The name chosen for the community needs to be changed because:
a) it implies that only members of "the pack" can join or
b) it leaves out members of "the pack" who are not also writers.
We brainstormed ideas for the name but ultimately decided that it should be a group decision. However, a group decision means we need input. It was suggested that we pattern the name after the famous Algonquin Roundtable
of authors from the 1920s.
Here are a list of possible names. Please let us know what you think of these and/or suggest more.
How to conduct our meetings
- Degenerates Roundtable
- Silver Quill Roundtable
- Blinking Cursor Roundtable
- PenUltimate Roundtable
- Squeaky Wheel Roundtable
- Witty Wonders Roundtable
At the beginning of each meeting we will check in, giving our name, and the state of our emotions, mind, being that we are bringing to the meeting. For example, "My name is Liz and I'm feeling guilty because I have not been writing as much as I should.
During check in no one can respond or react to what the person says. Its an opportunity for them to have control of their time. You can comment when someone doesn't give their emotions full power. For example if I say, "I'm feeling a little guilty." Does that mean I'm feeling guilty or not? It is important to own your feelings and not to qualify or diminish them. Finally, check in will be the time for us to report back to the group on our writing accomplishments if we choose to. Some of us will benefit from being held responsible for the work we do, others are not interested in the quanity they produce. Giving Criticism
Basically, we found value in having a set time to speak without interruptions and in having an open discussion. So we figured that if we are critiquing someone's work, we will start by giving each person time to speak without interruption. After each person has gone around and said something, we will then open it up for discussion. However, as authors we should be careful not to defend our work too fervently during critique or spend too much energy explaining why we did something. We can give each other the benefit of knowing that we all had good reasons for doing what we did and we can all agree that as authors we make take the advice we're given and we may not.
Finally, we should always remember to temper the bad with the good and make an effort to keep all criticism specific and constructive. Meeting times and locations
We decided that we will start out holding the meetings bi-monthly. We will stick with Fridays at 7-9 p.m. But by doing it on a Friday night it pretty much means we need to be holding the meetings at our houses. We would like to alternate locations so that the same people aren't always having to drive somewhere. The next meeting will be held Friday, Feb. 6 at Jess and James' house
. If you need directions, let us know. Whoever hosts can be the moderator or leader of the meeting to whatever extent that we need one (if at all). Staying focused
Keeping on topic was an issue last night, particularly since it was a rather informal gathering. So we realized that we will all have to make a point to keep each other on topic during the meeting. If the meetings are going to remain within a certain amount of time we will have to call each other on getting off topic. We can take time after the meetings to get together and be social. We don't always have to stay at the host's house, we can go out afterwards or something. A few exercises to get us started
gave us some photos as an exercise to get the meeting started next time. Write a poem, short story or vignette based on those pictures. Its completely optional and you can share during hte next meeting if you choose. Those are posted in the community already.
I suggested an exercise for those of us who already have ideas in the works. This is just for you and your purposes, you dont' have to bring this to the group if you don't want to. Its basically a way to make sure you have all the necessary elements and that you've focused your story. What you do is you have to summarize your story in two sentences.
The first sentence should include your character, her situation and her goal. The second sentence should be in the form of a question and should include the antagonist and the disaster. It helps you to determine whether or not your protagonist and antagonist are at opposing goals So if we were to do Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone it would go like this:
Harry Potter, a 13-year old orphan finds out he's a wizard and realizes he will finally get away from the abusive family and find a place where he belongs. But can he stay at Hogwarts when he discovers that Voldemort, an evil dark wizard killed his parents and now wants to kill him too?
I think that's everything. If I left anything out, please let me know! I hope to see you guys at the next meeting!