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Author Topic: The Ornery Writers Workshop - Mission Statement & Guidelines
Daruma28
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This is a new forum for members of the Ornery American with literary aspirations -- or those who write just for fun -- to submit their own work for the review and constructive criticism from the other workshop members to help participants become better writers or refine a particular piece of work for possible submission to a publishing entity.

If you are interested in joining (you need not write to join, readers with CONSTRUCTIVE critiques are welcome) simply email the moderator of this forum, KE at: KnightEnder@gmail.com and he will send you the submissions for your review as MS Word attachments. KE will need your actual Email address as we do not mail submissions out through OA.

If you'd like to submit a story for review, send it to KE as a Word document and he'll distribute it to the members for review.

If you'd like to critique a submission here on this forum, please FIRST look to see if the particular submission already has a thread of it's own before you start a new one.

If you do start a new one, please start the thread title with the author's Ornery Screen name, followed by a - then the submission's title.

Example:

Daruma28 - Musings of a Deranged Beach Bum

Then use that thread for your critique.

Please remember that this is the OWW. What happens here, stays here. What happens in General Comments, American Sports Writer or World Watch stays THERE. Please do not bring any contentions, debates or discussions from any of those forums into this forum.

So writers, write! And the rest of you, enjoy!

[ June 27, 2005, 04:58 PM: Message edited by: KnightEnder ]

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KnightEnder
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Absolutely perfect! Thank you Daruma.
KnightEnder@gmail.com

A few other guidelines:

1.) Some submissions might be found offensive to some members and I ask that if you think anything in your submission might be the least bit offensive to even the most prudish member, please preface your story, poetry, etc. with a warning. I don't read everything before I send it out, and I would hate to be the one that decides what might be offensive. So, I think it is best if we police ourselves on this matter. I apologize I didn't even think of this aspect, luckily someone else did.

For example I should have prefaced my story with the following warning.

ATTENTION: My story contains religious content and discussion of religion.

Ob - obsecneties and vulgar language

GS - graphic sexual content

Rgn - discussion of religion

P.P. - highly partisan politics (stories that have a high element of political pamphletering)
(Thanks RickyB)

2.) We have tentatively decided to put a time limit or a number of redrafts on a story. One redraft after all initial critiques are in. However, any member can straight send updated copies of his story to any other member, if those two members want to continue critiquing and updating after I have sent out the redraft.(Also, I can email redrafts to members that haven't yet read the original copy if the author wishes.) For longer stories the author is responsible for highlighting areas of the story that have been changed so the reader doesn't have to reread the whole thing, but can see the updates.

3.) We encourage members to not only critique the stories but discuss each other's critiques and ideas regarding the stories as well. Of course we should demand extra civility in this area since much of it is based on opinion and not so much fact as we are used to dealing with on OA.

4.) I think we should make the words of OSC that I quoted earlier into the OWW motto.
quote:
Card adds, “It doesn’t even take confidence to write. It only takes confidence to mail out what you’ve written. In any event, confidence is something one has to come up with on one’s own. There will always be better writers than me and I have always been better at some things than at others. If a writer can’t live with the fact that whatever he’s written is not the best thing ever written and is not perfect in every way, then he’ll never survive. You have to reconcile yourself to imperfection. “The writers I like to help are the ones who have the initiative to write and the confidence to mail things off to publishers.
And the first steps to sending our work off is presenting it to the group. I think we should look at even rejection slips as badges of honor showing we had the courage to do what OSC says we should do.

On Rejection Slips (Thanks Major Stubble)
Quote from that site.
quote:
What these guys have failed to understand about rejection is that it isn’t personal. If you’re a writer, you’re more or less constitutionally incapable of understanding that last sentence, if you think there’s any chance that it applies to you and your book; so please just imagine that I’m talking about rejections that happen to all those other writers who aren’t you.

Anyway, as I was saying, it realio trulio honestly isn’t about you the writer per se. If you got rejected, it wasn’t because we think you’re an inadequate human being. We just don’t want to buy your book. To tell you the truth, chances are we didn’t even register your existence as a unique and individual human being. You know your heart and soul are stapled to that manuscript, but what we see are the words on the paper. And that’s as it should be, because when readers buy our books, the words on the paper are what they get.

Some critique terms:

(sic) means there's a spelling or grammatical mistake in something you are quoting that was present in the original. (Thanks Adam Lassek)

SR, BTW, means "ought to read"; while MR means "might read" or "must read". (Thanks Richard Dey)

[ April 08, 2005, 09:26 AM: Message edited by: KnightEnder ]

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RickyB
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Yay!
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KnightEnder
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If the writers of the original submissions desire I will be happy to go through the first OWW thread from OA and copy and paste all posts relating to their story to the appropriate thread.

KE

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RickyB
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Yes. good man, KE.
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KnightEnder
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KL's comments on paragraph length:

kenmeer livermaile
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posted March 27, 2005 11:10 AM

"If you have any anal retentiveness over 'paragraph length', read Joyce with a monoparagraphic parabollock on the juvenile penis erectus (by a woman, if I remember correctly [Eek!] ) or Proust who uses a multi-page paragraph to turn a fugging doorknob. Don't obsess over it. One long paragraph in a brilliant short story will NOT turn off a reader. An occasional long paragraph is here a sign of strength, not pedantry."

(Take it from a guy who regularly turns sentences into paragraphs. One thumb rule for deciding whether a paragraph should remain whole or fractured is to it in parentheses. Parentheses confer a private relevance to their contained text. If the text within the parentheses feels like two persons whispering, the paragraph probably should be cut?) See:

(Take it from a guy who regularly turns sentences into paragraphs. One thumb rule for deciding whether a paragraph should remain whole or fractured is to it in parentheses.)

(Parentheses confer a private relevance to their contained text. If the text within the parentheses feels like two persons whispering, the paragraph probably should be cut?)

Obviously, th above should remain one paragraph.

The other consideration I employ is eye/brain strain. Even if the ideas in a paragraph are 'contiguously continuous' (to strike a phrase lost in its own woods), their comprehension may require more brain work than can be sustained while ferreting out sentences from a paragraph bloock.

Then I like to separate by salient transitions and, if useful, isolate single sentences that state a crucial idea strikingly.

Richard Dey on paragraph length.

If you have any anal retentiveness over 'paragraph length', read Joyce with a monoparagraphic parabollock on the juvenile penis erectus (by a woman, if I remember correctly ) or Proust who uses a multi-page paragraph to turn a fugging doorknob. Don't obsess over it. One long paragraph in a brilliant short story will NOT turn off a reader. An occasional long paragraph is here a sign of strength, not pedantry.

[ April 08, 2005, 09:57 AM: Message edited by: KnightEnder ]

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OrneryMod
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I just wanted those who are members of the workshop to know that there is another place where you can get critiques of your works and maybe some more info on how and where to get published.

http://www.hatrack.com/writers/index.shtml

OrneryMod

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KnightEnder
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Thanks Mod.

A part of that site is Uncle Orson's Writing Class. It is kind of like a Ask Uncle Orson deal. I have read every one of them and they are all very interesting.

KE
Link to Uncle Orson's

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KnightEnder
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A Glossary of Terms useful when Critiquing Science Fiction

[ April 11, 2005, 03:32 PM: Message edited by: KnightEnder ]

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Danzig
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Is there any way for submissions to be sent as plain text files?
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KnightEnder
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Danzig,

You can email it to me and see what happens. And/or email it to me and if I can I'll put it in Word format for you and send it out to the members. Worse comes to worse and you can snail-mail it to me and I will type it into Word format for you. Email me and we'll figure it out.

KE

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Danzig
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Actually at this point I meant more for other people's submissions to be sent to me. If I really wanted to I could borrow Office 95 from my parents and install it, but I bet most people have newer versions that 95 couldn't read.
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Dave at Work
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You could also try Open Office. I had no trouble opening the submissions sent this weekend with it. It should be available as a free download for Linux, Windows, and Macintosh as well as some of the other Unix like systems. It is a sizeable download, so a broadband connection is recommended.
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KnightEnder
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RickyB's latest installment of Agrippa will be one of the two submissions this Friday, and he was wanting to know what length everybody prefers? 5-10 pages?

We already have a submission, rather on the long side (12,000 words), from a new member (Stayne) for Friday. So keep that in mind and let me know. I will send the new submission and Ricky's latest to y'all on Friday.

KE

[ April 21, 2005, 04:45 PM: Message edited by: KnightEnder ]

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halfhaggis
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Another open source option to Open Office if you are only interested in converting word docs is Abiword

Loads up faster and is probably a smaller download

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Richard Dey
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Another common editing and proofreading term is stet. In the late Latin it means 'let it stand'. In English it has become a noun as well as an intransitive verb.

Editor-author relationships can get pretty intimate [Eek!] , e.g. the marginal lacuna:

bimbo/stet

I might have lined out "dumb broad", suggesting the use of 'bimbo' instead, then saying, if that isn't acceptable to RB, then leave it 'dumb broad'. In other words, the editor is making a suggestion which the author can take or leave at his own discretion.

The phrase 'bimbo/stet', then, is not insisting that 'bimbo' replace 'dumb broad'; it is just offering a suggestion -- if he expects to be published ever again in this town [Big Grin] .

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KnightEnder
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We have been steadily adding new members and there are seven weeks worth of submissions to read, so we won't be having any new submissions this week. Hopefully this will give everybody, new and old members, time to catch up.

KE

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kenmeer livermaile
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I gotta lotta catchup to do, starting tonight. I particularly want to read canadian's latest. What was it called? 'Travels with my Penis'? Somp'n like that.
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kenmeer livermaile
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Once again, I say: 'dumb broad' is perfect!
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Shane Roe
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I'm going to join here, momentarily, but here's a question: We don't have to critique everything submitted in order to participate here do we?

Shane

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KnightEnder
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No, Shane, we don't. But, the more we do, the happier the writers are going to be, and the more we can help each other.

KE

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Shane Roe
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Thanks KE--I was just wondering about the previously mentioned codes for topics some may consider offensive.

Shane

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KnightEnder
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If somebody thinks due to a warning or disclaimer that the story might be something they consider offensive I encourage them to skip that story. I think there are enough of us that are hard to offend, and that we have enough diversity, that we will be able to review almost anything. Luckily for us, OSC attracks all kinds.

KE

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KnightEnder
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Well, I got my first 'rejection letter' today. I know it is a badge of honor, but it still hurts a little. Here is the letter in its entirety.

quote:
Dear Contributor:

Thank you very much for letting us see the enclosed submission. Unfortunately, it does not suit the needs of the magazine at this time.

Your submission has been read by an editor, but the press of time and manuscripts does not permit personal replies or criticism. For your general information, though, most stories are rejected because they lack a new idea or theme. A great many of the ideas that may seem innovative to an SF newcomer are in fact overfamiliar to readers more experienced in the field. The odds greatly favor this being the cause of this rejection.

Do you think the last is really directed at me or just more form letter? Just a reason for the rejected writer? I would have to admit mine wasn't a completely original idea (are there any?) but, I thought I had done it in a way I hadn't seen it done before.

Oh, well, nothing to do but write some more and send them off. Still better odds than the loterry, right?

KE

[ May 23, 2005, 04:58 PM: Message edited by: KnightEnder ]

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KnightEnder
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Since there are now so many stories I think I'm going to start sending them to new members as Zip files. Any thoughts or objections to this? Maybe someone could link a free Zip download site. Thanks.

KE

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canadian
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I'm catching up on my backlog (pretty remarkable how prolific our group is), but if you need any more stories, just let me know. I would wager we're pretty well-stocked, though...
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kenmeer livermaile
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I say, semd 'em, can. Some stories will not get full 'peer review', for this is an ad hoc venture; but fresh meat keeps the hounds interested.
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KnightEnder
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Anybody know the logic behind the rule that you can't end a sentence with a preposition?
I got to thinking of it because Jack O'Neil on SG1 chastised a Jafa because he ended a sentence with one. I love that guy. And then I did it in my weekly letter to y'all.

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kenmeer livermaile
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Winston CHurchill said of this:

"Some of these rules are rules derived from Latin grammar that gramarians of yesteryear tried to force on English. One such rule is that you should never end a sentence with a preposition. Simon points out that once when told off for bracking this rule, Winston Churchill reputedly answered "Madame, that is a rule up with which I shall not put."

See below:

http://www.antimoon.com/forum/2003/14.htm

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KnightEnder
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Canadian couldn't find Ken's "P.J. Hoff" thread to comment on the story. Then neither could I.

Whoa, that had me worried for a minute. I couldn't find several threads that I knew had been on here. It turns out that I had my setting for the last 75 days or something. Once I changed it to The Last Year, they came back. I'll post this on the Main OWW thread to remind everybody else to change their settings.

KE

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KnightEnder
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I'm going to hold off on sending anything new out until we can get caught up on some of the ones already out. Once a week may have been to optimistic with time restrictions we have nowadays.

KE

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KnightEnder
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I have sent out two new submissions from Stayne and Adam, so if you haven't received them please let me know.

KE

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Harold C. Hutchison
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Got a rejection back in November. The publisher didn't view fiction as a priority.
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Politius
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hey i'm not recieving any of the literary submissions, where do i get those?
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Zyne
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There haven't been any for a while ... If you want to submit, email your work to dissidentzyne@gmail.com.
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serge1960aaa
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All, who disturbs the fates homeless animal! Please, see on http://helpanimal.do.am/
If You will help him, the God will not forget You!!!

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