Why are writing groups important? After all writing is generally thought to be a solitary occupation.
There are many reasons for getting together – if only for the company of peers. Feedback and editing are one of the most powerful tools a writer can employ, and seeing one’s own work through other, trusted eyes is gold dust. Similarly lobbing thoughts between group members can throw up some amazing and previously unimagined ideas and developments in plot, style and subject matter. Hearing that an idea which needed to be dragged kicking all the way to the page has worked and seeing its effect on an audience is another reason to cultivate some good writing buddies. Support, empathy, critique, advice, companionship…all very strong reasons for searching out a group of writers to share the journey.
In our village, rich as it is in clubs and societies and associations, we have not had an active writing group for several years. Last Friday evening we set that right and had the first meeting of The New Chobham Writers.
With the aim of sharing, learning, supporting but most importantly of improving our writing, seven of us inaugurated the group and set out the when (Monday evenings) and how often (fortnightly).
We talked about our own writing journey and found we have experience ranging from report writing, through fiction (short and long) and children’s adventure stories, to poetry. Some are more experienced than others but we all have a passion for the written word.
A plan of action was drawn up and our first few meetings will centre around characterisation, story arcs and narrative points of view (how to choose the best voice for our story). These principles lend themselves to writing in general, whether short story form, novella or novel, even article writing and this seemed a place to start that will be relevant to everyone in the group.
We even managed to find time to respond to a few prompts and set the scene for pieces of flash fiction to be worked on before the next meeting…as well as a glass or two of mulled wine. A great way to spend a chilly January evening.
Enthusiasm is high and we have room for more writers. Being in at the beginning is especially exciting, so we are hoping to attract many other writers to our number