The Sword and Laser discussion

371 views
Foil & Phaser (The S&L Community Blog for SFF Writers)

Comments Showing 1-50 of 130 (130 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1 3

Sean Lookielook Sandulak (seansandulak) | 422 comments Continued from the Official Anthology thread.

Unfortunately, not everyone can be in the S&L Anthology. When the decisions are made and the winners are announced, there will be a lot of sad faces. For all of you who worked so hard, I think you deserve a second chance to shine.

I had posted in the Official Sword & Laser Anthology thread in reply to James and others about what to do with all the stories that would be left over once the anthology selections are made before moving the discussion here. My suggestion was to have writers submit them to a community blog where they could get helpful criticism and commentary. While I'm sure that professional writers who submitted would prefer to shop their stories elsewhere (as they should – you deserve to get paid for your hard work), many who submitted are new or hobbyist writers who would benefit from the appraisal of their peers.

I am starting this thread so we can have a separate forum to discuss the feasibility of a community blog, what form it should take, and what its ultimate goal should be. It would not pay for submissions, but could offer rewards such as workshops, reviews, interviews, contact lists, writing tips, and profiles as a free resource. If you are interested in contributing, either as an author, editor, or a moderator, please leave a comment below. If you think it's a terrible idea, tell us why. And if you would just be interested in reading the stories and subscribing, we'd like to hear from you too.


message 2: by Sean Lookielook (last edited May 21, 2013 07:21PM) (new)

Sean Lookielook Sandulak (seansandulak) | 422 comments First question: what do we call it? S&L is trademarked (or should be) and we can't use the name unless the producers give us permission. Which, by the way, it would be way cool if they did. I'm just saying.


message 3: by James (new)

James H. (jhedrick) | 128 comments Sean wrote: "Continued from the Official Anthology thread.

Unfortunately, not everyone can be in the S&L Anthology. When the decisions are made and the winners are announced, there will be a lot of sad faces. ..."


Sean, thanks again. I'm very interested in submitting my stories if they aren't picked up by the S&L Anthology. Accepted or not, I think there's a great opportunity here to gather together a bunch of like-minded folks to workshop SF&F stories that we have been working on and get advice on how to improve them.

The S&L Anthology should be a beginning, rather than an end. My hope is that thread should become a writer's workshop, an opportunity for all of us to grow as storytellers. There is so much that we can learn from the other folks on Goodreads. I will be the first to contribute as an author and am happy to serve as an editor (it's my day job) and a moderator. I'm eager to read the work of everyone who joins us. Good writing to all the S&L contributors and I hope you'll join us here.


message 4: by Seawood (new)

Seawood | 129 comments James wrote: "My hope is that thread should become a writer's workshop, an opportunity for all of us to grow as storytellers. There is so much that we can learn from the other folks on Goodreads."

This, exactly. You can't grow without feedback on your own work, and giving feedback to others is an important part of that process. This is a great opportunity to build something, particularly for those of us who don't have easy access to writing groups or courses.


message 5: by Scott (new)

Scott | 312 comments Yeah I agree completely with Seawood and James


message 6: by Katy (new)

Katy | 4 comments Chiming in to say I like this idea as well~


message 7: by Seawood (new)

Seawood | 129 comments Sean wrote: "First question: what do we call it?"

Only just spotted you asked this. I humbly submit "Foil & Phaser". :D


Sean Lookielook Sandulak (seansandulak) | 422 comments Seawood wrote: "Sean wrote: "First question: what do we call it?"

Only just spotted you asked this. I humbly submit "Foil & Phaser". :D"


Ha! I love it. George Takei can be our mascot.

Foil and Phaser logo thumbnail


message 9: by A.L. (new)

A.L. Butcher (alb2012) | 314 comments :) Now that would be awesome.


message 10: by Seawood (new)

Seawood | 129 comments Oh my god. What have I started?!


message 11: by Sean Lookielook (last edited May 23, 2013 07:37PM) (new)

Sean Lookielook Sandulak (seansandulak) | 422 comments On second thought, maybe Blade & Phaser would be better. Naming something after a word synonymous with failure might be tempting fate.


message 12: by Richard (new)

Richard (amazoncomauthorricharddparker) | 9 comments Maybe Blade and Blaster...I like the idea of a workshop as well.


message 13: by Seawood (new)

Seawood | 129 comments Sean wrote: "On second thought, maybe Blade & Phaser would be better. Naming something after a word synonymous with failure might be tempting fate."

You could substitute Epee or Sabre, I guess. I liked the alliteration of Foil & Phaser, though! And let's face it...foiling the bad guys is kinda what most of these stories do. :)


message 14: by Kristina (new)

Kristina | 588 comments I love this idea. I would submit my story, and would love a trusted place to learn more about writing well.


message 15: by Sean Lookielook (new)

Sean Lookielook Sandulak (seansandulak) | 422 comments My enumerable encounters with the excessive employment of alliteration for erudite effect are egregious examples of why a workshop website like this is expressly essential.


message 16: by James (new)

James H. (jhedrick) | 128 comments Sean wrote: "My enumerable encounters with the excessive employment of alliteration for erudite effect are egregious examples of why a workshop website like this is expressly essential."

Giggle.


Ruth (tilltab) Ashworth | 1744 comments Sean wrote: "My enumerable encounters with the excessive employment of alliteration for erudite effect are egregious examples of why a workshop website like this is expressly essential."

I think I love you.


message 18: by Sean Lookielook (last edited May 25, 2013 10:20AM) (new)

Sean Lookielook Sandulak (seansandulak) | 422 comments Sean wrote: "My enumerable encounters with the excessive employment of alliteration for erudite effect are egregious examples of why a workshop website like this is expressly essential."

Ruth wrote: "I think I love you. "


Boy, that escalated quickly...


message 19: by Sean Lookielook (last edited May 25, 2013 08:58PM) (new)

Sean Lookielook Sandulak (seansandulak) | 422 comments Seriously, I realize it's a holiday for many of you, and getting writers to agree on anything is like herding cats, but could we get a consensus on a name by midnight Friday, May 31st, 2013? It would make me very happy, and we could move on to more interesting topics.

So far it's:
1. Foil & Phaser - 6
2. Blade & Phaser - 1
3. Blade & Blaster - 0

Vote for one of those, or convince us that your awesome idea is better. And no, you cannot have an extension.


message 20: by James (new)

James H. (jhedrick) | 128 comments Sean wrote: "Seriously, I realize it's a holiday for many of you, and getting writers to agree on anything is like herding cats, but could we get a consensus on a name by midnight Friday, May 31st, 2013? It wou..."

My vote is Foil & Phaser if only because the emblem above is cool and I like alliteration.


message 21: by Kristina (new)

Kristina | 588 comments Foil & Phaser


message 22: by Richard (new)

Richard (amazoncomauthorricharddparker) | 9 comments I like Foil&Phaser as well..


Ruth (tilltab) Ashworth | 1744 comments Foil & Phaser - I like the whole word being synonymous with failure thing.

Sean wrote: "Ruth wrote: "I think I love you. "

Boy, that escalated quickly... "


Don't worry I'm fickle.


message 24: by Tom, Supreme Laser (new)

Tom Merritt (tommerritt) | 1061 comments Mod
Ok first of all we would totally grant permission to use the name BUT, Foil and Phaser is so darn cool!!!!! So just let us know what you decide.

And I absolutely support a community for people to help each other improve their writing. That's fantastic and a great idea!


message 25: by Matthew (last edited May 26, 2013 08:15AM) (new)

Matthew (matthewdl) | 312 comments Set your phasers to stunning.

I'm for Blade & Phaser.

Also, I haven't been doing much writing lately but I'd love to help out in any way I can. I'm not a professional editor but I have some related experience.


message 26: by Sean Lookielook (last edited May 26, 2013 10:13AM) (new)

Sean Lookielook Sandulak (seansandulak) | 422 comments Tom wrote: "Ok first of all we would totally grant permission to use the name BUT, Foil and Phaser is so darn cool!!!!! So just let us know what you decide.

And I absolutely support a community for people to ..."


Hey, you guys. The Supreme Laser has spoken and legitimized our band of rebels. From the look of things, the name Foil & Phaser will probably stick no matter what, but we'll gladly put Sword & Laser in the tagline. Something like "Fiction from the Fans of the Sword & Laser Book Club", because you all seem to love the alliteration.

The standings as of [Updated 2013/05/26 17:00 UTC] are:
1. Foil & Phaser - 6 + Supreme Laser
2. Blade & Phaser - 1
3. Blade and Blaster - 1


message 27: by Scott (new)

Scott | 312 comments I kind of liked Blade and Blaster but I'm okay with Foil and Phaser. Also, it's great that Tom has given us the okay to use the S&L name


message 28: by Sean Lookielook (last edited May 26, 2013 11:08AM) (new)

Sean Lookielook Sandulak (seansandulak) | 422 comments In the interests of fairness, they all look pretty cool:



message 29: by Casey (new)

Casey Hampton (caseyhampton) | 654 comments Just a thought on workshops, writing groups, and feedback.
It might be helpful to create small workshop groups of four/five people and then use Google Docs to "share" and comment on the various drafts.

A note on feedback. It might also be helpful if there was a general feedback rubric, just something that would provide direction for those who are not used to providing feedback on drafts.

Anyhow, just a few thoughts.


message 30: by Sean Lookielook (new)

Sean Lookielook Sandulak (seansandulak) | 422 comments Casey wrote: "Just a thought on workshops, writing groups, and feedback.
It might be helpful to create small workshop groups of four/five people and then use Google Docs to "share" and comment on the various dra..."


Ultimately, the structure of workshops would depend on the level of interest of the participants. If a large number of people get involved, it might make sense to break into smaller groups and then have groups compare notes. However, we should keep in mind that some people are not as comfortable or productive when working in groups. Also, some will not have the time to commit to a group, so a general discussion area where they could contribute at their own level of comfort would be beneficial.

Regarding standards, I'm sure there a more than a few with editing experience who could share their wisdom and help author a brief guide or FAQ.


message 31: by Casey (new)

Casey Hampton (caseyhampton) | 654 comments Cool, sounds like you have it under control.


message 32: by Dwayne (new)

Dwayne Caldwell | 141 comments I'm partial to the Phazer part myself. For the first part, I could go with Foil or Blade at this point. Hard to decide.


message 33: by Yoky (new)

Yoky (yowkz) | 10 comments I'll go for Foil. An unusual name for an unusual anthology, I like it. It also looks shinier in the logo.


message 34: by Jeremiah (new)

Jeremiah Mccoy (jeremiahtechnoirmccoy) | 76 comments I would be interested in this. This is the first time I have submitted fiction any where in years. I would maybe like to get back in to the habit and workshop some pieces.


message 35: by Dwayne (new)

Dwayne Caldwell | 141 comments Yeah put me down for a vote for 'Foil and Phaser.'


message 36: by Tae (new)

Tae | 25 comments Foil and Phaser sounds great to me. The question arises are we going to use the built in Goodreads system for stories and review or are we taking this group outside by use of Googledocs for example?


message 37: by Sean Lookielook (new)

Sean Lookielook Sandulak (seansandulak) | 422 comments Tae wrote: "Foil and Phaser sounds great to me. The question arises are we going to use the built in Goodreads system for stories and review or are we taking this group outside by use of Google Docs for example?"

I am against using the Goodreads forums for several reasons including:
1. Their terms of service (Section 3) say you turn over virtually all rights to your story.
2. Stories might get lost among the thousands of others. The boards can be awkward to navigate if you don't know exactly what you're looking for.
3. We would lose all control over who can submit to our tag and on who can comment.
4. A bunch of other nitpicky reasons like I don't like the layout, and the creative writing section in not viewable on the iOS app.

What I originally envisioned was a blog where one person would post a story and then other people could comment on it. It would also do things like feature essays on writing tips and help promote published members with reviews.
Such a site could be private, but I would prefer a public blog, at least for the majority of the posts. By limiting ourselves to a private forum, we would discourage new members from joining in and become an echo chamber for one another, and we would not be able to promote authors beyond the limited circle of the membership.
For those concerned with publication rights or who might want to sell a particular story at a later date, we could set up a password protected page, or have a smaller group workshop through Google Docs or email. However, we would need to set up the infrastructure to accommodate that sort of networking first. In my opinion, the best way to do all that for free is with something like a WordPress blog.


message 38: by Seawood (new)

Seawood | 129 comments Sean wrote: "For those concerned with publication rights or who might want to sell a particular story at a later date, we could set up a password protected page, or have a smaller group workshop through Google Docs or email. However, we would need to set up the infrastructure to accommodate that sort of networking first. In my opinion, the best way to do all that for free is with something like a WordPress blog. "

IIRC Mary Robinette Kowal does this for her beta readers - like this: http://www.maryrobinettekowal.com/jou... - there are other examples if you dig around there.


message 39: by James (new)

James H. (jhedrick) | 128 comments Seawood wrote: "IIRC Mary Robinette Kowal does this for her beta readers - like this: http://www.maryrobinettekowal.com/jou... - there are other examples if you dig around there."

I like Seawood's idea here about the password protected page for some folks' submissions that they'd like to shop around. Google Docs has worked out pretty well on this thread (http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1...) that I've been involved with. Google Docs has a comment option and could be managed by the author and open to frequent contributors or something like that. Just a bit of 2 cents.


message 40: by Louise (last edited May 29, 2013 08:02AM) (new)

Louise (louiseh87) | 352 comments I'd never thought of Google Docs for beta readers - that's a great idea. Of course, it wouldn't help me find those elusive beta readers, but the concept is a good one. As someone who doesn't live near a large city, I know it's often difficult to find workshop groups and therefore this whole idea of an online one sounds interesting.

A password-protected means of workshopping stories seems the best way to go, with a website as the public face of the group for more general help and advice. It might be good to get some non-writers involved because they're often the most helpful at providing feedback, and the connection to a book club might be helpful there.

I would be interested in joining in or helping out with that, etc.


message 41: by Sean Lookielook (new)

Sean Lookielook Sandulak (seansandulak) | 422 comments In case you haven't heard it yet, we got a mention on the S&L podcast #130 at about 40 minutes in.


message 42: by Matt (new)

Matt Hebert | 14 comments I'm involved with a private [password protected] Google+ community that shares pieces through Google Drive. Sharing is easy enough, document control is retained by the author, sharing links and random comments, etc. are all easy enough. That format works well, and if it could be created in Wordpress, it should be fine. The key is participation from the group, I would think.


message 43: by Sean Lookielook (new)

Sean Lookielook Sandulak (seansandulak) | 422 comments Matt wrote: "I'm involved with a private [password protected] Google+ community that shares pieces through Google Drive. Sharing is easy enough, document control is retained by the author, sharing links and ran..."

I'm checking to see how it would work in WordPress tonight. My only concerns are that Google might unexpectedly pull the plug on Google Drive like they did with their Reader, or might start charging for it like they did with Google Apps. Also, you can't edit offline which is the main reason I don't use it.

The standings as of 2013/05/30 21:00 UTC are:
1. Foil & Phaser - 9 + Supreme Laser
2. Blade & Phaser - 1
3. Blade and Blaster - 2 + Supreme Sword

So far it looks like a walk for Foil & Phaser.


message 44: by J-F (new)

J-F Dubeau (jfdubeau) | 41 comments This project is awesome.

Sorry I'm late to the party, I really don't have as much time to hang out on this forum as I'd like.

I especially like the idea of peer reviews.

One question; I was thinking of putting my short story on my own site when it got rejected. Would inclusion in this project keep me from doing so? In fact, will authors who contribute to this project be allowed to promote their other works there at the same time?

This could become an interesting catalogue of new talent for us to discover.


message 45: by Sean Lookielook (new)

Sean Lookielook Sandulak (seansandulak) | 422 comments Jf wrote: "This project is awesome.

Sorry I'm late to the party, I really don't have as much time to hang out on this forum as I'd like.

I especially like the idea of peer reviews.

One question; I was thin..."


The two viable options I see are either publishing stories under a Creative Commons license which would allow publishing and sharing with attribution, or having authors grant a limited license to display but not redistribute. Because monetary and legal issues come into play, Terms of Service are one of the things everyone will have to agree to before we begin.

Whatever we decide, your stories will remain yours and you are free to do whatever you want with them, including publishing them elsewhere. One of the purposes of a community blog would be to help promote authors, so it would be fine if you posted on one site and then reblogged to the other to cross-promote both, so long as it benefited the community as a whole.


message 46: by Aj (new)

Aj Muller | 7 comments Great idea can never have too many writting outlets


message 47: by Katy (last edited May 31, 2013 05:16AM) (new)

Katy | 4 comments Louise wrote: "I'd never thought of Google Docs for beta readers - that's a great idea. Of course, it wouldn't help me find those elusive beta readers, but the concept is a good one. As someone who doesn't live n..."

I currently have to put myself in the non-writers camp, although eventually I plan to get some of my own ideas off the ground and submit them.

In the meantime I'd be very interested in helping out as a reader and offering constructive feedback.


message 48: by Sean Lookielook (new)

Sean Lookielook Sandulak (seansandulak) | 422 comments Katy wrote: "Louise wrote: "I'd never thought of Google Docs for beta readers - that's a great idea. Of course, it wouldn't help me find those elusive beta readers, but the concept is a good one. As someone who..."

Absolutely. We will need readers too!


message 49: by Sean Lookielook (last edited May 31, 2013 10:18AM) (new)

Sean Lookielook Sandulak (seansandulak) | 422 comments I know I said midnight, but I don't see a flood of last minute votes coming in, so I'm going to call Foil & Phaser the winner. Besides I was up late last night setting up a beta site so everyone could see what we are talking about. The posts are just samples so there is no reason to answer or comment. Just go and take a look and post your thoughts here.

I will post a submission form on the site and here in the forum next week for any interested authors. Until then here is Foil & Phaser version 0.1.

http://foilandphaser.wordpress.com/


message 50: by Seawood (new)

Seawood | 129 comments Sean, that looks wonderful, thank you for putting so much time into it! I have a piece of flash I'd be happy to submit for a mauling if you want something right away.


« previous 1 3
back to top