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PARTICIPATING IN FORUMS

October 11, 2018

Another way to get the word out to people is to participate in forums. There are many web sites and forums on Facebook either directly related to your genre, or to your writing interest. Why not take advantage of them and participate? Not only can you sometimes sneakily plug your book, but maybe even overtly. Plus, you can also learn stuff, maybe get some new ideas along the way.

WHAT ARE FORUMS?

That may seem like an obvious question, but if you’re new to all of this, you may not know the term. So, indulge me.

A forum is a web site or chat space (as in a page on Facebook) where people sign up and discuss aspects of a subject. In the case of what we’re talking about, it’s writing.

Writing what?

It could be writing in general such as a broad topic web site like The Absolute Write Water Cooler https://absolutewrite.com/forums/ Absolute Write is a multi-genre forum that has distinct subject-matter areas to discuss all aspects of writing. I participate mostly in the Horror, Science Fiction/Fantasy, and Mystery/Thriller/Suspense genre sites, as well as rarely, the Announcements, Events and Book Promotions.

Within these forums, you can participate in discussions with from total newbs up to professional writers. Sometimes, the info is highly opinionated, sometimes it’s useless. Quite often, you get some great insights and good info. It all depends on the individual posting.

The same could be said for Facebook. I participate in Genre Writers (Fantasy, SciFi, Steampunk et al) and Writing 101 – hints, tips, tricks. These forums are excellent places to ask questions and post your own tips and tricks on writing.

INSPIRATION

I often get inspiration for my articles from these various forums. I currently participate in only three at the moment due to time constraints. In some ways, I wish they’d been around twenty years ago when I first started. It might have made things easier for me. Then again, I think the hard knocks I went through helped me get where I am today. On the other hand, I also believe no one should have to struggle the same as I did.

FILTERING THROUGH THE BULL

There can be a lot of misinformation and frankly, bull spouted on forums. You have to have a balanced approach when you participate in these things. Generally, the moderators are good at filtering out trolls. The members are also good at countering whacky and way-out-of-the-arena advice as well.

On the other hand, spirited back and forths are great ways to see multiple sides, so you can make your own mind up about some issues. That’s one of the points of forums. Learn from the opinions and experiences of others in the same trenches that you’re in. See what works for them and what doesn’t.

Clicking on line can be a lot cheaper than buying a lot of books, though I also strongly recommend reference books, especially the ones that really click with you. Though I’ve had plenty I never even opened, there are a select few I DO keep on the shelf and actually use, like the Chicago Manual Of Style.

SUMMARY

Forums can be a great place to learn, and a great place for inspiration.

The thing is to use them wisely, Grasshopper.

Happy writing!

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