Home > Out and About, Social Networking > The Road to World Conquest: Like minds

The Road to World Conquest: Like minds

So, this week I attended my first Durham writers meet-up gathering at the Barnes & Noble on New Hope Commons.

I haven’t thought of myself primarily as a writer in a long time. I’ve never really stopped writing, because I certainly created a lot of content for Fallen Earth, wrote poses, descriptions and dialogue for OtherSpace, but all that work has been in service to something else: Game design.

The last time I felt something akin to what occurred Tuesday night was probably more than twenty years ago, back when I sat in that comfortable circle of chairs with the staff of the Valencian magazine at Valencia Community College. This group I met with was the subset that’s specifically interested in science fiction and fantasy. Every couple of weeks, they meet to share what they’re working on and to get feedback from others.

Back at Valencia, where I met two of my best friends, Jeff and Liz, our work was rendered anonymous, photocopied, handed out, and then scored with critiques. Ironically, after a few sessions, the anonymity sort of went out the window because people could spot our writing styles. But there’s no anonymity in this new group, which sits around a table in the bookstore and reads selections aloud before getting feedback.

I didn’t submit anything to read for the first meeting. I just wanted to get a feel for how things worked, study the group a little, and get a sense of the personalities at work. But I didn’t just sit there and listen. When people read, I gave feedback that I certainly hope was helpful. I don’t think I savaged anyone, I just pointed out when things felt too passive or when I wanted a better feeling of urgency and immersion.

As things wrapped up, our group leader took volunteers for reading at the next meeting. I wasn’t going to do it at first, but a few thoughts occurred to me:

* I’ve joined this writers group. So, time to get back to writing. Really writing. This would motivate me to get the ball rolling almost immediately.
* I’m not good at fence-sitting. I want to be in the mix. That means diving right on in. Best way for me to get the most out of the group.
* It’s only fair. Several people read their work Tuesday night and got my feedback, good and bad. They ought to have the chance to return that favor.

So, up went my hand.

I’m now on the hook to write something new to share with the group. It’s exciting. They’re a bunch of good people, sharp and funny, and all interested in improving their work and helping others to do the same. I’m glad that I’ve connected with them.

Now, to write.

  1. October 13, 2011 at 11:04 am

    Sounds like an awesome experience. I’m too shy to get up and read in front of people and I’ve never submitted anything anywhere. Maybe someday I’ll man up and really write something instead of blog posts and NaNoWriMo.

  2. Fauze
    October 13, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    I was once in a writer’s group that met at a local library. We had a mix of sci-fi, mystery and horror writers attending the meetings, but I’ll honestly say that I’ve found no better motivation to get up and write something.

    Our particular group was complete with ‘writing exercises’ which included a bunch of challenges to assist with development of diologue, pace and such.

    I miss my old group, but I’m glad yours is working out well! Keep at it, I always enjoy reading your work.

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