Furry Writers' Guild Forum

Day One: Class Introduction and Schedule

Four Simple Things To Stop Doing For Stronger Prose
Eliminating Passive Verbs, Tightening Prose, Reducing Modifiers and Stripping your Filters for stronger, more powerful writing.

Day one: Why this class?

When I first started writing and submitting genre fiction, there was a gap between how I’d learned to write in school, and what works well in commercial fiction. Because ninety percent of rejections are form letters, I wasted a lot of time wondering why my writing wasn’t hitting the mark. I knew it needed help, but had no real direction for how to improve it. Unfortunately, this is a pretty universal experience.
(One of the things that awes me about the furry writing community is that the editors often take time to provide feedback, and in many cases, work with the author to improve their submission. This is almost never the case outside the genre, probably due to submission numbers and time factors, and I have to stress how lucky and amazing it is.)
So if no one will tell the fledgling author why their work is being rejected, how the heck are they supposed to fix the issue? In my case, I got lucky. I shot my manuscript at an editor who happened to take a shine to the concept. She took a little extra time and pointed out the specific issues, and then offered to reconsider the book if I’d fix them and resubmit.
Because the simple changes made such a huge impact on the quality of my prose, I feel incredibly indebted to her. She also eventually bought the book. So, doubly so. :slight_smile:
The four things we’re going to address over the next few weeks are both prevalent in the new writer’s fiction and relatively simple to fix. In return, the effect of making these changes on your prose is huge. Learning to spot and fix these four things, and eventually just stop doing them to begin with, has the power to take your writing up a significant notch.
I selected these four specifically because the return on investment is so high.
Not everyone will agree that these points are flaws or course. That is also fine. I picked them because in the hands of a beginning writer they often make the difference between an acceptance and a rejection. Like all rules, they can be broken, but in my opinion, that’s far safer to do after you’ve learned them, and learned why they are there in the first place.
For each topic, we will take a day to discuss the issue. Then we will have a day where we can put the ideas in practice with provided exercises and on your own sample pages. On day three we will have time to finish, share, and ask questions.
Today, we can introduce ourselves and our work, and please feel free to ask questions as we go as well. I look forward to it!

Days 2-4: Passive Verbs
Days 5-7: Overstating
Days 8-10: Excessive Modifiers
Days: 11-13: Filters
Day 14: Wrap-up

Hello all, I’m TJ.

I’m not quite sure how “beginner” I am, but learning more is never a bad thing. I am a military brat that has left the nest. I currently live in Ohio and I have been in the community for about five years. And around that time I started writing as well. I more have a problem finishing work, though. Heh.

I have posted some works here and there on FA and SF, but under a very non-professional handle.

Most of what I write is gay fiction; some work for a general audience and some… not. But my characters are usually some piece of me. Then again, I think every writer can say that.

I will be sharing one of two works, depending on… stuff. I have one piece that I find complete and have shared with a few people I trust to give me feed back, and one that is very much a work in progress.

The complete piece is something I hoped be publish in Rabbit Valley’s Trick or Treat Vol.3, before I realized I was almost a year late for the deadline. Still the piece stuck with me, and it is one of my favorite works. “Firsts” is about a jackal who had never been able to really experience Halloween due to a religious upbringing, and his dhole-friend refuses to let that be the case this year. This is a contemporary furry piece with a PG-13 rating. It get’s a little but… closer to an R line at one point but never crosses it – though we won’t be getting there in 3-5 pages.

The other piece I have is an erotic piece that is still a work in progress, very NC-17. And it kinda jumps right into it. The piece puts cross-dressing and that aspect of BDSM in the spotlight. This work is not so much erotica as it is… well, stroke fiction. But writing is writing.

I do not believe there were any real rules made about the pieces that would be shared, so if the class has a preference, or wants to keep it clean, I am happy to share either.

Also, question for the instructor: how are we going to be sharing the works? Just posting them here? Sharing .doc files?

Looking forward to learning and growing with you all.

Welcome and thanks for the introduction. I’m glad to have you. :slight_smile:
The sample pages for the purposes of the class don’t have to be shared, but that is absolutely allowed/encouraged. I’m primarily hoping you’ll take the things we learn in each topic, and practice in the exercises and then try them with your own pages too.
We’ll do the sharing, comments, excerpt posting in the thread for that day.

As to the content, I’ll bow to the forum rules, (Which I’ll have to check :slight_smile: I’m okay with any content personally, but mostly concerned with what you feel comfortable sharing.
Anyway, I’ll double check content rules and post an addendum.

This is what I found:

If you include links to adult material in forum threads, please clearly mark those links as NSFW. Adult images may not be posted to the forum except as a clearly marked link. Forum threads that contain adult content in text (for example, when posting erotica to our critique forum) should include appropriate warnings.

Okay, so I am a bit of a liar.

I’m going to be working on polishing the first five pages of my current work in progress. This is a period piece around 1880 or so – I may not quite remember the year. In any case, I wanted to attach a before view and share the changes that are made as we go through.

This should be fun!

Air in the West - First Five Pages.docx (22 KB)

Hi! I’m Rattie! I am totally new to writing fiction or anything that isn’t hardcore technical documentations. I have tried toying with poems for a little while. I have made some decent ones, but I consider myself as anything but good.

I would like to start writing short stories and novels, and hopefully this could make it easier for me, to actually get some words down on.

Hi Rattie! I know how that goes. Boy do I need to get words on paper today. :slight_smile: