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Going on Hiatus

After a great deal of contemplation and number-crunching, we’ve decided to put the site on a partial hiatus. The site itself will continue, but new posts will not be made in the weekly pattern we’ve been using in past months. We will continue to post as much as possible, given other demands.

The detailed reasons for this choice are complex, but it boils down to this: All volunteers, including leadership, are trying to balance educational, financial, and other personal ambitions with their time dedicated to the Guild. Many have been unable to contribute in the past couple of months, and those who remain are feeling stretched thin. Given that we can’t yet pay volunteers (and don’t expect to be able to do so for a long time), it makes the most sense to lower our level of commitment until we are able to gather the time and resources necessary to truly make the Guild a success.

Thank you so much for your support. And, as always, write on!

 

Interview with Worm Author John McCrae

A couple years back, I had the opportunity to do an interview with John McCrae, the author of the popular web serial WormHere is a transcript of that interview. Note that some minor segments have been edited or rearranged for clarity. This interview originally happened in August of 2013, so some of the figures (such as the total word count) are no longer entirely accurate.


Rob: The experience of Worm sounds incredibly interesting. For those unfamiliar with the story, would you care to give a quick summary?

John: A summary of the story…. Taylor is a teenager with unconventional superpowers, who has been dreaming of becoming a superhero as a way of escaping an unhappy life at school. Her first attempts at taking down a supervillain get her mistaken for one, and things snowball from there, plunging her into the midst of superhero politics, fights with no holds barred, and moral calls that are definitely not black and white.

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Simile, Euphemism, and Hyperbole: What Metaphors Aren’t

Not ready yet? Go back to basics.
Want to step back to the previous entry in the series? Go to The Literally Game.

metaphors-be-with-you

The metaphor is a valuable tool for all kinds of writers in all genres. However, before we go on to discuss the possible uses of metaphor, we should take a moment to clear up a few potential misconceptions. Here are some things a metaphor isn’t.

A Metaphor Is Like a Simile.

XKCD Metaphors and Similes
Image courtesy of XKCD

This one’s fairly simple. A metaphor does not use “like” or “as” to make a comparison. If those words are used, the description is a simile. Except for that slight difference, metaphors and similes are identical. So, for example, if her hair is like spun gold, that’s a simile. If her hair was spun gold, that’s a metaphor.

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9 Guidelines for Creating a Healthy Workshopping Environment

9-workshopping-guidelines

So you want to lead a workshop. Whether you’re running a classroom, starting a writing group with friends, or working with a local chapter, the challenges will be similar. This article explores ways you can address the core dilemmas of workshopping and create a productive, enjoyable workshopping environment.

The Big Problem: Navigating the Losada Line

The tricky part of workshopping is navigating the Losada line. Don’t know what that is? The Losada line is the ratio of positive to negative interactions required for an environment to feel basically positive. In short, if people experience three or more positive interactions for every negative interaction, they will experience the environment as positive and nurturing. Anything less than that 3 to 1 ratio and people will dread the environment and start thinking in ways that are self-protective rather than expressive.

So, how can you take a situation like a workshop, where critical comments are going to be—and likely should—be more common than positive comments? While we’ve seen some people and groups try to compensate by giving inauthentic praise or emphasizing that they liked the piece, our experiences have taught us that there are better options.

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The Muse Most of Us Really Need

Sadly, I don’t know who to reference for this image! I picked it up from a friend on Facebook who picked it up from a friend on Facebook … and so on. If anyone knows where it comes from, let me know!

muse

I Wish I Was Dead

I Wish I Was Dead

This comic comes courtesy of Sinfest.