One of the things about getting to where I am with ‘The Book’ (37,224) is that it didn’t happen overnight. In fact, it took a lot of sitting around pretending I was going to do something about it, then a lot of trying to write and finally some structured application before I got as far as the first word.
A big part of that process for me was joining writing communities. I started off with ABCTales.com which gave me the initial impetus. It’s a great site and it does a lot of good, but it was just a bit too busy for me. So I switched over to UKAuthors.com which has a lot fewer people posting. It also limits the number of posts you can make so it’s less of a bun fight. The community is also less worried about people’s feelings and more about the quality of the work. I don’t mean that they’re a bunch of gits, I mean that if they think something is lacking then they will kindly and constructively point out where and why as well as offering suggestions. In a word – perfick.
UKAuthors is very definitely ‘A Good Thing’ in my life. So much so that I joined a smaller subset there who do regular challenges. There are no winners, we take it in turns, we don’t pander. After a break we’ve all come back to this, with a bonus Franciman who joined the flock.
And you know what? I reckon they universally did me. I was caught napping, they ‘ave outclarsed me guv’ner. And very satisfying it was to read too. In no particular order:
Sirat – Lost Property: A revenge story doing exactly what it should, reflecting on the deed, the characters and the world that demanded recompense
BluePootle – The Librarian: Grand sci-fi ruminations on how we view history, store our information and educate our children in one neatly wistful package.
Franciman – A Dream Come True: The first section alone makes this worth your time. A wonderfully sinister chorus of looming shadows, vulgar caricatures and half-presences.
And then me, TheBigBadG – Alfie: a functional piece of genre fiction. There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with it, but you know that thing where you turn up to a costume party in a silly hat and realise that everyone went all out on their costumes…?