February 2020 Newsletter



Next HSW Meeting is Saturday, February 8, 2020, at Scheels at Legends in Sparks.

The meeting begins at 10 am, followed by the Group Critique Session with Linda Enos. 

We will discuss the plans for the coming year, including upcoming workshops, presentations, and the 2020 writing contest. 


Matt will be doing first pages at the meeting. To submit the first page of your writing project, print it out double spaced in at least 12-point type. Do not put your name on it, but please include the name and genre of the project.

From the HSW President 

At last month’s meeting, the members in attendance showed a great deal of enthusiasm for an idea offered by Linda Enos. So, starting with the February meeting we will have two critique groups meeting after the official meeting.

The group led by Linda will require prior submission of materials to Linda and discussion will be limited to those who submit. For details on how this will work and submission guidelines, contact Linda directly at linda.r.enos@gmail.com.

 The second group will be a drop-in group for which no prior submission will be required. Just bring 5-7 pages. Any genre. Either you or another member will read the materials out loud and then the group will provide feedback. This will be similar to the format for First Pages.

 Both groups are open to members only, so if you haven’t paid your 2020 dues, hop to it.

See you there,

Looking for a Critique Group?

At the last meeting, several critique group leaders spoke about each group’s approach to giving and receiving critiques. A few provide their emails if they were open to accepting additional members in the group. 

If you are seeking a group, contact Linda Enos at  linda.r.enos@gmail.com

Writing Contest 2020

The Board discussed options at the last Board meeting and is planning a competition for this year. We will be looking at forming a committee to come up with rules and judging plan.

We’ll be talking more about this at the next meeting. If you are interested in being on the committee and can’t come to the meeting, please advise Rene at RPAverett@gmail.com

Time to Renew Your Membership

As previously announced, if you are a member and wish to continue as a member, please show your commitment and renew your membership now.

With workshops, craft speakers, and more coming up this year, your membership is worth more than the $25 renewal fee. If you wish to participate in critique groups, the writing contests, or have your published book listed on the HSW web site, you must be a member. After March, the newsletter will be emailed only to current members, although it will still be available on the website a few days after it is emailed. 

Thank you to everyone who has already renewed. This has been a member-services message from the Treasurer.

Seeking Short Story Writers

Rene Averett is working to assemble a group that is interested in improving short story writing skills. The group would meet once a month with the aim of learning more about crafting the short story and critiquing each other’s work. If you are interested, please contact Rene at RPAverett@gmail.com.

Writing Fight Scenes

A physical fight scene is used frequently in many novels, but it’s something most writers don’t have any real experience with unless they’ve actually gotten into physical fights. Then it can be tricky to describe the scene, add in the emotions, and sometimes dialog to make that scene sound real.

For me, I’ve learned some of the mechanics of the fighting from watching YouTube videos of the various art forms and noted body placement. But I can’t actually go inside the fighters’ heads, yet as a writer, I need to know the physical feel of the scene and what emotions might be going through their mind. Any professional fight is probably focused on the business of fighting – what your opponent is doing and is likely to do next while the emotion in it is more contained. For a character that is not as focused and thrown into a fight, emotions should come into play. 

Points in an article from the Writer’s Edit website hit on these five tips:

  1. Ensure your fight advances plot and character development. You don’t want a fight just to add some excitement to the book, but it needs to contribute to moving your story forward, building tension, and showing more about the characters.
  2. Don’t over-describe.  Your scene is about the physical fight and the emotions, so don’t worry about detailed descriptions of the setting or how the characters look. Your writing should be action-based.
  3. Infuse the fight scene with emotion. The key to your audience’s connection to the character is through the emotions of the scene, what they are thinking and feeling.
  4. Keep things realistic. If it’s too much out of the character’s training or background, then the fight is too hard for the reader to believe. Ask yourself if your character could really do this.
  5. Use writing style to enhance the fight. How the sentences break down on the page can lend to how the reader reacts to the scene. Short pointed sentences with action verbs provide the feel of the encounter. Look for places where a paragraph break impacts the tension of the scene and use them to heighten the effect.

If you would like to read the full article with more good information on these points, you can find it at:



This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.