Writing forums are something we’re so lucky to have in this day and age. Especially if you would like to write, but aren’t sure where to begin. There is so much to understand, such as the craft and business of writing, publishing options, and more. Even if you wanted to write since childhood, you realize your 7th grade novels about unicorns aren’t going to cut it. You realize you need to dig deeper into the world of writing and publishing.
In the 1980s and 1990s, we had The Writer’s Market. It was pretty much the go-to guide for getting published. You submitted your manuscript to publisher slush, took a chance, and waited for that sad little rejection slip. Now the internet has made it easier to access information about publishing. We have access to countless websites, blogs, and podcasts with writing tips. And, of course, we have something else that can really make all the difference.
Writing forums are a wonderful place to connect with your fellow writers and learn about today’s world of writing. Of course, that world is ever-changing and that’s why forums are critical. Usually the need-to-know news is there. In addition to having a place where you can learn the technical aspects of writing and publishing, it’s nice to build camaraderie. Not every person you meet will be a kindred spirit, but you might get lucky.
The Go-To Writing Forums
Absolute Write – you will find that this forum tends to be geared toward writers seeking a traditional path to publication (querying an agent who, upon offering representation, then markets your book to publishers). But this forum is invaluable. This is where I found an awesome critique partner and a romance writing buddy with whom I chat daily.
If you’re looking to go the traditional path, AW is the place to learn the good, bad, and ugly about agents and publishers. They offer several subforums dedicated to various genres, story forms, and lengths. You can even find discussion about screenwriting, flash fiction, writing prompts, and NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) here. If you’re not necessarily a sociable person, that’s okay. I think I’ve posted less than 200 messages in roughly 6 years of being a member. I’m mostly there to soak up knowledge.
Kindleboards aka Kboards – first, a little word of warning: the moderators at Kboards are very heavy-handed, so it’s not the funnest place on earth. But if you go there just looking to learn and/or keep up on writing news, marketing tips, and strategy, this is a a good place to be. It’s great for getting a feel for different genres and how people are doing in them.
I recommend everyone start at these two forums before delving into more specialized forums, such as websites with forums devoted specifically to indie publishing or to certain genres. You will glean a lot from both of these sites. As your confidence grows, you’ll want to seek out additional places. But if you want to learn from people in the know, devote a good year or so to reading AW and Kboards every day. It is well worth the time.