Dec 5 2012.
Finished my second chapter yesterday. As with the first, it is about 800 words. As with the first, I’m very unhappy with the result. This time, the problem is my voice. Is this really me, or is it a conglomeration of the many, many authors I have read over the years? It is hard to separate the two. I am plowing on because I believe that if I write enough that voice will emerge … God I hope that’s true.
The other big issue I had at the conclusion of the chapter was that I am now very unsure about what the age of the intended audience is. The theme (and the treatment) is not sufficiently mature enough to make this a book for adults, but my heavy-handed style is probably going to put off the kids. I wish I was writing a book about dragons. Sigh. I need to find a pen name to hide behind.
Also, I think I might need to find a writing group nearby to critique the book before it goes any further so I can course-correct if needed. Amazingly enough, there’s one right here in Fremont CA … guess there are a lot of us suburbanites with literary ambitions. Here’s some info on them –
Fremont Area Writers is the centennial branch of the California Writers Club. Visit our web site at: http://www.cwc-FremontAreaWriters.org. If you live in and around Fremont (Hayward, Union City, Newark, Niles, or Milpitas) come and meet other local writers and let creativity bloom! Come to a Writers Meetup to review work, trade literary tips, make friends and have fun, and learn more about Fremont Area Writers! All writers — and should-be writers — are welcome!
They meet every Tuesday evening to critique. The next one is on December 11 at Mission Coffee. Must muster up the courage to go and present my half-assed attempt.:)
If you have some tips to share or experiences of your own, please leave them here in the comments instead of FB so I can keep a record.
Regarding the “who am I writing this for” question, see my post for Day 2.
Writers’ groups are wonderful things. I found one near me through Meetup.com, and I love my Tuesday evenings. But this group isn’t a critique group – I don’t want a critique yet while I’m finishing my first draft. The group IS, however, something that may appeal to you: it’s a write-in … that’s what we do … we meet, we write. It’s 3 hours set aside each week for just writing. Occasionally, someone will have a question, and a brief discussion will ensue. But the intent of the group is TO WORK. Eventually, when I feel I have something to critique, I’ll find a group – probably through Meetup.com … the Triangle has tons of them.
Ah, but here’s the rub: Finding the right fit may be easy, or it may be difficult. It may take more than one group to find the one that’s going to give you what you need in the way you’re comfortable. I have a friend who attended a critique group just as a guest to see what that group’s process was, but she was so put off by the personality dynamics happening that she never went back. Her major complaint was that there were two people running the group, and they spent more time promoting their own work and ignoring others’. She approached a couple of group members and asked if that was a typical meeting, and the answer was yes.
So I guess the point is threefold: find a critique group when you’re ready, one that will work with you the way you would like, and one that you’re comfortable sharing you work with. I’ll be anxious to hear about your experiences!
Good point. Sarita Sarvate (you may know her through IC and FB) also mentioned that she had a pretty bad experience with one writer’s group and shied away from those for the longest time. Luckily, she’s found a much more supportive one now, I believe, and is happier with her experience.
I guess I am looking for one that does offer some critique but couched in an exquisitely polite way..the ego cannot take sharp stuff just yet!