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The future of furry writing

duroc

Member
If we were to even come up with something as simple as an alternative forum for writers to head to, exclusivity would probably kill our chances of growing.

I don't think I made myself clear. Exclusivity isn't the idea, but I do feel that there should be some added focus toward members who have established themselves in some way. This will limit people coming around who don't want to improve, have no serious goals when it comes to their work and just want to write stories solely for attention purposes. My goal is to promote quality work, give talented writers a means to standout, and have a place for writers of all levels to gather information and find the tools they need to develop on their own(how I'd accomplish this, I'm not quite sure). Then from there, writers(whether they are new or established) can go out to the many available places online for writers to post their work and get readership or critique(Furaffinity, Furrag, the upcoming Claw & Quill). I wouldn't want to create another one of those. I don't feel like we need another one.

The point is that new writers and aspiring writers need something to shoot for, a goal to achieve, because no amount of readership or critique is going to help a writer unless they truly have the desire to improve. If they want to succeed and grow, they will seek out the necessary tools to work toward that goal because the information is out there. Some people may not know where to find it, but it's out there if they truly want to look.

The forums or FA doesn't need another group or page or thread for writers to gather because, number one--I don't feel that a lot of people(not everyone, but a lot) use the resources available to them here now. And two--as someone else told me, this place(at times) can be a toxic environment for writers. The thing is, if I or somebody else creates a guild for writers, the ones that want to participate in it, will. And that's what I feel writers need, a place where people will come who want to participate and actually want to improve and do good things to help out others.
 

Altamont

The Bard of the Beasts
I don't think I made myself clear. Exclusivity isn't the idea, but I do feel that there should be some added focus toward members who have established themselves in some way. This will limit people coming around who don't want to improve, have no serious goals when it comes to their work and just want to write stories solely for attention purposes. My goal is to promote quality work, give talented writers a means to standout, and have a place for writers of all levels to gather information and find the tools they need to develop on their own(how I'd accomplish this, I'm not quite sure). Then from there, writers(whether they are new or established) can go out to the many available places online for writers to post their work and get readership or critique(Furaffinity, Furrag, the upcoming Claw & Quill). I wouldn't want to create another one of those. I don't feel like we need another one.

The point is that new writers and aspiring writers need something to shoot for, a goal to achieve, because no amount of readership or critique is going to help a writer unless they truly have the desire to improve. If they want to succeed and grow, they will seek out the necessary tools to work toward that goal because the information is out there. Some people may not know where to find it, but it's out there if they truly want to look.

The forums or FA doesn't need another group or page or thread for writers to gather because, number one--I don't feel that a lot of people(not everyone, but a lot) use the resources available to them here now. And two--as someone else told me, this place(at times) can be a toxic environment for writers. The thing is, if I or somebody else creates a guild for writers, the ones that want to participate in it, will. And that's what I feel writers need, a place where people will come who want to participate and actually want to improve and do good things to help out others.


Exactly, I agree one-hundred percent. I was actually just reacting to panzergulo's fears of exclusivity; I think you have the absolutely right idea.

But, it all comes down to the same thing; even if we are going for something simple, we still have togo for it, you know? I think we really have a great idea on our hands, but there has to be a way to take some action that doesn't involve tech skills our months of devotion (well, at least not yet). I think the most successful way to go about doing this is actually reaching out to those writers not already in this forum who wish to be apart of a community they can work with and grow with. Of course, it would be foolish to promise something like a new/alternative writer's forum and then never provide it, so there does have to be a shop for us to actually set up in. I just worry that if we spend too much time focusing on the logistics we'll never get to actually accomplishing it.

I'm skilled with computers but by no means would I be the go to guy to set up a forum and/or webpage or anything like that. But I could definitely help get the word out once/if this ever gets set in to motion.
 

nybx4life

A training artist
I think the most successful way to go about doing this is actually reaching out to those writers not already in this forum who wish to be apart of a community they can work with and grow with. Of course, it would be foolish to promise something like a new/alternative writer's forum and then never provide it, so there does have to be a shop for us to actually set up in. I just worry that if we spend too much time focusing on the logistics we'll never get to actually accomplishing it.

It makes the best sense to take action, and see what go on from there.

After all, if it was focused on more popular members here to take action (again, Renard and Poetigress as an example), we can't be sure when things will get done, since they cannot focus on this 100 percent.

I guess I'm just throwing ideas out to help, but one thing I could do myself is search other writers on FA, and assist them with critiques and such. Like a person-to-person service of writing critiques and such.

If doing things as a whole group seems a bit of a stretch, then more individual acts are needed. When we have the time to fully partner up to a group, we will.
 

panzergulo

canTANKERous individual
Exclusivity isn't the idea, but I do feel that there should be some added focus toward members who have established themselves in some way. This will limit people coming around who don't want to improve, have no serious goals when it comes to their work and just want to write stories solely for attention purposes. My goal is to promote quality work, give talented writers a means to standout, and have a place for writers of all levels to gather information and find the tools they need to develop on their own(how I'd accomplish this, I'm not quite sure). Then from there, writers(whether they are new or established) can go out to the many available places online for writers to post their work and get readership or critique(Furaffinity, Furrag, the upcoming Claw & Quill). I wouldn't want to create another one of those. I don't feel like we need another one.

The point is that new writers and aspiring writers need something to shoot for, a goal to achieve, because no amount of readership or critique is going to help a writer unless they truly have the desire to improve. If they want to succeed and grow, they will seek out the necessary tools to work toward that goal because the information is out there. Some people may not know where to find it, but it's out there if they truly want to look.

The forums or FA doesn't need another group or page or thread for writers to gather because, number one--I don't feel that a lot of people(not everyone, but a lot) use the resources available to them here now. And two--as someone else told me, this place(at times) can be a toxic environment for writers. The thing is, if I or somebody else creates a guild for writers, the ones that want to participate in it, will. And that's what I feel writers need, a place where people will come who want to participate and actually want to improve and do good things to help out others.

I agree with most of this.

But, it all comes down to the same thing; even if we are going for something simple, we still have togo for it, you know? I think we really have a great idea on our hands, but there has to be a way to take some action that doesn't involve tech skills our months of devotion (well, at least not yet). I think the most successful way to go about doing this is actually reaching out to those writers not already in this forum who wish to be apart of a community they can work with and grow with. Of course, it would be foolish to promise something like a new/alternative writer's forum and then never provide it, so there does have to be a shop for us to actually set up in. I just worry that if we spend too much time focusing on the logistics we'll never get to actually accomplishing it.

I'm skilled with computers but by no means would I be the go to guy to set up a forum and/or webpage or anything like that. But I could definitely help get the word out once/if this ever gets set in to motion.

Services providing free forum hosting provide also pretty easy tools to modify the forums, anybody can go and make a forum nowadays. I know people to whom "drag and drop" was the most advanced level of computer skills they could reach and they managed to administrate a fairly successful forum. Plus, many bigger forums have started as something small, using the services of free forum hosting. The downside are ads... although, I haven't seen ads since I added an advanced ad-block to my browser. So, that's a poor excuse anyway.

It makes the best sense to take action, and see what go on from there.

After all, if it was focused on more popular members here to take action (again, Renard and Poetigress as an example), we can't be sure when things will get done, since they cannot focus on this 100 percent.

I guess I'm just throwing ideas out to help, but one thing I could do myself is search other writers on FA, and assist them with critiques and such. Like a person-to-person service of writing critiques and such.

If doing things as a whole group seems a bit of a stretch, then more individual acts are needed. When we have the time to fully partner up to a group, we will.

I agree again.

@Duroc (or anybody who's willing to take the lead): Wait a couple weeks, or at least a couple days after the easter, so that people who have something to say can have their say. Start a new thread and present your refined idea, whatever will it be, and maybe put up a poll to ask if people are interested to help, to get some starting members of whatever you're creating. Then ditch FAF, put up a forum of your own and watch what will happen. It's not that hard to start a new community. And the worse thing that could happen is the free forum host deleting your forum after six months because of lack of new posts.

http://www.freeforums.org/forum-error.php?u=furry.freeforums.org ;þ
 

KatmanDu

Squeezing the Charmin
Webspace won't be a problem; I've got two shared server accounts with plenty of space and bandwidth and a server at home (though it's more of an experiment to teach myself the basics of server management, and not yet a "production" machine), and I've managed forum sites before. Anything more complex than that, though, is beyond my abilities.
 

sunandshadow

Impractical Fantasy Animal
Wow, I'm impressed with this thread. There are enough logical, philosophical posts in it that it will actually take me a few hours to read through, and be worth the time spent.

A few initial comments on what I've read so far:

- I'm in the group of people who sees anthro fiction as properly being science fiction or fantasy, not a genre of its own.

- If we're talking about starting some sort of writers' community, I would personally be interested in joining a plot-focused critique group. Specifically, something where people exchange synopses and try to help each other develop higher quality plots. It would have to be erotica-friendly since I pretty much only write erotic romance. It would be really nice to be able to talk to a group of others who write adult science fiction and fantasy, I haven't found a community with that focus anywhere on the web. Oh, and if there was a section matchmaking writers with artists into teams which could make comics, that would be awesome.

- But on a less optimistic note, I've been the moderator of a writing-for-videogames forum for several years, and it has repeatedly been my experience that writers don't want to work. There's probably no easier way to make a forum of writers go dead silent than by trying to assign them homework. On the other hand, writers love reading and discussing mini-lectures and essaies on various aspects of the craft of writing. So if you want to build a writing community, getting several people to contribute articles and publishing one to the forum every few days might be very effective. I have previously-written writing theory material I could donate for this purpose if the forum-creator desired. I'd need some topic suggestions in order to come up with new material.
 
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SALUQI

Some kind of "artist".
- If we're talking about starting some sort of writers' community, I would personally be interested in joining a plot-focused critique group. Specifically, something where people exchange synopses and try to help each other develop higher quality plots. It would have to be erotica-friendly since I pretty much only write erotic romance. It would be really nice to be able to talk to a group of others who write adult science fiction and fantasy, I haven't found a community with that focus anywhere on the web.


I'll second that. Going back to one of the original points of this thread, "improving the quality of the fiction overall"; I'm one of those that feels good, high-quality erotic writing is almost completely lost among the incredibly large volume of tasteless smut around here (I'm sure Panzer can back me up on this point). So, were there to be a place that really made an effort to focus on quality erotic works, I'd be quite interested. I don't think of myself as an erotic writer, per-say, but I do feel that it's a theme I'd really like to focus on developing, because I feel it provides a lot more latitude for the kind of emotionally expressive writing I'd like to be able to do well someday. My only concern (and it's what's kept me from partaking in many of the existing critique groups) is the expectations of the community. Anyone here who's followed my work knows that I'm an extremely low-volume writer, due largely to the fact that I'm mired in an extremely intense course of study 9 months of the year. I don't want to come off as a deadbeat who's not interested in truly being involved - and I can certainly participate at some level year-round - but realistically, I'd only be able to give it 100% seasonally. I don't want to suggest that any proposed group should be allowed to dry up at busy times of the year, but perhaps there could be some kind of provisions for people who are interested in developing their work, but don't necessarily have the time to do so year round?
 
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sunandshadow

Impractical Fantasy Animal
I'll second that. Going back to one of the original points of this thread, "improving the quality of the fiction overall"; I'm one of those that feels good, high-quality erotic writing is almost completely lost among the incredibly large volume of tasteless smut around here (I'm sure Panzer can back me up on this point). So, were there to be a place that really made an effort to focus on quality erotic works, I'd be quite interested. I don't think of myself as an erotic writer, per-say, but I do feel that it's a theme I'd really like to focus on developing, because I feel it provides a lot more latitude for the kind of emotionally expressive writing I'd like to be able to do well someday. My only concern (and it's what's kept me from partaking in many of the existing critique groups) is the expectations of the community. Anyone here who's followed my work knows that I'm an extremely low-volume writer, due largely to the fact that I'm mired in an extremely intense course of study 9 months of the year. I don't want to come off as a deadbeat who's not interested in truly being involved - and I can certainly participate at some level year-round - but realistically, I'd only be able to give it 100% seasonally. I don't want to suggest that any proposed group should be allowed to dry up at busy times of the year, but perhaps there could be some kind of provisions for people who are interested in developing their work, but don't necessarily have the time to do so year round?
One online writing group had a system that I liked - new members were required to crit 4 people before they could post one of their own pieces to be critted. If you gave a crit, you were allowed to name at the end the piece of yours you wanted the recipient to do in return. Beyond that it was volunteer. So basically if you didn't have a piece you wanted critiqued, you had no obligation to critique others

The other option would be to limit the number of synopses which could be presented per week, and people would only be able to present theirs if they had participated the previous four weeks if one thing was being critted each week (or two weeks if two things were being critted each week). In that system you would always have to give four crits to get one crit session. Again, people who wanted to crit but didn't have anything to present would be welcome to crit as volunteers.
 

Atrak

Psychological Egoist.
Webspace won't be a problem; I've got two shared server accounts with plenty of space and bandwidth and a server at home (though it's more of an experiment to teach myself the basics of server management, and not yet a "production" machine), and I've managed forum sites before. Anything more complex than that, though, is beyond my abilities.


Where in GA are you from?

I may be near you.


One online writing group had a system that I liked - new members were required to crit 4 people before they could post one of their own pieces to be critted. If you gave a crit, you were allowed to name at the end the piece of yours you wanted the recipient to do in return. Beyond that it was volunteer. So basically if you didn't have a piece you wanted critiqued, you had no obligation to critique others

The other option would be to limit the number of synopses which could be presented per week, and people would only be able to present theirs if they had participated the previous four weeks if one thing was being critted each week (or two weeks if two things were being critted each week). In that system you would always have to give four crits to get one crit session. Again, people who wanted to crit but didn't have anything to present would be welcome to crit as volunteers.

Actually, we require that people critique two others before posting their own stories for critiquing.

The problem is that most of us don't actually spend a lot of time on here, and/or have a lot of time/motivation to critique another person's work, unless we know them personally.

I think that one way to improve this would be to have 'group critiques,' where a group of people would get together and critique one of their members' pieces together.

The problems with this is that it would require everyone to be on at the same time, and would also require some kind of IM system, as well as an editing system that they can all use.

I hear that google.doc has something like this.
 

GraemeLion

Member
A forum system isn't going to solve this. We have a large enough base here and we don't need to move it elsewhere. What'll solve this is a custom website designed to provide criticism and comments, while encouraging members to contribute. Potentially, it'd also be nice to produce a print anthology from the website's offering in order to generate a level of income for it.

And then, even then, if we did this at an outside site, we'd need to have marketing involved to swing furries over to the site.

It's not as simple as setting up a forum. Anyone can do that.
 

jinxtigr

Feline Miscreant
I do not think a community critique system will help furry writing. Full stop.

Here's why- reader engagement isn't driven by lack of mistakes. It's driven by the particular flavor and character of the work, and that's a balancing act between flavor and outright error. Virtually no style points are above serious criticism. Criticism is a means by which people practicing an art can get to a level of competence- competence with the mechanics of the art, competence with knowing the basic expectations for an enlightened audience.

Yet many of the biggest popular successes in any creative field (certainly writing, cartooning etc) contain howling mistakes when viewed in a really strict critical way...

It's possible to crit/review with an eye to that larger scope, but very difficult, because you have to be quite an open book to yourself and also fearless of outside contempt- to go 'people have terrible taste, so this should suit them fine' is missing the mark horribly. It's in essence being ready to say "YES, this is why Pokemon/Harry Potter/Jacqueline Suzanne/Journey feels good" and put it in a critical context where you can explain some of the mechanics of that without trying to explain away obvious faults also present.

Most of the people you'd crit on that level are already beyond criticism, in that they're dedicated to their path and won't be changing anything to suit you anyhow...
 

panzergulo

canTANKERous individual
I do not think a community critique system will help furry writing. Full stop.

[...]

Most of the people you'd crit on that level are already beyond criticism, in that they're dedicated to their path and won't be changing anything to suit you anyhow...

The statement above is pretty much why I don't go begging for critique anymore. While I always welcome critique -- is there really any other way to improve one's writing than reading critique written by other people -- I don't actively put myself into critique circles and critique threads and such. I've pretty much learned that inside the forum I am using I won't ever get wide enough critique for it to really help me anyway. The last time I gave something to 'The Writer's Block' to be critiqued, I got no critique, and previous time to that, I got one serious critique and couple people saying "good work" or something like that. And in the end, critique is only an opinion of a one person. Three or more would be a sufficient number of critiques for one piece of writing, any less than that... it's like asking two people if they like mushrooms. Some like them, some don't.

I believe I don't do glaring errors anymore in my prose... so, what it comes down to is matter of style. Yup. I would be much happier to see analysis done to my stories... I receive analysis even more seldom than critique.

For those who don't know what analysis is, this is analysis:

http://www.furaffinity.net/view/1893009/#cid:18775793

I do analysis on other people's writings now and then and they seem to be very thankful for it. It seems people can't really analyze fiction.

So yeah, critique is good for people who are still learning. But I think I agree with jinxtigr (how are you supposed to pronounce that?), critique isn't the thing that will help furry writing. Awareness and information would be much more important, in my opinion.
 

nybx4life

A training artist
A forum system isn't going to solve this. We have a large enough base here and we don't need to move it elsewhere. What'll solve this is a custom website designed to provide criticism and comments, while encouraging members to contribute. Potentially, it'd also be nice to produce a print anthology from the website's offering in order to generate a level of income for it.

And then, even then, if we did this at an outside site, we'd need to have marketing involved to swing furries over to the site.

It's not as simple as setting up a forum. Anyone can do that.

You make good points, but let me see if I got this straight:
You wish to do something similar to other lit magazines, placing together people's work (who of course, agree to donate a piece), so it could be sold online, or at least used for online advertising.
If that's the case, it makes great sense.

I do not think a community critique system will help furry writing. Full stop.

Here's why- reader engagement isn't driven by lack of mistakes. It's driven by the particular flavor and character of the work, and that's a balancing act between flavor and outright error. Virtually no style points are above serious criticism. Criticism is a means by which people practicing an art can get to a level of competence- competence with the mechanics of the art, competence with knowing the basic expectations for an enlightened audience.

Yet many of the biggest popular successes in any creative field (certainly writing, cartooning etc) contain howling mistakes when viewed in a really strict critical way...

It's possible to crit/review with an eye to that larger scope, but very difficult, because you have to be quite an open book to yourself and also fearless of outside contempt- to go 'people have terrible taste, so this should suit them fine' is missing the mark horribly. It's in essence being ready to say "YES, this is why Pokemon/Harry Potter/Jacqueline Suzanne/Journey feels good" and put it in a critical context where you can explain some of the mechanics of that without trying to explain away obvious faults also present.

Most of the people you'd crit on that level are already beyond criticism, in that they're dedicated to their path and won't be changing anything to suit you anyhow...

This is also true. People's styles are definitely unique, and very hard to change if you want anybody to improve.
Yet, the thing is, it is agreed that a large number of stories submitted to FA are smut material. If anything, instead of saying things are downright horrible (which may or may not be the case), I believe it takes some people a good trip around the bases to improve their writing.

A teacher once told me you have to know the rules to break them. For them to go off so badly, without knowing the basics, makes things worse than better.
 

jinxtigr

Feline Miscreant
But- most people who are writing really terribly will not get better! Focusing on them is a mistake, not least because the only thing that'll help them is READING MORE, and they may be too busy writing badly to read.

I feel I get to say this because I drew terribly, still basically do despite learning all sorts of important art things, and continue to be not very picture-oriented. I do better pictures in words, and all the time I was trying to draw, I turned to reading for relief. In a lot of ways I didn't get better, which makes me sad, but the background just wasn't there for me.

If we want to reach people who're writing lame stuff for peer asspats, there's no point critting them. You have to produce stuff for them to absorb or they'll just read each others sonic/evangelion mpreg fanfic. I wasn't reading Shakespeare while I grew up, I read sci-fi, which started out with little more acceptance (or literary merit!) than furry lit.

In the beginning, the middle and the end is the deed. I'm going to write furry lit today- in fact, I do it pretty publically. If you're not writing anything today, I'll ask- why the fuck not? :D

...waiver for if you are so busy reading that you lost track of time! In a way that's the real beginning and end of it all, and our writing just feeds that eternal drive...
 

darkr3x

Mage
So, i registered to respond to this. (horray for side thoughts in parentheses) XP

I'm a writer on FA but I don't consider myself furry (though i do concede that i am very raccoon-ish in nature and do identify with both the strengths and weaknesses of the animal), nor do i write (many) stories where antromorphs feature as mains (if at all).

(If that bothers you, or renders my comment, invalid proceed with your life citizen and ignore the blarg)

[blarg]
I came to FA because of PT's Thursday Prompts (a something i have woefully behind on) and the small community of writers who hang out around them. I've met a fair number of people who i now regard highly and i also somewhat understand the fandom a bit more. (albeit there are things i'll never quite understand, like 'why do anthro reptiles have boobs?' but, it's not a major draw back ) Before this i wrote a little bit and posted it on Gaia (of all things, hey everyone is young at some point) and I'll tell you a site that's barely interested in what you have to say (FA) is loads better than a site that never even looks your way. (Gaia) FA has been the first place where i actually felt one step towards people giving a rat's ass. Any budding author (of any genre, mainstream or non) has a hard time getting going.

In short, a guild to help fur writers would be awesome (i'd even be willing to help build it), but why just fur (stories)?

I'm not aware (so please correct my if I'm wrong) of any sites for budding (or worse intermediate) authors of any genre (that feel welcoming. I tried writing on DA, the non-attention is even worse there)
[/blarg]
 

Atrak

Psychological Egoist.
In short, a guild to help fur writers would be awesome (i'd even be willing to help build it), but why just fur (stories)?

If we made a 'guild,' I doubt we would be able to do it for just furry writings.
 

darkr3x

Mage
If we made a 'guild,' I doubt we would be able to do it for just furry writings.

No doubt, I've just noticed an isolation that seems to happen (for obvious, albeit stupid, reasons) when the community embarks on endeavor. Even if the intent isn't to be mainstream, why cut off a reader who might bring a different perspective, especially if your intent is to write in general?

...that came out oddly >,<
 

Poetigress

Panthera tigris libris
Boy, go away to spend Easter with family, and this whole thread just sort of explodes...

I think before anyone goes forward with anything, some major decisions need to be made.

1) Are there going to be objective requirements for membership, or will it be open to anyone?

There are advantages and disadvantages to both. I admit I still like the idea of having an organization that requires members to meet some sort of criteria (publication credits would be the easiest), but a solidly-worded mission statement could potentially be enough to make it clear who would find a warm welcome and who might not. I still feel there's a need for a group where the focus is on actively submitting work to editors (inside and/or outside the fandom), which would also help keep the membership 'walking the walk,' so to speak, but whether that's important or not, the first question is definitely who this group is supposed to serve. (Also, particularly if it's open to everyone who wants to join up, this is where questions come in like, are there going to be content restrictions? So far it sounds like erotica should be included, based on what I've read here, but does anything go as far as fetishes?)

2) Is critique the only important factor?

If all we're really talking about is more of a critique-focused site that caters primarily to furry topics, it really looks like FurRag is going in that direction these days, from what I've seen recently. It might be better to participate over there and/or talk to some of the mods in their forum about redesigning that site, instead of putting something together from scratch.

Or, if you're determined to put something together from scratch, first go over to CritiqueCircle.com and see how they do things; I haven't seen a better structure yet in terms of posting work for critique, and if you're going to make a new site, there are far worse models to use.

3) If we're talking about something that's going to manifest as a website, is it going to be a place primarily serving readers or writers?

I think it's important to remember that no website (or at least, no website that isn't huge and probably segmented into public/private areas) is going to serve readers and writers equally. This was the same discussion we got into way back on FurRag. I'm not saying that a site geared toward readers won't help writers (usually by giving them more opportunity to build readership), but based on what I've read here, it sounds like part of us are talking about some kind of alternative to FA, and part are talking about a critique group or something that would be serving writers more than readers. If that's the case, those are two very different setups.

Personally, on the reader side of things, I do see a need for more of a juried gallery site where readers could easily find material that is at least of basic quality, without having to wade through Sonic fanfics and whatever. (I have long advocated for a writer's site that is set up something like the way Artspots originally was, where writers would submit a 'portfolio' of some kind before gaining an account, but that suggestion generally gets me charged with elitism -- never mind that if your goal is publication, there are always going to be people having extraordinarily arbitrary say over whether your work is good enough or not, so you might as well get used to it.)

On the writer side, I do think there's a need (at least from where I'm standing; maybe I just don't know about some good place that already exists) for more of a private discussion forum where ideas can be exchanged among writers with similar goals -- I hesitate to use the term "serious writers," because that can be misunderstood, but I'm essentially talking about people who view their writing as more than something they're doing because they can't draw. IMO there's also a big need (and, I think, a growing desire) for more of a juried furry literature award to be an alternative to the Ursa Majors, and if membership in this hypothetical association's forum would be limited by some sort of objective criteria, that award setup could then potentially grow out of the association (though the awards structure would likely be an entirely separate discussion in itself).

Just my thoughts. I admit I skimmed a lot of the posts made over the weekend, as my brain is somewhat fried after work this morning, so if I've missed anything crucial (or misunderstood anything horribly), fill me in.
 

Poetigress

Panthera tigris libris
No doubt, I've just noticed an isolation that seems to happen (for obvious, albeit stupid, reasons) when the community embarks on endeavor. Even if the intent isn't to be mainstream, why cut off a reader who might bring a different perspective, especially if your intent is to write in general?

...that came out oddly >,<

Because everything gets diluted, and next thing you know you have yet another writing site that maybe has a significant furry presence but isn't really helping the people it was originally supposed to help.

If I want general critique that isn't furry-based, I can go to sites like CritiqueCircle.com. (If I want sf/f/h-based critique, I can join up with Critters.org or the OWW.) If I just want to put work online, there's Writing.com, and there are a few more gallery-type sites, but I forget the names offhand (there's something with "fiction" in the title, I think?). It looks like Scribophile.com is kind of a mix of gallery and critique, as you can have works public or members-only.

To me, the whole idea is to promote furry writing -- not just writing that happens to be by furries -- so if it becomes open to absolutely everything, what makes it any different from anything else that's already out there?
 
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Scarborough

Cliched & Trite
1) Are there going to be objective requirements for membership, or will it be open to anyone?

There are advantages and disadvantages to both. I admit I still like the idea of having an organization that requires members to meet some sort of criteria (publication credits would be the easiest), but a solidly-worded mission statement could potentially be enough to make it clear who would find a warm welcome and who might not. I still feel there's a need for a group where the focus is on actively submitting work to editors (inside and/or outside the fandom), which would also help keep the membership 'walking the walk,' so to speak, but whether that's important or not, the first question is definitely who this group is supposed to serve. (Also, particularly if it's open to everyone who wants to join up, this is where questions come in like, are there going to be content restrictions? So far it sounds like erotica should be included, based on what I've read here, but does anything go as far as fetishes?)

I was wondering if a possible requirement could be having one reject letter from one publisher (because damned if reject letters aren't easy to get these days). But at the same time, that discourages people who are joining for literature qua literature. Unless you meant something else by "publication credits."

I agree that a solid mission statement could easily filter out some people, but I wonder if we'd need to filter out people at all. The kinds of people who consistently write terrible pieces for the sake of +watches/+favorites are not the kinds of people who will seek out this kind of community. Furthermore, it's not like empty numbers take up lots of space.

I think what we'd need is a different general atmosphere. I know when I'm reading stuff on FA, even if you have a piece that has :iconilovecritique: slapped all over it, I'm still tentative to just go out there and give the person critique, because I'm simply not sure how serious this person is about getting critique. And because FA isn't exactly an atmosphere that fosters critique.

Furthermore, I agree with jinxtigr that a solely critique-based group may not fly. Not just because a lack of participation (see Critique Thread), but also because critique isn't the only thing that improves writing. And especially not critique re plots. I know that if I found a group that spent a sizable amount of its time critiquing plots, I would be hesitant to join, largely because many prominent writing styles post-1950s do not have significant plots as the backbone of their stories (cf. anybody from Raymond Carver to Donald Barthelme to Mark Danielewski).

2) Is critique the only important factor?

If all we're really talking about is more of a critique-focused site that caters primarily to furry topics, it really looks like FurRag is going in that direction these days, from what I've seen recently. It might be better to participate over there and/or talk to some of the mods in their forum about redesigning that site, instead of putting something together from scratch.

Or, if you're determined to put something together from scratch, first go over to CritiqueCircle.com and see how they do things; I haven't seen a better structure yet in terms of posting work for critique, and if you're going to make a new site, there are far worse models to use.

I think part of it could be just group reading.

And I don't mean group reading entire books. I hate group reading books. I tried to group read The Life of Pi and couldn't get through it because Martel's style simply wasn't my cuppa. I think maybe we could group read short stories?

That's my input?

To me, the whole idea is to promote furry writing -- not just writing that happens to be by furries -- so if it becomes open to absolutely everything, what makes it any different from anything else that's already out there?

The difference is you all are less scary than other websites. >.>

But that's a good point? And I have no way to address that. XD
 

darkr3x

Mage
Because everything gets diluted, and next thing you know you have yet another writing site that maybe has a significant furry presence but isn't really helping the people it was originally supposed to help.

If I want general critique that isn't furry-based, I can go to sites like CritiqueCircle.com. (If I want sf/f/h-based critique, I can join up with Critters.org or the OWW.) If I just want to put work online, there's Writing.com. For a mix of gallery and critique, Scribophile.com. There are a few more, but I forget the names offhand (there's something with "fiction" in the title, I think?).

To me, the whole idea is to promote furry writing -- not just writing that happens to be by furries -- so if it becomes open to absolutely everything, what's the point?

Wow didn't realize there was so many other options, i feel silly. >.<

They as friendly?
 
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sunandshadow

Impractical Fantasy Animal
To me, the whole idea is to promote furry writing -- not just writing that happens to be by furries -- so if it becomes open to absolutely everything, what makes it any different from anything else that's already out there?
I think having a goal of promoting furry writing, and a requirement of writers who have already finished pieces and been confident enough int heir quality to be seeking publication, are inherently contradictory. :/ Those are exactly the people who already have an established style and technique that works for them, and probably don't need or want critique except with the goal of improving a specific piece. These should be the mentors, not the students. The only restriction I personally would put on the forum would be by age.

The group of people I'm interested in is entirely different - people who haven't been published, people who have difficulty finishing pieces because they haven't yet found a workflow that gets them there without too much hair-pulling and block, people who no one cares about their ideas so why should they kill themselves striving to create literature, people with a weak area like plotting or character that they want mentors to help them study.

So, I'd like to see several subforums, one where people who want plotting help submit synopses and concepts, one where people who want character help submit material related to that (a scene introducing a character, a piece of dialogue developing a character, a synopsis focused on character arc and relationship development rather than plot...), a discussion forum for writing theory and technique where mini-lectures are presented weekly as well as independent topics allowed, a forum focused on multimedia team projects such as manga/video games/animation, and finally you can have a subforum for people who want critique on a specific piece intended for publication. Maybe even a roleplay forum which encourages co-writing with intent to produce publishable fiction and shared universe fiction. And above all, this Fur Affinity forum isn't suitable because of the crippling pg-13 rating restriction. How is anyone supposed to critique erotica in an environment like that?
 

duroc

Member
I admit I still like the idea of having an organization that requires members to meet some sort of criteria (publication credits would be the easiest)

I think that's what I was trying to get at, and then this whole thing just--went everywhere.

I don't believe we need another group, website, or forum aimed at critiquing. There are plenty of places available for that already. And I do believe this "website" needs to have membership qualifications. Again, the point I made was, if you want to be in this group, then work toward it. Now you have a goal to strive for and this can and should help elevate the writing in this community. Just my opinion.

but a solidly-worded mission statement could potentially be enough to make it clear who would find a warm welcome and who might not.

And that has failed to surface in this discussion, but so far, I'm in agreement with the ideas you've brought up. I do feel like erotica should be included, and I think by keeping the membership inline, it would help keep away the fetish writing, but it might not curtail it completely. I was thinking maybe a "side forum"(if that's even the right way to put it) for this site could be open to all writers. That way, it might allow writers who haven't reached the credits to qualify for membership to still be active and in some way contribute. But I was still thinking the main portion of it this needs to be limited to specific members. That's probably why this exploded.

I also think the site should primarily serve writers, but I believe the idea will ultimately serve readers as well, though I don't think it should be a "readers" site where stories are posted. Again, there are already sites for this sort of thing in place and/or are in the works of being made.
 

panzergulo

canTANKERous individual
I think having a goal of promoting furry writing, and a requirement of writers who have already finished pieces and been confident enough int heir quality to be seeking publication, are inherently contradictory. :/ Those are exactly the people who already have an established style and technique that works for them, and probably don't need or want critique except with the goal of improving a specific piece. These should be the mentors, not the students. The only restriction I personally would put on the forum would be by age.

The group of people I'm interested in is entirely different - people who haven't been published, people who have difficulty finishing pieces because they haven't yet found a workflow that gets them there without too much hair-pulling and block, people who no one cares about their ideas so why should they kill themselves striving to create literature, people with a weak area like plotting or character that they want mentors to help them study.

So, I'd like to see several subforums, one where people who want plotting help submit synopses and concepts, one where people who want character help submit material related to that (a scene introducing a character, a piece of dialogue developing a character, a synopsis focused on character arc and relationship development rather than plot...), a discussion forum for writing theory and technique where mini-lectures are presented weekly as well as independent topics allowed, a forum focused on multimedia team projects such as manga/video games/animation, and finally you can have a subforum for people who want critique on a specific piece intended for publication. Maybe even a roleplay forum which encourages co-writing with intent to produce publishable fiction and shared universe fiction.

And my mind started going "lalalalala..." while reading this. Nobody can do everything that. Come on. Poetigress, Duroc and some others seem to have a decent, workable idea here... if you try doing everything at once, I doubt there'll be any success... too much stuff on one plate.

Also, the age thing is a tricky one. Sure, you get more experience with age and after being influenced to culture and literature you might stop writing Mary Sues and other crap, but still... I've seen people in their late teens producing material far better in quality than some middle-aged furry smut writers.

And above all, this Fur Affinity forum isn't suitable because of the crippling pg-13 rating restriction. How is anyone supposed to critique erotica in an environment like that?

I don't understand this argument.

Okay, lessee... You are not supposed to critique anything on the forums. You submit your art, in this case, writing, prose or poetry, in the main site. After you have your story up, you come to the forums and post a request for critique in the critique thread. Then, the person doing the critique goes back to the main site, reads your stuff, and writes his or her comment/crit on the main site. Forums being pg-13 has no effect on anything.

@Duroc and maybe Poetigress: Looking good. I like your ideas. Like I said, sleep on it, refine the idea and present it after some time and see if people like it. I like the general direction all this is going. Even if I'm not sure if this whole idea is relevant to my interests in any way... apart from improving the image of furry writing as general, of course.
 

GraemeLion

Member
As I've said, the ideas that PT and Duroc have are awesome.

I think the one thing that will make it a success, though, would be to have a way for non-writers to enjoy it. Otherwise, what's the point? It's nice to have a furry writing guild and it's nice to have a community of writers. But we do need to heavily focus on what can be done to get READERS. The problem I face (and others face) is that people read my porn, but not much else. And arguably, my non-porn is better quality than my porn.

There exist a number of furry and furry-like markets out there that no one has ever heard of. What's going to make this thing any different?
 
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