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Posts Tagged ‘Ruiyan Xu’

Join a Writing Critique Group: National Novel Editing Month Tip

As writers around the world edit manuscripts for National Novel Editing Month, you should think about joining a writing critique group.

The Blood Red Pencil blog has a great article by mystery novelist Patricia Stoltey explaining why  writing groups are so important.

Here’s an excerpt: “One of the best ways to hone self-editing skills is to meet regularly with other writers and critique their work. Timid souls who might be overwhelmed by larger groups may do best with one critique partner. Unstructured clubs that meet once in a while are useful for hermit-writers who need occasional feedback. Online critique sessions, or meetings via Skype, are helpful if local groups are not available.”

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How to Start a Writing Group

Debut novelist Ruiyan Xu has worked with different writing groups for the last eight years. A few years ago, this GalleyCat editor joined a writers group with her–watching Xu finish her new novel, The Lost and Forgotten Languages of Shanghai.

We caught up with Xu to find out why she joined these groups. She explained: “I had a full time job pretty much during the entire time that I was working on my novel, and it’s very easy, when one is busy and working, to give writing the short shrift. Being part of a group of people who are passionate and serious about writing (and publishing) gave me a sense of structure that I otherwise lacked. I needed the deadlines that the writer’s group created, and it definitely kept me on track.”

We also asked for her advice on building a successful writing group. “When starting a group, ask around — friends of friends are often great group members because you already have something in common. Try to make sure everyone has similar and compatible goals,” Xu suggested. “If you’re writing in different genres, it’s best if members of the group are at least interested in reading works from each other’s genres. If you have no interest in reading science fiction, and one member of your group only writes science fiction, then those submission are going to be a painful chore to get through.”

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