I may have mentioned previously that I was hoping to join a SciFi Fantasy writers’ group in my area. Actually, I was ready to join almost any writers’ critique group inasmuch as the ones I could find weren’t accepting new members. LOL Anyway, I finally found a new one just forming and jumped in. While the group is based in my local area, that isn’t particularly important in the near term because it’s currently meeting online. A good thing, I think, until all the hubbub settles.
We’ve been through a couple of meetings already. One was mostly organizational, but the last one was a real live critique session. That being my first experience in a writers’ critique group, I have to say it was almost exhilarating. Of course, my WIP wasn’t up for consideration, so maybe it won’t be so exhilarating when it’s my turn. LOL But seriously, I found it very enjoyable and encouraging to be in the thick of a discussion about story elements, style, consistency, etc. Loved it, loved it!
I think I understand now why so many established authors encourage aspiring authors to get themselves to a writing group. Forcing myself to read someone else’s work with an objective eye has already helped me start thinking about my own piece in a more dispassionate way. That’s so awesome! I have no doubt involvement in the group is going to be a tremendous help in my editing efforts. I’m working on the third draft of my first manuscript but still plugging holes as I’ve shared previously. Exercising my critical mind – not the Grinch Who Fries All Manuscripts but the objective part of my brain – is going to help me evaluate my own work. And, of course, I’ll be getting other people’s thoughts on the matter, too.
Also, having deadlines for submitting chunks of my work to the group is going to give me incentive to get my tush moving. Nothing like a deadline and possible public shame to get me in gear. Ha, ha, ha ha! That’s some serious incentive.
Obviously, as a new group, we’re all still getting to know each other. The folks all seem pretty nice and reasonable … so far. Time will tell. Were people just being polite for our first critique session? Will one of us prove to be a negative distraction later as we settle into a rhythm? Don’t know. I can’t worry about that right now. I’m going to expect the best.
We’re getting together frequently because there are several of us with manuscripts ready for discussion, so another meeting is around the corner. Although I’m not up for consideration by my fellow groupies yet, it won’t be long. Not long at all! Guess I’d better go take a look at that manuscript of mine.
Again, I’m really psyched to have found a group of authors in my genre who want to help each other improve their stories. Hooray!