Thursday, March 27, 2014

Fiction Forge will be a year old in April

Look through our archive. Focus on any one of us five authors that support this blog and scroll through the breadth of post subjects written and opinions shared. Multiply that by a factor of 5 and you can envision a chorus of thoughts, more like a river often fitful and all at once pouring out at you, to grab your attention, to sweep you away with the love we Forgers have for writing. (This is a Forge. What's up with the river analogies?)

Fiction Forge Indy was started by Heather and me to accomplish three essential goals:
> Share our writing and publishing experiences while we are writing and trying to publish our stories
> Share our creative writing – our art  from time to time to gain followers who might appreciate our styles
> Create an online community of writers who we could help and who could help us in our writing endeavors

The rest was richly organic in how it all played out. Heather and I wanted more voices to support the blog; specifically, more diverse writing styles and genres and opinions. When we asked Keith, Mike, and David to join the blog and stake out their digital real estate, Heather and I had started to have real concerns on how the hell we were going to get along and how the blog postings would even function with so many authors. It was so experimental! Risky and bold. It was thrilling! I remember thinking at the time, if we can all hold it together for six months, then we can go for another six months. We did, and here we are. 

Why do I make it sound like a miracle? Well, have you looked at our bios and read our posts?! The five of us are so very different in how we write and what we write, not to mention the opinions we have on the art of writing itself. For years, we all belonged to the same writing workshop that David teaches and, trust me; we know all about the strangeness among us! Especially Mike. (Okay. I’m the strange one)

Fitful river, indeed; meandering, braiding, rapids, and falls. We encouraged feedback and comments from our readers through our posts. We tried to acquire followers and foster readership by sharing posts via Google and Facebook. Some of us rarely shared the other’s posts due to differences of opinion or…for whatever reason that I never understood. We encouraged reader interaction by adding writing prompts and polls. I was the only one who tried one; it failed to hit all the prompt points (sorry). We commented on each other’s posts for the first few months, only to slow down when one of us wanted more critical analysis between our posts in thoughtful, appropriately spelled, scintillating comments. I didn't want to be critical of our posts and even refrained from commenting. I should have shared them all along. I wanted to stick to the original goal and break from the post and share my art; and I did, quite literally (and still do so). Others refused to follow suit, focusing instead on subjects of writing in perfect post structure, sharing their art and creativity in how they wrote their posts (and brilliantly; I still struggle, and still do so). At the start, two of us (and me, so three) wanted to share the struggles faced with writing demons such as writer’s block, fear of failure, workshop issues, and incredibly debilitating physical pain. A Forger had enough of it and asked us not to throw so much darkness and dive so deeply and so constantly among our posts without revealing the light at the end of the tunnel. Demons are everywhere; solutions are what readers want to know. 

One Forger made spelling errors in his first posts because he was overworked and writing his posts at 2 AM. We had to roughen him up, and no one has made errers or the like cents. Good news! This Forger is no longer overworked, drinks decaffeinated herbals, and goes to bed at 7 PM with his quill emptied and post scrolled.

One of us made the mistake of calling writing a hobby, and a combative and, at times, brutal discussion ensued on writing as an art, as a business, as a calling… We are authors; not hobbyists. Our Lady Forger bowed; went back to writing her 8th novel.

Many of us wanted to post pictures of us at our blog meetings, even post pod-casts of our discussions. No; to do so would look unpolished, unprofessional, and render us typical. He even sent multiple links to validate his point. If we must have pictures of us Forgers, then have us at writing functions and writing seminars, not at Applebee's or at our Sumo wrestling meets.

In the long run, we supported each other. We take this blog seriously.

What have we accomplished in our first year? Fiction Forge has a readership. We do have some followers, and we have had some interesting comments. We also have support from our workshop group members, though it was difficult to separate the blog from the workshop on many levels.

Honestly, if we missed our readership and comment goal mark by a hundred million, our stats indicate that we have many readers, and from interesting places all over the world. We know you are reading this, and we thank you. 

Another accomplishment? We Forgers are still here!

So, I highlighted some of the blog past, but what’s for the future? Those discussions will begin in the next week. We want to find ways to encourage more readership and sharing of ideas and comments. We are planning to modify Fiction Forge to a more modern, interactive, and functional gathering site. We will look at our blog structure, consider bookshelf links to our favorite books and to our own books, decide on what to do with our Facebook site, and entertain the idea for guest writers. And because we write in different genres, Fiction Forge may create genre-specific discussions and live debates with our readers. I hope Mike is ready to host us romance and chic lit readers! Wait; he’s not romance (he’s Agriculture Fiction, or Urban Magic…Fantasy? Something like that). Frankly, Fiction Forge needs you to keep reading our posts, but to share your thoughts, opinions, and comments, too.

As for me, I have never been as creative in writing as I have been in this last year. I am very fulfilled of the art that I have shared on Fiction Forge and of the stories and ideas that this blog has sparked in me (many still on cocktail napkins- see Heather's most recent post). I still owe you and my fellow Forgers better posts, stronger art, and a robust voice and presence. I will do so in our new year. I hope you will voice your opinions and share your rich comments more often, too, especially if you find something magical and worthwhile in this Forge.


  1. Well said. What a wonderful and strange endeavor this has been.

  2. Who are you calling odd? ;) Squirrel!!

  3. Thanks for inviting me into this project with you this past year. I had no idea what to expect and it turned out to be so much fun. I learned more about myself and this wonderful craft while working with my great friends.