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Sun Apr 20, 2014 5:24 am
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SquillsBot says...


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!


Spoiler! :

General Editors

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Literary Reporter
Available - PM SquillsBot if interested

Community Reporter
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Resources Reporter

Storybook Reporter

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Poetry Enchantress
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General Reporters

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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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Sun Apr 20, 2014 5:25 am
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written by Iggy < PM: >

This article is specifically to target all of you non-poets. Why? Because any poet who is a faithful poet knows that April is NaPo! What is NaPo, you ask? NaPo is National Poetry Writing Month! It's NaNo's (National Novel Writing Month) twin sister and it focuses on achieving the goal of 30 poems during the month of April. Most traditional poets go for a poem a day, but if you are busy or unable to get one in a certain day, then you have the next days of April to play catch up!

YWS has a very special NaPo forum specifically for this event. Right now, there are currently 37 YWSers participating in NaPo! Here's an official list of all the participants and their poetry threads:

Spoiler! :
1. @Adnamarine's 30 Reasons to be Happy
2. @Aley's After Long Explorings Yesterday
3. @Audy's Audy's Awkward Adventures [2014]
4. @Bellator's Bella's Ballads
5. @blueafrica's Into the Wild Blue(Africa)
6. @CardDragon's If I was the other,the mother
7. @CelticaNoir's The Mausoleum of Words
8. @Deanie's Deanie's NaPo! (Beginner ^^)
9. @ERZA's ERZA's Attempts at poetry ^^!
10. @fortis' fortis's Fortress Fantisque
11. @Hannah's Crippled and Crawling
12. @hightop's Hightop's hip and happening poetry
13. @Iggy's Iggy's NaPo Attempts [2014]
14. @indieeloise's Indie's Incandescent Inscriptions (2014)
15. @Isha's she tastes like skittle shots and feels like glitter
16. @Karzkin's K's Kyrielle
17. @Laure's Laure's linguistic letters
18. @Lava's Igneous Rocks collide
19. @lostthought's The Lost Poetry
20. @Lumi's natural anthem
21. @megsug's Megies' Metrical Musings
22. @Meshugenah's Poe-Tree
23. @niteowl's Niteowl's Nest
24. @noninjaspresent's Noni's Nails Napo
25. @PenguinAttack's The Sibilance of Sillage
26. @Pompadour's Serenading surreality
27. @rhiasofia's Rhia's Rhymes
28. @rosey%20unicorn's roses and rain
29. @Rydia's Lost in Translation [Rydia's NaPo 2014]
30. @ScarlettFire's Scari's Cove of Mystical Wonders
31. @sparktoflame's I tread softly over penny wishes
32. @subtlesanity's Subtle's subtle sentiments
33. @Tenyo's Ten's Teeny Poetrees!
34. @thewritersdream The Dreamland (2014 NaPo)
35. @Venonymous' Billet-doux
36. @WindSailor's An Ocean of Poems
37. @wordsandwishes' A Darker Door

Alongside your personal NaPo attempts, there's also an event called April Madness that's been going on for a while now for the month of April. What is that, you ask? Well, as stated by one of the judges, @Rydia:

18 Poets face off against one another to be named the supreme poet of YWS! They compete in a series of rounds, each poet submitting a poem to be compared with their opponent's.

Other events, hosted the Poetry Crew, can be found in the Poetry Discussion and Tips forum and majority have been put together by @Audy, one of the Global Moderators here on the YWS staff, the current Featured Member, and one of our most cherished poets! We just had to sit down for an interview with her.

Squills: Hello Audy! Can you tell us what NaPo is about?

Audy: Sure thing, so National Poetry Writing Month is a spin-off of National Novel Writing Month, where instead of shooting for reaching a certain word count, we shoot for a complete poem a day for 30 days. The basic premise of both NaPo and NaNo is writing everyday :3

S: That sounds like fun! How's it going so far with your NaPo attempts?

A: It's going pretty good in that the stuff I churn out I am proud of. I'm definitely writing everyday, though I'm behind in completing the poems, but I'm confident I'll catch up ;-)

S: How confident are you with your poems?

A: Today I am happy in that I think they do what I want them to do.

A month from now, I would feel like they're not good enough, and that's apt to say. I feel like everything is unedited in the sense that there's always room for improving, cleaning, expanding, clarifying, new ideas, etc. But I'm happy that I have some bone so that I can look at it in the future and get enough of a spark to kindle something better. There are times where you write a poem and you don't want to go back to it, it's just done. I don't feel like that with any of these, and that's the feeling I want after I've "completed" something. I dunno if that makes much sense xD

I want to write a poem where I can read it 10 months from now, and from that reading, creating 10 new poems out of just the one idea. I want poems that create things out of themselves. And so when I "finish" a poem, in many ways I feel they're very unfinished, I am happy with that feeling, but it's not a "confident" feeling. It's a very uncertain one, but it's a happy/exciting one. WHenever you are creating something, that's a good feeling [...] but not confidence at all xD I feel like anyone can come around and hate it, or not get what I want, and that's gotta be okay too.

S: So how much has poetry changed your life?

A: Poetry is excellent, it's like getting a Hogwarts letter. You start in year one and it's all fun and stuff, and the more years you put into it, the wider that experience gets. Just as someone's taste in music can develop and change, and later as you get older and you get these experiences of going to concerts and meeting people/friends/family/community/fandom by your music taste, poetry is the same way.

This weekend I wasn't on much on YWS, I was actually at a pub in my local community called the java monkey, where we do slam poetry/mic nights/ have coffee/signings. It was jammed packed of people from the neighborhood/tourists and whatanamazingnight. You learn a lot about yourself, your passions, your craft :3 It doesnt have to be poetry, if you pursue *anything* for long enough, you will find that.

S: That sounds like a lot of fun! Is that what inspired all of these awesome NaPo events? Can you tell me a bit more about those?

A: Yeah! So the inspiration behind that was actually's 30 ways to celebrate NaPo, and essentially what they do is they gather an aggregation of schools, libraries, booksellers, poets and get them together to celebrate poetry and its place in our culture. It's always been a very tight-knit community those poets :^P They're notorious for hiding everything they do and accomplish and I wanted to show YWS like: Poetry is everywhere and there are a million ways to poet, and I wanted to bring awareness to that

S: So what are some of the events that have been going on and what more will we be seeing for the rest of NaPo?

A: I really want to get Mic-Night and Movie Night up! Though that's gonna require a lot more planning than just a single day I came to realize xD Those events really call for a group of people to come together, step out of a comfort zone and just have fun with it :3 It's enjoyable. We'll be looking at various poetry forms: graffiti poetry, refrigerator magnet poetry, poems on pavements/chalk! Arts & crafts poetry! Lots of fun stuff to look forward to. What we've done so far is I've been focusing using the beginning half to look at different poetry resources/sources -- we've got a poetry tip jar, some poetry games, some discussions and links to free poetry books and magazines to subscribe to.

S: This is all so exciting! One last question: in fifteen words or less, why should one attempt to NaPo either this year or next year?

A: NaPo and just let go. Sing your heart out.

S: Thank you Audy!

A: Yep, anytime. ^^

That's all for this week, folks! If you aren't participating in NaPo, know that it's never too late to jump in now! And if you choose not to this week, there's always next year. Mark the calenders for April 1st, 2015, and happy poeting!

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Sun Apr 20, 2014 5:26 am
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written by OliveDreams < PM: >


How amazing would it be to see your own artwork displayed across the world?

Well, this month there is an amazing competition going on that could just make this dream a reality!

The Official Flyer Competition.

We need you to design a new, shiny, jaw-dropping flyer for YWS. Like me, I'm sure many of you have fallen in love with our home here & it's so important for us to spread the word of our beloved site.

The wonderful @Rosey%20Unicorn explains this feeling in a nutshell;

YWS relies on its members to continue the community forward and continue surviving! Promoting writing and nurturing young writers has always been one of the top goals of the site, and it can only do that if we get a constant influx of new people who fall in love just as much as you have. Spreading information about the site is a way of giving back everything YWS has given to you.

So come on over to the Official Competition Thread!

Enter your name, find out more about the judging criteria & size up your competition.

Rosey Unicorn has also done some great design tips to help get you started! :D

The competition closes on the 11th of May!


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Sun Apr 20, 2014 5:27 am
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written by SparkToFlame < PM: >

Okay so you're scrolling through YWS, and you spot a piece of controversial poetry or prose or article, and you decide "Hey, I'll review that."
You want to make sure, even if your views differ from the writer's that you are respectful. Here are some golden rules to follow when reviewing both prose and poetry that is controversial.

The Golden Rules

Golden Rule 1. Comment on the piece itself and it’s effectiveness, not on the controversial topic itself. Save the debate for the debate forums.
Golden Rule 2. While it’s bad taste to debate with the writer about the topic, you can discuss its effectiveness in the piece itself.
Golden Rule 3. Always remain respectful and avoid slurs on their opinions, even if you disagree. Also, keep your opinions to yourself on whether you agree with the other reviewers on their opinions of the controversy.

Always remember--respect. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, even if they're not very popular. For instance, my mother doesn't like chocolate, but we aren't mean to her because of it! Just be nice, and be a friend. Also, Never ever argue with another reviewer about their review. The review is between the reviewer and the writer, not anyone else.

If you do see a review on a piece that isn't nice though, please report it to the moderator staff!

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Sun Apr 20, 2014 5:27 am
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written by Messenger < PM: >

Hello once again it's me, Messenger, bringing you another Featured Member interview. This time I got to sit down with the lovely @Audy to talk about what this honor means to her!

Messenger: Congratulations on getting honored as the Featured Member for these next two weeks Audy!! How are you feeling about it right now, and what was your reaction when you first got the news? Did you do a little dance around your sofa?

Audy: Ah thank you! It's a cool feeling because you get glomped by the whole of the site and there are lots of people that I feel like: WE NEED TO HANGOUT MORE or you know, chat more and stuff xD So that was more my reaction on my part, just glad that I got this opportunity to get a bit closer to this community of awesome peeps, this is why I do the work that I do! Thanks for asking ^_^

M: A celebrity overnight I know the feeling. i mean you know I joined the site and it was like instant . . .erm *clears throat* anyway . . . So, you have been on here for a long time. did you ever dream or hope of being the Featured Member?

A: LOL, nah I'm no where near a celebrity as you are Mess. I'm too lame! It's kind of funny because there was this one review day I did a bunch of reviews (and I mean A LOT) and I'm not going to lie, I was eyeing that page.

I didn't get it, but you know, I still felt great about doing those reviews! It was never really about that, more just about writing and learning to write, and you learn a lot just by going out there and reading people's works. It turns out though, a month later, I got offered a position as a JMOD instead :O So it all worked out, I was totally satisfied with that. Mods don't normally get Featured Member, so it never crossed my mind. I mean, I definitely feel doubly honored! But like I said, it's never been about that xD It's always been about the writing and the poetry. (But yeah it's nice, won't deny that xD)

M: Me a celebrity *Looks in the mirror* . . . let's stay with you shall we Anyway it is awesome to see you so excited. Do you have any tips for any of the young writers here on the site, as moving up on YWS and as a writer?

A: Aw, you're a fun interviewer so it makes it easy to be excited.

I definitely suggest to try to be active and participate, whether there's a workshop, an event, whether you like to welcome new members or console people through their blogs, or start storybooks, or facilitate discussion. The best advice I've ever received was just to pursue your passion! Make a niche out of that and always aim to improve little by little.

If you're writing a review, it doesn't even have to be the MOST reviews ever (@Snoink's got everybody beat I'm afraid) but if you take one thing: say you really like poetry, say you really like rhyming in poetry - and you give the best review you can on rhyming - be detailed, be thoughtful, be knowledgeable - that is all the difference.

Say you really like fiction, say you really like characters - you give the best review you can on characters and you try to aim to have insight and to help somebody else, that is all the difference. When you review, or do something helpful because you enjoy it, that I think is what all the featured members / mods / writers of the week and such on this site have in a common.

M: I don't think I've ever seen a mod get featured. Why is this?

A: Mods don't usually get featured because we're the ones picking people to be featured and it'd be totally biased to feature ourselves. Vain mods. Also to do with how we want to recognize members of the site who do good work and mods are already recognized.

M: So was it a bit awkward to see the mods in their super-secret hideout voting on you? Or were you stoked?

A: I actually didn't get the chance to put a stop to it! Cause I was gone that weekend and then when I logged back in it was already done!

M: So you would have stopped it, then?! Why? D:

A: I WAS TRYING TO! xD For the same reasons above, to recognize members of the site who do good work and fah, I don't need recognition.

M: Well enjoy this, because you deserve it. Thank you for your very helpful advice and relish the rest of your time being FMed!!

I hope you enjoyed that interview as much as I did. Audy is a great person and if you haven't already, go say hello to her. She is a really good writer!
See you in two weeks with the next Featured Member! And who knows, it could be YOU!


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Sun Apr 20, 2014 5:27 am
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written by OliveDreams < PM: >

This week, the lovely @SubtleSanity is with us to share their most precious book recommendations!

I’m so excited!

Something New:

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood


Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read.

SubtleSanity: I wouldn't call this not well-known because is one of the most famous books in the world. However, perhaps it is not known in the YWS society. The book's name is called The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. This book is one of those amazing, stand alone books that will make you see life as it is today in a brand new way. The Handmaid's tale is not a smooth sailing journey, in fact is anything but that. The book is set in Gilean, which Is America in the future (they don't tell you the exact date. So you get the sense it might happen anytime). Where women is used as a birth machine and nothing else, as brutal as that sounds. It makes you question liberty, especially at the heart of it. It makes you question the values we have today, is a challenging read and a very controversial one. I will only recommend this book if you can stomach the brutal reality of society' today or what it will be like in the future years. So, if you're looking for a cute. home-rated story, this will probably kill you.

Something Familiar:

The Assassin Trilogy by Robin Hobb


In a faraway land where members of the royal family are named for the virtues they embody, one young boy will become a walking enigma.

SS: So, being a fantasy fool. I would obviously recommend something in the fantasy genre. In this case, Robin Hobb. I know many of you had heard of Tolkien, Martin, Pullman but how many has heard of Hobb? I would highly recommend The Assassin Trilogy by Robin Hobb, as it is a fascinating read with characters none like others. Her world-building skill is absolutely astonishing, she develops her characters thoroughly and in-depth throughout the whole novel. The plot, which may seen on the surface slow will capture your breath until the last page and the characters and plot will be embedded in your mind for a very long time. (The first book is called, Assassin's Apprentice.)

Something Loved:

The Assassins Trilogy and The Tawny Man Trilogy by Robin Hobb


Robin Hobb’s best loved characters, Fitz , The Fool and Nighteyes the wolf, face new adventures and trials in the first book of The Tawny Man trilogy.

SS: Once again, Robin Hobb's Assassin Triology or the Tawny Man (which is the sequel). Though I prefer the first two books of the Assassin Triology. I can never get tire of reading about Fitz, Fool or Chade. I still discover more things as I read it over each time, each time I learn something and I never tire of how she describes her characters, how every single little thing contributes to the overall picture. It’s a book I've read many times.

Thank you SubtleSanity! Some amazing answers there.

As a fantasy fanatic, I’ve ashamedly never read anything by Hobb. You’ve now pushed me in her direction! :D

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Sun Apr 20, 2014 5:28 am
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written by Tenyo < PM: >

This Week in Resources

We’re back in action! This week focusing on one of the most difficult aspects of writing: the characters. Why are they so difficult? Because if you’re anything like me, those characters are people. They’re selfish and stubborn, and often will take on lives of their own whether or not you give them permission to. A novel is a long time to spend with someone you don’t get along with, so learning playing nice is essential.


Some of you may have already heard this one. I was given it in chat a while ago and I still adore it. Your task is to punctuate the following sentence so that it makes perfect, grammatical sense;

“James while John had had had had had had had had had had had a better effect on the teacher”

Look at it. Keep looking. Are you feeling nauseous yet? Let’s move on.

Creating Them

It’s spring time! You know what that means? It means my neighbours get to watch in confusion and awe as I sit on the garden table with my nose pressed against a plant pot, willing the seeds to grow faster.

The easiest way to do this is to bury the seed a millimetre below the soil, and inevitably a tiny white shoot will spring out within a day. After about four days it will already have wilted in the sun. Why? Because it’s too young and too pale to get burned just yet. That little part that’s been exposed isn’t a leaf or a shoot, it’s barely a root.

For the sweet little speckles to stand a chance they need to be buried deeper so that the roots can spread before it dares to peak out of the soil. Some people even leave them in darkness for a few days until the shoots come up.

I find characters are the same. Sew them too shallow and make them grow too fast, and as soon as they come into the light they’re going to get burned. Forget to water and tend to them, and they’ll die before they even make it to the surface, but tip too much on them at once and they’ll rot in the soil.

They all start off as tiny seeds. Beautiful, powerful little seeds, but fragile none the less. In the excitement of novelling it’s all too easy to forget how crucial this preliminary time is.

That’s what @Wolfare1 seems to be struggling with now.

How your character develops through the novel can wait until they’re ready. Making them unique and real to begin with is the first step.

So how do you create your characters and bring them to life? Add your own wisely wisdoms to this thread on Creating Characters .

Naming Them

I was flicking through the Name Central not too long ago, and it’s actually quite a fun thread to browse. There are so many creative ways to come up with names for your characters.

First of all you’ve got the Fortune Tellers. These are the people who really look deep into the meanings behind character names. For them, it can take hours, days, or even weeks for them to decide on a name that perfectly embodies their characters- even if nobody except them will ever know why that name was chosen.

Then there’s the Dedicators. I love these guys. A Dedicator is someone who, consciously or subconsciously, names their characters after people they know. It could be a favourite person off TV, a name from another author’s novel, or even someone from their family. Dedicators are also the ones who choose people they dislike and use them as scapegoats when they need a dead body to appear, so be nice to them.

A step down (or up, whichever way you’re looking) are the Listers. Find a cool name, add it to the list, and there’s a pretty looking supply of names when they’re needed. It takes less time, avoids the panic, and dodges future law suits. In my personal opinion these are probably the most sensible of people.

Lastly are the Wingers, so named because they simply wing it. They name their characters after objects on their desktop, or random people being gossiped about in the background, or flip open a dictionary until they find a word that looks vaguely like a name.

So what are you? A Fortune teller, Dedicator, Lister or Winger? Go post your method in the thread and see how you compare to others.

Killing Them

From ink they were born and to ink they shall return. Of course, some last a little longer than others. Personally, I’d hate to be one of the characters in @mephistophelesangel ’s novels!

Death scenes can be quite epic. Consider Bambi, Land Before Time, and Up. Don’t lie, I know you sobbed your heart out.

As writers it’s perfectly natural to fall in love with a character. They’re our children after all. We create them, we nurture them, and then in one quick twist we have to kill them off.

That’s where the problem comes in. I find that Grief and Ignorance are two of the biggest, thickest, ugliest black clouds that can impair our judgement and when it comes to writing sometimes we need that extra bit of help to see clearly.

Grief; the feeling left behind when you lose something precious. The problem with killing a character you care about is the desire to make someone else understand how much it hurts- especially your reader. It’s so easy to overdo things at this point, to fill the page with adjectives of misery, descriptions of tears and crying until the whole thing becomes flooded with clichés.

It gets worse. This isn’t just a death, this is a novel. Someone is going to walk right in and critique your carefully crafted funeral, and it will sting like a hornet to the eyeball, believe me.

What about the opposite though? Ignorance. That man who just got caught in the crossfire between two factions within your novel, he was someone’s husband. He was a father, a quiet but polite work colleague, the kind of guy who buys the Sunturday News and drops his change into the charity box.

The guy who accidentally shot him (and who dies in the next chapter) is just a lost kid who turned to a life of crime in hope to pay off his grandmothers medical bills. She’s all he has left and he’ll do anything for her. Almost anything. Becoming a murderer wasn’t part of his plan.

If you were to buff your novel out with these things then it would slow down the pace, and even make the reader stop and think. We don’t want that, we want speed and action, so we ignore the fact that these people are people and leave them as blank, nameless entities.

How many nameless people can you realistically kill before it becomes painful to read?

It all varies, and like with everything there’s no exact science to getting it right. If you’ve got any opinions and tips of your own about killing off characters, they’d be much appreciated! Head over to How much is enough? over in the writers corner.

Fortune Cookie Wisdom

Did you get the answer?

“James, while John had had “had”, had had “had had”; “had had” had had a better effect on the teacher”

Writing is a deceptively complex art. A painter must learn to mix colours, understand the different paints and what effects each stroke has in various areas of light. Putting brush to canvas is only half of the battle. Writing is the same. It’s not just about fancy adjectives, much of it is grasping the basics of grammar and punctuation that allow us to make the most of them.

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written by BlueAfrica < PM: >

Probably the most well-known piece of advice amongst writers is “show, don’t tell.” Lately, however, there seems to be a lot of confusion about what that means. Writers post prologues full of nothing but backstory. Reviewers confuse description with telling. People write statuses asking if anyone can explain this piece of advice.

Today I’m here to clear it up, as far as I can. Let’s take a look at telling, showing, and description to discuss the differences between them and the appropriate use of each.

Telling. This is the kind of writing we’re all warned against. But what does “don’t tell” mean?

Telling is when you explain something to the readers without dramatizing it or letting them form their own opinions. For example:

1. Steve was angry.
2. The landscape was beautiful.
3. The two brothers greeted each other.

Why are we told not to do this? Because a piece that’s all telling reads more like a summary than a story. Not only is it less exciting than dramatization (for reader and writer both), but it also lacks emotion. You can tell us that Steve’s angry, but we won’t care as much as we would if you showed us how angry he is through his actions and words.

That being said, there are some times when telling is appropriate.

“What!?” you say.

Yes, friends, it’s true. Sometimes it actually is better to tell than show. Let’s take another look at example three of the above list: “The two brothers greeted each other.”

You could dramatize this, depending on the circumstances. If the brothers haven’t seen each other in years, if they’re angry with each other, if one thought the other was dead—in any of these scenarios, you would want to follow the usual advice and show, because you’ll end up with an interesting bit of dialogue like this:

“Hello, Henry,” Joel said.
His brother stared at him. “I thought you were dead.”

However, if your characters are ordinary brothers who see each other more or less every day, a dramatized greeting would look more like this:

“Hey, Henry,” Joel said. “How’s it going?”
“I’m doing good. What’s up with you?”
“Nothing much.”

And so on and so forth until they get to the meat of their conversation, which might be that their mother has died, a wife has left one of them, or one of them wants to get gender reassignment surgery. In this scenario, because their greeting is dull and superfluous, it’s better to tell the readers that the brothers greeted each other and then jump into the good stuff.

Basically, you have a decision to make about what to dramatize and what to sum up instead. Other examples of times to use telling include passage of time if nothing important is happening or a brief explanation of a minor character’s relationship to the protagonist without using a flashback.

Showing. Showing is the opposite of telling, so it’s when we do decide to dramatize what’s happening in the story. In general, these are the things you should dramatize:

1. Character emotions. i.e., “Steve slammed the phone down” vs “Steve was angry.”
2. Important dialogue. i.e., Joel tells Henry that their mother has died vs the two brothers exchanging pleasantries about the nice weather they’ve been having lately.
3. Events important to plot or character development. i.e., Lillian meets a mysterious stranger vs Lillian brushes her teeth (unless, of course, you use her tooth-brushing to reveal something about her character).

In other words, scenes should make up the bulk of the story. Telling should be used sparingly, to paraphrase superfluous dialogue or summarize ordinary events and passage of time.

If you find—or are told—that too much of your story is telling, don’t despair. It’s easier to fix than you might think. All you have to do is expand on the things you’ve already written.

Imagine this scenario. You’ve written, “Then the two armies fought. When the battle was over…”

Wait, what? There was an epic battle and all you’re going to say about it is “Then the two armies fought”? Where’s the action? Where’s the danger, the death, the heartache?

If this is backstory, or a character telling the story of the event to another character, you’re fine. But let’s say this is your climax. In that case, one line isn’t enough. Expand on this line by giving us details of the battle—not necessarily the armies’ movements or stratagem, but the smells, the sounds. What does your viewpoint character experience during the battle? How does she feel?

Of course, once you decide how she feels, you can’t just say, “Lillian was scared.” You have to show that, too: in sweat, in a pounding heart, in a dry mouth or an inability to distinguish between the battling figures in all the confusion.

Treat the parts that are too tellish as an outline and beef them up with sensory details. Which brings us, in a roundabout fashion, to the third and slightly out-of-place kind of writing I want to talk about.

Description. Why am I including description in an article about showing versus telling? Because people tend to get confused when it comes to description. It’s not action, after all, so it must be telling. Right?

In reality, description can be told or shown just like anything else. Take example two from the section on telling: “The landscape was beautiful.”

This is description, but it’s telling because you, the writer, are telling us that the landscape was beautiful, rather than showing us the landscape and letting us decide for ourselves. Now look at that versus an example where the description is shown, not told.

1. The landscape was beautiful.
2. The landscape rolled away from her in green hills that ended only with the horizon.

Okay, I got a little poetic there in my shown description, but it illustrates my point. “The landscape was beautiful” doesn’t paint a picture of the setting, though it tells us in general what the setting is like (beautiful). The second example, however, gives readers an image of the setting (rolling hills as far as the eye can see).

The difference between telling and showing, even in description, is a big one. You can tell your reader certain small things that don’t need to be dramatized. Just remember that it’s almost always better to let the reader form her own opinion of the characters and setting than to simply tell her “the landscape was beautiful” or “Steve was angry.” Trust your readers. They’ll get it if you show them.

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written by Messenger < PM: >

Welcome everyone! I have been gone for the past two weeks due to sickness, but this week I was back and kicking! @Pompadour was our amazing Writer Of The Week, and although she has a busy schedule she was kind of enough to give me some of her time!

Messenger: Hey Pompadour! So, the famous cookie-spammer who everyone loves or hates, is now the Writer of the Week! How'd you react to the news?

Pompadour: I was actually pretty surprised because as far as I'm concerned, my poetry stinks. It's just this accumulation of nonsense and the whimsy my brain puts to words, so yeah, I think my eyes popped out of my head when I saw the message. It's a great honour, really! :D

(People hate me? Hm. Life's a cookie, I guess...)

M: haha no you are a fantastic writer Pomps! You better not forget it :) So, how does it feel now that you've had a few days to recover?

P: I guess the fact's sort of sinking in. Slowly. Writer of the Week is an amazing idea; it isn't just a boost of encouragement -- it's recognition. That's what every writer wants, isn't it, no matter what form it takes? Personally, there are tons of people I know who are deserving of WOTW, and it's always an excitement to see who's taking home the gold every week! (Excuse the cliched metaphor, haha. :P )

M: Glad that it is such a boost of morale for you. That is a lot of what WOTW is for, recognizing those who are less seen or don't realize how good they really are! Do you have any tips you'd like to share?

P: Write, write and write some more. Write on the walls, on your desk, on your hands and on every available surface that doesn't bite or sting! I might be exaggerating here, but experience is the key. Trial and error. Lots and lots of error. You know how you have bonds of blood? Think of writing as a bond of ink. When you feel passionately towards your writing, your writing will feel you just as passionately back. Don't ever take criticism negatively. If someone's criticizing your work, it's because it had potential, and you can work on it to make it better.

M: Write on the walls? My goodness my mother would scalp me alive!! :P It's a very true thing though Writing is the only way to get better at writing!
Thank you for your time Pompadour! Do you have any links you'd like to share?

P: I shall shamelessly promote my novel here!
Elementarni - Chapter 1.1
Elementarni - Chapter One; Part 1.2
And I'd like to thank all the wonderful, wonderful people who voted for me! (Psst, either they're totally blind, or just really, really nice. XD)

With that Pompadour was off, no doubt to write some more fantastic poetry for all of us to read. :) If you'd like to read some of her things just click on those links and enjoy! :)
And so concludes another week of amazingness on YWS. The upcoming WOTW will be based on their work in Short stories, so be sure to subscribe this link: Writer of the Week in order to be informed when the writer is chosen.
And if you would like to join The Academy and help with the nominating and voting each week, OR you would like to join the WOTW Fan Club where lots of exciting stuff happens, both places on linked in my signature!

And now I must be off. Till next week!! :)


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Written by whitewolfpuppy < PM: >

The story of Re

At the beginning, before there was any land of Egypt, all was darkness, and there was nothing but a great waste of water called Nun. The power of Nun was such that there arose out of the darkness a great shining egg, and this was Re.

Re was the powerful god. More or so the creator of the Egyptians, giving the gods their form. His power and the secret of it lay in his hidden name; but if he spoke other names, that which he named came into being. "I am Khepera at the dawn, and Re at noon, and Atum in the evening," he said. And the sun rose and passed across the sky and set for the first time.

Then he named Shu, and the first winds blew; he named Tefnut the spitter, and the first rain fell. Next he named Geb, and the earth came into being; he named the goddess Nut, and she was the sky arched over the earth with her feet on one horizon and her hands on the other; he named Hapi, and the great River Nile flowed through Egypt and made it fruitful. After this Re named all things that are upon the earth, and they grew. Last of all he named mankind, and there were men and women in the land of Egypt.

As soon as Re created mankind, he formed into one of them. Living the life of the first Pharaoh, ruling over the whole country for thousands and thousands of years, and giving such harvests that for ever afterwards the Egyptians spoke of the good things "which happened in the time of Re”.

As the time of man, Re grew old and old. In time men no longer feared him or obeyed his laws. They laughed at him, saying: "Look at Re! His bones are like silver, his flesh like gold, his hair is the color of lapis lazuli!” Re grew angry, upset with mankind and the way they treated and spoke to him. He called a meeting of the gods due to his rage.

Soon the gods gathered about Re in his Secret Place, and the goddesses also. But mankind knew nothing of what was happening, and continued to jeer at Re and to break his commandments. Then Re spoke to Nun before the assembled gods: "Eldest of the gods, you who made me; and you gods whom I have made: look upon mankind who came into being at a glance of my Eye. See how men plot against me; hear what they say of me; tell me what I should do to them. For I will not destroy mankind until I have heard what you advise.”

Then Nun said: "My son Re, the god greater than he who made him and mightier than those whom he has created, turn your mighty Eye upon them and send destruction upon them in the form of your daughter, the goddess Sekhmet."

Re answered: "Even now fear is falling upon them and they are fleeing into the desert and hiding themselves in the mountains in terror at the sound of my voice."

"Send against them the glance of your Eye in the form Sekhmet!" cried all the other gods and goddesses, bowing before Re until their foreheads touched the ground.

So at the terrible glance from the Eye of Re his daughter came into being, the fiercest of all goddesses. Like a lion she rushed upon her prey, and her chief delight was in slaughter, and her pleasure was in blood. At the bidding of Re she came into Upper and Lower Egypt to slay those who had scorned and disobeyed him: she killed them among the mountains which lie on either side of the Nile, and down beside the river, and in the burning deserts. All whom she saw she slew, rejoicing in slaughter and the taste of blood.

Now for many nights the Nile ran red with blood, and Sekhmet's feet were red as she went through all the land of Egypt slaying and slaying.

Presently Re looked out over the earth once more, and now his heart was stirred with pity for men, even though they had rebelled against him. But none could stop the cruel goddess Sekhmet, not even Re himself: she must cease from slaying of her own accord -and Re saw that this could only come about through cunning. So he gave his command.

The messengers sped on their way and returned with the blood-red ochre to Heliopolis, the city of Re where stand the stone obelisks with points of gold that are like fingers pointing to the sun. It was night when they came to the city, but all day the women of Heliopolis had been brewing beer as Re bade them.

Re came to where the beer stood waiting in seven thousand jars, and the gods came with him to see how by his wisdom he would save mankind. "Mingle the red ochre of Elephantine with the barley-beer," said Re, and it was done, so that the beer gleamed red in the moonlight like the blood of men.

"Now take it to the place where Sekhmet proposes to slay men when the sun rises," said Re. And while it was still night the seven thousand jars of beer were taken and poured out over the fields so that the ground was covered to the depth of nine inches -- three times the measure of the palm of a man's hand-with the strong beer, whose other name is "sleep-maker".

When day came Sekhmet the terrible came also, licking her lips at the thought of the men whom she would slay. She found the place flooded and no living creature in sight; but she saw the beer which was the colour of blood, and she thought it was blood indeed -- the blood of those whom she had slain.

Then she laughed with joy, and her laughter was like the roar of a lioness hungry for the kill. Thinking that it was indeed blood, she stooped and drank. Again and yet again she drank, laughing with delight; and the strength of the beer mounted to her brain, so that she could no longer slay.

At last she came reeling back to where Re was waiting; that day she had not killed even a single man.

Then Re said: "You come in peace, sweet one." And her name was changed to Hathor, and her nature was changed also to the sweetness of love and the strength of desire. And henceforth Hathor laid low men and women only with the great power of love. But for ever after her priestesses drank in her honour of the beer of Heliopolis coloured with the red ochre of Elephantine when they celebrated her festival each New Year.

So mankind was saved, and Re continued to rule old though he was. Geb and Nut had children: these were the younger gods whose day had come to rule, and their names were Osiris and Isis, Nephthys and Seth. Of these Isis was the wisest: she was cleverer than a million men, her knowledge was greater than that of a million of the noble dead. She knew all things in heaven and earth, except only for the Secret Name of Re, and that she now set herself to learn by guile.

Now Re was growing older every day. As he passed across the land of Egypt his head shook from side to side with age, his jaw trembled, and he dribbled at the mouth as do the very old among men. As his spittle fell upon the ground it made mud, and this Isis took in her hands and kneaded together as if it had been dough. Then she formed it into the shape of a serpent, making the first cobra -- the uraeus, which ever after was the symbol of royalty worn by Pharaoh and his queen.

Isis placed the first cobra in the dust of the road by which Re passed each day as he went through his two kingdoms of Upper and Lower Egypt. As Re passed by the cobra bit him and then vanished into the grass. But the venom of its bite coursed through his veins, and for a while Re was speechless, save for one great cry of pain which rang across the earth from the eastern to the western horizon Then all the gods came to Re, weeping and lamenting at the terrible thing which had befallen him. With them came Isis, the healer, the queen of magic, who breathes the breath of life and knows words to revive those who are dying. And she said:

"What is it, divine father? Has a snake bitten you. Has a creature of your own creating lifted up its head against you? I will drive it out by the magic that is mine, and make it tremble and fall down before your glory."

"I went by the usual way through my two lands of Egypt," answered Re, "for I wished to look upon all that I had made. And as I went I was bitten by a snake which I did not see -- a snake that, I had not created. Now I burn as if with fire and shiver as if my veins were filled with water, and the sweat runs down my face it runs down the faces of men on the hottest days of summer."

"Tell me your Secret Name." said Isis in a sweet, soothing voice. "Tell it me, divine father; for only by speaking your name in my spells can I cure you."

Then Re spoke the many names that were his: "I am Maker Heaven and Earth." he said. "I am Builder of the Mountains. I am Source of the Waters throughout all the world. I am Light and Darkness. I am Creator of the Great River of Egypt. I am the Kindler of the Fire that burns in the sky; yes, I am Khepera in the, morning, Re at the noontide, and Atum in the evening."

But Isis said never a word, and the poison had its way in the veins of Re. For she knew that he had told her only the names which all men knew, and that his Secret Name, the Name of Power, still lay hidden in his heart.

At last she said: "You know well that the name which I need to learn is not among those which you have spoken. Come, tell me the Secret Name; for if you do the poison will come forth and you will have an end of pain."

The poison burned with a great burning, more powerful than any flame of fire, and Re cried out at last: "Let the Name of Power pass from my heart into the heart of Isis! But before it does, swear to me that you will tell it to no other save only the son whom you will have, whose name shall be Horus. And bind him first with such an oath that the name will remain with him and be passed on to no other gods or men."

Isis the great magician swore the oath, and the knowledge of the Name of Power passed from the heart of Re into hers.

Then she said: "By the name which I know, let the poison go from Re for ever!” So it passed from him and he had peace. But he reigned upon earth no longer. Instead he took his place in the high heavens, traveling each day across the sky in the likeness of the sun itself, and by night crossing the underworld of Amenti in the Boat of Re and passing through the twelve divisions of Duat where many dangers lurk.

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Written by Kanome < PM: >

Hello, Kanome here with a review for you. Well, earlier this week, I asked you, members of YWS to vote on what media I should review next. The two with the most votes were books and YouTubers. Due to my situation at my local library, I can’t check out books at the moment, so I decided to review a YouTuber.

Okay, he is one of the most famous YouTubers on the internet. People question what he looks like behind his videos. His videos are mostly gaming, some of them is him reading passages, and some are him playing with other YouTubers such as PewDiePie and CinnamonToastKen. I am talking about YouTuber, Cryaotic.


Okay, Cryaotic or “Cry” for short, is, personally, one of my favorite YouTubers. He is funny in his own way, and he just does his videos differently than other people who game on YouTube. Even though I think he is one of the best YouTubers out there, I asked two people, one that is a fan, and one that isn’t there opinion on him. The two ladies happen to be @rosey%20unicorn and @reisepiecey.

Kanome: Have you ever watched YouTuber, Cryaotic?

Rosey Unicorn: No

ReisePiecey: Yeah, he's one of my favorites.

K: Okay. What do you think of him as a YouTuber?

RU: Weird. Not exactly my thing.

RP: He's amazing and funny. He plays unique games and makes an effort with his subscribers to keep them happy. I love him. O.O

K: He doesn't show his face at all while gaming. If you were a fan of his, would you want him to show his face?

RU: Naw. Don't care

RP: Sometimes I want him to, but that's part of his legacy in a way. It adds to the mystery.

K: What would you tell him to improve if he was here in person?

RU: Not really my place to tell people how to do their own thing. I basically only offer critique to close friends or people who have specifically asked for it. xD

RP: Nothing because he's perfect. I would tell him to not worry so much about what other people say. Sometimes he gets really bothered by the comments.

K: Last Question, would you subscribe to his channel?

RU: Nope

RP: I'm already subscribed. Everyone should subscribe.


So basically, there are some people who either like or dislike this YouTuber, which is perfectly fine by me. Everyone has different tastes when it comes to YouTube.

Anyways, if you are interested to know more about Cryaotic, just click on this link below.

Please PM me if you ever have a request, meaning if you want me to review something specific, just tell me and I shall do it.


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by KnightTeen < PM: >

I am proud to announce that we have reached 29,875 users!

You know me, I'm a snoop! I have to know everything about every new member on the site. (Don't hate me, it's all part of the job!)

Take a moment to welcome this weeks newest members to the site!

@Wolfare1 has only been here a few days, but already loves this site and is abadoning her math homework for it! (We've all been there!)

@jacelevasco has only been here two days, but has completed a slew of reviews. He would also like to thank everyone for the hugs. :)

Others who haven't had a chance to be as active, but are no less a member of our family are....

@WannabeWriter2312@BlackFlame@jan98@Solemnstrix@Yosoou@amelirina@musiclover6780@ALIAM@musiclovee@Starheart@IronFlame@pirzada119@hyman320@GDrama97@Wajudah@shiningstar@kaykay98@Mandeta@2Kris15@Zarhail@WeltBrecher@littleletters@WolfsMoon23@harris141195@prinsii@luckystarz6090@Sharef@jnlletrry@DanWrites@RedVines@Crazycow@Emybot88@MidnightEternal@LikhithaReddy@Leimpossible99@SageLomosh@New York • @xxPeppermintxx • @KatyaElefant • @MeganElizabeth1@ashams123@aot4lyfe@mickeyxz@LightWolf777@savsutt@MilesMcCandless@writersblockexpert@Jdmiller@Jeremy20@tiffanycloutier@kateyperry89@lhuss@Mackattack@Phoenixwhisper@cleverclogs@Davkj@theatrenerd@dreamgurll@Anne@levathian • @Wolfie36 • @strawberryquill@queerelves • @stalinbear • @Mynameswriter@Maverick@ChipsMcCoy@Repratos@simondude122@ab2heaven@SevenOfNine@KayPseudonym@xxfluffybunnyx@punkpanda@snowball@Christabell@DanielB

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Sun Apr 20, 2014 5:31 am
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written by megsug < PM: >

Four fantabulous threads ready for your enjoyment!

@Baal has started a chess club for all you fancy checker nerds out there. It hasn’t really gotten off the ground yet, but with a few more members, I’m sure something will happen. @Lumi got a little confused when he first read the title:

... I read this as YWS Cheese Club, so if you find some gouda sitting on the club wall, you'll know who to blame.

He’s even created a club for cheese lovers.

An older member, @lilymoore, needs some information for a college project she’s doing. All you have to do is fill this out:

Code: Select all

She wants links to works you’ve written in the last year because she’s trying to see what creative material today’s youth is writing. Help out a fellow YWSer today!

@reapir (who’s only two and a half weeks old, so you should go say hi) has trouble with a lack of plot and wants to know what to do about it. Several people came to her call. @Gaurav009 gives the essentials to character driven works:

you need to identify those characters really well. Each character must have a unique trait. This will really help you understand their behavior in certain situation.

@DragonLily suggests writing about the characters’ everyday lives and throwing in tons of plot twists. @Rosey%20Unicorn thinks that the author has to define the characters’ goals and their fatal flaws. After that, the characters should be put in situations that are challenging. @Isha stands by the fact that plots aren’t even necessary. She thinks everyday situations are way more interesting than we give them credit for, and that alone can be plot.

If you have plot troubles or if you have suggestions to help reapir out, check out this thread.

Squills reached 56 subscribers last week which is 6 more subscribers than the goal of 50. I’ll pause for the resounding hoorah sure to follow that statement... And so, @Iggy is giving 156 points to everyone who comments on the thread, saying how amazing Squills is. The even better news is:

our new goal is now 100 subscribers, so once we reach that, the celebration will be grander, yes it will be!

That’s right. Something even more fantastic than 156 points (which is pretty fantastic, friends) will come to us if we meet the new goal. If you’re reading this, but you’re not subscribed:
1) Shaaaaaame.
2) Go PM @SquillsBot right now. Yes, this very minute. I’m watching you. Go.

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Sun Apr 20, 2014 5:32 am
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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.

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Place advertisement here. Make sure you include a title!

And now for this week's Shameless Plugs!

None for this week. Be sure to send them in, folks!

The bigger the issue, the smaller you write. Remember that. You don’t write about the horrors of war. No. You write about a kid’s burnt socks lying on the road. You pick the smallest manageable part of the big thing, and you work off the resonance.
— Richard Price