Saturday, February 24, 2007

Resources For Writers

by Mel Duval

Resources for writers abound on the Internet. Email, bulletin boards have been with the Internet since its inception. Chat rooms soon followed. Any search engine will provide a long list of writing chat room, just be sure to eliminate sex, singles, and marriage from your search. Most ISPs offer a variety of chat facilities.

For a long time AOL provided chat rooms and host training. In an effort to reduce cost and add other services, AOL cut writing groups loose. Some floundered, some went elsewhere and others continued. The Children's Writing Chat continues on Thursday evenings and multi-published author Brenda Hiatt has her chat/critique group on Tuesday.

Most of the AOL writers wanted to continue and formed a new group AOL Writers and began chats again. They now have an extensive schedule that covers all most all aspect of writing. They have a website at http://www.freewebs.com/writersonaol/weeklychatschedule.htm. Two of the best chats occur on Friday evenings at 8 and 9 pm EST respectively, the Writer's Launch Pad, and the Commercial Novelists chat. They also have begun a new chat on Sunday evenings focused on beginners.

From time to time, I'll provide tidbits from various AOL chats that may interest others. The most recent Commercial Novelist chat covered creativity (or how to get rid of writer's block). Much of the formal presentation by Linda Vernon came from the work of Timothy Perrin with a nod to Writing the Natural Way by Gabriele Lusser Rico. Gary Provost's method using 3 x 5 cards for scene ideas also received mention. Anyone interested in the full presentation can contact Hillwithit@aol.com (screenwriter John Hill) for a log.

While useful for information, techniques, and market news, chats consume a lot of time, time I could spend on writing. Finding and selecting the most useful chats also takes times. I narrowed my list down to a few each week and sporadically add others when the topic interests me. Between my ordinary life and my writing, I haven't time to spend it all in chats, tempting though they may seem. So I share information with others on the chats I find useful, hoping to free some of their time for more writing. The next posting on chats will contain a more extensive summary of the chat content.

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