Current Write #6: March Writing Group Meeting
Posted March 21, 2016
My Muse Monday is a fun meme where writers can meet other like-minded writers and share what they’ve been working on and how the week has gone for them. I’ve decided to post a monthly summary of my local writing group’s meetings.
Three of us in our group are teachers and the signs of a long school year have started to show. We’re more tired and stressed. And so we have more need of snacks and chatter.
After a little downtime in eating cookies and talking about spring break, we turned to critiques. As with our last meeting, we all had something to share. First up, the lady who writes rhyming stories recently submitted one to our state chapter of Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She received back the advice to her to shorten and simplify her submission. And so we all looked for ways to help remove sections without hurting her story. Next up, another lady had a retelling of The Three Billy Goat’s Gruff. When I first read it prior to our meeting, I found it so creative, positive, and well-written that I shared it with my husband. Indeed, none of us in our group can understand why this lady isn’t yet published. She has decided to start looking for agents, instead of just submitting to publishers. I also suggested her submitting to magazines, but that means cutting words from 1200 to under 1000. For several minutes, it almost became a competition to see who can find the most words to cut. Third up, our newest member had revised an old manuscript. We all enjoyed the cuteness of the story and the meter of the rhymes. And finally there was me. I’ve been submitting my Cat Trio and Solo Dog stories. As with before, everyone likes them and suggests I polish them into picture or chapter books. If the latter, one lady thought maybe I could tell stories from alternating viewpoints of all four pets.
By now almost two hours had passed. With time a constraint, we wrapped up the evening by talking about challenges. Two of us plan to enter contests. We’re also at the point of wanting to get professionally published. This means we don’t want compliments as much as we need critiques that tell us bluntly how to improve our work. Or at least we think we’re ready for this stage. 😉 As I mentioned, a third wants to find an agent. Our newest member shared that her biggest struggle is finishing a project. And so we encouraged her to take a new story idea and create a whole manuscript from it.