Tag Archives: SouthWest writers

Critique Groups

So I decided to take the next step in being a better writer. Well, ok, not exactly. My husband has been writing a screenplay since before we met, a short. I started dragging him with me to my writer’s group and introduced him to some other screenplay writers. He decided to join their critique group. You are probably wondering why this should make any difference to my writing, but I’m getting to that.
He is being critique tonight so I’m tagging along. I’ve have never been to a critique group before. I rely mostly on my friends who read the genre that I write in. You may think I’m being a wuss but when pushed my friends can be just has biting and critical as anybody else. Sometimes more so, or that might just be my take on it.
First thing I can tell you about critique groups is that they look a lot like any meeting where people are going to talk about their addiction. There is plenty of caffeine and sugar available everywhere you turn. You can tell who is on the chopping block for the evening because of the pale deer in headlights look on their faces.
At the sound of the bell everyone gathers around the table. Critics are given 2-5 minutes, timed, to state what they like and what they didn’t like. They make it around the circle quickly with no response from the person whose screenplay it is. After everyone states what he or she have to say there is a 10 minutes discussion period before they move on to the next victim.
I have to say it wasn’t has painful as I was expecting. There were a lot of great ideas kicked around the table. It’s truly amazing to see a group of people sharing the knowledge of something they love. A critique group has it’s upsides by my little group of friends might kill me if I didn’t let them read it first.

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Filed under Albuquerque, writing

Meet the author Irene I. Blea

Irene I. Blea was born and raised here in Northern New Mexico. She has long studied her homeland and it’s customs, as form chairperson of the Department of Mexican American studies at California University-Los Angeles she brings a unique prospective to her novels. The first in her trilogy chronicling the life of Suzanna, a young girl born to a poor family in northern New Mexico and the role gender inequality and religion play in shaping a young girl’s life.

The book is rich in description and details transport you in to the beauty and intensity of northern New Mexico of the past. Suzanne is a lovely little girl growing up in devastating circumstances common to so many poor uneducated women. The heart wrenching coming of age story of one young girl’s struggle to keep her family together miles from her nearest neighbors.

Speaking with the author she said the subject was not hard for her to write. She had many years in women’s studied and her own personal and painful experience to draw from. The trouble came in trying to create Don Felipe has a full character. “I just could not give him a full character sketch, make him real, until I had a 15 page Word conversation with him. This material never got into the novel, but I drew on it to finally get him written on the page. He was the most difficult character because I did not like him and he did not, via the dialog exercise, like me.”

The author’s descriptive writing style brings the characters and the scenery to life. The second book in the trilogy Poor People’s Flower will be released in mid February 2014.

Check out more at NMEntertains.com

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Filed under Albuquerque, Art, writing

SouthWest Writers and NaNoWriMo

Have you ever wanted to write a book? How about a poem or maybe a magazine article? Well, this is the month to get motivated. November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). This online community helps both struggling and published writers set down 50,000 words in one month by sending out pep talks, guidelines, and other motivators to get the job done.

            If you are looking for something more up close and personal or a way to keep the motivation going all year around, we have the local group you have been looking for.  SouthWest Writers meets the first Saturday and the third Tuesday of every month with a local focus on NaNoWriMo during the month of November. They meet in Albuquerque at New Life Presbyterian Church (5540 Eubank NE).

            Each meeting consists of business at hand, a meet and greet, and a speaker for the day. The speakers are there to share their experiences in the world of writing. They are open about their successes and failures and want the people attending the meetings to learn from their mistakes so they can avoid making the same ones. The environment is supportive, encouraging, and everyone there is friendly.  You will find that conversation is easy to have, regardless of whether you’re a newbie who hasn’t written a word or a published author with twenty books under your belt.

            SouthWest Writers also offers four to six week classes and day-long workshops covering a variety of subjects all related to writing. Members always receive discounts and access to their newsletter, SouthWest Sage, a monthly publication that will inform you of events in town such as local author book signings and writing groups for the genre of your choosing.

            If you want to write, now is the time to start with NANoWriMo.  You can visit them online or at local meetups around your area. In December, SouthWest Writers will be there to guide you through your next steps. If you don’t make your word count this month, don’t worry – SouthWest Writers has classes and workshops in January to help you plot out your project and see it through to completion.  Find them online at SouthWest Writers

New Mexico Entertainment Magazine

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