As if there wasn’t enough going on in my life, I’ve joined another writing group! This one is workshop centered and run by a young woman with a creative writing degree (yes, I’m jealous). I found the group on Meetup.com and if you’ve ignored me before when I say this is a great place to find writing friends, take your fingers out of your ears and give it a try.
The group was great and I loved how it was run. The moderator says it’s the same way they ran workshops at school. I loved how organized the group was. As a note, all writers groups are different and you just have to find one that works for you. They all have their virtues, just find the one you like. That lecture aside, I think I’ll continue going to this one. Here’s how it was run.
We all arrived no more than five minutes late and there were only four of us. This was wonderful as a first timer because I didn’t feel too left out. The other three had all attended before and only two of us had submitted something, myself and a gentleman. We did his piece first, which was nice because it showed me how mine would be reviewed.
We started with him reading the first page or so of his work aloud. I loved this because it told us how to pronounce one of the names (which I was saying wrong in my head) and get the tone he wanted to get across. Then we as a group summarized what happened in the piece, cutting each other off and finishing where someone stopped. That sounds rude when I write it like that, but it was nothing of the sort. It was really great and made us all feel really connected to the piece again.
Don’t worry, we did get to the critique part! We said what we liked about the piece, what we thought it had going for it and was well done. And then, finally, we did go over what we thought could be changed about the piece to make it better. This ranged from metaphors and words to voice and character development. I got a lot of good advice from this group, some of it I’m not sure how to implement yet. I’ll go over it with the Novel Girls before I’m done and I bet I put it through another round of edits. Such is life.
I hope those of you who are writers have found a group of writers to bounce pieces off of. How is your favorite writing group structured? Do you like large or smaller groups? I love hearing about all the different ways a piece can be critiqued.
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Until next time, write on.