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

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

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

CREATIVE STAFF


Spoiler! :
Editor-in-Chief
Hannah

General Editors
Iggy
ShadowVyper
KnightTeen

Friendly Neighborhood Robot
SquillsBot

Friendly Neighborhood Cow
CowLogic

Literary Reporter
SparkofDoubt

Community Reporter
Sapi

Storybook Reporter
AfterTheStorm

Link Cowgirl
megsug

Quibbles Columnist
Vacant - PM SquillsBot if interested

Social Correspondent
StellaThomas

Associate of Pruno
Blackwood

General Reporters
BlackNether12
ArcticMonkey
TheMessenger
OliveDreams

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!
Last edited by SquillsBot on Sun Oct 27, 2013 2:08 am, edited 1 time in total.





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HORROR: TO FEAR OR NOT TO FEAR
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written by KnightTeen < PM: >



The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.


H. P. Lovecraft, Supernatural Horror in Literature


Dracula. Frankenstein. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The Phantom of the Opera.

What do all of these stories have in common? It's not that many of us have read them, or have at least heard of them at some point in our lives. The main thing that these books have in common is that they all fall into the horror literature genre. Indeed, they are some of its finest. In order to qualify for the horror section in the library, a book must be intended to or have the ability to frighten its readers, by creating a sense of horror or terror within the text. If the book does not succeed in doing this, then either it does not qualify as a horror story, or the reader is very hard to scare.

Horror fiction has its roots within ancient folklore and legends about witches, vampires, demons, and the like. But the actual genre originated with the Gothic Horror novel The Castle of Otranto (1784) by Horace Walpole, which is considered in Western history as the first book to incorporate supernatural elements in place of pure realism. So the genre was born. And it has grown ever since.

Many beloved children's stories and movies were once written in such a way that they could be considered horror stories. The current generation has been subjugated to the romanticized (Disney) versions of such tales. The Little Mermaid (1989) is an example of this.

In the cartoon movie, audiences watch as a redhead sixteen-year-old princess with a tail falls in love with a human, trades her voice for legs, and after a semi-epic battle where an ugly humanoid octopus gets speared, walks off into the sunset with her prince, her legs, and her voice. We all know the story. It's rather unrealistic, but it's a good story nonetheless.

In the original H.C. Anderson version, the mermaid has her tongue cut out instead of a magical case of laryngitis. Every time she takes a step it feels like she's walking on swords, and the prince ends up marrying another girl, while the mermaid is given the choice to kill him or remain human forever. In the end, she throws herself over the side of the ship, expecting to turn into sea foam, but instead becomes a spirit. She will spend the rest of her existence doing good deeds to earn her soul and enter the kingdom of heaven.

Talk about trippy. I'm glad I read that version in my teens, otherwise I would have been scarred for life.

Many of us love classic horror. How can we not? But it is not the only type of horror any more. Contemporary horror exists now as well. Have you ever heard of Stephen King? You should have, because since the 1970s, King's books have attracted a very large audience, have sold over 350 million copies, and have earned the author several awards. In addition, my father's bookshelves (the parts that are not covered by hardback copies of the works of Edgar Allen Poe or the Harry Potter series) are full of King's books. He even asked that my mother include some King on my booklist for my final semester of homeschooling.

But here's a question: Why do we read horror?

Many liken it to the thrill of riding on a roller coaster. Going 60+ miles up, around, and upside down fools our bodies into thinking we are in danger even though we are strapped in, giving us an adrenaline rush. Reading a horror story is much like this. We are getting a sense of terror and dread, while staying safely at home tucked in our beds.

Such an answer poses another, similar question: Why do we write horror?

Only you know the answer to this question, if you have ever written a horror story. Maybe it is for the same reasons that we read horror. Maybe it is something entirely different. Only the authors of horror stories know the answer to this question. That's why I sat down with my friend @Cole this week, to talk about his horror short story, Le diable au clair de lune .

Cole says that the writing prompt that inspired him to write this tale for a newspaper contest was about a historic fictional death of a trapper too far from his fort. In light of it being close to Halloween, he wrote it as a horror story. And while he does enjoy horror, it has to have meaning and it can't just be written to scare, disturb, or shock readers. Whenever he writes such a story, he makes sure to incorporate some parabolic meaning within the text. I must say that I agree with him. I don't want to read a story just to be scared. I get enough of that with my father yelling at me every time I turn the corner.

See Cole's full interview at the bottom of this article.


Now, when I think of horror, my mind immediately shoots to bloody, murder, slasher type movies. (The ones that I avoid at all costs.) But that is not truly what horror is. Like everything else, it has layers to it. The main definition of horror in general is "a painful and intense fear, dread, or dismay." Horror fiction is meant to convey those feelings to the reader.

If you want to accept this definition, then horror can contend with anything. It doesn't have to contain demons, blood, murder, and crazy people who just won't die. Its only real requirement is that it has to receive an emotional response that holds some type of fear or dread. Therefore, according to this definition, the Bible is easily labeled a horror story. Tell me, where else are fallen angels, demonic possessions, people rising from the dead, and a horrific apocalypse, found all in one book?

Horror is truly an interesting genre. It's also rather masochistic. Now, I'm not calling the people who read horror masochistic, but really now. It is meant to ignite the emotional response of either horror or terror in us for our enjoyment. And that's exactly what it does. It wouldn't be horror if it didn't. We just have to remember that it is fiction and, in the end, it's not real. The only question left is: to fear or not to fear?

Spoiler! :
Squills: Hey Cole, I'm doing an article on the horror genre for Squills this week, and wondered if you would mind giving me a short interview on Le diable au clair de lune.

Which is one of my favorite short stories on here so far, by the way.


Cole: Hey there!

Oh goodness. You liked it? It's definitely not my best horror piece (and I've changed it since I put it up, so check out the new version because it's completely different).

But, anyway, I'd love to help!


S: Having read both versions, I must admit that I liked the original better. The current version in the first person is pretty good as well, however.
What inspired you to write that story?


C:Well, I wrote "Le diable au clair de lune" for a local newspaper's scary story contest. The prompt was to write the death of a French Canadian trapper named Jacques who wandered too far away from Fort Ouiatenon in the wilderness of Indiana. I was pretty thrilled about the concept because I love historical fiction.

S: Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres. I love reading about times before, well.....now.

And I love writing contests. Granted, I really haven't entered very many, but the ones that I have participated in were enjoyable.

You really could have done anything with that prompt, but you chose to write it as a historical horror story. Why?


C: I thought it would be appropriate in light of Halloween.

S: While I love Halloween, I have to admit that I'm not really that into horror.

At first I couldn't handle any kind of horror, but I have to admit I'm taking a second look at books. I think they are starting to grow on me.

What's your thoughts on the genre in general?


C:I love horror, but only if it has meaning. I don't like horror writers like Stephen King because I feel like they write scary stories to merely disturb or shock their readers. I think it's cheap. Even when I write terror-filled stories, I try to infuse it with some sort of deeper, parabolic theme. In "Le diable au clair de lune," I was trying to convey that Jacques' arrogance, greed, and lack of prudence led him into the arms of the devil.

S:Well, thanks so much for your time! I hope you have a good review day, and a happy Halloween.


C:Thanks! You too!





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THE ONE-STOP FIX-IT SHOP
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written by SparkOfDoubt < PM: >

Part of the NaNoWriMo Specials


As we approach NaNoWriMo, with less than a week left, let's talk a little bit about fixing all the little things in your plot.

The closer you get to NaNoWriMo, the more the excitement rises. But not just the excitement! The fear that you're not going to get through NaNo with plot you have, the fear that your characters are not developed enough, the fear that everything is going to fall apart once you get started...


When, in all actuality, it most likely isn't going to fall apart. It might change, it might stay the same, but as long as you keep plodding along at 1,667 words a day, you'll be fine.

And even if it does fall apart, what are first drafts for if not for absolute chaos?

The One-Stop Fix-It Shop

Welcome to the One-Stop Fix-it Shop! I'm Spark, and I'll be talking about the fear of your novel not being good enough today.

First of all, you need to realize this is a first draft. It's also a first draft that's being written in thirty days. There isn't going to be anyone on this planet that is going to say your first draft, or for that matter, your second or even your tenth draft has to be or is going to be perfect. First drafts are messy. That's the point of them! To get your plan out on paper in some kind of story form. To begin the steps towards creating a novel. They're not supposed to be publisher ready, and if yours is, we need to have a talk about repressing your inner-editor during the month of November.

You haven't even begun and you're starting to doubt yourself? Way to look at the glass half empty, mate. You've got this, I promise! But if you're still looking for things to do, if merely to keep yourself busy, let's follow the steps of my One-Stop Fix-It guide to make sure your novel is NaNoWriMo ready.

Step One-
Have a friend or family member (or even a Spark on YWS) look over your plot. Ask them to be 100 percent honest. Where do they think you should expand? What ideas need to be pulled back?

Then, think about what they've said. Look at your plot. Decide to change everything or decide to change nothing, just listen to what your brain is telling you.

Step Two-
Leave your plot alone for at least 24 hours, or if you can, even longer. And when I say leave it alone, I mean don't go near it. Don't touch it. Don't even think about it.

Then return to it, and read it over. Comb it carefully. See what you think of it with fresh eyes.

Step Three-
Don't plan every single character flaw before NaNo. Discover things as you go.

I've found that if I detail the characters too much, I tend to refuse to let their character be what they are, and end up trying to stick to my outline too much. Characters need to be discovered as your writing. So let your outline be vague.

Step Four-
Make sure to leave room for wiggling.

If your plot is so nailed down, you might have trouble writing it in the future! Even if you plot for weeks before you start a project (and if that's you, I envy you. I can't do that.) normally, you need to leave a little wiggle room when it comes to NaNo. Otherwise you might simply get bored with your plot. Discovering things is the best!

Step Six-
Don't be afraid of change.

Whether that change is now, or that change is half way through November, or heck, twenty minutes before NaNoWriMo ends, don't be afraid of change. In fact, embrace it. Throw in a new character in there, or even something as small as a cat! It'll mix things up and keep you interested. (Speaking of cats, I just threw one in for my character that happens to be an angel. Its name is Alfred.)



If you were really paying attention, you'll notice I skipped step five. Why, you ask? Because no matter how many steps you follow, or how many magical recipes you concoct, at the end of the day this is your novel. Not mine, not your neighbor's, not your best friend's Labrador's. Yours. If you think something needs changed, change it! Even if you decide to change it in the middle of the novel. I, myself added a new character 20,000 words in to my first NaNo, and by the end of the 50,000 words, he was my MC's new love interest, and her old love turned out to be evil. Yeah. Changing is okay. I loved John infinitely more than I ever loved Eitan, and it turned out to be what was best for the plot. So let your plot be yours! Don't worry about pleasing others or making it perfect.

Let it be what it wants to be.

And with that, I conclude the final entry for the NaNoWriMo Prep Series! Good luck with your NaNoing, lovlies!


Starting in Novemember, the NaNoWriMo Special series will be continued with pep talks, advice for the month of November to help you get through NaNoWriMo. Stay tuned!





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YOU WRITE WHAT YOU READ
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written by OliveDreams < PM: >

In this weeks, You Write What You Read, I will delve into the horror genre to mark the Happy Halloween that's coming up! Authors of horror yearn to evoke the feelings of fear or terror from their readers by making their worst nightmares come alive on the page. Panic, alarm, and dread are what they are searching for!

So, which horror books make YOU want to spill and splatter scarlet blood through your words?

Cherished member @HighTop is the first to be grilled!

Squills: Afternoon HighTop! Do you mind answering a few questions for a new Squill's article?

HighTop: Sure thing!

S: Great! Let's get straight to it, shall we? Tell us about your all time favourite horror book.

HT: My favourite book is 'Bec' by Darren Shan. It's amazing! It's about a young girl, abandoned at birth, who lives as a priestess in a small community. She embarks on a journey along with warriors to find a boy's home community & a way to save the world from demons and the demonita.

S: Shan, huh? He's a fantastic author! I knew it wouldn't be something romantic and smushy coming from you! :)
What do you love about it? And who is your favourite character?


HT: My favourite part about 'Bec' is the protagonist, a young girl that the book is named after. I don't want to give away any spoilers, so I'll just say that she's a selfless character who I identify with.

S: We all love those strong protagonists! How has this book, in particular, helped you with your own writing?

HT: That's a hard question! I would say that, since it's actually the first book that I read in full, it inspired my love of writing! Also the theme of the book, horror, inspires my writing in the sense of creating an atmosphere because 'Bec' isn't very gory.

S: There's nothing like the attachment to your first book! What is the last line from 'Bec' by Darren Shan?

HT: The last line of 'Bec' is,
“Screams in the dark.”


OD: -shivers- chilling stuff! Now, show us how this line can inspire your with your own bone shaking horror. Would you mind writing a little something based on that last line?

HT: Oh that's a hard one!

These hollow tombs.
Awaken from the other world.
Let loose the wrath of hell.
A symphony of screams in the dark.


S: Wow! Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions!

HT: No problem dear <3

Next week, I will be searching out for those who love dotting a little mystery into their novels! Heads up, it could be you!

Olive <3





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MOD MOMENT: NATE
written by The Messenger < PM: >




A few days ago I got to talk with none other then our awesome site founder, creator, and administrator, @Nate!

Squills: Hi! TheMessenger here, reporting for Squills. So, I know how much YWS has helped me and others on here, but I was wondering if you'd tell us why and how you started YWS back in 2004?


Nate: I started YWS back in 2004 as a senior in college. Back when I was in high-school, I used to be a member of a website called The Young Writers Club (TYWC). In its time, TYWC was a technological marvel, and it was probably one of the very first sites to allow commenting period.

However, the administrator of it was a university professor in Turkey who had started it for his daughter. Even after his daughter lost interest in creative writing, he continued to maintain the site, which was a heavy burden. But eventually he no longer could afford the time to keep the site running, which meant that by 2004, the site was dead.

I thought that was a sad way for TYWC to die, and I initially tried to go about resurrecting it since the administrator had granted me some administrative privileges years prior. But doing so was impossible, and the technology behind the site was obsolete anyways. Even I could have resurrected it, it wouldn't have lasted very long.

So on one Sunday afternoon in November 2004, I decided to go about building a spiritual successor to TYWC in order to ensure that the same environment I had found to be so enriching in my own youth wouldn't perish.


S: How much of a task was it to create your own website, especially with so many different aspects of it, and all the activity that goes on?


N: Creating YWS initially wasn't difficult. It took me a couple hours to set up the forum, and back then I had almost no web programming experience whatsoever. But, the site was a success from the start thanks to a number of people (a few of whom are still around today such as @Firestarter, @Meshugenah, @Crysi, @Ego, and @niteowl), and thus it began to quickly grow.

S: Have there been any major changes to website?


N: Aye, there have been many changes to the website over the years. For a good listing, you can see how the site looked at various periods here: YWS Over The Years

What's not covered in that thread though are the changes to how the community has functioned over the years. At first, there were only moderators and myself, and moderators were chosen based basically on whether they wanted to be a mod or not. By mid-2005, though, @Big Brother was fully formed and all mods by that point were chosen based on a nomination process within BB (which continues today).

As the site continued to grow, though, it became necessary to have moderators for specific sections of the site - junior moderators. We also once had two more volunteer levels - Instructor and Greeter. Instructors were those who had been reviewing a lot, and greeters are self-explanatory. However, both groups were eventually removed because it became unworkable. That is, once someone became an instructor / greeter, they usually stopped reviewing / greeting.

Nowadays, we have admins, global moderators, and junior moderators. In addition to those, you have distinguished members (former admins / gms) and distinguished junior mods (former jms).

Outside these volunteer levels, the community has changed a ton as well. You go back to 2004, and almost everyone on YWS was 14 - 16 years old. Today, the average age of active members is 18. It's almost becoming a misnomer to call it the Young Writers Society.

As a result, the quality of reviewing and writing has simply shot through the roof. It's really amazing to compare YWS 2004 to YWS 2013, and all that has to do with the members along the way.


S: I'm sure it was very exciting to see such growth. I am impressed with how well run this site is, and I know from others besides myself, that this place is really friendly to all newcomers. How does it feel to have a site so well-liked with for the most part very happy users?


N: Creating something that others enjoy so much is at once humbling and frightening. It's humbling because you have started something that is much bigger than yourself, and it's frightening because of the duties and obligations that necessarily entails.

S: Well our time is short, so I'll just wrap it up with a big thank you from all us writers. This place has powerfully impacted all of us.


N: Thanks Messenger!

Sadly we ran out of time, even though I had lots more to speak with him about. But I encourage you to sit down with him sometime yourself, and chat with him. He is a terrific guy!
Last edited by SquillsBot on Sun Oct 27, 2013 2:05 am, edited 1 time in total.





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SOCIETY PAGES
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written by Stella Thomas < PM: >

It’s practically the sequel to Inception, @ArcticMonkey went to see the Arctic Monkeys live in concert this week. What is this madness? She complains that she was bruised and truly, Lady S feels her pain- this weekend, I was attacked by a train armrest…

The rest of YWS is gearing up for a few injuries of its own as the monthly war dubbed Review Day kicks into action. By the time you read this, things will already be in full swing! Are we doing it in costume this year? I sure hope so, I can’t wait to see @Iggy’s dinglehopper! She better not be trying to steal Prince Eric away from us though, he’s all mine.

@Clarity got a puppy and my is it gorgeous. Not as beautiful, though, as the production of Romeo and Juliet that @SparkOfDoubt went to see this week. I’m sighing just at the very thought of both of these…

Now for a PSA. @Blues is feeling distracted by crushes at school, including a Converse!girl. How exciting! When asked to comment, he wondered if the old classification system was still in use of BOY/Boy/boy (and any variation thereupon, including GIRL/Girl/girl). Lady S is happy to announce today that it is. The code, for those of you who are unaware, is as follows: a BOY is a boy on whom one has a crush, or one finds attractive but with whom one has no particular affiliation. A Boy is a significant other, and a boy is simply, well, a boy.

But I’m sure all his older and wiser peers will tell @Blues to focus on his studies- especially @Lava, who is loving grad school, and is currently in the top twenty of her class, set to graduate with a first class honours with distinction. Wow! I don’t know how she manages to do that and have fun in Pennsylvania at the same time, but she is. If only we were all that smart…

@Sachiko and @beckiw are fighting again in the only way they know how… by threatening their characters! If @beckiw doesn’t write soon, @Sachiko promises that something terrible (or even more terrible than usual) will befall Becki’s beloved Grayson! Will there be tragedy waiting at the end of this tale? Knowing Sachi, probably yes. Still, check back with Lady S next week to hear the ending!

xxx

Lady S
Last edited by SquillsBot on Sun Oct 27, 2013 5:37 am, edited 1 time in total.





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WHO IS THAT IN THE MIRROR
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written by Hannah < PM: >

Works get featured every day and change every twenty-four hours. So what awesomeness have you missed? Hopefully not the short but sweet and memorable poem by @ReisePiecey, "I forgot who I was before you" ! Squills sat down with the author to define more clearly the relationship between poem and poet.

Squills: So! Your poem "I forgot who I was before you" recently topped the featured works chart with a staggering 18 likes at the time of this interview. This is potentially the work's crowning moment; maybe it will go on to be published somewhere someday. But can you tell us about the poem's birth? Where were you and what made you bring this poem into being?


ReisePiecey: I suppose the poem started right after my boyfriend and I broke up. It wasn't a poem at first, the first two lines were the only ones I thought of and I posted them as a status update instead. The rest of the poem came to me when I started thinking about the break up too much and I couldn't distract myself from it. The way I cope with sadness is by writing, so I grabbed a pen and this poem spilled out of it.

S: I think one of the awesome things about this poem, then, is that it doesn't have to be specifically about a break up. It wasn't a poem that was written to shout to the world -- "Hey I loved this guy and it made me sad", but rather a poem that explored your emotions in a larger scope. It's just a general fact that unless you spend a lot of time looking in a mirror, you know other people's faces better than your own.

Why do you think the character in this poem -- however much he/she is related to you -- looks in the mirror at the end of the poem?


R: It's a revelation for the narrator at that point, she's understanding that she's based so much of herself on other people that once those people are gone she doesn't know who she really is. She's looking into mirrors in a desperate search for self discovery, but is coming up blank. It's also a lesson to the reader - a warning, really - that it's dangerous to put so much worth into things that are temporary. People are temporary.

S: Another interesting aspect of your poem was that although the subject matter is dark enough to warrant the warning to the reader that you mentioned, it also contained a lovely lilting rhyme -- "until they stumbled upon yours and my world drowned in blue. / I cannot see myself unless I'm seeing you." -- that brought the tone of the poem up from those depths. Was this intentional? Something stumbled upon? Why bring a couplet into an otherwise free-form poem?


R: I really wish I had an insightful and sophisticated answer for this, but I don't. It was something stumbled upon. I thought about changing it because I don't usually like rhyming in poetry, not my poetry anyway, but kept it because it did seem to lighten the mood. I'm a rather happy person and I try not to take myself too seriously, so I left the rhyming piece in because even though it's a very intense moment in the poem, the couplet makes it not as heavy as it could have been. Plus, I always read rhymes in singsong so it made me smile.

S: I noticed that in your reviews, you got a reader who interpreted the last line as really funny -- perhaps more light-hearted than you intended, even as optimistic as you are. How did you react to that?


R: I thought it was hilarious! I never looked at the poem in that light and if you read the last line in the right tone it can be really funny. Just think of it in a horror movie parody type of way. I laughed for a good minute at the idea.

S: Are you up for a poetic challenge?
If you had to write this poem again without using the words "I" or "you", how would it come out?


R: Oh that's tough. Let's see... can I just write it in third person? Can that be a thing?

Her body had been hers for eighteen years,
yet she knew his face better than her own.
She did not always know the position of her feet in the morning,
but could trace the path of veins
that connected his heart to his brain with her eyes closed.
She never payed attention to her own eyes
until they found his and her world was engulfed in blue.
She couldn't see herself without his vision to look through.
The empty mirrors were starting to scare her.


I made it a thing. Wow, that sounds really bad! Haha, but there it is.


S: I like how you made it a point to keep the rhyme you only stumbled upon the first time. What do you think is different about your poem in the third person? Anything spark inspiration for you?


R: Without the rhyming part it was "until they found his and her world was engulfed in blue. / She couldn't see herself (without him/in his absence)." and that literally made me cringe. In this point of view, the poem seems disconnected and mechanical. It's way too impersonal this way and comically bad. I don't have any sparks of inspiration from it right now, but I'm rather fond of the third line. It made me laugh when I was writing it.

S: Lastly, would you mind letting us know your poetry plans for the future and maybe leave the readers with a writing prompt drawn from this interview? :)


R: I don't have any poetry plans for the future. I don't ever have any poetry plans. Whenever I write a poem it's touch and go. I never decide to write poetry, something just happens in my brain and the words are suddenly there. Nano is coming up though so I'm preparing for that mostly.

And, readers, I challenge you to take a poem you've already written and re-write it using a different point of view. It's really fun and challenging. If you decide to give it a try then I'd love to see the results!


S: Thanks for taking the time to talk to Squills, Reise, and take it easy!!


R: It was my pleasure really. Thanks and bye!

So there you have it. From the mouth of the featured author, a prompt to any brave readers. If you take up the banner and re-write a poem in a different point of view, post it up in the Squills Fan Club and we'll send over 100 points as a way of saying, "Way to be a Brave Squills Reader!"
Last edited by SquillsBot on Sun Oct 27, 2013 5:36 am, edited 1 time in total.





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ASKPRUNO
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written by Blackwood < PM: >


Welcome to Ask Pruno, the advice column which can set your problems straight or flip them on a high-spun course to outerspace (and back again). I speak on behalf of Pruno, a great and mysterious figure who has recently made himself present to the good patrons of Young Writers Society.
Pruno will answer any questions you throw at him, be it advice, personal opinion, solutions or philosophy.
Please note, this is the advice of Pruno, and it is his opinion alone. Nothing he says can be considered incorrect or factual, even if you disagree with him.

This week four questions were picked to face the jury.



~~~


O Great Wise One,
I like to think that I have a pretty nice sense of humour/personality, but I find that I'm often too shy to be myself. I'm really quiet, and people are often surprised when I'm funny. I feel like this holds me back, but I don't know what to do to work around it. I also don't want to become someone I'm not by being more outgoing. Any advice for a girl who wants to come out of her shell?
-Timid Teen

Dear Timid,
I believe most people experience a form of shyness with people of whom they are unfamiliar, because as humans, we have a perpetual fear of what others think of us and wish to impress them. In what you have asked me I feel that you have contradicted yourself and in effect have answered your own question. You already are yourself and you know who you are and you should not try to worry about it. One thing I can say is, if someone is trying to talk to you, then talk back and don’t wait for them to initiate every question or part of the conversation, after they have spoken it is your turn to ask something. It is very frustrating for the other person if they are trying really hard to converse with you but you keep shying away. Just be yourself and stay true to who you are, but don’t leave people hanging.
-Pruno


~~~



To the most Esteemed Overlord, Pruno-
My last intention is to interrupt your extremely supreme schedule, but if you could spare a moment, I have an inquiry pertaining to your amazing sense of style: ... *drum roll* Why do you wear purple?
-Nunyo Bizness

Dearest Nunyo,
Your question is not one easily answered, and it evokes both an emotional and physical journey on me as I attempt to answer this with words. You see, it’s a psychological thing really, and it represents so much in my life. When I was younger my father was slain by a man who wore a purple axe on his head who tripped over and landed into my father so the colour purple is symbolic as it represents my father’s death and the entire legacy that his life left behind. Also, back in 1905 I stepped on a tomato that had been left in the middle of the street for quite some time and thus had been discoloured to a genuine reddish-blue. At that moment I had an epiphany and went through a philosophical change in the outlook of life. Purple was destiny.
-Pruno


~~~



How do you break up with a guy who did nothing wrong, but you know he isn't right for you?
-Evil Girl

To Evil Girl,
You’re too young to have a boyfriend.
-Pruno


~~~


Pruno
I'm just going to put it out there.
Pruno. We should be together. Forever.
So that's why... *gets down on one knee* Pruno, will you marry me?
-SlushySlapped

Dear Slush-Face
Look, you may not understand.... It’s not that you haven’t been nice to me. I also tried to be caring when I was with you.
But yet, I think that you expected too much of this friendship, which, as you may remember, started by accident. Slushy, don’t get me wrong, but things are not in place as so I could be with you.
On my part, I take full responsibility for this failure, after all, I expected too many things from you. I was disappointed. I honestly hope that, soon, very soon, you will find someone as short as yourself to propose to instead.
-Pruno


~~~


Would you like to ask Pruno a question and get a slice of his interpretations? You can ask him anything you want! It could be a personal problem, or writing advice and tips, even your calculus homework or something else ridiculous! Just follow this link to go to the submission form and fill it out.
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GREEN ROOM GALLERY
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written by KnightTeen < PM: >

I realized something this week as I was prepping for NaNo and R-Day. I really don't need to do a Gallery during R-Day weekend. I mean, there really is no point. The whole focus of the GRG is to bring more attention to the Green Room . During Review Day, we don't need that, since instead of having a few people going into the Room to review a work or two, practically the entire site is going to scramble to get everything reviewed. By the end of the day, the Room will be empty, and so, in the end, there is no need to have a feature.

But then again, there is. By now you have realized that I don't just feature a GR work and that's it. That's the end of the article. I don't think that I would have been able to continue writing the Gallery all these months later. I try as hard as I can to make the Gallery as engaging as possible, because I want it to continue. And obviously I've been doing something right since I'm still here. I've been writing for Squills since the 8/4-8/11 issue. I've been a member of the staff for going on three and a half months now, and I recently was promoted from General Reporter to General Editor. The Gallery has been there with me through all of this. She's my baby, and it's been so fun watching her grow.

The Gallery started pretty much how everything in this world starts. With a thought, an idea. I saw a forum asking for ideas and suggestions for Squills, and at the time I had no idea what that was. So I did some research, read the latest issue and instantly I was hooked. I don't really know what exactly made me think of starting the Gallery. More than likely it came to my mind because at the time I had just joined the Knights , and the Green Room was one of my favorite places to be. I thought it needed more recognition.

Of course, when I suggested it I had no idea that @Hannah would ask me to write it. I thought that one of the reporters would pick it up, and that would be the end of it. YWS and her users never cease to amaze me. When I first started out on YWS, I never thought that I would end up where I am now. Everything wonderful that has happened to me I never expected to happen. I never thought that I would become a reporter, or a Knight, or a Featured Member. I joined in order to share my work and read what others in my age range were writing. Before I joined, I had never even heard of NaNo, or Storybooking, or many other things. YWS, Squills, the Knights, and the Gallery have truly changed my life.

There are many people to whom I owe a thanks for my success. You lifted me up when I was down, listened to me rant and rage, stayed online with me when I needed someone. I wish I could list all of you, but there are so many that I can't. But you know who you are. And I love you for it.

And so the Gallery Feature this week is the whole Green Room, since I have already stated that by tomorrow night it will be empty. I hope everyone has a wonderful Review Day.
And my last words of advice to all of you out there, just be yourself, and never stop. Maybe I know the person reading this right now, and maybe I don't. But one thing that I do know is that many of you managed to make a difference in my life, and that was because you were you. By being yourself we became friends, and I know in my heart that we will never stop. So once again, thank you. And God bless.
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FEATURED RESOURCE ARTICLE
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written by Hannah < PM: >

This week's featured article from the awesome materials piled up and collected in the Knowledge Base , is @Lumi's How To: Iambic Pentameter . Generally, you hear that time-honored phrase "iambic pentameter" and you get horror-filled flashes of Shakespeare and failing grades on impossible tests. It's the stuff of a student's nightmares, just in time for Halloween.

But here at Squills, we don't want you to go into the wilderness unprepared, and so with the help of this trusty article of Lumi's we're preparing you to fight with those English Class Demons and we're making sure you come out alive. Here are just some of the helpful hints Lumi shares in his article:



Iambic Pentameter is constructed with ten syllables. Those ten syllables are broken into five feet*, or pairs of syllables. And the way we read those ten syllables can be constructed as:

da DUM da DUM da DUM da DUM da DUM



Other articles in Poetry Tutorials you might want to check out that are related to the kind of structured poetry you encounter at school are:

"Do poems all need to be punctuated as pristinely as the ones in the text book?" -- "Punctuation&Poetry: New poet's guide [Can't I leave it out?]" by @Adnamarine

"Do I really need to make this poem fit the right meter?" -- "On Highly Structured Poems" by @Snoink
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NEW ARRIVALS
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written by ShadowVyper < PM: >


@satynenovak has only been on the site a bit less than a week, but has already started spreading awesome reviews around the site. Why not return the favor by reviewing her short horror story, Darkness Awaits ?

@Umbra413 is also new to the family, but she, too, has already started helping her fellow writers out by leaving them with lovely reviews. Luckily, she's also already posted the first chapter of her romantic novel, Illegally in Love, Chapter 1 .

@anabelsinclair is also starting to write some awesome reviews on pieces posted here. She's got some really good advice, too! You should take a moment to check out her short mystery story, Metropolis Law .

@emjayc is a beast! They've only been here for a few short days, but have already written so many amazing reviews that they've earned two stars! That's right, two. Emjayc has also posted several awesome stories. The most recent is a chilling short narrative, Beautiful Lights .

@mephistophelesangel is also quite new to the family, but has also started reviewing. He's also already posted the first chapter of his novel, Prologue of the USA Abattoir , as well as made a post looking for help about How to write a battle scene in a fiction novel . Have any ideas? Then go help him out!

@DarkRavenGrimm has only been on the site for a few days, but has already earned his first star for writing so many awesome reviews! He's also posted several pieces for us to read (and review!). You should go check out his lovely poem, Fantasy .


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

@chicknalfredo@JasmineTW@Styupid@michelle450@dreambeauty@WATTS91@zintongue@StephHardy28@AprilArray@TalkAboutCoolGirl@sarphiel@mman10@AmyZhang@EdenColin1@KealliiRaycene@BryonyPenn@demoncrackers@Abiygal@sesshomauro@Nolovedoe@godilite@sinlesskeyrus@lovewrite@0rki3@Kirrilee@latikacarley@Esitwitsit@ThePolkaDottedLily@allies@hippie2shoes1999@Dysphoric@naomimahdere@Raquelle@andyruv@DaneilKevin@Vanetias@steampowereddragon@shadowartist@Kristenthefanatic27@carringtonc@escapeartist@Allyssa@Malkom@DemonZombieWolf@EstherDiva@EzioAuditorre@JaffaCakes@Evilpancakes@kiritosao@kennerdyknees@Mockingjay12@storytellergirl@anduin@Nicky@laura1996smile@Kazpar9352@OneMoreDemonInHere@TKLKOMOMID@Lost2002@djskomora@SPratt666@escapethruwords@HoboBob@marbleeyes@MahaNadeem@sammybabe010501@dualitie@judyp@TheMadWriter@sunshan
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THIS WEEK'S ROUNDUP – 10/27
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written by megsug < PM: >
Come one, come all. My four ringed circus is in town! Four great links full of wonders~


The question is pretty simple as @SparkofDoubt lays out:



I was just wondering, what do you do to prepare for NaNo?


I personally try not to think of my novel until the first of November. What do you do though? Gather stockpiles of coffee? Plot out every detail? Find the proper sacrifice to offer to the NaNo fates to secure your success. How have you been spending you October preparing?


Most blooming novelists on YWS run into the same problem. Your first three or four chapters get tons of reviews and then, slowly, as the chapters grow, the reviews dwindle. @NightWolf has created a solution:



Post the links to your novel, I will choose one for the week, and we [club members] will endeavour to write a constructive review for EVERY chapter!


If you’re a novelist in need or someone who wishes to extend a reviewing hand to novelists, come join!



@fortis has an awesome contest up and running for you poets and songwriters. If I was a songwriter, I would say it’s pretty simple, but I don’t have those sick skills. Here’s how she lays it out:


I provide 3 different, wordless songs for you to choose from. You write lyrics to one of them.


There’s already some stiff competition with @indieeloise, @567ajt, and possibly @HighTop signed up to compete. Everyone will get some points for participating, and the top three get reviews. There’s no way to lose, so there’s no reason not to sign up!


Why are Andrew Jackson and his acts against Native Americans swept under the rug? Why are other historical figures practically villainized? Is it truly just about the man or woman and their actions? Or is there more? @Karzkin thinks that history is merely a version of the truth, using Christopher Columbus as an example:



...high school history classes all over the world teach kids that Columbus was a great explorer and whatever, but pretty much always leave out that he waged a genocidal war against the native Americans despite the fact that they initially welcomed him, captured and enslaved many of the survivors, stole all their land and gold, mutilated those who paid him tribute and mutilated then killed those who didn't, captured children for use as sex slaves, and caused the collapse of the West African gold trade which paved the way for the Atlantic slave trade.


Do all historical figures have two faces? The one that deserves a national holiday and the one that starts genocidal wars? ...Perhaps. The contrast probably isn’t as great as Columbus’ but it probably exists for everyone, famous or otherwise. Tell us why you think some historic figures are viewed as evil and others viewed as infalliable.
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SHAMELESS PLUGS
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written by SquillsBot < PM: >

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

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


And now for this week's Shameless Plugs!


Write Right with Squills Quills

That's right. Squills has a Shameless Plug inside of Squills. It's like Shameless Plug-ception if that joke hasn't gotten too old for even robots to use, yet. We're looking to add new, excellent writers to our staff, so if you've got an idea you're burning to get published, check out our Recruitment Call thread for more information!

Fortis's Lyrics Contest

Enter fortis's Lyrics Contest! The challenge is to write lyrics to one of the tunes provided. Check it out to learn more!

That's all folks~ Now send us yours.
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SUBSCRIBERS
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written by SquillsBot < PM: >

Find enspoiler-ed a list of our subscribers!

Spoiler! :
@SquillsBot@Carina@ShadowVyper@ArcticMonkey@Hannah@Dante • @LouisCypher • @VeerenVKS • @megsug • @BlackNether12 • @thewritersdream • @Letiki • @Aley@Rydia@Alpha@skorlir@KnightTeen • @AriaAdams • @neko@Aquila90@DudeMcGuy@kayfortnight@Cole@Blackwood@manisha@fortis • @HighTop • @cgirl1118@KittyCatMeow • @Strange • @ChocoCookie@carbonCore@Auxiira@Iggy@Blues


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








Hearing these stories makes me realize that I never did anything with my childhood.
— The Internet