There is something bad that happens when I’m working on a novel – I don’t put much of my work out to be read at various sites on the Internet, partly because I don’t have enough time to write as is and partly because I am writing a novel where small excerpts are not easily digestible for most readers. You can’t expect a reader to enjoy 2000 words extracted from the whole; out of context and standing alone with none of the carefully erected story to support it. It’s just not the way long form fiction works.
So, if all I am writing is a novel and I can’t put pieces of my novel out to be read in a way that does the reader or my work justice, how do I stay connected? And for me, staying connected is a must. Maybe some folks can unplug and go off-grid for a couple of months but not me. Threadbare though it may be, I still need to put a presence on Facebook, my blog and somewhere… I need to just put up some of my art, my writing.
But let me be clear about this – I put my writing out in front of people regularly to get input and I do not mean praise. I want to know if it resonated with them or left them flat. I want to know when something I wrote really connected with a reader or when they just read it to be nice. Praise is good, too, but only when something is really enjoyed. This kind of real feedback grounds me. And I should add that reading other writer’s work often inspires me or raises my self-awareness of what elements, prose or tact do or don’t engage me.
I have found a good outlet in the 6S Social Network. It’s simple. Just write six sentences. Say anything you like. Post it for others to read and comment, if they so choose.
This is an interesting prompt because you want to create a complete thought, premise, or even a story, within the confines of just six sentences. The community is active and nurturing, a diverse collection of mature writers who get it.
No, the feedback I get (or offer) on 6S is not a deep analysis of the work, nor is it line edit, but it does share how the piece resonates and sometimes inspires thought-sharing. This makes it an excellent forum to explore different wordplay techniques and prose. A site like this is only as good as the people on it, and most of the people are pretty cool. They really are.
Take a look at the 6S Social Network and see if it’s your kind of thing.
To see the best of 6S, read Six Sentences.