Next week, I’ll be gathering with a very important group of people. When I first started writing, it wasn’t romance; it was SF/ST fanfiction. These were the people who read my stuff and sent feedback. This was in the days of LOC (Letters of Comment) through what SF fen called “connecting mailboxes”. I’m not talking about email, but real honest-to-ghod letters. (In case you’re wondering, no, I’m not misspelling words; I’m using the spellings SF fans use.)
These LOCs were extremely detailed. They didn’t just cover “Your plot has no conflict.” Nor “What’s your heroine’s motivation?” Oh, no! A typical comment might be, “On page six, paragraph three, line nine, you have a colon where you should have a semi-colon. And that letter might be seven pages, front to back. Yeah, nothing like an SF fan for detail.
But they taught me. They taught me GMC though I didn’t know it. I learned to take critique and to learn from it. I sharpened up my English skills. But most of all, I learned the joy of someone reading my work and letting me know they enjoyed it.
So, these are the people I’m meeting with this next weekend. Most of them have read at least some of my writing. A lot of them are voracious readers as well as writers on their own. And all of them believe in me and my talent. They don’t read my romances. I have to admit that they are waiting for me to write a “real” book, which to them is SF or fantasy. But, they’re there for me when I sell a book or win a contest just as they are there for me when I get rejected or bad reviews.
Just like my sisters in RWI, they fill my well.