My Writers' Group and My WIP

I’m excited! My writers’ group met tonight (we meet every three or four weeks) and I asked for help brainstorming a thorny problem I was having with one of my characters. I don’t want to give anything away, so let’s just say I couldn’t think of a reason for this character to behave the way he was behaving. It’s not a small thing–there needed to be a very good reason that would hold up over time. It also needed to be a reason that I could withold from the other characters and the reader until the perfect moment. And it needed to be a reason that would elicit sympathy instead of scorn from the reader.
We sat around scratching our heads for a bit (at the Bear Rock Cafe, where we meet). Then I asked them to make Lists of Twenty to brainstorm solutions. This problem was so challenging that people only came up for four or five ideas, but as we discussed them, the solution grew organically from the collision of brain cells around the table. What a terrific process! Within minutes, I had the answer to a problem that’s been dogging me for a couple of weeks. Driving home alone, the solution took on greater shape and tomorrow I’ll incorporate it into my expanding outline. If you’re a writer, I hope you have fellow writers, friends or family members willing to help you toss ideas around. It’s a wonderful way to start thinking outside of the box.


  1. Lorene on September 20, 2006 at 4:10 pm

    I am really eager to read this book!

  2. Margo on September 20, 2006 at 4:19 pm

    You and me both, Lorene!

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