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Messages - sandranorval

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So what do we actually want from it? Do we just want a critique group, or do we want something different?

Announcements and Suggestions / Re: Doing things for the BFS
« on: May 07, 2012, 03:21:53 pm »
I would love to see the Whirlpool really take off but also have a lot of commitments so I'm not certain I can fully take the lead, but would be happy to help. I've also never run an online forum so that would be new to me. We did start with Whirlpool, but we tried using the now defunct Google Wave for submitting documents, which some (including me) never really got to grips with, so I think it would need to be something that was driven through the forum. We'd also need to be careful about access as some are sensitive about their work being viewed by just anyone, which would be the case if it was on the general forum. There is also the issue of what is regarded as published on line, so we would need to be able to guarantee that no access is generally available.

I wonder if there would be more in the idea of writing support, not just critique as there are lots of critique forums online already - I've recently joined one with Fantasy Faction, which is building up quite nicely and is structured as a couple of limited number groups. They also do a range of articles aimed at writers and there is a strong multinational community there, which offers opportunities for connections with us focussing on the best of British.

What the BFS is very strong on is access to writers, editors and agents as well as having live events available too. I'd also be happy to consider links with the Get Writing format that I organise, which has been very successful and some key members of the BFS have been involved with. Get Writing is all about getting people started, helping them to learn about the industry, get inspired, network, challenge themselves and so on, but it is for all genres. 2012 had more of a slant towards fantasy because I wanted it to but that won't be the case every year so there is plenty of scope to provide more here as it did prove very popular there so there is a clear market for that kind of support.

I think really the key question is - what do people want, or need, from Whirlpool - learning, advice, critique, general support and encouragement? Could we forge links with bookshops to provide a network for recently published writers to set up signings, or maybe kick off some Open Mic events where writers can read their work and get some exposure?

So, what do we want? If we can get answers to that then we can take it forward, it seems that the critique commitment didn't work too well, it does eat into your writing time if you have a lot of members to cover but maybe a chance to hook up with a writing buddy might be useful, or the chance to have a piece of work sent to a professional for critique? Maybe a sub section of the website not just the forum, with articles from writers, editors and agents giving tips and advice and 'How I wrote my book' or 'What I do when the inspiration slows down' etc. I don't know the answers but would love see more discussion around the possibilities for us to work from.


General Discussion / Re: What drives you to write?
« on: May 07, 2012, 02:41:34 pm »
Only just seen this thread, so sorry for being late to the party, but anyway...

I write fantasy because I have something to write. It's interesting the comments made about giving life to something as that is akin to how I feel. I 'meet' my characters in my head. They show me their worlds and sometimes those worlds and their lives are bumping around in there for a while before I actually sit down and write their story.

Sometimes I have to do research to get the understanding but invariably that research fills in the blanks between the key points that I've already been shown. I don't know whether my subconscious picks up information and I'm joining the dots or whether it's coming from somewhere else, but I do know that I come up with real world connections that I don't believe I could possibly have heard about and whilst the story was taking shape it is hanging on a framework of fact that was just waiting for me to find it.

OK, maybe that sounds like I am barking mad, but actually, if I didn't write then maybe I would be, because they would drive me insane with their tales and hints and images of places I've never been.

I guess what I'm trying to say is similar to what journalists say, their stories need to be told. The only difference is that a journalist is telling fact, while I am telling fiction.

General Discussion / Get Writing 2012
« on: December 30, 2011, 09:32:39 pm »
Hi all,

I know I discussed Get Writing with lots of people at Fantasycon and the London Open Night but we have some more exciting news:

Michael Rowley, formerly the SFF buyer for Waterstones has joined Ebury Press, Random House as Editorial Director and will be coming along to Get Writing on Saturday February 11th 2012 at the De Havilland Campus of the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield.

We already have a great cast list including MD Lachlan, Suzanne McLeod, Lee Harris from Angry Robot, Toby Frost, Donna Condon from Piatkus and lots more. It's an absolute bargain at just 55 for the day but tickets are selling fast, don't miss out!

General Discussion / Re: Writing Groups
« on: September 29, 2011, 08:47:00 pm »
I've been to two fantastic circles, Verulam Writers Circle (hosts of Get Writing) which is a superb group which gives straight honest critique in a completely supportive way, also East Herts Fantasy Writers, a small group of very talented writers which meets once a month.

Verulam Writers -

East Herts Fantasy Writers don't have a public website but you can find them on Facebook.

I'm just about to move to Horsham so will be trying out Horsham Writers but would love to hear about any others, especially if they are fantasy based.

Announcements and Suggestions / Re: Web badges
« on: March 13, 2011, 12:58:15 am »
Fab! Thanks, will get them up on my website and (if I can figure out how!) twitter and facebook too. :)

BFS Publications / Re: The New BFS Journal (Part Two)
« on: March 12, 2011, 12:17:13 am »
I just wanted to say that I loved the new format, and I think it's a keeper (actually I've kept all the paperback ones too, but this is just too good to pass on!)

Can't wait for the next one!

Announcements and Suggestions / Re: Web badges
« on: March 12, 2011, 12:03:21 am »
Just want to say that I would really like to add a badge to my web page, simply 'Member of bfs' would make me very happy, plain, simple, effective and surely easy to create soon?

This thread has been running for quite some time, I could have been promoting the BFS for all that time and haven't been... multiply that by x number of members with websites/blogs/facebook/twitter accounts etc and that's a lot of missed advertising.

I would do it myself if I was good with graphics, sadly I'm not though :-\


General Discussion / Re: Steampunk
« on: June 24, 2010, 10:01:13 pm »

Thanks for all the tips, I'll enjoy working through them!


Introductions / Re: Just landed!
« on: March 09, 2010, 01:07:14 am »

BFS Publications / Re: Is there any point in being a member of the BFS?
« on: December 10, 2009, 10:52:00 pm »
In your defence I was very excited when I received the mailing and saw the quality of the publications, well worth the wait.

Having volunteered for many organisations I know what a thankless task it can be especially when things go wrong, so from me and I'm sure there are others out there who agree, THANK YOU! I'm sure the learning will improve things for the future and as for benefits of membership, well I'm learning lots and it's interesting reading other opinions too. Plus hoping to book up for Fantasycon soon.

Sandra  ;D

Introductions / Re: Hi
« on: November 16, 2009, 11:40:54 pm »
Hiya!  :D

Introductions / Re: Hi there
« on: November 16, 2009, 11:40:09 pm »
Hiya!  :D

General Discussion / Re: Steampunk
« on: November 16, 2009, 11:36:32 pm »
Loads of new stuff for me to look at, thanks all. I've downloaded some online magazines and will order a copy of Murky Depths. Now I just need to invent a time machine so I can create extra hours to read it all!  ;D

Introductions / Re: So this is me, then.
« on: November 01, 2009, 02:16:39 pm »
Hi there, good luck with that, it sounds great! Welcome to the BFS  :D

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