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Creating a Writing Group

Creating a Writing Group

            If you read last week’s blog, you may already know what topic I’m covering this week. If not, welcome! This week I’m covering a question I’ve received from a few different writers. In particular, I was asked if I was in a writing group. When I said I had created one after leaving one I felt was a bad fit, I was asked what it took to create one. Specifically, they wanted to know how to make a group that works well together and accomplishes the goals of a writing group.

            Before I go too far, I’d like to point out that the writing group I had joined wasn’t a bad group. What they had worked for them, but it wasn’t right for me. That being said, the same may be true of the steps I took in making my own group. It may work for me, but it may not be exactly what you’re looking for. The five of us in my group meshed well together, but we’ve had our own fair share of people who have joined and left.

            One last thing before I jump into the steps, I wanted to go over how my group works. First, we have the goal of writing and improving our writing. We meet one to two times a month face-to-face. There we discuss what we felt worked, didn’t work, or inspired us in another member’s writings. After that, we pick a time to meet again, I create a Facebook event on our Group Page, and then we set some goals for next time. When the meeting’s all done, we go our separate ways and during the two-week gap, we work on our goals. We also read what the other members post. This is done in Google Drive where we can share our work privately with shared files / folders. Having our work there also allows us to leave comments or questions as we go. This is particularly helpful in that it works with all our schedules.

            Now here’s a breakdown of the steps so you can find what works for you!


Misadventure in Sorcery

Misadventure in Sorcery

          This week's blog comes from a tale shared by @shortSorcerer on Twitter. This story takes place as Bert, a changeling sorcerer, has a late-night encounter with some irate firbolgs. If you're new to my blog, welcome! I often do short stories of random Dungeons & Dragons campaigns. Most of the time, the stories involve some misadventure, though I do occasionally share tales of grand success. If you're unfamiliar with Dungeons & Dragons, it's a table-top role-playing game that involves mythological creatures. With dice rolls determining a player success in a situation, you can imagine the sort of chaos that can occur as low roll means they don't do so well while a higher roll most likely means success. It's a lot of fun. If you have any tales you'd like me to write up and share, feel free to send me a message here on my blog or through my email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

          Next week I'll switch over to a writing question I received a while back: How do you form a good writing group? Until then, I hope you enjoy this awesome tale!

Photo Credit: Mike Stazio


Update

Update

          It’s been another week full of distractions and full of small victories. If you haven’t guessed it yet, this is an update post on where I’m at with crafting and writing. No worries though. I’ll skip past the distractions, as I’m sure they would likely bore you. Then again, someone might be excited by the tales involved in randomly shopping for D&D miniatures, photographing mattresses, or organizing two events, one for a local fair and the other for a trip to the Indiana Comic Convention. Either way, we’re skipping all of that and jumping right into what I’ve been up to this past week!


Writing for Fun

Writing for Fun

I’m losing my mind with editing Positivity Camp, so I’ve decided to start enjoying life again by keeping up on fun writing. It may not be often, it may not even be the adventures of heroes, but at least I’ll be writing again. I may even start working on doing more posts on the writing process or tips for writers. It’s been a while since I’ve done that, and I’ve had a few writers ask me questions.

Well, I’ve rambled on long enough! If you’re a Dungeon Master for D&D, I hope this doesn’t inspire you too much. If it does, may your players never know who gave you the inspiration.

Photo Credit: Lum3n.com


Hiatus

Hiatus

The weekend is near, and I know I’m ecstatic about that! After a few crazy weeks of trying to edit and write, I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to put my blog writing on hold. In other words, Caffeine is My Muse will be going on a hiatus.


Positivity Camp Epilogue

Positivity Camp Epilogue

Then end is upon us. Well, what I meant to say is that the end to Positivity Camp is upon us. There’s still a lot I’d like to add and tweak with this story, so if you’ve enjoyed it thus far, be prepared for extras and more as I work on editing and publishing this story. Editing, I’ve learned, takes a long time for me – roughly two years. (I spend about 2-3 months editing, cutting, adding, and filling plot holes. From there, I usually find an editor to search for spelling and grammar mistakes, and then I do another round of edits.)

What I don’t know is how the cover is going to look. If you have an idea of what you’d like to see on the cover, feel free to share your idea in the comments!

I don’t know about the rest of you, but when it comes to saying goodbye to a story, it’s never easy for me. Just know that there is more to look forward to as I make this story more complete.


No Horse Left Behind

No Horse Left Behind

It’s been so long since I’ve written of mayhem in the different table top role-playing universes, and I must say, it’s good to be doing so again! If this is your first time visiting, welcome! I write many things and can be a bit random about it, but lately I’ve been taking the adventures of different Dungeons & Dragons players (or other similar campaigns) and writing them up. My blog Role-Playing Shenanigans explains it a bit more.

Other than that, I’ve also been writing a blog only short story called Positivity Camp. It’s a story about a camp that forbade negative words and punished campers who dared utter them. As you might imagine, it led to a revolt that ended…well, I shouldn’t ruin the ending, particularly when it’ll be coming out next week ;)

Now that Positivity Camp is coming to a close, you can expect me to be picking up where I left off on Ryac and The Dark Mage. This tale takes place in a book being read by a rather unpleasant child. What effect might the stolen book have on him? Well, you can find out in a few weeks as I take on its telling once more!

Photo credit: Philippe Heckel


Positivity Camp Part XLII

Positivity Camp Part XLII

Positivity Camp is drawing to a close, and I can honestly say, I’m very glad to see it ending. Don’t get me wrong, it’s been fun, but it’s also been a long journey. It’ll be nice to get back to the usual routine. Besides, there’s still Ryac and The Dark Mage to return to.

For those of you who are concerned over the fate of Positivity Camp, I’ll be working throughout the year to edit and revise the chapters. With a story this long, I already know there are several continuity errors that need fixing. I usually despise editing, but oddly enough, I’m looking forward to making the story flow better and to flesh out different characters more. The main plot will stay the same, but you can be sure there will be some interesting developments in the final version.

Until the final piece is done, I hope you’ll enjoy this the second to last chapter of Positivity Camp.


Ninja Mayhem - Part 1

Ninja Mayhem - Part 1

I hope you’re having a great Friday! If you’re new to my blog, welcome! Every week I switch between Positivity Camp (a camp where negative words are forbidden) and a tale of woe, epic success, or foolishness from a Dungeons & Dragons or D20 campaign (quick explanation: they’re tabletop games with roleplaying).

As you may know, I’ve been working on my book MAD Upload for over two years now. It’s back with the editor at the moment, but I’ve begun working on book 2. I’ve been doing my best not to lose focus, and I have four chapters done. Hopefully they don’t need too much work by the time I get to editing the full MS (manuscript). I can dream, right?

Without further delay, here is this week’s tale. As you may have noticed, it says, “Part I.” Yes, there are more stories of ninja to come. This story takes place after a previous ninja attack in the capital city and after Diplomacy. Check it out below!

Ninja Mayhem Part II


Positivity Camp Part XLI

Positivity Camp Part XLI

Hello! The weekend is upon us, and I don’t know about you, but I’m excited! I’ll finally have some time for reading the books I picked up from the library and time to play three, maybe four, D&D campaigns. You can be sure those’ll generate a story or two!

Progress on my second novel continues, but it’s slow going. Yes, I know I should work on that this weekend, but the books are calling me. As for other procrastination in the form of D&D, well, how else am I supposed to generate interesting role-playing stories of epic success or critical failures? For more on what I’m talking about, check out my blog on Role-Playing Shenanigans.

Without further delay, here’s the latest installment of Positivity Camp – a camp where counselors punish children when they speak negative words.


Diplomacy

Diplomacy

This week’s dark tale looks at why Bards should do the talking, and Knights should do the fighting and ONLY the fighting. When it comes to speaking, Bards are meant to have high Charisma. That isn’t to say a Knight can’t have high Charisma, it’s just that in Tillek’s case…he didn’t.

Photo from Maumee River Leather