Writing Groups

Right now I’m in two different writing groups. The first one is kind of a continuation of a previous writing group. (Some of those members couldn’t make it work right now, so another member and  I grabbed a couple of our friends and added them to ours.) The second one started from a Facebook group.

Last week was the Facebook group’s first meeting. We all sent each other copies of our stuff earlier and chatted randomly as we tried to figure out how to make this group work. A few minutes before the Google Hangout started, most of us had hopped on to work out technical difficulties. During our late night meeting, everyone was super friendly and gave some pretty decent feedback.

first-critique-group

The next morning we started discussing (via Facebook) how the previous night went. Two of our biggest concerns were 1) amount of time spent discussing and 2) genre-preferences.

1) There were seven of us in the group and it took us two hours to get through everyone’s submissions. We were allotted 5 min to read part of our submission out-loud, then the rest of the group spent approx. 10 minutes giving their feedback. This did not leave a lot of time for writers to ask questions. (I.e., there wasn’t any time.) Our solution for this issue is to meet twice a month and critique only 1/2 the group each time.

2) Three of the group members wrote romance. Three others (including myself) wrote some form of speculative fiction*. The seventh member wrote contemporary. Three members really didn’t read romance. One of them specifically said she has a strong dislike for romance. Some of the romance writers didn’t have a lot of experience reading/critiquing speculative fiction. Most of us were fine with this, but a couple group members need a little more genre-focused critiques. So, those members have joined another group that is more focused on their genre.

As for me, I’m trying to figure out how to balance writing for two groups while taking care of all the other important things in my life. Currently, I’m thinking that I might try writing short stories for one group and finishing my current novel for the other. The goal is that I’ll finish that novel either in December or January. Completing this year’s NaNoWriMo~ is going to be a HUGE factor in whether or not I can meet that goal.

So here goes!

*Speculative fiction is a broad category of narrative fiction that includes elements, settings and characters created out of imagination and speculation rather than based on reality and everyday life. It encompasses the genres of science fiction, fantasy, science fantasy, horror, alternative history, and magic realism. (Wikipedia)
~National Novel Writing Month: Write 50,000 words in one month (November)

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