Guidelines for a successful writing group

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a couple of guidelines for writing

groups okay so if you I assumed that

this light turns on this is new from

last year we stood up here like like

Apes Bing banging stones against it for

a while and couldn't figure it out I

might have my IV guy come and try and

figure it out so eventually maybe we'll

have a light up here so until then I

won't write in the shadow so if you are

a workshop urn giving advice right

here's a few points to give you try to

be descriptive of your emotions not


right okay try to be descriptive what

this means is for particularly when

you're newer at this saying I was bored

completely valid there's never a time

when I'm was bored is not a valid

response to something you were bored by

saying you should add a fight scene can

be really bad advice sometimes it can be

good advice if you really know the

person and know the thing and you know

the sub-genre and what the writers

trying to do you could be like I feel

like a fight right here would really you

know snap things together but it can be

bad advice

I was bored can never be bad at bad

advice right it's always valid your

response to the story always it's now

the reader that the the workshop II does

not need to take that they can

understand well maybe you're supposed to

be bored or maybe this book isn't

connecting within clicking with you and

it's okay because someone else that's

their favorite scene there are lots of

reasons to not take that advice but that

response is always valid saying I'm

confused always valid doesn't matter

like if you miss something it's it's

it's okay to miss things the read it

writer needs to know if you've missed

stuff they may not have made it clear

maybe you just missed it maybe your kids

were crying or maybe your roommates were

doing a raid or whatever it is that

people do and you know they're like

there's like a Pokemon that everyone

needs to catch and you're trying to read

while they're all catching their Pokemon

and like you missed it and nothing needs

a change but it's not invalid that you

were confused let them know you're

confused be descriptive rather than

prescriptive this comes from you know

it's this great thing Hollywood does I

heard about and I loved it ever since

they do this test audience thing for a

bunch of sitcoms and they will grid an

audience together show them the sitcoms

and then afterward ask them questions

and the questions are all about the

advertisements because it's not really a

test audience for the sitcoms they use

the same like three test sitcoms that

never expected to be aired they want to

get your reaction to the ads and they

don't want to tell you that up front

because they want to get your natural

reaction that's what the RIT writer

needs from you they need your natural

reaction as if you didn't know you were

going to be giving feedback on this just

reading it and giving them the feedback

so that they can be like oh that's what

I wanted or oh I was totally surprised

by that alright so if you're the

workshop ee

right if you're the workshop ii write it

down and don't change anything yet

that's what that says if you can't read

it mm-hmm my handwriting um somewhere

missus Sukup my second-grade teacher is

shaking her head because she trained a

best-selling author and she warned him

his handwriting was bad and she was not

able to save him if you're the workshop

you write it down but don't change

anything yet give it some time give it

some space listen to the feedback and

try to understand right try to get where

they're coming from and understand if

that's a reaction you want sometimes you

want people to be a little confused

sometimes you want them to want

something they haven't gotten yet

because you're going to give it to them

in a few chapters maybe you're wrong

maybe they're having a you've done

something wrong they're having complete

wrong reaction they're all laughing at

this thing that you thought was really

serious really important for you to know

but stay silent

unlike whatever it is over there making

noise this is good advice particularly

when you're new don't say anything

pretend you are a fly on the wall and

that they're all sitting around having a

book club discussion of the book and

you're just writing stuff down prevent

yourself from defending yourself prevent

yourself from explaining if you defend

yourself it's just gonna make people

less likely to give you feedback in the

future if you explain it than it did

defeats your chance to explain it right

in the writing and have them get it and

you won't know if you are able to get

them to understand it through your

writing because you've already explained

it and painted them all right one more

thing for the workshop er be sure to say

what is good alright way we do why

workshop is we start and we make

everyone say what is working upfront so

the writer isn't accidentally change the

things that are working plus it's really

good for you to get told what is working

and that your writing doesn't suck

before everyone launches into telling

you how terrible your writing is right

so we do a few minutes of that and then

we transition to things that could use a

second look it's what we call it in my

writing group it's not things that are

broke it's just you know things that

they've read or felt things that they

want to highlight that you may want to

have a second look at stuff like that

all right