1st June 2018 at 5:31 am #23666
I write in the early hours of the morning before the day job, at weekends, in school holidays and sometimes in other gaps in my life. By nature it’s a lonely activity and as friends and family don’t really want you to witter on endlessly about your characters or plot. So, it would be lovely to have a chat with Jericho Writer friends who are in the same position all over the country/world. Just a thread where we could bring up any WIP related topic: debate one of your characters, a structural problem, a moment of frustration with a scene, even ask if anyone has time to feedback on a chapter or a paragraph. To be able to chat about writerly things the way you might on Twitter but with the Jericho Writers community and without a word limit. Coming on and seeing who else is writing at the same time, sharing word targets for the day, spurring one another on when needed, getting to know each other’s WIP without having to go to individual message. Does this make sense? Maybe this thread could become what I’m suggesting but it won’t be seen by everyone. What does anyone think? What does Jericho Writers think?
1st June 2018 at 4:13 pm #23808
Yes, that absolutely makes sense! After 30 years in the most social of working environments, I am finding it hard to adjust to the solitary nature of this writer’s life. Friends and family do not take me seriously when I say I am “working” – mainly (I suspect) because there’s no money involved (at least none coming in ;) Plus, although I have a small band of beta readers, I am very aware of the risk of boring people if I talk for any length of time about my WIPs. In conclusion, much as I love and thrive on my solitary writer’s existence, I would really appreciate opportunities to chat in an ad hoc sort of way with other writers. In fact, that is exactly what I hoped these forums would facilitate!
1st June 2018 at 5:28 pm #23838
So good to hear from you! Yes, I hoped the forums would facilitate that, and hopefully we can make it happen. :-) I understand your situation completely, I love the solitary existence of writing as well but do hanker after talking about my story. If this comes up as a reply on here, then that will be great because we might be able to begin to use it as a general chat area, although the website is slow, so spontaneous replies could be difficult. I have just managed to complete a first draft – which will be dreadful and will get rewritten in the future – of the first three chapters of my new WIP. I’m pleased with that but about to go out for a meal with a friend with whom I can’t ever talk about writing, she just says ‘that all sounds very clever’ to anything I try, so I don’t bother! So – I do hope we’ve found a way to talk manuscripts :-)
I also ‘followed’ and ‘friend requested’ about fifty people today without checking out any profiles, because it’s too slow, just the fifty most recent joinees. Wasn’t sure how else to get in contact with members!
2nd June 2018 at 12:43 pm #23878
“about to go out for a meal with a friend with whom I can’t ever talk about writing, she just says ‘that all sounds very clever’ to anything I try, so I don’t bother!”
It’s weird, isn’t it? The response of friends – and family. My mum asked if she could help me pay to get published – and although friends try to be interested, I can see their eyes glazing over. I thought it was my genre (war stuff) but apparently not…
1st June 2018 at 5:28 pm #23839
Great! It comes up underneath :-)
1st June 2018 at 7:59 pm #23842
I’d also like to thank Cornelia, Bridget, Hannah, Jen and Robert for following me back after I randomly followed everyone who joined Jericho Writers in the last four days :-) Just trying to get us all chatting.
2nd June 2018 at 12:52 pm #23882
What are the benefits of ‘following’ or ‘friend’? Is there any guidance anywhere?
2nd June 2018 at 12:06 pm #23860
Hi Marilyn, I was hoping someone would start a thread like this. You can go bonkers on your own with just your novel can’t you? My life has been revolutionised by my wonderful writing partner Rachel, a fellow Jericho Writer at the same stage as me. We try to facebook once a day and meet once a week. It’s stopped me writing in fits and starts. If Rachel’s working on her novel, so should I. But it’s made me keen to connect with other writers. But having watched most of the How to Write video course, Harry Bingham now feels like one of my best mates. I’ve spent so much time with him! ;)
2nd June 2018 at 12:51 pm #23880
Twice in the last month, I’ve read blog pieces about the value – even necessity – of networking as a writer, both for one’s emotional well-being and for getting recognised and published. Easier said than done :(
I try to go to occasional workshops and so on (I live near Oxford and so am within striking distance of London) – but really need something more informal and ad hoc as well. Hopefully, we can create that here!
2nd June 2018 at 12:12 pm #23865
Hi everybody, yes it is a lonely chair; until I get embroiled with my characters; not sure if this is normal?
I live rural so not socially innovated. I have found this forum and Like you, Sophie, Harry is my go to.:) .
2nd June 2018 at 12:46 pm #23879
No, perfectly normal, Carole! I really miss my characters if I’m away from them for too long.
I’ve tried Facebook groups – but they tend to be so big that one quickly feels lost – plus I resent wasting time on all the other side-shows on Facebook.
2nd June 2018 at 12:51 pm #23881
So pleased to chat with you guys. I’m in the back of a car at them moment going to spend the weekend with one of my sons so won’t be around as much but it will be lovely to begin talking about where we’re all up to in our projects. Looking forward to hearing, reading and listening. I work in Summertown twice a week so if anyone’s around we could have some face to face ?
2nd June 2018 at 1:04 pm #23885
With you Hannah about facebook. And Carole, I have to keep reminding myself these people don’t actually exist.
2nd June 2018 at 1:13 pm #23886
It’s possible to start a FB messenger group though which is quite quick and handy for chatting. (Still in the car!i
3rd June 2018 at 5:28 pm #23959
Lol I have dreamed about them too; that is how my book began :)
2nd June 2018 at 1:14 pm #23887
But if this works, it’ll be great ?
2nd June 2018 at 2:15 pm #23896
Hi Marilyn. I like your idea. What this site is currently missing is the “wall” the old site has, were everyone can interact amongst themselves, outside of the forums and blogs. The oldest interactions slide off the page, so once you arrive you can immediately see what’s new and get caught up to speed.I like the idea of this thread, but it may quickly grow too long – th esite is slow enough as it is, imagine if we have to load the previous 782 posts….
4th June 2018 at 5:43 am #23966
I agree – it’s hard to see what’s new – and takes ages to load and reload.
WhatsApp is brilliant for group chats with only a mobile number needed. Although I have a vague Facebook presence I don’t go on the site for months on end and would prefer to keep it that way. (Twitter and Instagram are my things.) WhatsApp therefore potentially more inclusive?
Having said that, I think it would be good to persevere here for a time in order to connect with others/newcomers?
3rd June 2018 at 3:34 pm #23947
The idea is great and should in theory have been served by the social wall that has been removed. As Giselle says it worked very well on the old site and if they could only replicate that here then I think you’d have what you want.
3rd June 2018 at 3:41 pm #23949
Maybe the earliest posts will start to disappear, although it’s more helpful if they don’t.
Otherwise we could start a Jericho Writers FB Messenger chat group which would not be public to anyone else and would be by invitation by ourselves only. The only thing is that you have to be a member of FB.
I wonder, for example who else is at their desk now, as I am for a couple of hours now, and who might like the odd word of encouragement, or to discuss an idea etc.
Hannah, perhaps we could meet in Summertown? Anyone else. A coffee?
4th June 2018 at 5:57 am #23967
Good morning Marilyn!
I’ve tried to respond to your ‘friend request’ but the button doesn’t seem to work.
In a message above I’ve suggested we wait a while before starting a supportive Messenger/Whatsapp group. I’m kinda changing my mind on that already; such a group would not preclude starting and getting involved in threads on here – and would in fact help by removing chit-chat from the forum and so keep it focused and to a manageable size.
3rd June 2018 at 5:26 pm #23958
Hi Marilyn, I sat here :)
I am going through my Agent Pitch List.
3rd June 2018 at 7:20 pm #23962
Hi Carole, I didn’t pick this up at the time but nice to know we were both at our desks. Good luck with the agent list.
4th June 2018 at 10:13 pm #24114
Thanks Marilyn. More luck needed with cover / query letter lol.
5th June 2018 at 4:41 am #24116
Carole, I’d love to chat with you about how you’re getting on with the cover letter. Have you had advice on here about content and length and so forth? I’ve been to a few seminars on this and also did a creative writing course at Oxford Continuing Education where that was one of the assignments, so I have a fair idea of the basics of what needs to go in there. Also the agent who almost but didn’t offer me representation (due to impending retirement!) did give me feedback on my covering letter. I’d be happy to read and feedback. I don’t have any insights on the American pitch letter which I think is slightly different and might need to include your thoughts on marketing and positioning.
I’ve emailed info@Jericho Writers this morning to ask them if they’d be willing to open a Jericho Writers WhatsApp to go alongside these forums for instant chat and support with whoever would like to have that available when they are writing. Hannah (above) suggested WhatsApp rather than FB Messenger for this purpose. It would work for us a bit like Twitter only it would be for this community and Jericho Writers could be the admin, so they’d have to add people who wanted to be part of that.
Hope everyone has a good day :-) xx
5th June 2018 at 12:39 pm #24149
Hi everyone. It’s so good to see you’ve found a friendly haven here in the Townhouse! I really hope this gives you the platform you need to share your doubts and talk about your characters. I myself miss the writers group I attended before moving to Oxford, and where I discovered that you can talk about the most effective length of a first line, for hours (given a nice glass of wine), and without anyone around getting bored. You’ve got to meet the right people, and I believe the Townhouse is packed full of them.
So yes, an instant chat and support group with relevant functionalities is definitely something we want to add. It will probably not be via WhatsApp or FB, though. I’ talk to the team about this. I’ll let you know.
Regarding query letters, don’t forget that if you’re a member, you can send yours to email@example.com for feedback. We’ll also create a forum about this soon, where writers will post their query letter, where we’ll post our feedback, and where other members will comment. That way there would be something to learn for everyone.
Have a lovely day!
5th June 2018 at 8:46 pm #24204
Thanks Marilyn, Whats app sounds good.
I have paced the floor all day lol.
My list of 10 Agents; all their likes, connections? putting words in order for query etc then one of them wants only one line for the Elevator Pitch :o lol… another cup of tea. Another walk around the house, garden, rescue a bird, clean the front room again…yes I know procrastination central. :)
I live up in the Dales, otherwise I would be there in a shot (glass) Marilyn
Oh well, the sun is setting I best get on, I have given myself until Friday for all 10 to be sent.
5th June 2018 at 5:45 pm #24193
Thank you Stephanie. That will be great. I also believe Townhouse is packed full of people I’d like to be in contact with. The instant chat facility will be fab, in our busy lives, meeting up online while writing is perfect.
I’d also love to meet up with anyone here for some wine/coffee/whatever to talk about first lines or last lines or whether that character should have a boyfriend or if the subplot is a little complex etc. Are there many others in the Oxford area? I live in Berkshire, near Reading, but work in Oxford twice a week so both places work for me. Sometimes long to go for an impromptu drink with people who want to talk about, and listen to, novel stuff without getting bored or embarrassed, or simply not understanding how it can possibly matter! :-)
5th June 2018 at 6:48 pm #24194
I live near Oxford and would love to meet up there!
5th June 2018 at 8:21 pm #24201
Hello everyone up there. I’m so pleased you started this thread, Marilyn, I too miss the closeness of chatting to other writer’s as we did on the old Wordcloud site. It’s bad enough that this site is so slow to navigate and puts me off login on to it. I’ve just spent about ten minutes trying to get into the ‘Townhouse’ because according to my status I was already logged in, but I wasn’t, so I logged out and logged in again which made the difference. Heaven help it changes for the better soon or I’ll be ditching my membership (writing it off as a bum deal) and going back to the other (FREE) writing site that I’m a member of.
5th June 2018 at 9:37 pm #24207
If there’s anyone about I have a question – How do you get to see the (free to members videos) I thought I was tech savvy, but, I can’t seem to access the full videos, only the snapshot portion? How do you do it please? Leave a comment below, I’m so frustrated trying, I’m off to bed and hopefully… I’ll receive a reply by the morning fingers crossed. The speed or rather lack of this site is abysmal.
6th June 2018 at 9:19 am #24220
Hi Baz, Thanks for flagging up your issue. I’ll have a look into this. Could you send me an email with a screenshot of what you get when you try and watch a video?
6th June 2018 at 9:20 am #24221
7th June 2018 at 2:54 pm #24397
Like Bazbaron I have difficulties getting into Townhouse. I stay logged in all the time, but then the next time I want to look at something on Jericho I still have to attempt to log in although I already am, and after that things improve. Sometimes :-)
I sympathise was anyone trying to get a complex new site up and running. Am looking forward to the site running more smoothly. Much enjoyed the video interview with Piers Blofeld.
7th June 2018 at 3:00 pm #24399
Indeed, getting a new website up and running is always difficult and I’m sure it will all smooth out soon. Hope everyone is having a productive writing/thinking about writing/pacing up and down about writing day :-)
I have a bonus half day off from the day job so am about to get stuck into my WIP which is a first draft – with all the drama that entails as well as the freedom to write very badly. Can’t remember where our post is, Hannah but the ‘write drunk; edit sober’ quote from Hemmingway sounds about perfect! Oh – I know – it’s on the tips about writing thread. :-)
Go there, folks.
7th June 2018 at 3:03 pm #24400
Good luck with the half day and the WIP, Marilyn.
7th June 2018 at 3:10 pm #24401
Hi Libby, thank you :-)
Wasn’t on the Writer’s Workshops site so don’t know what you’re writing but would love to know and hope if you’re writing or editing now, that it’s going well for you too.
8th June 2018 at 8:23 am #24432
Thank you for your understanding! If you’ve got difficulties to log in, what you can try is to log out, clear your cache and cookies to start afresh, then log in again. This is because we’re sometimes updating the website and if you stay logged in over the change you’re likely to only access an out-of-date version of the website. This kind of problems will stop occurring soon.
I wish you all a good day of writing! Hemingway’s quote reminds me of a similar idea from Stephen King. It’s something like: “Write your first draft with your door closed. Write your second draft with your door open” (meaning with your readership in mind).
Elizabeth, I’m pleased that you enjoyed Piers Blofled’s interview. I find his view on brand authors very interesting! Is this something that could apply to you?
8th June 2018 at 3:38 pm #24513
Just yo let you know, before the weekend, that early next week the website will undergo scheduled maintenance. The website will emerge from these updates as a faster and better tool. The only downside to it is that for a day or two, while we are working on it, the website might be a bit disrupted. Some links might prove unresponsive. When the changes take effect, however, you’ll find using the Townhouse a much smoother experience.
Don’t hesitate to email me if you’ve got any questions.
Have a lovely weekend!
17th June 2018 at 6:01 pm #25215
Hope everyone’s doing well on here? Any news?
I’m getting ready for the last few weeks of term and then looking forward to being able to just write and write, even when I don’t feel like it! #firstdraft #newproject They’re quite hard going aren’t they.
17th June 2018 at 10:46 pm #25232
I had a lovely three hour writing slot today. Then opened a work email that should have been quick to deal with…
19th June 2018 at 6:33 pm #25504
Hi Marilyn, sorry to be so late replying to your question from 7th June. My novel is set from 1937-1944 in England and follows three characters as they live through the lead up to the second world war and then experience the war itself. I’m working through the third draft. It seems to take forever and then I get a chunk done and feel that perhaps I’m not the slowest writer in the world after all. Or I am but I just feel better about it. :-)
Hope your, and everyone else’s, writing is going well.
21st June 2018 at 10:12 am #25727
Hi Libby @elizabeth.symonds1
That sounds extremely interesting as a topic. I believe writing does take forever and I’m sure we’re all the slowest writer in the world but that’s okay. It’s the keeping going that counts.
28th June 2018 at 12:48 pm #26413
I’m a new member, just finding my way around, and want to add my support for the idea of a general chat area.
I live in a very remote rural area — with the stress on ‘very ‘ — with not a hope of finding other beginning writers like me locally. There is/was a ‘local’ writers’ group but it involved far too many very long drives in rotating locations, almost all a long way from me (the nearest involved a hundred mile round trip) so I only tried it a couple of times. (I do slightly know one successful full-time professional, who was really helpful on a short course she once ran, but I don’t feel I can hassle her with my amateur woes except maybe in real extremist.)
So, for me, a good online group is a boon, especially if it’s separated from one about posting work for critique. For someone like me, toiling alone in the (literal) wilderness, a general chat group alongside more specific ones where I can just meet other writers is a bonus on top of a boon. I really look forward to getting to know everyone.
Please excuse any types or spell wrecker weird substitutions I’ve missed. The type on my old iPad is tiny, almost unreadable and my fingers are refusing to obey my migrained brain’s commands. Does anyone else have this problem? (The tiny type, I mean, though maybe the sausage-fingers when writing with a migraine, too!)
25th August 2018 at 3:52 pm #51334
This is my first visit to the Townhouse and when I saw a thread mentioning cake I just had to have a look. I’m glad I did as I would definitely support your idea for a writerly chat group. I write historical fiction (1890s England) and have just staggered to the end of my first draft so I’m searching for the motivation to start number 2.
I had no idea you could follow people on here but have just worked out how so my next task will be to send a few requests out :)
I live in Cambridge but am in Oxford quite frequently – in fact I was there yesterday!
22nd October 2018 at 10:53 am #62175
I would love to be part of any support groups cropping up! I live a nomadic lifestyle and am in Thailand right now. Still writing despite busy work at a REHAB. Stopping work to travel in Feb. so i will have more time. With a month in Portugal and then a month in Croatia I think my book TRIO will be ready for a line edit. whee!\
11th November 2018 at 9:57 am #64133
Surprised you get any time to write at all! Maybe on planes? What’s TRIO about?
22nd October 2018 at 12:03 pm #62187
Hi all, I too am nomadic, currently in Bahamas where we live, but last week Canada and next month near Oxford which will be a new base for quite a while (on and off).
I love to write, currently Murder at Melrose Court – classic whodunnit though with some humour, now a third of the way through. I make use of the edit services here which I highly recommend, tried Scribendi but it wasn’t as good as Jericho.
cheers to all,
11th November 2018 at 9:56 am #64132
I love a classic whodunnit. My novel is historical (London, 1890) – maybe more of a whydunnit but also with humour. I’d love to hear more about your story.
PS Oxford is lovely. I live in the other place at the moment – Cambridge.
14th November 2018 at 1:20 am #67860
Hi Jac, Sounds like we’re writing in the same theme just different eras. Do you have any extracts up here? My latest is Murder at Melrose Court.
24th November 2018 at 1:46 pm #70003
I don’t have anything up at present. I’m still finding my way around in here. Do you have anything?
24th November 2018 at 11:29 am #69994
We are mostly all aspiring writers, but isn’t in a lonely furrow we plough? We put in our best efforts and send it off to agents who either ignore us or come back with a fatuous one-line e-mail. Will, we ever get that elusive agent and the publishing deal we are all hoping for. In truth probably not. It’s not that our work isn’t high standard or lacks storyline it is simply most of the publishing industry simply can’t be bloody bothered. Never mind that they tell you ‘they actively encourage new writers,’ or they are looking for a new voice. They are looking for what sells.
24th November 2018 at 9:18 pm #70033
I don’t know why I still receive emails from Jericho Writers and can still log in because I left back in August. But I just wanted to say good luck to anyone on here who has posted a message and I hope you’ve been able to get together.
25th November 2018 at 1:47 pm #70101
@Nest.Madden – you sound pretty disillusioned with it all. I don’t blame you. Querying is a rotten old business. I’m not sure the publishing industry can’t be bothered, and it will die if it pays for stuff that simply doesn’t sell. However, I do feel that the gatekeepers are actively looking for reasons to say “no” because they don’t have the gumption to take a punt on something. I also think that a certain type of person dominates the publishing industry and dictates what we should all read. So unless we or our story happens to fit with their views we are doomed. I have beta read several utterly cracking books that have got nowhere because the industry says they won’t sell. Since we are never going to be given a chance to buy them, the prophesy self-fulfils.
I used to be very anti self-publishing but I am beginning to think it might actually be the way forward for someone who has written a cracking book that “won’t sell”.
25th November 2018 at 4:46 pm #70172
Thank’s for taking the time to read my rant. I totally agree, the industry appears to be controlled by people who have no real idea of the real world. I was informed that some of my characters weren’t believable, the problem was that they were based on a guy I served with. All my writing is based on incidents that happened to me during my service. As to only want stuff to sell your utterly right. Take a chance? Not on my watch!
26th November 2018 at 11:22 am #70344
Hi Nest and Bella,
I’m totally in agreement with you both. It feels like the industry is set on forcing writers to self-publish because they’d rather push some ghost-written celebrity drivel that will fly off the shelves. It does make me angry because we all work so hard and those ‘cracking’ stories are generally written by people like us who don’t get a look in.
Did they tell you why they considered your characters unbelievable, Nest? Or was it one of those off-hand comments?
26th November 2018 at 2:56 pm #70376
The characters wouldn’t react like that during an incident. In true panto style….Oh yes, they would, I was bloody there. I’m not denigrating the Police in any way shape or form but I know often during series incidents Captain Cockup come to call.
26th November 2018 at 4:21 pm #70380
Nest – I raised the same comment about real life when a Jericho Writers editor (Writers’ Workshop as it was then) made the point that he did not believe a scenario I had written in my book. I told him it had happened in real life. His reply was that things that happen in real life are not necessarily believable in fiction. The phrase “you couldn’t make it up” comes to mind here. So if you have got some seemingly bizarre behaviour in your book maybe you need to work a bit harder to make it believable to the reader even though you yourself know just such things can (and do) happen. Not sure if this is helpful, but you are not the only one being made to grind your teeth at such comments.
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