Web Site Reviews

Lazette Gifford, E-publishing Moderator

Issue # 2: 03/01/01

Visualization For Writers
Feature Articles
Creating and Using Language in Fiction
By Damon M. Lord
A, B, C: Beith, Luis, Nin
By Bryn Neuenschwander
Genetics in Storytelling
By Allison Starkweather
Creating Character Extras to Enhance Your Story
By Shane P. Carr
At a Loss for Words
By Vicki McElfresh
The Alternative Rules
By Lazette Gifford
A Man in Beast's Clothing
By Sarah Jane Elliott
What Is Horror?
By Teresa Hopper
How-to Haiku
By Jennifer St. Clair Bush
Research Flaws in Romance Novels
By Anne M. Marble
Science Fiction: 
Tuning the Universe
By Bob Billing
Stage & Screen: 
The Dual Landscape of Plot and Story
By Robin Catesby
Suspense & Mystery:
Scene of the Crime
By Shane P. Carr
Young Adult & Children:
A Question of Style
By Justin Stanchfield
Young Writer's Scene:
Befriending the Internal Editor
By Beth Adele Long
Book Reviews
The Writing Life by Annie Dillard
Reviewed by Beth Adele Long
Web Site Reviews
The Forward Motion Web Site
By Lazette Gifford
Helpful Pointers for Community Members
By Jim Mills
From the Writers' Board
News from Forward Motion


The Forward Motion 
Writer's Community

Part of the purpose of this ezine is to draw people to the Forward Motion Writers' Community -- but once you go there, it probably looks very intimidating.  I thought I would take this issue to try and explain some of the sections, and what you can find at the site.  Here is a brief into to the site from Holly:

For writers, the community is here to help you:

  •  To write better

  •   To sell your work

  •   To develop a lasting writing career

How far you pursue these goals is entirely up to you. We have members who have no intention of selling their work, but who want to write better -- and we have people who want to make a living writing. As long as you want to make your work better and are willing to work to do so, you'll find plenty of support here.

And here is some of the material that you will find at the site!

At the top of the pages there is a list of links:

Community | Moderators | Chat | Newsletter | Mailing List | Join the community

Community -- You can reach the community through http://hollylisle.com/community/ , which is also the gateway to the readers' community.  This page also points to information about Holly.  There are lots of links here to sample, and you may want to try a few before you join, especially the ones that deal with the rules of the site.  There are dozens of helpful writing articles, a free download of Holly's Mugging the Muse, and considerable information on the community and how it works.  For writers who aren't interested in interacting with others -- or who are not yet ready for it -- this area will provide you with more than enough helpful information.

Moderators -- These are the people who help Holly run the site, and who are there to answer whatever questions we can.  You can read bios -- and in some cases look at some of the Moderator's own work.

Chat -- What would any site be without chat?  Ours is often busy, and while we don't always talk about writing, we are there to share frustrations and victories, or to answer what questions we can.

Newsletter -- Holly often sends out notices of things going on at the site.  This will pop up a mail window for you to subscribe.  Don't be nervous about signing up -- Holly hates spam at least as much as the rest of us, and you won't get anything but the newsletter if you subscribe.

Mailing list -- Here people discuss Holly's work through email.  A great group, who are often quiet for long periods of time, and then suddenly get very silly…

Join the Community -- If you would like to interact with other writers facing the same goals and frustrations as you do, then you should really join the Forward Motion Writers' Community.  Joining is free and gains you access to almost all the boards.  (There is at least one private board for Moderators only.)  To sign up, go to this link: http://network54.com/Hide/Group/3188

Once you have become a member, there are a lot more boards for you to visit.  Some of them are open to all the public, but the work-related ones are all private.  Only members can access those, which means material posted there for critiques is not considered published.  (Posting stories on your personal web sites is considered First Publication, and makes it very difficult to sell them anywhere).  Only members can access the work-related boards.

General Interest Boards and Chat:

Writer's Board

This is a public board (non-members can access it).  Here we post questions, notices, fun stuff -- just about anything is apt to show up here from the You Know You’re a Writer When thread, to questions about where to find things on the site.

Daily Page Count

For those writers who do well with goals they want to meet, and find that posting a daily page/word count gives them a little extra push to get the work done.

Your Say (rants)

The place (and the only place in the community) where we can argue politics, beliefs and anything else that might spark debate, but even here there are rules for good conduct.

Resources and Articles

An extensive -- and growing -- list of material of interest to writers, including book lists and links to numerous web sites.

Review  Favorite Books

Writers are readers as well.  Here are short reviews of fiction books that members have found enjoyable.

HollyLisle.com Feedback

Having technical problems with the site?  Post here. (If you have questions about the community, try the Member Feedback, listed below)

Games & Contests

Here we list writing events that you might want to join, like our Writing Dares and last year's Doggerel Is King Contest.  Lots of fun!

Writers' Fitness Challenge

From Holly:  "The health of our bodies and minds is the single most important factor in promoting our longevity as writers -- in predicting how long we can continue to work, how sharp our work will be, and how productive we'll be as we age. It's worth fighting for. The Writers' Fitness Challenge board offers a daily opportunity to post your success in keeping to your daily fitness goals, to get and offer encouragement, and to remember why you want to stay in shape."

Sneak Peeks of My Works In Progress (private)

What is Holly working on now?  She might just post a chapter or two of the latest WIP (Work in Progress) for members to see!



Moderator Updates

This is the area where the moderators post any information that they think might help community members -- and where community members can post questions to them.  (To learn more about who the moderators are and what areas they cover, try this link: http://hollylisle.com/community/moderator-index.html )

Member Feedback

Questions about how things work in the community?  Suggestions that you think might help out?  Try this board!

Member Bios & Links

If you are a new member, introduce yourself!  This is where you can write a short bio and put a link to your own web site.

Workshop Request Center

This board is for people who are taking part in the critiquing process, to request that material be removed from the crit circles or the roving member posts.  (More on this below…)

Crit Circle Classifieds

The heart of the Forward Motion Writer's Community is the Crit Circles. These are small groups that join together for the purpose of critiquing and helping fellow members. There are several such groups.  You will want to look here for a group to join -- or to post that you would like to form a new group.  You may decide that belonging to a Crit Circle is not the amount of work you can commit to right now, and decide to post as a roving member instead, asking for individuals to critique your material.  Either way, this is the place where you want to look. (The circles themselves, along with the area for roving members to post are in the Writing Boards area, listed below.)

Market Reports

You have something your ready to send out into the world of publishing, but you're not really certain where it should go?  Take a look at this page for lists of a few publishers.

Moderators' Board

This is a private board for moderators only, where we discuss upcoming events and work on problems within the site.


Writing Boards

(These are mostly the Critiquing boards, where people post material and get suggestions from others in the community.)

General Fiction

This is an area with an assortment  of crit circles and other notices, like the Novel Swap group (people with completed drafts of novels who want someone to look them over a last time before they go out).  The crit groups here are generally mixed genre, or the critique circles for material written for Children or Young Adults.


The largest section of our community writes SF or fantasy, or both. This isn't surprising, since many of us found the site through reading Holly's books. This board has a number of crit circles and numerous individual posts. But there's always room for more!


Here is a place for Romance writers to work with people who are also writing in that genre.


The place for mystery writers.

Crime &  Suspense

The place for crime and suspense writers.


The place for horror writers and their critique groups.

Poetry and Experimental

A surprisingly busy section, with a lot of interesting material.

Screenwriting & Drama

Yes, we even cover this type of writing, and we have at least one member who has had plays produced on stage!

Miscellaneous Genre

This is an area for anything odd that might turn up.  If enough people are interested in something new, Holly will create a board for it.

Young Writer's Scene

This is for writers 18 and younger -- an area that helps meet the special needs of writers who are just learning the craft and dealing with midterms and essays at the same time!

Round Robin

Round Robin stories are where one person posts a part of a story and another takes it up for awhile, and another after that.  Although there hasn't been much posting in this area, it's still open and people are encouraged to check it out and join up -- or start a new round robin.

Shared Universe

Things are a bit calm here, as well -- but check it out and see if you'd like to contribute to creating a shared universe in which to write stories.


Having trouble figuring out how to put your world together?  Here is where you come and ask questions on everything from magic systems  to clothing styles.

History in Fiction

Looking to use some real history as a basis for your fiction?  Wondering how history in your story universe would affect actions in your manuscript?  Here is the place to come and ask questions or present possibilities.

Workshops and Exercises

This is a busy board!  Here we have a daily writing exercise, along with places to work through the workshops presented in Vision.


As you can see, The Forward Motion Writer's Community is a very busy place, with considerable resources for writers.  Come in and join the fun.  With diligent work and new friends to help out, you'll be amazed at what you can do!

 All material 2001, Holly Lisle except where noted

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