Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I enjoy it when people post comments on my blog, but I do NOT enjoy when they use it as an avenue for porn sites. So not cool.

On another note, I was thinking this weekend about how cool it would be to have a writer's group. Publishers and agents are always telling new writers (though old ones can benefit from them to) to join a writer's group so that they can get feedback on their work. I did some groups as an undergraduate and graduate, and really enjoyed the feedback from other writers. Although, there are some inherent problems with these groups. First of all, every writer writes differently, and they tend to bring their own style to a critique. This usually manifests itself in how one writer would word a certain scene, and how another would word the same scene differently. I'm not saying that this is bad, but it could possibly change the voice of the original author. The second issue is that you can't please everyone all the time. For one person, they might love a particular scene, but another person might find that it slows the story down. You get a big enough group, and every person will have a different perspective on every aspect of your work. If the writer is new enough, it might be hard for them to filter the criticism. After all, this is their audience and what they want in a book is what the author should write. Of course, on the other hand, the author might feel like their work doesn't need any improvement and that their peers just don't get what they're trying to do. While writer's groups can be beneficial, the author needs to know what criticism to keep and what to ignore.

As I mentioned earlier, I would love to be in a writer's group, but I'm lacking the one thing that is essential to critiques: time. I work a full time job, have two kids under the age of 5, am a freelance writer for two publications, and am trying to write novels and short stories. While I would love to read other people's work and have them read mine, I wouldn't be able to devote my full attention to a project. It makes me sad. Perhaps when I finally get my big break and become a full-time novelist, then I'll have a chance to be in a writer's group!

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