Please Welcome Author Shelly Goodman Wright

Value of a Writing Critique Group

There is something special about a person who can look at a beautiful Colorado Fall day and then paint that world with their words. They can draw the reader into their mind letting them escape into somewhere new, unknown, and exciting. I call them writers.
About eighteen months ago, I picked up laptop and began to write. It felt strange at first, but like riding a bike, soon I was staring at a 70,000 word count. I loved the accomplishment of actually having a completed novel, but the thought occurred to me, "now what?"
I passed out my manuscript to a few friends, joined a few website groups that let you post bits and pieces, and did some internet searching. My friends, although I love them for their support, really didn't give me much feedback; the internet sites, unless you pay money, give very little feedback if any. However, the internet research led me to an editor's blog (and most of them give this advice) suggesting finding a local writing group.
The Colorado Springs Fiction Writer's Group caught my attention at the top of the list. Started in 1996 by Henry Snider and Hollie Snider, the group is a fusion of all writing styles and genres. Offering critiques and support, I knew this group was exactly what I needed.
The critiques not only helped grow me as a writer, but critiquing others has helped my writing as well. It's easy to see the mistakes in writing when we aren't the ones writing it. But after a time, you begin to see it and you look at your manuscript in a whole new way: Crafting another draft--a better draft. The worst critique is your best critique--in this warm and supportive group.
My question to you, are you someone who loves to write? Someone who sees a story in just about everything around them? Or are you someone who likes to read and enjoys offering a writer an honest opinion to help them grow their craft? Then maybe a writing group is right up your alley and with four groups in different locations around the Springs, you’re sure to find one that fits your schedule.
I’m not a published writer, yet, but I know someday I will be and will thank this group for helping me take my writing to the next level. 

UPDATED:  Since this article was written, I have two publications in the works.  The first is my first story story to appear in Steampunk Tales 2011 Fall Edition e-zine and the big one--my Christian romance/suspense novel A LIGHT INTO THE DARKNESS is scheduled to be in all major bookstores by FEB 2012! 

Keep going after your dreams and don't let anyone stop you!

Happy Writing... 
Shelly Goodman Wright



rue volley said…
Great article:) I had a test group of 67 on my first book. I had no intention of it being that big, but it grew and as it did so did the help:) It is imperative to have people to guide you so that the story does not glitch on you. My first novel (once formatted) ended up being over 500 pages:) Easy to get lost in all that, so support is so important and true.
Toni said…
Thank you for telling us of your journey! I'm a reader/reviewer not a writer, but from what I have learned these last few months is that it is extremely hard work. Most readers don't think beyond the book. Thank you again for sharing.
Deena said…
Congrats on your latest news of publication! Here's to lots of sales!
Felicia said…
Toni is so right. When I first started writing I didn't look past that. I had no idea all that was involved until I reached the end and sought publication.

Total congratulations to you for making it into major bookstores! That is a feat not many new authors are accomplishing these days.

Thanks so much for sharing your story, I'm sure it will inspire many in the future.
Eda Suzanne said…
Thanks for sharing your story. I also was helped tremendously by writers' group.

Eda Suzanne

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