Saturday, September 13, 2014

Small Updates: Writing Groups, Critique Groups, and WriteClub 2014

I don't know where in this blog right now but somewhere, at least once, I talked about looking for a critique group, maybe joining a writing group, and submitting to WriteClub 2014. So this is a simple update on all three things.

I'm still looking for a writers group that meets locally.

Yes, I've been distracted by a variety of things, not the least of which is the editing of Rain for e-publication later this year. I know now why Stephen King said "Write your draft with the door open and edit with the door closed." Because writing a draft, while it isn't easy, has those moments of excitement where the creative juices gush out, dialogue sparkles, and you're so happy you're laughing. Keep the door open! You don't mind anyone seeing you like that. But editing becomes something else again.
  • You've used that word how many times??
  • Now where in the h-e-l-l are you going to break that chapter into two smaller ones?
  • It's a nice word. A good word. But it doesn't fit!!!
  • No, that's not what I meant to put down!
  • That scene might make a lot more sense if it came before this one wouldn't it?
  • You've used that word again!
  • That sounds mighty condensed and fast. Can you slow things down a bit?
Your cuticles bleed all over the keyboard from chewing them. Your eyes water from the glare of the screen. You mumble language you would never use in public (or a blog). You're pulling at your hair and it isn't pretty. No one needs to see you like this . . . no one. Yes, best to have the door closed so no one can.

Steve was right.

I still want to find a critique group. Yes, to me, a critique group is very different from just a writers' group.

I did apply to a forming online critique group some time ago. Pure chutzpah. They weren't asking people to join; the fact it was forming was put out there and I said something along the lines of "How can one join? What do you need?"

Quite a process actually. A questionnaire and a submitted writing sample. No fair simply referring them to my blog, I suppose. The whole thing felt very much like applying for a job you believe you would be very good at, could learn from, and contribute to. I wasn't offered the position, even though I was told I was first on the waiting list. It was a long shot anyway.

I've been invited a couple of times (maybe more) to a local group but I know myself. Submitting written work and getting written feedback is fine. Reading my work aloud to a group of people I don't know freezes me. Totally. Even the thought. They're warm, friendly, wonderful folks. I enjoy being around them; I've been around them. It's just not for me. The online group would have worked.

And, no, none of my submissions made it into the ring at WriteClub 2014. I really didn't expect any of them to make it. Well, all right, maybe just a little but not very much. I need to go there after posting this update and catch up again. Will I do it again next year if there is a WriteClub 2015? I might. I don't know at this point.

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