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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

UPDATE: Anne Tetley Butcher

 Our friend and writing group member, ANNE TETLEY BUTCHER recently passed away before bringing her novel, THE VISION to completion.

At the request of her husband, Jim Butcher, the writing group members are in the process of finishing her edits and preparing her story to be published in her memory.

Anne was an educator, genealogist, talented writer and our dear friend.

Fondly,

Sara Applebaum
Jeanne Howard
Marilee Lee
Barbara Warren
Helen Wyers

  
Originally posted - 2012 in Sara's Book Blog

 

In a Writing Group


While attending a genealogy conference, I participated in several sessions on writing family stories.  I came out energized and even more motivated than before.  In several quickwrites, I was able to overcome the block that had me buffaloed for some time, how to organize and structure my memoir.  It was suddenly clear that I could begin with a number of significant issues/events and didn't have to write it according to a timeline.  It made a huge difference in getting me going instead of being stuck.

The other thing I got, was the suggestion that I find a writing group to join.  That advice was gold!

IT GETS YOU WRITING

The group met monthly and each participant brought something to be discussed.  That meant you had a date certain by which you have to have something written.  We e-mailed our work to each other a few days ahead.  This way we had time to look it over and give it some thought.  It was sometimes as little as 3 pages and as much as a whole chapter. 

The First month, I wrote 3 pages the night before.

The second month I wrote 5 pages, also the night before.

By the third month, I was off to the races.

YOU GET AN AUTHENTIC AUDIENCE REACTION

You can tell very quickly if your audience is engaged or bored or confused.  When you're engrossed in your writing and know what you're trying to communicate, it's easy to think it's there...in black and white.  The first month, the reaction to my words was rapt...but confused.  It was about the Holocaust.  The second month, I wrote more clearly but I could tell that it didn't pack the same emotional wallop.  The third month, I deliberately tried to integrate the two and it was awesome!  When your audience sees or hears it first hand in a small group, you understand more clearly if you've gotten across what you wanted to say.

IT HELPS WITH THE EDITS.

You can read what you write over and over and over again, and still not see some errors.  You tend to see what you expect to be there because you know what you meant to say.  Also, some of the other team members have particular skills that complement those of others in the group.

In our group, we have writers particularly skilled in descriptive verse,  in writing good dialogue,  in grammar and punctuation.   Some are lifelong experts in research and genealogy.  As story-tellers, the whole of the group is greater than its parts!

IT OFFERS ENCOURAGEMENT

That too is worth gold!  Each member of the group appreciates what's involved in writing.  They understand and care about each other as people and as writers.

IT GETS RESULTS!

Here are a few books that came out of our little local writing group.  All are available for purchase on Fastpencil.com   If you're a writer or want to be, let me pass on the same advice that I got.  Join a writing group.

By Barbara Anne Warren BOOKS FOR ALL,  THE GOLD THIMBLE

By Anne Tetley Butcher    TOWNFOLK

By Helen Buske Wyers      AN OKIE SPROUT

By  Sara Borczuk Applebaum  LOST AND FOUND,A Family Memoir,  POMORSKA STREET