Joining A Writer's Group

So, this week, I’ll be joining a writer’s group where we write very short stories and submit them for critique. I’m thinking this could be an excellent way to get better at writing interactive fiction because it forces me the write out a story in advance, it forces me to get out there, and, finally, it affords me the opportunity of more frequent constructive criticism.

Thoughts?

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Oh definitely! I’ve done some online writer’s groups, and it really opened my eyes. It’s difficult for me to achieve that kind of humility and to avoid defensiveness, but with some work I managed to improve a little bit, I think. Just learning to listen honestly to criticism is a valuable life skill. If you take it seriously you’ll be amazed both at how many things you’ve been doing wrong (at least I was!), and by how quickly you can improve.

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And that right there is what I’m after. Thank for the input!

Not quite the same, but I did a course on creative writing last year. It was quite full-on - I had to write a piece in 10 minutes during the lesson, and then read it for comments. I think I got a lot out of it, but thinking about it the peer-to-peer critiquing was not great; no one wanted to be too honest.

Be interested to hear how it goes. Is it on-line or in person?

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This is fortunately in person. From what I understand, the critiques from this group are brutal but fair. Essentially, you write a max 3000 word story, present it to the group in advance as link, and when it’s your turn, the fun begins!

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You may need to watch out for unconscious assumptions on the part of those who do the reviewing.

A few years back I went to several meetings of a writers’ club in Leeds in the UK. Leeds is a city which has close ties to TV production. The club had some really nice people, but I didn’t realise at the beginning that there was an underlying assumption that the trajectory of a writer was towards commercial work.

When somebody said, “Oh, it’s a passion project…” that’s when I realised that most people were there to learn how to write in a style or format that they could apply in a professional context.

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Thanks for that! I’ll keep an eye and ear out for such language and bail if needed. Luckily, I’m in a moderate sized midwestern USA city. Not to say there won’t be any with aspirations, but I’m certainly hoping for those like me.

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So, it wasn’t half bad. There were professional writers there and some not so professional like me. All in all, they were constructive, helpful, and joyful to read other works. I look forward to more meetings and look forward to when their bylaws say I can submit (which is after the next one).

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