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Writing Groups
 
Jim Moore - 10:45am Apr 18, 1998 PST

Mary Higgins Clarke gave me the idea of joining a writing group. (Well, okay, it's not as if Ms. Clarke and I are buddies.I was one among a dozen or so aspiring writers to whom she gave a brief talk.) The writing group consists of four or five writers and would-be writers who meet weekly, exchange copies of a short story or a chapter of a longer work, take it home, critique it professionally (which means we're not a mutual admiration society -- we're out to help one another make our work better), bring all the mss. back the next week, discuss each of our reactions/suggestions regarding each of the works, get a copy of another story or chapter, take it home to critique etc ad infinitum. The critiques include everything from the obvious typos and spelling errors (which shouldn't still exist unless you're submitting first-drafts to your fellow members) to characterization ("Gosh, the Fred you've been writing about wouldn't react that way to losing his job, would he?") to the pacing and just about anything affecting affecting the story. Each of us knows, in our minds, what we want to say. Group members tell us what we did say -- which isn't always the same. We (as writers) know things about the characters and situations which we sometimes assume, quite erroneously, that the reader will know. Our group members tell us when this assumption was incorrect -- when we need to tell more, explain more, or when we've overdone some point, or when the story begins to drag and a reader would probably put it down forever. I could go on with this but, even without my group to help me here, I think I've made the point. Give it a try -- it's helped me get two books published.


  • Great idea!.. by Cindy Love - Apr 20, 98 (#1 of 39)
  • I think this is a great idea, and I would like to... by Dina Hagler - Apr 21, 98 (#2 of 39)
  • I guess that theoretically, an on-line group would... by Jim Moore - Apr 21, 98 (#3 of 39)
  • I have already looked at some on-line writer's... by Dina Hagler - Apr 21, 98 (#4 of 39)
  • Dina: Why don't you try starting one?.. by JDough - Apr 21, 98 (#5 of 39)
  • JB-- I'd love to start a mystery-writing group on... by Dina Hagler - Apr 22, 98 (#6 of 39)
  • I think an on-line mystery writing group sounds... by Kelly Koper - Apr 25, 98 (#7 of 39)
  • I, too, would be interested in a critique group... by Beverly Turner - Apr 26, 98 (#8 of 39)
  • Hello First time here... by Claudia Bergstrom - Apr 26, 98 (#9 of 39)
  • Kelly and Beverly: Do either of you visit the... by JDough - Apr 26, 98 (#10 of 39)
  • jb: Thanks, once again... by Kelly - Apr 26, 98 (#11 of 39)
  • Hi!.. by Kelly - May 2, 98 (#12 of 39)
  • where are those writing groups for... by evie - May 3, 98 (#13 of 39)
  • Evie, I don't remember the name/address of the... by Dina Hagler - May 4, 98 (#14 of 39)
  • evie-The Writing Workshop has on-line critique... by Kelly - May 4, 98 (#15 of 39)
  • Hi All, Have any of you checked out the free... by Darcy - May 4, 98 (#16 of 39)
  • darcy-I'd never heard of 4-writers.com, but I just... by Kelly - May 4, 98 (#17 of 39)
  • Wow - thanks for the site to visit... by evie - May 5, 98 (#18 of 39)
  • An on-line writers group sounds great... by Patricia Johnston - May 14, 98 (#19 of 39)
  • Patricia: I just finished "If You're Writing,... by JDough - May 15, 98 (#20 of 39)
  • An online writers group sound very interesting but... by Chris Wong - Jun 16, 98 (#21 of 39)
  • Chris, I have gotten two critiquing partners... by Dina Hagler - Jun 17, 98 (#22 of 39)
  • DDH, Thanks for the helpful info... by Chris Wong - Jun 22, 98 (#23 of 39)
  • Chris, It seems that I have seen that, but I... by Dina Hagler - Jun 23, 98 (#24 of 39)
  • Dina, Boy, do I know about being stuck... by Chris Wong - Jun 24, 98 (#25 of 39)
  • Hi Chris, Just wanted to ask why you felt you... by JDough - Jun 25, 98 (#26 of 39)
  • J B, I personally like and find it easy to write... by Chris Wong - Jul 7, 98 (#27 of 39)
  • Hi!.. by Nancy Hill - Jul 12, 98 (#28 of 39)
  • Chris - I just checked www.4writers.com... by Kelly - Jul 25, 98 (#29 of 39)
  • I have always wanted to write, but need some... by Helen Highwater - Dec 30, 98 (#30 of 39)
  • Helen - Go to Mysteries by Members - Add-ons We... by _Sunshine_ - Dec 31, 98 (#31 of 39)
  • Hi,   I am trying to find an answer to this ... by Don McKenzie - Jan 22, 99 (#32 of 39)
  • hey gang i would love to join a writing group i... by george suits jr - Mar 19, 99 (#33 of 39)
  • THE CATSKILL WRITER'S COLONY, in South Fallsburg... by Teresa Kennedy - Nov 26, 99 (#34 of 39)
  • How would you like to find out how the ... by claire kirch - Mar 3, 00 (#35 of 39)
  • I was wandering around MN today as it's very quiet... by sassi - Sep 9, 01 (#36 of 39)
  • I'm looking to start or join a writing group... by PoisonGuy - Jun 7, 04 (#37 of 39)
  • I would love to joina mystery writers group that... by Pamela James - Aug 7, 04 (#38 of 39)
  • I forgot to mention I am a review/interview editor... by Pamela James - Aug 7, 04 (#39 of 39)

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