Great Minds Think Alike – 9/9/11

Posted Sep 9 2011, 8:15 am in , , , , , ,

During the week with no power, a group of my Long Island Romance Writers decided to meet for dinner.

I was going to beg off because I felt bad about leaving my sixteen-year-old son home alone in the dark. The girls said, “Bring him!”

So glad I did.

Sitting around the table at a cool Mexican place the lovely Jeannie Moon found, we chatted about plots, about works in progress, about characters, about the books we love and the books we hate. I worried that Chris would be bored but even now, as I write this, he says he had a great time. Everyone was nice and the stories we told kept him laughing.

And this – right there – this is why I joined the local RWA chapter in the first place.

People always say writing is a solo activity. I no longer believe that. Sure, the act of putting words to paper (or screen) is done alone, but what of the other parts of our craft? The plotting. The simmering. The marinating. The idea-generation.

For me, it’s nourished by a support system comprised of like-minded individuals – people who understand that the voices in my head do not indicate a need for medication but for page time. We talk about what scares us, we exchange ideas, we are each other’s cheerleaders. One succeeds and we all do. I mentioned I was thinking of rewriting an old novel as a YA but need a new title. Right now, it’s called Postpartum Deception. I love that title. But it doesn’t work in a YA context and I haven’t been able to think of a new one.

I can’t write the story unless I know the title. The hugely talented Jennifer Gracen urged me not to let that stop me. Titles are not stories! I agreed. The next night at dinner, my son and I spent the meal plotting out Postpartum Deception 2. My son made a brilliant suggestion that bridged my beginning to my ending in one meal.

Without those two dinners, this project would have stayed in a desk drawer. No, writing isn’t a solo activity at all.

5 Comments

Comments

5 responses to “Great Minds Think Alike – 9/9/11”

  1. Linda G. says:

    You have an awesome son.. 🙂

  2. I love the idea of your son going to dinner with a bunch of romance writers, and having fun. And yay for kids with good ideas 🙂

  3. abby says:

    i love this post because i too have recently come to conclusion that while the act of writing is solo, other parts of it can take the shape of a team sport.

    for instance, i’ve been doing a weekly write-in with some local twitterati and it’s so much easier to sit and write if i can see that others are doing so too. a minimal form of competition gets the juices flowing.

    now i just need to get over my phobia of talking about what i’m working on so i can get some plotting and characterization support!

  4. I’m so glad you brought your son, and that he had a good time. More than that, I cherish our friendship. You also provide an immeasurable amount of support to others. Go team!

  5. Patty Blount says:

    Thanks, ladies!

    Linda, both of my sons are truly awesome. They make me proud on a daily basis.

    Sarah, I first thought he was teasing me but he seriously did have fun. I think that’s because he saw how passionate we are about this craft of ours.

    Abby, you’re right – a little competition does energize us. But never be afraid to share your work. That’s how you’ll grow.

    Jeannie – thank you so much for suggesting I bring him. I am so happy to have met you because through you, I became part of this outstanding team. Yeah, go team! *pumps fist*