(Thank you to @HelenMac who did most of the work making this post)
How to make a buddy group:
1. Click on 'Buddy Groups' up by 'Forum' under the orange bar. This will take you to the main buddy group page.
2. Click on the 'Start a Buddy Group' big black button in the top right. This will bring up a pop-up page.
3. Enter the name for your group. Try to keep it obvious. For example, one of the existing groups is called "The First Draft - Feb to May 2021', so maybe "Plotstormers - Apr to Jun 2021" or something similar.
4. Choose whether you want your group to be 'open or closed'.
5. Write a description of what your group is for. This will largely be your answer to q3.
When you've made your buddy group, the first thing you want to do is invite your buddies! There should be another big black button towards the top right called 'Invite Members' on your new buddy group page. If it's not there, click on 'Members' from the 'Manage Club' options on the right hand side. This will bring up another pop-up where you can type the usernames into a box. You don't need to put @ before them and you can do more than one at a time before you press the 'send invitations' orange button. You can add more members at any time, so don't worry!
The next thing to do is set yourself up with a chat thread for the buddy group. The First Draft group has one for each week, but what you might want to do for Plotstormers is have one for each buddy, so there is a single thread where you can put your 4PP, 7PP and 16PP and get comments back. To do this:
1. Go to 'Manage Club' and scroll down the drop-down menu. Click on 'Topics' and create a new one called something like 'Novels'. Think of a Topic as just being a folder for a set of threads. You can, if you want have a topic per buddy, and then have your documents as threads underneath. Up to you - give it a go and see what you think!
2. Anyway, under your new topic, you can then create sub-topics (confusingly also called Topics) which are your normal post threads.
Tips for good buddy grouping:
1. Post your work in the buddy group not in the course forum!
2. Don't be shy - post your wins, struggles, ponderings. Treat the buddy group like a literary whatsapp group chat.