Furry Writers' Guild Forum

Are you a part of a writing group online/IRL?

I’m a part of a small group that uses Google Drive to exchange updates and ideas. It’s a great platform I felt because it’s super user friendly; you can make comments and suggestions in real time. It’s also motivational for all of us. We currently have five members, though only four of us are actually active.

Some of us used to meet at a local cafe. One advantage I miss with working at one of these kinds of places was you could get up and get a cup of coffee or tea, and there were usually scones or strudels, too. There were also other nerds with laptops all over the place, with roughly the same idea.

If you’ve worked in a group, did you find it to be motivational? Tedious? Any drama in the group? Felt obligated to read? Felt annoyed that maybe someone was just there for the feedback? We try to avoid hard feelings by making it clear that no one should feel obligated to write comments or reviews or even read.

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I’ve been in a couple writing groups, one not-furry and in-person and one from an anthology I edited. The in-person one was … miserable, frankly. A bunch of unpublished writers writing stories about characters I couldn’t care less about, acting smugly superior toward me just because all of the books I’ve published were furry. Writing my first furry erotica was a good opportunity to leave the group since I wasn’t keen on them critiquing chapters of that around the table.

The online one of just furry writers however, has been excellent. A very supportive bunch that is good about suggesting solutions when you’re stuck.

I suppose the moral of the story is, find a group of writers with as much in common as possible: same sorts of storylines, same subject matter, same skill level. Skill level is important because the exchange between writers needs to be fair. A senior writer will end up working his/er butt off to bring a junior writer up to his/er level and the junior writer has nothing to offer in exchange.

Ideally, find people who like—but do not love—your writing. If they dislike it, they won’t put in any effort reviewing it. If they love it, they’ll say it’s good without offering suggestions.

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I tried to find a good IRL writing group, and kept failing. Which is sad, because I really needed a writing community to help me.

I had one on livejournal back in the oughts, but then when livejournal died, I lost it. And I kinda stopped writing.

But I was unfulfilled without my writing, so I kept trying to find a replacement.

None of the groups really matched my need. One was people who just wanted to write whatever. The group got a prompt, and everyone wrote on that prompt for about 45 minutes, and then everyone shared the story they wrote. Feedback was uniformly positive.

I wanted to work on all the story ideas in my head, and become a better writer, not recieve bland praise for following someone else’s prompt. I wanted a group that would support each other through the difficult task of writing, not just have fun together writing.

In hindsight, I should have stayed with that group because the other groups I tried were worse.

Usually, each group had a distinct style formed around a leader, and if you didn’t write in that style, you were trash.

And without a group, I mostly just didn’t write.

Then early this year, I found the FWG because I finally thought, “Hey, I’m a furry. Furries do online communities well.” And I’m so much happier—and more productive—because of it.

I’ve written more this year than I have in the past 10 years combined. And while not all of that comes from the FWG (I started making substantive changes to my life before that, in order to write more), a significant portion does.

Which is why I really want to give back to the FWG at some point.