Menu

Community Pool: Focus on Fiction

The Community Pool is for those of you looking for input, whether on post ideas, writing, blog design and layout,…

The Community Pool is for those of you looking for input, whether on post ideas, writing, blog design and layout, or anything else. If you have a post, page, or idea you want to bounce off someone, leave a comment. Your fellow bloggers can then click through and offer input either on your site, or in the comments here (feel free to indicate which you’d prefer).

This week, we’re carving out a space for those of your who write fiction. Whether your entire blog is a novel in progress or you’re making your first foray into flash fiction, use this post to get feedback. Read on for the ground rules and to leave a comment . . .

  • You’ll get the best feedback if you can be as specific as possible about what you’d like people to respond to or where you’re struggling.
  • Please keep all comments civil and constructive. We’re here to help and support one another, not to beat anyone down.
  • If you haven’t looked at our Commenting Guidelines in a while, now might be a good time.
  • To keep from losing your place in the comment thread while you visit others’ blogs, right-click on a link to open it in a new tab or window.
  • No running on the deck.

Photo by t_a_i_s.

Show Comments

151 Comments

Comments are closed.

Close Comments

Comments

    1. Hi, read your story and the comments as well and I agree with your readers, you seemed quite hurried to get to the end…in any case, if the ending is making you feel pressured, how about starting from there, the last conversation the dad had with the mom before she became a Dragon and find another climax to your story… Or maybe not saying that the mom turns into a dragon right from the beginning so that it its still your climax and leaving the reader in suspense for the rest of the conversation but it would be very nice for you to paint us a picture in detail of all that’s happening, what does the barn look like, does the little girl have any special features that would have been inherited from the dragon state of the mother… Does this make any sense? Hope this helps a bit :)

  1. My blog is mostly non-fiction, all about daily life in the greater Dublin area but from the beginning of the year I’ve taken to posting short stories about a fictional character.

    Zach has taken on a life of his own… if you’d like to read some of his tales and comment I’d be only too happy to see how he’s accepted among new readers…

    http://ouchmybackhurts.wordpress.com/zachs-life/

  2. I’ve always wanted to showcase my fiction online, but I’m worried about the idea of plagiarism, and someone “stealing” my ideas. Does anyone have any experience or thoughts on the matter? It would be much appreciated. :)

    1. Liam! I don’t put my whole works up for everyone to read. As for stealing ideas, well my thought is this. If they are low enough to do it, it will never turn out as well as it would if you did it yourself. And even if they steal your idea, how likely is it that it would turn out the same? none. I never noticed but do you have a copywrite statement on your blog?

      1. I’ve had a look, but I’m still concerned about plagiarism… Thanks for the link though, Jackie! I shall have a think and find a way that means pesky people that might “steal” my idea don’t…

      2. Plagiarism, everybody does at one point. I was ask to look at 4 different theories explain what I thought about them sighting what I thought and how their theories fitted into child care.

        Now they were not my ideas, but copying them and using them could be classed as plagiarism, as they were not my ideas. But ask yourself does plagiarism really exist. As the words have been said million times before, ideas have been written down million times before, storylines have been written before at some point, at some time in many life times. Nothing is really new!!!

    2. Plagiarism exists but I think you will find that “great minds think alike” is also true. Strive to be unique and don’t let fear paralyze you.

    3. Sadly it is a risk we have to be sure we are willing to take when we post on the internet…creative commons is good! Aside from that we can only count on people’s ethics and rspect for other’s work… Don’t stop writing because of it! :) good luck

      1. I write privately at the moment, only letting my friends/family read and critique my work… But alas, it seems as though writing online has it’s problems…

    4. Liam, i think there is always a risk as regards plagiarism through the internet. I always think someone could copy my whole blog (and get printed!) and then say its his/hers and that my blog is a copy!
      Internet has many issues to take into account but there is also this chance to show your work to the world… something very hard to do when u need lots of money to get published.
      I would say….. dont put EVERYTHING online… !!!!!
      Cheers!

    5. If you don’t want someone to take it off the web and make it their own, the only way to be certain is to NOT post it on the internet. There are copyrights that can be used,but they do not prevent theft, they only provide a legal recourse if something is stolen.

    6. I recently posted a reworking of Dr. Suess’s “Green Eggs and Ham,” set to the healthy theme of my blog. It got very popular (for me, being shared 100 times on facebook and twitter), so I googled it out of curiousity. Turns out someone else had posted it on their site!

      I told them I didn’t mind as long as I was credited. They obliged and said they’d meant to do it but it hadn’t worked for some reason. So I guess it can happen, but I’ve heard more often than not that people will take it down or credit you. I figure if I put it on the internet I want it to be shared so as long as my name is attached I’m happy.

      If I don’t want the world to see, then I don’t put it on my blog.

    7. By all means put a copyright notice up (although if you wrote it, it’s yours already), but you can’t really protect from plagiarism once a story is in the public domain. That said, it’s rare, My view is, once a story is up, you’ve lost the ability to fully control it, and it’s also been deemed “published” so a lot of places will no longer accept it. However, it can be useful to showcase your work and give readers a taster, so it can still be worth sharing a story. On my site, I have a couple of pre-published stories (for which I still hold copyright), but personally I would not sacrifice e.g. a lengthy novel excerpt, or anything I wanted to sell on.

    8. Liam,
      I don’t know if anyone mentioned it yet but you can register your blog for free at http://www.myfreecopyright.com/ and each time you write a post, it is automatically assigned a copyright code. You can use the site to find out if your work is showing up elsewhere too. I have a badge on my blog which serves as a warning. I believe there is another similar service called CopyScape http://www.copyscape.com/ and then, Jackie P gave you another option. Mysoresoul made a good point that at some point, we are rehashing other points of view and ideas we gleaned elsewhere… At least, with some protection, you might deter all but the brazen from lifting your work. :-)
      Eliz

  3. Bibles Be Trippin’ is a collection of ten short satirical retellings of the most popular bible stories. It is cleverly modern, socially relevant and provides an interesting and playful understanding of the Holy Bible like never before. It is not intended to be sacrilegious but does encourage open minded and objective viewers.

    Here is an excerpt from Cane and Abel:

    https://www.createspace.com/Preview/1119718

    We would like to know if you find it to be a good read, interesting, funny, if you’d keep reading.. If you think given a specific target market, it would sell. Really, your overall, constructive feelings towards it. Thanks!

    - JI

  4. My blog is all about fiction. I’ve been trying to write a novel but have never really gotten to it so I do lots of short stories instead. I’m thinking of turning one of my series of short stories into a novel. Input on which would be the best to use would be appreciated and as you read through, constructive critiques are welcome as well.

    1. Hi Malcolm,
      I checked out your blog and enjoyed the short story I read; the suspenseful ending had me wanting to know more. That said, I’d encourage you to write your novella or even a book of stories as your stories flow beautifully and should find an appreciative audience. Plus, bro, we need more fresh voices and writers from the continent. Chimamanda and a few cohorts are holding up the fort and could use some company. :lol: Keep it up! :-)
      Best,
      Eliz

  5. My blog is all about fiction. I’ve been trying to write a novel but have never really gotten to it so I do lots of short stories instead. I’m thinking of turning one of my series of short stories into a novel. Input on which would be the best to use would be appreciated and as you read through, constructive critiques are welcome as well.

    http://www.saymalcolm.wordpress.com

    1. Short story collections are lovely, and the ones that do well tend to have a theme that binds the stories together. E.g. Nik Perring’s NOT SO PERFECT which is all about human beings’ quirky bits, their flaws and eccentricities, so although the stories are all different, they share that common underlying theme.

    1. Superbloggerboy,
      I read your post and left you a comment there. I like what you wrote and I admire young people who make a commitment to develop a skill. We only get better by practicing our craft over and over again. Keep on writing! Explore other WP blogs under the fiction tag and make some blog friends… Enjoy the process too. Best wishes! :-)
      Michelle, I was just thinking that it would be lovely to feature young WP writers sometime; it’d give them a chance to connect with each other and give the rest us a way to encourage their writing. TY! :-)
      Eliz

  6. I don’t write fiction, but I just started a blog! I’ve put some work into it and would love it if you all checked it out. Leave me a comment if you’d like! I need more blogging friends on here. Thanks!

    1. Hey Scotty, I just checked your blog out – one thing that i noticed was the lack of ‘like’ button on your posts – If there is one somewhere then i couldnt find it easily. Some people prefer to avoid the ‘like’ button but in your case with your posts being extremely short it may be a good idea to add one. – your choice of course. Hope that helps a little :)

      1. Thanks for the suggestion! I’ll definitely take advantage of the “like” button. I have no idea why I never implemented it into my blog. Thank you for checking out my site. I enjoyed reading the stories about your kid on your blog!

      1. Great! I’ve been thinking about adding categories, but I’ve been having trouble categorizing my random thoughts… I’ll have to add some sort of organization to my site in the future. Thanks for the suggestions and visiting my blog. Your posts on your site are quite insightful and interesting to read. Nice work!

    2. “My Pickled Opinions” is very catchy but it feels like an ad. It may be the dorm effect ;). Hang a few pictures and personalize it. A pickle header… Some boots & cacti maybe.

      1. I decided against including pictures in my blog to give it a simplistic look. I might look into spicing it up a bit soon, though. I definitely need more pickles, too! :) Nice articles by the way. Very helpful! Thanks for checking out my blog!

      1. Yes, I’ll for sure do that. Getting myself involved in the blogosphere will be quite beneficial for me and my blog. Thanks for the tip!

  7. This is my blog: http://www.peris1404.com/ Almost all the posts are sci-fi short stories written in Spanish. I’d like to know your opinion about the web layout and design and, in case you know Spanish, the stories…
    I’d really appreciate your suggestions and comments…

    …yes, I know wordpress is better… ;))

      1. Hi Melina,
        Look into adding a “Translate This” tool button on your blog. It would open doors for more readers to appreciate your beautiful writings. :-)

  8. I wrote this short story years back and have recently worked on it and put it up on my blog for people to see for the first time. It’s basically a result of the many trips my parents have taken us for to jungles in India, particularly Ranthambhore. I was thinking of working further on it and developing it into something more, maybe a full fledged novel. Looking for some honest feedback. Thanks!

    http://sakshidayal.wordpress.com/2013/02/20/the-flight-2/

  9. My First full length novel is for sale on Kindle. “The Chance” is a sci-fi fantasy novel about a human that finds out she was never really human at all and where the discovery takes her is a wild ride and she has to save an ancient race from an ancient evil. Check it out! It is also part of Kindle’s lending library. Let me know what you think, please?

      1. lol…I’m sure VideoPress doesn’t have anything against Canadians. I had a couple of people try it to make sure & they said it seems to be working fine. I don’t know what to tell ya. Maybe Canada has banned it. HA!

      2. Well Canadians are weird, but don’t think they are that bad! lol. I’ve had problems looking at other peoples videos, I don’t know, maybe my new computer has something to do with it. It seems to think everything is dangerous! ha!

    1. The images and music are beautiful; however, after watching more than half the clip, I still have only hints as to what the story is about. Are book trailers usually so vague? If not, a focus on the “main events” might help tell what kind of story it is.

  10. Hi I’m currently writing a novel, working on Chapter 6. Its called Ghostwatching. Even though I have had people liking and some comments I haven’t had no real constructive criticism. I would love to hear some real views on it. I’m thinking of doing a lot of editing to the first Chapter, so if any one would like to check it out I will return each and every review. Thanks :) http://ghoststoriesfiction.wordpress.com/2013/02/06/ghost-watching-part-one/

    1. The overall look appears neat and astute. The random post I found could have used an image to break up the words. Images inside posts also give visual clues as to what the content might be.

    1. I wanted to check out the writing tips, but could not locate them. The cloud and categories being at the bottom of the page meant that I had to scroll a lot to even discover if there was something there. You have a menu at the top of the blog, perhaps adding a tab for writing tips will make them easier to find.

    1. it’s easily done — in the past I’ve given away a LOT of flash, and while it’s great fun, for the effort it feels like I could have been paid. i don’t do it so much these days, aim instead for the paying markets. You can find these on Duotrope, although ironically that’s a paid service now, or on Poet’s & Writers, or Prizemagic for competitions. There are a lot of sites out there. The alternative is to chill out and enjoy the creativity for what it is, and if you haven’t signed away copyright, you can always get to publish a collection one day…? You have a lovely site, anyway, good luck with the writing.

      1. Thanks very much for your reply. I’ll certainly take a look at those sites later.
        I published a collection (see link on my site) of 75 x 75 word stories and am writing my second at the moment so i agree – the important thing is to keep on writing.
        So glad you liked the website. I just changed it in the past week. Great to have feedback!

      2. Yes i am. I actually self-published my book to coincide with it last year and am hoping to do the same this year with my second – but i’m very behind. Website needed updating! Are you? Did you take part last year? I’ll have to check you out on their site.

    2. Helena,
      It’s really your call to share or withhold your short stories. You can always add a copyright badge from Copyscape or freecopyright to your blog and hope it would deter others. Once you hit publish, all bets are off as to who will read it and where it might end up. :-)
      Best wishes,
      Eliz

      1. Hi Helena,
        It depends on your preference really. I have FreeCopyright but Copyscape and Creative Commons are terrific too… Take a look and then choose any of them. They all provide a way to monitor your work.
        Cheers,
        Eliz

  11. Good evening to everybody… I’m Italian, I teach Italian, Latin and History in secondary schools and I’ve written an historical novel about Mariannina Coffa, a poet and patriot from Noto – near Siracusa, in Sicily – , lived during the fight for Italy’s independence (1860). My book has been published two years ago and I’m still keeping conferences about this wonderful and almost unknown woman and artist in schools, libraries, bookshops and so on, in Sicily and in all Italy. My wish about this novel : I’d like that foreign students of Italian literature could read it. That some Universities – teachers of Italian studies abroad – would read it.
    My blog is http://www.marialuciariccioli.wordpress.com and here’s a link to read the first pages and some more information. Thank you for this space and to you all for reading.
    http://letteratitudine.blog.kataweb.it/2011/03/14/unita-italia-e-le-donne-nel-risorgimento-italiano/

  12. Hi, I have just set up a blog on writing and am totally new to all this so any feedback, advice and tips would be very welcome. I’m a bit hamstringed just now as laptop is down so working off an iPad and can’t seem to drag any additional sharing icons down or upload any pictures so expect there will be a bit of tweaking initially.
    I also plan to run mini writing competitions each month (up to 150 words) with the topics set by the author of the previous month’s most popular entry – just for fun and to get some interaction going. Is this something that any of you would be interested in?
    Thanks for reading and the website is http://www.elizabethfrattaroli.wordpress.com

      1. Brilliant, thanks Daniel. I’ve just made the first one a general theme so please post your entry on the competitions page and I look forward to reading it.

    1. I’ve had feedback that 150 words is perhaps a bit tight for works of prose so am thinking of raising the word limit to 500 words. Does this sound more realistic? Thanks

      1. 150 words is a bit small. 500 hundred is definitely fairer – it gives writers more time to expand on their point

  13. Read and/or follow my blog! I’m writing ficition posts for 29 days. I started monday of last week so your not too late. Plus i write fiction posts every friday (double the work).

    Danielinwonderland.wordpress.com

    1. Just visited your site and was particularly taken with ‘Sonnet of a Frailty Soul’ which was very accomplished. I will definitely keep dipping in to see what you’re up to. I have only just started writing poetry and have a lot to learn so am trying to be a bit of a sponge.

      1. Thank you very much for taking time to visit and read my works. I am glad that people are appreciating my works. :) With poetry, there isn’t really much to learn. For me, I only write what I feel, no matter figurative or literal they may be. My sonnets are actually a challenge I set for myself to deviate from my usual free and blank verse poems. :)

  14. Fabulous! I’ve been writing a novel since four years ago. My fictional novel is in Spanish, but now a wonderful wordpress blogger-friend is helping me in translations to English. My idea is releasing them both editions in Spanish-English at the same time. As we are still editing, I’m considering create a new blog or page specific for the novel itself, although I already have two blogs, the one from I’m commenting here, and a secondary blog. Thank you for the tips!

  15. I would love to receive some feedback on my short stories. I unfortunately can’t narrow it down to just one, so I’m putting all of my short stories at your mercy. I look forward to reading your constructive criticisms. If you like it, please tell me what you liked about it. If you didn’t like it, please tell me what you didn’t like about it. Please feel free to click on the Contact Me link if your response will be long.

    1. Dear DailyShorts,
      You are a talented short story writer. I’ve read some of your writings before and we actually follow each other. I gave you more feedback on the recent piece you completed for the Trifecta challenge and it occurred to me that your writing continues to flourish; it’s getting better and better… and it gave me an idea. :-)

      Dear fiction writers,
      Since there are so many fiction writers seeking feedback here, I’d like to encourage all of you to join writers groups like Trifecta, Friday Fictioneers, and other established groups. It would be a terrific way to connect with other fiction writers and receive feedback… Also check out this link from the Daily Post which focused on fiction writers last year. Lost of wonderful material and advice in it. http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/focus-on-fiction-and-poetry-blogs/
      If feasible, I’ll stop by a few more blogs later.
      Best wishes all,
      Eliz

      1. Eliz, I thought that was a wonderful idea and decided to do something about it. I just created another blog called KRI-TEEK MEE (Critique Me) to give fiction writers a place to go to get some constructive criticism on their work.

        To all the fiction writers out there:
        I hope you all will stop by and sign up for our first KRI-TEEK MEE beginning in March. The website is: http://kriteekmee.wordpress.com/

        See you there and happy writing. :D

  16. I love this topic for the community pool! I’m a big fiction reader and writer, so it’s nice to have a place dedicated to that type of writing.

    I have a few short stories on my blog so far, and there will be many more to come. I’d love any feedback on them or my other posts, or just my blog in particular. Anything constructive you have to say about my writing, please, please feel free to comment!

    Also, I’d really like it if you could recommend some good fiction/short story-focused blogs that you know of.

    Thanks!

    http://mydiffer3nce.wordpress.com/

    1. Hi mydiffer3nce,

      I took a peek at your blog on my way out and left you feedback. I hope you stop by the community page as I added a link here from the Daily Post that covered fiction writers and you could check them out and follow any you like.
      As per your blog, I love your template – Twenty Ten is very popular on WP. I’d suggest that you add a sidebar with Most Recent Posts listed. It is one of the easiest navigation tools to have on our blog, and it encourages visitors to read your other posts. I like the clean, uncluttered feel of your blog and that you use photos/visuals to compliment your writing. If you want your short stories to stand out, you might consider creating a dedicated page for them on your blog. :-)
      Best wishes,
      Eliz

      1. Thanks for the advice. I’m still quite new to WP, so my blog is still a work in progress. I really like the idea of having a page dedicated to the, and the sidebar also sounds good.

        I haven’t seen the link yet, but I’ll go take a look soon.

        Thanks!

  17. Hey guys. I write a fairly new blog mainly about getting healthy, but I see it morphing into a writing site as well (since another goal is continuing my freelance career this year). Anybody out there have a more niche-type blog also with some fiction as well?

    I guess I’m just curious how your readers react to that. My goal was to be pretty focused, but I see that net widening each month.

    The only fiction up so far is this: http://changeforayear.com/2012/12/27/angel/

    But I may add more occasionally if other people find it doesn’t turn off old followers.

    Thanks!

  18. I have a humorous short story on my site as well as the first chapter of a humorous novel I wrote. Any feedback is appreciated.
    iamkellibeck.wordpress.com

    1. I decided to post separately from my reply to Dailyshorts!
      Dear Fiction Writers,
      Since there are so many fiction writers seeking feedback here, I’d like to encourage all of you to join writers groups like Trifecta, Friday Fictioneers, NanoWrimo and other established groups. It would be a terrific way to connect with other fiction writers and receive feedback… Also check out this link from the Daily Post which focused on fiction writers last year. Lots of wonderful material and advice in it. http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/focus-on-fiction-and-poetry-blogs/
      If feasible, I’ll stop by a few more blogs later.
      Best wishes all,
      Eliz