View Full Version : What's Your Writer's Group Like?

09-09-2008, 07:11 PM
I'm part of two writer's groups and they're very different. (Hey, it gets me out of the house and I'm still working on my story. lol) I do enjoy both of them but I seem to be getting more out of one than the other at the moment.

One seems to be more of an editing/critiquing nature. We read a bit from our stories and get feedback. It can be a little intimidating since there are some published writers in this group and I'm just starting to get back into writing again. And often I don't have much other than a very rough first draft. It's also gotten to be fairly large, to the point where I'm thinking of asking if we can separate into smaller groups so people can get more feedback without feeling so rushed about it. Still, it helps because I'm still thinking about writing. I also get the chance to listen to other writer's opinions and writing styles. There's always something to learn.

The other is fairly new. This is also the one where most of the people all appear to be just starting their novels too. So it's a little less intimidating in that regard. Since we're all just starting out on our novels and the group's still pretty small, we can concentrate more on getting started, on working out plots. This is the group where I learned/re-learned the 3 Act Outline. Last night, since there were only three of us, we went over the outline again, using my story as an example. I did feel a little selfish because we were working on my story, rather than sharing our work, but I think it did help the other person as well. He's just getting back into writing too and we're all starting at the very beginning.

09-09-2008, 07:36 PM
I'm also a member of 2 writers' groups that are both very different. One group has members that take every, paragraph, sentence and word apart and analyze them. They rewrite, propose new ideas, and basically tear you a new one.

My other group is fairly loose. Some members praise the work of others up and down without offering much in the way of critism. Some members are more hard core.

Each group is made up of individuals who, together, form a collective "personality" that makes each have certain strengths that make it valuable for me to belong to both.

09-09-2008, 09:12 PM
I used to belong to a large writer's group. After a while, I realized that the majority of members appeared to be there so they could tell their koffee-klatch friends they were "going to my writer's group." Few of them wrote a word and few made comments on the work presented. As I said: "I used to belong."

I've been a member of a smaller group, maximum eight writers, for several years. We've become friends who are not afraid to speak out and the feedback is fantastic. We've grown as writers and most of us are now published.

I think it's important to find a group where members are at different levels. Writers learn from each other. If you're all beginners, learning could take an extra long time.

09-09-2008, 09:34 PM
True, Carmy. One of the reasons why I go to both. lol But with the second one where we're all pretty much beginners, the moderator does teach (computers) so that helps. And he brings in established writers to our groups. (He moderates several writers groups throughout the state.) He's also thinking of bringing in other types of writers and teachers for seminars and the like. So this one's very cool.

The other one, like I said, is very nice if big. Everyone there is committed to writing so they're not just there for bragging rights. And they're thinking of an open mike type of event and I think they've brought in agents in the past. I've just started going back so I don't know what else they've done or are planning.