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Mar 28, 2023Liked by Jackie Dana, Meg Oolders

Hi, I just recently joined substack and subscribed to this community. I write fiction and non fiction, mostly focused on migration. I live in the Netherlands but I miss the Virginia hills where I was born!

you can find me here:

https://thewritinggrove.substack.com/

here's a piece of fiction I (re)published on substack.

https://thewritinggrove.substack.com/p/our-little-king

It's part of a novel. Happy to hear what you think!

I think ChatGPT will help with things like research and editing/proofreading. Grammarly on steroids if you will. I'm less concerned with it replacing authors as there are an infinite number of stories we have to tell. Further, the act of writing is not a mass produced commercial product but a painstakingly executed labour. Just as there are still artisans who produce things by hand, writers will continue their craft even if only for robots to read it.

What do other people think?

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Welcome, Lloyd! We're happy you're here and have joined Fictionistas. Thank you for sharing your short story with us. I plan to spend some time with it today, and it's great to discover new writers.

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Thanks for introducing the AI subject. For me, it's a matter of fear vs clear. I have no fear of the tools as long as I am clear how I will utilize them and clearly communicating with my readers.

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Welcome, Lloyd!

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Thank you, Maegan!

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Welcome, Lloyd! Your newsletter sounds really interesting. Just subscribed and am eager to dive into "Our Little King" and more :)

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Here's something I found in my snippets folder the other day. It may become the start of my next novel:

“It’s a seal,”said Simon.

“It’s a mermaid,” said Marion.

Hannah left them and ran along the sand, feet splashing through the intruding tide.

“It’s a man,” she shouted, looking back at them. “Somethings been chewing on him.”

Simon and Marion came running up, more careful to keep their feet dry. Marion stopped short, but Simon leaned over the body and looked.

“Someone’s bashed him on the head,” he said. He knelt down beside the body, but Hannah pushed him aside.

“Mine,” she said, “You thought it was a seal.” She started to go through the corpse’s pockets.

“Four pennies and a farthing,” she announced, cataloguing her finds as she went. “A button. Four bullets. A watch chain – no watch. A letter – ruined. A ring!”

“Gold?”

Hannah bit the ring, which yielded slightly. She stuffed it hurriedly into the pocket of her smock.

Simon pulled a knife out and went to cut off the buttons on the man’s red coat.

“Mine!” Hannah insisted.

“You got a knife?” Simon asked.

“I’ll bite them off. You leave him be or I’ll bite you.”

“I’ll let you use the knife for two buttons.”

“One button.”

“No.”

“Gerroff him then.”

“Don’t cut the buttons,” Marion said, still keeping her distance, “take the whole coat and the breeches.”

“How am I supposed to get them off him?”

“Unbutton it and roll him over. The three of us together could manage it.”

“You’ll have to touch him then, you baby.”

“I will. Equal shares on the coat, though, if we all help.”

“Including the buttons,” Simon said.

“Where would we hide it?” Hannah asked. “Da will take the lot if he sees it.”

Here's a teaser blub for it:

Hannah is a wrecker's daughter. She can set a false light or rifle a deadman's pockets as quick as any man. Now Hannah is coming of age, and there isn't a young man in the village that she'd give the time of day. But the soldier boys are coming, and Hannah might just catch one, if they don't catch her first.

Question: Would you buy this book?

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Mar 28, 2023Liked by Jackie Dana, Meg Oolders

No. (I had to violate my general rule to say nothing if you don’t have anything positive to say, but you asked a yes/no question and really, how good would your data be if nobody answered “no”?)

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Exactly. Thank you. How are we supposed to gather useful data when people regard saying no as rude?

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It would be very difficult to answer that question with a small snippet, but being asked only with what's been given, then it would be a no. I think it's important to experiment though, and you might have a better response by posting this in full as a serial on your Substack. That way people can read it within context and appreciate what kind of world you're trying to build.

Thanks for having the courage to share!

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That's a helpful response to Baker & I agree.

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author

From the blurb: is this YA Romance? If not...the blurb is misleading me about the story’s premise. If so, not a genre I buy, but sounds like a fun setting with potential for many types of danger and adventure. (I’m a sucker for beaches, ships & wrecks. And plucky girls, of course.) 😜

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Well, that's the problem. Are my books YA romances? In the sense that Romeo and Juliet is YA romance, they are. That is, their protagonists are teenage girls who fall in love. Genre definitions today seem to assume that the age and sex of the reader should match the age and sex of the protagonist. And by that criteria, a lot of classic works of literature would not be classified as YA romance. Pride and Prejudice, Romeo and Juliet, Great Expectations.

But none of these follow the formula of a standard YA romance novel. They are all about something else, as are mine. In this book I am interested in the indifference to strangers displayed by a closed community of wreckers. How to give that impression in the modern market, and what genre label to place on it, is the great puzzle.

Given that my literary approach is what I call "serious popular fiction," I suppose I could call them "serious popular YA romance," but that is still wrong because YA is still a marker of the audience age as much as the character age.

I am open to suggestions.

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author

Hi G.M. I write and read YA novels almost exclusively. You really can't compare those classic works of fiction with younger protagonists to today's contemporary fiction because the "teenage" experience is entirely different. What makes a book YA is that the main character is a Young Adult and the book deals with the issues and themes that are relevant to teenagers. Things like identity, inclusion, sexuality/romance, family dynamics, social hierarchies, etc. Obviously, what's relevant to teens has changed DRAMATICALLY in the last 50-100 years. Even in the last 10! It's hard to keep up. :)

Also, I'm 43. Not a teenager. And I read YA fiction all the time. The audience for these books varies greatly and often includes adults, and kids that are a few years younger than the main protagonist, as young people often read "up" to visit with the experiences of older teens.

A piece of advice I've been given many times is to just write the book you want to write and worry about where it fits in the market later. There are people whose job it is to find the best place to "set" your book to find the biggest audience.

Best with your project!

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author

As a fellow reader and writer of YA fantasy (my favorite genre for both!) I agree 100% with Meg. This snippet doesn't read as YA to me right now but it could be YA depending on what you did with it. But Oliver Twist is not YA just because there are kids, and I would say the same for this snippet.

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I feel the same way. But it raises an issue for anyone writing a story about teenagers that is not in every other way a YA. I have had people in the industry, agents, editors, etc. see that my characters are teenagers and immediately decide not only that they are YA but that they must be, and had to be edited to conform to that specification. How one is supposed to write, or at least market, a book for readers who are not the same age and sex as the protagonist is a puzzle.

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Can't quite tell from this snippet if I would buy the book, but what I do like is the opening. Especially the uncertainty/changing of the object as the characters and therefore the reader gets closer to it. You pulled me in with a clue/unresolved situation and made me want to read more.

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As a story idea, I kind of like it, so count me intrigued. But "gerroff" totally threw me out of the story. Honestly I would probably be more into it if it were modern vs historical in nature.

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Mar 28, 2023·edited Mar 28, 2023Author

My March milestone was definitely getting an ebook collection of my stories out the door for paid subscribers: https://simonkjones.substack.com/p/get-the-new-ebook-collection-of-tales Have yet to see it shift the needle much in terms of subscribers upgrading, but I'm very happy it's there for current subs.

As for AI: I think it will be massively hyped, go quiet for a bit after proving to be practically quite dull, and then come back in some other form that's more useful. In the short term it'll likely annihilate the copywriting scene, especially copywriters who specialise in generic 'professional website copy' (which already largely reads like it was written by a robot).

What's harder to predict is the longer term, and the impact of AI generated writing in creative circles. I don't think it'll replace or be a threat to creative fiction, because it can't form that human-to-human connection that is so integral to all forms of art. Ideally it'll become a useful tool, perhaps for generating marketing materials so that authors don't have to waste time faffing about with blurbs and so on. I think as of 2023 it's impossible to predict, though - I don't think any of us expected generative AI to become such a prominent thing in 2022.

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Mar 28, 2023Liked by Simon K Jones, Meg Oolders

Congrats! That's a big milestone, and it builds trust in the eyes of your existing subscribers because you delivered on what you promised. That's not easy to do, and I know it's appreciated. Hopefully free subscribers will see what you're doing over time and upgrade!

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Congrats, Simon!

And I like your predictions for AI.

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Mar 28, 2023Liked by Jackie Dana, Meg Oolders, Alexx Hart

A major milestone for me recently was launching a new Substack. I've been writing fantasy and science fiction on Future Thief for over a year now, and I love it, and the community and writers I've met have been incredible. I started to realize there was a growing desire for Substack speculative fiction authors to get more eyes on their work, and even recognize and reward it. Traditional publishing has proved to be slow and tedious, and the awards received are out of reach even for some very talented writers. I wanted to change that. So, I launched the Lunar Awards:

https://lunarawards.substack.com

The first award season launches tomorrow, and I'm nervous and excited, but think it will be a fantastic way to expose subscribers to some amazing speculative authors in one place.

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Tomorrow!! I didnt see! Gotta write fast!

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Don't worry, it launches tomorrow, and then you have 21 days to write your masterpiece 😁 I know you can do it!

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I love fantasy. I hope I find time to write and submit a new story.

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Coming from the master of the daily story, I'm pretty sure with 21 days you can do something pretty amazing!

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Under most circumstances I'd say you're right. But I have a book release May 12th for my second collection ( entitled That Fountain Ain't Gonna Grant Your Wish ) and I just got the script for Ash and Bone II, the first true sequel of my acting career. And of course I gotta keep up with daily writing on Roulette Weal.

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Those all sound like more milestones to celebrate and great reasons! I'm looking forward to hearing more about it over the coming months.

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This is a great idea. Though feeling a little left out as a serial author. Good thing I added a 'misc fiction' section so I could post things outside the serial. Looks like I have an incentive to put more things on it now.

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I would love to see a short story submission from you, William! For award season two I'm 99.99 percent sure I'm going to do a serial fiction category as well. It's going to be a best first chapter category... at least, that's what I'm thinking right now.

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That's so cool! I love when people create opportunities for writers!

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A lot has been said about ChatGPT already, and most of it is hype and over generalization, but one thing that stuck out to me that was said recently (I forget by who) is that language AI will allow everyone to have their own personal research assistant. It goes well beyond search, and I have to say I'm impressed and have been using it already in my job as a programmer and in my writing. Once you learn how to interact with it in a conversational style and drill down to what you need, it becomes a fantastic tool. It will disrupt, as so many technologies like it do, but ultimately if you embrace it then you will reap the benefits.

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I'm not so sure about ChatGPT's effectiveness as research assistant. With Aztec mythology and religion at least I've found it so unreliable that it ended up inventing its own myth. Even in using it to find sources to consult it missed some incredibly obvious ones.

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That's a really interesting observation. I have realized that it's most helpful for those people that already have baseline knowledge because you don't know what you don't know, and that makes it harder to communicate with it accurately. Especially as it relates to mythology. As an experiment a few weeks ago, I asked it about the theories around how the pyramids were built. I wanted to see if it would mention aliens. It did not, so I brought it up as a way to better understand how it processes data, and it was difficult to nail it down, and basically I said I don't care if it's accurate or an acceptable theory... give it to me anyway. It has to be strongarmed. It finally did and with sources.

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author

I used it just yesterday to help my dad choose a riding lawnmower by asking it to rank the top mowers with a comparison table. It was brilliant!

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Well the first anniversary month for my substack has come and is now going. I've got things to show for it in terms of writing, not so much in people having responded to my writing. I think ChatGPT right now is fairly overhyped. But it has been a problem for publishing in how people who think it can replace authors are clogging up the submission pipeline at publications like Clarkesworld. The perception of it might be more dangerous than the actual thing.

I'm constantly after feedback, and I did recently post a teaser of a short story I'm working on in the hopes of getting feedback, so I'll share that. To give a specific feedback request, what do you think of the usage of footnotes/ the meta fiction framing? https://warthogreport.substack.com/p/teaser-the-tale-of-fintan-and-aodh

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Here's one of the 943 stories I've published on Substack. The paywall has been removed so the story could be shared here.

I hope it's obvious that it was written by a human, for humans.

Critiques and comments welcome. New subscribers always welcome.

https://jimmydoom.substack.com/p/moving-pictures

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943 stories?!! WOW!!!

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Every day since I started in Aug 20 except for six days when I was demolished with COVID.

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Noice! 🥩🥩🥩

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Ok, you liked Moving Pictures, but that's a " sweet" one. Based on reading what you've published, I gotta find one with a few more sharp edges for you.

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Ha, well reading and writing are two different things. Moving Pictures was "sweet" but also short, which goes a long way in my inbox! :) I'll check out Before You Die this afternoon. Thanks for customizing to my taste.

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Then skip Before You Die. It's over 5000 words. But there are hundreds of stories on Roulette Weal under 1000.

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I write YA historic fiction about colonial California (1760-1850) using diverse characters. I just received a good Kirkus Review & appreciate recommendations about utilizing it. The review can be seen in last week's post. Thanks.

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That's interesting, Anita, I had never heard of a Kirkus Review. I'll have to check it out.

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Mar 28, 2023Liked by Meg Oolders, Alexx Hart

Good morning, Fictionistas!! And Happy Tuesday.

Major Milestone: Started reading my work aloud in front of live audience as a contestant in Chuck Palahniuk's Story Night Contest. Although I was scared poopless (after years of avoiding public speaking), my first reading is currently tied for second place! For anyone who's interested, here's the link (NSFW): https://chuckpalahniuk.substack.com/p/midwest-story-night-2

I've been hearing a lot of buzz about AI and ChatGPT and have been avoiding it as to not distract from getting stories down as I did when Midjourney came out with AI art. Hoping for something positive to come out while I sit back and ignore it??

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Maegan, that's awesome! Congrats on moving past your fears and getting out there to do a reading. What a cool milestone.

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Thank you, Brian!

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That's awesome. And you did a great job! Gah, public speaking is terrifying, and has become more so for me since I started working remotely. Any skills I did have with it have certainly atrophied. Thanks for sharing! Just subscribed to FRESH MEAT and am eager to read more :)

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Mar 28, 2023·edited Mar 28, 2023Liked by Jackie Dana

Hello everyone,

This is my first discussion at Fictionistas. I write fiction and essays, and am currently in the middle of publishing my novel 'The Hermit' on Substack. It's about an aging finance bro who is having a spiritual crisis. Here's a brief intro:

https://katyag.substack.com/p/andy-sylvain-a-man-of-the-woods

And one of the recent chapters:

https://katyag.substack.com/p/the-hermit-xii-vegas

About AI: Generally I'm weary about AI. I feel unease about how AI advocates rush to equate us with AI (either by leading us to believe that it is sentient, or trying to bring us down to the level of code. "I'm a stochastic parrot and so r u," tweeted Sam Altman, the founder of OpenAI recently. Maybe he is a stochastic parrot –– saying words without attaching any meaning to them –– but I'm not, and many people are not. Perhaps, one use for AI is for non-fiction writers to do research. For my fiction I don't plan to use it at all.

Katya Grishakova

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"aging finance bro", I like that!

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Hi, Megan. Yeah, more should be written about inner worlds of finance bros :-).

I checked out your substack. This is so awesome that you got feedback from Chuck Palahniuk! Btw, who does your artwork?

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Thank you, yes that was a great day the day that Chuck's feedback happened! My more recent artwork I've created using Midjourney. The older stuff is mostly from Adobe Stock Photography.

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Mar 28, 2023·edited Mar 28, 2023Liked by Jackie Dana, Meg Oolders, Alexx Hart

I passed 40 stories published on Substack last week!

My original goal was to write 100 stories in 100 days, but after 37 stories I felt quite exhausted, so I plan to do 2-3 each week going forward. Some stories are thoroughly mediocre, but there are still many I'm proud of, and it has helped me get into a writing habit.

https://mlaugustin.substack.com

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Wow, that's amazing!

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At my current rate, it will take me 6.7 years to write 40 stories!

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Mar 28, 2023Liked by Jackie Dana, Meg Oolders

I am coming up on 1 year of writing on substack and 3 months of writing fiction at my latest substack Gibberish. I just published on saturday episode 6 of an 11 episode series called Sandbox Earth, a story that has been floating in the back of mind since I was a teenager and which I finally have gotten written to my satisfaction. The whole thing is done and scheduled, it will be publishing every Saturday until April 29th. Please check it out!

The premise is an inversion of the classic trope that humanity rises to the stars as a unified people. When an alien spaceship appears in orbit, people are amazed and terrified--when a second ship arrives, wonder turns into disbelief. When the two ships fight a battle against each other, oblivious to humanity--disbelief turns into a race, and humanity climbs over each other to salvage what they can from the alien ships!

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Episode 1 begins here: https://open.substack.com/pub/gibberish/p/sandbox-earth-ep-1?r=18pqmt&utm_medium=ios&utm_campaign=post

Sorry for the scrambled link, I am on my phone.

Feedback welcome! I hope you enjoy!

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That premise sounds amazing. You got a subscriber from that description alone 😁

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Just make sure you subscribe to Gibberish! I got an email you subscribed to my other stack but not the one where I post fiction!

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Oh no! I will go do that.

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First time jumping in here. I've had my substack, Aging Author's Daily Diversions, up and going for almost a year now, and one of the major purposes as been to motivate me in writing my most recent novel by posting my daily word counts. After 8 months, the manuscript (the 4th book in a science fiction series) is finally out to my beta readers, and while I wait for feedback I am planning on writing a short story in my Victorian mystery series that I will put up the first draft up on my substack as I complete each scene. I have no particular interest in using ChatGPT for writing, but I am going to look into using the Google AI narration service for this short story and my last novella. All my other books and shorts I have paid to have narrated, but it will take years to have this expense pay off, so, since my narrator has just retired, I thought I would give AI a try.

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author

Hi y’all! Thanks for hosting this thread. As a complete newb on Substack this is so valuable. I write fiction (short story to novel to ginormous series) and non-fiction (memoirs, bloggy personal essays and the occasional article).

Due to the way my brain injury works, I am no longer agented or seeking a new one. I am also not a good candidate for the Amazon ebook marketing rat-race. Making gobs of money, going viral, or getting onto B&N bookshelves are not my primary concerns. Finding my audience, finding a healthy and sustainable way to give back as a disabled person, and having an enthusiastic community--those are my goals.

I’ve been running experiments, posting my non-fiction and short stories on my blog for years, and tried out serializing one of my novels--fell in love with that rhythm. But the time has come. I need new homes for both types of writing, hence why I’m here sniffing around. I have two main question threads today:

1) Do you recommend making a separate publication to host my fiction, esp the big serials? (The non-fiction is not about my writing journey or the nifty research kernels for the fiction stories.) Or would you say a completely separate profile?

--My fiction is under my name, Alexx, as is half of the memoirs about my damsel-to-dangerous adventures and my resulting dain bramage recovery. These topics are interrelated with my fiction, as a lot of that stuff makes its way into my characters and worlds.

--Whereas the other half of the memoirs/creative process/art & travel is under my stage name--I’m a dancer by profession. That will absolutely need its own profile and publication.

--If I don’t have to have 3 profiles, I don’t want to. Thoughts for the cleanest, most efficient setup?

2) Do you also have your own personal blog in addition to Substack?

--If so, how much cross-pollination do you do, linking back and forth between them? Are you more interested in driving people toward one place more than the other? Why?

--Do you do identical cross-posting on both platforms? Or does each place have its own list? Or a hybrid, with some cross-posting and some unique? Why?

--Do you do identical cross-posting on others you don’t own, like Patreon, Medium, Wattpad, etc?

If these topics have been answered elsewhere in depth, please do point me toward them. I just landed here and am trying to catch my bearings so I appreciate you bearing with me. Badum-tsss. And with the infodump & question-vomit. 🤪

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Hey Alexx, you're in the right place to sniff around! I think you want one Substack with multiple sections. This allows users to subscribe once but unsubscribe from those individual sections that interest them least. You will find it's easier to manage and allows subscribers to better manage the frequency they receive emails. For example, I have one section on my Substack called Dear Reader. It's where I talk about my writing and publication journey. It's more personal in nature. The other section is my main section where I share my fiction. I do not have an equal number of subscribers on both, which means some people like one or the other better.

Many writers will create a section for each serial, which also works, but depending on how many serials you plan to write it can clutter the heading of your Substack. Hope that helps!

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Oh geez, that would be so much easier! So...people can turn on or off specifically what they want to hear about like fiction vs non-fiction or dangerous vs dain bramage from their end after subscribing? Or they subscribe to a section? Where does this happen from the reader’s end? I haven’t seen that yet. (Or does that happen on the computer, not the phone app? Could explain why I have heard of them but not really seen them in action.)

I was originally looking at sections, but because my non-fiction already has so many things certain audiences might not want to follow, and then my fiction will eventually span across multiple very different worlds, I didn’t want to clutter the header up, just like you said. That’s why I thought it might be better to divide it into fiction vs non-fiction on publications, and then sub-divide it with sections. But that should probably require coupons for people who want both...which gets messy for them and me. Too bad Sections can’t do a drop-down subdivision because my fiction worlds tend to attract very different audiences, and different still from my nonfiction. 🤪 Thanks for chiming in! Every piece helps!

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I had considered doing sections for mine, but it’s very difficult to opt in/opt out of sections. And ultimately, my audiences for my Substacks are very different.

Do you have a sense for who your audiences are for your fiction versus nonfiction? It’s possible the audience is very similar, but it may not be. In my case, I do fiction and non-fiction on my Story Cauldron substack, and that’s fine because I consider the audience to be pretty much the same - people who are writers or who read fiction. But for my other Substack that is focused on history, it just wasn’t a good fit. So it really just depends on what you’re doing.

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Great questions!

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Look forward to reading the answers!! Haha!

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*passing you the popcorn bucket* 🤓

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I have technically 4 Substacks. I started with Story Cauldron, which is my place to write about storytelling in the real world and a place to publish my fiction. I use it as a sort of author newsletter. But I also have Fictionistas (this right here!), and a Substack where I serialized the Wizard of Oz and hope to keep going with that as time permits. Along the way I discovered that I enjoyed writing history articles and quickly discovered they didn't fit on Story Cauldron (an overlapping, but ultimately quite distinct) audience, and started Unseen St. Louis. Honestly, even though it's a lot of work, it's the best decision I ever made because ultimately that is the "successful" Substack for me, even though I have earned less and have fewer subscribers so far, because it has opened up a whole new world to me.

But we all have our own paths and our own way of mixing our work and finding our audiences.

I do hope you continue to share fiction somewhere, though, because I quite enjoyed your prompt story.

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Purrrrrr thank you! Oh yes, I’ll share it somehow. Actually did you write about trying to figure out your publications vs profiles? In my research I have a hazy memory that it may have been yours. I’ve read so many things in the past week. 🤪 Indeed, “success” is such a personal thing and does not always mean the highest numbers or income. Thanks for your insights!

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As for ChatG: I have been glub-glubbing in the waters of seizures, tooth infections & govt agencies too much these past couple years, trying not to get drowned by the Matrix to have formed an educated opinion on what I think its long term impact will be on authors.

I did, however, get curious if it could translate my cheesy Prophesy Poem into dactylic hexameter for my Persephone & Haides series. It started spitting back the translation before I had barely finished pushing Send!! 😱😻😱

Alas. (And phew!) It could not comprehend my request to stop rhyming, and so it’s just as cheesy as my not-a-poet tripe, simply with more syllables. Not remotely some Grand Homeric Epic prophesy.

So good news to our deep-dive poetic masters, it couldn’t even get out of the starting blocks. It sure gave a valiant effort though, and was supremely polite and apologetic when I kept trying to reword my non-rhyming request. Unfortunately, it (or at least its developers) will probably learn from that… 🤔🤔🤔🤣😳

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Okay. Here's one from my archives. https://stockfiction.substack.com/p/pupil-a4r1

I've been wanting to revise this piece for a while. My Substack's hook is that I write experimental fiction inspired by stock photography, usually a single image. This piece, you'll see, relies heavily on many photos to tell the story. I'd love some feedback or suggestions on how to make this piece less reliant on the photos (or ideally not require them at all), while keeping the emotional arc/journey intact. Appreciate any thoughts you have. Feel free to add them here, or in the comment thread on the post. Thank you so much!

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I really like what you did with it! It just works. The only other way I know how to handle it without the photos is to first describe the environment/scenario where the exchange is taking place and then each photo individually. Basically, caption each photo with one sentence, and then remove them.

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Mar 28, 2023·edited Mar 28, 2023Liked by Jackie Dana

Hi, Everyone. Love the idea of office hours and especially the ChatGPT comments from other writers. I joined Substack in February and write Research for Writers and Other Curious People: https://othercuriouspeople.substack.com I provide research ideas and inspiration for both fiction and non-fiction writers. Many people have asked my thoughts on ChatGPT. Honestly, at first it was panic that this new AI would put me out of a job. I took a deep breath and jumped in with the mantra, it's only a talking Google. Well... not quite. I'm impressed with its speed and human interface. I experimented with it to help outline an article and the darn thing gave me bogus information. The faulty results are scary. We already live in a world where people believe more of what they read than they should and credible resources are fleeting at times. ChatGPT is garbage in, garbage out. I'm enjoying articles written by thoughtful writers who are experimenting with the AI, such as travel planning, etc., and appreciate the fact checking they are including in their pieces. As a writer with advanced degrees and years of research and fact-checking experience, I want to believe I won't be replaced overnight. We will have to wait and see what the next gen or two or three brings. I welcome other writers to this important discussion.

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I'm new here but I've started two series. One is my sci-fi/space opera web novel 'Inquisitor's Promise'. The book itself is more or less finished, and right now I'm posting the chapter on daily basis. The other is nonfiction, but it's a series of reviews of fictional works that I like.

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Welcome, Michael! Glad you're here.

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Happy Tuesday, fellow fiction writers! I'm loving your responses and am eager to check out everyone's newsletter. As for me:

Milestone -- this past Saturday, I published the 1st installment of And in the Dark They Are Born, a post-apocalyptic novel I'm serializing on my newsletter. If you're a fan of The Road, True Grit, Mad Max: Fury Road or Léon: The Professional, then there's a good chance you'll like it. Here's a link to the "intro" page of the novel in case you want to learn more >> https://www.emeralddash.com/p/and-in-the-dark-they-are-born-novel

AI -- ugh. I think that's the primary feeling I have over it: ugh. But I think "ugh" really is just code for, "I'm scared." Not because I think it's going to take over fiction writing, but I do think it's going to make an impact on me, personally (I'm a UX writer by day and there's no doubt in my mind that organizations large and small will jump at the chance to create quality UX copy on the cheap), and on the working world at large. It's no secret that we've been arcing toward a world in which AI plays a significant role, and that in many ways we've been at the dawn of said world. But this does feel like it's a next step of sorts, and one that could be pretty big.

Happy writing, everyone!

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Wow, I am so excited to see everyone jumping in on this week's Office Hours. I hope everyone can make it tomorrow to the Fictionistas Zoom call!

My major milestone is that I have turned my (nonfiction) Substack Unseen St. Louis into a monthly speaker series, and the first two events have been massively popular, packed houses! It's amazing! Part of me wants to do the same for fiction writers locally, but that would require 36 hour days. 😂

As for ChatGPT, I am a huge fan and have been reading everything I can about it (and writing about it in several places - here's my take on it on my Substack: https://storycauldron.substack.com/p/chatgpt-my-writing-sidekick ). I use it all the time for fiction and nonfiction purposes. Just last night ChatGPT and I were working side by side on a chapter I'm revising, about a character who is confronting reality after a horrific experience, and how to best represent his PTSD in his actions. It's been so incredibly helpful for stuff like that. But it also is great to summarize articles (or create a summary based on multiple ones) for a variety of purposes. I write something every day and it really helps cut down the time on some parts of the process and inspire me or give me frameworks around which to write.

I can't think of a snippet to share right at the moment but maybe I'll be back later with one.

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Awesome for the packed houses, Jackie! That's so cool people have been receptive. It shows we're all still looking for some interesting personal interactions/community and information.

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I'm at my 6 month anniversary on Substack. Once a week fiction. Today I published #26, how about that. Zowza. Been a lot of fun, keeps me on my toes that's for sure. My latest is here. As I've ramped up, I've included stories a bit longer. This one's about 1800 words. A story of an unusual train and the people who follow it, on foot.

https://dcreed.substack.com/p/slow-train

Many thanks to all for your stories, your support, and your inspiration.

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Happy 6 months, Victor! I'm glad you're a part of our little gang of fiction writers and sticking around to boot 😁

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Thanks to Brian and all others for hosting this thread on Fictionistas!

Strangely enough, today marks my one-year milestone for writing fiction at Along the Hudson. (I began writing on Substack in October 2020 under a different publication name.) I share weekly fiction and bi-weekly writing challenges.

Here’s my latest, shared yesterday: https://alongthehudson.substack.com/p/bandit

Thanks again!

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Yes, for Along the Hudson! Thanks for dropping in, Justin. It's nice to see you in these here parts 😁

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Haha thanks! 🤣

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Major Milestone: I completed a beta for a game I'll be submitting to the Spring Thing interactive fiction festival next month. There are still bugs to work out, but all the writing is finished.

ChatGPT: I can see a future in which it's good at researching, idea generation, and writing marketing copy, kind of like a writer's assistant. It's not quite there yet. Sometimes it hallucinates facts in its research, and I think for things like title ideas it's hit-or-miss, but it can write a solid first draft press release, which is neat.

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And when will we get to experience said beta game?!?

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Adventure Snack subscribers already have it in their inboxes. For everyone else, it'll go public next month as part of the festival.

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I finally took the plunge and began writing a serial that I've had rattling around in my head for a while now. https://cobwebbedcandles.substack.com/p/the-soulspeakers-diary-part-1

If you like ghosts and necromancers as much as I do, hopefully you'll like this. We start with a botched soul-binding ritual that leads to melted bones needing to be cleaned off the floor and go from there.

Lirien's trying her best. She's still very new at this.

Since I'm a fiction writer I'm not really afraid of being replaced by AI. Pretty sure that everyone who thinks Chat GPT is a shortcut to being a successful writer (and as a consequence is flooding everywhere and anywhere they can with AI-generated dreck right now), will drop it when it turns out it's not.

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