Saturday, April 24, 2010

Writer Beware

In "The Writer's Toolbox" section we're collecting links or pointers to useful sites and books. First off: Writer Beware.

Aspiring writers trying to get published for the first time are vulnerable to a variety of scams. The Writer Beware site run by A. C. Crispin and friends and published on the SFWA site, is an invaluable resource for cutting through the BS and telling the opportunities from the scams. However, without knocking the amazing amount of content on this site, Ann nonetheless summarized it to me once thusly:
Money flows from reader to publisher to author and never the other way around.
Of course you could say "Money flows from reader to bookseller to distributor to publisher to agent to author and never the other way around except for paying for extra review copies so you can do a booksigning in case the bookstore forgets to order them oh and then the publisher may pay the bookseller for shelf space and then don't forget there is the issue of royalties versus advances..." but that would dilute the point that your prospective publisher should NOT be asking money from you.


Dragon Writers T Shirt

dragon writers logo

In addition to reading this group blog about our writing experiences, you can also get the DragonWriter's logo on a t-shirt. Check it out...


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Writing Groups

Trish reported in about her writing groups ... I should as well, briefly, as I am convalescing with Campbell's chicken soup and classic Doctor Who while recuperating from a bug that has me working from home and sadly, not writing from home as there's too much work to do. :-(

Ann Crispin's Writer's Workshop was a big help for me writing, but the cameraderie of the other DragonWriters from the 2002 class has helped even more. Our Yahoo Group, our yearly (and now more frequent) meetings, and occasional (for me) critique rotation have been very helpful.

The best, however, is the Writing Group at Barnes and Noble at Steven's Creek. It's a writing group, not a critique group, and the two 20-minute writing sessions are where much of my latest novels were written. The group has had spinoffs - a pizza night for cameraderie and a brief Publish-and-Perish group with a critique rotation - but the core group itself has been the most helpful because of its consistent no-critique, just-write, now-you-have-to-read-it philosophy of the current group leader, Keiko.

There's also a writing group at my company, the Search Engine That Starts With a G. We meet occasionally but mostly discuss things relevant to our writing lives.

Not all writers need writing groups, but almost all writers need a writing circle, a group of friends or colleagues they can bounce ideas off of.

Where's yours?



Look! :) Mundania Press has the cover for the 3rd BAD-ASS FAERIES out! :)

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Not quite posting yet, but wanting to see if I can figure all this out. Thanks again, Anthony, for setting us up.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Trish Reporting in!

So thrilled we've got our blog!

Hoping that the live meeting at the Atlanta Bread Company went well. I'm sorry I couldn't make it... the video chat with the last one got me juiced for more writing. :)

Perhaps a good kick-off post would be to talk about good writing groups?

I know I belong to a few, and Kim has a group at Barnes & Noble, and Anthony, I think you've mentioned another group before?

A lot of conventions I've gone to talk about joining writing groups, and there's generally a split on if they are useful or not... with the end "judgment" being that "it all depends on the group."

DragonWriters was my first writing group, and the fact we've kept up with each other for almost 8 years now, put me in the general opinion that writing groups are great things. Though we've had our lapses... and I, personally, have been really crappy about returning critiques to people in the past few years... the fact we are all here and keep chatting with each other is a positive influence in my life. As the stars aligned in 2002, we happened to put together a wonderful group of writers - people in general - and I feel that energy whenever I get to chat with anyone in the group.

On the critiques, in general, I also think the group gives a particularly high level of critique. We make our comments with the idea that we want each other to succeed, and it shows. Wanting each other to succeed doesn't mean we only say how much we love a story. No, in fact, some of the most in-depth and toughest critiques I've ever received come from this group. But, no one seems to forget that we're doing this because we want to see each others' names in print - that we want to buy each others' work. I've never felt _hurt_ by any critique from a DragonWriter.

THAT is what makes a good writers group, and if more people were able to find a group with that kind of chemistry, there would be a lot less complaints about them at conventions.

What is it that works with all of your writing groups? What defines a "good" writing group for you?

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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Dragon Writers 2.0

Alright, let's try this again ... several of the alumni of Ann Crispin's Writer's Workshop at Dragon*Con 2002 are now on board, and we're going to try a group blog talking about writing. Sound off, everyone!