Here are some tips to get new writers started right in the WRITING conference:

DO... the message traffic and get a feel for what transpires in this Virtual Tavern.

...learn to spell, capitalize, punctuate, and write with clear grammar and understandable syntax.

...learn to use a library, along with its reference section.

...learn to research your topic. a good dictionary and a copy of Strunk & White's _Elements of Style_. _Writer's Market_ for basic "how-to" info on manuscript preparation, copyright, cover/query letters, and choosing markets for your work.

...feel free to ask anyone in here if you still don't understand something from the above references.

...feel free to join conversations-in-progress if you think you have something to add, a question about the topic under discussion, or a humorous comment.

...stay if you wish, or leave _quietly_ if you don't like it. We don't care about your parting shots.

DON'T... your work to "share" it. See the rules for excerpt protocol. poetry. There are better echoes, even though they're verse.

...debate the "perpetually off-topic" list from the rules.

...come in here and tell us to change a successful area to make it better fit what YOU were expecting.

...get into personal arguments, throw flames, etc.

...whip out a list of publishing credentials and expect us to fall to our knees in worshipful adoration. Your behavior here determines your acceptance.

...use gratuitous obscenity since it reflects ill on your ability to communicate. Most of us aren't prudes, but overuse of bathroom-wall words is a sign of immaturity or mental incapacity in a writer. When the language is appropriate (as a part of an excerpt) it's okay, but throwing it around when unnecessary dilutes the language and detracts from your message.

...assume the worst-possible interpretation of messages.

...jump in to "defend" someone unless you know for sure they are being attacked. Irony is a much-used literary tool in here, and many folks who know each other well will say things that may look horrible to the uninformed.

...say anything bad about birds, horses, or Texas.

by George Willard, Moderator Emeritus