Last week I asked if your writing group was daring this week I want to ask if your group has purpose, Purpose is something a group needs otherwise you’re spinning your wheels, your writing wheels at least.
A group can have a singular purpose or one that encompasses all areas of writing. Including writing, editing, critiquing, publishing and marketing. Our group Write On The Edge is one that encompasses all.
We meet every week and our two hours are spent in responding to a prompt, a presentation in some area or writing and critique of a member’s material if someone has a short piece they want to submit. We use a variety of material for our prompt; this week we did a Pick Six which is actually a three part prompt with six choices to each part. A throw of the dice and one of the six choices is set with the set up given for each choice and after two more throws the time starts. Normally it’s a ten minute time limit this week we did fifteen. One of the things we do in our group is take a close look at Writer’s Digest. We appreciate the magazine for the great material for writers of all levels. This in depth look and discussion helps clarify some material for us, as well as questions about the validity of the information in the articles.
In the fall we gear up for NaNoWriMo. It is one of purposes to encourage members to take on its challenge, In the past three years several members have taken up the challenge and meant it and went on to publish. So in September and October we look at all the components of a story: plot, character, world building, etc. We may talk about organizing do you outline, do a story board, use a program like Scrivner, make notecards, and do a story line.
Critique is an important part of our group’s purpose. We will critique any writing: poetry, personal essay, fiction and non-fiction. I know many groups are exclusive but it is my contention even if you never read science-fiction or mystery or no nothing about poetry helping someone make better sounding sentences or finding the just right word is something any writer can do.
Dong a prompt each week is something that we elected to be a purpose and on many days the results astound us. I said I was going to post some prompt results on this site I haven’t been doing that but this week I am going to share my response to the prompt with you. It was from an exercise called a Pick Six. I’m not going to explain it here, but if you want to know what it entails check out some of past ones at writeontheedgeyuma.com
Here’s my result from this weeks prompt.
A To I Salesman
Morrie was having a good day. He’d made three sales calls and all three had purchased the new super-duper automated toaster. He’d also got several leads from these customers he’d sold the Genie Pop-up Automated Two, too.
His company A to I appliances had just come out with this new model and were having a special contests for their entire sales staff. The grand prize was an all-expense paid seven day – eight night trip to Hawaii for two.
Morrie had always dreamed of going to Hawaii, but as a salesman he had a difficult time selling enough product to afford his modest home and the only vacations he had were he and the wife’s road trips to her parents every summer. They had a place on a lake and it wasn’t grand but nice and always a change from their tiny bungalow in the city. The in-laws place was in no way Hawaii. Besides for once it would be nice to have a week where his mother-in-law was reminding him what a poor provider he was and how her daughter had married down.
“Josie,” he said to the small stuffed horse he carried in the pocket of his plaid sport coat, “you must be my good luck charm because having you with today seems to have increased my sales volume. I’m up 300 percent from last week.”
Morrie thought he heard a quiet neigh. He shook his head. “No way that’s possible. Unless?” He looked around maybe there was a horse in the vicinity. While he was searching the area who should he see coming down the street but Mrs. Cora Harper. Wow, he thought, Mrs. Harper my favorite grade school teacher. She had been his fifth grade teacher and was always kind to him. She never treated him like the poor kid form the wrong side on the tracks like he was.
“Mrs. Harper, Hi, it’s me Morrie James. Remember me?”
The elderly woman lifted her head which seemed too heavy for her spindly neck and stared at him for a long minute. Then she smiled. “Of course, I remember you Morrie. You were a sweet boy always bringing me apples from your family orchard. What are you doing way out here?”
“I’m selling toasters for the A to I Appliance Company. They have a great new model. I’ve sold three today.”
“How wonderful, Morrie, you must be a great salesman.”
Morrie felt the heat rising up his neck and into his cheeks. “Well, I think the difference today is I’ve got my good luck piece with me. With that he pulled the small stuffed horse out of his pocket dropping change all over the ground when he did. He held it out. “See.”
“Artificial Intelligence in a toaster definitely not a good idea,” came a voice from deep inside the tiny equine toy.