Saturday, July 25, 2009

Weekend Town Hall Meeting

Hi All. Anyone who would like is invited to our Town Meeting. Let's pile into our old school house to discuss CIC.

Our main agenda item is building the site. The sad reality is that I, Mira, will be entering a 72 hour work schedule in the end of September. I'm intending to still post, but I imagine my time will be pretty limited.

Ann is still very committed to the site, and I was wondering if it would be possible to build the site before I have to disappear. And I'd like to ask your help with ideas and feedback.

To open the discussion, here are some questions:

**Do you have ideas for building/promoting the site?

**Are there any improvements people might suggest that would make CIC appealing for you?
**Is the system of prompt and answer becoming tired? Need more variety? Does anyone have any ideas for other types of posts?

**Any other general suggestions, comments and/or agenda items?

Thanks in advance for your input - it is very much appreciated! As are all the members here.
Oh! Choice of snacks for break time. Healthy and unhealthy. Take your pick.
Dig in!


Candy's author said...

What about a day or so when we must post something straight from the pages of whatever we're working on? eg. our first paragraph, a description of the character, a bad moment, a happy one, character thinking, action paragraph,a journey. a conversation etc. etc.
We would then see each other's characters in their own setting and readers would perhaps ask questions etc. he[pful to the author.It would also keep us moving forward with our own projects.
Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

I still love group stories the most.
Where did they go?

Mira said...

Candy's author - that's a great suggestion! It hadn't occured to me. What a good idea. Thank you.

Anon - the group stories started to get quiet, so we thought maybe people got tired of them. But we can bring them back!

Thanks for the suggestions.

Nevin said...

Thank you for the snacks, Mira!

Mira said...

Nevin - :-)

Christine H said...

I like Candy's author's idea a lot. I don't have my own writing group, so that would be really helpful.

I don't think we need a new topic every day. I've been too busy to do more than glance at the site lately, and haven't had time to post until the very end of the day, by which time everyone has gone so I don't bother.

I took some of the berry cheesecake. Both healthy and un, in the same package. Delicious! Thank you! How about some virtual cappuchino to go with it? Anyone?

Celeste said...

Everyone around Quebada Seca knows I don’t give a rat’s arse, but my author needs help. All the time talking about writing a book about us and thinking she knows all about me, just because she is some sort of doctor. My dad was a heart surgeon and a brain surgeon, and a drunk, so what did I do but turn around, go south and find a gorgeous hunk who hits the bottle whenever I turn my back. So I get lonely, and I talk alot, but mostly to myself, because we live so far up in the hills in this God forsaken country, that I could scream all day and only the monkeys and toucans would talk back. Serbulo, my musclebound husband does whatever I ask, but he doesn’t have much to say. My author calls me Celeste, and she’s right about one thing. Twenty years ago, I was the blond goddess all the campesinos wanted. Now I’m kind of old, and I don’t care anymore, but listen up guys. My name is Luana. I don’t care what my smartarse author says and I don’t care what she writes. From now on I’m only going to read the bible. The Story of O goes in the trash as soon as I get back home from town. Hey, don’t feel sorry for me. It’s only forty minutes by boat and an hour up the mountain through the muddy jungle. If I’m lucky, maybe a Terciopalo will bite me and I’ll die. Heaven sounds pretty good right now.
(Author's note...a day of writing help would be great...I don't have a physical writing group either)

Mira said...

Christine - thanks for the comment. We've thought about non-daily posting, maybe that would be a way to go. Glad you liked the cheese cake.

And I'll search for some coffee.

Celeste and Celeste's author - great to meet you. Sorry you have so much disagreement between the two of you. That must be tough. ;)

Seems like there's a real need for a writing critique community. That wasn't exactly the intent of this site,'s something to consider. Maybe there's a way to incorporate it.

Ann, any thoughts?

Bo said...

Celeste/Luana, The Story of O is great literature! You shouldn't throw it away but have it demonstrated for you. Get in touch, okay? I'm available after tonight's gig.

bunnygirl said...

Ignore Bo, everyone. You know how he is.

I like a lot of the ideas here, and I think at least some of the posts really ought to run more than one day. If we start doing group stories again, for example, two days would be better than one.

I like the idea Candy's author had about posting from our own work. I'm not yet sold on the idea of doing critiques, though. The original idea behind this site was that one could try out new ideas without fear of critique. If enough people want to have occasional critiques, though, I'm open to it.

Here are some other ways we could use our written material:

1. Add-ons or finish the story, similar to the New Beginnings on the Evil Editor site.

2. Respond in the comments to concepts, such as "hope," "fear," or "grudge" with snippets from our own writing.

Any other ideas out there?

Celeste said...

Very funny Bo. I can't even spell the name of my own country or the name of the snake that might bite me, but I can spell O, and I'll bet you can't catch me for any sort of fun here in the jungle five thousand miles from Calyfornya. BTW, keep your scaly claws off
the honey sweet skin of my baby girl, Carmen. She still can't read English, lucky for her. That wise arse doctor Author wants weekly critiques with you. She taught me how to spell that fancy c word I just used. She's my loyal friend, even if we don't get along.

Candy's author said...

I agree with bunnygirl that we shouldn't critique but a question or so wouldn't hurt. For example if I posted a description of a barn someone might want to know what it smelled like, if I hadn't mentioned that.I might then be nudged into adding that if i felt it appropriate which would be a help but in no way destructive.

Celeste said...

Caught me out, didn't you. Thinking I could get my author into trouble and then she would leave me alone. No point in hurting her feelings, if that is what critique means. Sometimes her sentences are boring, and I need excitement and a reason to keep living. How about a session to teach us how to be helpful to authors in a positive way? I can't keep breathing in a vacuum.

Christine H said...

I like what Candy said. Not exactly critiques, but just questions or comments on things that might be explored better. I really don't want a full-blown literary critique, I just want to know people's basic impressions and things that might need more (or less) explanation.

Mira, I was offering YOU the coffee. (And anyone else who wants one.) Where is that Facebook "Send Coffee" application when you need it?

MitMoi said...

I like the idea of leaving some posts up for more than a day too. Life has become hectic here - and I have purposely been staying away - so I don't slide into the black hole of participation (which makes me feel like a bad member of the community).

I have a couple of thoughts.

1.) It would be nice if we added the "advanced" site feed option for tracking comments on posts (if a commenter choses to enable this option.) That way - I could monitor if someone was conversing with me without having to refresh the page every five minutes (which is helpful since we're all in different time zones.)

2.) I'd like us to have the opportunity to discuss different writing topics from time to time. Not things like grammar or punctuation (although lord knows I suck at punctuation and sentence structure) - but more about craft. How to move forward/backward in time. How to tell if your story is bogging down in the middle. How to recognize themes in your work (in second draft revisions) and how to make them more powerful ... stuff like that.

3.) I'd like to be able sometimes to talk about what I'm struggling to learn about the craft - or why something is/isn't working with my character and get insight/suggestions from the group. However, I'm NOT too keen on the idea of critiquing others work - unless we set up very specific ground rules and limits. I am fortunate in that I belong to a GREAT critique group IRL - and I think one of the reasons that group works so well is because we have a very knowledgeable/paid moderator. She leads us beyond, "I like this ..." and "this doesn't work for me because ..." But I don't think I am skilled enough to carry on that level of discourse on my own. Plus we have a solid rule about not "writing another author's solution" for them, Which I see pop up in a lot of other places. I guess what I'm really trying to say is if I can't give a "structural/craft" piece of advice about how to improve something, I am hesitant to participate. I want to to learn the reasons why one way works and another doesn't.

But I am up for whatever the community decides here - and will support it to the best of my time constraints.


bunnygirl said...

I'm open to MitMoi's idea of writing craft discussions, as long as we keep them character-related, since characters are the focus of this blog.

Mira said...

These are fantastic suggestions - really guys, thanks.

I really would like to get the site built up before I disappear in September, so these are great.

Christine - I'd love some coffee! That is so sweet of you. I've been slaving over this paper, and I could definitely use a caffeine injection. :)

sex scenes at starbucks said...

By building the site do you mean rebuilding the physical aspects of this site? I still think Blogger has the best thing going and it works well here, so unless someone has major time to dump, I'd leave it as is.

I doubt I'd participate in critiques. I have a very active critiquing and editing schedule already. But if other people think it's useful, then I have no problems with it.

I also don't participate in writing the stories because of the time suck. Writing is my job and I need to focus on stuff I'm getting paid for.

That said, I LOVE coming in character and getting into the discussions. It gives me time to play when so much of my writing is work. I also don't find it to be a terrible time suck. I can drop in a couple of times a day and let the characters take over.

Ginger said...

Nevin and Vic ~ I passed a Whole Foods store on my way home tonight. I thought of you.

Mira said...

Hey Sex, glad you weighed in. And no I didn't mean building the physical site - although suggestions about that would be great. More building the membership, so the site is strong for when I have to disappear.

It seems to me that many people are expressing different needs - which is cool. Maybe Ann and I can talk it over and see what we can come up with....

I know I said this, but really appreciate the suggestions!

Ginger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christine H said...

I agree with SSAS to a point. It was really fun at first to get my characters here, interacting. But then they kind of got off-track from their normal setting, which was getting kind of wierd as far as writing goes. It was hard to put them back into the book where they belong.

I don't really know what to say about keeping the concept just about being in character, or trying more writer-ish things. I can see that you might want to just keep Come In Character... in character.

But I can see the appeal of the other, as well.

Mira said...

Christine, that's an interesting point. Something to think about......thanks!