So, you're new to SECRETcrowds and a little overwhelmed? No fear. Here's some stuff you can do right off the bat to get you started.
First thing, sign up for your galleries, notebook, and journal in the signups forum
. Just reply to the posts and they'll be set up for you, most likely within a couple hours.
Post in the introductions thread
. Let us know who you are.
Unless you plan to remain anonymous, you can join the facebook group
. Write on the wall and let us know who you are!
While your galleries are being set up, you can read and comment on others' work
. This is a big part of being in the community. Look around, get a cup of coffee(/tea/water/sobe/whatever the heck you drink) read some work, stay a while. You know you love when people comment on your work, and so do we. If you don't know where to start reading, check under "of the moment" on the sidebar to see if anything is being voted on - it's your chance to read good writing and vote for your favorites, too.
Once your galleries are up, post some of the pieces you like most, and someone will surely come along and read them. You can put the links to your galleries in your signature by clicking "my controls" at the top of the page when you're logged in.
Want to get writing? Check out the prompts forum
or the inspirations forum
for a healthy dose of ideas, or the challenges
if you want to write something polished to compete for an award.
Having trouble editing a piece? Submit it to get a critique
and one of our experienced staff members will look it over and give you suggestions.
See the "vote for us!" message up in the top of the sidebar? We would love it if every day you clicked that and then clicked "enter and vote." Doing so advertises us, takes only three seconds of your time, and helps our community grow, allowing us to provide more interactivity here on the forums.
You are welcome to advertise your website in our advertisements forum
. We would love it if you advertised us
on other forums or your blog or website. Tell your friends. Tell your classmates. Tell your teacher. We want to spread the word as much as we can!
As always, have fun and get writing!
And now... some tips about what to post in your galleries!
After you've signed up for your galleries, they should appear in the galleries directories fairly shortly afterwards (usually within a day). You may then begin posting.
You may be wondering what to post as you're starting out. Here are some tips.
1. Do not dump a dozen or so completed (or in-progress but on hold) pieces here at once. It's a little intimidating for us to look at a full gallery and try to pick something to read and comment on; we're busy people, so we may not have time to browse everything. As a guide, only post one or two things at a time, or as you complete them, especially when you're first posting.
2. Do not post pieces you do not intend to change. You may be content with your completed works and may not want to change them; as our members read things, we enjoy praising your work but also like to provide feedback on a criticizing level. Though we do enjoy reading some nice, polished pieces now and then, we also like helping you grow as a writer, and we can't do that if you aren't willing to work on what you post. As a guide, maybe only post one or maybe two pieces you're content with and don't intend to develop or change, and let us know at the top of the post.
3. It is assumed that any piece without a rating obviously displayed in the topic title is PG-13 or lower. You may post R-rated stories if you tag them, in the topic title, with a warning. R rating may include but is not limited to mild sexual content, or excessive (or particularly gory) amounts of violence. As readers, we understand that life in the real world (and the world of your characters) is not always a strict PG. We are not trying to censor you; we just have a wide audience which certainly includes people under the age of 18. This is not a place to post erotica.
4. We know you want readers. We want them, too. You may not always get readers when you are first here, but please be patient. A good way to get some readers (without advertising, which we discourage) is to be active around the site, enter challenges, and comment on others' work.
5. Also, when posting, please put line breaks between your paragraphs, and go through and use italic and bold tags when necessary to show your formatting. It just makes it easier to read.