The difference between the two NaNoWriMo groups I’m currently affiliated with could not be more pronounced.
The Tiffin [i color=”blue”]icon-certificate icon-2x icon-spin[/i] group members greet you when you show up at Denny’s or wherever for a write-in, say a few words, and then turn their concentration to writing, their foreheads wrinkled in thought. After a half hour or hour, they might look up and say something else, but most likely its related to writing. They don’t say much, otherwise. If you have questions, they will answer them and, unless they are really concentrating on their writing, will continue chatting with you until you are done talking, and then they’ll fall silent once more. If they are deep in thought, they will ignore you, at least until they get to a stopping place. The overall feel of the group is academic/supportive, which fits the collegiate atmosphere they are in.[i color=”green”]icon-ok icon-2x[/i] I will be attending more write-ins with them throughout November, if for no other reason than to ask the ML (Municipal Liaison — the one ‘in charge’ of the Region) to review my fight scenes. 😉
The Marion [i color=”blue”]icon-certificate icon-2x icon-spin[/i] group members greet you vociferously when you first show up for a write-in, and draw you into whatever conversation they’re having, which like as not has nothing to do with writing. They are comfortable with each other and with new members, and they act like they own the corner of Panera Bread, where they have sat enough times together that the management knows them. They talk conversationally, but constantly 🙁, and it is sometimes difficult to get a word in edgewise, unless you are willing to repeat yourself until you get an opening. I was not, so for the most part, I listened and kept my thoughts to myself. However, their depth of knowledge about writing and demographics is solid, specifically with the ‘hot’ adolescent literature genre, and their view of certain non-academic writers is pronounced. They brought up both Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey series, and what the ‘purists’ think of their knowledge and writing style. We discussed far more than just those two series, but they stuck in my mind because of the negative reaction they brought out of the group.[i color=”green”]icon-ok icon-2x[/i] I’m not sure if I will want to attend more write-ins with this group, but I’m inclined to think that I will. There is something alluring about the ML’s — they draw you in and make you feel included, whether it is your first or tenth Nano.
There is nothing wrong with one group or the other, but they are as different as night and day. But if I hang out in Tiffin [i color=”orange”]icon-ok icon-2x[/i], I will get more writing done. If I need a question answered, or if I want to break a bout of writer’s block, I’ll hang out in Marion [i color=”red”]icon-ok icon-2x[/i]. I plan to do both.