Creating a writing group

Everything I have read on writing seems to emphasize the need for a writers group. Okay, cool – guess it’s time to create one.

Locally we have a writers federation, but my interactions with them in the past kind of turned me off of them. They seem like a fairly stuffy organization with a lot of focus on literary fiction. I’m pretty clearly genre, and not all that interested in literary – it’s fairly rare that I really enjoy literary fiction (not unheard of, but it’s not so much my thing).

So, I’m putting together a group right now. It’s a bit of work, finding a time that works for multiple people, finding locations, etc. In the end it’s going to be a real focus on editing, something I sometimes think I need.

My feedback on my novel has been mixed – from one person who thinks it is the worst thing ever (we had a deal to exchange critiques, I finished his novel, he never finished my shorter novel, said it was unreadable) to people who really like it and ask me for more. Most of them are ahead of where he was. Of course I take a bit of comfort in knowing that that one reviewer mis-identified a number of grammatical constructs, and apparently didn’t even know what a sentence fragment was. Sorry if that sounds bitter, I’m really not – it’s just that his criticism was so far off the mark on language issues, and has been so heavily different from everyone else’s that I ended up thinking it was more a matter of his reading level not being up to the level I wrote to than issues with my book.

Sorry, bitching again. Hey, if you can’t bitch on your own blog where can you bitch? It’s also not like he was the only negative feedback I’ve had, just that the other negative feedback was more constructive… I expect negative, however I really like it if it’s “that character doesn’t work for me” instead of “you are a crappy writer and should stop”. If everyone says that, it’s probably true, but when it’s only one person it leaves me thinking that maybe I have at least some chance at getting decent with time and practice.

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