Why go to a writing group?

There are different types of writing groups and ours cross the boundaries of all these types. The info below is adapted from this on group types:

  1. Writing practice with writing prompts – this is space for you to simply write, not chat or use your phones. Also known as Shut up and Write groups, most people, however, like to share and feedback.
  2. Critique groups – sharing manuscripts and feedback – author reads, the author is quiet while others critique, then the author reviews. Some feel this is writing by committee, rather than the work being wholly one’s own.
  3. Social/support groups  – conversation is crucial. Talking about writing, reading, marketing, but also about your writing ideas.
  4. Accountability groups – using the group as a deadline creator.

Why do we crossover? Well, shut up and write is often best done alone and at home or elsewhere. Most people in a group like some interaction and feedback.

We all appreciate some critique of the work we do but do we want to engage in debate rather than sit back and take the criticism?

Deadlines often help people to write/find their voice, but if you have a deadline for a publisher that’s a different kind of pressure.

Social/support groups may feel like they do not have a function but for those lacking in confidence, they are imperative to spur writers on. Then, of course, there is editing…

What would you like from writing group? Which bits do you enjoy/find most or least helpful? Do please feedback.

 

 

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Unusual writing styles

A member of one of my writing groups lent me a book called Charlotte by David Foenkinos,  a tribute to a German-Jewish artist, Charlotte Saloman who, pregnant, died at Auschwitz in 1943.

Her history of persecution but also of familial suicide is overwhelming, but what is incredible for the reader is the way that Foenkinos turns each paragraph into a stanza, each sentence into a separate line. The story is powerful, but in some ways, nothing we have not heard before in tales from the Holocaust.

Its beauty is in the writing style. It is fictionalised, written as poetry. Therefore, it is extraordinarily concise, yet rich in detail.

Wonderful to read something written so differently, which reminds me of another book also with an unusual style, Red or Dead, in the format of ‘hypnotic repetition as mentioned in my previous blog post.

 

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