Who do I contact to get into the Fantasy critique group to have a piece of mine critiqued?
That's awesome Roland, I woulda have loved to be born or least active around the time of the original D&D coming out. I always heard about through elementary and middle school but never got a chance to play it until highschool. Twas awesome to say the least.
I'm with Roland I try to build up the story a good solid base before beginning the story (Either in my head or a mountain of notes sprawled down on the nearest available paper... which may or may not one day consume me. It will, that mountain of notes will avalanche on me eventually). But as I see it there are two types of writers. The architect: who plans and maps out every detail of their story before creating it; like a perfect blue print. And the Garden seed: (definitely better name for that but can't think of it at this time.) Where you have planted the idea for your story, and as you watch it grow your fingers gently guide it along with your words (your writing). You're sure you know what it will grow into but until it's fully blossomed and matured you can never be sure what will happen next.
That being said I believe that all writers have mixed parts of both the architect and the garden seed in them. So even those that plan everything ahead can't foresee the naturally developed changes to their grand structure. And even the Garden seed has some ideas of what it should and wants to grow into.
I tried drafting for a novel I was really excited about doing, (phantom wars, which is up on here now) and summarized about 10 pages worth of the plot, the characters that would come in, the setting, how it would all work out in the end. And once I sat down to start writing that book, I basically took those pages and threw them out the window. Even though I knew where to start the story I didn't know how and I spent a few days just working on the first chapter. Of course as I continued the story I would constantly look back to my summarized draft of the novel, but only took about a paragraphs worth of those pages and put them into the actual story itself.
Anyways I digress, I do have some very narrow drafts of my stories now but outside my mountain of notes I don't do anymore drafting, however I do think it it's healthy for writers to draft a story if they feel the need. This way they may have a better idea of where they want to take the story and see ahead of time, before they get to far into writing out all the details, if that's the right or the best direction for that tale. Naturally you don't have to follow your draft so closely but I recommend that if you want to make one, and do it, then use it as guidelines and not instructions on creating your story.
I'm new too but forums are the best way to meet new people of the same interest e.g Reading/writing ^_^