Monday, June 21, 2010

Find a good writing group

When I started this blog I had never been to a writing group and now I am a member of two.  Writing Buddies was a wonderful discovery and I attended another fantastic meeting with lots of news last Friday.

Writing Buddies is slightly different in that rather than critiquing work everyone just gives an update on what they have been up to.  I find this approach very encouraging as it gives you insight into others work, what projects are going on and it's a great exchange of information.  This week I managed to ask how the writer's in the group planned their novel writing.  The answers were very varied but also very helpful and great to get the advice.

I have to say that being part of Writing Buddies is for me a great encouragement and I recommend any budding writers to find a similar group that works for them.

Writing Buddies also led me to discover Writers in Southampton who have a talk once a month.  This is helpful in an entirely different way in a more educational sense and I am so glad to have found another forum in which to learn.

It is important to find a group that works for you in helping to support and encourage your writing.  There are still two groups in my area I have not attended and think it will be useful to try both.  The first is Southampton Writer's circle and the second is Write on Writer's at the Art Cafe.  I think I need slightly more courage to attend both of these as one involves being critiqued and the other involves exercises during the evening you then have to read out.  Whilst both of these are very useful exercises they are also the areas I have least confidence and I would be reluctant to go to these groups until I felt my confidence had increased.  I think is important for every writer to find a group that works for them and it is great to have a group like Writing Buddies when you are just starting out.


  1. I totally agree. Love my writing groups and get so much out of them although in totally different ways. Perhaps I should blog about this. What ideas did they give you for novel planning? I've been planning mine this weekend and just got to the point where I'm thinking a total rewrite is the way forward.

  2. It is great to hear about other groups and I would definitely start one up if I moved to an area without one.

    There are quite a few writers in the group who have written novels. A couple of members didn't plan at all and just sat at the computer and typed it up. One person had a plan, a chapter planner and generally planned 20,000 words at a time. Nearly all of them didn't know how the story would conclude and enjoyed finding out for themselves. Everyone seemed to change parts of the story as they went along. It was a real mix of answers but the general consensus was even with a plan the story ends up changing.

    The reason I had asked was because I went to a talk from Peter Lovesey and he plans every novel meticulously and his first draft is his final draft. I'm far more chaotic than that and wondered if it would be better if I started planning more. I have decided yes I will plan more from now on!

    Good luck with your planning, be good to hear how you get on.