Well, well, I seem to have become a veteran here on FictionPress. I have come to know the good, the bad, and the ugly on this not quite so little network. Indeed, it seems as though this website has continued to triple its size since I first logged on over a year ago. Yet I have to come to realize that there is a lack of a guiding voice for new writers here on FictionPress, and that inexperience can doom a new writers work long before the story or poem ever has a chance. So I began to think of all I had managed to do, some of my success and failures here on FictionPress and during my early days here on the network, I would love to have known what I know now then. And it struck me, why not write done and post those experiences for others to have? So, here I am. Maybe you can take something useful from this essay and maybe in some small way help you achieve your goals for FictionPress.
The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
Some good things to consider and remember while on FictionPress is this: a silent voice is a muted voice. I knew in the first weeks of my time here on FictionPress that the first night The Legend of Macanar and Tarlna appeared on FictionPress (FP from now on) by the next morning I would receive fifty reviews and be on twenty favorites lists. Didn't work that way. As two weeks slowly dragged on, I became shocked by the fact that I had been ignored. But then I realized something, I was spinning my tires and going nowhere because I had not advertised myself on FP. Its a fact we all have to come and face. If you want to be heard, you have to shout to get others attention. The easiest way to 'shout' on FP is to simply start reading around, finding a particular category or categories you like, and then start getting the attention of other writers by reviewing their work. Trust me, they won't bite, unless you annoy them and well...you get what you get. But the important point here is this, if you expect to have a good story that is competitive and is widely liked you are going to crack a few eggshells. In some cases people do come to you on their own free will, but most are highly involved in their own projects and aren't paying much attention to what is happening elsewhere on FP, until someone gets their attention.
Also, it would be wise to add this while we are on the subject, reviews in general. Most reviews are a way of providing praise, criticism, and in some cases, to act as flames for someone who is angry about something the writer has done. But mostly they are contact with another writer who may have a wealth of advise or praise for you. Also, remember others can read your reviews to a particular story, essay, or poem. These are public messages that anyone and everyone can read with your pen name sitting right beside whatever comment you made. They are not private events. Some writers are known to not just simply read and review another's work, but to go and check out what others have said before them, and may go check out a writer that had comments they liked. So do not misrepresent yourselves! Slang, cuss words, general rudeness, and just a general bad style of writing can set you off on the wrong foot with another writer even before they see your work. Don't let it happen!
Another good piece of advice to remember is to try to make friends with other writers on the site. Usually where there is one writer there is at least another group of writers they have befriended over time. Even my start on the site came from a long standing friend of mine who has been with FP since almost day one. Had she not interested and kept me interested in what was going on here and helped motivate others in my direction, I never would have stuck with FP this long. Plus, friendship with other writers on FP can add onto other things that go past reviews. Trust me, word from another writer through a e-mail or IM is twenty times better than a single review. It shows extra effort and concern, and most of the interesting discussions about your work and others happen outside of FP.
Remember also that when you are making contact with another writer, either it be e-mail or review, that do not whine or beg. Some people do have the patience to sift through it and go ahead and try your work anyhow. However, some do not have that level of patience. Annoying another author is a good way to get shafted or flamed, both are equally as bad.
Still I hope this has been of some use, I do plan on adding more onto this little advice section of mine, once I can think of everything. But for now to all the new writers of FictionPress, good luck!
A/N: For those of you who may disagree with my ideas, I am sorry, if you have some useful criticism to tell me, I'll be happy to hear it and make changes or additions suggested. Just play nice.