I am a Writers’ group convert. I used to read about the value of such groups – like minded (and non-like minded) writers getting together, critiquing each other’s work and drinking tea or coffee. (There has to be tea or coffee – and sometimes chocolate cake.) The theory sounded good but I was never quite sure about letting other writers read the words poured from my soul. What if they laughed? What if they thought I was a fraud?
What I discovered was a group of writers who I can talk to with ease (not just about writing), are great company and who are encouraging. All of our group write (or want to write) speculative fiction. We understand the lure of the fantastical and are quite open to reading my steampunk fare.
Our group – Spec Fic Chic hold a monthly meeting at the local library. Though some turn up each week, depending on our schedules. Each month, I learn something new. (I honestly feel I get more out of the group than the others!) This week I submitted the second half of chapter 3 – Of Traitors, the Department and Curiosities. This was a very rough first draft – the stream of consciousness version. I had not had time to do my first rewrite.
This week’s take home message was a reminder that the reader does not know what the writer has hidden in her head. I know the backgrounds and motives my characters. The reader does not – until I tell.
We talked about the order of the reveal, dialogue and action and the reasons behind a scene that helps it develop the characters or simply make the scene superfluous . (Dialogue should preceed the action it produces – always recommended.) The end result is flowing prose, more suspense and less confusion over the plot.
A big shout out to the lovely ladies who teach me so much, kick my creative muse in the butt and encourage me to keep writing and – best of all – don’t make me feel like a fool.
Now I have over 2500 words to rewrite.
Manuscript Word Progress: First draft:26% completed.
At 1st draft only:
Order and Method