The Writer’s Group

So, I’m currently working on revisions for a new novelette of mine, which I’m currently calling ‘Sorcerer’s Code’. You might have noticed that there is a new entry in the ‘Tales of Eisengoth’ section which is only a little more than a placeholder.

I wanted to take a minute to emphasize just how wonderful it is to have a writing group of people, whose opinions you know are insightful and can be trusted. I’m lucky enough to be part of such a group.

My first draft of Sorcerer’s Code left a few threads untied, and it was lacking a key piece of logic that I’d overlooked. It was there in my head, but it turned out that I needed to make a specific decision, because otherwise the fundamental premise of the story wasn’t going to work. My fellow writers nailed me on it, and while I gave a sort of half-hearted hand-wave during the group session itself, it started me thinking. I decided the hand-wavy explanation made less sense than no explanation at all, and I was forced to re-think some of the final twist.

They also happened to point out that there was a plot thread which was mentioned twice and then never followed up on. This gave me an entirely new scene, a new side character and about 2,500-3,000 more words of fun, bringing the wordcount for draft 2 up to over 13,000 words.

If you’re a writer without a writer’s group, I highly recommend that you find one with other committed writers whose interests and passions align with your own. They don’t necessarily have to want to be published writers themselves (though they probably do) but they should at least understand how to weave a story and be well-read enough to spot the flaws that you’re likely to overlook in your own work.

You might have to try a couple of different groups to find one that you like. If you’re writing fiction, find other fiction writers who at least respect your chosen genre, even if it isn’t their favorite. Find warm, engaged people who are more interested in making everyone’s work better than getting a soapbox for their own work. Lastly, ensure that honest, helpful feedback is given… a group of sycophants who think everything is ‘great’ really isn’t going to help you become a better writer.

Those are my thoughts for today. Do with them what you will.

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