Young Writers Society

Home » Forums » Community » Squills - The YWS News

Squills 08/14/2016 - 08/20/2016



User avatar



Gender: None specified
Points: 300
Reviews: 0
Mon Aug 15, 2016 4:23 am
SquillsBot says...



Image

Welcome to Squills, the official news bulletin of the Young Writers Society!

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

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

CREATIVE STAFF


Spoiler! :
Editor-in-Chief
megsug

General Editors
Gravity
Lavvie

Friendly Neighborhood Robot
SquillsBot

Literary Reporter
Holysocks
Available - PM SquillsBot if interested

Community Reporter
AliceAfternoon

Poetry Enchantress
Aley

Resources Reporter
PretzelStick

Storybook Reporter
Available - PM SquillsBot if interested

Quibbles Columnist
Lavvie

Writer's World Columnist
Lightsong

Link Cowgirl
megsug

Social Correspondent
Available - PM SquillsBot if interested

Associates of Pruno and Gruno
Pruno - Available - PM SquillsBot if interested
Gravity

Code Master
Available - PM SquillsBot if interested

General Reporters
Morrigan



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. You can also subscribe to the Squills Fan Club , or PM SquillsBot to receive a notification each time a new issue is published!

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





User avatar



Gender: None specified
Points: 300
Reviews: 0




User avatar



Gender: None specified
Points: 300
Reviews: 0
Mon Aug 15, 2016 4:25 am
View Likes
SquillsBot says...



FEATURED MEMBER INTERVIEW: JUNEL
Image
written by Aley < PM: >

You may have noticed that Squills missed interviewing an amazing member during their feature for two weeks, but no fear! We are rectifying that situation. I have tracked down and nabbed an interview with this elusive novelist, and adamant reviewer. It was a real treat to hear someone passionate about reviews, especially when they've only been on YWS since April. That's right, this is the FM interview with @Junel, so without further adue, and with much love for this sweet user, here you go!

Squills: How did you find out that you were the featured member?


Junel: by seeing people congratulations on my wall

S: Did you enjoy your time being the featured member on YWS?


J: yeah, it was really cool

S: What was your favorite part of the experience?


J: probably just the realization because I had only really been spending about a week actually on YWS and it made me feel very welcome and noticed which was cool

S: So what's your favorite part of YWS so far?


J: reading other peoples stories because many are ideas that could totally be published one day and being able to help them progress and improve them to get there is an awesome thing.

S: Is that why you really get into reviewing?


J: Yeah, I just love to help others. I know what it is like to write a story and having others comment on my stories helps so much. It gives me confidence to continue and so I want to give that confidence to others in return.

S: What reviewing tips can you give the rest of us who are just starting out?


J: Well, give the person your honest opinion, if you didn't like a part say so because thats going to help them more than a simple "this is cool" but also tell them what you liked so they can add that in more. Give them the type of review you want to receive.

S: What type of review do you like to receive?


J: One that points out my mistakes and then goes over different things like my descriptions, character development, and plot. While also telling me what they enjoyed about my story.

S: How long does it take to write a review like that?


J: For me it usually takes no longer than 15 minutes after I have finished reading their piece.

S: That's pretty quick. What's your average typing speed?


J: I'm not sure, I have never really thought about how fast I type, but more about what I type.

S: That's a really good way to be. So what are you writing right now?


J: I'm focusing on revising my book Beginnings right now. I hope to have a third draft done in a couple days.

S: What's Beginnings about?


J: It has three parts, each one focusing on a different girl.
It's a new way of looking at the dystopian genera. Through the story the readers are seeing the perfections and flaws of this society.


S: Cool. Do you think it's been successful?


J: I would love to say yes and it has gotten quite a few reads, but what I really hope is to get it published one day. So yes so far, but long run it still has a way to go.

S: Well I wish you the best of luck in getting it published! How did you feel when you found out you were the Featured Member?


J: Super excited! As I said earlier it made me feel welcome and maybe noticed. It also made me feel like my time spent on here wasn't a waste, but I'm getting to work on a passion of mine so it really never could become a waste of time. YWS has had a very positive impact on me and has made me more confident in my writing.


For those of you who are familiar with this user, it comes as no surprise that they've already done 72 reviews, amassing a throne of over 2 thousand points, all while prancing as a rainbow, butterfly, cat eared, oddity, but for those of you who don't know, this is definitely a user to check out and follow. She is worth every moment of your time, and who knows? Maybe you'll get one of her reviews!





User avatar



Gender: None specified
Points: 300
Reviews: 0
Mon Aug 15, 2016 4:30 am
View Likes
SquillsBot says...



WRITING OLYMPICS
Image
written by Gravity < PM: >

Unless you’re blind or don’t pay attention to the giant banners at the top of the screen, you undoubtedly know that the writing olympics are going on right now and this year, folks, we’ve got lots of talent.

The writing olympics, in case you are not aware, is a series of writing competitions hosted by a different YWS user each week. Anybody can compete, whether you do only one challenge, all of the challenges, or just a few challenges here and there. These challenges include anything from writing poetry to short stories and, for the first time ever, storybook profiles!

This is how the scoring works. The goal is to place, with gold earning 3 points, silver earning 2 points and bronze earning one. At the end of the competition, the top 3 users overall with the most points get to choose items from the YWS store and, let’s not forget the bragging rights, guys.

The first contest was really exciting, featuring shape poems . For this challenge, competitors needed to write a poem and then arrange it into a shape or an object. YWSers really got creative in this challenge and shaped words into formats including umbrellas, animals and hearts! This challenge was extremely difficult (I would know, I entered) and the results were:

Gold: @felistia
Silver: @Mea

And… drumroll please!

Myself, @Gravity taking away the Bronze.

Enspoilered you will find a complete list of all the competitions so far, the link to the competition/submission page along with the winners :)
Spoiler! :

Event 2: Paragraph Poetry
Gold: @spectator
Silver: @tgirly
Bronze: @GusG

Event 3: Six Word Short Stories
Gold: @Wolfical
Silver: @Jyva
Bronze: @Jhinx

Event 4: Sentimental Stories
Gold: @Wolfical
Silver: @Ellstar
Bronze: @Strange

Event 5: Cruel Character Profiles
Gold: @Rydia
Silver: @Savvy
Bronze: @TheSilverFox

Event 6: Lovely Limericks of Poetry
Gold: @Rydia
Silver: @Dracula
Bronze: @GusG

Event 7: Dialogue Prompt Challenge
Gold: @Nightcrawler
Silver: @Strange
Bronze: @Savvy

Event 8: The Hakai Challenge
Gold: @alliyah
Silver: @CandyWizard
Bronze: @tgirly

Event 9: Picture Prompt

Results to be announced (at the time this article was written).


Event number 10 is a young writers society scavanger hunt! I hate love these things.

Thanks for reading! Come back next week for interviews, exclusives, and announcements about the winners of the YWS olympics :)





User avatar



Gender: None specified
Points: 300
Reviews: 0
Mon Aug 15, 2016 4:33 am
View Likes
SquillsBot says...



TWO CENTS: COMPETITION
Image
written by Aley < PM: >

Writing competitions are going on left and right on YWS now with the clubs which run tournaments, to things like the Olympics, or even writing exchanges, so what do they do for us? One of the best thing that these events can do for us is give us a way to rate ourselves against other people. The problem we can have in something like poetry or novels, where everyone is pretty much unique, is deciding which types of writings actually are worth doing.

Our readers are pretty much the same people, those people who devour books in a day. These people are in short demand though, and we have to find a way to attract them over each other. The reader is left with a conundrum of 'do I read book A in exchange for not reading book B until later' and we want to be book A that's read. How can we do that without comparing ourselves to other writers?

The simple answer is that we can't. We have to either put ourselves out there for readers to compare on the open market, or we have to read and compare, but we're our own worst critic. An easier way to determine where you stand in the writing warfare is to submit your poetry, your short stories, or your novel chapters to agents and magazines that do monthly submission acceptances. These places are often very hard to get into, but they get you publicity and you can see if you match up to their level, which is great for self-esteem, and understanding your audience. It can be hard to figure out how to get into those places without building up an understanding of what people want, however, so oftentimes, it's a matter of learning through online competitions.

Competitions online like the tournaments, the Poetry Wars, and the Olympics give you a chance to test your skills in general, instead of your best of the best. For the Olympics, it's a great way to dedicate a little bit of time to doing something, and seeing if you can out-match the rest of YWS which is competing, and if you can, then maybe you're ready to move on to a new aspect of perfecting your writing, or move on to trying out for some of those more literary competitions.

Regardless of if you win or lose, however, you're dedicating time to writing something new, and that's important because the more you write, the better you're going to get. You have to actually be putting down words in order to see problems that are occurring in your general construction of a story, and to do that, there needs to be a level of urgency so you're not fiddling with it for 10 years before you allow the public to see.

If this is a passion, then be passionate about every aspect of it, the raw, the edit, the reader, the writer, the writing, all of it. Getting into something like the Writing Olympics, and really enjoying yourself, is being able to let go of the idea that you're going to fail and just going for it. You might fail, you probably will. There are a lot of entries, and a lot of them might be better than you at the moment. Statistically speaking, if 20 people enter 1 competition with 3 prizes, then 17 people are going to lose. So you can't enter a competition for the sake of winning, but for seeing your competitors, and rolling the dice that maybe, just maybe, you'll make something great. It's a rare person who can do that, but it's worth the adventure because you can recognize what problems you have when you're pressed for time.

In the same respect, when you're entering a tournament, or The Poetry Wars, it's about something else. The Tournaments are more about craft, ability to create something well done in a short amount of time. Whether this is through editing or writing something new doesn't matter. In the Olympics, it does. The Writing Olympics are about fresh writing, The Tournaments are about the step after that, short time, pressed time, but time to edit, and time to think nevertheless.

A lot of people approach the writing tournaments like they're just for throwing any random piece of writing into them, but they're often about how you created the piece, and the effort, rather than the result. People will get rewarded when they've used techniques that the other writer hasn't, or taken time to edit, when the other writer hasn't. This means it's more of a strategical battle. Because you're one on one, you can post first with something amazing, or wait out your opponent and then write something you think is better than theirs. Oftentimes, due to participation problems, the opponent won't even show up, so that turns it into a game of getting something done. That's not the intention of the tournaments, but that's what happens. You can advance by default. This isn't the case in our last, and probably most difficult, means of competition on YWS. The Poetry Wars.

Now, this might sound a lot like tournaments. It's two people going against one another with poems they submitted, and the rest of YWS deciding who won, but there's a catch. These poems are submitted when you sign up. It's possible that they could be months old by the time they're actually used in a war. There are only 2 people competing each week. This also means that you have no idea who your competitor is going to be when you submit.

The challenge here isn't to out-best your competitor in that round, but to out-best everyone who has submitted something to The Poetry Wars since it was created. This is a hard thing to do, and really, not something that anyone should try to do. Instead, this is the case where you submit something that you see as your best-of-the-best work and see what the draw gets you. You write, edit, polish, edit, and re-write the poem a hundred times, and then pray you've done enough to win, but in the end, it really comes down to the luck of the draw.

That's how submissions are too.

If the goal here is to get into magazines like the Young Writers Society Literary Journal last published in 2015, then this is the best way to prep. You don't know what your competitors are bringing, and there is a huge market of competitors who have had years to perfect their craft. We're coming into these markets young, untried, and uncertain where we stand. When you submit to these places, you have to be sure that you're submitting the best you have to offer because they're going to be reading your submissions along with thousands of others from all over the place.

As a manuscript reader several times for certain publications, I understand the process of judging these submissions. You read it, make a snap judgement, and move on. If you're lucky, you get a pile of 10-20 pieces that you think are worth talking about, and meet with other people who are doing the same thing you are, reading the same submissions you are, and determine which ones you think are best.

These snap judgements could just be because you're not in the mood for a romantic poem, and if all of the other manuscript readers aren't in the mood for a romantic poem either, then your poem could be in the out-bin before they even get by the first line. They might be really in the mood for a romantic poem, but have 40 of them, and need to pick the top 2. You might be out of luck just because they didn't have space.

When you get rejected, you can turn right back around, and submit the exact same thing, and get accepted if they happen to have space this time where-as before, they did not. You might also get rejected and hear nothing about why or what you can do to improve, and keep getting rejected month after month because they just don't like your work. You don't know.

Chances are, after being on YWS, you write better than some people out there. If you read the magazines you're submitting to, you have a better chance of understanding what they want, and what they like, which will help you determine if you fit their bill or not, and help you improve towards what the manuscript readers want to read.

But how do you even begin to submit to these places? It's a tricky call. You need to be sure that your poetry, prose, etc. is good enough to stand up to their criticism, that it's been polished beyond shiny, and that you are personally ready for rejection. You can't submit things that are already online, usually, so either you pull them off YWS after asking around, or, you never put them up to begin with. You write work for YWS to see how you can improve your craft, you submit it to competitions like Poetry Wars, you challenge yourself with Tournaments, and then you write work strictly for submitting to different places.

That folds together the skills you would need to write in the Olympics, that ability to write on the spot, the ability to edit, and out-class your neighbor, and shine something within a week or so that you need for the Tournaments, and, lastly, you need to be able to trust that what you're submitting is going to stand up to the test of time, like when you submit something to the Poetry Wars.

That's what competition is about on YWS. It's about preparing yourself for the chance that you might want to get some publicity one day by being a big name in a magazine, or on Amazon just by publishing something good enough to be worth the reader's time when they take a glance inside.





User avatar



Gender: None specified
Points: 300
Reviews: 0
Mon Aug 15, 2016 4:34 am
View Likes
SquillsBot says...



NEW ARRIVALS
Image
written by Lavvie < PM: >

Take a moment to welcome this week’s newest members to the site!

@Lavender is asking for advice on her plot idea. Go help a member out!

@sheyren has already jumped into Storybooks. It’s great to see new members so active! Leave a welcome message on their wall.

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







User avatar



Gender: None specified
Points: 300
Reviews: 0
Mon Aug 15, 2016 4:37 am
View Likes
SquillsBot says...



THIS WEEK'S ROUND UP 8/14
Image
written by megsug < PM: >

Gods, memes, the end of the world. It’s just another week at YWS.


@Gringoamericano told us in Fiction Discussion & Tips that a good idea doesn’t make up for subpar writing. While authors should be proud of excellent ideas, bad writing can ruin them. As Gringo says:



Good writing can make a bad idea seem good, and a good idea seem great.




He even goes so far to say that bad ideas don’t necessarily ruin good writing, but that good writing will uplift iffy ideas. Do you agree with him?


@Lariene wrote an article about Dues Ex Machina or “god from the machine,” a literary device referring to sudden plot devices that give characters an easy out to conflicts. This is also known as plot convenience. Lariene goes into exactly what Dues Ex Machina looks like, how it effects plot, and whether you should use it or not.

In the end, it comes down to proper technique, like most things in writing. If foreshadowing and character development are used in tandem with Dues Ex Machina, it’s not a bad tool to use, but if it’s used all alone, it can come off as unrealistic and cheap. Lariene explains why writers don’t want to use Dues Ex Machina every time their characters wind up in a sticky situation:



Your characters may not always be able to handle things in their current state. They may need something to help them along, and you're going to want to include it—the important thing is developing your plot devices and giving them a leg to stand on in the world, especially if they're meant to help your characters.




Check out the article for great insights on this writing tool and how to use it.


@Nate announced that YWS will be switching servers this weekend, but there should be no downtime. Why, you ask?



First, the database for the server needs more memory. One option to resolve that is to start deleting stuff, and there is indeed a lot of stuff that could be deleted. However, that would buy only a few months. The only way to free up enough memory would be to delete old user accounts and archive old topics.

The second reason is that Linode recently dropped its prices. This means I can transfer the site onto a more powerful server without spending a nickel more.




The switch should cause no problems on YWS or Writerfeed Pad, and if there is any downtime it should be no longer than an hour.


During the apocalypse? After @Anngrace made this wall post , she decided to make a forum post for it. Currently, the Leader is Nate, the Medic @DrThomas, and the Mascot @Big Brother. Users are invited to nominate YWSers for the different roles which include Brawler and Guy Who Dies First. @ clogs apparently wants everyone to die because she said:



I nominate @freakforchrist as team leader


Being led by someone who’s never around is rather worrisome, if you ask me.

Regardless, once three nominations are made for a role, a poll will be made, and users can vote on the nominees. After that, a YWS Apocalypse meme will be made.

Yes, all of this for a meme.





User avatar



Gender: None specified
Points: 300
Reviews: 0
Mon Aug 15, 2016 4:42 am
View Likes
SquillsBot says...



SHAMELESS PLUGS
Image

written by SquillsBot < PM: >

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

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


And now for this week's Shameless Plugs!




Inspired by the incredibly helpful Character Interviews, this is a club to help flesh out your stories and to better understand the universe and/or events you have created.

Members create forums in this club for each of their stories. Other members then ask questions about those stories. Trading of questions is encouraged. Like with Character Interviews, poking is when you ask a question.

Anyone can join, and our goal is to help each other develop the stories we have come to love!

Please message @Mage if you have any questions


That's all folks~ Now send us yours.





User avatar



Gender: None specified
Points: 300
Reviews: 0
Mon Aug 15, 2016 4:45 am
View Likes
SquillsBot says...



SUBSCRIBERS
Image

written by SquillsBot < PM: >

Find enspoiler-ed a list of our subscribers!

Spoiler! :
@SquillsBot@Carina@ShadowVyper@ArcticMonkey@Hannah@KingLucifer@Caesar@Veeren@megsug@StoneHeart@Skydreamer@heather@Aley@Rydia@Alpha@skorlir@KnightTeen@ChildOfNowhere@neko@Aquila90@DudeMcGuy@kayfortnight@Cole@Blackwood@manisha@fortis@Gardevite@cgirl1118@KittyCatMeow • @Strange • @ChocoCookie@carbonCore@Auxiira@Iggy@Blues@Paracosm@Sparkle@FireFox@Dakushau • @AlexSushiDog • @wizkid515@yubbies21@PiesAreSquared@FatCowsSis • @Noiralicious • @BenFranks@TimmyJake@whitewolfpuppy@WallFlower@Magenta@BrittanyNicole@GoldFlame@Messenger@ThereseCricket@TriSARAHtops • @Buggiedude2340• @AdrianMoon • @WillowPaw1@Laure@TakeThatYouFiend@RoseAndThorn@Cheetah@NicoleBri@Pompadour@Zontafer@QueenOfWords@Crimsona • @DeeDemesne • @vluvswriting@GreenTulip@Audy@EllaBliss@eldEr@Deanie@lostthought@CesareBorgia • @Jhinx • @Morrigan@AfterTheStorm@AstralHunter • @Autumns • @Wolfical@Pamplemousse • @ReisePiecey • @gia2505 • @BiscuitsBatchAvoy • @SkyeWalker@Noelle • @Lylas • @Tortwag • @kingofeli@SpiritedWolfe@malachitear@GeeLyria@AdmiralKat@Clickduncake • @Ely • @Seraphinaxx@Pretzelstick@WritingWolf@EternalRain@Tuesday@Dragongirl@JKHatt@Lucia@donizback •@Falconer • @Sunset101 • @artybirdy@IncohesiveScribbles • @clogs • @MLanders@ClackFlip@PickledChrissy@racket@Lorelie@Gravity • @BlueAfrica • @hermione315 • @Dinosaur • @willachilles@tintomara138@AmatuerWritings • @Ithaca • @TheForgottenKing@Shoneja123 • @Mage • @Mea@klennon14@fandomsNmusic@Meerkat@HolographicLadybug@Sevro@DragonWriter22@RippleGylf








My culinary streak is in everything that I write.
— LadyBird