So, it’s amazing what you’ll do to avoid writing difficult scenes. 🙂
I’ve joined a second writers critique group, this one for long term fiction. It’s limited to 6 members, everyone gets 25-30 minutes critique of that month’s chapter. Upside, they get that not everything is answered in the first chapter. Downside, they’re not specific to SF&F. There’s YA, political thriller, historical fantasy….
My other group is specific to SF&F, but has different sub-genres, from hard SF to vampires, to pure fantasy, and short stories.
But, having 2 meetings a month specific to critiquing/ helping with plot problems is a huge upside.
And of course, my local association (Ottawa Independent Writers) has monthly seminars on the business end; promotion, marketing, covers, etc.
So, 3 nights a month isn’t too much, right? Even if my long-suffering hubby must find something to do while I’m there, and drive me around.
I’m about 95k into the first draft of what will likely end up a 100k novel. Though I expect the 1st draft to be closer to 120k. If only because I have the “big reveal” for one character in three places. LOL
Ad Astra (Toronto literary SFF con) was really useful. There were panels and workshops on things like voice, POV, writing mystery, thriller or paranormal story trick/ secrets…. Also meeting and talking to one of my favourite fantasy authors (Gail Z Martin) really helped me set realistic goals.
At the risk of sounding like a bitch, so did reading some of the stories nominated for awards. Because… they’re no better than I am. I just need to get the thing done!