A few months ago my local library started a writer's circle. I've been looking for a writers group in the area for a long time, but anything I found was mainly memoir and poetry centred. I decided to check it out. I'm glad I did. The first week of turnout was relatively small, but after a few weeks, there was enough interest to split into two groups and my group-- not a memoir or poetry writer among them. In fact most are writing some form of science fiction or fantasy.
I've participated in many online writing groups, starting years ago with Compuserve's Writers Forum, which has become the Books & Writers Forum. Then came Compuserve's Science Fiction and Fantasy Books Forum. Toronto RWA's critique group. Kelley Armstrong's Forum's critique group. And various others. I've found the experience of critiquing in person is vastly different from that online.
I've noticed a curious phenomenon: I feel a stronger connection to a book when I'm reading a hardcopy. I love the Kobo for it's light-weight and convenience, but I've noticed I don't feel as connected to the books I read. I don't seem to sink into the story as deeply. The same is true when I read on a computer versus printed pages. Something similar happens with an online critique group verses an in-person one.
Or maybe it's something to do with having to look a person in the eye when you tell him you didn't like his story.
This week my 2000 words were up for discussion. I had many works to chose from to submit: the urban fantasy YA I'm going to self-publish, the SF YA or the new adult, both of which need revising. Instead, I chose to submit the new project I'm working on.
I haven't told you about this yet.
It's a fantasy YA that happens to be a new version of the first novel I ever wrote. I knew back then that I wasn't enough of a writer to tell that story, so I put it aside after several drafts. I'm not working with any of those drafts, but I am working with the characters and the world, using the tools I've learned over the years. And my instincts. I did a little outlining and some work with the characters before I started, but I'm letting each scene unfold according to the instructions given by my instincts. I've strayed from the original outline and will have to stop soon to map a new path, but so far the story is going well.
So I was curious to see what my writers circle thought of my pages.
As far as I can tell, they loved it and are anxiously waiting for more. It's a good thing our turns to submit are widely spaced out-- even still, at the slow rate I'm writing, I think they might catch up to me.