The Romance Genre on the Web

Researching online romance genre communities and their perspectives

Writer’s resources and learning online

Filed under: Uncategorized — Bron at 10:02 am on Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I’d like to ask authors and aspiring authors a few questions about their learning about the craft and business of writing and publishing. I know, in my own case, that I floundered as a beginning writer, isolated in a small town, until I found online groups and links to and information about the Romance Writers of Australia.

So, I’m interested as part of my research in what role, if any, the myriad of online groups, sites and resources have played for you.

1. How have online resources, groups and sites contributed to your development as a writer? What has been most useful? What has been least useful, or counter-productive for you?

2. Have you ever attended a formal writing program/course (eg at a college or university). If so, how did your learning in that program compare with what you have learned as a result of online or other activity?

3. What’s your advice to aspiring writers about online resources and groups?

3 Comments

Comment by Angie the Hippo

June 20, 2007 @ 6:19 pm

1. Mostly by being encouraged by other writers, and having people who understand when I complain about how my story isn’t “working”. Sometimes others give tips on how to get the story back on track, without actually knowing the story itself.

2. A long time ago I took a writing class at university, it was part of English classes, and not targetet for writers. What I learned? That the teacher had an obsession with commas. I have had much more help from my writing friends online, in online community.

3. There is soooo much information available online now. And check out different communities, read their websites. There is publishing info, writing tips. Some of them also have e-books, which makes it easier to read other books in the same genre that you are writing yourself, (this will help seeing what the publishers want!)

Comment by Karen (Chigger)

June 21, 2007 @ 12:34 am

1. I think online resources are invaluable. For one thing, every aspiring writer needs support, and other writers understand what you are going through. Most authors understand where you are coming from and want to help fellow writers so they post helpful links on their websites. I have found good resources just by checking out webpages of favorite authors.
2. I took a writing class in college, but it was more aimed towards research writing. It wasn’t creative writing. I’m not sure how I’d feel about a formal creative writing class – I do enjoy taking classes online though. My life is too busy to actually drive to a campus to take a class.
3. Advice to aspiring writers? Find a good support group, and try to find a writing buddy. It’s so helpful to find someone to bounce ideas off, and to be able to read and critique her ideas as well. A good support group (some of them are rather batty) is invaluable. These people know exactly what you are going through and can provide lots of advice and resources!

Comment by Jennie Adams

June 23, 2007 @ 9:42 am

Hi Bron, Karen and Angie,

My first strike toward a career in writing started with a correspondence course that covered everything from article and short story writing to plays and writing for radio. I found it really useful, and my tutor was very encouraging. That got me started looking ‘out there’ for resources to help me realise my dream of writing romance novels.

Prior to publication I was mentored as an isolated writer through Romance Writer’s of Australia’s mentor scheme, and gained a great deal of encouragement through being part of their email group. Sites such as eHarlequin and author’s websites helped me get an overview of line requirements.

Online resources, groups and sites have allowed me to firstly learn about the industry, and go on learning post-publication. Author’s forums allow for discussion of work-related issues, information sharing, and helpful advice. I need an online social group of writers that suits my personality. I’ve been lucky enough to find that on one of the eHarlequin threads, but I do have to limit myself to that one group for that kind of interaction. I don’t have time to enjoy all the writerly socialising that’s available via the Internet.

My advice to aspiring romance writers is to start with the major romance writer’s community in their country. RWAmerica, RWAustralia, Romantic Novelist’s Association UK etc, and work from there to find the kind of help you’ll benefit from, and choose online groups that share similar goals to your own.

Jennie

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