Thursday, March 10, 2011

More Ch-ch-ch-changes

Saturday we held what I thought would be my last (and possibly THE last) CWC meeting.  I had announced a few weeks earlier that I'm still struggling with my writing and need to step away from even listening to critiques.  I've also cut back on reading agent blogs and those that dispense writing advice.  I haven't canceled my subscription to Writer's Digest, but I have dropped Poets & Writers for now, and WD is going on the shelf until I feel like it won't negatively influence me.

Since Mary and I carpool down to Pueblo, she wasn't sure she wanted to keep making the drive each month alone, especially since she's been struggling with her own writing and might not have anything to submit for a while.  Shane, too, hasn't been able to write, not so much out of writer's block, but because it's his first year as an English teacher and that pretty much eats up all his time.

That would leave just Ali and Jenny.  And Jenny has another critique group (she's fickle that way).  So, death to CWC, right?


I returned to the table after a bathroom break.  Conversation ceased, heads turned.  Oh-oh.  "What?" 

They decided, in the five minutes tops that I was gone, to change the format once again.  We'll still get together once a month for dinner--on Saturday, which works better for everyone--to talk.  About writing, other kinds of storytelling, what we're having trouble with, what's working, our lives in general.  Basically, whatever.  Sorta like the old Pirate days.  If someone wants to submit something, they can, of course.  And, if I still need to avoid all critiques, I can read it and mark it up (for some reason that doesn't bother me), drop Mary off with my feedback so they can discuss, and go somewhere for an hour to hang out or write.  Then I'll join the rest of the group for dinner.

Cool, huh?

Second transformation of the group in almost two and half years.  Most writing groups don't make it a year.  And big changes will kill even the strongest group.  But we seem to be the little Timex group.  We just keep ticking. 

Monday, March 7, 2011

And Another Thing

I learned about writing from  the Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries by Charlaine Harris/True Blood, based on the books.

6)      Keep telling your story

As I said in item 5, the makers of the True Blood, the television show, are not really following the books anymore.  There’s a vague resemblance in some places, but the shows are different.  So much so that a character who dies in the first book is still alive—and a fan favorite—in the Season Three finale.

Even with the changes, Charlaine Harris has continued to tell the stories her way.  The television show introduced Vampire Eric’s maker in Season One.  He is not the maker Harris gives the reader in Book Eight.  That takes dedication to your storytelling. 

Would you be able to continue writing a series the way you originally planned if a hugely popular television show based on your characters  had already given a different version of a situation?  Character?