“In writing a novel, when in doubt, have two guys come through the door with guns.”
Write Free or Die is a Meetup.com group of writers in and around Southern New Hampshire and Northeastern Massachusetts. We began our journey together in June of 2013.
We meet on Wednesdays at the Marion Gerrish Community Center in Derry, New Hampshire.
We share our writing and our responses to each others’ writing, mostly but not exclusively, fiction of all lengths and types and genres.
We’re an assortment of folks of various ages (from twenty & thirty-somethings to retirees), backgrounds (engineers, teachers, editors, analysts, even some writers and other ne’er-do-wells), and temperaments (more than our share of grumpy old farts, though). Our shared goal is to help each other to produce better writing.
This website is a place to put some of our occasional writing in hopes to draw attention to our more serious efforts. It’s about writing, and it is writing. Thanks for visiting.
Some thoughts about us, from members (identities obfuscated to protect the rest of us):
Our … “collective embrace of absurdity and idiosyncrasy has made me feel pretty mainstream. The breadth of professional experiences and devotion to readership takes my breath away at times. It’s never dull, never cruel, always helpful, even when I disagree. … the evenings I most await.” – Colonel T.
“I think the most valuable gift I’ve received from the group – aside from some truly treasured friendships – is learning to think in terms of a story, and telling that story more effectively. This is a constant point of discussion (and contention) in the group, and a standard we try to hold one another to.
One of the group mantras is “show, don’t tell.” This is the difference between, “She was beautiful,” and “Men’s heads reflexively followed her when she walked down a street.” A writer owes the reader a good story, and a well-told story – and this group has helped me (begin to) develop those kinds of skills. Mind you, my focus is in non-fiction, but it deserves a well-told narrative as much as fiction.” – Count Zoltan of Carpathia.
I tried three different years of NaNoWriMo (all failures), then joined WFoD
in 2015. I resurrected and rewrote my 2007 effort ‘Wines of Winter’ and presented
it to the group one antagonizing chapter at a time.
The feedback I got from the group was, ‘The facts are fine, in moderation,
but a story is more about people than facts. Use facts for a little fiction
flavoring, not as the main meal of the manuscript.’
I started doing the flash fiction a year later. I’ve always suffered with
diarrhea of words. Every piece too long for the 3-minute restriction. It’s
difficult for me to cut facts from the story. Isn’t the reason you tell a story
is to enlighten the reader with facts?
A story is about emotions. Without emotions, it’s just a report. (And
a reflection of my 35 years of writing engineering reports.)
With the help of the group’s critical reviews, I took 358 (almost half)
of the words from that 12 year old ‘Cosmic Progeny’ prologue to make a stand
alone flash piece ‘Passing Star’. I had to pull a lot of facts out, but some
are still lurking in there, hiding among the characters’ carnal exchange.
The critiques and encouragements have changed my writing significantly. – Casey Jones