Skilled Writer or Rambling Idiot

writerSkilled writer or rambling idiot? That is the question most writers ask themselves (or wonder) on completion of their first draft. Most writers write reams. They dawdle on parts that are dear to themselves, feast on platters of description that don’t necessarily go anywhere or do anything extra for the subject matter and stuff the first draft with adjectives, adverbs and countless exclamation points.

draftPut your draft aside for a few weeks and return to it and you would well ask yourself – “Skilled writer or rambling idiot?” Those words and phrases that were perfect pearls now appear phony. This is when a good critiquing eye comes in. If you are part of a critiquing group or are taking part in a writing class (especially one like Beyond-the-Lamppost where you present your work every week) your peers will be able to cut the extraneous bits that you find difficult to. If more than one person zones in on an area, have a good look at that paragraph, sentence or character. It is a problem and you need to fix it.

Beyond-the-Lamppost classes are small (never more than 8-10) so everyone gets a load of attention and heavy feedback. Each week, you send in 1,500 words that are critiqued by all members of the group. Lots of hard work, but lots of fun.

FALL 2016 – 12-week Writing Classes

Creative Writing 101 – Tuesday afternoons Sept 27 – Dec. 13 from 12:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Crafting Your Novel – Wednesday afternoons Sept. 28 – Dec. 14 from 12:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Crafting Your Novel – Thursday afternoons Sept. 29 – Dec. 15 from 12:30 – 3:30 p.m.

Fee: $160 for 12 sessions – To register and for location details, email

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