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The Escritoire

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You can post anything related to writing here: do you have tips? Questions? Links to helpful guides or other sites where you can post your stories? Have you read something that might inspire the other writers here?

Share what you know and ask what you don’t know.

A bit of inspiration to start with:

‘You can approach the act of writing with nervousness, excitement, hopefulness, or even despair--the sense that you can never completely put on the page what's in your mind and heart. You can come to the act with your fists clenched and your eyes narrowed, ready to kick ass and take down names. You can come to it because you want a girl to marry you or because you want to change the world. Come to it any way but lightly. Let me say it again: you must not come lightly to the blank page.’ –Stephen King

But also:
‘How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.’ –Henry David Thoreau

Erin's links to other sites for writing:

QUOTE (ketchup)
EC is a great site and all. But it's not mainly a poetry site. That means most members can't give you great feedback on your poems, seeing as most don't know what is going on.
Here are some links to free sites that you can post your work and get more feedback:

Deviant art isn't specific for poetry, but it's art. You can post poems, stories, or artwork that you've made. I've gotten some helpfull comments off that site that helped improve my crappy writing. (Y)

Fictionpress is a site for origional poems and stories. You can go poem/story crazy on that place. I have an account on there too.

Poems of Quotes
Poems of quotes is a nice site that really helps your writing. If you're a member that pays on there, it will put your poetry up in a little section so you'll get more noticed. It also has a popular section, so if your poem has gotten some reviews, people will see it and you'll get even more. There's lots of cool things on that site. [that site is also where most of the members here steal poetry...]
The site is also good because in order to post a poem, you have to give two reviews and earn points. It's a great way to get everyone involved. Just make sure you go to poemsofquotes.com/members. Otherwise you'll get confused on where you are and it's difficult to get to the member section.

All Poetry
I don't know much about this site, I didn't like it that much. But I know others that did. I'm not sure if it's free or not. I know signing up and stuff is free.
The site is good because it has a lot of competitions that challenge your writing.
That's all I can really say about that site.... :/

Niks, Amy, Beth, and Control Freak have kindly offered us some new sites:
QUOTE (Aneraxium ♥Niks♥ @ Jun 26 2009, 09:42 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It's a place for stories, of any type, and poetry. It also has quizzes (which is just an added bonus). It's a good one for you're writing, and you can usually get good comments on your stories, I've grown a lot as a writer due that site's feedback on my creations. It's free, fun and helpful.. what's better than that?

QUOTE (...XpureXpoisonX006X... @ Jul 4 2009, 10:37 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

It's a site in which you can post storys be they; novels or short stories, you can also post poetry on there aswell.
There is also some fan fiction on there if I am not mistaken.

QUOTE (Beth. @ Jul 19 2009, 08:37 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

It's for all types of creative writing, poetry and stories. The site's free as far as I know.
You can get feedback on work, talk with other writers and there are some quizzes/ activities [like crosswords] on there as well.

QUOTE (Control_Freak @ Jul 25 2009, 04:29 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Dealing with Writers Block

Resources for teen writers - mainly science fiction and fantasy writing.

Thanks smile.gif

If you're a writer:
Fanfiction is a pretty popular site.
But remember, this site is NOT for your origional stories. You go on there and write stories about a movie/book/anime/tv show or whatever that you like. You get loads of reviews on that site if you're a good writer. I don't write on that site, but I do read and review quite a lot. It's pretty easy to figure out.

I can't think of any other site atm.
If you know one, pm me so I can edit it in.

So yeah...that's about it. smile.gif

Erin's writing tips:

QUOTE (ketchup)
Some of the writing here is rather...weak. So I've made this thread to help improve it.

Here are some tips from some members:

-My biggest tip for right now is originality. Every day I probably read over ten emo poems about cutting and how no one understands. They're all over the place. Your poem will not stand out if it's the same exact thing as the next person's. No one wants to read the same depressing crap over and over and over again. You can write about the same topic, but maybe have a different view on it. Maybe phrase it in a new and exciting way. Just make it stand out more than all those other crappy emo poems that everyone's sick of reading. I'd say you should just avoid the topic in general. That's probably one of the biggest things members here need to work on.



- Not all poems have to rhyme. But if you’re writing a rhyming poem and you can’t find a rhyme for a word, don’t force it. Leave it until later, ask for help, or do without. Forced rhyme takes away effect, and looks bad.

- Grammar. Use it. It’s bad enough reading through posts with poor grammar and spelling, but for poetry it’s just no. Proof reading work is a must.

- The logo and the titles of the forum may contain the word ‘Emo’, but you don’t have to make your poems ‘Emo’. Poems about cutting, pain and suicide [when done in the wrong way, which is the majority case] are generally not taken too well on here, and they’re pretty cliché ideas. To avoid that cliché in general, don’t stress on a particular point too much. For topics, perhaps write about your emotions, memories, thoughts or surroundings. Love poems can be great if executed in the right way.

- Structure your work. If it doesn’t sound great when reading it aloud, there’s probably something wrong with the flow, which takes away effect from the poem.

- Brainstorming sometimes helps. Find some paper or an empty text document, and type anything from the top of your head, whether that be the fact it looks like it’s going to pour down or that your socks are inside out, I don’t know.

- Metaphors can sometimes work brilliantly. However, it’s not good to overuse them- it may direct away from the original point of the poem, and it may not even make sense. Same goes to abstract ideas.

- Experiment with styles and topics to write with until you find something you’re comfortable with/ enjoy working in.

- Don’t make it too short. Poems don’t have to be essays, but when they’re less than three stanzas they don’t tend to be too great, normally.

- for stories, don't write it as a massive wall of text. remember to paragraph.

- definately DO NOT capitalise every other letter. this applies in general, but especially to here.
eg- i LaIk CoRnFlAeKs
or I Am A Panda.
this goes to obnoxiously sized or coloured text as well.

- for dialogue in stories, might be good to put a new speaker on a new line. it's basic stuff, but good to remember.

- don't go too explicit. it's good to put what comes to mind and add in some detail, but don't make it so that we need to go get a barf bag. likewise, blatant racism and the likes won't be too widely tolerated.

- don't swear excessively. it takes away effect, and it gets irritating.



1) Observe
Inspiration lies all around you.

2) Listen
Keep your ears open for inspiring words.

3) Empathise
Develop different voices and perspectives for your writing.

4) Imagine
Look for the stories behind ordinary things, Maybe that man walking down the street? Is he going to work or going to rob a bank?

5) Senses
Use all your senses to create atmosphere and imagery.

6) Timing
In fiction, Pacing is crucial to generate suspense.

7) Experience
Your experiences and memories are your greatest resources.

8) Reader
Don't forget your reader or the information they'll need to interact with your work.

9) Rewrite
Set it aside and ignore it for a week or so. Then edit it, by reading it to yourself and critically appraising it. We can help with the critical appraisal.

10) Read
Develop your talent by reading others work and learning of other styles.


That's all for now.
Pm me if you think you've got some good tips, that way I can add them in.

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    Illuminated White Nova

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Those links were great, I especially liked the 'Booksie' one, it's great when you're working on a full length novel to submit a chapter or so at a time and get objective feedback.

I have a question concerning the fantasy genre, not just for writers but for the readers of it. I'm not sure how to phrase it, but I'll put it like this: Do you think that the so called 'epic' fantasy novels concerning a dire situation in a fantastical world with set heroes and villains is the basis of the fantasy genre, or that it is outdone and modern fantasy literature needs to move away from it? If the latter, where (when it comes to very basic story lines) do you think the fantasy genre of today is moving?

To re-phrase, do you think the typical 'Lord of The Rings style' books are dying out, or is that style of fantasy still something you would read today?

Not sure if I made much sense there, but if anybody got the gist of it, I'd love some opinions.
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I used to be a big fantasy reader, although that love has died down a little. The main reason for that is that most fantasy is always the same: black and white alignments with very clear heroes and very clear villains and thus very few moral dilemmas and usually the main character is ‘a poor farmer’s child who unwittingly possesses an ancient power or artefact with which they alone will decide the fate of the entire world’. That’s all it is.

I do believe there is a new strain of fantasy emerging, namely the ‘political fantasy’ which is mainly focused on political intrigue, complex and interwoven storylines and an ensemble cast. ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ and ‘The Godless World’ are perfect examples of this. Of course the question is: how long will they remain popular?

Those two genres, the classical ‘Lord of the Rings’ as you call it and the ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ sub-genres seem to be the most common, although the former is still the dominant one.

Personally I would still read both types of story, but there needs to be something unique about them. I don’t want the world-saving farmer’s child, his stoic but lovable warrior-friend, the charismatic and funny thief, the old sorcerer, and the old sorcerer’s apprentice who’s also the main character’s love interest. Give me something new, and with ‘new’ I don’t mean the clichéd teenager as a pseudo-Byronic anti-hero. Moral dilemmas, layered characters, unique swings to age-old plot hooks... It can’t be that hard.

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    Illuminated White Nova

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Thanks for the feedback smile.gif

I agree with you about characters being too obviously aligned in a lot of fantasy. Not just the characters, but certain situations can (And have been for this genre) become cliched. I found a site that lists a few common cliches in fantasy that I think need to start being avoided or played out differently here, and a few good guidelines on character development here. (For the last one, I've never read the book he wrote, but his advice seemed solid) Here's an extract on what he said about villains in novels that I quite liked -

While you’re creating flawed heroes, you needn't make your villains evil incarnate. In the real world, the worst people still have people they love, and people who love them. They still have a tender side they reveal to their closest companions. Your villain doesn’t have to be a cackling maniac who kicks puppies every day after tea. He might be an evil overlord, but he can still love his shih-tzu.

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Okay folks, I have decided to put together this guide to help you aspiring writers refine your skills as writers. One thing I have seen is that the poems tend to be bland and cliche (which is not a put-down) because most of them are written similarly. There is a distinct lack use of language, as well as poetic elements. Many of these are fundamental, if you're looking to refine your skill as a poet. So even if you're writing emo poems, you can use these poetic elements to emphasize your writing. You probably won't use many of these, but these are important in good poetry writing. smile.gif

BTW: I did not make up this list of terms. This is the source. The examples will also be sourced.

Alliteration is the repetition of the initial letter or sound in two or more words in a line of verse.

Example: Dressy Daffodils

Onomatopoeia is the use of a word to represent or imitate natural sounds.


Zip goes the jacket

" Zip" is an onomatopoeia
word because it sounds
like a jacket is
zipping up.

"Zip" is an example of onomatopoeia because it sounds like what it is. When you zip up a zipper the sound the zipper makes sounds like a zipper. Here are other onomatopoeia words:

Boom, bang, slash, slurp,
gurgle, meow,and woof

Refrain is a repetition of one or more phrases or lines at intervals in a poem usually at the end of a stanza.

Example here would be the poem The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe. Here is an excerpt:

And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted nevermore.

Repetition is the reiterating of a word or phrase within a poem. An Example can be found below.

Inside the ocean
I see fish.
Inside the waves
I hear a splash.
Inside the water
I felt a fish.
It seems so big,
as big as a whale.
It has to be,
But then I see,
It's a tuna fish.

Note how "inside" is repeated three times. That's repetition.

Simile is a direct or explicit comparison between two usually unrelated things indicating a likeness or similarity between some attribute found in both

I'll give my own example here. "The sky is like a blue blanket."

Metaphor is an implied comparison between two usually unrelated things indicating a likeness or analogy between attributes found in both things. A metaphor unlike the simile does not use like or as to indicate the comparison.

I'll give my own example. "Apple of my eye."

Personification is giving human characteristics to inanimate objects, ideas, or animals.

I'll give my own example. "The tree spoke in an grandiose tone." Obviously, trees cannot speak.

Metonymy is the substitution of a word naming an object for another word closely associated with it.

I'll give my own example. Let's say you substitute "crown" for "royalty."

Hyperbole is an exaggeration for the sake of emphasis and is not to be taken literally.

An Example would be the following: "When she smiles, cracks the size of the Grand Canyon form in the surface."

Symbol is a word or image that signifies something other than what is literally represented.

An Example of a symbol could be found in Robert Frost's poem, "The Road Not Taken." The forked road represents choices in life. The road in this poem is a text book example of a symbol.

The different kinds of metrical lines are:

monometer 1 line pentameter 5 lines

dimeter 2 lines hexameter 6 lines

trimeter 3 lines heptameter 7 lines

tetrameter 4 lines octometer 8 lines

You can find examples of these here.

Verse Forms

1. Verse Forms—The kinds of verse forms based on meter and rhyme are:

1. Rhymed verse
2. Blank verse
3. Free verse

2. Rhymed Verse—Rhymed verse consists of verse with end rhyme and usually with a regular meter.


They head the list

Of bad to bet on,

But I insist

They’re worse to get on.

3. Blank Verse—Blank verse consists of lines of iambic pentameter without end rhyme.

From Julius Caesar

Cowards die many times before their deaths;

The valiant never taste of death but once.

Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,

It seems to me most strange that men should fear;

Seeing that death, a necessary end,

Will come when it will come.

4. Free Verse—Free verse consists of lines that do not have a regular meter and do not contain rhyme.


The voice of the last cricket

Across the first frost

Is one kind of good-by.

It is so thin a splinter of singing.

Carl Sandburg

Stanza is a division of a poem based on thought or form. Stanzas based on form are marked by their rhyme scheme. Stanzas are known by the number of lines they contain.

Kinds of stanzas:

couplet has two lines

triple has three lines

quatrain has four lines

quintet has five lines

sestet has six lines

septet has seven lines

octave has eight lines

others are identified as nine, ten or eleven-line stanza

Internal Rhyme—Internal rhyme consists of the similarity occurring between two or more words in the same line of verse.

From The Raven

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,

Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—

While I nodded nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,

As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door—

“’Tis some visitor,”” I muttered, “Tapping at my chamber door—

Only this and nothing more..."

End Rhyme—End rhyme consists of the similarity occurring at the end of two or more lines of verse.

I Wish

I wish that my room had a floor: a

I don’t so much care for a door a

But this walking around b

Without touching the ground b

Is getting to be quite a bore! A

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