The crap dad — writes blatantly semi-autobiographical short stories about a man with a very similar-sounding name to the author, who is always letting his kids down because he’s tapping away at his computer or checking to see if his latest self-published flash has broken his record for retweets (currently stands at 4).
The social writer — this very engaging character can, if left unchecked, extend the group’s usual smalltalk preamble to fill up the whole evening. Which they are quite keen to do, as they haven’t actually brought any work along.
All feedback that is less than 100% glowing is uninteresting, except as a way for me to learn something about myself from the way I responded to your feedback of me
The screenwriter — can explain any piece of work in terms of set-up, midpoint, stakes, choice points, inciting incident, and positive/negative charge. Which is quite a feat when you’re feeding back on an ode.
The world-builder — spends half an hour every time explaining the new developments in the universe they’ve just devised before reading an out-of-sequence sub-sub-plot bit from an obscure section of Volume XI (Rise of the Darkling Dragon Lords)
The quiet poet — unassuming and quietly spoken, she shuffles in, pulls out an unruly sheaf of papers, and just about musters the courage to say ‘here’s a thing I just put together’… Then she reads out some verses of devastating beauty and truth that leave the rest of the group on the floor.
The self-help creative writer type — sees writing only as a vehicle for self-actuation, so all feedback that is less than 100% glowing is uninteresting, except as a way for me to learn something about myself from the way I responded to your feedback of me.
The sentimentalist — repeatedly weeps as they read their very long story about a baby dinosaur that has lost its mum.
Dan Brotzel (@brotzel_fiction) is author of a collection of short stories, Hotel du Jack, and co-author of a new comic novel about an eccentric writers’ group, Kitten on a Fatberg (Unbound). For 10% off your order, quote KITTEN10
This article first appeared as part of World builders, crisp hoggers and a kitten on a fatberg, a look at the world of writers’ groups published by Boundless