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Archive for the ‘Writers Group’ Category

cartoon lady with pencil and notepadEvery fiction writer knows the frustration of plotting their story. Especially with a mystery, such as I create, the plot not only needs to proceed logically toward the climax, but the characters, dialogue, and actions within each scene need to be believable to the reader as the clues are subtly inserted into the story.

Such is the case with ‘Wedding Interrupted’, the 4th story in my Gwen Andrews series. My writers group commented that one of my secondary characters was leaving the story too early and suggested expanding his role to heighten the tension, releasing him only after he’d served his purpose in the plot.

And so for the past few days, I’ve been wrestling with Fred. He has finally surrendered to my vision of his role in the conflict and I have sent him on his way.

 

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book club at tableAs I settle into my third year of snow-birding in Florida, I continue to work with my writing group back in Massachusetts by emailing chapters back and forth, soliciting comments and suggestions. Our system seems to work very well, and in fact, I think we’re more productive!

The comedic light bulb above my head blinked on that I shouldn’t sacrifice face to face critiquing sessions simply because I’m 1500 miles from home, and so I googled writing groups in Pinellas County. I was pleasantly surprised to learn several exist within a few miles of me:

Pinellas Writers, Largo … Saturday mornings

Gulf Beaches Library Writers Group, Madeira Beach … Monday mornings

Clearwater Writers Meet-up Group, Clearwater … Monday evenings

Now that I’m penning the 4th story in my mystery series, other pairs of eyes reading my words would ensure that this story can stand alone if a reader delves into the adventures of my amateur sleuth out of sequence.

And so, I need to choose one of these groups and make the commitment to close down my tablet, walk out my door, get into the SUV, and drive to a meeting!

 

 

 

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A_Woman_Reading_Papers_At_Her_DeskWhenever the members of our writers group are unavailable for a face-to-face meeting at alternating houses or libraries located between us, we have found that emailing our chapters for critique works very well.

Over the years, we’ve developed a system that provides suggestions to add, delete, or adjust wording.

Yellow Highlighted … suggests words or phrases that could be eliminated without losing the gist of the story.

Black Bolded … provides either alternate wording or phrasing for the yellow highlighted section or suggests additional words or phrases that will clarify the story.

Green Bolded … this indicates words or phrases that have been moved to another paragraph, scene, or chapter to re-sequence the timing for cause and effect.

RED BOLDED CAPS … questions to the author about the story.

If your writers group has developed a system of critiquing clues, I’d love to hear about it!

Writers groups are precious… treat them with care!

 

 

 

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