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Squills 6/29/14 - 7/6/14



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Mon Jun 30, 2014 3:16 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! :
Editors-in-Chief
Iggy
Hannah

General Editors
ShadowVyper
KnightTeen

Friendly Neighborhood Robot
SquillsBot

Friendly Neighborhood Cow
CowLogic

Literary Reporter
JamesHunt

Community Reporter
Available - PM SquillsBot if interested

Resources Reporter
Tenyo

Storybook Reporter
AfterTheStorm

Link Cowgirl
megsug

Poetry Enchantress
Currently unavailable

The Adventurer
BlueAfrica

Quibbles Columnist
Aadygirl

Social Correspondent
Iggy

Associates of Pruno and Gruno
Blackwood
defyingravity01

Media Critic
Kanome

Code Master
Avalon

General Reporters
OliveDreams
ArcticMonkey
whitewolfpuppy
AriaAdams
defyingravity01
Elinor Brynn

Past Editors-in-Chief
GriffinKeeper
AlfredSymon


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 Jun 30, 2014 3:26 am
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ADVENTURES IN WRITING
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written by BlueAfrica < PM: >

I suck at writing female characters.

I mean, I really suck at writing female characters.

Which is sad, because I am female. You’d think I’d be good at it, right? Well, you’d be wrong. Few women appear in my stories, and those who do are not what I would consider Strong Female Characters. They’re either love interests who contribute little to the plot or women who are unrelateable because, in an attempt to make them awesome, I’ve made them too good at everything.

If I’m so terrible at writing interesting, realistic women, you ask, what gives me the authority to tell you how to write them?

Nothing at all, friends! But since my column is about my adventures in writing The Book Man, and since this is an issue I’ve been struggling with forever, I thought this was one adventure we could tackle together. So buckle in and prepare yourself for another “Adventures in Writing” series.

This week, let’s explore some misconceptions about the Strong Female Character and discuss why they’re false.

Strong female characters cannot be wives or mothers. The idea that the SFC must eschew all roles traditionally held by women is not exclusive to writing. Many self-professed feminists disdain women who have chosen to marry and have children because those are roles that have been allotted to females for centuries.

Keep in mind, however, that even if the opportunity exists, not every woman wants to go into business or become a professional boxer. Even if she does, she may still want to raise children or get married. You don’t have to limit your female characters to traditionally masculine roles any more than you have to limit them to traditionally feminine roles. It’s okay to have characters who embody both.

And if you think that wives and mothers can’t be Strong Female Characters, then I have two words for you: Molly Weasley.

Strong female characters cannot have love interests. The SFC often ends up with a love interest—usually the leading man, whoever he is—but there is still a stigma attached to female characters who fall in love. It’s seen as a form of weakness. This character can’t be strong, because she isn’t a “strong, independent woman who don’t need no man.”

It’s perfectly acceptable to have a female character who doesn’t have a love interest. What’s important to understand is that a woman who doesn’t have a love interest is not automatically an SFC; nor is a woman who has a love interest automatically disqualified from the category. It all depends on how you handle the element of romance.

If you want an example of a character who is strong and interesting until her man shows up, read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.. The character in question isn’t a woman—it’s Huck Finn, the protagonist of the story—but hear me out.

For about two thirds of the novella, Huck grows as a character. While he’s a 19th-century Missouri native, he helps a slave named Jim escape upriver. At first he’s not sure that he’s doing the right thing (his actions are, after all, illegal), but through the course of the story he comes to see Jim as a human and an equal, rather than someone’s property.

Then Tom Sawyer shows up, and it’s all downhill from there. Huck transforms from a growing hero into a background character who is overshadowed and endlessly admiring of Tom. And all the lessons he learned about Jim’s equality and worth as a human-being take a backseat to Tom’s pranks.

Huck’s a thirteen-year-old boy, not a woman, but if he was a woman, this would be a perfect example of how not to write a Strong Female Character with a love interest.

For a good example of an SFC with a love interest, look no further than Hermione Granger. Even though she falls in love with Ron, she doesn’t put up with his crap. When the choice comes down between her man and doing the right thing, she chooses to do the right thing—and doesn’t melt into a puddle of romantic goo the moment he comes back after abandoning his friends.

Strong female characters must have physical prowess. We are all familiar with her: the strong female character who is a capable warrior or perhaps gets into fisticuffs more often than not. She’s good at athletics but not into “girly” things, because the Strong Female Character is not girly.

Although the SFC professes to be a feminist invention, the problem with this model (other than the fact that it’s cliché by now) is that of my first point: Traditionally feminine activities and interests are linked with “weak” women. They’re looked upon as silly and pointless, which is why the typical SFC will have no time or use for them.

Basically, this idea says that your Strong Female Character must be good at and enjoy only traditionally masculine activities, because only masculine activities are important and useful. Remember that a woman can wear make-up or sew a mean blanket stitch and still be a total boss.

I’m not saying your Strong Female Character must be a wife and mother, fall in love, or express interest only in the feminine arts. But it’s important to remember these things don’t automatically demean your female character. Now that you’ve obliterated these misconceptions, we can find out what a good female character is. Come back next week for SFC, part 2: traits of the Strong Female Character.

Who are some of your favorite females? Join the discussion here.





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Jamie's Coin
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written by Iggy < PM: >

If you've been around for the past two months, there's no way you could've missed talk about Jamie's Coin The madness first started when @elinor%20brynn posted a introduction to the YWS Radio Theater, where she asked for people to submit scripts. Then, she and a select panel of judges voted for their favorite script. @Osterkaktus won with his script, entitled Jamie's Coin, which is just his latest novel in script-form. The announcement was made and then the casting call was put up.

Many hopeful voice actors fought long and hard in a fierce battle but only five made it out alive. As said by Elinor herself in the official announcement



The cast includes @Aquestioning as Jamie, @SparkToFlame as Sarah, @Charlie II as Death, @Demeter as Lucifer and @Buggiedude2340 as the Gatekeeper, with score by @AfterTheStorm and art by @Audy. It is produced and directed by @Elinor%20Brynn
and written by @Osterkaktus



From that moment on, the cast and crew of Jamie's Coin went to work, meeting up in Skype calls (I was there), experiencing technical difficulties, working together, keeping each other encouraged and motivated while keeping Elinor sane, running through a gazillion run-throughs of the play and overall working their butts off until June 14th rolled around. Then they met up at blogradio, where the radio show was being hosted, and pulled off a stellar show! If you missed it, you can listen to the recording here Many tears and hugs and praise for the cast and crew was given via PM, IM or shared on walls. So much success that Elinor has even started a second! radio show!

Stats: 143 archive listens and 69 live listens


Squills sat down with all of the cast and crew (sans Audy) to hear some of their thoughts...

The Director


Squills: What inspired you to come up with a YWS radio show?


Elinor Brynn: I've always been intriguied by radio plays, and I think it's sad that they fell out of favor with the advent of television. It's certainly a unique way to tell a story, and now that we have the internet it should be easier than ever to create radio plays, and YWS seemed like a great platform to do it since we're a community of writers.

S: Once you came up with the idea, how did you go about putting it in motion? Who did you ask for help, how long did it take you to plan, etc.?


EB: I posted a topic in the Junior Moderator forum outling my idea (it was still very rough at this point) just to see what others would think and if it even had any potential or would even work. When it got enough interest and people threw out their ideas, I posted a call for entries. And the rest was essentially figuring it out as I went along.

S: How many people sent in scripts? Why did you choose Osterkaktus's play over the rest?


EB: There were six entries in total. That might not seem like a lot, but it was actually a really hard decisions because all of the submissions were very good. Jamie's Coin not only did the best job of lending itself to the medium, but had all the elements of a classic radio play; suspense, drama, a dark setting, and characters in intense situations. After reading through it with @SparkToFlame and @Aquestioning while judging, something really clicked and we knew that it was the one.

S: What was the best thing about directing this play? What was the worst?


EB: The best thing was definitely starting out with an idea for something I thought would be fun to do and watching it grow into a wonderful piece of art. I couldn't have asked for a better team to create it with. It wasn't without its challenges though. Since this was the first time this was done, I had to figure out a lot of the process as it went along and technology didn't always cooperate, which led to some tense confrontations. But they brought us closer together and we all love each other and are proud of what we created.

S: How much time and effort was put into bringing this together? Could you have asked for a better cast/crew to work with?


EB: Around four hours per week on my part. And I really couldn't have imagined a better group of people. With some productions there's a lot of drama behind the scenes and people don't talk to each other, but we were like a family.

S: I see you're already planning another radio show! What are your goals for this next one?


EB: Now that I know what works and what doesn't, I'm hoping the process will go a lot smoother and the show will be just as wonderful with fewer kinks.


The Scriptwriter


Squills: What inspired you to write Jamie's Coin?


Osterkaktus: I've always loved mysterious writing, and writing about the occult is quite fun. I've written a few short stories in the past about demons, and it was very interesting. I was probably mostly inspired by the children's book "Duck, Death and the Tulip" that gave me the idea that Death was a normal person like everyone else with thoughts and feelings.

S: I hear that Jamie's Coin was originally a novel. How complicated was it to change everything into a script?


O: Well at first, it just meant copying all dialogue into the script, but it turned out it wasn't as easy as that. In radio plays you can't describe your characters/surroundings; you have to do everything with sound and dialogue. So we ended up changing quite a bit of the original dialogue, either from my own readthroughs, my sisters, Ellie's, or the cast's comments. The script we ended up with in the end was quite a bit different from the original novel, but for the better I believe. It fit better into the radio script universe.

S: How pleased were you when you found out that your script was the winner?


O: I was on top of the world! It was pretty exciting to know that my script was going to be performed and put into life.

S: How pleased were you with the overall results of the YWS radio show?


O: I think it went great! Of course we had some technical issues in the beginning, but I almost didn't notice it. I think the cast did an amazing job at performing their rolls, plus the rehearsals were a blast. It really felt like we were one big family while rehearsing over Skype.

S: Will you be writing another script to enter in the next YWS radio show?


O: Could be! It was really fun to join this, even just to get that push to write. Even just to hear another person's script being played out, knowing that person will get the same experience as I got.


The Musician


Squills: What motivated you to create the soundtrack for Jamie's Coin?


AfterTheStorm: I've always loved music and have been fascinated by soundtracks. :) So when Ellie, Omni, Sparky, and I first read through scripts, I realized that the music was right up my alley!

S: What exactly did you create?


ATS: Oh, goodness. If only you could see all the tracks I had to layer in for sounds and music. xD

S: Were you satisfied with the overall results?


ATF: I'm such a perfectionist by nature, so there were definitely some timing issues I was dissatisfied about. However, I think the results were great, especially since I had never worked with Blog Talk radio before.

S: Were there any technical difficults?


ATS: *blushes* Following the nature of live performances, there were. Since I hadn't used Blog Talk before, it was confusing at first on how to get the soundtrack working properly. I've learned so much, though, and am better prepared for next time! :D

S: Will you be the musician for the next YWS radio show?


ATS: Ellie and I chatted about it. It looks as if I'll be in charge of scoring again which I'm really excited about! I have a greater knowledge of what exactly I need to do in a more efficient way.


Jamie


Squills: I hear you were part of the judging panel for choosing the script. What originally drew you to Jamie's Coin?


Aquestioning: Well, we were choosing between two different scripts, as narrowed down by Elinor, and Jamie's Coin was just something we were able to act out better. The first part of playing a part in a play is convincing yourself that you are that character, and Jamie's Coin allowed us to do that.

S: Who did you originally audition for? Were you satisfied with landing the role of Jamie?


A: I didn't audition for anyone at the beginning haha, I was just helping Elinor out with judging the pieces. They all agreed that I was great for the role of Jamie and it kind of stuck!

S: What was the easiest thing about playing the main character? What was the hardest?


A: Well, the easiest part for me was just making sure I was scared and that I could fit into the role of Jamie. The hardest was probably getting that emotion through just my voice.

S: Can you share with us your overall thoughts and feelings about this experience?


A: It was something to remember, definitely! I think this experience, to make something unique and special with some great friends, is something that sticks with you, and I think that this will always be close to my heart on things that I did in YWS.

S: Will you be auditioning for the next YWS Radio Show?


A: No, I'll be leaving all of the parts to other people. I might be helping Elinor judge like last time, if she wants me to, but I will not be auditioning for anything.


Sarah


Squills: Like Aquestioning, I hear you were part of the judging panel for choosing the script. What originally drew you to Jamie's Coin?


SparkToFlame: I read the role Lucifer for the judging process, and I absolutely fell in love with the way the characters came to life as we read them. We all just fit into each role so seemlessly and it flowed so well. Yes there were things that could be fixed, but it could have literally went 'onstage' without any editing at all and still been wonderful!

S: What part did you originally try out for?


STF: Lucifer.

S: What did you like most about Sarah? What did you not like?


STF: I liked that she didn't take anything from Jamie. In the first drafts of the play, Sarah was not the character I portrayed when I performed it for the play. She was very much a character just there to make Jamie look good. (Or bad, lol) but after I took her and helped mold her, she became her own person.

S: Can you share with us your overall thoughts and feelings about this experience?


STF: It was a lot of fun! Getting to know everyone and becoming friends with them over the journey was the best part. It was really interesting getting to try out a different form of theatre.

S: If you could change one thing about the events Sarah was put through, what would it have been and why?


STF: I wish she had been a little less innocent and naive. I wanted her to totally kick butt the entire time, and kick Jamie into next week.


Lucifer


Squills: What part did you originally audition for? How exactly did you audition?


Demeter: I wanted Lucifer's part from the very start, but because I wanted to be involved in the show in any way possible, I also stated my interest in the parts of Sarah and Gatekeeper! In that order! I recorded myself reading a few paragraphs of Harry Potter on Vocaroo (doing both what I imagined to be Lucifer's and Sarah's voices) and sent the recording to Ellie.

S: What was your reaction when you found out that you landed the role of Lucifer?


D: I was super excited! I was so happy, because that's the part I really wanted.

S: Were you surprised to see that Osterkakus made Lucifer into a girl? What did you think of Lucifer's personality and goal in the play?


D: I really liked that solution, actually, because I think it further strengthened the contrast between Lucifer and Death. Lucifer's personality is extremely deceitful and there's nothing she enjoys like creating mayhem. I loved it!

S: Lucifer is portrayed as sultry and deceptive. How easy or how hard was it for you to develop this tone of voice? Was it hard to keep it through the entire play?


D: So there's Good Demeter and Bad Demeter, and Lucifer is basically Bad Demeter through and through. ;) That's why I found it pretty easy to do her voice! To get myself in the right state of mind, I told myself "Just be like Gossip Girl in Hell".

S: What are your views on Lucifer? Did you grow fond of her or did you wish she was killed off?


D: I absolutely love the character. I would never wish her to be killed off - I hope she goes on thriving and deceiving innocent American teenagers for years and years!


Death


Squills: What part did you originally audition for?


Charlie II: I actually did an open audition where I submitted a recording of my voice and, basically, said that I'd be willing to do anything if they really wanted a British accent. Apparently they did!

S: What was your reaction when you found out that you'd been cast as Death?


C: I was really happy! It's a great part and Osterkaktus had written some great lines for Death, so I felt pretty lucky.

S: Throughout the play, Death was merely an observer who had to watch as Lucifer corrupted Jamie. How did this make you feel?


C: It's interesting -- I'm usually an enthusiastic person, but I had to kind of subdue that for Death's character. Elinor Brynn suggested that Death has seen similar situations over and over for eternity and I guess I tried to keep that infinite experience in mind when I delivered by lines.

S: If you could change one thing about Death, what would it have been?


C: After he offers Jamie a smoke, I'd like him to say: "Those things will kill you, y'know."

S: During the radio play, you had to step in for Aquestioning as Jamie for the beginning. What was it like, playing a different character? Would you rather have been Jamie?


C: Oh no, you noticed! Well, I'd occasionally read Jamie's lines during rehearsal (for "that one time" Aquestioning wasn't here) so I wasn't totally unfamiliar with them. I definitely wouldn't have prefered his part though -- Aquestioning always gave great performances, whereas I think my Jamie was a bit too whiny!


The Gatekeeper


Squills: What part did you originally audition for?


Buggiedude2340: Sarah!

S: The Gatekeeper had few lines, yet she was a major character, as she was the deciding factor of whether or not Jamie could get into heaven. What was it like, having a character with so much power?


BD: Oh gosh... it was lots of fun. Even if the Gatekeeper was just a role, I still felt pretty omnipotent saying those lines. It was also a big confidence booster when I tried out for a play in town, because I still had that sort of "I am all-powerful" feeling.

S: Do you personally believe if there is a gatekeeper that guards the gates of heaven? If so, do you think we are given a coin when we die, as Jamie was given, or do you believe in the scales of judgement?


BD: I'd like to reserve judgement until after I die, but that wouldn't work very well... I feel like it'd be more interesting to have this coin test though, instead of the scales of judgement. It's a better show of character, and allows for forgiveness (if those being judged do their part correctly).

S: What did you like most about your character? Would you have changed anything about the Gatekeeper?


BD: I liked the haughtiness she shows towards humans. I didn't originally do that until Elinor asked me to, but once we put that in, the part felt more realistic and less "godly", since haughtiness is definitely a human emotion. There isn't much I would change about the Gatekeeper either, though if I had to completely redo the character, maybe she could have been a little sympathetic.

S: How satisfied were you with the overall results of the radio show?


BD: Pretty satisfied. There were times during the performance when we thought everything would crash and burn, but we did a good job working through it (not to mention the jokes about people dying and becoming American).

And there you have it. Congratulations are in order for the cast and crew of Jamie's Coin! You all did amazing. Thank you to all of those who listened to the show! Elinor would like to hear your feedback, so if you have a moment, please take this survey

Until the next YWS radio show...

~Iggy





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Mon Jun 30, 2014 3:27 am
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WHAT DO YOU EAT WHILST YOU WRITE?
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written by OliveDreams < PM: >

Are you a savoury scoffer? Or a sweet sucker?

Both interesting questions! & questions that a lot of us could answer in a heartbeat! (*cough* SAVOURY *cough*)

But what I really want to know is what YOU all eat, whilst we you’re getting those creative juices flowing onto paper.

According to scientists, fruit and vegetables (especially blueberries) have super veggie abilities to get our creative impulses firing off in all directions!

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Green tea is also great for keeping you up late into those long, writing nights AND keeping your mind fresh as you age! Go green tea!

I nosed myself into the eating habits of @AlexSushiDog, @Alpha, @Auxiira, @BellaRoma, @Strange, @Zontafer, @Deanie and Holysocks to see what they’re nibbling whilst they’re scribbling!

Here’s what they divulged.

AlexSushiDog: Chocolate or oat cakes 

Strange: I eat Yogurt when I write, because I just like the taste and Yogurt is amazing. No reason, really

Alpha: I'm usually too absorbed in writing to eat anything... (Or drink or sleep or, you know, go to the bathroom.)

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Auxiira: Sometimes I eat, sometimes I don't. If I do, then I eat whatever comes! Though quite often, I'll actually be drinking a huge glass of water.

BellaRoma: Depends on how hungry I am. Occasionally I snack while I write on whatever takes my fancy but if I really had to pick something it would be CHOCOLATE! I'm sure I'm not alone on that choice.

Zontafer: I don't think I've ever been writing whilst eating, as I tend to focus on other stuff instead of actually writing. One thing I usually do is drinking tea, since it helps me calm down and focus more.

Deanie: I drink tea, and will sometimes let me nibble on chocolate cookies for inspiration. But nothing else until that chapter is done!

HolySocks: I eat popcorn whilst I write! 

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Wow! Some diverse taste buds out there! Sounds like Strange wants a mini fridge next to his laptop filled with yoghurt whilst Alpha is wasting away by the sentence! Deanie and Zontafer, however, are going to outlive us all with their tea filled minds!





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Mon Jun 30, 2014 3:28 am
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TIPS ON THE TRICKY - BACKSTORIES

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written by AriaAdams < PM: >


Welcome to TotT, where I shall try to identify and discuss tricky situations many writers tend to encounter, and give tips on how to deal with them.

A main character's parents died in a fire. Another character's lover killed himself, his sister was raped by an evil mage, and the already mentioned MC's brother just returned from the war, having been imprisoned and trained into slavery a few years ago.

Touching backstories, especially those featuring loss and pain of one kind or another, have served writers well for centuries. It is no secret that the readers like - need, even - to feel a connection with the characters, and giving the said characters a sad, painful or dark past is what makes the reader want to nurture them, observe them, help them reach something better. It makes the readers want to see the character succeed and get the deserved happy ending.

But.

In their desire to please the readers, and see their creations loved and cared about by those reading of them, writers often tend to make a simple, yet potentially devastating mistake - creating the tragic background merely for the cause of a character having it, and leaving it there as nothing but a side-note. On occasions, admittedly, it serves its purpose - but more often than not, it doesn't really work, and any careful reader will notice it, and eventually see it as nothing but another cliche.

So what can you do about it?
The answer really isn't complicated, and as it's often the case, it can be summed up to five words - write your characters as people.

A very important thing to remember is that our past is essentially a set of choices, coincidences and consequences - ones we make or run into as well as ones other people are responsible of. And no matter how small, everything we've ever done, witnessed or took part in in any way, affected some of those choices, shaping us into people we are today.

Your characters shouldn't be any different!

There is nothing bad or cliche with pasts full of loss, pain and tears, as long as the writers don't jump straight into a trap of using the backstories as nothing but decoration.
A backstory isn't and shouldn't be just a decoration - a backstory is the foundation, the before of your character's character, the story which might mean the world to them and will only be told through their actions and the choices they make now.

Fill them with trauma and drama, but make sure to reflect those to the way your character is acting now. Make sure you don't let your ongoing story delete all the traces of the personal stories of your characters' past.
Make sure it's worth it.

Every week, I shall cover a different tricky situation. We've all encountered them at least once, whether it be about writing villains or first kisses, making emotions or reactions seem believable, scenes fading to black at precisely the right moment or writing in a POV of a person who can't experience the world through one or more of the senses. If you have a tricky situation, or have found yourself hitting a wall on how to write some scene in your story or novel, and you'd like to see if I could help, feel more than free to PM me with your question or request!
Until then, see you next week in company of torture scenes c:





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Mon Jun 30, 2014 3:30 am
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KANOME’S RANT OF MEDIA
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Written by Kanome < PM: >

Hello there, members of YWS.
Kanome here with another media review for you.

As you guys know, I am an anime-fanatic. I have been reading this comic [or manga] for the past two years now, and I figured I should talk about it to people on here because, y’know, you guys are wonderful people.

Okay, this manga is about romance between a couple, obviously. But things go wrong when one of them moves, but when the two characters meet once again, the one that has moved has lost her memory due to an accident. I am talking about Suki Desu Suzuki-kun!

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This manga was interesting to me because there are four main characters. Two girls, two guys. There is the main main couple, and the secondary couple. But the title is named this because the two male characters are both named Suzuki.
There is a lot of comedy in the manga too, which makes the story even more interesting.
Be aware that this manga is for 16+, because of mature content and language. [Just throwing out the warning before anyone reads it…]

I suggest reading this … It's actually the best manga online website there is on the interwebs.

If anyone has any suggestions of what I should write next, please feel free to PM me. I would gladly accept anything, no matter how weird it is c:

Kanome out!





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Mon Jun 30, 2014 3:33 am
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YWS OLD & NEW (I)

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written by AriaAdams < PM: >

The YWS as we know it, at this moment is home for 30,699 young writers' souls, and the number of its members only keeps rising. But, it's something we hear every day! So, allow me to demonstrate just how far YWS got in its nearly 10 years, by quoting you @Firestarter's words from this lovely thread !



Just thought I'd draw your attention to the fact we have over one hundred members now! Woohoo!




Ever since I joined (in December 2012!), I've adored listening to stories of the old YWS, always bugging the older members to tell me of their memories. Today, I bring you a glimpse into the past, in the words of @Meshugenah, @Moriah Leila, @Crysi and @Rosey%20Unicorn - and right after that, see what our new members have to say, as I speak to @KathrynLane, @dragonthief1, @SoundsOfSilence and @ScarletDreams14!


Squills: When did you join YWS, what made you join, and what made you stay?


Meshugenah: I joined YWS (officially) on December 5, 2004. Well, December 5th my time. I think it was evening, so it'll probably turn up as the 6th somewhere. I'd also puttered around a bit before that, posting as a guest - which yes, used to be a thing! I was dragged here by a handful of people that I knew from another site (YFW), including Crysi, Elelel, and Tara, though there were others as well, including some that I helped drag here. They're really what made me stay, though the original site I'd been a part of was deteriorating quickly, so that definitely played a part as well.


Moriah Leila: I joined YWS in June of 2008. I joined because I was (and still am) interested in writing novels for teens. I stayed because this site has helped me grow so much as a writer.

Rosey Unicorn: Ooooh boy xD I joined in November 08 after a bunch of things happened at once, namely my old online community basically blew up and I was looking for a new one plus I'd just broken up with a good friend. I'd seen one member of that old site post about YWS, so I checked it out.
I met Demeter and LowKey within hours and once you start talking musicals, history and fairy tales for basically the first time there is no going back.


Crysi: According to my profile, I joined YWS November 16, 2004. I had actually belonged to a different writing forum, and Nate came on and advertised. I wasn't so sure about it, but I had some serious issues with the admin of the site I was on, so I figured I'd at least check this new site out.


Squills: What were your first impressions like?


Mesh: First impressions... well. I still hassle Nate for the notebook theme (the original theme/layout) on a semi-consistent basis :P Otherwise, it was a small site, though larger than the first one I'd been on (and any others I'd since joined), and it was active. I was still active on a couple of very small boards, but they were created solely for a handful of members, which we used to workshop and role play and generally goof off in private (I'm sure Crysi remembers some of the epic stories we - mostly not me - co-wrote over at Delo's place!). The best part, though, was that YWS was small, active, and everyone was around my age or a bit older. The fact that I'm the upper end age-wise around here still weirds me out, honestly.

Rosey: "Wow you sure do get a reply on welcome posts quickly!" quickly followed by, "Finally people who are as geeky as I am!"

Crysi: It was a pretty simple forum back then. I remember there were a few members who were a little too random for me (ElectricBlueMonkey comes to mind). Pretty sure I chewed out EBM and Nate for being too random on a serious site... Oops.


Squills: I know it changed a bunch over the years. Do you prefer it now or did you like the old version better? Is there something from old YWS that you miss?


Mesh: Do I miss old YWS? Yes and no. Part of me will always miss it, simply for the people that aren't active anymore (Jack, Tara, Perra, etc.), and especially for those I don't have a way to contact anymore, or simply have fallen off the places we used to share on the 'net. Some of the people I do find myself missing here I have in other places, like tumblr, so it's a different kind of missing - mostly for an old shared identity that doesn't quite fit any of us anymore. Plus... notebook theme :P

Moriah Leila: I love how much YWS has changed! I think it is much easier to share ideas and connect with each other. The only thing I miss from the old YWS was how the clubs were set up. I don't know why but it doesn't feel the same.

Rosey: I mostly like the new version! I'm not really the type to cling too much to past versions of things because it makes me grumpy xD Although part of me misses the mild chaos of the very first version I saw, because, well, first version nostalgia.
As for any features I want back, this is probably going to come as no surprise at all but the old YWS' knowledge base is by far at the top of my wishlist. It used to be this separate tab in the actual header of the site, with each sub section listed once you clicked it, then all articles were in alphabetical order. I really really really miss that alphabetical order. You couldn't see how many comments each article had, either, so there wasn't ranking by popularity like it is now.


Crysi: I definitely like how the site is organized now. It's aesthetically pleasing and professional, while not being too formal for the intended audience. There have been so many changes (and I'm so old) that it's hard to remember specific details of older versions.

Squills: What was your favorite section, and is it still so (and if not, what is it now and why)?


Mesh: FAVORITE SECTION. Uh. Blogs. Used to so be blogs, and poetry. And usergroups. I still miss those, Naterlee. I know why you moved to clubs, but I still miss them and will still whine occasionally. I still am semi-active around poetry (hai, PCrew *waves*), and blogs when friends update, but I'm definitely much more quiet than I used to be (and I was never all that loud in the first place); I'm way more behind the scenes than ever, doing a lot more of what I'd call staff support than anything, and just talking to whoever happens to have messaged me on chat bar that day, which is always changing!

Rosey: I used to basically live in fantasy fiction and fiction discussion and tips. Mind you I kind of lived everywhere because you don't get this many posts not doing that.
Now, though... *points to crew alignment*


Crysi: My favorite section was probably storybooks. Sure, I submitted my fair share into poetry and fantasy, and Imp's challenges were always fun, but Necropolis will always hold a special place in my heart. Currently, my favorite section is the blogs... I admit I haven't been active in the literary forums for far too long.


Squills: Do you have one or a few memories which you'd choose as the most awesome in your YWS past? It can be a site-wide event or something you did or a review you got or whatever.


Mesh: Oooh, favorite memories. Can it be stuff that happened because of YWS, but not on it? Because NYC, 2009. That was probably one of the best things to come from YWS, if you ask me. That, and I remember when I read one of Jack's first posted poems and wanted to bottle that and sell it. Well, keep it, really. Scavenger hunts are also kind of the best - I remember at least once correcting @Nate and/or Heather (@Rydia) on them; definitely a perverse kind of joy that - along with creating near-impossible hunts with Heather. Always fun!
Also, my first Brad-given review. Yeah. I'm still torn between wanting to treasure the tear-down, crying, and/or cringing in agreement.


Moriah: Snoink's Evil Minions! I reviewed so much poetry that I officially will never review poetry ever again. Ever. But it was a ton of fun being her minion.

Rosey: I think my favourite thing ever was the very first review teams competition. They were something I'd been working on for years (can't take credit for the idea, considering it was Lethro, Squall and I chat joking around who came up with it), and after all that time refining it, pitching it, and finally getting it implemented, I got to watch a month-long competition lead to the biggest review day for years (I don't think the May '11 record was broken till '13 or '14), a bumper of activity in May, and a ripple effect of reviewing activity for the next three months.
It worked, and it worked really well, and I'm still so proud to see the little "sign up for a reviewing team!" button every review day.


Crysi: Well, obviously there was the California meetup. That was a blast, and really solidified some life-long friendships. (I ended up living near several of them when I went off to uni.) I also remember being part of the mod squad and getting a spiffy red official t-shirt. And of course the famed dragon vs monkey debate...


Squills: Do you remember the first work you read/reviewed?


Rosey: Without prompting myself, I remember a work I reviewed in my first month or two on YWS which was so historically inaccurate it was probably the first work I actually felt bad going over. The guy was so proud of himself, having just finished a novel, but he was writing historical fiction and had gotten multiple facts wrong (such as when the rapier was invented) and I pointed alllll those little things out.
I've done nearly a thousand reviews consider yourself lucky I'm actually able to remember as far back as I do.
With prompting myself, it appears I reviewed people who'd greeted me, first! And fanfiction. Because I wasn't sure where to start and works I already knew about was a starting point.


Crysi: Oh jeez, the first work I read/reviewed? You do realize that was almost ten years ago, right? I probably read a lot more than I reviewed, at least at first. I was pretty timid about sharing my opinion, and a lot of the members were quite talented. I remember especially being awed by the work of Incandescence, though that ended up being a bit controversial.


Squills: And finally, how do you feel seeing so many new members joining, and YWS changing and growing so much over the years?


Mesh: I love how much the site has grown and changed! I mean, if you'd asked 15 year old me nearly 10 years ago if I'd still be hanging around here, let alone if the site would still be around I'd probably say I hoped it would be would've laughed loudly. I mean, the site I'd started on barely managed a year, I think, before it self destructed. I blame YWS for getting me into basic code that I learned at school, and for helping me survive a mostly unintentional degree in Literature mostly with my sanity intact. In 2004, it wasn't a site that could have done that, but by the time I was graduating, it could (even if I did disappear for a bit near the end of uni).

Moriah: I love seeing the growth and new members. With each new member, there are new ideas and as writer's we thrive off of idea's.

Rosey: It's great! You can meet new people and old people and there's always somebody to return to and always somebody who's joined within a week of you. Plenty of people to mentor and plenty of people to make you not feel so alone in being overwhelmed.

Crysi: You know... I have mixed feelings about YWS now. On the one hand, I'm glad so many new members are finding this site that has been such a big part of my life. Hopefully they can get a lot out of it. On the other hand, I'm a grumpy old member (some would say ancient) that remembers the "good ol' days" and can't keep up with who all these new kids are. Most of the core members have either left or are just lurkers, and I'm probably getting too old to really relate to the average member.
Honestly, though, YWS is a great place, and I'm not sure I would have continued with my writing for as long as I did (or still be occasionally inspired) without it. I made some great friends, as I said, and had some really great experiences. YWS certainly played a big part in keeping me creative, and for that, I am thankful.



What better words to conclude with, than words of some of the members who stuck with this site for many years (and hopefully will for years to come)?

Thanks a lot for answering, all of you!





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YWS OLD & NEW (II)

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written by AriaAdams < PM: >


Just in the previous post, you read the reminiscing of three members who joined YWS prior to 2010 - now, without further ado, I bring you words of members not even old a month; @ScarletDreams14, @SoundsOfSilence, @dragonthief1 and @KathrynLane!


Squills: When did you join YWS, what made you join and, if you're planning to stay, what made you decide so?

ScarletDreams14: Well actually I was looking for websites I could gain writing experience from. Somewhere I could post my work and get tips. I found it listed on
this website.


SoundsOfSilence: I joined YWS the 20th of June, 2014, out of curiosity. I had seen that a friend of mine, @Asteria, was advertising and decided to check it out. I have been looking for a place where I would get feedback for my work for quite some time, and hoped that this place could provide all I was looking for.
As of right now, I plan to stick around for awhile. I have received a lot of encouragement.


dragonthief1: I joined YWS on june 21st i believe so not that long ago.
A buddy told me about it so i gave it a shot. Its really fun and i would love to stay.


KathrynLane: I joined YWS a couple of days ago. I joined because I heard from a friend on FictionPress (another writing website) that it was a really good site, and people gave detailed reviews. I am DEFINITELY planning to stay :) firstly because the you do get really detailed reviews, but also because I find the site really interactive and fun to use :)


Squills: What was the first thing you did upon joining?


Scarlet: First off, I worked on my profile. I don't much care for appearances but I LOVE decorating and creating things. My profile looks good, No?

Sounds: I held off on posting anything or interacting for awhile, just to check things out, as I always do when I first join a site.

thief1: First thing i looked at was the storybooks. Currently I'm writing a book and when i get stuck the storybooks help me unwind and relax and have a little fun.

Kathryn: The first thing I did when I joined was to put stuff on my profile, and pick an avatar :)


Squills: Which was the first work you read/reviewed?


Scarlet: Hmm...Actually I think it was @Renard's post I related to it so I had to say something.

thief1: First thing i read? It was Harmony High- Sequel by @Nike. A really good storybook.

Kathryn: I don't exactly remember the name, but it was a really funny poem I found when scrolling through the green room.


Squills: What was your very first impression, the moment you first opened this site?


Scarlet: A: I was amazed and excited about how laid out it was. Very professional yet fun! I have accounts on several writing websites including [Wattpad] and [DeviantArt] The last ones not really a writing website but I did post my work on there. I've met a lot of really friendly and helpful people this site is absolutely amazing.

Sounds: My first impression? It was pretty neat. I liked how everything was laid out, the system in place, and hos constructive everyone was with their criticism.

thief1: Do i need to pay for this? But when i realied i didnt need to. Then i though to myself, what took me so long!

Kathryn: The moment I opened this site, I thought 'wow, this is freaking amazing!' The actually appearance of the site is really cool. At the same time though, I have to say I was a little intimidated. I've never really used a site like this before, and I don't even have Facebook so when I saw all the status update stuff I was kind of freaked out :)


Squills: Have you already explored all the sections of YWS (forums, clubs, Storybooks, etc)? Do you have a favorite one or a few, and why?


Scarlet: A: Well, not all of them but quite a few, I've explored the Literary section, Clubs, StoryBooks and that's about it. My favorite so far is the Literary section and most of all the clubs! I love looking at all the different clubs and relating to the ones I join. Amazing. As for the literary, I love looking at all the different work by all the different people. I've found a few GREAT stories.

Sounds: It's great! You can meet new people and old people and there's always somebody to return to and always somebody who's joined within a week of you. Plenty of people to mentor and plenty of people to make you not feel so alone in being overwhelmed.

thief1: I havent explored them all but storybooks are by far my favorite.

Kathryn: I have to say I haven't actually done much exploring :( I've pretty much been trying to master the basics, but some of the stuff looks interesting so ill definetly check it out :D


Squills: What was the strangest or most confusing thing/person you've encountered? (if it's a person, make sure to stay respectful towards other members in your answer)?


Scarlet: Hmm, strangest? My friend, there are ALOT of strange things on this website. I by far am the strangest. I didn't have to even search cause I'm already here.

Kathryn: Weirdly, the most confusing thing for me was @Big Brother :o because, as I said before, I haven't really used a site like this, I was confused as to what big brother actually WAS. Like, was it just see random person welcoming me to YWS or what? But I'm happy to say I get it now, and Big brother is awesome :D

Thank you very much too, all!

I remember very well what I felt like when I first discovered YWS, and how it gradually became a home away from home for me! I remember thinking it's just another of those sites, which I will never see again and will forget my username in a week, if it even stays alive until then. (*such an optimist*) Was I wrong - and I must say, I can't remember when was I ever so happy to be wrong!

Welcome again, new ones, and I hope you stick around - who knows, maybe one day you will be interviewed by some futuristic Squills team, about this ancient year of 2014 when you were just a little lost new user!





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THE CODE BREAKER CHALLENGE
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written by Avalon < PM: >

Welcome one and all to Avalon’s Code Breaker Challenge, here I provide weekly challenges that steadily grow harder though out the year. This is a weekly mind game meant to challenge those at varying ages and intellects, and make them use their head (or you know, Google.)

What’s to be expected in the challenge? Well it’ll eventually expand into mathematics such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and even division. It will also include foreign languages and proper English. Each of my puzzles have varying point rewards (points from me) that will be shown next to each code. The problems will be difficult, I can assure you, but those who keep at it and persevere will find themselves well-rewarded for their efforts.

Rules for the Code Breaker Challenge

- Teams will not be allowed. You will be required to explain or show your work when you submit your answers.
- If you do not solve a Code before next week’s edition, then your answers will not be accepted.
- There’s nothing to stop you from using Google if you wish, but the purpose of this column is to get you to use your mind to solve each puzzle. We’re watching you.
- Top scorers will be featured every week.

Top Scorers
@Auxiira: - 150 points
Unknown - 150 points
Unknown – 125 points
@Lava: - 100 points
@BlueAfrica – 100 points

THE EASY CODE
Point Reward: 25
The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Hint: Backwards mathematical translation

THE MEDIUM CODE
Point Reward: 50
Tom Marvolo Riddle

Hint: Harry Potter Franchise

THE HARD CODE
Point Reward: 100
During a recent police investigation, Chief Inspector Stone was interviewing five local villains to try and identify who stole Mrs Archer's cake from the mid-summer's fayre. Below is a summary of their statements:

Arnold: It wasn't Edward; it was Brian.

Brian: It wasn't Charlie; it wasn't Edward.

Charlie: It was Edward; it wasn't Arnold.

Derek: It was Charlie; it was Brian.

Edward: It was Derek; it wasn't Arnold.

It was well known that each suspect told exactly one lie. Can you determine who stole the cake?






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NOTEWORTHY NOVELS
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written by JamesHunt < PM: >

We have all seen the Literary Spotlight, and many of us dream to have our works featured someday, but what do you do after it has received its two Green Room reviews? For many works, that’s when their time to shine ends, and especially novels suffer because of this. Many authors persevere nonetheless, with the hope that someday their story may earn the fame and glory which it deserves, but other novelists may be left dejected and bereft of their driving force, leaving their unfinished novels to fade into Oblivion.

I, for one, would not much like to see this happen, so I have decided to scour the website in search of novels worthy of note. I could not think of anywhere better to start than with the first novel I read on YWS - Golden Bird, Red Fox, written by one @Buggiedude2340.


When many of us think of the Victorian Era, we are reminded of a time of social stability and civic contentment – a true Golden Age of peace and prosperity. But what if the sprawling estates and quaint townhouses hide something of a more sinister nature?

The Royal Family consists of the King, the Queen and their three Princes: Gordon, a gentle giant who, as the eldest son, stands to inherit the throne; Ferrell, the youngest and most reckless of the brothers who often makes decisions based on his ego instead of sound logic; and finally, Braxton, a simple man who prefers spending his time creating wooden masterpieces and handling his family’s finances to riding out on quests.

When the son and daughter of another noble family is spirited away by an envious wizard, Braxton must embark on a mission to save the missing siblings. The task sounds simple enough, but when enchanted animals and soul-stealing magic are involved, nothing is simple. And then there is also the matter of a mysterious bird raiding the orchards where the Royal Family’s golden apples are grown. Is there a connection between these two events, or are they simply coincidental? This is merely one of the questions Braxton will have to answer in order to discover the truth. He must choose those whom he trusts carefully though, for one small mistake can end in disaster...

...but it takes a brilliant mind to construct such a story and preventing it from being a disaster. I tracked down the author, Buggiedude2340, and asked her a few questions concerning her novel. (Warning: this interview may contain spoiler content.)

Squills: Greetings. I have recently become the Literary Reporter of Squills, and I'm writing an article on your novel. Would you mind if I interviewed you?


Buggiedude2340: I don't mind.

S: Alright, then. What inspired you to begin writing Golden Bird, Red Fox?


B: I was inspired to write Golden Bird, Red Fox around the time that ice movie, Frozen, was announced. One of my friends had gone on a huge rant about how she definitely wasn't going to like it, and I decided to come up with a storyline for a fairy-tale-based movie that she'd find amusing. Little did I know that it would go beyond wild fantasies and character drawings.

S: Interesting... And did you have any trouble choosing the title?


B: I clearly had trouble with the title, given that it turned out as uninspiring as Golden Bird, Red Fox.

S: It isn't that bad... *smirks evilly as an idea forms* Now that you've mentioned having trouble deciding on something, I ask you this: Who is your favourite character, and why?


B: Ack! The killer question! My favorite character, contrary to what most would want to think by the latest chapter, is Braxton. His personality reminds me a lot of my best friends, and writing from the point of view of a ghost is, well, different. I got to greatly expand my 'went' replacements for him.

S: And which character do you like the least? Please motivate your answer.


B: It would be a spoiler if I told you, since she hasn't actually made an appearance yet.

S: I eagerly await her appearance, then. So, with which part of writing your novel did you struggle the most?


B: Well... my novel is based off of a Grimm fairy tale titled The Golden Bird which includes very random, unexplained things. Finding reasons for these things (the bird, the king's obsession with it, etc.) was definitely the hardest part.

S: Some people remember books they have read through a character's witty saying or a beautiful comparison. I am a tad bit forgetful at times, so I need to write those favourites down. What is your favourite quote from Golden Bird, Red Fox?


B: “Oh please, there’s no way an obvious gentleman would be a wizard. They’re supposed to be young men, handsome and fair and completely empty upstairs.” -Dianne

S: *cough* Dumbledore and Gandalf *cough* I have one final question for you: What is your advice to other novelists on YWS?


B: Wait, I'm supposed to give advice? Uh, well... The best way to keep track of a project is to have a clear beginning and end in mind, otherwise there will be loose strings to cover up.

And that concludes my interview with Buggiedude2340, the author of Golden Bird, Red Fox, wherein she gave us valuable insight into how her novel came to be. If you are thirsting to know how Braxton’s journey will unfold, then do not hesitate to go view her portfolio. After all, with such a diverse variety of genres and stories from which to choose, your next adventure is only a few mouse clicks away. And rest assured that I shall continue my search for the next noteworthy novel; who knows, it could even be yours!





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ASK GRUNO
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written by Gruno < PM: >

Welcome to Ask Gruno, the advice column in which stuff happens. Gruno will answer any questions you throw at him, be it advice, personal opinion, solutions or philosophy. This week 4 questions will be answered. My cousin Pruno has been busy at the wonderful school for Pruno people, so I will be taking over the column. Every now and again, Pruno may make an appearance, so never fear! May the question answering commence!

Do you have to become an official member of the Squills staff, or do they have an option for something more like freelance writing?
If I just sent in one article without wanting to actually become a staff member, would they consider putting it in the next edition? Is it okay for me to do that on a semi-regular/irregular basis? - The Curious Writer from The Ask Gruno Article That Came Out On The Fifteenth


My beloved fan,
The Squills mods would be delighted to have you submit something every once in a while without the commitment of being part of the team. We often have a shortage of articles so your contributions would be greatly appreciated.
-Gruno


Gee, well here is the thing. Wow. This is hard to say. I mean - How do I even word this....Oh God I'm rambling now! Right...okay....Do you want to build a snowman? -Anna

Anna,
As much as I would love to frolic in the snow with you and build a snowman, sadly I cannot as there is no snow. So my dear friend, do you wanna build a grassman?
-Gruno


I've come to the realisation that i'm gay, and that's great and I'm happy now i've accepted who I am....But how do I come out? I really want to, especially to my parents, i'm just not entirely sure how? -Coming Out

Dear CO,
I'm afraid that no matter what I tell you, there is no easy way to tell your parents unless they are very accepting people. I think the best way to go about this is to catch your parents on a good day when they aren't busy. Maybe at a time like dinner where you all sit down together. Then just tell them. Make sure they know that this is who you are. Depending on your gender you could say "I love guys the way I'm apparently supposed to love girls and I need you to accept that because I have accepted myself." Or vise versa. Good luck in telling your parents, I hope it goes well! -Gruno


I have had a lot of questions this week that I sadly did not have the privilege of answering. If your question did not get answered this time, I may answer it in next week's edition. I hope you all have a fabulously green week! If you'd like to ask me a question, just hit this link





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FESTOONED: NEW STARS
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written by Hannah < PM: >

You know, it takes a lot of effort to earn a new review star. I'm currently sitting here more than fifty reviews away from my next reward. If you're looking at a long road ahead, why not celebrate vicariously and support your fellow YWS members that are raking in the shiny prizes? Onward to this week's profile!

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Name: @Thewriter13
Location: USA!
Recently Acquired Star: Second yellow star

As revealed by @KatyaElefant on the wall in question, we discovered that @Thewriter13 is a big fan of The Book Thief. I mean, okay, that was good investigating but pretty much every writer likes one book or another. I’ll do better, I promise! Thewriter13 also loves playing guitar – she says so herself – but I think it goes beyond that, as she’s also recently gushed about this song from what appears to be a movie in which a man carries a guitar! Plain guitar fanatic, right? Well let’s hear a bit about her in her own words!



It was the retrodisco666 that helped me earn my second star. I always favor reviewing poetry over any other form of writing. I'm more of the poetic type, and I'm always learning! … When I write poetry, I always think of one specific feeling I want the reader to walk away with. When I read other people's work I note the length, the tone, the use of imagery, and compare it to my own work. I’ll think about the feeling I had after I read the other person's work. …

This piece [in particular] taught me quite a bit. I reviewed the writer's piece titled "Apple" which is featured right now. It was an amazing poem and I really appreciate[d] the style of the poem because it was short yet powerful. I remember the imagery was extraordinary and I'm going to try out that length of poetry when I can...

For example my submitted piece Red Spots and Purple Waves was written after I noted the use of short lines in another person's poem. I realized each short line has more emotion if the words are chosen carefully.

I don't compare my work to see whose is better, but rather how their poem can help my poetry grown and how the style can help me in the future.






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HOW TO WRITE A BALLAD
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written by defyingravity01 < PM: >

Hello!
I guess I'm just kinda in a poetry mood. As you've probably seen, this week I'm teaching you how to write a ballad.

Ballads are very complex poems. There are many different forms of ballads that have evolved over the years, so it's not required to follow a specific pattern of rhyme or syllabic stress. Most ballads have these few things in common.

They have some sort of rhyme scheme.
Ballads are most often reflective of a situation.
They tell a story.
Ballads show you rather than tell you what's happening in the poem, leaving you to assume crucial aspects of the poem.
Ballads are often used to describe love, either lost or found. This love doesn't have to be for a person but could be for an idea or an object.
Many of them are expressed in the form of music.
Most ballads have a "chorus" or a repeating line(s) or verse(s) that emphasize the point the author is trying to make.

I have only written a few ballads in my time, but I absolutely love them for how expressive and emotional they can be. Because they are so expressive, it's hard to just tell you how to write a ballad. The best way to go about it is just to start writing. Maybe mentally establish a rhyme scheme and definitely establish your subject. The first stanza should be used to introduce your topic to your audience.

After 1-1.5 stanzas are written, look over what you have so far. Take a highlighter or pen and underline the line(s) that have the most powerful central point that you feel could be used as your chorus. This central idea should be used throughout your ballad as almost an anchor. As you describe the events, state your central point as the reason or the result of each event. I know this must be confusing, so I would suggest going to read this

If you read the ballad I suggested above, notice how the author has a rhyme scheme and has more than one chorus that she repeats throughout the poem. Her ballad also has many of the common themes that I listed above. She's describing her loss of love for her God and she also has rhyme. But her poem is different in that the rhyme scheme isn't constant throughout the entire poem.

As I stated before, ballads are complex and there are many different kinds so you are completely free to write in whichever form you wish. This particular How To is just to teach you about the basics of the most common ballads. I hope this helped and I hope to see some of your new ballads on YWS. Until next week...

XOXO,
Gravity





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NEW PEOPLE TAB
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by Elinor Brynn< PM: >

Just over two weeks ago, the new people tab was released. In furthering the ever growing social networking components of the site, you can now upload images, attach links and edit your comments, just to name a few new features. The design is also sleek, easy to use and holds true to the design of the rest of the site. 

The update has been met with universal praise. As per @Deanie, who said herself that normally she’s not good with change,



I love this! It’s so easy to find new people to follow, and for some reason it stands out more for me when people post things, so I can keep up to date with what my mates are posting



@Lauren2010, who’s been around longer than most of us, said



I like it a lot. Especially the addition of updates in the feed of things like people getting review stars or YWS birthdays. That's something you only ever knew if people announced/you were friends with someone but I like seeing those things from people I don't know as well because I still want to share in their achievements. I also love all the snazzy new icons and how easily they make it to sift through things.



First, it had to be carefully bug tested by @Lava, @niteowl, @Aquestioning, @AriaAdams, @Iggy, @fortis, @Auxiira, and @Aley before it could be released to the site at large.


We’re all in agreement: we can’t wait to see with what @Nate comes up with next!








Education is education. We should learn everything and then choose which path to follow. Education is neither Eastern or Western; it is human.
— Malala