Writing coterie participants wanted

25 Feb

penandink

Writing coterie participants

I’ve been uploading to WordPress for going on four years by the fall of 2015.

In the beginning, I was a helicopter blogger/writer/uploader. I would upload something and then ping back and forth from my WordPress site and the rest of my life. My great hope was that I would be discovered in a matter of days and that would be it.

I know no one else does this. Just me.

So my stats, owing more to longevity than anything else, continue to grow. For the first-time blogger, they must appear somewhat intimidating. Believe me, it’s all appearance.

Another hope of mine was to receive helpful critique of my work. The wonder of most people who write, especially at the beginning, is whether or not their writing is at all good. I imagined my website would net a vast wealth of criticisms that would help me improve as a writer. A continued frustration of mine is that lack of written, critical commentary of my work.

I’ve wondered why that is. I’ve come to some conclusions over time, however right or wrong:

  1. Visitors to my site are also bloggers/writers/uploaders. Some or most are new at it, even if they are at an advanced age (sounds so much more intriguing and genteel than elderly, don’t you think?). As such, they are prone to gentleness and niceness. The fear of those may well be that you get what you give. Maybe a kind of “writer’s karma” which behooves them to take the edge off their analytic observances of the writing of others so that their writing is not battered by scathing remarks. Vocabulary that these visitors resort to mostly are words like nice!, like, really, incredible, great! The intent is that their writing receive the same type of commentary;
  2. That when a visitor clicks on the “Like” option in response to a work, it is a passive acknowledgment of the piece. Very much like when you were a kid and had to give a book report. “I like this book very much and think everyone should read it.” Not really a report that is worth much. An easy out. And for those serious writers, kind of disappointing when one puts so much effort and energy into whatever is their creation. After all, putting something online for the world to see is a vulnerability worth more than a mere clicking of the “like” option.
  3. Many are actually afraid to leave a comment because of their inability to put a finger on what it is that they like. “This is really good! I don’t know why, and can’t tell you why − but I do.” Again, it’s indicative that we don’t want to self-explore why something gets to us; why a poem or a story or a song resonates with us. Too much work, maybe? Or, I’m a smartphone, Facebook, iPad, whatever kind of person and getting too close to anyone − specially when that person is me, I am taken out of my comfort zone. And we all know our primary goal in life is to be comfortable.

As a result of this ongoing purturbation (look it up), I’ve decided to challenge five readers of this post to make a commitment. First, if you can’t identify with any of the above, move on to something else to read, and please don’t do anything to let me know you dropped by — please DON’T click on the “like” button. I already know that request is futile, and some of you will.

The challenge is this:

Join me in a group of five who are willing to enter into a reciprocal writing relationship, that being to read and critique work from the members, and to submit work for members to read and critique. As there are so many poet groups out there (and I have nothing against poets — I are one on occasion), I’d like to keep the writing within the framework of fiction, and of prose. So, no playwrights, no screenwriters, no biographers or memoir writers (unless it’s fiction, of course). Short stories, novellas, novels, epics are fair game. Genre is whatever you are comfortable writing (although I will stipulate no pornography).

The critical elements of plot, characters, dialogue, conflict, rising action, climax, resolution, exposition, setting, etc. are the pivotal parts of scrutiny.

I’ll set the time of your commitment to be at least six months, with the hope the time will continue as the group gels.

The written and understood agreement of each member is to respect the legal ownership of the works discussed.

 

How to participate

I will cap the group at five members, including myself. If your interest is piqued, then email me at skiipwrite at g mail dot com. When the coterie of five is complete, I’ll take this post down. I’ll leave the post up until that occurs.

I’m going to ignore replies and “likes” on this post, satisfied you will email me if you have any interest in participating.

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