From the Writers' Board (Issue 4)

From the Boards

The community shows over a thousand members now

May 15 2001 at 5:45 PM 

Holly Lisle  

Obviously not a thousand active members. I'm guessing we have a whole lot of lurkers who aren't ready to post yet, and I'm sure we have some folks who try the community and then move on, leaving their membership still open behind them.  

But we've definitely grown.   

New Board!

Holly set up the gaming section  April 7th, with both a public and a private board. The public board is for general questions about writing RPG material, such as adventure plotting, some rules discussion, and world building. 

The private board is reserved for copyrightable works that are already in progress. For instance, Jennifer Brinn is working on a FUDGE Deryni game for Grey Ghost Games, and Christian Stiles, the new Gaming Moderator, is  working on a solicited D20 adventure for a company called Atlas Games, and a project for her own company, Bizzaro Games, called SpirosBlaak.
The private board will be limited in membership to about 20-25 people.

For more information contact Christina at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Who are we?

Members of the Forward Motion Writer's Community now have a  page listing their home pages.  Check it out here:

One Year Anniversary at 

(this text is by Holly, taken from

The new site has been here for a year, and with it the writers' community and the discussion boards. (Writing articles and sample chapters came over from the old SFF-net site.)  

Help us celebrate the site's one-year anniversary on the Writers' Forum.   

Here are some excerpts, reprinted here 'cause they're such fun: 

You're certainly a writer if . . . 


Holly Lisle 

You can think of a response to this . . . <g> 

Evil_Corporate_Bookseller've mentally "ended" every movie or TV show... 

you've ever watched less than 15 minutes into it, because you know what the main character would really have done in that situation, and that action would have irrevocably prevented the rest of the story from ever taking place. 

Jennifer St.Clair Bush're in a car accident and write down everyone's reactions -- for research. feel naked when you find you've left the house without paper and pencil/computer/palm/insert yours here.'ve considered getting a part-time job in retail just to make your characters more believable. can write 100 words about anything and make it sound interesting.


...if you refer to Mulder's long-winded speeches in the X-Files as an "infodump."

...if you've ever written something down on a paper napkin because you couldn't let yourself forget it.

...if you've ever written a short story on an order pad, because it was slow at work.

...if you've ever blown off a rocking good party with free booze and music because you were in the middle of a crucial scene.

...if you find yourself playing Tetris for long periods of time while trying to figure out what's at the bottom of a bottomless pit, and how does one climb out?

...if you've ever found ink on your pillow, because you fell asleep while writing in bed.

...if you're reading this, because you're avoiding writing.

Bob Billing

You sit outside on a starry night, point to the brighter stars one by one, and explain which bits of the plot of your latest novel happen on a planet orbiting each.

You're in a restaurant. A couple sit down at the next table and they look so much like two of your characters that you begin to say "When you're at the spaceport don't leave the departure lounge. That's what gets you shot three chapters later."

Someone starts telling you a conspiracy theory and before they've finished you've turned it into a novel plot.

You're half way through a TV show, you rattle off a list of what all the remaining scenes are going to be and offer to take bets. Nobody who knows you will take you on.

Lynn Baxter-Zimmerle sit...

...and eavesdrop on people's conversations just to get personalities for your current story. class talking to your students, and one of them gives you an idea on how to fix a story. your father's funeral and take mental notes on how different people react during the ceremony and compare the reactions to the whole rite of passage process as described by Victor Turner's Liminal Period theory while simultaneously wanting to strangle the preacher and hug your brother. one place going through hell, and all you can think about is what X character would do in this situation.

David Stone remember events and 'tell' them to yourself in story form.

...the scene in your mind is more interesting than the scenery you're standing in. see an ordinary, boring object and think of a fascinating story about it. write four sentences when one would do!


 Your mental checklist when making sure you have everything you need in your backpack before coming home from school consists of your writing notebook, pencil, and current reading material, and you completely forget about the book that you need to write that essay that's due tomorrow.


... you rewrite your philosophy thesis to make a story out of it.

... you swear you're gonna work today and not write a single page, and then you do the "first line Monday," just for fun, and then you can't help but write a 20 page short story from this first line, and then you swear that tomorrow, you're gonna work.


someone asks how your day has been, and you tell them that you just escaped from a burning space shuttle, routed an army of tiny dogmen, and rescued a dragon from a princess.


 ... if your roommates know your characters almost as well as they know you. 

... if you stop a conversation midstream to gush over a great word or turn of phrase.

... if every party or workday is interrupted at least once by - "Hold on a sec, I have to write that down."

Jenny Shafer read a foreign name in the paper and think it seems oddly familiar, and eventually realize it's the name of one of your old characters. use words you've made up for stories in everyday speech. start diagnosing your psychological problems by the themes that come up in your stories. 

Justin Stanchfield

You're a writer if everyone you know, whether lifelong friends or someone you just met, is giving you story ideas they are just sure you need to write!


Or if everyone you know asks whether they're in the story, or if you could add them to the story, or their pet, or their sister...