Tuesday, November 24, 2020

The Write Kind of Friends

 By Lynn McPherson

Writing is a solitary occupation. One that requires concentration, imagination, dedication--and time alone to get it done. But it's still important to connect with your peers. How can you interact these days without getting pulled into the endless loop of social media?

One way you might consider is joining a critique group. I've recently joined one and would recommend it for other writers. There are several reasons I think it works and why it's a good idea. Today I'm going to share them with you.

1. Shop talk

Writers like to talk about writing. A critique group is a great place to talk, listen, and learn. Each author has a different experience and swapping stories is an enjoyable way to gain and share knowledge.

2. Bounce ideas off others

Many authors have beta readers who read their books before they are sent off to their editors and publishers. But before each manuscript is complete, writers are often stuck at some point--maybe a scene isn't working or a character isn't quite right. A critique group is a safe place for authors to read their work-in-progress and get feedback. Sometimes that's all it takes to get past a roadblock.

3. Have fun!

Authors can get so caught up in their work they forget to take a minute and enjoy the process. There's no better way to keep the juices flowing than by taking a break to look out at the world and get involved. And don't forget the treats! My critique group is currently meeting virtually but I still make sure there's a pot of tea and a handful of cookies within reach.

How do you like to interact with the outside world? 

Lynn McPherson has worked for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, ran a small business, and taught English across the globe. She has travelled the world solo where her daring spirit has led her to jump out of airplanes, dive with sharks, and learn she would never master a surfboard. She now channels her lifelong love of adventure and history into her writing, where she is free to go anywhere, anytime. Her cozy series has three books out: The Girls' Weekend Murder and The Girls Whispered Murder, and The Girls Dressed For Murder.  

7 comments:

  1. I completely agree about critique groups, Lynn. Couldn't have gotten my first book ready to pitch to a publisher without the generous help of the other writers in my critique group.

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    1. Thanks Gay. It is a good feeling to have the help and support of other writers, isn't it?

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  2. I agree also. Sometimes we catch each other in hilarious writing traps, like when a character drives somewhere in a Cadillac and returns home in a Jeep Cherokee. Once your novel has passed through your critique group, you can be confident that at least a few readers like it. Thanks for writing about this topic, Lynn.

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  3. Hahaha, so true, Saralyn. Thanks for your note. Once it gets the thumbs up from your critique group, you can breathe a little easier.

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  4. I love that we're forced to have something to read for each meeting, too! There's nothing like a deadline to keep you going, even if it is for your fellow authors rather than a publisher at this point in the process. Not to mention, it's just plain FUN being with other authors, to bitch about the industry! Nice post, Lynn.

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    1. Thanks Mel! And I couldn't have asked for a better crew. So grateful you invited me in. The Deadly Dames, too! What a perfect name.

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