Writing Groups: Two Pens Can Be Better Than One

by Brooke Hemingway, Age 12, USA

 

Writing is usually seen as an independent field, one in which we writers delve into our imaginations in a cocoon of solitude. Each writer is left alone, with only the eerie glow of a laptop screen and a dark room to craft a work of art.

But there are ways to write with other people.

Even if you aren’t a social person, writing in a group can be a new and rewarding experience. Working with other writers helps you respect other types of writing, improves your own writing, and teaches you new styles and techniques. And…two pens can be better than one.

Respect. Before writing with my best friend, I really didn’t like reading stories by other young writers. But in a writing group, reading your peers’ work becomes a necessary procedure, and it trains you to respect and appreciate the work while giving kind and constructive feedback.

Feedback. Writing with a group at my local library showed me that I had a tendency to be very wordy and have giant subplots that I would leave unresolved. Using the group’s feedback, I was able to work on closing plot holes and cutting excess words. Feedback is a great tool and should be used any chance you get. Writing groups allow other people to comment on your work and tell you about the gaps you may need to fill.

New styles. When you read over other people’s work, you may notice how they use different types of speech for each character, or have flashbacks in order to support the message of the piece. These small observations can be used in your own writing, which could enhance the perspective of a scene and allow the reader to follow better.

Writers are always shaping and growing, using new techniques and discarding less helpful ones. If we learn from each other our writing can grow to greater heights. So pick up your pen, grab a friend, some paper, and sit down and write.

LTC has a writing group on Facebook. Find out more.

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Brooke says: “I am an impatient young writer who is currently immersing myself in the magic of the ancient Greek gods.”

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