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Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:02 am
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Welcome to Squills, the official news bulletin of the Young Writers Society!

What will you find here? Tons of interesting news about YWS, including but not limited to: articles about writing, art, and the world of humanities; interviews with YWS members; shameless plugs; link round-ups; and opinionated columns.

And where will all of this come from? Take a look at our fantastic creative staff!

CREATIVE STAFF


Spoiler! :
Editor-in-Chief
Iggy

General Editors
ShadowVyper
KnightTeen

Friendly Neighborhood Robot
SquillsBot

Friendly Neighborhood Cow
CowLogic

Literary Reporter
Available - PM SquillsBot if interested

Community Reporter
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Resources Reporter
Tenyo

Storybook Reporter
AfterTheStorm

Link Cowgirl
megsug

Poetry Enchantress
Clarity

The Adventurer
BlueAfrica

Quibbles Columnist
Aadygirl

Social Correspondent
Iggy

Associate of Pruno
Blackwood

Media Critic
Kanome

General Reporters
Messenger
OliveDreams
whitewolfpuppy
BloodinkSeesFootage
NightWolf
Lucrezia

Past Editors-in-Chief
GriffinKeeper
AlfredSymon
Hannah


Of course, our content can’t come only from our staff. We also depend on you to help keep Squills successful. You’re all a part of a writing community, after all. If you’re interested in submitting to Squills, pop on over to the Reader’s Corner to find out how you can get involved by contributing an article or participating in other Squills activities.

Well, that’s all I have for now. So, what are you waiting for? Enjoy!





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Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:05 am
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FEATURED MEMBER INTERVIEW WITH MAGENTA
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written by Messenger < PM: >


Well hello once again! These past two weeks have given us another Featured Member: @Magenta. I sat down with her and had a chat about what it feels like and means to her.

Messenger: Hey Magenta, congratulations on becoming the Featured Member!You are obviously happy I'm sure, but were you expecting it?


Magenta: Thank you. No, I wasn't expecting to become a featured member and I just found out today, actually, because I haven't been on in about a week. I guess I've been busy. Thanks again. Have you been a featured member? You certainly deserve it. ;)

M: Haha, thank you. Yes, I have been the featured member. Did you ever wish to be FM before?


Magenta: Well, I'm not surprised that you were. Did I ever wish to be a featured member? Well, I haven't been here that long and I didn't expect to be anything for a long time which makes this all the more flattering. ;)

M: Do you have any tips to give to others who wish to be FMed?


Magenta: Tips? There really aren't any skills or talents that you need in order to be a featured member. If you really wish to be one, I'm sure you'll get there somehow. But I would remind those of you who wish to remember that it isn't about the number of points or reviews you've done, it's what you have accomplished and the quality of your work. There are so many brilliant minds out there and I know that everyone of them are capable of anything if they put their mind to it. Although, being a featured member is something you earn. You don't need anything but your determination and willingness, I suppose. We all deserve it and I commend everyone who is on this website, it takes serious skill to be a YWSer!

M: Those are are very good tips. Thank you Magenta, and enjoy the rest of your time being Featured!


Magenta: Thank you!


Wow! Isn't it fun to see how excited users get when they are awarded the Featured Member honor? I hope you enjoyed this interview. Come back next week for a new one!

~Messenger





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Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:07 am
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RESOURCES RELAY
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written by Tenyo < PM: >


This week in Resources

Talking is definitely trending this week, whether it’s the things your characters are talking about or the things you talk about, or if you talk at all.


Of writing and nattering

@dhyan has posted up an interesting question regarding a friend, about whether or not writing can help improve your speech.

So far the majority is saying no. My own personal experience has shown otherwise, but I’ve only explored this in a more controlled environment.

I want to hear more responses from you guys! Writing may help you to communicate well on the page, but that’s completely different to speaking aloud. Then again, building confidence in an art can boost self esteem which will inevitably build confidence in other areas, like communication and speech.

Whether you agree or disagree with either side, join in the discussion here and give us your thoughts or experience.


Phone Calls

I don't know if it's just me, but I get really, really nervous on the phone, even if it’s to someone I know like my mum. The reason is simple- I'm talking to piece of plastic that sounds like my mum! There is nothing normal about that. There's no way of seeing what’s happening on the other end. Even things like tone of voice get dumbed down by interference and low quality speakers, words get lost in background noise, and there’s always the knowledge that some passer by will think you’re talking to yourself.

And then there’s the environment I’m in. Where do I look if not at the person I’m talking to? Do I stare at the person opposite me on the bus as if I’m talking to them? Or do I watch my feet and end up walking into a lamp post?

It’s only natural then for that awkwardness to convey into writing. Am I supposed to be poetic and describe the intricate smells of the inside of a public phone box while my character is declaring his undying love? Or should I be honest and talk about my character watching her cat poop in the neighbours garden while she’s comforting a grieving friend?

If you’ve got any tips or tricks on writing indirect communications communication like Internet Chat or Texting, you can check out @lakegirls thread on Phone Conversations.


Quoting Quotes

@mephistophelesangel 's thread over in The Writers Corner is an interesting one, where you can post your favourite quotes and dialogue from your own writing, and take a look at what other people are doing in theirs.

I’m actually really impressed with some of the responses.

It’s very easy when you want to fully introduce your character to delve into every aspect of their background, because it feels like every tiny detail is important. However instead of spending an entire chapter or more saying what they’re like and how they became like that, why not let your character talk for themselves?

Have you ever met one of those people who walk into a room and everybody turns their heads? Or they say one word and the whole crowd hushes. Sometimes you can know a person for years and when they finally open up a single sentence can blow you away.

These are the things we remember in people and in books- those rare, powerful quotes by which we remember and define them.

If you want to see some of the examples I'm talking about then click here to see the thread.


Fortune Cookie Wisdom

One of these is sentences is incorrect, can you guess which one?

A) ‘I’m ready!’ she called from the bathroom.

B) ‘If you were ready you’d already be by the front door,’ he mumbled and turned to check his tie in the hallway mirror. ‘We’re going to be late.’

C) ‘Actually ready now,’ she appeared in the hallway.

Answer:

C is incorrect. Speech tags (she called, he said, I rambled) are used in the same sentence as the speech, anything else goes in a separate sentence. Since ‘appeared’ is not a speech tag, a period is used to separate it from the speech.

More on Dialogue Punctuation





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Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:07 am
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ADVENTURES IN WRITING
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written by BlueAfrica < PM: >

Ah, the revision process. Every writer’s favorite…

Wait, revision? Oh, no. God, no. No. No, not revision—anything but revision!

Most writers dread the revision process. Usually, we prefer drafting: ideas are fresh and exciting, full of unlimited potential. Whereas, when you finish a draft, you have to buckle down and face the fact that your piece might need a lot of work.

Fear not, my friends. I’ve spent the last two and a half months in the process of revision, and it’s not as scary as it seems. At times, it can even be fun. As I see it, there are three steps to this process.

Rewriting. When you’re done drafting and you’re ready for the revision process, the first thing you should do is all necessary rewriting. Look over your draft and ask yourself such questions as:

1. What plot holes exist in the story?
2. Are any character motivations weak or unclear?
3. Do any characters act out of character?

Rewriting should focus on big-issue problems like these. Often, when we start the revision process, we turn to editing and proofing as the first steps because it’s easier to fix mechanics and small inconsistencies than overarching plot issues. But if you edit or proofread your manuscript first and then rewrite, you’ll make more work for yourself. What if you spend an hour fixing the grammar and sentence flow of a section that later gets cut out of the story? What if you’ve finished editing the original part of your manuscript only to have to go back and edit the new scene you just added?

If you rewrite first, however, then you only have to edit and proof your manuscript once: when you’re done making big changes and feel good about your plot and characters.

Editing. After rewriting has taken care of large and obvious flaws in your piece, it’s time to take care of the smaller problems. These may be inconsistencies among your piece’s details or out-of-character bits of dialogue—things that could still be considered plot holes or poor characterization but don’t affect the overall plot.

For example, in one chapter of The Book Man, I have two characters riding to work together on the bus. At the end of the next chapter, however, one of the characters boards a different bus than the other—even though both of them are going back to where they came from that morning. It’s not at all important to the plot if the characters take the same bus or not, but it’s an inconsistency that readers may notice and become confused by.

In addition to fixing inconsistencies, editing can be used to make individual scenes flow better. While rewriting works at the whole-book level to make sure that your plot and character arcs make sense, editing works on a more scene-by-scene basis. In this stage of the revision process, you may rewrite bits and pieces of a scene instead of rewriting the whole thing. You may decide that a kiss takes place too quickly and slow it down with some added description. Or maybe you find a long sentence in the middle of an action scene, decide it makes the scene drag, and cut it. These are things that don’t matter to the overall plot but make your piece less great than it could be.

Proofing. Rewriting looked at the big picture of the piece; editing was concerned with each scene, chapter, or stanza. Proofing is the most nitpicky (and tedious) of all.

Proofing concerns itself with mechanics: diction, syntax, flow, and other English class terms that high schoolers soon come to hate. However, you have to remember that grammar and spelling are important to your manuscript’s presentation. It doesn’t matter so much if you’re writing just for fun, without any serious expectation of future publication (although poor grammar and spelling can turn off even certain would-be online readers). But if you want to get published, proofing is ridiculously important. While it’s the last stage in the revision process, it’s the first thing potential agents or editors are going to look at. A manuscript full of typos and punctuation errors will get rejected almost immediately. Because if you couldn’t even be bothered to make sure your spelling and grammar was correct, why should the agent believe you put any care into the actual story?

You and I both know that’s not necessarily true, especially around YWS. There are a lot of young, passionate writers here who put heart and soul into their novels and poetry but maybe aren’t so good at grammar. And that’s fine. That’s part of the reason you’re here, to get help with that sort of thing.

But you still have to understand that agents and editors won’t look at a messy manuscript that way. That’s why proofing is important.

In the next few issues of Squills, I’ll discuss each of these steps of the revision process in more detail. Tune in next week for a closer look at step 1, rewriting.





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Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:08 am
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WHY IT'S ALL SODAPRESSING!
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written by BloodinkSeesFootage < PM: >


A relatively new addition to the YWS family: @SodaPressing, has had their work: It's all So... Depressing (which has received over 15 likes!) on a particular trend on YWS featured. Among the budding creatives on the site, I wanted to take the time to find out what sparked the ideas behind this work that goes full out to comment on the 'happiness' of our artistic outcomes.



Squills: Hey SodaPressing, let's kick this off, with what inspired this work?



SodaPressing: Just basically, looking through the Green Room and seeing a load of stuff that was really miserable and thinking... 'No wait a second, I want to review something with a happy ending.'


S: In your time here, you've posted several different works, such as The One Eyed Enigma - Mitchell's World View Continued which was requested by Squills' very own @Iggy. How would you describe your own work?



SP: Fun. And funny. The main concept is to be random and wacky and make people laugh. But at the same time as being feel-good works, they also have a very dominant message; and I think it's important to balance being entertaining with being informative.


S: In regards to 'not being so depressing' what advice would you give other writers when dealing with a more serious issue, such as suicide?



SP: That's a big question and it's up to the individual. But I would say, just be honest. Be true to what you know. I just don't think that a certain level of romanticism for such subjects [which I have seen on here sometimes] is suitable.


There certainly seems to be a few strong opinions emerging on YWS at the moment. The more I read, I am definitely feeling more educated.

Keep the works coming!





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WRITER OF THE WEEK INTERVIEW SPECIAL WITH TRISARAHTOPS AND COMICALCRAFTY
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written by Messenger < PM: >

AND WRITER OF THE WEEK GOES TO... COMICALCRAFTY!

This Monday marked the second week WOTW—or “Writer of the Week”—has been around. It also meant the second-ever WOTW had to be named, and so a panel of elite, unbiased, crime-fighting judges selected an array of nominees and then voted for that one “special person.”

After a week of agonizing decision-making, we had our writer: @ComicalCrafty!

First, though, I’m going to delight you with a little throwback. Remember last week? Think hard now, I know it seems like a lifetime ago—but last week, @TriSARAHtops was our WOTW.

Now you remember? Good! Because you, lucky readers, get to have two interviews for the price of one with the first two Writers of the Week ever selected: TriSARAHtops and ComicalCrafty!

Feel free to take a moment for this to sink in. I can wait.

Has it sunk in? Great! Time for our first interview, with the mesmerizingly amazing TriSARAHtops. Here’s what she had to say about being the first-ever WOTW:

Messenger: Hi! Congratulations on being (whether you know it or not) as Writer Of The Week! This means that voters felt you to be an exceptionally good writer and therefore feel you deserve an honor. Surprised?


TriSARAHtops: Thank you, Messenger! I did know that people nominated me, but I was still surprised to have gotten it! :-)

M: Do you think you deserved it? *Grins evilly at asking such a question*


TSt: Hmm, tricky question. I mean, I generally always get good feedback on my work, but I don't post particularly regularly. And YWS has so many awesome writers that could have just as easily gotten it. It means a lot that people thought I was deserving to get it.

M: Well I think one nice about what WOTW will show YWS is that you don't need to post 7 times a week to become a nominee. This is about the quality of your work, and I have read some of your works and you really do have talent.
Are there tips you use to refine your works to make them the most enjoyable to the readers?


TSt: I edit. That's probably the simplest way of putting it. I usually write my first draft out in my notebook then I type it up on the computer, editing as I go. Once I've done that I'll keep reading through and fixing stuff. It takes more patience and by no means will make your work perfect, but it does improve your work. And if something isn't working don't be afraid to start again with a totally different approach.It took me five attempts to write the second chapter of my current project because what I was doing didn't work.
And thank you for saying I have talent!


M: It's pretty simple isn't it? But it's so important. Thank you for giving your time. Would you like too leave a link to one of your favorites work so people can check out your awesomeness?


TSt: Sure! Probably the one I'm most proud of is Saltwater Wounds: Saltwater Wounds - Chapter One
I'd also like to add that it's one year this week since I joined YWS, so the timing of this couldn't be more wonderful. Good luck to future writers of the week, and thanks again. 'Tis an honour!


M: Thanks TStops!



Now, for our second interview. Get cozy, grab a mug of cocoa if you like (or Coca Cola... whatever works), then sit back and enjoy ComicalCrafty’s thoughts about being the second-ever WOTW. ;)


M: Congratulations on becoming WOTW of the week!I guess it was a big surprise. How does it make you feel?


ComicalCrafty: Thank you so much! It sure was - I feel so honored! I'm grateful that even amateur writers like myself have opportunities like this to earn some recognition, and I'm glad that people out there think my writing's any good. :smt003

M: Yes! this is one of the main points WOTW was created for and I'm glad you recognize the fact that you don't need to be the most famous writer on YWS. This is about your quality as a writer.
do you think you deserve the WOTW award?


CC: Do I think I deserve it? Hm.... I don't, really, to be honest. I'm not going to beat myself up about that, though. I'm happy that there are people out there who think I do. :)

M: I believe you fully are worthy of it. We have a very good panel of judges who are unbiased in their voting, so I believe you are well deserving of the title. Do you have any tips for writers, or any piece of work which you are proud of?


CC: LOL, okay! :D Thank you!!

My advice for my fellow aspiring writers out there is to always ignore that evil inner critic that tells you your work is no good. (If you have one, that is. If you don't, you're very lucky.... :wink:) The important thing is, get that precious storyline down on paper in its entirety. Editing can come later.

Oh, and always jot down the spur-of-the-moment ideas, phrases, or sentences that pop into your head. Store 'em in your "mind palace", if need be. (Notebooks work pretty well too, though.) I don't care how random or nonsensical they seem at first - they'll have a context later, maybe in a bestselling novel! It's those notions I've stored away in my own "mind palace" that keep my writing going on those rainy, writer's block-ridden days.

While I've yet to share an excerpt with YWS, I'm quite proud of a novelette I've been working on for the last month; it's shaping up nicely, in my opinion, and I'm feeling optimistic about how it's progressing. My current working title is Secrets in Seaport and I am hoping to self-publish it when I'm done! :elephant:


M: Those are some very important things to remember as writers. Thank you for your time CC, and enjoy the title!


CC: Thank you so much again for this great honor! It was a pleasure chatting with you. :)



When all is said and done, I think we can agree these two are awesome. Awesome writers, awesome people, awesome everything. And if you’re jealous you haven’t been elected WOTW yet, don’t be! The next one could be you, or the one after that, or the one after that, or... well, you get the idea.

But the only way for you to be Writer of the Week is to get out there and write! So go, shoo, write something! Or I’ll send an angry mob after you! :D


My thanks to @Lucrezia for helping me make this double-awesome article. She is the one who threatened you :D All was in good fun. I hope you enjoyed it and be sure to come back next week for the next WOTW. Who knows, it may be you! Until next time!

~Messenger
~Lucrezia





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Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:10 am
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GREEN ROOM GALLERY
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by KnightTeen < PM: >

Another HVA this week.
Alert the media!

Oh....
Wait.....
I am the media.

Never mind.

Mortal Zero - Part VIII was written by @SetSytes. If you want to read the parts of this story that come before this chapter, they can be found here .

SetSytes joined us back in January, and has been posting all of the chapters of his novel ever since.

WARNING: These chapters all have a very heavy rating of 18+ with all of the warnings attatched. If violence, language, and maturity ain't yo thing, (I'm okay with the other two but I have no idea what being mature means :) ) then stay far away and find something with magical unicorns that eat rainbows and poop butterflies.

That last sentence was so painful to write.





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Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:10 am
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THIS WEEK'S ROUNDUP - 3/16
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written by megsug < PM: >

The links are coming! The links are coming!


For The Walking Dead obsessed, I've found the club for you. The numbers are small right now, but I'm sure they'll grow soon enough. @icannothearthings wants to know quite a few things:



What/who's your favorite:

Character?

Episode?

Character Death?

Plot Twist?




Carol's the best… Just saying. Come on if you love all things Walking Dead!


@CowLogic has started a delightful discussion all about socialism. @Lebensborn brings a great perspective, defining 'modern socialism:'



The idea of modern Socialism is to have a mix economy, where safety nets can remain strong and where human production, happiness and wish fulfillment be promoted.




He speaks of Sweden and how successful that country is despite the high taxes. What do you think about socialism?


@Tevatron has created a thread where we can admit our procrastination and how much writing we didn't do. His is:



I spent the whole day developing the backstories of side characters and only wrote 100 words of the actual story.




What shame are you harboring?


March 23rd marks the beginning of an exciting competition. Participants are expected to write a chapter a week. If you fail to write a chapter, you're out of the running. The last writer standing gets:



The prize for the winner begins at 5000 points, and is liable to increase as the weeks progress. Other prizes will be awarded along the way for reaching various targets and completing challenges.



If you aren't feeling like you can stand up to the challenge, then @Tenyo needs reviewers and people to donate points. Your planning starts now. May the best writer win.





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Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:12 am
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SHAMELESS PLUGS
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written by SquillsBot < PM: >

We love to run articles and questions, but we also love to advertise for you. Let people know about your new blog, a poem or story you’re looking for reviews on, or a forum thread you’d like more traffic on through Squills’ Shameless Plugs. PM @SquillsBot with the exact formatting of your advertisement, contained in the following code.

Code: Select all
Place advertisement here. Make sure you include a title!


And now for this week's Shameless Plugs!


None for this week! Be sure to PM any Shameless Plugs to @SquillsBot.





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Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:12 am
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SUBSCRIBERS
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written by SquillsBot < PM: >

Find enspoiler-ed a list of our subscribers!

Spoiler! :
@SquillsBot@Carina@ShadowVyper@ArcticMonkey@Hannah • @Avalon • @Baal • @VeerenVKS • @megsug • @BlackNether12 • @thewritersdream • @Lapis • @Aley@Rydia@Alpha@skorlir@KnightTeen • @AriaAdams • @neko@Aquila90@DudeMcGuy@kayfortnight@Cole@Blackwood@manisha@fortis • @HighTop • @cgirl1118@KittyCatMeow • @Strange • @ChocoCookie@carbonCore@Auxiira@Iggy@Blues@Paracosm@Sparkle@FireFox@Dakushau • @AlexSushiDog • @wizkid515@yubbies21 • @ZLYF • @FatCowsSis@CelticaNoir@BenFranks@TimmyJake@whitewolfpuppy@WallFlower@Magenta@BrittanyNicole


Do you, too, want to be enspoiler-ed and receive a personal weekly notification when the Squills newsletter is posted? Shoot a PM over to SquillsBot to let him know, and you'll be pinged along with the next issue!








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