The Las Vegas Writer's Conference website is updated.
Our holiday party on December 17th is two weeks away.
Congratulations to Jo Wilkins on an outstanding compliment on her books. An enthusiastic reader bought two copies and said he thought the Tyranny series was better than Firefly, a popular science fiction series with a cult following.
A big congratulations to Jay Yarbrough on signing a book contract with local publisher Ink and Quill this week!
Next Monday, December 10th, is our last weekly meeting for 2012. Writer's Pen and Grill will be meeting the following Wednesday (12/12/12). Next year, our first weekly meeting on January 7th will be held at the Albertson's grocery store, located at the corner of Horizon and College in Henderson.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT:
These critiquing guidelines were drafted in 2000, shortly after the HWG was formed. They have helped us encourage the newer members to build their abilities and established writers hone their talent. By critiquing the writing and not the author with constructive critiques and respecting each others’ comments (even when we don’t agree with them) we have built the HWG into a group that can offer encouragement and advice to many aspiring authors.
So, with all the different philosophies out there on how to write, edit and critique, let’s keep allowing our fellow members to express themselves without fear of being shot down. Each member reading for a critique has the right to accept or ignore the critiques given, write in the style they feel best suits their voice, and express their story in their own way. In giving critiques, we can only advise each other in the ways we have been taught.
Authors should request what type of critique they want prior to reading. If you want the listeners to focus on one aspect of your story be it, plot, pace, voice or dialog, the critique will have more value if the listeners can focus while you are reading.
Authors should warn listeners about any possibly offensive content prior to beginning. Don’t be offended if someone does not want to listen to explicit sexual content or language.
As the author, please do not be argumentative when a critiquer gives an opinion. If they have misunderstood a point it is OKAY to tell them what you meant. But, arguing with them about their opinion is counter-productive. Especially, when you consider that you asked for that opinion by presenting your work.
Stories are written by people, and people have feelings. That doesn’t mean you should be complimentary when a story clearly needs work. The worst thing you can do in a critique is to tell someone how great their story is when, in fact, it isn’t. Your job is to use fresh eyes to spot problems the author can’t see because they are too close to the story — CRITIQUE THE STORY AND NOT THE AUTHOR
There are no rules for critiquing. (Other than no blood-on-the-floor-critiques) A critique is an opinion about a story — hopefully an educated opinion, but an opinion nevertheless — and every one has them.
Keep your critique focused on the work at hand. Comparing the work being critiqued to your own is not the best way to make your point. Remember you are not writing this story.
Try to make your comments clear, specific and as understandable as possible, both for the author’s sake, and for the other listeners as well.
Try to keep in mind the author’s skill level, taste, and prior experience you’ve had with their work (if any) while you critique. Our goal is to help all our members improve their writing and get published. Writing is a skill which is learned and which is improved with continual work and effort. No matter what point at which a writer starts, if he or she continues to work diligently, he or she will one day be writing publishable material.