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Thread: I want to start a writing group?

  1. #1
    banned as an incurable tosspot
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    I want to start a writing group?

    I'm going to start on my first novel on Monday, and I want to start a writing group so we can critique each others work.

    I have a community page all set up on google+

    If you're interested, take a look at my community page and then contact me if you want in!

    Check it out! https://plus.google.com/u/0/communit...60305843705168

  2. #2
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    Perhaps you're unaware that AW already has a very active, password-protected, multi-genre critique workshop? Scroll down the main page to Share Your Work in the AW Writing Lab.

  3. #3
    The Surreal Thing AW Moderator Maryn's Avatar
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    Is this the all-bird-avatars thread, or can I pipe up? Although I did get a really cute picture of a baby crow this morning.

    I suppose there might be some purpose to having an offsite critique group which is selective about the skills of those who use it and dedicated to a single genre, but in light of the fact that you haven't yet used Share Your Work's prowess, I think that's probably the best starting place.

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  4. #4
    USA: 239 years & a day Chase's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuminousTyto View Post
    If you're interested, take a look at my community page and then contact me if you want in!
    All I saw when I took a look was a logo for a writing community and the admonishment: "Only members can see posts in this community."

    I figure it must be a get-together on mind-reading.

  5. #5
    The Surreal Thing AW Moderator Maryn's Avatar
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    Mind-reading? Well, that excludes me, I guess. Nuts.

  6. #6
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maryn View Post
    Mind-reading? Well, that excludes me, I guess. Nuts.
    I read yours, Maryn. I found a typo


    -->Waiting for Maryn to say she's read my mind, and it was flash fiction with no plot and a cardboard character.....

  7. #7
    A Gentleman of a refined age... thothguard51's Avatar
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    Seriously, so you have never written a novel before and want to start a writers group. That can be good and bad.

    Why bad? If you end up with a community of like skilled and like minded individuals, then all you are going to do is feed off of each others bad skills.

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  8. #8
    practical experience, FTW gell214's Avatar
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    Maybe you can try to get a writing buddy or buddies, so you can just support each other and stuff. And then, in terms of getting critique, you can post in SYW, as Unimportant mentioned. You may also try to find alpha readers.
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  9. #9
    practical experience, FTW wazzujim's Avatar
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    You know, that reminds me. Can someone explain alpha and beta readers to me? I know that proofreading comes after editing and typesetting... Are alphas just providing general comments ("Good story, a little slow in the middle, watch your punctuation...")??

  10. #10
    practical experience, FTW French Maiden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wazzujim View Post
    You know, that reminds me. Can someone explain alpha and beta readers to me? I know that proofreading comes after editing and typesetting... Are alphas just providing general comments ("Good story, a little slow in the middle, watch your punctuation...")??
    You're the Alpha as you're the dominant in the partnership (you created the piece). The beta reader is below you offering you suggestions and helping you in any way they can, but ultimatelly it's your choice as you're the dom.

    I believe thats the way it is any way.

  11. #11
    practical experience, FTW gell214's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wazzujim View Post
    You know, that reminds me. Can someone explain alpha and beta readers to me? I know that proofreading comes after editing and typesetting... Are alphas just providing general comments ("Good story, a little slow in the middle, watch your punctuation...")??
    A better reader is one who would read your MS after you have edited it already to the point where you think it is perfect, but you just need an outsider's feedback. So they are not for reading first drafts, but for reading a "almost final" MS.

    An alpha reader can read your work before you have edited. So they can read first drafts, 2nd drafts, etc.
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  12. #12
    A Gentleman of a refined age... thothguard51's Avatar
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    My understanding,

    The Alpha reader is the 1st reader who sees the work while its raw and offers suggestion on how the plots, pacing and structure is working, as well as world and character building. They really do not comment about grammar or punctuation issues because its raw, unless there are obvious recurring issues the writer needs to be aware of to stop repeating them.

    The Beta reader is the reader who sees the work once writer has polished the manuscript as much as s/he can. They offer suggestions on strengths and weaknesses and will often times point out any lingering grammar, punctuation, or structure issues as well as any plot fails.
    Knowledge is learned while wisdom is earned.

    Currently working on...

    From, The Tales of Netherron,
    Book 1, A Game of Pawns
    Book 2, Pawn takes Queen,
    Book 3, Pawn's Gambit,

    In the pipeline,
    Children of Netherron, follow up trilogy
    Guardians of Netherron, prequel trilogy

    http://nickanthony51.wordpress.com (on hiatus)

    Nick Anthony

  13. #13
    practical experience, FTW wazzujim's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone! I'm beta reading a document and had been noting all the grammar/spelling issues. Hadn't heard of an alpha reader before this.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by thothguard51 View Post
    My understanding,

    The Alpha reader is the 1st reader who sees the work while its raw and offers suggestion on how the plots, pacing and structure is working, as well as world and character building. They really do not comment about grammar or punctuation issues because its raw, unless there are obvious recurring issues the writer needs to be aware of to stop repeating them.

    The Beta reader is the reader who sees the work once writer has polished the manuscript as much as s/he can. They offer suggestions on strengths and weaknesses and will often times point out any lingering grammar, punctuation, or structure issues as well as any plot fails.
    I agree with this. I think of an alpha reader as a crit partner: someone I can show the rough draft to. Think of it like alpha and beta testers for software.

  15. #15
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    me, personally, I don't use "alpha" or "beta" I use Stephen King's designation of "Ideal Reader" in that there is one person I always send to first, he is my "ideal reader". He gets first drafts, second, third, etc.

    personally I'm not a big fan of writing groups period, but that's just me
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  16. #16
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    I have a writing group and it is brilliant. The key things were that we were peers in terms of where we were at, we were all readers and writers within the sff genre, all experienced critters, and we all were prepared to be open and honest. We read first drafts, rewrites, polishes. We send each other plot thoughts, we give our professional knowledge, which is wide and varied, openly to each other and we don't pull punches. They are the people whose opinion I trust and if more than one tells me there is a problem, I listen.

    I also use a specialist writing group forum which has a wider, more diverse, range of sff writers for extended opinion, and bigger crits boards at the nitting stage for a wide range of what does, or doesn't work in the final version.

    If you get it right, it is fantastic, if not, it can be disastrous. I suspect expressions of interest before knowing each others' level and expertise might make it hit and miss, which may make it a less effective tool than it might be?
    Last edited by Jo Zebedee; 01-12-2013 at 01:28 AM.
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