"It's impossible to discourage the real writers; they don't give a damn what you say." Sinclair Lewis

Monday, September 20, 2010

Why Join a Writers Group

When I first started writing, I was told by many veteran writers that it was very important that I find a good writers group and join. Being new to the business and somewhat intimidated by having someone else read my work and critique it, I was reluctant to put myself through that process. I resisted for a couple of years, but finally matured enough to realize that it might just help me to improve my writing. So I found Blue Sage Writers and joined. It still took me awhile to get up the courage to read my stuff to the group, but again, I finally matured enough to do that. A recent experience proves just how important writer support really is.

In my last post I believe I mentioned that I had just finished my screenplay and was ready to send it off to the movie producer. Well, I did that. Unfortunately for me, it was not accepted, but I suppose it was unrealistic of me to think that a novice screenwriter the first time out would receive an option on his script. However, all is not lost. I was offered the opportunity to resubmit it if I would make some changes. I called on my fellow Blue Sage writers, and they stepped up to the plate with many helpful suggestions for revising and improving it.

I was trying to adapt into a movie a book that I had written containing several short story adventures. I was having trouble finding the character arc for the protagonist that I could use to tie all these stories into one whole. With the help of members of this writing group who furnished me with some very good suggestions for revising it, I went back to the writing board and tried it again.

One particular member’s suggestion turned on that light bulb over the head we used to see in the comic strips when a character experienced a brilliant idea. Her suggestion made me realize I had my character arc built right into one of the stories. All I had to do was use it to tie the stories together. I fragmented that story throughout the movie to set up my protagonist's goal, and voila, I had my character arc. I don’t know if I would have thought of that idea had she not pointed it out to me.

So you see, folks, this is the reason why we need to belong to a writers group. A strong group is a valuable asset to any writer. Several heads are almost always better than one. Much valuable experience can be gained from such an association.

Bill lives in Tucson, Arizona. He is a two-time Associated Press award-winning columnist and writes fiction under the name Will Edwinson. His national award-winning book, Buddy…His Trials and Treasures, is available at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, or by asking for it at your favorite bookstore. Check his web site and blog at www.willedwinson.com. Bill also writes free-lance for IDAHO magazine.


  1. All of us Blue Sagers miss you at the meetings, Bill, but we're glad you're having fun down there in Arizona. And glad you are still part of the group as a long-distance member!


  2. You are so right, Bill! The group has helped me more times than I can remember. When I read your blog, I "heard" you reading it. We missed you at the workshop, Bro, and we really miss you at the meetings. Fingers crossed for your screenplay!