Writing Circles: Writing in Excellent Company


Authors and fellow editors JM Landels, Susan Pieters, and I will be presenting The Hours Stories at the Creative Ink Writing Conference in Burnaby BC, March 30-April 2 2017. What are writing circles? For they are unlike critique groups. I hope this piece on writing in good company helps, and you may want to check out our class at the conference. We always have fun, and walk away with 1000-1500 words towards our works in progress an hour later.

We meet once or twice a week to write together. If we meet twice, then I’ve got 3,000
words towards three short novels a year.

At the first meeting I attended, several years ago, I was wary of the whole process. Okay, I was totally resistant. Write in company? Never. When I had writing time, I closed my writing-room door. Nobody saw my drafts. This was the way nature intended writers to work, I believed: alone but for a computer and my usual host of narrative woes. But Sue and Jen are dear friends and when they invited me to write with them, I thought, what the hey, it’s only paper, I can fake something up and then burn it.

I discovered that I write better prose sitting at a table with my writing friends around me. I choose my words with even greater care. I keep the transitions succinct, because I’ve only got 1500 words with which to intrigue them. I make certain that my hero or heroine experiences a turning point, makes a sacrifice, takes action in some way to advance the plot. When, at the end of the writing hour I read my scene aloud, I’ve got an audience feedback that tells me I’m on the right path.

And, no matter how busy the week is, how close we are to deadline, how many illustrations I still need to draw, I’ve written a chapter. My novelist career motors on.

But most of all, I love my writing circle because I am privileged to sit wide-eyed and enchanted, listening to Jen read aloud the next installment of her gripping  Allaigna high fantasy trilogy, and La Poisoineuse and dissolving into laughter over Sue’s hilarious The Truth About Romance.

I hope you’ll have another brilliant writing week. Cheers Mel

We write with Dale Adams Segal’s card set, “The Hour Stories”. http://www.thehourstories.com

I hope you’ll have another brilliant writing week. Cheers Mel

muse smallThis week from @yourwritingmuseFrom your first paragraph I’m confidant that something exciting will happen to your protagonist.Superb storytelling. Your Writing Muse #amwriting @pulpliterature

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