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Magical Moments

As I passed my submission around the table full of critiquers, I trembled with anticipation. Would such a diverse group like my far-out fantasy story? I purred with satisfaction as they laughed at all the right moments. A subtle hum filled the room at my description of a bakery. It was an author’s dream come true.

They got lost in my world.

Face to face critique’s are my personal favorite. Sometimes you get a bad reader and it doesn’t quite create that magical feeling. But for the most part, you can tell if a person is getting drawn into your story by the look on their face, and the sounds they make at key points in the submission. It’s so much easier to see a sentence that needs reworking when the reader stumbles. Sometimes they unconsciously read the sentence the way it should be written instead of the way I wrote it. It’s humbling, instructive, and rewarding long before the reader finishes and people make their comments.

Yesterday was one of those all-time cool moments where it clicked perfectly. I imagine it’s how a magician feels when the crowd “ooo’s” and “ahhh’s” at their tricks. While it doesn’t always work out that well, when it does, it’s very encouraging to know that you have the ability to pull readers in like many famous authors have pulled you in.

The Inklings

Critique groups can be very random. I’ve had two online that really didn’t work out, and one that did. But the face to face group I’ve found surpasses them all. Being a speculative writer, I’d always dreamed of being part of a writer’s group like the Inklings (Tolkein, C.S. Lewis, etc). There’s nothing like a bunch of weirdo’s gathered in a library to critique one another’s crazy ideas, right? The group I’m a part of (Word Weavers) is a bit more diverse than the Inklings. We’ve got non-fiction and fiction writers together, and only a few of the fiction writer’s are of the speculative genre. But I still look forward to our monthly meetings because of how much I learn.

And how much I get encouraged.

Writing can be a very lonely task. And if your emotional at times, like me, it helps to have a team that’s there to cheer you on and challenge you to get better. Knowing that I have to submit something new each month keeps me writing. Knowing that what I write will be better after going keeps me from getting lazy. If you’ve never been to a Word Weavers meeting, I highly encourage you to check one out.

So, where do you get your magical moments as a writer? Who challenges you to take your writing to the next level?

About Will Ramirez

Will Ramirez grew up with a love for God's Word and fantastical worlds. The first passion led him to pastor Calvary Chapel Lighthouse for the the last 17 years. The second led him to create the world of Adme, the setting for his coming debut novel, an epic fantasy titled Soul Yearning. He lives in Central Florida with his bride of seventeen years and their four children. Since 2010, he's been a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and serves on the leadership team of Word Weavers of Orlando. He is currently working on the second book of the Godslayer series as well as The Unspoken, book one of a dark fantasy trilogy. In the land of Adme, powerful beings rule as deities and compete with one another for followers. But when a young priest is revealed as the prophesied godslayer, the pantheon unites to destroy him.

3 comments on “Magical Moments

  1. The people who challenge me are my two co-writers/first critiquers. We met in high school and instantly formed a close friendship as serious writers of spec-fic. They’re also the same ones who provide me with many magical moments–nothing feels better than one of them commenting, “That is brilliant!” or some such, because I know how picky they are and because I know that they understand how much work I did to get that comment. 🙂

  2. A couple of friends/family members who have read my writing since way back when it was frankly kind of embarrassing. I appreciate them most because they don’t read my stories looking for mistakes–they read them with the expectation that it will be decent, and if it’s a rewrite, that it will be better. That expectation is what drives me to put in the extra effort to polish my work, stay up that extra hour, pray over my work even more, and hopefully get those magical moments.

  3. Definitely, the Word Weavers have made me a better writer. So often as I’m writing I self-edit as I go, because my crit partners live in my head. I hear Craig telling me to add more sensory details and Melinda warning me that my “stage directions” are boring. And then there’s Will, who points out that the heroine can’t be too hasty in making friends with troops from a neighboring country, even if she is a missionary. 😉

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