Short Fiction Subgroup

  • November 19, 2014 · 7:00 PM
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New Rule Summary

Here is a general announcement of the new rule for larger work and some explanation of why.

You can bring excerpts of larger works as well here. It doesn't have to be a short story.

Length is: up to 10 pages 12 point, Times Roman, double-spaced. If you feel an introduction is needed to help readers understand what happened before the excerpt then include it. But it counts towards the the page limit.

Why a limit:

The general idea of the group is that you get critiques by giving critiques. People attending the meeting are expected to have read all work  that a) fits the length limit  b) was submitted one week before the meeting. For this meeting that would be midnight October 8th. You are also expected to have constructive comments.

That's why we have a length limit. We want to keep the amount of reading reasonable.

If you want to post an entire work you can do that. But please label it is as over the length limit. People are not obligated to read it.

If you don't meet the date and have something: post it anyway. Bring printed copies to the meeting. It may get read anyway.

People are allowed but not obligated to comment on late/over length material. 

If you don't have anything to post come anyway. The only requirements are a)that you have read any length limit compliant work that was posted by Oct. 8th  midnight deadline and b) to have constructive comments. Ideally we want this to be a group for people that are writing so posting is strongly encouraged. But only the reading and critiquing is required.

During the meeting the priorities are:

1) Critiques of material posted by October 8th midnight, which meets the length limit.

2) Critiques of material posted later that meets the limit.

3) Comments on over length material if there are any.

4) Exercises.

If you have any questions send Tom Wiskin a message.

End of New Rule Summary.

I've been a leader for an artist's support group as well as an organizer and member of other writer's groups. I believe in being a sensitive and supportive reader, wanting the story to be the winner. I am currently a grad student in Creative Writing at UBC, taking the summer off and wanting to create a core of dedicated writer/readers here in Victoria.

New requirements for this group:

— please be on time;

— you must be currently writing fiction and have at least one piece to share that you want feedback on;

— you must bring 8-10 copies of a short story, maximum of 10 pages, one page minimum, for us to read and critique, or, preferably, post here under files and then notify the group that it's here;

— format is 12 point, Times Roman, double-spaced — this evens up the playing field in terms of length, also readability and gives the reader space between lines for comments, corrections, etc.;

— when you come, you can choose to give us your email address and ask us to send our comments to you via email if you don't feel ready for a group critique;

— we will discuss feedback/critique styles. You will be able to ask for what you specifically want feed back on, i.e. a particular character, plot, continuity, dialogue, development, etc. — whatever you are having problems with;

-- If your story is longer than 10 pages, post the section you'd like to be critiqued and bring copies of the rest. Depending on the numbers of writers that show up, and how much time we each have, we may be able to look at more of your story.

— "The only way to begin is to begin, and begin right now. If you like, begin the minute you finish reading this paragraph. For sure, begin before you finish reading this book. I have no doubt the day is coming when you will be wiser or better informed or more highly skilled than you are now, but you will never be more ready to begin writing than you are right this minute. The time has come. You already know, more or less, what a good story looks like. You’ve already got in mind some human situation that matters to you. You need nothing more. Begin with whatever gives you the impetus to begin: an image, a fantasy, a situation, a memory, a motion, a situation, a set of people—anything at all that arouses your imagination. The job is only to get some or all of this into words able to reach and touch an unknown, unseen somebody “out there” known as the Reader. You must plunge into it. And you must do it now." Stephen Koch

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  • Michael


    November 20

  • Michael

    I am planning to attend Wednesday. I have a short story that is ready for feedback. Can certainly offer feedback to others.


    1 · November 15

  • ceri w.

    Thanks very much -hope to meet up soon

    November 14

  • Tom W.

    Hi Ceri,

    Please come! You are absolutely welcome. You can discuss any aspect of any project you want, including, of course,characters. You don't have to bring anything written. You don't even need to have written anything yet. As per my previous comment. I will repost:

    "I want to remind everyone that if you don't have anything to post: come anyway. You will get a chance to discuss whatever you are working on or hoping to work on. Even if you are still on the brainstorming and planning phase: come out anyway. You'll have a chance to explain your project and if you want you can hear some feedback."

    November 14

  • ceri w.

    Hi, Can I come along on Wednesday to learn about your writing tips even though I am only working on the characters for a novel? I used to be a news journalist.

    November 14

  • Tom W.

    Another thing to do is come to the meeting and get to know the people attending. Once you've met someone you may be more comfortable sharing electronic copies with them and exchanging email addresses.

    November 12

  • Tom W.

    This has come up a couple of times now. So I will make a comment.

    Some people are worried about the security of posting their work on the meet up site. I am not unsympathetic, so here are some options.

    1) You can set the security so only group members can see it. You can also delete the posting after the meeting.
    2) You can not post and bring printed copies to the meeting. People may have a chance to read and comment in the meeting.
    3) You might want to attached a copyright notice to the work. I have no idea of how much protection you get but it is something. You also might want to use an online service to mail the work to yourself so you have a way to prove when you wrote it.
    4) You can email people directly. You will have to get their email addresses from them by messaging them. People might not want to do that. Also we are all basically strangers so if you are worried about electronic copies getting around it doesn't entirely solve the problem.

    Out of room-see next post

    November 12

  • Tom W.

    I want to remind everyone that if you don't have anything to post come anyway. You will get a chance to discuss whatever you are working on or hoping to work on. Even if you are still on the brainstorming and planning phase come out anyway. You'll have a chance to explain your project and if you want you can hear some feedback.

    1 · November 9

  • Melanie P.

    Hello: Just in case somebody is interested Camosun College has a course on blogging and writing for commercial interests. It will be cancelled if they do not get just three more people. Surely there are a couple of writers out there interested?? All writers need to know about marketing if they are going to assist in marketing their books.

    The course I am teaching starts on November 4. They will cancel it soon unless I get 3 more students.

    The course is called "Blogging" and will focus on understanding your audience and what matters to them, researching and implementing keywords, persuasive writing, creating "content assets" and marketing your writing so visitors can come to your website.

    Course details are here:­

    At the link, search for:

    digital marketing
    digital content writing and blogging
    2014F bscm 735g 001

    October 21

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