Welcome!

About Us

CSWriters is unlike any other writing group in the Springs. We're a serious, yet fun group of writers who approach our craft with expert resources and weekly manuscript critiques.

Relaxing Atmosphere

We meet weekly, working together in a relaxed atmosphere of friends, fellow writers, cozy rooms, and the world's best coffee.

Our Mission

We work together to help everyone one of us perfect our writing craft, with the ultimate goal of successfully publishing our work. After all, we're aspiring authors, too!

We're Professionals

Our team of published writers begin each meeting with a guided discussion on key topics, and end with small group critique sessions designed to hone our writing skills.

Membership

Our modest $12 annual fee covers the cost of this website and hosting the group on Meetup. If you'd like to join us, please use the link in the upper right-hand corner of the page. We hope to see you at a meeting soon!

Services
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Potluck Dinner and a Movie – Gabrielle’s

Yeah!  No homework! Dinner and a Movie Nights are always fun.  🙂 5:30 pm:  Begin arriving. 6:00 pm:  Start eating. 7:00:  The Movie Begins! (Title TBD – we’ll select it soon) Gabrielle will be making a scrumptious main dish, but as this is a potluck, please bring some side dishes and perhaps one or two deserts.  Leftovers return home with their owners.

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The Craft:  The First 50 Pages (Gerke) – Ch 4 – Engage Your Reader

6:00 – 7:30:  The Craft:  The First 50 Pages (Gerke) – Ch 4 – Engage Your Reader Grab a cup of joe, maybe a plate from Agia Sophia’s enjoyable menu, sit back, and relax. Catch up with old friends. Make some new ones.  Then… Last Friday we covered Swain’s Creating Characters, discovering how the writer needs to be adept at both casting semblances of him or herself, as well as trying on entirely unfamiliar character molds. Tonight, we’ll be studying how to Engage Your Reader. Side Trails:  We will also be reading short excerpts from two others books, but there’s no need for you to purchase them, as we’re only covering about 2% of either of them each week.  However, in case you’re wondering, they are: – The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Novelists:  Insider Secrets from Top Writers by Andrew McAleer – Writing Down the Bones:  Freeing the Writer Within […]

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The Craft: Swain’s Creating Characters, Chapter 2

6:00 – 7:30:  The Craft:  Swain’s Creating Characters, Chapter 2:  Searching Out Your Characters Grab a cup of joe, maybe a plate from Agia Sophia’s enjoyable menu, sit back, and relax. Catch up with old friends. Make some new ones.  Then… Last Friday we covered Chapter 3 of Gerke’s First 50 Pages, where once again, we revisited key elements of Mastering the Craft. Tonight we’ll be cracking open Chapter 2 of Dwight V. Swain’s Creating Characters:  How to Build Story People.  “Building a character begins with deciding which character to build.”  One can’t template a character and expect good things.  Although knowing the character archetypes described by Vogler in “The Writer’s Journey” can be very helpful, your character must feel right and sit well with you.  You’re looking for a character “who both fits your story’s requirements and excites you.”  “Finding a character means personifying — that is, giving human form […]

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The Craft: The First 50 Page (Gerke) – Ch 3 – Three Bombs

6:00 – 7:30:  The Craft:  The First 50 Page (Gerke) – Ch 3 – Three Bombs Grab a cup of joe, maybe a plate from Agia Sophia’s enjoyable menu, sit back, and relax. Catch up with old friends. Make some new ones.  Then… Last Friday we covered Motivation Reaction Units, the small-scale structure of a scene.  The motivation is both external objective, something that your character senses, as does the reader through the words of the text.  Both will react, an internal and subjective thing, in a sequence based on what’s physiologically possible, and presented in such a way that your reader experiences it as well, beginning with raw emotion, then instinctual reaction (a reflex), before beginning to react rationally (or irrationally, as sometimes happens).  Only then does the brain kick in.  The key is to keep them in their proper time order, from fastest time-scale to slowest, in order to […]

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Mastering the Craft – Three Perspectives

I often share comments like, “You might think we’ve covered this before, and to a limited extent, you’d be right!  But mastering the craft is all about covering the elements again and again, from different angles, so as to learn new things.”  I do this because no matter how many times we cover a topic, there’s always so much more to learn, not only about that particular topic, but also about how these topics integrate into a cohesive whole. Throughout history, trades such as carpentry, masonry, and plumbing codified various skill levels to ensure that workers would learn all the skills required at the lower levels before being allowed to learn, then be responsible for, the skills required at higher levels. The earliest guilds were associations of artisans or merchants who oversaw the practice of their craft in a particular town.  Guilds began with “frith” or “peace” guilds, groups who […]

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The Craft: Motivation Reaction Units

6:00 – 7:30:  The Craft:  Motivation Reaction Units Grab a cup of joe, maybe a plate from Agia Sophia’s enjoyable menu, sit back, and relax. Catch up with old friends. Make some new ones.  Then… Last Friday we covered Chapter 1 of Dwight V. Swain’s Creating Characters:  How to Build Story People.  If you have not yet purchased it, please follow the link to the left and do so.  It’s only about $8 used, and $17 new.  The Kindle version is Tonight, Scotty will be covering Motivation-Reaction Units, a vital component of bringing vibrant characters to life.Motivation-Reaction Units, or MRUs, are a basic small-scale structure of fiction, on the level of sentences or paragraphs. They’re the micro-structure of the scene. You are already using MRUs, even if you never knew what they were called. They are everywhere in fiction. They help pace dialog and action, and are especially good with high-action, such as a fight scene. […]

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The Craft: Swain’s Creating Characters, Chapter 1

6:00 – 7:30:  The Craft:  Swain’s Creating Characters, Chapter 1 Grab a cup of joe, maybe a plate from Agia Sophia’s enjoyable menu, sit back, and relax. Catch up with old friends. Make some new ones.  Then… Last Friday we covered Chapter 2 of Gerke’s First 50 Pages. Tonight we’ll be cracking open Chapter 1 of Dwight V. Swain’s Creating Characters:  How to Build Story People.  I passed out the book information last week, but in case you haven’t ordered it yet, please do, and do not worry about coming empty-handed for the first night!  I’ll have some handouts on which you can take notes.  🙂 Author:  Dwight V. Swain Title:  Creating Characters:  How to Build Story People Paperback (1/16/2008):  <— This is your best bet! ISBN-10:0806139188 ISBN-13:978-0806139180 Kindle:  (11/28/2012):  Amazon ASIN:  B00AHYAVBC  <— Second best bet, preferable if you like the electronic book format. I will also be reading short […]

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The Craft: The First 50 Pages (Gerke) – Chapter 2 “Proposal Killers

6:00 – 7:30:  The Craft:  The First 50 Pages by Jeff Gerke – Chapter 2, “Proposal Killers” Grab a cup of joe, maybe a plate from Agia Sophia’s enjoyable menu, sit back, and relax. Catch up with old friends. Make some new ones.  Then… Last Friday we kicked off our nearly half a dozenth study book in CSWriters in the last two and a half years!  We looked at what literary agents and publishers want:  Manuscripts that Sell.  There’s absolutely nothing wrong with aiming high and creating literary masterpieces.  I encourage you to do that, as that’s part of the craft, but only so long as that doesn’t interfere with putting food on the table.  Some of the most successful novelists are indeed literary masters.  Others, however, like J.K. Rowling, have a unique talent for telling an enticing, captivating story that compels the reader to eagerly read it through to the […]

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The Craft: The First 50 Pages by Jeff Gerke – Fwd, Intro, Ch 1

Please purchase the latest version of The First 50 Pages:  Engage Agents, Editors, and Readers, and Set Up Your Novel for Success by Jeff Gerke, and bring it with you to tonight’s meeting.  

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The Craft: Member-Lead, Round-Table Review and Discussion

6:00 – 7:30:  The Craft:  Member-Lead, Round-Table Review and Discussion:   Grab a cup of joe, maybe a plate from Agia Sophia’s enjoyable menu, sit back, and relax. Catch up with old friends. Make some new ones.  Then… Between study materials, we commonly review what we’ve learned to date.  Tonight, we will have a member-lead (that’s you guys and gals!), round-table discussion wherein we discuss the following sources (and more), particularly with respect to how they complement one another.  If you’re stuck in your writing and can’t move forward, now’s a great time to get help from the rest of the group.  If you’d like to share some insight above and beyond what any of the texts we’ve studied have covered, by all means, bring it on!  If there’s an idea or concept you’d like to explore further, toss it into the ring, add your two cents, and let’s get the […]