We also critiqued smaller pieces up to 1,000 words that we brought that night, but in the smaller groups of five to six people. (One piece per group.) It was basically just a quick verbal input.
I believe that most times too many cooks (writers) spoil the broth/writing. Too many different ideas so I think that it’s a good idea to critique in smaller groups of possibly three people when the group becomes larger. Although if you only have five people I think that Brian‘s way would work too.
The reason why we didn’t incorporate this into the Headwaters Writers Guild is that we didn’t want to discourage beginning writers. It’s not easy to accept criticism of your “baby” (writing). Brian sent out an email suggesting that writers have to develop confidence. Now in HWG, most of us are seasoned writers.
Attending Brian’s workshop has been an eye opener. I can’t stress enough that as writers we should go with our instincts. Finding your Voice (how to put personality in your writing) by Les Edgerton is a great reference book.
I am presently attending another writing group (Georgetown Wordsmiths –members who took the Brian Henry workshop created this group) to see how critiquing in both groups works. On my return to HWG, I’d hoped to incorporate it into the group, but you’ve already done this. I think that it’s time for us to take The Next Step. I have enjoyed meeting other writers from the Georgetown Wordsmiths and getting their perspective on writing. It’s been an eye opener and refreshing at the same time. There is a lot of writing talent in the Georgetown Wordsmiths group. I enjoy it immensely and will continue to attend both groups.
As a writer, I believe that it’s beneficial to read our work to a large group. When our books are published, the experience will become a valuable asset. Without this reading practice, I wouldn’t have been able to read my work to other people nor would I have been confidant enough to give four eulogies. A former member credited our writing group with her ability to give sermons. And Jayne Self mentioned that without the reading practice she couldn’t have imagined reading her award- winning book Murder in Hum Harbour at her book launch.
Congratulations to Jayne:
Self, an Orangeville resident, won the mystery category for her novel Murder in Hum Harbour: A Seaglass Mystery. She also earned runner up for the Grace Irwin Award, which recognizes the best book published in 2011.
Orangeville Banner - June 20, 2012
I’ve used my hiatus from the HWG group well. I have written over 88,000 words on my non-fiction book which I believe will be broken into two books. I seized every moment. Instead of thinking I only have half an hour, I’d think how many words can I write in half an hour? I’d always believed I could only write in the morning. I’ve discovered that I can write any time. My writing buddy and I emailed each other with our word count most days. This helped to keep me focused and committed.
“You can only fail at writing if you quit.” Ed Wildman, writer, author, mentor, and friend.