Showing posts from September, 2017

Finding A Writing Critique Group

Members of our chapter at an open-mic Some people might wonder why they need a writing group. After all, writing is a solitary endeavor, right? But membership in a group provides a fellowship of encouragement, support, and knowledge that most writers need, even if they don't realize it. Recently, a fellow writing group member who had moved away showed up in my LinkedIn notifications. I sent him a quick message asking how his writing was doing. He said he missed our group and can't find a decent one where he lives. He's moved again, this time out of state. After several years of looking for a group, I found  South Carolina Writers Association (SCWA). It's frustrating to want the support and camaraderie of a group of like-minded writers and not being able to find it. Critiquing in Progress Because I'm familiar with this dilemma, I've posted before about places to look for groups . Today, I want to expand on that topic by providing links to speci

A Lesson In Writers' Etiquette

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles "I think you and I got off on the wrong foot." I looked up in surprise at the newest member of our writing group. "Why is that?" "You said certain things weren't clear, so, I brought you a copy." He handed me a manuscript bound in one of those clear plastic covers high school students use to dress up their reports. I glanced at it and looked back at him. After a confused moment, I asked, "Do you want me to edit it?" He looked surprised. "No. I want you to read it, so you'll understand where it's going. It's only thirty pages."  He shuffled his feet when I didn't say anthing. "Look if you're not willing to give me a chance, others in this group asked if it was finished. I'll give it to one of them." The meeting was about to start, so I set it aside, unsure how to respond. After the meeting, he left before I could talk to him again.

Hurricane Emergency Kits: What Books Would You Include?

Courtesy of Over the past week, I've seen several posts and articles focused on hurricane emergency kits, but not one mentioned items to help pass the time such as books and games. This came to my attention as several of my writer friends on Facebook began to ask the question: What books would you suggest for waiting out a hurricane? This question prompted quite a list of suggestions, a TBR (to be read) list that no one can conquer in a lifetime. Here's my list in no particular order: Fantasy Genres Faith Hunter:  Jane Yellowrock series and Soulwood series Shannon Mayer: Rylee Adamson series and Elementals series CE Murphy: The Walker Papers series and The Worldwalker Duology Patricia McKillip: anything DB Jackson/David Coe: Anything Anne Bishop: The Others series Gail Carriger: anything Other Fiction Barbara Claypole White: anything Donna Gillespie, The Lightbearer (my favorite, all-time book), historical fiction Donna Andrews:  Meg L

Pushing Your Characters to Extreme Limits

I read a book yesterday where the main character pushed beyond the limits of her body, took it to the extreme edge, hobbled on in severe pain with a high fever, no food, and no rest. I enjoyed the story but found  myself thinking, "Come on. Do you seriously expect me to believe this?" Popular fiction often pushes its characters beyond the boundaries of endurance, but I have to wonder if I'm alone. Am I the only one who experiences a moment of doubt or considers these extremes ridiculous? Why do we read, or write, these stories? We don't like to read about normal people. People want to relate to the character, but they want the character to be the best version of them. An ideal that no one can measure up to. We love hearing about someone who pushes on in the face of adversity. I read a lot.  (Anyone who writes should read a lot, especially in the genre you write, by the way.) Sometimes, I want to roll my eyes. Sometimes, I put the book down. Sometimes, I ac