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Writer Grrls

  • Jun. 10th, 2007 at 10:18 PM
There are a few things you should know about as we get used to this community. I've got some ground rules, some suggestions, and some reassurances for all of you.

1. This is not a normal crit group.

By this I mean that we are not on any particular schedule, frequency requirement, activity levels...if you've been a member of a crit group before, this is likely not as regimented. There are pros & cons to this, natch. You have the freedom to crit and participate as much or as little as you like, but you also don't know for certain who is going to reply and when. I see this group as a kind of fall-back for crit when you need a fresh pair of eyes or just need a new point of view.

2. This isn't technically a crit group to begin with.

This is actully a group for inspiration, collaboration, and support. We all live busy, complicated lives with vastly different schedules. However, I have always felt that if we could just take our strengths and meld them together, we could take over the world. I'm totally not kidding. Each of us has some specific talent with words. We may do everything pretty well, but I can point to one thing in particular that each of us does better than everyone else. And the beautiful thing is that it's something different in each of us. I'll get into that in another post. :)

3. No one else can read what we write here.

This community is friends-only. Not only that, people cannot join EXCEPT by invitation. We are the only people who can read the posts, answer comments, and reply. As of this posting, there are five members: divinebird , drakonlily , duskydawn , grand_sealink , and sorda_sol . I would suggest that you friend each other if you haven't already. Drakon, Sea, and Sol--you have heard me talk about Dawn, and Dawn, you have definitely heard about my e-family. :)

4. Feel free to talk among yourselves.

Even though I know all of you individually, I would really like it if you all would talk to each other whether or not I'm around. Exchange emails, comment on each others' LJs & blogs, chat--the best part about having friends who know each other is that all of our friend groups get bigger. :D I'm pulling you guys together because I think you all have things to talk about that don't necessarily involve me.

5. We have diverse backgrounds, experiences, and desires.

Our ages vary over a ten-year period, and where we are in our lives, where we've been in our lives, and what we aim to become is vastly different from each other. I want to harness that diversity to help us all become better writers. In a fanfic community that I once frequented, we had a great forum thread called "aiding & abetting". People would either post things they knew (languages, cultures, weapons, etc.) or ask a question about things they didn't know. I'd see things like "does anyone know downtown Miami, and if so, what's a popular restaurant on Ocean Drive?" or "how much does it usually snow in coastal Maine?" You never know who knows how to say 'hello' in Farsi, who knows the difference between a Colt 1911 and a Desert Eagle, or who can help you with how the British Royal Succession works. Become resources for each other.

6. New members will be added eventually on an individual basis.

I know many more writers than I have invited here tonight. I know some I'd LOVE to have join us later. I'm sure you do, too. The point is not to create a huge group right now, though. I want a small, intimate community where the members trust each other. We're all working on writing projects that eat up our time and our souls. Most of us have the ultimate goal of publishing. Rather than dilute the membership with folks who aren't as serious about this as we are, I am limiting who joins for now. I DO ask that you recommend people to me, as I will to you, and we can see what that person will bring to the table.

7. Do NOT, repeat, DO NOT take crit personally.

This cannot be stressed enough. It's one of the hardest things we face as writers, and one of the hardest things to DO. I have made an art of doing the 'nice crit' all my life, and honestly, it's wearing on me. I am still nice, but I want to be a bit more ruthless with my comments. I ask that you all do the same for me. We can't figure out what works and what doesn't if we are more concerned about how we're going to sugar-coat the stuff that needs to go. Be honest. If you think it's salvageable, say so. If you think it's bogging down the story, say so. On top of it all, remember that this is where we refine our craft. Advice can be followed or ignored, but at very least, respect the source. This is the other reason I invited you guys in particular. All of us are experienced writers to some degree, and if we come up with an issue, it's best to listen.

I'll stop here with the list items because I'm running the risk of talking to hear myself speak. ;D I know things will likely be slow for a bit, but help everyone get to know you by at least introducing yourself, your current project & situation, and whatever else you think is relevant. Try to check back every so often, or put us on watch so our posts end up in your friends list.

Remember, participation is what's going to keep us motivated! If you're feeling unsure about your project, tell us and we'll help. This isn't NaNoWriMo, this isn't Fanfiction.net. This is the real world, ladies, and it's time we started our takeover en force.

ETA:  As a courtesy, please put your actual writing behind a cut.  This just makes it easier to scroll through the entries as we get more.  For information on how to make a cut, please check out FAQ #75 for instructions. :)


Writer Grrls

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