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Lobby 2. Welcome Newcomers' Board topic #1
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Subject: "Tips for Newcomers to Forward Motion" Previous topic | Next topic
Mesg #1 "Tips for Newcomers to Forward Motion"
Author CatrinP     Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list
Author Info Member since Dec 05th 2005
2772 posts
Date Tue Jan-17-12 04:20 AM



Welcome to Forward Motion!

This post contains a few tips on how to get the most out of Forward Motion. A more complete FAQ can be found in the status bar below the header.

Site Rules:

First, please read the Forward Motion Terms of Service. There is also a link at the top of the page. This isn't just legalese, this is how Forward Motion operates.

Forward Motion has been around for a long time and its success, and the success of the writers who come here to learn, is due to these rules. We have very strict rules about certain subjects, and it's best to know what is expected. Be aware of the rules and keep FM as the friendly, helpful and encouraging place for writers that it has always been.

How to Post:

You'll find the post link right below the header within boards. Reading from left to right you’ll see

Post, FAQ, Read New, Mark, Search, Poll, User Menu, Profiles, Rating, Bookmark this Forum, Admin, Logout

Click on the Post link. Type into the box. Press Preview to see it before you submit. Press Submit to make the post happen.

Responding to a Post:

Replying is simply a matter of clicking the Reply button corner of each post. However, unlike many forums, FM's software uses threaded posts. This means that you need to be careful where in a thread you are when you click reply. If you want your post to be in response to the initial post, you need to click on the link in that post. If you are responding to a subsequent post, click reply on that one.

Formatting your Post:

Like most forums, Forward Motion has some quirks and foibles. These are mainly with respect to how posts appear. If you stick to a few simple guidelines when posting your posts will look fine.

  • Don’t indent or tab at the beginning of paragraphs.

  • Double-spacing between paragraphs; it makes the blocks of text much easier to read.

  • Special characters such as smart quotes and em and en dashes may cause other peoples' browsers to show small squares and/or gibberish, so it's best to turn these off in your word processor before copy/pasting your work to the boards.

Details of the formatting that works best with the FM boards and how to modify your document can be found here.

If you're familiar with html, most of what you know will work on this site so long as you include it within square brackets rather than angle brackets. This post - HTML Board Code - details what HTML formatting will work on the FM boards with examples.

User Preferences:

The User Menu is where you can edit your preferences. Here are a couple of suggestions.

  • Check No for the line about making your signatures editable with each post. If you click 'Yes', your signature block will show up in your post and you will be able to edit each time if you prefer. Most of us choose 'No'.

  • Another option in this section is Date Limit. The default is one month. However, a lot of class transcripts and great discussions are older than that and won't show up on your boards unless you change this to All Available Topics. If you're on dial-up, however, you may want to leave this one at default.

    Many boards have multiple pages. There are links to the other pages at the top of the boards. Sometimes a thread you're following gets dropped to the second or third page because there are a lot of new posts on page one.

Signature Lines and Pips:

A signature is how you want to sign each of your posts. Most members who use them have a quote (don't forget to acknowledge its source) and/or a link to their website or blog. Signatures can also include Pips and Progress Bars

Pips are icons that signify various achievements. Progress Bars show your progress on the current Work In Progress (WIP).

It is advised to keep your signature to a minimum. Too much means each post consists of mostly signature and not contributing words.

Signatures and the Pips can be created in the User Menu, go to Edit your profile. The box to build your signature is at the bottom of this page. You can use html in your signature if you wish to.

The pips can be added to your signature by copying from the linked Art for the Boards at the bottom of every Forward Motion page. Clicking the link will open a new tab or window for you, simplifying the procedure of copying into your signature as you edit it. The pips are on an honor system. It's up to you to choose the pips that show your personal writing journey.

Progress bars can be made following this link Progress Bars, then copied into your signature file.

When you've created your signature, click Update. This refreshed page allows you to view your signature file as displayed on posts. Every post you have made on FM will automatically change to the new signature.

Some folks have chosen to display their pips and progress bars in a post created in the Tribune of Triumphs board. They then provide a link to that post in their signature lines. You're welcome to do it either way.

Email Subscriptions:

At the top of each individual board is a subscription link. If you click Subscribe to this Forum, you'll receive an email every night listing all new posts to each board you have subscribed to. We highly suggest you subscribe to Announcements in this way.

You may also subscribe to individual threads within the various boards. This is especially helpful if you've asked a question and want to be notified when someone answers it. If you choose to subscribe to a busy thread you will get a lot of emails, so make sure this is what you want. However, you can un-subscribe whenever you want to.


Quite a few folks join FM with the main object of receiving critiques on their writing or finding beta readers. We do have several options available.

As a newcomer, you're probably best off visiting the Roving Crits Board to get started. Read the pinned posts at the top of the board and then critique a few pieces that are posted so folks will recognize your name and feel more inclined to return the favor when you post. Lots of times folks get to know each other on Roving and then move on into private crit groups from there.

Most of FM's crit groups are on private boards to respect members' copyrights. In Critique Connections Board you'll find the details of these groups and when a Crit group is open to new members. You can also post there requesting to join a group or start up your own. You can also put up a request to exchange novels with others in the Novel Exchange board.

A word of warning. Don't post your work on the public boards. Forward Motion is dedicated to helping writers reach publication, and your public posts count as *published* meaning that you can't later sell those words to a publisher except as a reprint. The boards mentioned above are members-only to protect your rights. Roving Crits is restricted to members and is not available to the public, while the private crit groups are only visible to their members.

Well, that should be enough to get you started.

Remember, if you need help or have any questions on anything about this board, or the site in general, please feel free to post the question here, or email or PM any of the Moderators of this board by clicking on a Moderator's name and sending an email or private message.

Again, welcome to Forward Motions and jump it. The water is warm.


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