Where do you like to write? In Finding Forrester (mentioned in my last post) Forrester was such a recluse that he had no social contact until the kid (Jemal?) broke into his apartment. Of course, he didn’t complete much writing, either, if I remember the movie correctly.
On the one hand, writing is a solitary endeavor. At some point the author has to make the decisions and write down the words that make up the story. Sometimes there’s music playing in the background, or some other source of noise that helps you tune out the distractions in your own thoughts so you can focus on the words and their meanings, their sounds and rhythms. At the moment my background noise is a weak heater in a motel room, droning on incessantly.
On the other hand, writing cannot succeed in a social vacuum. At a minimum there is a reader, who by simply reading what you write provides valuable feedback to the author. NaNoWriMo has this strange (to me) concept of writing meetings where a bunch of authors gather together to work on their separate novels. I’m sorry, but the picture of a dozen women (it seems to be mostly women) getting together in one room, chattering away while they set up their laptops, share coffee and muffins, and then hunker down to write for three hours just doesn’t make sense to me. But I digress.
In most cases an author needs someone (or several someones) to read and comment on their rough drafts. He or she also needs an editor who can look at the work with a critical eye and point out what is good and what needs to be improved or tossed. And probably an agent to help market the story so that it can get published and sold. (Disclaimer here: I’ve never gotten this far, so I’m just guessing about this part.)
While I don’t have much background in writing fiction, I have written a lot of software. My experience with software tells me that one very important social part of writing is before you start the actual writing part. Brainstorming ideas is next to impossible to do by yourself, and you can always use help figuring out what has already been done before so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Unless you want to.
Rubbing the right minds together can throw off terrific creative sparks!
What about you? What is your writing style? Brainstorming? Research? Care to rub some ideas together to see if anything catches fire?