A new writing group

June 16, 2018 0 By SerBuckley

Good evening, and hello.

Like many of you, my writing partner (beperkyalways) and I (SerBuckley) have been part of several writing groups, both separately and together, and many of them have eventually crumbled due to (in polite terms) various circumstances.

So this time, we decided to take matters into our own hands a bit more, and a bit differently to how we’ve joined groups before.

Essentially, we would like to start a group where the chances of people not getting on or flaking out are significantly reduced. How you ask? Well, let’s start from the top.

First off, some details:

We would like to end up with around five people wanting to receive feedback for their novel, and be willing to do the same for others. (Though myself and Perky are working on a project together right now, with a second in mine, in this instance we both have our own respective novels for the inclusion of this group)

The format we have chosen is different to some groups. Instead of a round robin type (where you all submit a chapter a week, for example) we will be doing a ‘one by one’ format.

So Member A would split their book into chunks, submit a chunk, and then all members would read it before discussing it. They would move on to the next chunk until that book is finished. THEN we would all move onto member B’s book, and so on until we’re done and everyone’s book has been read.

We feel this more intense setting is better for writer and beta reader. The beta reader doesn’t have to read four stories at once, and the writer gets much more focused and detailed feedback. It goes without saying, but Member A, after their book is finished, would be expected to stay in the group and return the favour to the others.

In terms of discussion, we would like to do this in a group voice chat. Again, although intimidating at first it’s a much better way to be able to get points across. The books we’d be hoping for should be in a fairly progressed stage. We aren’t looking for completely finished, about to send to the editor books, but we’d like to avoid very rough first drafts too. Similarly, we’re hoping to be all within the same type of spectrum of genres. Sci-fi, fantasy, historical fiction. We won’t be too strict on this, it’s more about making sure we don’t have one person completely different from the others.

Now that all seems pretty standard so far, so let’s provide a kicker:

Our format requires a lot of dedication, patience and genuine care for improving other’s books. There’s no way we can guarantee that, but we’ve decided on something that will help.

We are going to ask for people to apply for this group, through use of a Google Form that Perky has designed, but also by way of a grace period.

We will take up to twelve people into this grace period, where all will be placed in a general chat on our discord server. Then, essentially, we’re going to wait a week or so.

During that week we just want people to chat. Describe their work. Talk about writing. Talk about the group. We will also be included, of course, but we’ll be looking at who is involved in the chat, who seems keen, who’s polite, who’s got an interesting book, and who just seems like a bit of a dick if we’re honest.

Then come the hard parts. After this initial week, myself and Perky will trim the group down to those who have best displayed the qualities above, until we have five or maybe six remaining (or more if everyone is just super friendly together). Obviously, this means that some people won’t be chosen, which is tough, but we believe it’s the best way to ensure we have a group who really, genuinely want to be there.

Not only that, but it allows you to see if it’s for you, and if not you can bow out during this grace period without worrying about annoying anyone.

We are really looking forward to seeing the applications and getting to know some more writers, and we hope we’ve provided a slightly different way of going about things and a way of us all improving our books.

You can find our form here, and don’t hesitate to send any questions our way: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSec31k50lz8ae_GG5Ez8H8f4ORTMjqtKsDh0R4xd820-_MJ8A/viewform?usp=sf_link