My new writing partner and I had our first session together last week. We had about an hour together over coffee (what is it about coffee that seems to fuel all writers and writing encounters?) My writing partner & I are normally tea drinkers and yet, for this meet, coffee it was! My writing partner works at an English university and it was great to be on campus again (I worked there in a previous life) as there really is something about the energy that surrounds students which I find so uplifting.
We'd each set ourselves a task for this first meeting: mine was reading K M Weilland's "Outlining your Novel: Map your way to success" and his was to work his way through a 4-page long list of resources ranging from pod-casts, writing exercises and courses to Defeat Procrastination. And to share what we found in the hope that it would have use to the other, or at least save the other from wasting time going down that road.
Although I hadn't completely finished Weilland's book, my homework has already been of great use to me, as a self-confessed pantser. But as my writing partner already has his multi-part novel largely planned out, I didn't feel he would gain (so one less book on his TBR list). Nevertheless, we both agreed on the terrific potential of "what if-ing" and I drew attention to Weilland's suggestion of Enneagrams as a source for verifying if the make-up of created characters hangs together; let alone the potential when you unexpectedly discover a character type created by your chosen collection of traits ...
We then moved on to that lengthy list of writing resources to find out if he'd found anything that piqued interest or sounded worthy of further investigation. My writing partner having largely completed his planning was drawn more towards exercises to get his writing mojo going. We discussed the benefits (or otherwise) of writing in short bursts - a concept I first came across in Katherine Grubb's group of 10 Minute Novelists. It turns out the list also contains multiple and wide-ranging suggestions of timed writing exercises. Having discussed our combined experiences, both felt we could benefit most from the policy of stopping writing before your flow rungs out, so you are bursting to start writing again. This does - of course - mean that we have to carve out a regular writing routine, so let's seen how we get on with that aspect ...
Yes, we talked about many other things, including the stories we want to write, our ideas, and our characters. But what was key - we left with enthusiasm high, absolutely buzzing and filled with motivation. Our first lesson was we'd been too ambitious with our first task - not in its selection, but in the timeframe - so we decided to extend the gap between meets by one week.
Do you have a writing partner? How did you choose one another? How do you structure your time together?
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