Friday, January 27, 2012

Moving Right Along...

After the last post, I started thinking about what might help make writing a priority rather than something to be done "if school work is done, if the baby is asleep, if I'm not distracted, if if if..." and I thought a writing group was the answer. I did a LOT of writing in the fall, after all, when deadlines abounded and a workshop loomed on the horizon. So I wrote a whole lovely post about how I would definitely, if I remembered, and could find the right one, join some sort of writing group at some very near point in the future. Then I deleted the post and joined a damn writing group. Score one for not procrastinating.

Our first meeting was last night and my hopes were probably unrealistically high. When I arrived, I realized I may have made a minor mistake. Because this crowd is not my audience. One person had never heard of the fantasy genre, and the rest do not read it. Some admitted they actively dislike it. Naturally, the comments that followed were mostly less than helpful. That I misuse the prologue, that I should have chapters of explanation before anything happens since we're in a strange world, etc. Most of the suggested changes would alienate and bore a fantasy reader (and me, in the process, which is always dangerous), so a lot of it just won't do. 

Conclusion? While this writing group might be a good fit for short stories (if I ever get one written), it looks like I'm still in the market for a group that can give me genre-appropriate feedback on the big project. 

Bright side? I wrote and polished a prologue and first chapter, which I likely wouldn't have done without the deadline. So, still, score one for the writing group. And maybe score two, because they were all nice people and reading their writing was nice, too.

I hope find another group soon. I also hope to develop a working writing space that's conducive to getting things done. I really want that to be the office at home, but I guess only time will tell. That is as much to do with my family's cooperation and support (which thus far have been phenomenal, but perhaps too loose regarding interruptions -- my own fault for not stressing how a good moment can be shattered by a non-essential break) as my own organization and backbone in requiring what is necessary. If it doesn't work, I hope there is a babysitter and a coffee shop out there with my name on them. Others have written better books with far less cooperative atmospheres. I'm sure of that.

As far as books go, I've finished a whopping ONE. That would be Jacob's Room by Virginia Woolf. It was interesting, though I think I would have hated it without the class discussion to back it up. Is that strange? I enjoyed the second half of the novel much more, as I read it with ideas in mind. I have also started Mrs. Dalloway which I've enjoyed more than Jacob's Room. But more on that later! This weekend is stretched thin. Besides finishing Mrs. Dalloway, I need to create discussion questions and a critical presentation for Tuesday. Lots to do!

'Til next time.
-- Meg

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