I am looking to establish a group with a goal of creating first drafts and increasing output.
Quality of work is not a goal with this program as much as finished stories are. Word count is a subjective theory with no play in this setup, only that there is a finished work by the deadlines. Critiquing is not required for this, but it is a bonus.
Members would be notified if they miss a deadline and reminders would be sent to encourage participants when the next deadline is. This is not unlike the prodding that friends and such do for people participating in NaNoWriMo.
For those not familiar with NaNoWriMo:
National Novel Writing Month is an annual event where people of all ages participate in a "contest". Each participant is competing only with themselves.
The goal of the "contest" is to write a novel in one month, although it is actually a word count goal of 50k words in 30 days (which is less words than a standard novel, but it is all for fun). No one reads the novels written (unless it is a personal arrangement the contestant makes with a friend or if they submit it to a critique group), but everyone can track the progress of the participants.
Participants get to update their word count as frequently, or infrequently, as they want so long as they upload the word count on November 30th for the official count. If the person reaches 50k, they get cheers from their friends and fellow participants. Oh, and a icon they can post anywhere that shows they "won".
Finding places to get a person's work critiqued is easy. Finding a monthly NaNo, or a variation of it, is not so easy.
Deadlines create a fun challenge and tend to mean more since there is someone there at the finish line. That is part of the advantage of NaNo, the word count is tallied by an outside group and others can see your progress or lack there of. The flash challenge at Liberty Hall has people who get to see the finished story and everyone knows if it was within the time limit or not.
Some writing groups have a goal that each participant must have one short story a month (most requiring that the story have had at least one round of editing from the writer before being submitted). Usually the story is cued for critiquing. As I there are so many venues for critiquing, I would like to have the focus be on the initial completed story, or finished chapter of a novel (regardless of polish). Sort of a writing group that encourages output and provides deadlines similar to what professional writers get to deal with. If anyone interested in participating wants critiquing included, that is fine with me. Completed stories would be the goal, critiquing would be a bonus and on a voluntary basis. This avoids the "too many stories to critique" that large writing groups run across sometimes. I would encourage participants to share any updates about the story, like if it received favorable critiques somewhere else and if it was published.
Length and quality would not be a priority in this, only providing encouragement for writers to write. Yes, writers are in the end responsible for their own production level, but I see no harm in having a group who's goal is to support and assist in increasing production.
The people who participate do not have to read the story, only receive it and agree to not pass it on and such.
A large part of improvement for writers comes from experience. Experience comes from finishing things, not just starting a story or writing a story. A completed novel means more than a hundred chapters in terms of development.
Anyone interested in participating can email me or comment here, I will try to check in on this thread as often as possible.
Please specify the level of effort willing to be made on your part (just nudging people and deleting received files or actual feedback on stories).