Join 3,564 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)

A Clean, Well-Lighted Place with Smart, Creative People
May 4, 2009 3:27 PM   Subscribe

Do you write long-form fiction? Do you live in New York? Let's start a writers' group.

I know an online MetaFilter writers' group has been tried in the past—this is not that. I'd like to get together in person with other local mefites who are writing, on a monthly basis, for workshopping, critiquing, and encouragement.

Do you live in New York and would you like to join me? I intend to use the guidelines of this writers' group as a template (the major difference being that this group will be for all kinds of fiction, and not only SF).
posted by ocherdraco to MetaFilter Gatherings at 3:27 PM (32 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

What if you're an inconstant hermit?
posted by The Whelk at 3:38 PM on May 4, 2009


Hm... I'm trying to focus on playwriting these days, but I do some fiction and I like the idea of a writing group. I'd be down if we could gather a posse.
posted by Help, I can't stop talking! at 3:38 PM on May 4, 2009


Whelk, so long as you're prepared to read what you're working on, to take criticism, and also to give it, we'll take you.
posted by ocherdraco at 3:45 PM on May 4, 2009


This is hilarious. I was going to suggest this. I'm in. Will MeFiMail you with my info. :)
posted by brina at 3:49 PM on May 4, 2009


I don't live anywhere near New York. Can I just MeMail criticism to be read aloud to the group? I wouldn't waste your time with my writing or by reading anything you wrote. I'd just be sending random criticisms that may or may not apply to you.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:00 PM on May 4, 2009 [12 favorites]


I'm interested in this.
posted by hermitosis at 4:06 PM on May 4, 2009


What if you're an inconstant hermit?
posted by The Whelk at 6:38 PM on May 4 [+] [!]

I'm interested in this.
posted by hermitosis at 7:06 PM on May 4 [+] [!]


eponysterilarious
posted by yonation at 4:13 PM on May 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm an expat New Yorker at the moment, but would be interested when I move back this year.
posted by grobstein at 4:34 PM on May 4, 2009


I'd just be sending random criticisms that may or may not apply to you.

You could make a deck out of these, market it as a sort of feel-bad Oblique Strategies.

"Ugh, don't you think you've been relying on that a bit much?"
"Oh, goodie, another metaphor."
"I hope for your sake that you make love better than you write sex."
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:27 PM on May 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


How long is long-form?
posted by Afroblanco at 5:28 PM on May 4, 2009


"Ugh, don't you think you've been relying on that a bit much?"
"Oh, goodie, another metaphor."
"I hope for your sake that you make love better than you write sex."


Mom?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:32 PM on May 4, 2009


Can the group be titled "Look for work"

It makes it easier when the girlfriend asks where I'm going.

Put me down as a maybe.
posted by rakish_yet_centered at 5:33 PM on May 4, 2009 [4 favorites]


I'm usually all about criticism circles but I live far from the cool bits of town where the hip literary mefites live and I have an unpredictable schedule . I can e-mail like a mofo tho, but I guess that's not what your looking for.


Where in town where you considering?
posted by The Whelk at 5:51 PM on May 4, 2009


How long is long-form?

Anywhere from the length of those long-ass New Yorker-style fictions to Moby Dick. From the long story to the tome.

Where in town where you considering?

I was thinking we'd rotate around the homes of the various members, starting with mine (which is in Harlem, by the way). If someone truly lives in the outer reaches of the city, the kind of place one must take the LIRR and an express bus to get to, they can host at a location of their choosing that is easier to get to.

Can the group be titled "Look for work"

I think "Looking for Work" actually isn't so bad. Both an alibi and a description of what we're doing.

Mom?

Yes, dear?
posted by ocherdraco at 6:27 PM on May 4, 2009


Also, if you're interested, and your email isn't readily apparent, please send it to me via MeMail, so I can send out information to the whole group, rather than having to MeMail you each individually.
posted by ocherdraco at 6:30 PM on May 4, 2009


Must it be fiction?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:49 PM on May 4, 2009


Count me in, if I can work it with my schedule.
posted by Jeanne at 4:21 AM on May 5, 2009


It's just fiction, yes.

All right, I'm going to be emailing you all later today or tomorrow, and we'll hash out details for our first meeting.
posted by ocherdraco at 4:53 AM on May 5, 2009


Awesome possum! Count me in.
posted by lolichka at 5:16 AM on May 5, 2009


sure... go ahead and sign me up.
posted by Afroblanco at 7:34 AM on May 5, 2009


This is a cool idea. I might be down for it....but I'll be honest, it's 90% because I want to be randomly, viciously insulted by IRFH.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 8:18 AM on May 5, 2009


I'd be interested.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:48 AM on May 5, 2009


The email with info about our first meeting will be coming tonight, folks.
posted by ocherdraco at 12:09 PM on May 6, 2009


The email has gone out. If you were expecting to receive it but didn't, let me know.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:16 PM on May 6, 2009


We had our first meeting! It was fun.

Some things that came up that other mefites might enjoy:
posted by ocherdraco at 4:22 PM on May 19, 2009


"to bank a fire": this phrase does not mean[s exactly] what you think [I thought] it means.

Pro tip: Avoid using the phrase "this phrase does not mean what you think it means," especially in places like MetaFilter, where no matter who you are, there are always at least 1 or 2 thousand others out there who know more about any given subject than you do. Assuming that your readers are ignorant is, perhaps, a safe bet in the general case, but it's still not a good idea to actually tell us that's how you feel.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:57 PM on May 19, 2009


Oh hooray! The criticism begins!

Incidentally, none of us who were there knew what it meant, properly, until StickyCarpet told us. I suppose we're all ignorant dolts. Whee.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:05 PM on May 19, 2009


Sorry if that came off harsher than I meant it, ocherdraco. Wasn't trying to slam you personally. That particular snowclone is just a pet peeve of mine, and it seems to be growing in popularity, much to my dismay. My point is that if anyone - myself first and foremost - were to use that phrase about pretty much anything at all around here, there would be a fair contingent of MeFites for whom it would not only not apply, but to whom it would actually be an insult. Especially since it really says the opposite of what it is supposed to mean. What it really says is: "I misunderstood/didn't know this thing, and I assume all of you have got it wrong, too." But that's not a safe assumption around here, because there are a lot of really smart people reading MetaFilter - definitely not talking about myself, this time - and also a broad enough spectrum of humanity that almost any arcane bit of knowledge is bound to be represented. In this case, I just happened to know this specific thing (Boy Scouts, represent!). But I would have used this as my opening criticism even had your statement been true about me, because it is my personal mission to kill that meme dead. Because here's the thing about that phrase - it's supposed to sound contemporary and clever, riffing, I suppose, on the classic line from The Princess Bride (or not, but that's what it reminds me of). But in reality, it makes the author sound somehow both condescending and ignorant at the same time. Two things which, from everything I have seen so far, you are not. Therefore, I beg of you to strike it from your repertoire, for it does not serve you well. You are better than that. I promise.

Also - while I'm here: Dormant Gorilla - Try rewriting that first chapter with fewer words. Preferably, better words. If you can't manage that, try using half of the same words, but rearrange them to describe something interesting this time.*

*Hey, you asked.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:58 PM on May 19, 2009


It came off pretty harsh, yeah. But your point is a good one, so I hereby revise my earlier statement. How about "you may be surprised to learn that X means..."? which leaves the door open for either knowledge or a lack thereof?
posted by ocherdraco at 4:58 AM on May 20, 2009


I'm not making a blog post out of this one, but someone else is welcome to.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:24 AM on May 20, 2009


you may be surprised to learn that X means...

Perfectly clear, and strikes, I think, exactly the tone you were going for.

Sorry for being a grumpus.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:15 AM on May 20, 2009


Sorry for being a grumpus.

So long as you aren't a krampus, I think we'll be all right.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:24 AM on May 20, 2009


« Older You know you're a mefite if......  |  Just a suggestion for quality ... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments