage competition but it's a cool challenge):

http://darkcontinents.wordpress.com/201 ... -romances/

Does anyone else go in for stuff like this?


3500 to 9000 words only? D:

not that I'm interested but I still think that that's really too few
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Re: DCTP Writing Group (Idea Stage)

Postby Jd- » January 16th, 2014, 11:46 pm

This is definitely a nice idea and I support this initiative. I don't think I'll be able to participate due to time constraints and other commitments, but I will offer some pointers that may help a little. I've done a considerable amount of editorial work, for fiction, essays, etc., and some principles that I've found applicable in many cases are:

- When offering constructive criticism, be certain that you are being constructive and not critical. It sounds easy, but it's not as simple as you may think. Don't be combative or overly aggressive. Even if you don't like how the story is handled, it's really not your story, and since the author has come to you for your opinion, it is key to be respectful of that fact in itself. What every writer is looking for is an audience that reinforces their imagination, so keeping that in mind can lead to great things for both the audience and the writer. You don't have to love everything they do, but you do have to respect the attachment they have for their work.

- When dealing with an actual plot problem, approach it delicately. Your job as a reading aid isn't to re-write the story for them, nor is it to change the way they write. They will develop their own style in time--sometimes that may take many years, sometimes only a few. The best means of addressing actual story problems is to begin by mentioning everything you liked, and only then bring attention to areas that you feel the author may have glossed over originally. Essentially you are bringing attention to areas that need revision by bringing the author's focus to that area, but not by telling them exactly word-for-word how to rewrite it or change it.

- Be especially careful with placing too much emphasis on correcting grammar. Yes, sound grammar is imperative for a writer, but grammar is easy to fix. Bad plotting, pacing, descriptions, dialogue, and character development are traits not so easily remedied or unlearned. I recommend keeping grammar corrections to a minimum, and done exceedingly delicately. Save it for the end of your report on a given work, and be brief (ex. "There were a couple of little things I noticed in this paragraph"). Additionally, it helps to simply correct it for them so that you don't have to wax on in a way that makes them feel incompetent. The reasoning for this is not to spare someone hurt feelings--it's to not dull their confidence and inspiration to write. If they are overly focused on their next work being completely grammatically sound from the first draft, they will inevitably lose some of the fire that led to them writing in the first place. Learning proper grammar is something that can be taught, but you can't really teach someone how to write. Let them learn grammar on their own over time; there's no need to fix it all overnight because their work isn't being rushed off to print tomorrow. Additionally, keep in mind that in many cases, grammar "errors", typos, and misplaced words are really just oversights that result from the fast pace that comes with impassioned writing.

I'm not sure if this will be helpful, but it's just a few common things that have recurred in my experiences as an editor over the years.

Kaito Lady wrote:
mangaluva wrote:This would also be a good place to share writing challenges and competitions. Like, I'm writing for this right now (I probably shouldn't encourage competition but it's a cool challenge):

http://darkcontinents.wordpress.com/201 ... -romances/

Does anyone else go in for stuff like this?


3500 to 9000 words only? D:

not that I'm interested but I still think that that's really too few

Short stories really don't need to be more than 10,000 words. Edgar Allen Poe, one of the premiere writers of any sort but undoubtedly one of the pioneers of short fiction as we know it, once said that the short story, to him, was a story that could be comfortably read in one sitting. I tend to agree with that distinction. The average Sherlock Holmes story ranged from 8,000 to 9,000, and those are already quite long for the format. Of course, the thresholds vary depending on genre and who you ask, but you'll eventually get into novella territory. Your general works are going to fall somewhere between 4,000 and 7,000 if they hold to any sort of nominal convention.
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Re: DCTP Writing Group (Idea Stage)

Postby Commi-Ninja » January 16th, 2014, 11:55 pm

I'm interested in participating in this, but I won't have a whole lot of time for the next few months. I'll keep an eye on it, but please don't ask me to submit anything until May. XD

As for the critiquing, my Creative Writing professor constantly tells us that our workshops are not to make each other feel awful about writing, but to improve our writing. We always begin with whatever it is we liked about the piece in question, whether it's style, plot, a particular phrase, or whatever, then move on to what it's about and then finally what might need improvement for whatever reason and ideas for how to go about improving it. If it's an awkward scene, suggest ways to make it less awkward; if it's a plot issue, find a suggestion for resolving it. Things like that. It's been helpful to me, at least.
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Re: DCTP Writing Group (Idea Stage)

Postby Kor » January 17th, 2014, 3:32 am

mangaluva wrote:This would also be a good place to share writing challenges and competitions. Like, I'm writing for this right now (I probably shouldn't encourage competition but it's a cool challenge):

http://darkcontinents.wordpress.com/201 ... -romances/

Does anyone else go in for stuff like this?


That's a good idea to share these things. I should actually start sometime to search for these things too.

@Jd-
Thanks for the pointers. I know one of my problems in critiquing is that I'm sometimes too critical, so it's something I definitely need to look out for.

Stopwatch wrote:Neat idea. *hides away pathetic previous attempts at writing*


Does that imply you'll participate? :P
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Re: DCTP Writing Group (Idea Stage)

Postby CoolKid94 » January 17th, 2014, 12:11 pm

I might put something up eventually. I've been working on some stuff for a good while and I'll be looking for critiques before long. I'll be happy to read everyone else's stuff as well. :)
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Re: DCTP Writing Group (Idea Stage)

Postby sstimson » January 17th, 2014, 1:50 pm

I do not know if you want me to do any critique of any of the works ( I do a few here ) but if so send me a PM with the link and I will get to it.
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Re: DCTP Writing Group (Idea Stage)

Postby PhoenixTears » January 17th, 2014, 3:59 pm

I will keep this thread in mind and may or may not participate. :-X

A question though -- in terms of submitting works, would a section of a novel be okay? Like, maybe a chapter or two (or a few chapters, depending on the length of the chapters), instead of the whole thing? For short stories, you'd probably need the entire piece, but since novels can get rather lengthy, chances are extremely high you wouldn't have the entire story completed in time... :-X
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Re: DCTP Writing Group (Idea Stage)

Postby Kor » January 17th, 2014, 4:53 pm

PhoenixTears wrote:A question though -- in terms of submitting works, would a section of a novel be okay? Like, maybe a chapter or two (or a few chapters, depending on the length of the chapters), instead of the whole thing? For short stories, you'd probably need the entire piece, but since novels can get rather lengthy, chances are extremely high you wouldn't have the entire story completed in time... :-X


For a novel, you'd only submit a chapter or two whenever your turn is up (though I think I'll change it to a 5000 words max (5000 might not be much, but I think it's friendly to the more busy people)). Work-in-progress is welcome, and you would not be required to finish your entire novel when your turn comes.

--------

So I'm gonna make two lists here.

Participants:
Kor
mangaluva
Kaito Lady
CoolKid94 (potentially/eventually)
alicetama
aly_angelflight

Other people interested in reading, and/or potential writers/readers:
sstimson
kkslider
Jd-
Commi-Ninja
PhoenixTears
Stopwatch
Hime-Chan
Shiromi
Yuri Iwamoto

---------

Distribution of pieces.
So as I mentioned above, I think the best way is to distribute the pieces via email, but that would imply you'd share your email with a bunch of internet people, so that could be a drawback for anyone who's not interested in revealing their email (though it's pretty easy to create a new email address too). That's why I thought we could have a supervisor - he/she would get the piece from the writer, and then he/she'd send it to everyone else (that way you share your email address with only one internet person). The potential drawback to this method is the availability of said supervisor.
Last option (which I'm definitely not a fan of) is simply uploading it and posting it online, thus everyone on the internet could potentially get access to your file.
Last edited by Kor on February 2nd, 2014, 11:48 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: DCTP Writing Group (Idea Stage)

Postby mangaluva » January 17th, 2014, 5:04 pm

I don't really mind sharing my email, I use it all the time. I'd also be up for the supervisor idea, although I couldn't be the supervisor myself. I'm much too unreliable XP

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