Forum: Prospective Challenges

Discussing: A Challenge for New Members

A Challenge for New Members

Hello all. I'm just setting this up as a place-holder, a place to hash out the possible parameters of a challenge exclusively for new members. The idea behind this came from Ariel, who suggested that perhaps it would be confidence-building for newcomers to have a challenge all for themselves--a place where they could get their feet wet.

Ariel has some ideas simmering on her backburner and will be around to give us a more concrete outline when her RL eases up a bit. But even so, be thinking about this and do come post your thoughts. Especially if you *are* a new member (or a 'newer' member) or someone who hasn't written much before, take this idea under consideration and come tell us what you think and would like to see.

TTFN,

Dwim, purveyor of nuzgul

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

As a "newbie" myself, I think a challenge exclusively for new members is a great idea! It would be a good chance for people new to HA to show what they can do, and old members might find a new author they really enjoy. Older members might even be inspired to take a new member under their wing and give them helpful advice, which is always so welcome. I'm all for it!

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

As a "newbie" myself, I think a challenge exclusively for new members is a great idea! It would be a good chance for people new to HA to show what they can do, and old members might find a new author they really enjoy. Older members might even be inspired to take a new member under their wing and give them helpful advice, which is always so welcome. I'm all for it!

Do you have any thoughts on a good challenge topic? Even if they don't all get put up at once, it will be nice to have a list to choose from. The more the merrier!

And what would a good definition of a "newbie" be for HASA? Only a member a certain amount of time? Only writing a certain amount of time? No stories in the HASA archive?

Opinions any one?

When the flood of TTT newbies arrives, we will all appear venerable.
Lyllyn

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

When the flood of TTT newbies arrives, we will all appear venerable.


What a lovely thought!

Perhaps 'only writing a certain amount of time in the LotR fandom' would be the best definition, cos some newbies to HASA aren't necessarily new to writing Tolkien-fic. Or maybe we could have seperate challenges for both?

My interests tend to run towards elves, so any challenge ideas I come up with won't necessarily be applicable to all. But these are the Nuzgul which have been biting me recently, if it helps

1. Write an account of your character's meeting with a Valar.

2. Get two otherwise unconnected characters in LotR together and see what they have to say to each other.

3. Racism in Middle Earth? How about an Elf/Dwarf fic, or a Numenorian/Southron friendship, or even a romance in the Shire between different classes?

There was another one, but it's hiding at the moment!

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

Hello all--

This is my first post in the HASA forums, so I suppose this makes me fit the newbie definition ^_^ I certainly like the idea of a "new members challenge," as I believe it would help ease a certain discomfort new members may feel. Also, it may yield an interesting crop!

I have no ideas for what that challenge might be yet, but I will be sure to post them if/when they occur to me.

Schnoogles,

---AM

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

Sorry about that... I was busy hashing through my serious reservations of a certain movie...

But I am, and always will be a book fan first and foremost... Thankfully!

Anyway...

Thank you for putting in a place holder, Dwim...

I am not so sure about the TTT onslaught, but maybe... I have been wrong before. My suspicion is that if they weren't hooked enough to get online by FOTR, they won't be by TTT - but that is just MHO...

For this challenge, I think I would like to give the newbies a challenge that tests their book knowledge, forces them to create a short piece (for some me this is a problem), and lets them explore something of themselves in the process.

For the stories... under 10 pages (roughly... no novels here ladies and gents)

will finish later...

It's later...

OK... Well, I was planning on having about 3 different choices - kind of like quickies - of the story you could try to write. A short subject and two longer ones. I am willing to work on ideas, but I think I'll post a few ideas.

A tale of Elwing - and her escape to the sea with Nauglamir, the necklace with the last of the Silmarils in it.

Examine the connection between the Shire and Saruman pre-quest. How did Saruman get his pipeweed? And in what ways did Saruman have his hands in the economics of the southern Shire, and how long before the quest did he have ties there?

King Thranduil's punishment to the chief guard who got drunk and lost his keys to Bilbo.

A hobbit stumbles onto a forgotten cemetary in Buckland and finds a name on the stone he recognizes from the Red Book Tales.

Too hard? Too easy? I am new at this stuff.

Ariel

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

For the stories... under 10 pages (roughly... no novels here ladies and gents)

Actually, I think many of the challenges, especially the quickies, are often even shorter. It shouldn't scare anyone off, a page or two may be appropriate for certain challenges, if that seems comfortable.

Dwim, you're far more experienced with this, what is average for a quickie challenge?

Lyllyn

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

what is average for a quickie challenge?

I'd say roughly 1,000 - 1,200 words (with outlier stories as short as 350 words and as long as 2,000).

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

I'd say Una's pretty dead-on. Quickies officially shouldn' t be more than two pages of 1000 words (more or less).

However, Ariel's 10-page limit appeals to me, because as a newbie, my first fic was about 10 pages long. Some people are naturally wordy....

It may come down to selecting the nuzgul we think are doable in about 10 pages--then we wouldn't need to deal with explicit page limits. What do you think?

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

I think that would work... I edited the post I made earlier above. Would any of those work?

Ariel

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

Ariel asked:

I think that would work... I edited the post I made earlier above. Would any of those work?

Thanks Ariel! I like the idea of trying to have nuzgul that address different eras, and I'm particularly enamored of the Thranduil dealing with the guard nuzgul. Could be done in way under 10 pages, fits into a period and story that isn't often written about, and seems like fun.

Maybe we should try to pick two nuzgul from each of the four ages: one long(er--relatively speaking) and one definitely short (quickie material). That should appeal to pretty much everyone's tastes, from Silmfans to Ringers, and should also let the wordy have their fun.

One question I brought up elsewhere is: would we want to think about developing nuzgul thematically, i.e. "the first time your favorite character did [insert event']" or similar? The reason I say this is that writers each have their favorite characters, and if we're dealing with newer writers as well as people who are simply new to HASA, then it's always easier to start with the character you know best. Or perhaps such a thematic challenge could be a nuzgul among the other offerings?

What think people?

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

Wow, just one moment... have we defined what a newbie is? Or are we letting the newbies decide that for themselves?

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

At the moment, we're dealing with the metaphysics of newbiedom using a tried and true method: nod and smile, work on the question you can figure out (i.e., the content of the challenge). :-)

So far, we've had only one person strongly come out in favor of keeping the newbie challenge open only to writers inexperienced in the fandom.

Others have expressed the idea that perhaps a few sets of characteristics should be included: I haven't written much in the fandom and/or I've been a HASA member for under three months.

I personally think the challenge is best aimed at those with little writing experience, but it would be far easier to define 'newbie' in terms of length of membership. It all depends on how you view the intent of the challenge--a simple 'welcome aboard' or a challenge intended to give newer writers a way of getting their feet wet and build a little confidence.

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

I vote for someone who does not yet have more than one story posted on HASA and/or ff.net and/or Nindaiwe.

Emphasis on relative lack of experience at writing, rather than newness to HASA, or else Thundera Tiger (Hi Tigger!) could enter, having just joined.


Toodles - Ang

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

"Emphasis on relative lack of experience at writing, rather than newness to HASA" ~ Ang

I am new to HASA but I have been writing for several years. Does that disqualify me from this challenge?

Schnoogles,

---AM

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

Ang said:
Emphasis on relative lack of experience at writing, rather than newness to HASA, or else Thundera Tiger (Hi Tigger!) could enter, having just joined.

Right. I guess we could leave it at, new to writing Tolkien or writing altogether BUT still allow people who consider themselves newbies to join.


and Dwim said:
It all depends on how you view the intent of the challenge--a simple 'welcome aboard' or a challenge intended to give newer writers a way of getting their feet wet and build a little confidence.

It could be both, I think. (I'm trying to think of an LotR variant of 'two birds with one stone', but I can't)

I think the Challenge requirements should strongly encourage the writers to set up discussions, and for the others on the list to participate in the discussion. This way, the writer will really feel welcome in that he/she has written a fic and that people are taking the time to tell him/her what they think of it.

I know that it seems a bit 'duh', but when I first posted a fic on HASA, I didn't dare set up a discussion. I still haven't set one up (for that story, anyway).

Wow, how did this message turn to that? My fingers are leaving my mind behind again...

On the length of the challenge entry: I think someone said something about a long fic and a short fic. Will there be a choice between the two?

Re: The content of the actual Challenge. Why don't we take ideas from the Quickies: 2003 forum? There were some simple ideas there, which can be tackled without trepidation, I think. Or, we could just leave it generic, like 'so-and-so scene in so-and-so's POV' or something like that. Or we could just ignore this incomprehensible babble of mine.


-Klose

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

Just let me know which ones so we don't repeat too much. I'm about ready to draw up my list for Qtr 1 Quickies.

As per who is a "newbie", hmm, I think some of it is self-definition, and some of it is more objective. If you've never written any fanfic before, hey, you're a newbie. After that, well, if you've written tons of stuff in another fandom (Star Trek, Buffy, X-Files, etc.) I'm less inclined to say you're a total newbie, but it may still be difficult to get started in a very different type of writing. If you've got multiple stories posted on HASA already in the public archive, no, you're not a newbie. You're an established author in the fandom.

This time last year, I would have been a total newbie - not a single story written ever in any fandom. In April, when I joined the HA Yahoo list, I had a bunch of stuff written, but none posted anywhere and never shown to anyone outside of family and friends (who all know I'm crazy anyway). By the time HASA was public (July), I had started writing some serious stories and was gathering my own private nuzgul collection, and I had one story on Nindaiwe. My first postings on HASA were Quickies entries, and August saw Legacy & Writing a Greeen Sun. At that point, I didn't consider myself a newbie anymore, but I'm still striving for "outstanding writer".


Ang

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

Well, I'd be fine with whatever definition of newbie y'all come up with. ;)

I am also quite happy with whatever story ideas (Nazguls) you think would work. I like the thought of having several concepts to choose from, kind of like the quickies challenge, so that new writers can pick something that inspires them. I know I am better at writing things that inspire me. I also like the 'pick your favorite character' and put them in the following situation.

Ang, I would suggest you go and pick your quickies for the 1st quarter. From the look of that list there will be plenty more to choose from and I have NEVER been at a loss for my own Nazguls .

Speaking of which... I told you.. all I have to do is sit down for a minute and these come...

Pick your favorite character and describe the meeting of said character with his or her first born son or daughter. If said character is not known to have had children, describe them thinking about what they would have said/wanted to say to their first born.

There's one that could be very short, very poignant and very moving. Gee, what was our definition of newbie again? I might could write something for this one.

Ariel

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

Pick your favorite character and describe the meeting of said character with his or her first born son or daughter. If said character is not known to have had children, describe them thinking about what they would have said/wanted to say to their first born.

Ooh, I like this one, too. Fortunately, I've already done it (thank GOD) with Arathorn.

Another fun one might be:

Your favorite character has a talk with mom/dad about the craft s/he eventually takes up. That would allow for a great deal of freedom, since the character could be following in the footsteps of mom or dad or could be in some sense breaking away from a more traditional occupation (Sam, explaining to his Gaffer about becoming mayor or wearing 'ironmongery').

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

Fortunately, I've already done it (thank GOD) with Arathorn.

See? I knew it was a good idea! I have read this done with Sam and I think I read yours a while back (before I started posting), but I still like the concept.

Well, let's see if anyone else has any ideas and we'll pick three good ones from this and whatever is left over on the suggested quickies list for the formal challenge.

Ariel

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

Well, I have had several LOTR stories on ff.net...but then, so have lots and lots of other people who *coughs* might need help with their writing. Not to slam ff.net because it did give me my start in fanfic, but does posting a story there really imply experience? I have posted around 5 LOTR fics on ff.net, but I definitely see myself as an inexperienced writer.

I think newbieism can really be defined either way (inexperience in the fandom or inexperience at HASA). When this challenge was first mentioned, I envisioned it as a sort of "virtual handshake and introduction" for new members, a place where older members can see just who these crazy new people are and what their writing is like. For my part, I would prefer that this challenge be open to those members who have had no more than one story in the HASA archive and/or have been members for 3 months or less. That's just my take on it, though.

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

Just checking to see how things are going. Ariel, have we got a definition and basic challenge text together?

Ang, how goes the selection on the Quarter 1 2003 challenges?

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

Q1 selection is on going. I hope to be done on Saturday.

Ang

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

Ariel, have we got a definition and basic challenge text together?

She asks me this around CHRISTMAS?!?!

I will endeavor to produce something coherent tommorrow. I thought with all the changes to the Challenge and Submissions section, I would have a bit of leeway, but I guess that is now past. Ah well, back to the grindstone.

Ariel


 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

Here are the ones that did not make the Quickies cut in any quarter:

* Faramir and Arwen's first meeting
* The first time Faramir ever had that dream of drowning Númenor
* Gollum's agony as he realises he lost Bilbo and Preciousss for good;
* The discovery of mithril and laying out the plans for Moria
* What the fox did.
* Events in Middle-earth from the perspective of any being in Valinor.
* An appendices challenge. Take a name from the Annals of the Kings and Rulers, and write them a first-person POV story.
* A dwarf's thoughts in Thranduil's prison or inside a barrel
* Any character tells a bed-time story to any child.
* After Sam and Frodo fell asleep, and before Gollum appeared at HA, what did Faramir do/think?
* Any humorous moment between the three hunters, possibly with any two ganging up on the third.
* The exploits of Master Spy Merry: How did he get a look at Bilbo's red book, and what exactly did he read?
* A lesson for Elflings in Valinor about Middle-earth.
* Earendil's reflections on his descendents, one or more.
* A market day anywhere, anytime, in Middle-earth.
* Bert, William and Tom. Anything with them



All of the others have been distributed across the quarters. First meetigns with Gandalf and final partings will be available every quarter.. Each other quarter has 15 possible choices, with a wide range of ages and POVs.

I really like the Appendices Challenge, but it seemed something bigger than Quickies. All of the rest were either very similar to another Quickie, or seemed applicable to a longer story as well.

I will be releasing the Quickies collections quarter by quarter.

Ang

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

Gracias! I agree about the Appendices story--very likely to spawn monsters (I should know, the damn thing bit already). We can surely use some of these for this challenge in addition to ideas already suggested.

Thanks Ang!

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

* Events in Middle-earth from the perspective of any being in Valinor.

I will don the newbie hat for the joys of writing this, as I am obsessed with the Feanturi. Blame Neil Gaiman.

Also, and on a totally unrelated note, why is it that British keyboards don't have accents? I am used to continental Europe keyboards, and this miffs me to no end.

Schnoogles,

---AM

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

OK… Sorry this has taken me so long… having issues over at my other board that had to be dealt with – and the holidays. Things will also start heating up for me soon so I realize I had better get this going.

First off, definition of a newbie – I would say, for ease of clarity and confirmability, a newbie is someone who has been on the board for less than 3 months as of the time of the initial challenge. I think it would be best to remove any reference to a writer’s previous work in or out of LOTR fanfiction because we all come from such varied backgrounds. I also think that since a challenge is not a competition, it really won’t matter if we have authors of varying experience in it. It is a showcase of work – and I intended it to be a showcase for the work of people who are new to HASA so that others can see what they can do.

OK… that’s out of the way.

Because I like the idea of many story lines to choose from, I am going to pick three. These are just some that I like or have been mentioned by people as being interesting. I am continuing to post this here in the prospective challenge thread because I think I still need feedback. You may say, well, darn it, Ariel, just post the silly thing, but I just wanted people to know I am not married to these three and if it looks like these will get the prerequisite number (something people really can’t decide until they knew WHICH three I was going to pick) I will then post it. That was my interpretation of the ‘rules’.

The three story ideas for the Newbie Challenge:

1. King Thranduil's punishment to the chief guard who got drunk and lost his keys to Bilbo.

2. An appendices challenge. Take a name from the Annals of the Kings and Rulers, and write them a first-person POV story.

3. Events in Middle-earth from the perspective of any being in Valinor.

Stories should be greater than 2 pages but preferably less than 10. Writers are encouraged to set up discussions for their stories when they have posted them in order for people to give them feedback and to encourage dialog in the use of the excellent resources of this board. This is an intro to HASA challenge – please have fun and use the challenge to better your enjoyment here.

So… what do you think?

Ariel

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

Looking good. May I ask for additions to the list of topics? Because I really liked the idea of using the "fill in your favorite character and write this scenario" type of prompt. The parent-child talk one is definitely one that most people should be able to relate to and get into.

Once you feel that you've got enough feedback on things to be comfortable with a final text, e-mail me the final text and I'll get it all set up in the challenges section.

Thanks!

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

Will do... so maybe 4 choices? Or is there one from the list you think that one would replace?

Ariel

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

Hm. If I had to pick a replacement, I'd say the Appendix challenge, only because those have the possibility of being monstrously large (which we want to avoid).

But it's also possible to do a fairly good short sketch of even a very obscure character like Beruthiel, so I don't know....

Maybe it comes down to numerology: "3 challenges for the fanfic writers under the clock" versus a nice square number like four.

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

I would say, for ease of clarity and confirmability, a newbie is someone who has been on the board for less than 3 months as of the time of the initial challenge.

Addendum, coming lately to my foggèd brain:

I'd say that this challenge should be open to anyone within the first three months of the their membership, not simply three months from the date that the challenge is issued. We could then keep this one up and running continuously, swapping out nuzgul maybe in quarters, as Ang is doing with the 2003 Quickies. This would let us easily check membership constraints, by simply noting which quarter the person in question responds to, and then looking to see if the person joined HASA within three months of that quarter's opening.

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

Join date is on every member profile, just so you know.

Ang

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

Some ideas of mine I'd like to contribute (is it too late?)
1. Aule meeting Gimli-- creator meets to creation for the first (well unless he's Tom Bombadil) time
2. Galadriel's parting with Celeborn--it amazes me that there are virtually no fics on this.

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

What's happened to this Challenge, anyway? I don't qualify as a newbie anymore (I've been here for about 6 months), but I'm just wondering. Dwim?

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

Honestly, it fell off the backburner. Bad Dwim! No biscuit!

Anyhow, since we do have many new members still, even if not the *same* new members, let's try to start this again.

Given that it's a "get your feet wet" challenge, I'd like to keep it general (i.e., applicable to both the Silm and LOTR). I'd also like to see the prompt(s) that we end up with as capable of development in vignettes, but also capable of generating short stories (i.e., up to ten or twelve pages, I'd say).

And since I am feeling a bit punch-drunk as it's really late, I'm going to leave it at that for the moment and ask whether any of the previous exchanges on this topic appeal to folks, or if they have additions to make/suggest, etc.

Input from those who've been members for under three months would be especially welcome, since I believe you folks were our original targets.



Dwim

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

Input from those who've been members for under three months would be especially welcome, since I believe you folks were our original targets.

Okay, well from someone who's been a member for a little over a month - in my very humble opinion the three suggestions all look too hard. I did look at them earlier and then ran away in panic ;-) I realise that - as has been discussed - a 'new member' is going to vary both in experience as a writer and in dyed-in-the-wool-Tolkein-fanness (to coin a very ugly phrase) but at least some of them, I'm sure, will be newish to Tolkein and might prefer something simpe from the actual LOTR as an option. That's just how it struck me anyway - and, heck, I'm a wuss ;-)

Avon

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

And we need the opinion of self-confessed wusses. ;-)

Ok, so what you're saying is, you'd like things to be more concrete and less dependent on the obscure parts of the story (whichever of the stories you're interested in). Is that it?

What about something like this, then:

1. (I still love Ariel's idea): Thranduil's interview with his butler (Galion, see Resources: character bios) and the "turnkey" captain of guard who fell asleep on the job.

2. Pippin, Sam, and Bill exploring the dell while Strider, Frodo and Merry are climbing Weathertop. (roughly an hour or so, assuming half an hour up and a little less coming down, plus the time spent on top of Weathertop)

3. Gil-galad and Elendil meet at Amon Sûl to march out to Mordor. What would they talk about?

Dwim

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

All right I'm a wuss. I've been a member since January 18 and I have never written a story and so far all the ideas for the challenge are, for the most part, scaring me off. I'm familiar only with LotR and not the other books.

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

What sort of prompt would be unintimidating for you? Does number 2 in my previous post count as "scary"?

Also, an invitation to self-meditate (and then share): what makes any of the given prompts scary to you? Obviously, we won't be able to do much in terms of making this unfrightening to all people, but I would like to see a set of prompts that would generally be considered manageable for people who are brand new.

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

Number 2, being the only point truly familiar to me is, I suppose, not scary though it would involve rereading the pertinant passages again which is in itself not an unpleasent prospect. I suppose what is truly scary is, for me (a newbie in every way,) to actually commit words to paper for the first time and then expose myself on the mercies of the membership.

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

What sort of prompt would be unintimidating for you? Does number 2 in my previous post count as "scary"?

Since I've been a member for all of two months and one day I guess I still qualify as a "newbie", so I'll respond to this one.

No, I don't see anything intimidating about number 2; in fact it seems to be a rather innocuous little nuzgul. Frankly that's what scares me! Last one that got its fangs into me (yikes! it was the first one too!) has turned into a mega monster. I suppose that's my own fault for not keeping the thing in check, but I think that's one of the dangers as a newbie; we've so little experience taming the nuzgul (is that the proper plural of nuzgul?) that breed so prolifically around here.

And now you have Klose siccing them on us too!

But in all seriousness, it would be a very good exercise to try to write something short. Really short! So maybe I'll get my head out of Rohan for awhile and give this a try. Maybe...

~Nessime

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

Trying to refine what is intimidating. Would some of the following, or something on this order, qualify as more comfortable?

What Farmer Maggot and his family said after Pippin, Sam and Frodo went off to Crickhollow.
Boromir walks into Rivendell and encounters his first elf.
Arwen and/or Elrond find out that Sauron has been defeated.
Gloin holds a feast to honor his son on his return from Gondor.

lyllyn

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

I suppose what is truly scary is, for me (a newbie in every way,) to actually commit words to paper for the first time and then expose myself on the mercies of the membership.

I think you can rest easy on this score. I never did anything like this before (at least not for other people to actually read!) and I can honestly say that I have received nothing but encouragement and kindly offered advice and corrections on what I've written so far.

So do test the water here, if I may use that imagery. It's quite nice.

~Nessime

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

I'm a newbie also, but have written a few stories before for ff.net. I think this challange is a great idea to get people involved in the site and it writing. Some of the ideas do seem a little overwhelming though...and how long are these going to be?

And unlike, others, I have not felt welcome here at all...I posted my story in the beta section, and have only gotten 2 responces. I have also tried to post in the forums, with about the same ammount of sucess. I think this would be a great opportunity for those like me to get involved in the site and to feel welcome, and (like someone else said) for current members to find good new authors.

Pardon my lil' gripes!

~Moriel

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

Moriel - and hi - have you checked out the discussion called 'Writer's Aids' ? It has some really good discussions of how to get feedback - I found it really useful when I posted my first stories and set up my discussion the other day. In my just over a month here I haven't found it unfriendly - just huge and busy. Like in RL most people will tend to chat mostly to people they know but if you hang around and keep trying they will gradually get to know you - in my experience in other fandoms (* pause to laugh at me giving social advice - in RL I'm the hide-in-the-corner-paralysed-with-shyness- type ;-)) Anyway, sorry you have found it unfriendly. I would read your story and do some feedback but it's set in a time period I'm trying to avoid - next time, maybe.

Cheers,

Avon

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

And unlike, others, I have not felt welcome here at all...I posted my story in the beta section, and have only gotten 2 responces. I have also tried to post in the forums, with about the same ammount of sucess. I think this would be a great opportunity for those like me to get involved in the site and to feel welcome, and (like someone else said) for current members to find good new authors.

Hi, Moriel.
I'm sorry to hear you have not felt welcome. This is a bit like being the new kid in school when the classes are large and everyone's in the middle of finals. Many of us have this initial experience.

I heartily endorse Avon's suggestion to read some of the suggestions in Writer's Aids, particularly the 'New Writers' and 'The Art of Getting Feedback' topics. I'll mention a few things in there that many of us had to learn:
It's easier for someone to comment on specific things in your story than take on everything. Ask for some particular comments, such as 'Does the scene with xyz work?' or 'I'm having trouble with the ending/the pacing/the fight scene' or whatever. This allows someone to focus on something, and also gives them an idea of what kind of critique you are looking for.

Dwim wrote in that thread if you don't talk about your work first, the chances of someone else doing so are relatively low. Some authors, because they are perceived to be known figures in the fandom, will have people start talking about their work without their having to do much more than say "Hi, I've posted such and such, come talk in my forum." Most of the rest of us have to work a little harder and start the discussion ourselves. And once it's begun, you have to tend it--this *is* a conversation, and if no one responds to a reader's comments, it's likely that that thread will die. So if you don't want it to die, keep talking. Keep questioning.

This takes some getting used to after ff.net where you post and wait.

Anyway, write some challenge stories, discuss them in the challenges forum, and your forum.

And keep writing!

Lyllyn

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

I think I"ve been an official member here for a week, maybe two.

First, a newbie challenge is great idea, I've been meandering around the site, trying to sort through all of the information, hoping to find a starting place, and I think something like this would provide that.

Now, on to the part that would stop me from participating. I can't speak for anyone but myself, but I am new to fanfic overall and I know NOTHING about Tolkien's work beyond LOTR. I have read the books, so that's not a problem. I know nothing of the Silmarillion or the HoMe series, or Unfinished Tales, etc, so when I see a newbie challenge and there's only one topic that is LOTR related, I run away scared. (Okay, I re-read the topics again, and I recognize two of them...)

I realize that others will no doubt have more than a passing relationship with Tolkien's other work, but I would personally find it less intimidating if the mix between LOTR and the other material was equal, so if the challenge is going to offer say, 4 topics, I'd prefer at least two from ...'simpler' material...(totally realizing that I'm probably way too far in over my head here and may be speaking for a small minority)

Thanks,

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

Welcome!

It's always nice to meet another Tolkien addict!

I think you'll find varying degrees of knowledge re: Tolkien's extended works in this group. The nice thing is that everyone is so willing to share what they know, so even if you don't have all the books yet (I say yet only because I know a lot of people are still adding to their libraries. ) you shouldn't let that worry you. If you run up against something you don't know or fully understand, post a query over at the research forum. Someone's bound to know the answer. There's already a wealth of information to be found there, and in the resources section.

Anyway, I just wanted to say hello. Have fun reading and getting to know the people here, and above all, watch out for nuzgul! Klose has become frighteningly good at siccing them on us.

~Nessime

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

*waves* Hi Larian_Elensar! Yes, that was largely what scared me, I think. Of course some newbies will be steeped in every aspect of Tolkein but I suspect it probably is more common for a new HA person to know LOTR. I'd suggest using a larger list of suggestions 6 or 8 rather than four or making at least one of them more open ended so the person could choose the character. I'm just thinking that if (a) You don't know a huge amount about Tolkein's full range of works or (b) You don't know much about writing then being able to stay with something familiar would be less scary.

Cheers,

Avon

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

Hello guys! I have been reading what you all have said and I think some great suggestions have been given out for the purpose of this challenge. Well, I am no longer a newbie (although I feel like one! well, I guess that does not count!), I remember what it was when I first "came" here, and, indeed, it does feel like the new kid at school. But, one learns their way around, and the amount of things you learn from everyone by sharing and exchanging feedback and thoughts is just incredibly amazing.

Anyway, I agree with Avon about having 6 or 8 suggestions from which to choose, where we can provide with a variety of topics that might appeal to most newbies. I think we should include more LotR (and Lyllyn's suggestions seem excellent!) and, some Silmarillion of course, for our newbie Silm-fans. Now, as I understand this, are we going to do something like the Quickies for this challenge? Is that what it will be like?

Another idea for the new members to try would be the movie challenge. That one is interesting, and it also gives the chance to explore a very appealing mix of movie-verse and canon.

Well, this is an excellent idea, and I hope we all manage to get it up and going.

Starlight

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

Hello back to everyone!

Nessime,
I have no doubt that I could find help with any research I might need to do, I'm impressed more and more each day by all the knowledge that the members here have and are willing to share. My main point is that as a newbie, writing my first challenge, I would feel a lot more comfortable participating (and it would be more fun) if I didn't have to do a bunch of research first. At least that way, I can concentrate on the story and the writing instead of searching for information--then, when I get on to writing the multi-chapter epic , I'll be ready to start digging. *heh-heh*

I think Avon has a great idea, maybe don't limit it to too few topics, offer a slightly larger range so it would appeal to more newbies not familiar with anything but LOTR...I also like the idea about a more open character choice. See, (*whiner-semi fangirl moment ahead*) , when I mention I like LOTR, and would feel more comfortable with it, what I REALLY mean is that I like to write about elves...and I have a sneaking suspicion that others might feel the same, and if they could choose the character, it would be even more motivating for them to particpate. (And I promise, I'm over Legolas, it would be different elves!) *grin*

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

(And I promise, I'm over Legolas, it would be different elves!)

Cool! Please pass him this way!

Avon

;-)

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

Hello!

Welcome to the mad house, make yourself at home. Feet on the furniture is OK.

Yes, some more LotR themed options for the Newbie challenge would be a great idea, and I'm sure Klose & Co. are cooking up some wonderful ones as we speak.

Don't overlook doing a Quickie Challenge, either. There are a lot of options, and you aren't supposed to write more than a brief vignette, so no more research than you'd like to do. Many of our members can point to the Quickies as the first story they ever wrote. Once you write one, you won't be able to stop, I guarantee it!

I look forward to seeing your first story, no matter which Challenge you enter.

Toodles - Ang

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members


I am still new enough to poke my nose in on this – been here almost a month now!

I think I would have been frightened away by the scope of the beginners challenges (ok, I didn’t really intend to write, but still!) –

but thankfully, there is indeed a lot to be said for those quickies!

Lots to choose from, (this was very important to me) more coming along all the time, and the “confining” elements of size and idea were more comforting than restricting. There was no element that restrained where the idea could take you – and (as with Avon’s In Deep Water) if you run over on the length – you still have a great story to share.!

I am familiar with pretty much all the Tolkien works, though nothing stays in my brain like LoTR – I was too old by the time I got my paws on the rest. But the phrasing in the challenges helped me there, too – It was SO much easier to reacquaint myself with Turin and Anglachel for the poetry challenge than to have to plunge into the Silm hoping for a pairing/idea.

So, lots of choice with a comforting amount of confinement would have attracted me.


Gaudete
tay / powzie / fileg

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

My main point is that as a newbie, writing my first challenge, I would feel a lot more comfortable participating (and it would be more fun) if I didn't have to do a bunch of research first.

Yeah, I understand. Just my own obsession with research showing. But your point is well taken. It is a lot easier to write if you can just let inpiration, muses, whatever, take over and not have to stop to look something up. I guess I tend to get carried away a bit. Sorry.

when I get on to writing the multi-chapter epic , I'll be ready to start digging. *heh-heh*

Oh, yes! Then the fun begins! But I hope you can find one here that suits you. And if you need a researcher any time... ...I volunteer!

~Nessime



 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

I think Avon has a great idea, maybe don't limit it to too few topics, offer a slightly larger range so it would appeal to more newbies not familiar with anything but LOTR...I also like the idea about a more open character choice. See, (*whiner-semi fangirl moment ahead*) , when I mention I like LOTR, and would feel more comfortable with it, what I REALLY mean is that I like to write about elves...and I have a sneaking suspicion that others might feel the same, and if they could choose the character, it would be even more motivating for them to particpate. (And I promise, I'm over Legolas, it would be different elves!) *grin*

*grins* So, guys, what do you think if, instead of giving the newbies a list of topics from which to choose, we work up a challenge that is open enough to allow for them to choose their own character? Perhaps, we could give them situations that could be applied to different characters? I don't know if I am making myself clear here... What I mean is, I notice some concern that the margin of choices might be a bit narrow if we limit it to a few themes or topics. What I think we can do to solve this would be to give a situation and allow the author to create a story around it, using their favorite character as a medium to do this. I think something like that was suggested before on this thread, but don't remember who said it.

For instance, we have the Father's Day Challenge, where the only "restriction" is that the story must focus on a father/offspring interaction, and it must involve some formal communication between them. So, the writers are allowed enough freedom to choose the characters they wish to write about so long as the story meets the challenge requirements. Does something like that sound appealing? I think it might give the writer the chance to show their work in a way that is comfortable for them. However, it would have to be clever and varied enough as to keep the interest alive, and the possibility to give different answers to it. But there are topics like "First Meetings" or "Last Partings" that are always appealing and allow for many, many interpretations. Would that be interesting?

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

Thanks for making me feel welcome...and hope i'm not too much of a pain!

This woud be my first challenge too (not counting the two I'm planning on entering, and the one I've signed up for)! More Lotr ideas would be great, especially since it is something we're all familiar with. Though I'd like to suggest something with Numenor or from the UT also, don't know exactly what but I'm sure someone can cook up an idea.

~Moriel

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

Just my own obsession with research showing.

Eek! She likes doing research! ;-) All right, I once devoted months of my life to finding out an appropriate tree (size, flowering time, perfume, leaf size) for a character to walk under but generally speaking I'm too lazy to do research for somehting there is a faint possibility someone might pay me for! Besides, Tolkein research is well scary!

;-)
Avon

 

 

Re: A Challenge for New Members

*grins* So, guys, what do you think if, instead of giving the newbies a list of topics from which to choose, we work up a challenge that is open enough to allow for them to choose their own character? Perhaps, we could give them situations that could be applied to different characters?

I think that would be a great idea, even if it was just one of the choices. I know it's why I think I might be able to write either the Father or Mother challenge - I can use characters I feel comfortable with. I think maybe some set ones might also be a good idea for those who stick more on plot ideas.

Avon

 

 

sort of OT but to other new writers

Would anyone else be interested in a new writer's forum/discussion (still confused by the terminology around here)? Somewhere where we could perhaps do a bit of mutual hand-holding? ;-) I know that mostly we've got our own discussions for our published stories but I mean more somewhere to discuss how we write, why we write and how to make bl**ding horrible dwarves say the lines you want them to say ;-) It might also be somewhere for people who are only thinking about trying to write to come and discuss it. I don't want to tread on anyone else's toes but I haven't been able to see anything similar here. I just know that as I don't have any Tolkein-writing friends I'm just being frustrated by the desire to discuss some of what I'm trying to do with someone. Any interest anyone? (and sorry to sort of hijack this discussion - it just seemed a logical place to find some other newbies.

Salutations,

Avon

 

 

Re: sort of OT but to other new writers

Would anyone else be interested in a new writer's forum/discussion (still confused by the terminology around here)? Somewhere where we could perhaps do a bit of mutual hand-holding?

A note that there is "Writer's Aids" which is supposed to help address some of these concerns. It's mostly geared towards a) using the site, b) specific questions of writing know-how (I posted one on writing dialogue, for example) and c) discussing some of the fear aspects of writing for an audience (how to deal with feedback, how to get feedback, why are we afraid to write). Anyone can post a topic/thread, and I think it'd be a good place to put such conversations.

Also, we've had two competing impulses with this challenge:

1) abstract--find a general situation, applicable to most characters, and let the writer apply it to his/her favorite character.

2) concrete--a nice, solid prompt, with clearly defined limits.

My question is, since I'd like to see this go up: should we put in one or two general situations, followed by four or five concrete prompts drawn from across Tolkien's major works? Discuss. Thanks!

 

 

Re: sort of OT but to other new writers

I know, I belong to that thread and recomend it others all the time but... it's like the List - just so big and overwhelmingly above my head most of the time ;-) I'm not criticising either it or the list or any of the older members - I've found everyone so friendly and helpful - but the sheer expertise can be awfully intimidating.

Avon

 

 

Re: New members challenge

Also, we've had two competing impulses with this challenge:

1) abstract--find a general situation, applicable to most characters, and let the writer apply it to his/her favorite character.

2) concrete--a nice, solid prompt, with clearly defined limits.

My question is, since I'd like to see this go up: should we put in one or two general situations, followed by four or five concrete prompts drawn from across Tolkien's major works? Discuss. Thanks!


Oops, forgot to reply to this. To me what you've suggested sounds like a very good idea.

Avon

 

 

Re: sort of OT but to other new writers

Also, we've had two competing impulses with this challenge:

1) abstract--find a general situation, applicable to most characters, and let the writer apply it to his/her favorite character.

2) concrete--a nice, solid prompt, with clearly defined limits.

My question is, since I'd like to see this go up: should we put in one or two general situations, followed by four or five concrete prompts drawn from across Tolkien's major works? Discuss. Thanks


This seems like a good solution as some of us are still figuring out what works to inspire us and what doesn't. I know some people find clear deliniations of what they have to work with very helpful, while others need the freedom to cast about a little, so putting up a couple of general situations would work for them. I'd say to go for it!

~Nessime

 

 

Re: sort of OT but to other new writers

My question is, since I'd like to see this go up: should we put in one or two general situations, followed by four or five concrete prompts drawn from across Tolkien's major works? Discuss. Thanks!

I'd vote yes on that...

 

 

Re: sort of OT but to other new writers

I vote yes also, but when are we going to get this challenge going? By the time it's finally up I'm not going to be a newbie anymore! I was also thinking that possibly it could be done regularly, or at least more than once to welcome the newbies that are joining.

I do not know of any more ideas, but many great ones have already been mentioned. General sitiuations are great, so they can use a character they are comfortable with, but there should also be some specific ideas.

Just repeating what has been said before, hoping this challenge can go up soon.

~Moriel

 

 

Re: sort of OT but to other new writers

Ok, I've gathered up a few prompts, flung in a few more, for a total of nine prompts--3/work. Hopefully the selection will hit the balance between concrete and more open prompts.

Go here to see the text.

Go here to continue discussion.

 

 

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