|You never know who you'll
meet at a writers' event.
While most writers prefer to create in solitude, total isolation reflects in your writing. The world you’ve built reads exactly as you picture it in your imagination. You completely relate to your characters. You know what they want and how they’ll get it. The plot makes perfect sense to you. Will readers see things the way you do?
Involving others in your writing process can expand your point of view. When you are more connected, you can become a better writer and also cheer others on along their journeys. Here are three ways to expand your point of view and find your team:
1. Create in your story’s environment to expand your perspective. Locate places that inspire you and write there. Much of my first two romantic suspense novels take place in pubs. I wrote many scenes sitting at bars to collect stories and observe to soak up the vibe. If you have a tough scene where someone is gravely injured, write that scene sitting in a hospital emergency room waiting area. Write while sitting in the back of a courtroom during a trial for your true crime or mystery. If you write sci-fi or fantasy, find your happy place where the environment inspires you. This technique can nudge away writers’ block and push you out of your comfort zone. It can also add new visual, emotional and other layers to your characters and scenes.
2. Join a critique group to get out of your bubble. When you find the right critique group, you have a way to share your writing with others. You hear and give praise and constructive feedback and can consider what to revise. Some writers join large groups with members from various genres that flow in and out over time. I prefer to meet with the same two to four people who write similar genres. It’s important to meet regularly and follow the basic critique process. The Writing and Critique Group Survival Guide by Becky Levine can help group members understand how to critique so each writer benefits.
3. Join a writing organization to learn and network. As a member, you have opportunities to create a solid foundation for writing craft and the business of publishing. You can learn, share, and find a critique group. You can also build a network with other writers (even famous ones!), agents, editors, and illustrators. Search online and ask around about groups most active in your area and genre. Local, state, national, and international organizations cater to every type of writing imaginable. Since I write romantic suspense and young adult, I belong to International Thriller Writers, Romance Writers of America, and Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Look for groups with local workshops, webinars, and conferences covering the craft of writing and the publishing process. When you locate the right organization, it will feel like you’ve found your tribe.
Enjoy building your writing teams!
NYC writer conference
Addison lives in Dallas, Texas on the edge of downtown. As a child, she was constantly in trouble for hiding under the bed to read when she was supposed to be napping. She has been writing since childhood starting with diaries, letters and short stories. She continues today with articles, video scripts and other content as an independent marketing consultant. When she’s not writing, Addison spends her time traveling the world, collecting interesting cocktail recipes and hosting parties. She’s still addicted to reading and has added jogging in her neighborhood park, sipping red wine, binge-watching TV series, vintage clothing and hanging out with her artistic other half and their neurotic cat Lucy.