As I’ve posted before, Deidre and I belong to a writers club that is billed as a screenwriters club, but is attended by a variety of writers (genres). I believe the broad popularity of the club can be attributed to three things: 1) Writers of various genres have much in common; 2) Our discussion leaders provide high quality information, and all share something of value at the meetings; 3) The experienced writers provide both information and inspiration. Let me expand on these three thoughts.
1- The writers in the club include (but not limited to) a couple of actual screenwriters, several YA Sci-Fi authors, some folks working on children’s books and stories, at least one award-winning poet, a few non-fiction folks, and at least two production people (editor, book doctor, micro-publisher). Whatever our genres, we need to capture the reader’s attention quickly, keep them interested, and bring the piece to some worthy conclusion. To do this, we need to craft our thoughts and images, then edit, and edit some more. When we’ve polished our piece to a brilliant product, we need to market it, which is an entire process of its own.
2- Our club’s leader/president does an excellent job of organizing the topic of discussion each month. Often times he’s the presenter but not always. Last month we learned about pitching (see last week’s blog). This month we discussed character development and how it moves and energizes our stories. (Note: for non-fiction, I think there is a parallel between fictional characters and non-fictional ideas or theories.) The main discussion topics generate spin-off topics and comments by all, adding to the fun and value.
3- We have several successful writers and authors who provide firsthand insight into what has worked and not worked for them. Most importantly they inspire the rest of us by demonstrating that there is a light at the end of the curved tunnel. I always leave our monthly meetings with renewed energy and determination.
If you are not a member of at least one writers group, and live is better than on-line, I highly recommend joining one that supports your creative and emotional goals.