Writers are the most paranoid, mistrustful, suspicious group to talk to, they also have to have a rejection proof hide.
It is challenging to be in writer’s groups and each genre and demographics has it’s own quirks.
The main groups are:
In person – read or passed around
Over correspondence across a group
Online in forums/reviewing and ranking systems
Workshops and Classrooms and Conferences oh my
The main genres are
science fiction/fantasy/western/pagan frontier
Bodice Rippers/Zipper Grippers – Heteronormative
Anti-Hero/Outsider/Observer – Heteroflexible – artists, intellectuals
Outcast/Downcast/Fierce Determinitive/Survivorship – Queersexuals, Inverts and Extrovert Extremophiles
humanity neurotically against pathology cast against an objective universe arena
populated by the gonna-bes, the wanna-bes, the doer-bes, the succeeder-bes, and the celebrities – but mostly the never will bes.
Because they lack the techniques and something to say, the parrots and repeaters.
Write what you know, means doing research and also having experiences.
most people do not have a book in them, in that, they have little about them that is bookworthy, and they lack both the imagine to capture interest or the skill to express it well.
Writing is much like acting, the ability to disappear into all the characters that inhabit the setting, not just the above the line or lead.
To speak compellingly in a voice that is not your own, and authentically for the diversity of the characters you can represent, often, very different from yourself.
My experience with in-person groups, and I mean meeting once a month face to face, either bringing something to read and discuss or exchanging hard copies with hand written notes and discussing the notes and not the work on the page, readings and notes to be performed between meetings.
I have been in a lesbian poetry group organized by the Vancouver Lesbian Centre, which existed as a community resource in Vancouver BC Canada for 10 years.
I have been in a science fiction group that included 2 published writers, one of whom was Lisa Smedman, known in gamer circles and had a D&D anthology hardcover make the New York Times Bestseller List, she has also published her own creative works.
The other published writer was Don DeBrant, and the organizing group was The British Columbia Science Fiction Fan Association, a private social club for geeks that operates the local area science fiction convention “V-Con”. (V for Vancouver).
And, I had a group of women who were writing for film and television, which included my pal, Meghan – who is currently doing a novel giveaway on her blog!
Online, I did screenplay peer review on Helium, Zoetrope, and The Screenwriter’s Building as well a couple of others that I tried out. I did join trigger street, but after I read the legal fine print – which while very small online turned out to be 5 pages when printed out, I never submitted anything or bothered to review in the strafe attack and trolling.
these 4 pictures are the group of British Zoetroper – Caroline Ferguson aka Caz’ Romantic Comedy Office group – they printed out pictures of me and another office member who lived in Texas known as bb sans. they posted about how fun it was to pretend we were there and the funny looks they got from the other pub patrons.
Which, is how I know Sean McKissack – who is an online writer pal who has just gotten his first book published and is now planning a sequel, I am sure his wife and kids are proud!
While I am Canadian, Sean is American and lives in the Missippi South and he one time drove a half an hour out of his way to take 5 pictures of Elvis Presley’s birthplace, just so I could have my own photos of it.
His new novel is based on a screen he wrote and it made me cry and not many things can do that.
the sad thing about writers is that they so rarely are willing to actually support each other’s work because of jealousy, because really, no one understands rejection like someone who’s primary answer is no, do not try us again.