Tag Archives: Writing Technique

How Does Your Writers Group Work?

7 Aug

Right before I left for vacation, my writers’ group met. To get my mind off how stressed I was about the trip, my husband insisted that I go. Normally, a member of the group volunteers to run the session and talk about an aspect of writing that they know about or have researched. This time, no one had volunteered.

This group used to have a library staff member assigned to it who would think of the topic. Since she left the library, we’ve taken turns running it. It’s become a bit tiresome with only a few members coming frequently and talking about topics they feel knowledgeable about. We’ve had to repeat topics and many people have dropped off because of the repetition.

This meeting, we talked more openly about how we come up with ideas for writing and how we structure our writing. It was a good discussion, but a lot more free-form than we’re used to. We tried to decide if we thought this was a good thing or not and decided that different isn’t bad and that we would try a different format for our next meeting.

Next month, every person is supposed to come with 5-10 minutes of material to talk about. It can be something you know or something you’ve just looked up but this should take pressure off of the people who are always presenting and get more people invested in running the group. We’ll see how it goes. I’m not sure how I feel about it yet, but it will be a nice change.

Does anyone else belong to a writers’ group that’s not a critique group? This is the first group I’ve been a part of that didn’t focus on what was already written. We’ve done some short critiques in the past but it’s never been a focus. I’m curious if there are any other groups who work like us.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

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Library Writer’s Group: Quotes and Cliches

21 Aug

A writing related post! I’ve been very reading-centric so it’s a relief to write this. My library’s writers group got together about a month ago and I’m only now getting around to summing this up. I hope some of this is worth it for you!

One of the other members said he does his writing using the snowflake method. I’d never heard of this, but it sounds interesting. There’s software related to this, it seems. You can read about it here. The basic concept is that you start with one sentence, then a paragraph, then a page, etc. At some point, you have a full novel, just growing it slowly so the points of the story are always in sight. Cool idea.

Then we talked about writing as a process. Our organizer gave us all a quote she’d found from a famous author about writing my favorite was from Chris Baty, the founder of NaNoWriMo

Rereading parts of your novel while writing is like doubling back at rerunning parts of a marathon midrace.

As an amateur runner, this really struck me. Though, I know this is only one approach to writing. Some writers get halfway through, read their novels, and then decide if they’re heading in the wrong direction. Still, I like Baty’s idea. It matters more that you get there, not how you get there.

The last thing we did was talk about clichés. The exercise we did was really great; we were given a list of cliché phrases and story plots and had to re-write them as something similar that’s not a cliché. So, for example, we were given the phrase “his bark was worse than his bite.” I wrote, “the Sargent screamed so loud that he covered Joel’s face in his spit. he threatened to transfer him, court-martial him. But we all knew he’d never willing let go of any of us.” It’s more fun to do with cliché plots. Here are a few, give it a try!

  • Technology has turned us all into soulless robots
  • Scar-crossed lovers
  • An orphan turns out to be someone important
  • It was all just a dream

That’s all for this meeting. I’ll be on a business trip for the next one so unfortunately I’ll miss that. I hope to update you all again as soon as I can with another writers’ group summary.

Remember to vote for the next book in my Read-Along series. Voting ends Monday, 25-August. Read more about it here.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!