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Squills 11/3-11/10/13



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Sun Nov 03, 2013 1:08 am
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Welcome to Squills, the official news bulletin of the Young Writers Society!

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

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

CREATIVE STAFF


Spoiler! :
Editor-in-Chief
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!





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Sun Nov 03, 2013 1:55 am
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WAIT, THE KEYS ARE ON FIRE?!
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written by Iggy < PM: >

This past Sunday, October 27th GMT, the Young Writers Society enjoyed yet another Review Day! With a goal of 550, the members of the site went crazy, choosing a team, electing captains, voting on a team name, and setting up avatars and banners galore! In the end, Team Blue chose @themessenger as their captain and Team Red chose two co-captains, @KittyCatMeow and @yubbies21.

Once the timer on the front page dinged 0:00:00, the site exploded, with Team Flaming Keys' captain, @KittyCatMeow, making the first review.

It was a tough battle from then. For a while, Team Flaming Keys and Team Fountain Pens went neck to neck, both fighting hard for first place. Eventually, Team Flaming Keys made a leap forward and was victorious.

As stated in the official Review Day breakdown , this was the final scoring:



Flaming Keys - 292 reviews for a total of 26404 points
Fountain Pens - 216 reviews for a total of 19056 points



It was a big difference from the previous Review Day , where the teams were literally neck to neck as they raced for the finish line. And while the goal of 550 reviews was not met, there was still victory to be celebrated! The noble and honorable Knights of the Green Room went forth into the dark and dangerous Green Room , slaying all the beasts and successfully emptying it!

The entire event was mayhem, intense, insane, and as always, so much fun! Some users came out of the fight rocking a new star or two, like @emjayc and @niteowl! Others made history as the reviewers with the most typed, like @EloquentDragon, whose amounts of reviews equalled up to 69833 characters!

Overall, it was a success, despite the unmet goal. Squills sat down with the co-captains of the winning team for a quick interview.

Squills: Congrats on your victory! How does it feel to be a captain of the winning team?


KittyCatMeow: It feels pretty comfortable, and I enjoy the feeling of winning. However, Review Day was about others, so I feel more satisfied about that rather than the victory itself.
yubbies21: I'll have to say, it feels really great! I had fun with my team, laughing together, choosing a name, and having friendly, competitive "arguments" with members of the other team! I was surprised when the votes for my name were counted, I was, and still am, so flattered!

S: What review methods, strategies, and techniques did you use to motivate your team?


K: As usual, I use this silent technique by finding pictures to encourage the team. Every once in a while, I find really nice ones, and I end up doing much more than I should've. Other times I give short words of advice, but I left that more to yubbies since I'm not good at that at all...
Y: My team wasn't that hard to motivate; they were really excited to review! I think I sent two private messages to my team during the day to keep them going, but they did a lot themselves just by encouraging each other with the wall posts. When it seemed like no one else was reviewing things in The Green Room, I offered an extra 50 points for every Green Room Review link people could send me from that particular point on. One of my faithful team members, @Niraco offered to match my donation. However, only one person took advantage of this offer, @tgirly!

S: What did you learn from this experience?


K: Well, I did really enjoy being with the team (some I wasn't teamed up with before), and I learned that sometimes 550 isn't an easy goal. I supposed I'm way too spoiled with my first Review Day when we almost reached a high score. Unfortunately, we did not. Although, we sure were close...
Y: My experiences this review day taught me many things; I learned so much! I learned how to work well with a large group of people and how to lead out with another person. My reviews are certainly improving, or at least I think so... Everybody taught me that it doesn't matter what team you are on, as long as we all work together!

S: What advice could you offer to any future Review Day team captains?


K: If you want to make your team be the champ, I believe in three good words which are - inspire, believe, and review! Inspire, to encourage your team to win. Believe in your team, and make the best out of it. Review! That way, you won't let your team down.
Y: Just have fun. Talk to as many members of your team as you can and listen to their struggles through-out review day. I didn't get to everyone because I was busy reviewing, but I sure would have liked to. Mainly, be positive. I felt my heart sinking when I saw the points at the beginning of review day. My team wasn't off to the greatest start; we were behind, but I tried to stay positive and kept encouraging my team. It must have worked, because we came back to a smashing victory! Also, don't forget to call them minions. They love being called minions!

And that wraps up the events of this month's Review Day! The question now is.. will we be seeing you on November 24th?
Last edited by SquillsBot on Sun Nov 03, 2013 2:58 am, edited 1 time in total.





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WHERE WAS YWS ON HALLOWEEN?
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written by Hannah < PM: >

Halloween. It's not a holiday everyone celebrates. When asked, @Baal put it simply: he did nothing. And for 30 percent of the voters in the Offical Poll about plans for October 31st , there were no special plans they were looking forward to. It may not be written on the calendars of every YWS member, but it's a way to mark the passage of time nonetheless.

For @Bloodink, the theme of "nothing special" crept into their plans, but it wasn't quite all that "nothing". Bloodink spent the night in pajamas with a friend watching Eraserhead, which they mentioned was a cult classic. For those who are only hearing about this film for the first time (like I was), Bloodink provides a few quick strokes of description to get us interested. they say it's about



a creepy alien baby thing that drives its parents insane... [it]'s an old film. So it's all black and white. And the effects are quite simplistic. But through it has this unnerving atmosphere... the final scene of the movie in particular... [for] someone who doesn't mind: the weird and warped... basically a commentary on family relationships; and what happens when they go wrong... VERY intriguing, dark and mysterious



In addition to watching what sounds like a fantastic movie, Bloodink says they also had a light up ghost on the table at dinner. Thrilling!

Perhaps not as thrilling for @BadNarrator and @confetti, who both had to work the busy day, playing in the snow and handing out popcorn to the crowds of customers.

It's true that the hubbub of the holiday isn't for everyone. As was noted on the Official Poll thread, many members, including @InfinityAndBeyond, refrain from celebrating on that day because of religions reasons, owing to the fact that Halloween evolved from a Pagan celebration (or as @BlackNether12 called it "pagan voodoo"). Instead of participating, Infinity watched the rain fall.

Other members of YWS don't celebrate Halloween because their country doesn't celebrate Halloween. @GigiHarris, a member from Bangladesh, said she celebrated by sitting on a rooftop and drinking some rootbeer, enjoying the breeze. She also shared that



Halloween is not really celebrated in [her] country[, but she'd] like it if it were.



Of course, where there are non-participants, there are also enthusiastic participants. Nearly 20 percent of those who voted in the official poll opted for the "traditional" approach of heading out to trick and treat. @Cheetah headed out with her friends, dressed as a candy corn witch, and discovered a new twist on an old classic: a candy bonfire. Rather than walking all around a neighborhood, neighbors gathered around a bonfire to pass candy and drink coffee near the warmth of the flames.

Going further back into tradition -- you know, back before we had plastic to wrap those mini-sized candies in -- @StellaThomas shares with us a little about one of the less-popular poll options: Samhain



Samhain is actually the Irish word for "November". We also call December "Nollaig" which means Christmas. Halloween is called Oíche Shamhna (Samhain Eve). We eat a lot of this stuff called barnbrack, which is just a fruit loaf but with things hidden inside it. Usually a ring- if you get a ring in your slice, it means you'll be married first. If you get a coin- you'll be rich, a pea- you'll be poor, a cipín- a cripple (we're such a nice race).




Well, so what about you? Were you logged on to see the spooky bat background that replaced the default blue? Did you spend your day eating boiled eggs or trying to catch a wild horse? Can anything you did on Halloween beat @OliveDreams' trip to Venice? If you've got just the thing to top her and her gorgeous pictures of canals, share in the Squills Fan Club and make us all extremely jealous!





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TEAM QUALITY OR TEAM QUANTITY?
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written by Iggy < PM: >

When you write a review, what do you focus more on: quality or quantity?

A quality review is when you put a lot of thought and content into it. You go in-depth about the author's strengths and weaknesses, point out nitpicks and ways to improve. You also cover grammatical errors, pointing out where they are and how to fix them. Usually, these reviews will take you over 20 minutes because you take your time dissecting the piece. Since it takes you so long to write these reviews, you usually get about three to five reviews done before you burn out.

Then you have the quantity reviews, the ones that you bust out in five minutes. These are the ones that are brief, short, and might even feel rushed, due to typos or a lack of flow. You can get about 20 of these done a night, and while they may seem like a lot, they really aren't, because they're lacking so much more feedback that the author could use.

So what's the better team to play for?

Most of you might say quantity, because of the number of reviews. Others might say it's quality, because a truly good review takes time to write and is well thought out, not rushed and sloppy written.

One of the site's admins, @Rydia, says



It's best to get a balance between review quality and quantity because too much quantity and you're not helping anyone very much, but too much quality and while you're helping one person a lot, there are still lots more people out there who you could have helped!

If you aim to write two medium sized reviews, then you've really helped out two people, which is much better than giving all your attention to one or giving four or five people a few sentences of feedback.

Everyone has a different style though and what makes YWS such a haven for reviews is that we do have the people who will spend an hour on your piece of work - and that's awesome! But we also have those who will make sure that everyone gets at least a few pieces of advice and getting feedback on your work, however brief, is encouraging and fuels your writer's fire which makes you want to continue improving.

However you review, as long as you're taking the time to be constructive and to give the writer your genuine feedback and advice, you can't go wrong. But try to keep a balance. Don't spend too many hours breaking one author's story to pieces – it might be one they decide not to write any more. Aim to give reviews longer than a paragraph though – it takes time to explain what is working and how to fix the parts which aren't working so well.



She's correct. A perfect blend of quality and quantity and you've just become the reviewer that everyone wants to critique their work! It's always best to keep a medium when reviewing. You take your time with a piece and it's neat, it's nice, it's well thought out, it's helpful, and you get the total amount of points for it! Everyone benefits - you as the reviewer and the author as the reviewed! It's a win-win situation.

So remember this advice when you're striving to make it on the leaderboards, and always refer to The YWS Critique Sandwich whenever you need help reviewing!





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WORKSHOP SEASON: OCTOBER
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written by Hannah < PM: >

Workshops have been a part of YWS for a while now. Members and moderators gather together to discuss theory and write together in light of a theme, often in a WriterFeedPad, which you can access under the "Me" section of the black bar that runs across the top of your YWS window. They're run similarly to workshops that would be held in real life: a group of writers gets together and works on improving their craft. The only difference is that online, everyone can see what you're writing as you write it -- there's no holding your journal to your chest or telling them you'll e-mail them the draft when you're finished.

And though workshops are popular, October seemed to be an especially popular time for workshops as the YWS population prepared for National Novel Writing Month. That was, in fact, the binding theme of this set of four workshops: NaNo Prep Month .



The first workshop to run was @Elinor%20Brynn's Heroes With a Thousand Faces , which went live on October 6th after a week's delay. The partipants -- @NightWolf, @Hightop, @SparkToFlame, and @Rydia -- gathered for a perfectly-timed thirty minutes, the first third of which they spent discussing heroes' journeys in contemporary works like Into the Wild and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, followed by another thiry minutes of sharing summaries of their own works and reflecting in short paragraphs about the events after the end of their story arc.

The definite highlight of this workshop, however, was when the participants, creative minds roaring with fire after all the pre-discussion, jumped into a game of truth or dare in the mindsets of various original characters. It was lively and allowed the character's personalities to shine alongside random facts the authors had to share for the readers to make sense of their dialogue. For example, Elinor shared that,



ketchup was banned in the 1930s while they were refining the recipe to make it safer to eat



Who knew aside from Elinor?

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The second workshop, falling on October 13th, was spearheaded by the lovely @Lauren2010, who named the theme as "Descriptive Writing". @Elinor%20Brynn and @HighTop both showed up for their second workshop in a row, joined by new participants @StellaThomas, @Lumi, and @wonderland. The main activity in this workshop was responding to a series of pictures (which you can see separating the descriptions of the workshops in this article) with different methods of description.

They attempted their natural style, cropping it down to two sentences, describing without adjectives or adverbs, describing using only sensory descriptions, and capped it all off with a round-about description of a place they could not name in their writing. Here's an excerpt of wonderland's writing from the end of the workshop:




Lux took a deep breath, then exhaled. She never thought she would like the smell of hay, let alone find the errant mooing of cows comforting.


You can almost feel the dust on your face, can't you? You'll want to pay attention to the next time Lauren2010 runs a workshop, then, won't you? If the fantastic writing that results from spending an hour and a half in writerly company doesn't convince you, perhaps what will is her admission to a fondness for making raspberry pies whenever she has the chance. (And serving them at workshops? We wish!)

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The third workshop arrived a week later. Both @Lumi and @Rosey%20Unicorn were at the helm this time, leading the participants through an investigation into the mechanics of inspiration and how they could keep spirits and creativity up during as draining an activity as writing a novel in the space of a month. After sharing initial thoughts, participants free wrote for a while without any specific inspiration. They were then given a picture prompt and asked to give it another shot.

@HighTop showed up for his third workshop in a row, and was joined briefly by @nobody in the beginning, but rounded out the workshop with only Rosey left standing. It turned out to be an especially rich experience for the two of them, because they noticed the other had taken the opposite point of view in the inspired writing. Rosey wrote about inside the window while HighTop wrote about the outside. They challenged one another to switch perspectives and found even more inspiration that way.

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The fourth and final workshop of the month focused on outlines for the NaNo novel -- a potential lifeline to carry the unwitting authors to safety on the other side of 50,000 words. @Lumi said that while gathering inspiration for this workshop, he



thought about the process of writing a full novel--the way that you'd do it if you wanted to be published. And then [he] cut down the extravagant parts to a minimalist "I really just want 50,000 words in this sucker" and went with the details from there. [His] central idea for both workshops was "How can I optimize my writing potential?"



Did it translate in the results? @Rosey%20Unicorn ended up hosting this last workshop on her own due to scheduling conflicts, but the loss of a host didn't discourage anyone from attending. As was perhaps to be expected, @HighTop showed up, joined by @SparkToFlame, @Blues, @NightWolf, and @Lateritic.

Since it was obvious these writers were getting close to the big game with NaNo just around the corner, this workshop took a very discussion-based approach, with less creative free-writing than the previous three. It really helped participants examine exactly why they outlined the way they did, whether it was efficient, and how they could build further webs between plot points to squeeze as much as they could out of the rough sketches they had outlined at first. As Lumi said,



The best plots never move in straight lines. In section A, you will have connections to sections B, C, D, and so on.



Does that hold true for you? Are you thinking about this story weaving as you dive into your first week of November Novel Writing?

If any of these descriptions interested you, keep an eye out for future worksheets. Take it from @HighTop (you already know why), who says




I loved all the workshops so much! They were all so helpful, and really fun to participate in.


Or, if none of the themes or timezones fit your need are you're just bursting with information you want to share, set one up yourself!
All you need is a plan, an announcement, and willing participants. Share what you know and help get the community's creativity flowing.
Remember to send a PM to @SquillsBot if you do schedule one, so we can throw in a Shameless Plug to help with advertising.
Good luck, all participants and creators. Keep your pens and minds always sharpened with the help of the grindstone that is workshops.





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Sun Nov 03, 2013 2:12 am
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THE DREADED BURNOUT AND HOW TO AVOID IT
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written by SparkToFlame < PM: >

Part of the NaNoWriMo Specials


We're now three days into NaNoWriMo... And @SparkToFlame has a pep talk for you!

When NaNoWriMo starts, we're all full of a nervous energy that just makes us want to start writing. But once we get started, how far should we go? Should we write four thousand words the first day, only to feel tired and overworked the next day? It's actually a better idea to write steadily, at the suggested daily word count (1,667 words) than to press out over 5k the first day. This isn't going to work the whole month, but if you start out slow and pick up your speed as you go, you're more likely to build up your stamina, so when the end of the month comes, and you're ten thousand words behind, you'll have to strength to power through it, because you didn't burn out at the beginning.

Tune in next week for more tips and tricks to get you through NaNoWriMo.





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Sun Nov 03, 2013 2:15 am
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COW SAYS NOVEMBER 3rd, 2013
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written by CowLogic < PM: >

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The Horrific Horror of Horrorlessness


Well, my friends. It's that season again (the Halloween one, that is), and I'm sure we all had our doors knocked and bells rung by little children wearing costumes and asking for charity candy, a charity we had no qualms performing philanthropic justice to (that is, unless you don't buy into the whole thing, which is fine by me).

One of the major focuses of that season is definitely the horror. It only makes sense that a nice little Christian holiday would soon turn into turning our youth into ultimatum-between-trick-and-treat-giving forces and titillating and exploiting the fears of the weak with gruesome horror, and so it did.

However, call me a desensitized fool, but I see far more horror in everyday life than in the festivities surrounding Halloween. And I'm not talking about "actual bad things" either, like rape and murder and genocide and starvation and all that stuff, although I must admit that stuff is pretty horrible. I'm talking about regular old Western technocratic life.

I find horror in the fact that we binge ourselves with popular culture as an escapism technique when all we are really escaping from are the products of that very same culture. I find horror in the fact that day in and day out we grab our lunch buckets and trundle off into the depths of the earth without realizing that at any moment we could be called on for something greater and we need to be ready. I find horror in the fact that everything we know, will know, or have known, has been imprinted, will be imprinted, or is being imprinted on our minds by our own life experience, and the amount of knowledge and truth that we can never truly contemplate being just beyond the event horizon, pressure escalating.

I find horror in the fact that the problems of men in Washington D.C. can come to my door asking for candy.

And constantly eating across the table from the future and never knowing if it's my last meal, Halloween fails to frighten me. Life never does though. I love life, but... it's a little horrifying.





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Sun Nov 03, 2013 2:17 am
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GREEN ROOM GALLERY
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written by KnightTeen < PM: >


This weeks featured Green Room work is entitled, Tales of Herc. and Meg written by @iamsalty, who is one of our newer members. It's been sitting there since last month.

(Yes, I know that I usually announce the featured work after I monologue for a few paragraphs, but I thought I'd shake things up a little this week.)

My younger brother, whom I shall call, The Comedian, said to me today, "Time flies fast. Feels like yesterday was only two days ago." He learned his dry, sarcastic humor from myself and our dad, I am proud to say.

But this statement can be bent a little and turned into this:
"Time flies fast. It was only six days ago that we had our last review day. And now there are 50+ works sitting in the room."

Now, I know that it is NaNo, and that a lot of us are currently working to achieve the goal of 50K words before the end of month. As a result of this, I predict an increase in the Rooms holding system. It's already happening. (I'm very good at predicting things) But just because we are posting a little more than usual doesn't mean that we need to neglect the Room.

I'm not saying that we are, in fact, neglecting it. Actually, we are simply writing to fast for the Knights and the other reviewers to keep up with us. And yes, I know that you are busy. But it doesn't take a herculean bout of strength to remove one work from the Room. Just review a work that's been review once, and that's one less that the rest of us have to worry about.

And come on, the posting that we will be doing for the next few weeks isn't going to be cheap, even if the cost is at its lowest. If we go under HVA, or if the posting cost climbs even a little then all NaNo participants are going to be in trouble. Let's try to keep that from happening, shall we?

Have a happy start to your NaNo, everyone!





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Sun Nov 03, 2013 2:19 am
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WRITING THROUGH THE AGES: THE BEGINNING
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written by KnightTeen < PM: >

If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it.


Anaïs Nin


Writing. People do it everyday, most of the time without even thinking. Writers, of course, put a little more thought into what is important to them, but let's be honest. When you jot down a few items that you want to pick up from the store on the way home, you don't take time to think about it beyond, I need milk, bread, and eggs.... But what are you really doing?

Words form the very fabric of our society. Communication has been around as long as people have. Being able to convey our thoughts and emotions has always been important, and over the years we have developed and refined our ways of doing so. The days of verbal disclosure have not ended, but they have been slowly overtaken by the written word. The question is, however, when did people start writing?

It is commonly accepted that true writing of language was first created separately in at least two locations: Mesopotamia around 3200 BCE and Mesoamerica around 600 BCE. The system they used back then consisted of pictures and signs etched onto clay tablets. (Try reading a novel on those. You'd have to use a horse to carry a book.)

It all started when people needed a way to record information about their crops. Using a reed, people etched the signs on the tablets. They used symbols and pictures instead of the words we use today, and for several hundreds of years they hardly changed. When scribes began using a writing tool with a squared end instead of the pointed reeds, the symbols had to be written differently, but still appeared similar to their original counterparts.

While change didn't occur quickly, it still occurred. The symbols didn't change much, but the way they were written did. At first scribes wrote separate things in boxes. Later on, they wrote signs in rows, lying on their side. It is very unclear why the way of writing changed. Maybe it was more efficient and easier for the scribes to record things this way. Or maybe there was one rebel who decided to do things differently. We will never know.

Right now, all across the world, hundreds of things are being written. It may be the next best-seller or the mom-next-door's shopping list, but it has words. It's language, and it's currently being inscribed in some manner. Whether through the technology of a writing app on a computer, or the rather archaic and yet still used methods of pen & ink, it is being placed on a sheet of paper (or an arm, you never know) in a way that people can understand and acknowledge. And to think, writing started when some genius got the idea to use a piece of clay and a stick. Who knew?

Spoiler! :
Writing Through the Ages is a new series of articles that I'm writing. Unlike the GRG, it will only be posted once a month at the beginning of the month. Tune in to the December 1st issue for the next installment.





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ASKPRUNO
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written by Blackwood < PM: >

Welcome to Ask Pruno, the advice column in which our great divine ruler Pruno will do a backflip to get his opinion back to you.
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 there was an extreme amount of questions asked, but only four could be chosen.

~~~


To Pruno, "The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread"
I've noticed that my writing has taken on the style of my favorite writers, such as Veronica Roth (Divergent) , J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter), etc.
How do I take my writing from gory, serious and action packed to something still serious, but with a touch of humor? Or even just a style individual to my own. Any hints and tricks would be helpful. Thanks!
-Tweedledee

To Tweedledee, “The Best Thing Since Clam Chowder.”
I have read both of these books so I understand the style you are referring to, (although they are both different from one another) And I do have some advice for you.
I too was once driven by action but now I find myself slowly morphing into an author of what I once would have considered a nightmare and what may be considered the ‘English teachers dream’. You can’t get more serious than that. Here is the key secret I have obtained to diverge myself from action and gore.
Characters and relationships.
Action is very much plot and setting focused, and although they too have compelling characters, the main story is based around the situation rather than the personality of the character. For example if Harry Potter had a loving home and no Voldemort infestation but still the same character it simply would not make a story. However let’s say that Harry was in his same circumstance but had a completely alternate personality, perhaps even being Neville, the story would have still basically worked out quite similarly, ie defeat Voldemort.

Now when I say relationships I by no way mean romance in particular. Despite being a charming romantic myself, I feel that in /most/ stories romance is one of the shallowest relationships you can get, especially when it’s a girl meets a guy and boom! Romance can be pulled off correctly if you give them background, struggles conflict, and the love interest is there for a reason far more than the sake of being the love interest.
You should focus on developing your characters and their relationship with the other characters around them and also how they develop, both within themselves and with the other people. If you focus on these things your story will naturally tend to be more “serious” rather than ‘boom boom pow’ style. (I’m not saying action isn’t serious)

As for humour, I can’t really say much on how to introduce or improve that, you either have a knack for it or you don’t. Ask people to read humorous sections without being told its humorous If they say “That was funny!” it means you succeeded. If you have to ask if it was funny and they say yes then you might succeed, however if it’s not funny then you may struggle. You should mention if it is supposed to be humourous if you are using the publishing centre so reviews can take that aspect into consideration and help you in their reviews.
-Pruno

~~~

I haven't written in my writing journal for over a year. What will make me start again, dear wise plum-colored one?
- Broken Pen

Dear ink-leaking friend.
I advise you buy a ton load of prune juice and drink it all at once after eating a large meal. When you feel the call of nature, retreat to the bathroom with your pen and journal.
It’s amazing how it works wonders.
-Pruno

~~~

To the most fabulous and loving overlord,
What are some good books/poems/prose to read? On YWS or off.
I thank you for your time o great one.
-Yo diggity

Diggity,
Anything by this one amazingly sexy person named Blackwood.
The thesaurus is also a good place to start, and the rhyming dictionary. It’s best to have a physical copy so you can leaf through it before you go to sleep each night.
-Pruno

~~~

To the amplified majesty, the glorious Pruno,
if you could choose any animal in the world to be your pet, what would it be?
-anonymous stalker

To Stalker
A human.
-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. Please do not spam the submission form.
Last edited by SquillsBot on Sun Nov 03, 2013 3:24 am, edited 3 times in total.





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Sun Nov 03, 2013 2:23 am
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FEATURED RESOURCE ARTICLE
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written by Hannah < PM: >

This week's featured article from the Resources Section of the YWS Forums comes to us from the small corner of the Knowledge Base called Writing Tutorials.

For me the outstanding virtue of this article lies in the fact that @Tenyo, author of this thread -- Do you smell that? -- goes beyond the usefulness of a dictionary and provides a genuinely invaluable resource.

What makes it work is Ten's Grading System. Each synonym of the word smell is assigned a number according to how difficult or easy it is to use in general conversation. In addition, Tenyo's pointed out whether the word is common, casual, specific, rare, or one of a number of other classifications. Really, you've got to get to the thread to appreciate the effort. It's especially useful to those YWSers who speak English as a Second Language. Dictionaries don't always share the nuances that native speakers can feel.

Alright, alright. I relent. I'll give you a preview:



Whiff 1* (Casual)
Whiff is more of an informal word. It describes a fleeting smell, something slight and brief, like when you’re walking through a crowd and you get a faint whiff of someone’s perfume or body odour.



But the article doesn't stop at definitions. Tenyo's not satisfied with lecture-style education. She wants you to get involved, and so she's included special prompts and challenges for you to really get to know her list of words. One of these challenges asks you to use one of the odder words in a conversation and observe the reaction. Nothing more fun than throwing the word "fetor" out there, and seeing how it goes.

If Tenyo's excellent article on the word smell isn't quite enough for you today, here are some Honorable Mentions from Writing Tutorials :

@Paracosm's What NOT to do in detective fiction -- Including such tips as "Never hide information from your reader", if you're looking to take up mystery writing

@Tenyo's other article Good and Bad -- A discussion on what makes characters good or bad and why

@JFW1415's quick refresher course on Dialogue Punctuation -- So you can remind yourself when you need a comma and when you need a period while you write your NaNo novel





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Sun Nov 03, 2013 2:28 am
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YOU WRITE WHAT YOU READ
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written by OliveDreams < PM: >

A endless world of possibilities, a dash of the forgotten past and a sprinkle of the future to come. I could, of course, only be talking about the literary genre of science fiction. Readers are whisked away to a different time and parallel universes where they will meet futuristic sciences, startling technology and maybe one or two friendly extraterrestrials!

I sat down with a fairly new member of YWS, @D4RKR4VEN, to ask him all about his most beloved book and how it inspired him to frantically scribble down his own adventures.

Squills: Hi D4RKR4VEN! Name us your favourite book of all time.


D4RKR4VEN: Hi OliveDreams. This is a tough question, but if I have to practice favouritism, it would have to be The Time Machine by Herbert George Wells. It's one of the first books I've read. I remember taking on the abridged version with pictures and an additional section about the time traveller visiting 'The Golden Age of Science'.

S: H.G Wells! Fantastic science fiction writer! Could you give us an insight into what this particular masterpiece of his is about without giving the game away?


DR: The Time Machine is a science fiction novel. However, it has the distinction of being one of the first science fiction novels. The plot is about a Victorian gentleman who invents a time machine, predictably, and decides to test it out. It worked extremely well. Perfectly well. (Hyuck hyuck)

S: Sounds like all sorts of mayhem could occur! Let's delve a little deeper - what do you really love about this book?


DR: I liked its portrayal of humanity, and how it criticises the society of its time. It's a very smart way of doing it, considering that it is one of the first science fiction novels.

Moreover, I like the characterisation. Despite being written near the end of the 19th century, you don't get Mary Sues or Marty Stus here. It's a faithful novel, being realistic and believable. The Time Traveller has his faults, (*SPOILER* Such as going into the future without any thoughts or preparations just because he gets overexcited), being a relatively young inventor. In fact, he makes a whole lot of mistakes that we'd probably also do if we were in his shoes. Meanwhile, humanity as a whole is portrayed in the worst possible light.

S: Oh wow - who wouldn't get a little excited at the chance to travel through the ages? I like the sound of this time traveller. Is he your favourite character?


DR: Yes. Although he's flawed and bumbling at times, that's what endears me to him really. At least I could believe that he exists. That's a start. Next, despite his flaws and lack of situational awareness, he is, as a whole, a good man, choosing to stick by those he chose to befriend, and protect them. I could empathise with him when he took a fall, because I could believe that his struggles are real. His difficulties and tribulations are also portrayed quite well. Here, the author did a good job of setting us up to like the character, and then really hurting him to make us feel for him.

He's willing to make huge sacrifices for science too. Now that's dedication.


S: It certainly is! Now, I want to know a little more about you. How did this book inspire your own writing?


DR: I believe this is the book that first showed me that anything is possible in writing, that we could go into the future, or the past, with the mere use of words. The pen and paper are a powerful thing. We just need to wield them right.

Plus, of course, all of the above. If you want an example of a rudimentary believable main character, read this book. It is, after all, a classic for a reason.


S: What a fantastic answer! Anything really is possible. Is there any line of the book that reaches out to you as your favourite?


DR:
I walked about the hill among them and avoided them, looking for some trace of Weena. But Weena was gone...I searched again for traces of Weena, but there were none. It was plain that they had left her poor little body in the forest. I cannot describe how it relieved me to think that it had escaped the awful fate to which it seemed destined. As I thought of that, I was almost moved to begin a massacre of the helpless abominations about me, but I contained myself...I walked slowly, for I was almost exhausted, as well as lame, and I felt the intensest wretchedness for the horrible death of little Weena. It seemed an overwhelming calamity. Now, in this old familiar room, it is more like the sorrow of a dream than an actual loss.

I could almost tear up reading this.

S: I love that you're so passionate about this book! Is there anything else you want to get across about The Time Machine? Go on, make us order it now!


DR: Despite being an old book, 118 years old by now, it is still a lot better than many of the science fiction novels/movies we have today, especially those involving time travel. While other original classics like Frankenstein has been ruined by more recent works, The Time Machine, in my opinion, hasn't been.

It has aged well indeed, something to be expected of...The Time Machine.


S: Thank you so much D4RKR4VEN! I for one, will definitely be going in search of this timeless classic. You never know how it will inspire me. :)





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Sun Nov 03, 2013 2:32 am
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SQUILLS HALLOWEEN RAFFLE RESULTS
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written by SparkToFlame < PM: >

Announcing the First Ever Squills Review Raffle Results!

Drum roll, please.
The winner of the Halloween raffle is none other than @Alpacalypse! Congratulations on being selected.


If you've forgotten, the reviews will be coming from...
five ghouls and ghosties from the leaderboards, @Deanie, @KnightTeen, @whitewolfpuppy, @TheMessenger and @DreamWork. They have all made wonderful contributions reviewing wise this month, and we're proud to offer their services to the winner.

Congrats again, @Alpacalypse!





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Sun Nov 03, 2013 2:33 am
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NEW ARRIVALS
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written by Knight Teen < PM: >


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


@Lewys1991 has been a member since October 27th, and while he hasn't written any reviews or posted in the forums, he has received some feedback on his work, The Marks on the wall by Lewys Monroe Tapscott-Nott . Maybe with a little encouragement we can get him more active.


@LittleHuman has given out some reviews as well as posted the first chapter of her romantic novel, Young Man's Tale , and since she joined on Oct. 28th has been somewhat active in the forums.

Since @Shalie joined us on the 29th, she has posted three poems, the latest of which, Hungry Cat was posted just a few hours ago. She's been active in the forums, and has written fifteen lovely reviews.



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



@cheskapears@mkcass@GraceAnne@azosh13@Sherlocked@elirei@kuandio@levicas@chlobubbles16@JustLouise@riomustdie@LadyAthena@iamsalty@Nararial@IceyyHeart1525 @rossemi28@Aravis10@VictoriaIsis@Foxface@wanderlusting@Sargassoseaweed@Daleupton@MajorasGuilt@marykatty@samanthak8@Warda@TinyJarStoredDreams@Kioko0923@Queenprincess2001 @Buggiedude2340 • @Kelvinide@kristopher@MDNEYAZHUSSAIN@iistrecool@TheOneWithTheTears@tiarafales@lizzardwriter@leseulloupgris@Veerina4lyf@justanotherteen@Jada3155@secretwriter@crownedjewlx@Snorlax@JosephTheRaven@DarkLullaby@Zolen@Railan@dancerchic7@ConverseFireGirl@AGirlWithARedCap@Syntax@starr500947@howmuchforhapppy@flipflopgirl365@WhaleCat@Aragi@Loverofsmiles13@iSABELLINii@horrendous@Spearhawkdude@desiibby@equestrian
Last edited by SquillsBot on Sun Nov 03, 2013 2:51 am, edited 1 time in total.








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