Thursday, November 14, 2013

Writers Groups

I'll be the first to admit I wanted to quit my writers group after one session. I had taken the first page from my first book about a guitar player. I explained to the group, the main character would go on to be a world class musician and travel with his band. One of the members in the group stated, "Wow, you really are that good of a guitar player?" To which I stated, "No, but Dylan was, my character." Which brought this person to state, "If it never really happened to you, you cant write it."
I wanted to get up and leave right then. When I asked this person if they had ever heard the word fiction or not, the stares around the table were not pleasant. I've now survived that meeting and close to 100 more. There are still days I scratch my head like at my last one where again one of the members wants to debate me that I can't possibly write about a soul stealer because stealing souls is not possible. When I asked him if he was sure, only another dirty stare. I've survived critiques that were justified and some that I think were over the top. I've learned to balance them and there is no question I am a better writer for continuing to go most Wednesdays and the occasional Friday. I bring this up because I just read this piece from Writers Digest Online which shares some of my same sentiments. If you are an aspiring writer or even one who has published a few things, I would encourage you to join a group. But find one where the members know you can write about things you have never done. And when someone critiques you, remember that's why you went in the first place.

From:  How to Become a Kick-Ass Writer by Chuck Wendig

Writers are not editors. (File under D for “duh.”) They have different priorities and different perspectives. (And they’re probably also raging drunkaholics. Editors are nice and drink wine. Writers will drink all the cough syrup at CVS if they can get their ink-stained fingers on it.) Whereas an editor will often highlight a problem, a writer will come up with a solution. That doesn’t mean it’s a solution you want, but it’s worth it to have that perspective just the same. Submit your work to other writers. Demand that they not be kind. Mercy will not strengthen you.

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