Writer's Groups?

Discussion in 'Writing' started by Window Bar, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. Window Bar

    Window Bar We Read for Light

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    In most of life's undertakings, I've preferred not working in isolation. Thanks, SFFworld.com.

    Truly, music goes best with other musicians. Skiing goes best with other skiers. Sex .... well, you fill it in!

    How many participate in live Writers' Groups? What's your opinion?

    Is anyone aware of a SF/Fantasy writers' group in Southern Oregon?

    -- WB
     
  2. kater

    kater Filthy Assistants!

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    Better off in the Writing section mate.
     
  3. kmtolan

    kmtolan KMTolan

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    You may find what you need while searching in the Yahoo Groups, if online writing groups are acceptable. I rely heavily on such a group myself. The best group, in my opinion, is a small one featuring at least one editor or published author - or English teacher. We've an English teacher among our writers in my group and she does wonders for my work - once I blink back the tears (grin).

    Of course, these groups are reciprocal in nature, so expect to invest time in helping others with their work - and this tends to mean line-by-line edits over general opinions.

    Kerry
     
  4. Window Bar

    Window Bar We Read for Light

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    writers' groups

    Hey Kerry-

    Thanks for the response. Actually this forum and others have been quite helpful in answering specific questions and providing feedback. There's something about live people, though...

    Still, Yahoo groups would be an interesting place to look. Thanks mucho.
     
  5. Laer Carroll

    Laer Carroll LaerCarroll.com

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    Erh, ah, this IS the sffworld.com > Authors and Writing > Writing section.

    Face to face is better, at least to my taste. But I do have a few readers on my ShapechangerTales.com web site who give me very useful advice. They are mostly writing professionals, so I listen carefully even if I eventually disregard their advice.

    The first group I was in I was also in a college writing class at the same time. The ad hoc group was very tough but also polite. The criticism still hurt - a lot - that first weekend.

    But then came Tuesday and the writing class. Everything I wrote (my classmates and even our teacher said) was good. And I, to my great surprise, found myself starving for the toughness I'd experienced three days before.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2010
  6. KatG

    KatG Effulgent Staff Member

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    Kater moved the thread here from somewhere else, Laer. It is part of our awesome moderator powers. :)

    We do have an on-line writers group here at SFFWorld that operates partly out of the Writing forum, so you can check that out. I myself have tried to do an online writing group in the past and found it didn't work out, not because the people weren't great in it, but because none of us really were able to put the time into it. A face to face group might work better because you have to physically go to it, or not, depending on what works for you.
     
  7. N. E. White

    N. E. White Moderator Staff Member

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    I tried to join a local writer's group, but it was on invitation only. I felt a little snubbed, but now that I've gotten into this writing thing, I understand why it's an invitation-only sort of thing. Feedback can be very helpful or rather hurtful, depending on the skill of the person doing the critique.

    There was another group I could have joined (tied to a writer's retreat place here), but that would mean I would have to actually talk to strangers about my work without getting angry, defensive, or breakdown in a sobbing fit (yes, I'm sensitive).

    There's also the case that if you're a newbie and there are already a lot of newbies in the group, they may want writers with more experience, etc etc. So many things to consider.

    I opted for Critters.org. I like it. Maybe not as intense as a face-to-face group, but I get a lot out of it.

    Good luck! :)
     
  8. Inkstain

    Inkstain Registered User

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    That was a pretty good choice tmso, Critters is actually one of the more respected online writing groups for fantasy and sci fi. I just recently joined it myself a few weeks back.
     
  9. Scorpion

    Scorpion Registered User

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    I just joined, too, and finished my first crit!
    Woohoo!
     
  10. N. E. White

    N. E. White Moderator Staff Member

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    I have a submission up this week, care to crit it? I'm N.E. White. :D

    I also had another submission a couple of weeks ago that didn't get very many crits because it sucked, but you're welcome to crit it (if you have loads of time on your hands and if you want to slog through a horrible manuscript ;)). It's still on the main manuscripts page.

    (If I knew your name, I'd watch out for your submissions and crit them too. :) )

    But back to the subject... :eek:

    There is, of course, the workshop that runs on this forum. You should check that out as well. But, as you said, you're after face-to-face groups. Have you tried your local library?

    The writer's groups I know here seemed to have formed around classes at the local community college. Have you tried there?
     
  11. E_Moon

    E_Moon Registered User

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    I think it's a matter of personal preference--for some, the live-face-to-face writers' group is very produtive, and for others, it isn't. A lot depends on what fate sends you in the way of other members. Some groups end up as back-patting groups and others are cut-throat...the most productive are somewhere in between. Genre writers generally go better with other genre writers (you don't want your work dissed just because it's SF/F and the others write "real literature"--at least in their own eyes.)

    I personally am not part of a live writers' group. I tried to attend one for awhile, but it was too far away and gas cost too much (and the time lost, too.) I get together with other writers only a few times a year--but enjoy it when I do, thought we're not workshopping then. For critiques I depend largely on my alpha readers (for books) and one or two writer friends (for short fiction.)
     
  12. Window Bar

    Window Bar We Read for Light

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    Good progress since my opening post. Fate has sent along a mystery writer who borders on the fantastic, so it should be fun. And he hopes to join my poker group.

    You once mentioned ranching. Is your place miles and miles from any town of size?
    ___________
    --WB
     
  13. E_Moon

    E_Moon Registered User

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    No...but it's fifty miles from the city where the writers' group met. At the time, I was more broke and caring for a very young autistic child...getting the time free to write at all was hard, and spending two hours of it on the road instead of writing...well, I decided to drop it. It helped me push toward actually submitting, but then the time to write (and the money for paper) took over.

    We don't have the ranch--that's our friends 15 miles thataway. What we have is 80 acres that used to be part of a farm and in the process lost most of its topsoil and vegetation. Where we are, that's not enough acreage to run cattle. We're doing wildlife management and prairie restoration on it. If I won the lottery (!) I'd try to buy the adjoining two fields and then I'd have enough land to move my remaining cows over here--though it's a lot easier to do the slaughter-and-butchery thing at the ranch. Of course, if I won the lottery, then I could build a concrete floored barn, install the meat saw, the grinder, the cold room...and when would I have time to write???
     
  14. tdnewton

    tdnewton The Ninth Avatar

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    I attend a weekly writer's group here in Colorado and have found it to be extremely useful, but it depends on what you're trying to get out of it. It's kind of funny but I'm usually the only SFF writer there; a lot of people in the group are in that "I'm getting older, want to write my memoir" sort of mindset, but a lot are into short fiction or other things, too.

    We have a great organizer who gives an hour presentation each week (or has a group member present on a topic) and then we critique 2 volunteered pieces for the second hour. The website we use is http://writers.meetup.com, in case anyone's interested in finding similar setups in their area. If you're near Boulder, CO, you should join ours :)
     
  15. PeterWilliam

    PeterWilliam Omnibus Prime

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    Whoa. There's one in my town with 54 people! I don't know if crawl out in front of that many.
     
  16. tdnewton

    tdnewton The Ninth Avatar

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    LOL our group has 235 "members" on the website, but we usually only get 20-30 maximum that show up on a semi-regular basis. I don't know why people signup on the website and then don't attend, but you can check the RSVP counts on that group's meetings (if they list past meetings on the calendar).
     
  17. PeterWilliam

    PeterWilliam Omnibus Prime

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    Just went back to look and it seems as though each "meet up" has between 6 and 10.
     
  18. Jon Sprunk

    Jon Sprunk Book of the Black Earth

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    I concur with a lot that has been said above. It depends on the mix of writers in the group, size of the group, genres represented, etc...

    A couple years ago, I was in two different writing groups. One was larger, but I was the only SFF writer there. Also, it was more of a back-patting type of group. The second group was all SFF, but very small (usually just 2-3 of us attending). The moderator of that group was the cut-throat type, very blunt with his criticism, which is probably why the group never had much of a membership.

    In the end, I left both groups because they didn't supply the kind of criticism I needed to push my writing to the next level. That's just poor luck on my part.