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MadWords: Group Rules and FAQ - Read This Before Joining

What is the purpose of the group?

MadWords is a literature group focused on the collection of quality works of poetry and prose from around DA. We also aim to provide our members with unique prompts.

Who can join?

Anyone may join the group. We do require that you read over all the group rules before submitting an application to join.


Who may submit to the group?

Members can submit their own writing to the group's gallery, or suggest someone else's poetry or short story for a group favorite.


What are the group's rules for submitting writing?

:bulletblue: Submissions should be one-shot prose or poetry. No long novels, please.

:bulletblue: Please be open minded and thankful to critics--it is not necessary you take their advice, just that you respond with a mature, open minded attitude. If you do not wish to receive critique at all please do not submit to the group.

:bulletblue: Please do not submit multiple pieces all in one document or compilation. We want to judge each piece of writing individually on its own merit, and if three amazing poems were in the same document as twelve sub-par ones, we wouldn't be able to accept the document.

:bulletblue: Because we aim to collect literature in which the author demonstrates an understanding of the craft of writing, we do submit all of our submissions to quality control. Quality control is elaborated on below. If you have any further questions, please note AfterTheNonSequitur.

:bulletblue: Mature content is welcome as long as it abides by DA's rules.

:bulletblue: Please DO NOT submit to the "Featured" gallery. Because of the way DA has set up their groups to work, if we do not keep that gallery open, we can not set our submission limits to other galleries the way we wish to.


What does the group consider when reviewing submissions for quality?

:bulletred: Correct spelling and grammar is a must, and should go without saying. Exceptions are made, of course, for poets purposefully breaking rules to create poetic effects. However, the purpose of the breaking of the rule should be apparent to the reader, and aid the poem's message, not hinder it. The reason for rule breaking should never stem from "laziness," or the author's own lack of understanding of grammar.

:bulletred: The writing should offer either a fresh subject or a fresh perspective on an old subject, or a fresh method of writing on an old perspective of an old subject. In other words, anything that isn't completely same-old, same-old.

:bulletred: Through reading the text itself, it should be apparent that the author or poet has some understanding of the craft of writing.

:bulletred: The writing is complete. Short stories should have rising action, a climax, and a resolution, both literally and thematically. We do not accept descriptions of characters or settings, incomplete stories, or chaptered novels.


What if I submit my work and it isn't accepted?

Please do not take it as an offense if your piece is not accepted. We do not intend any cruelty, only to provide our watchers with writing which meets the standards described above.

If your work is not accepted, please do not re-submit the same piece.

If you wish to improve your writing, feel free to request a critique from the staff (though, it may take us a while to respond, and this is not a guarantee you will receive it).

You are welcome to submit other writing to the group. :) Please keep that in mind when you reply.

Please do not harass our volunteers for doing their jobs--by joining the group, you agree to be civil and polite to our staff and members.

What should I expect from this group as a watcher/member?

If you watch our group, you should expect that every piece submitted to our group will be something worth reading. There won't be a need to sift through five pages worth of submissions to find a piece that really stands out--they all will. :)

For this reason, we will have significantly less submissions than the larger literature groups on DA. This is a good thing, because it makes it easier to recognize authors and poets you like when they are not lost in a sea of submissions. The group's hope is that this will generate more over-all exposure for our members, and create recognition among our watchers for those we feature.

If you watch our group, feel free to comment or critique on any submission to the group, as we require our members be open minded and mature towards critique. That being said, if you find critique offensive, this is not the group for you. Critique is not guaranteed, but we encourage it.

As a member, you can expect unique bi-monthly prompts, and contests with small prizes (I'm just a college student after all) such as group features and perhaps a month or two of premium membership. Participation in prompts is not required, but is encouraged. :)

Can I submit prompt ideas?

Sure. Send a note to the group with your idea.:)


What are the groups rules for joining?

As listed previously, anyone may join the group.

To join, simply click the box, and then type in this SECRET MESSAGE: "I have read and understand the group's rules." along with any other message you wish to type.

That's it! :D

Deviants

Hello, all! So National Novel Writing Month is here again (what do you mean it's been over a year since this blog was updated ahaha you're so silly), and that, of course, means overdosing on coffee, burning keyboards, hair loss, and glorious, wonderful words flying about willy-nilly in a mad dash to the 50,000 word mark. If you don't know what Nanowrimo is, just look at that description, and then come and join your people.

Since we're a little more halfway through the first week, I thought I would share some tips before we dive into the dreaded week two. I've participated in Nano six times in the last five years (twice last year because I'm a masochist), and have reached the goal each time, so arguably, I know what I'm talking about. Here's what I've learned over the years.

First things first: Don't panic.

:bulletgreen: So when you participate in Nano, a lot of it depends on your writing style. For myself, I like to have lots of notes, but I don't actually outline anything all that often (mostly because I generally don't necessarily know what's going to happen in five chapters from now). If you like to outline, do it. If you don't, don't worry about it! A lot of people don't even have a plot in mind when they start Nanoing.

:bulletgreen: So you have maybe three scenes in mind. Write them immediately! It doesn't matter if they're in chronological order or not (I'll touch on this later). Just write them, and more will come. Get to know your characters. Have you picked out a plot yet? If not, there's a Nano forum called the Adoption Forum that has a thread in it entitled Adopt a Plot. This is where people put plots that they've thought of but don't have time to work on, and anyone can come in and take them (the entire Adoption forum is extremely helpful, too. You might want to browse it for inspiration, threads like Adopt a Line or Adopt a Character are really helpful)!

In fact, spend a bit of time in the forums in general, they are a huge and wonderful resource. You won't be sorry.

:bulletgreen: If scenes aren't developing immediately, spend more time getting to know your characters. Anything you write about them (like in character sheets), any description, any questionnaires you fill out, all of that counts towards wordcount. When you know your characters better, you can understand how they'll react to each other and to events around them much more easily.

:bulletgreen: Scenes still not coming? Write about anything you think of. Put your characters in random situations. It doesn't matter if you think you're never going to use it, you might "accidentally" write something you like, and it all counts towards the ultimate 50k!

:bulletgreen: Set aside time to write. This is very, very important. Let your friends and family know what you'll be doing, and ask them to take pity on you when it comes to chores/a social life. I've been very lucky to have a supportive family who understood that sometimes I needed to shut myself in my room for four hours to meet the wordcount. Other people aren't as blessed as I am, so I've heard of people staying up till two am or getting up an extra hour early to write. Both are good. Take a notebook with you everywhere and jot down things for later. Sometimes it helps if you don't even focus on the story at hand, but just write down things you notice. You might come up with a good description of something or overhear an excellent piece of dialogue (which is definitely stealable) to use.

:bulletgreen: I found it helpful to make a daily goal. 50,000 words in thirty days breaks down to about 1,667 words a day, plus one at the end. I set that as my daily goal, and come hell or high water, that's what I wrote (on a good day, that took about three to fourish hours. Really good day, one to two. Bad days could have me working on the thing off and on all day).

:bulletgreen: If you visit the Nano forums, you'll hear a lot of talk about the inner editor: that part of you that needs to make sure everything you write is perfect. I'm sure you know that guy. Well, for Nano, you're going to need to chuck him out the window. Half the stuff you write to make your wordcount is going to be crap. That's okay. What's important, at this point, really is just getting it out and onto the page or computer screen. December is for editing. November is for spewing. So if you need to write a 500 word paragraph on the virtues of deep dish pizza to make your daily goal, do it.

:bulletgreen: On the flip side, don't strain yourself. If you feel one day that you've written all you absolutely can, don't sweat it. Take a break. If you can, go for a walk, I've found that helps immensely. Go do something mindless. Come back when you feel refreshed, or come back tomorrow. If you worry about catching up, then just adjust your daily wordcount goal for the rest of the month, or try to make it up for the next day.

:bulletgreen: If you really have no idea how to make your goal for that day, jump ahead a few scenes. Have a scene in your head that's been rolling around, but it's not ready for it's chronological debut? Just write it. If I'm struggling to make the count but there's a scene a few chapters from now that I really want to write, I can usually get at least a few hundred more, if not a couple thousand if I'm really lucky, out for the day.

:bulletgreen: If you've already met your wordcount for the day, but you're in the writing zone, don't stop just because you've reached goal. Keep going until you are ready to stop. There's no downside to writing extra.

When you do stop writing for the day, I've found it's sometimes helpful to end in the middle of a sentence or scene, so that your brain is immediately engaged the next day. Of course, this can be dangerous too, because you might forget what you were going to say (I've had that happen and it's annoying to no end). So if that sounds like a good idea to you, go for it, if not, nothing will suffer for it.

:bulletgreen: If you do fall behind, don't panic. Just keep writing. Try to make it up, but don't stress out too much if you don't. Keep in mind that not everyone makes it to 50,000, but the point is to have written something; even if you wind up with 30,000 on November 30th, that's 30,000 more than you would have written if you hadn't done Nano at all.

:bulletgreen: Build a playlist to listen to while you write, or better yet, build several! Find songs that you think your characters would relate to, or find songs that would go with certain situations (one of the most popular playlists to make are fight scene playlists, but if you're story doesn't have any, there's no reason why you can't build playlists for other uses). Try to avoid songs with lyrics, because that makes it harder. A good way to do it is have an instrumental playlist for when you're writing, and a playlist of songs about your characters for when you're doing other things. The songs in the second playlist will often inspire other ideas for your story, even if you've already listened to them fifteen times.

:bulletgreen: Don't try to multitask when you write (i.e, no sitting down to a movie with your writing stuff, you can't do both. Trust me).

:bulletgreen: Participate in word wars! There's a whole forum for them, where the goal is to get as many words as possible out within a short period of time (say, fifteen minutes). They're a good way to really tell the inner editor to shut up and sit down, and just kind of word vomit onto your page (I know that sounds gross, but it's the best way to describe it). Remember, November is for writing, December is for editing. Resist the urge to go back and edit.

:bulletgreen: Also, instead of surrounding yourself with junk food or snacks like that, get a bunch of fruits and vegetables and chop them up. Put them in a bowl next to you and eat those. They are way better for fueling your brain to come up with good ideas (especially grapes), and then the junk food can be used as rewards when you finish a paragraph or chapter.

I hope this has been helpful to you! If you have an account on the Nano website, hit me up as a writing buddy. My username is Dark.Angel (don't laugh, I'm aware it's awful, I was 13 for Pete's sake), and I'm more than happy to answer any further questions you might have.

Go forth and be creative!
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Comments


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:iconbendaimmortal:
Do you accept only original fiction?
Reply
:iconmmorpger:
mmorpger Nov 24, 2012  Student Writer
We accept both fiction and nonfiction, if you are the original creator (even if it's a work of fanfiction), if it is contained to a single entry (no chapter works will be accepted at this time), and if it's both reviewed and accepted by the group admin.

If you have any other questions, or need any further clarification on this one, please feel free to ask.
Reply
:iconbendaimmortal:
Okay. Thanks, both of you! ^^
Reply
:iconmmorpger:
mmorpger Nov 24, 2012  Student Writer
No problem, and sorry about the confusion about the acceptance of fanfiction. We're working that out right now
Reply
:iconafterthenonsequitur:
AfterTheNonSequitur Nov 23, 2012  Student General Artist
Unfortunately, we do not accept fanfiction, because we don't know enough about different fandoms to be accurately able to judge what is a canonical, well-written piece.
Reply
:iconmmorpger:
mmorpger Nov 24, 2012  Student Writer
I wish I had seen your reply first, lol, I was under the impression that we accepted fanfiction.
Reply
:iconninjaslug:
Ninjaslug Sep 4, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Since QyJx deactivated, is Madwords without a leader/direction? Is this place just sorta stagnating?
Reply
:iconafterthenonsequitur:
AfterTheNonSequitur Sep 5, 2012  Student General Artist
No, I am the founder now. However, I'm in my junior year of college and things are a little hectic for me, so the most I can do for now is authorize submissions and quality control. I do have something in the works, however.
Reply
:iconninjaslug:
Ninjaslug Sep 5, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
ok cool just checking
Reply
:iconmmorpger:
mmorpger Sep 4, 2012  Student Writer
No, =AfterTheNonSequitur is the current founder/leader of the group. !QyJx handed over full administrative ability to her a while before she deactivated her account. The group is still running, only now it is under the direction of =AfterTheNonSequitur
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