writer groups

Posted: November 25, 2014 in Uncategorized

Writing groups are tricky. You have to get the right mix of people to make it work for everyone. And you need some kind of guidelines that everyone needs to follow but it’s not too hard for anyone to keep up.

What should you look for in a group? Personally I just like nice respectful people who understand the kind of writing I write. I don’t want to submit something for a critique to be told first off that they have no idea what a gnome is? Really? You’ve never heard of that word before? Wow!

Yeah, I get that not everyone writes fantasy like I do but come on. Everyone knows what a gnome is, right? Right?

Another thing you want to look for is what kind of helpful critiques are you getting. Are they constructive or does something just tell they don’t get it? Do they try to tell you what your story should be doing based on what they’ve read in other books? Don’t they have any imagination?

Yes, I realize that I struggle with poetry and non-fiction. I’m not a poet (don’t understand it at all) but I have written enough articles and columns to know decent non-fiction. Yes, it bores me but the critique is all about the writer and not the person giving the critique.

Critique is a delicate dance of telling what you thought was good with the piece and then telling them what you thought, in your honest opinion, what needed working. Even offer some suggestion, but don’t just come out with “I don’t get it.” That is rude!

I would also look at the size of the group. Too many people and you may never get a piece critiqued and/or all you are doing is critiques and none of your own writing.

But a good group will be maybe 10 or fewer people with open minds and good points. You can get some good ideas with the right people to not only strengthen what you already have but give you ideas on how to get more stories. It’s great when it works.

So if you have to keep going from group to group it’s okay. You have to find the right match. And any kind of human interaction is always tricky.

Read ya later!

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