Thursday, September 23, 2010

Staying Connected

When I decided I was going to get "serious" about my writing, the first thing I did was join a local RWA chapter. My chapter, Chicago-North RWA, has been instrumental on my road to becoming a published author. I cannot express enough gratitude to the wonderful ladies and gentlemen of C-N throughout the years who have offered support, encouragement, and advice. I firmly believe if I'd never joined this group, I wouldn't be a published author today. We have an out-of-this-world critiquing program, and each new book I start comes to the chapter for a critique. With this process, each and every new book gets off on the right foot.

And, if you're going to belong to a local RWA chapter, you need to belong to the National organization. Through this I've learned of contests and conferences which have given me other outlets to have my work critiqued and learn about craft. The RWR comes each month and contains articles and other information.

When I became a published author, I joined several loops, which I use mostly for promotion, but also to keep in touch with other authors. Unfortunately, these days a busy schedule doesn't permit me to spend as much time visiting these loops as I'd like, but I still keep my "membership".

Staying connected is key in this business, as is finding those who will support and encourage. I don't know what I'd do without my fellow Chicago-Northers.

Until next time,

Happy Reading!

Debra
www.debrastjohnromance.com

6 comments:

  1. I love the idea of having a solid critique done at the outset, Debra! Do you present a plot outline? H/H character profiles with arc?

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  2. We do a variety of things during a critique session. We can bring a first chapter, synopsis, outline, or simply do a brainstorming session. Most people opt to bring first chapters.

    Next month we have a special critique night called "Hot Night" when we can bring in a kissing or sex scene. Now those are fun nights! We've also done query letters at special critique nights.

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  3. How fantastic to have a local critique group where you can discuss things - I'm envious!

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  4. I really am spoiled...but I love it.

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