Tuesday, October 26, 2010

On Line Writing Groups

How many screenwriters does it take to change a light bulb?
Answer: Ten.
1st draft. Hero changes light bulb.
2nd draft. Villain changes light bulb.
3rd draft. Hero stops villain from changing light bulb. Villain falls to death.
4th draft. Lose the light bulb.
5th draft. Light bulb back in. Fluorescent instead of tungsten.
6th draft. Villain breaks bulb, uses it to kill hero's mentor.
7th draft. Fluorescent not working. Back to tungsten.
8th draft. Hero forces villain to eat light bulb.
9th draft. Hero laments loss of light bulb. Doesn't change it.
10th draft. Hero changes light bulb.

I am a big proponent of finding a writers or critique group -- it has a two fold benefit. First, it is key in helping the craft of writing - there is nothing better than having supportive colleagues review your work and provide constructing criticism. Second a writers group also provides a wonderful place to be with other writers who understand, emotionally, the writing process. My own critique group is invaluable -- I credit them with helping me hone my writing skills and getting me to where I am today.Writers groups can meet in the real world, as mine did, or can be virtual as well. I've also worked with writers, exchanging manuscripts via email, and that to can be very helpful.  

Two months ago, a new online writing community, based in the UK, was launched. Called Quillant, its aims, as shared by found Chris is to -

"recreate the classic writing group over the web. It is a different type of site for writers; it is about developing your work-in-progress with like-minded others and working together towards your aims."

"You create a profile in which you state the type of writer you are -– novelist, poet, playwright, 
etc. -– and the genres that you work in. Quilliant.com matches you with similar writers and you form a writing group together. You work collaboratively, exchanging feedback on your work line by line.   

I'm all for collaboration, and with technology, perhaps we can do more of it!

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