Friday, September 14, 2012

You Gotta Love Your Writer's Group!

The banner at the top of this page is all thanks to my writer's groups. Oh no, they didn't design it. But without them, there would be no J.Q. Rose, mystery, suspense, and romance author. Without their thoughtful and conscientious work on my manuscripts and their brainstorming and encouragement, I wouldn't even be a published author!

I have been a member of a writer's group off and on since 1995. The North Country Writers headed by Judy and Mary was the first one that introduced me to warm, caring writers and I mean real writers. They knew how to phrase a sentence which in my case meant getting rid of those long, awkward sentences that go  on and on and on and on and on. They opened my mind to actually sitting down and penning a story that would be worthy of publication.

Along came the Internet and I discovered writer friends from all over the world. Amazing! THE most helpful person on the Internet was (and is) Audrey Shaffer. She is known as the Queen of Google because any writerly question we asked during our writers chat, she could whip up the answer from the Internet or from her vast pool of knowledge. She has been leading the Writers Chatroom for years every Wednesday night from 8-10 pm EDST. She also hosts authors who guest every Sunday night from 7-9 pm Eastern Time.
This book would have never been published
without input from my writer's group.

Another important influence on my writing, the Fremont Area District Library sponsored a writer's group led by librarian Esther. We had so much fun and learned about writing with this group. We were asked to move to the conference room for our meetings because we became a bit too loud with our laughter and conversations to meet near the stacks in the quiet library room. That group's membership has changed over the years with many folks coming and going. Now it is led by Nan who is a wonderful role model for writers.

Some of the members of the library writer's group broke off into a smaller group and now meet at a local coffee shop. Again, so much support and encouragement and help in shaping stories and discovering major plot problems...For instance, the character sits in the chair, but somehow the writer forgets to actually tell the reader he does finally stand up and walk out of the room!! Or in one chapter it's the friend who told the secret and in another it's the uncle who did it. Lots of fun. And I should add that every one in this small group is now a published author. Congratulations!

I recently joined an online writers group for children's non-fiction books founded by Deb. Because of the members' insight and helpful suggestions, this fall I look forward to releasing an interactive e-book for middle grade girls, Girls Succeed: Stories Behind the Careers of Successful Women.

Thanks to my groups for encouraging me in my writing. Because of these brilliant folks I found the courage to submit my first manuscript for publication. Muse It Up Publishing released my debut mystery novella, Sunshine Boulevard, last year and will publish my next mystery, Coda to Murder, in February 2013. 

All different writing styles, personalities, and backgrounds come together in a writer's group to enrich this crazy adventure in publishing.

How about you? If you are an author, do you love your writing group???


Unknown said...

It's a safe bet to say I would never be a published author today if not for my critique group.

I meet with two wonderful writers twice a month, plus I have a private queue on Critique Circle.

On CC I have very special critiquers who tell me like it is. Honest down to earth crits, boo-boos, logic loops, even punctuation.

I couldn't write without both of them.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I second that. I would not be published today if not for my wonderful writers lists.

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