Sunday, January 10, 2010

Writing Groups

I have been remiss in mentioning something that has been going on writing-wise. We have started a writing group. We are working on a name and should have one by next week, as that is one of the assignments we gave ourselves for next week but the mention of assignments is getting ahead of our birth.

It all started when some friends of mine and I were talking about books and writing. We thought it would be fun to get together every other week (how about Sunday since that is an off night? Maybe Saturday since then we could sleep in on Sunday… Sounds great!) and ate wine and cheese and talked books and writing. The first meeting of our little literary group happened at my house and consisted of a bottle of blackberry wine, a bottle of chardonnay and a huge plate of multiple cheeses. We sat and discussed Odd Fate (which at that point was in the middle of NaNoWriMo and having issues with a part and it was very nice to have some real-time feedback) and my friends WIP’s and my other friends at that point story start. We also discussed books we liked to read and just basically jammed books until the wee hours.

It was a blast.

The second meeting was about the same. In between, we had the holidays and I mentioned writing prompts. The prompt that we voted the best out of the options was this: Waking in the stylists chair in my sisters’ salon, the first thing I wondered was how the hell did I end up here? The second was about the gun…

We all were supposed to write a page about that prompt. I admit, I was lax and did not get my assignment done (ironic as I came up with it and gave this pretty little speech about challenging the muse and stuff) since I was working on edits for one of the WIP’s. However, I threw one together on-site at the meeting and we all had one. Spencer had a romantic comedy that put one in the mind of Jason Stackhouse from Charlaine Harris’s Southern Vampire books. I had a comedy sort of as well but mine came out to be sort of an open book and ended up being just a really long prompt. It involved a bag of money getting added to the gun, a mysterious phone call and never really gave setting, character description or even a reason for her suddenly being told to ‘run’ but you are left with lots of questions (bank robbery? patsy? Who is the mysterious voice on the phone???) that I never answer hence the loooong prompt. Magnus and H.C. both wrote (dystopian or post-apocalyptic were discussed as writing styles) horror/thrillers off that prompt. Magnus’s involved a disease that had zombified the country and a machine gun… H.C. was in a world overrun with shadows suddenly. She seemed to be one of two people left in the world… her and ‘Bob.’

It was a good example of how you can give multiple writers the same thing to work with and get very different outcomes… also we decided to add onto the assignment and swap stories and next meeting’s assignment is to write a page on whomever’s work you got. I got the zombies… Magnus got mine. Spencer and H.C got swapped. It will be interesting to see what directions the stories take next.

We also, still, are supporting each others work and discussing our projects in real time and getting real feedback. This is something new for me who previously had been writing mostly in a solitary world with only one reader at a time for feedback. It is nice to have multiple people to bounce ideas off of at a time. It is nice to ask what someone thinks of an idea and get real opinions and brainstorming from like minded individuals. I had heard writing groups helped but until getting into one or helping form one… well, I now am supportive of the idea.

So, I will document our progress here on bloggie from now on. As it, as I mentioned, was remiss of me not to mention it. This entry is dedicated to H.C. Harju, Magnus Harkenwood, Spencer Phoenix, and sometimes John… the unnamed as of now writing group. May your tongues be silver and your fingers be swift!

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