INKsightful, INKouraging, RidINKulous #4

INKsightful, INKouraging, RidINKulous is a series of babbles from our members on writing, advice, or general whimsy. All of which are randomly said in our Discord server during the various conversations that take place.


We had an amazingly intelligent and calm discussion about the importance of diverse voices in literature. This is one of the points R. Jean Bell (@bex-dk) made, and there were many good other points also given:

“I know I have learned a lot about the world from reading stuff here. Stuff I might never have chosen to read if it weren’t presented to me. And I think that’s part of why this stuff has to be in mainstream pubs, not just special minority pubs. The geeky white middle class boy devouring all sci fi in sight needs to have women and gay and black and hispanic and asian and trans and whatever else voices stuffed into the middle of Asimov’s or F&SF so he reads it because it is there before he makes the conscious choice to skip it.”


Jasmine Arch (@jasminearch) on blogging versus stories:

“To me it felt like blogging was sort of like showing people my photo album. Fiction felt like showing them my soul.”


Rowena Harding-Smith on being close to our writing and how sentiment affects a story:

“This story is all about emotion and that is why it is so powerful but when you write a story like that you don’t want to edit because it steals the magic.”

She then proceeded to explain you have to edit it anyway for it to reach your readers effectively.


Regarding diversity in writing from Jeremy Mifsud (@poetrybyjeremy):

“What can be controversial in the real world is that people forming a majority write about minority, and they get published, and then own voices stories fail to get published. Same in media. It’s not that it’s wrong to include minority characters, it’s that unfortunately, authors/actors/writers etc. from minority groups tend to have limited opportunities and more rejections, and the inclusion of minority characters by non-minority artists contributes to silencing — but this is more of a reflection of the editors and movie industry etc. rather than the individual writers”


Jasmine Arch (@jasminearch) on the importance of being open when writing:

“Constricting yourself to that exact thing you think you want, that’s like writing with your thumb and index finger taped together. It may work. But I wouldn’t advise it.”


Koji A. Dae on accepting imperfections in first drafts:

“But meh, it just needed to get out on the page. Mechanics can come in editing”



R. Jean Bell‘s (@bex-dk) INKsightful advice on experimental writing:

“I suspect the good stuff… The truly quality experimental stuff… It comes when a story refuses to be constrained You don’t try to write it. It insists on it”


Koji A. Dae on writing:

“Writing is not just art. It is craft. And as such, the basics must be practised. It’s like playing etudes when learning an instrument. Sure, you want experimental jazz, but to get there, you need to play hot cross buns, no matter how derivative it is.”


Jasmine Arch‘s (@jasminearch) insights about uplifting stories with happy endings. Quite INKsightful:

“We all want happy lives, but who wants to READ about happy lives?.”


Rowena Harding-Smith on editing your drafts:

“It’s amazing how easy it is to see problems after you have let it rest for a month.”


Kevin in the Box on writing:

“Art in the written word is sculpted, not constructed. First you build a big pile of clay in roughly the shape you need, then you pick and slice and add little bits to create the final thing.”


And some more writing INKsight by Jasmine Arch (@jasminearch):

“Writing shorts teaches you to find stories where there were only ideas.”


Anike Kirsten (@anikekirsten) on POV and characters:

“Good characterisation, especially in 3rd limited, deep POV, and 1st person, taps into and exploits the human ability to empathise and imagine, so making the character as “real” as possible allows the reader to become that character in a role-play manner, making them care about what happens and therefore, making them not stop reading.”



This week on the INKubator has been focusing on and getting down to business with writing, editing, submitting, and various serious discussions. But that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been fun. More RidINKulousness will come in future posts so keep an eye out for them, or better yet, come join us on our Discord server!

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