Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Writing Together

In my last post I told you all about wordmongering, a fantastic hashtag that created a writing community on twitter.  And that's what I want to talk about today again.  A writing community.

Most people think that writing is a solitary activity.  For the most part, they're right.  The actual act of sitting down and writing is something you have to do alone.  You can be in a group of people, which I actually find quite helpful, but the writing itself is a solitary thing.

I find, though, that at times the writing can be more of a group activity than most people would think.  Without the writing community (more like a friend, but one that I wouldn't have met without a writing community) Monday would have been a very frustrating night for me.

I am currently in the middle of planning a novel that I'm hoping to have finished the first draft of by the end of the month.  The book has one of the largest casts I've worked with, and one of the characters decided that Monday was the night he was finally going to start talking to me.  Unfortunately it was like he didn't realize just how loud it is in my head.  You may have noticed that I'm working on a few projects.  The characters from all of those books are always trying to get my attention.

Well, he managed to get my attention with a single stray thought.  That single thought managed to get me thinking about the different possibilities that could happen with this character.  Was he going to betray the main character?  Because that was the stray thought that managed to grab my attention.

Except that betraying her wasn't really in his character.  He may be an assassin, but I really didn't see him killing the girl that he trained as, basically, his replacement.  No matter how much I thought about it, though, whatever he was trying to tell me just wasn't getting through.  It was like we were on a call and all I could hear was static with a few words breaking through.  Then it suddenly felt like I lost the call altogether.

So I decided that I had to get some perspective.  That's where a good writing community really starts to come in handy.  With the help of some of my friends, who are also writers, I managed to figure out that the thought he was giving me wasn't at all what I originally thought it was.  I'm not going to post the solution I came up with, because I wouldn't want to ruin the surprise.  After all, this book is going to end up getting published, and you're all going to buy and read it, right?

Through talking it out I managed to figure out a whole subplot, a twist, that I had no idea was there.  If they hadn't been there, I'm pretty sure I would have never figured it out.  Something would have always felt wrong, and most likely, my character would have stopped talking to me altogether.  Which is not something that I like to have happen.

Do you have a writing community that can help you work through the problems in your stories?  Or do you go it alone, a true lone wolf?


  1. Sometimes I'm not sure what'S more fun... talking with my characters or yours ;) #TeamAshley

    1. Probably mine...why are they talking to you anyway? They need to be talking to ME if they want anything to happen...