YOU: So, what exactly happens inside this Garage Fiction group? Is there drinking, daredevilry and… and… debauchery?
GARAGE FICTION: No, you pervert. I don’t know what writing group you’re thinking of. We just write stories here.
Here are the boring details:
- Every week, every single member commits to writing at least 1,000 – 2,500 words of fiction. Preferably a scene from a story they’re working on (or even a complete short story)*.
- Every week, by Friday at 12PM Noon Pacific Time, we submit our work via GoogleDocs to the group where members can make comments on a shared document.
- Every week, on Thursday mornings and Friday nights (we have two active groups), we will get on TeamSpeak to talk (these become our podcast episodes)
*We also have a “placebo prompt” every week, but we’re not married to it. Some Garage Fiction members write stories about it, some around it and some ignore it altogether. That’s why it’s a “placebo prompt”. It’s just there to get the brain juices flowing.
YOU: Oh. That’s it?
GARAGE FICTION: Yeah, I told ya.
YOU: That’s kinda boring. Do you at least have secret rules like “Fight Club”?
GARAGE FICTION: If we did, you just broke the second rule.
YOU: Ha! Seriously, are you guys… like a cult? Do you perform satanic rituals? Did you sell your soul to get good at writing?
GARAGE FICTION: *smacks forehead* What’s wrong with you?
YOU: I was dropped on my head when I was a baby. Many, many times.
GARAGE FICTION: That figures. But yes, we do have “secret rules”. Here they are:
The “Secret Rules” of Garage Fiction
- This group isn’t about “writing” so much as it’s about the CRAFT of STORYTELLING. We’re not interested in poetry, post-modern literary stuff nor experimental writing. We want to tell stories that entertain, engage and evoke. Genre doesn’t matter… as long as it’s a story with protagonists, goals, conflict, stakes and resolutions.
- We are in this group with the commitment, intent and goal to get our stories published. This could mean professionally paying markets like magazines, websites and blogs. It could mean self-publication on Amazon. It could mean sending out novels to publishing houses. But the end goal is to receive some form of remuneration (not for the money’s sake, but to have a reader acknowledge your story as something worth paying money for).
- There is NO EGO in this group. Leave your ego at the door. You will get blunt, honest feedback. You will get critiqued. Your job is to listen respectfully and decide if it’s valid or not. Not get defensive, start arguing or be confrontational. Vice-versa, you will critique with respect and not insult, demean nor degrade. We are here to support each other. A good analogy would be being a “stern parent who wants best for his children”
- Number 3 will be helped along by having a COMMON LANGUAGE in our critique. We will use established terminology like goal, conflict, stakes, POV character, etc. We will use established criteria like C.U.B. (Confused, Unbelievable and Boring).
- Once a story is ready, we need to push each other to send it out and get it published. This is the part of the group where it may get woo-woo and self-helpy… because we’re writers. Writers are insecure, fragile delicate flowers when it comes to putting their work out there and we’re hurt every time it gets rejected. But as a group, we’re going to push you to send out your story if we believe in it. We want to see you succeed.
Boy, you’re clingy. Why don’t you go listen to old episodes of our podcast… or something?