When writing The Dove of Hope, I had a full-time buddy that chatted with me on Google Hangouts every day. We talked through plot problems, shared our favorite writing excerpts, and celebrated break throughs. We both wrote 50K words that month and both finished our FIRST full-length novel (YAY!).
Now my “writing buddies” are whoever will listen! I grabbed my sisters (11 and 13) to help me outline R+B, a recent story idea.
SIDE NOTE: One of my favorite writing tips is think of what the reader would expect, and make the opposite happen.
So I talked through a few scenes in R+B and asked my sisters what they thought would happen next or how a certain character would react. Lemme tell you, it was SO MUCH MORE HELPFUL than I thought. Originally, I thought I would listen to what they thought would happen and switch it up so readers wouldn’t expect the plot.
A few times they came up with the same thing I had outlined, so I made a note and moved on. But the rest of the time – oh my goodness, they gave me such exciting ideas!!
So, here are the reasons why YOU need a buddy when writing – and like my sisters, they don’t have to be writers themselves.
A fresh look is ALWAYS helpful.
I think we’ll all agree that it’s both ridiculously hard yet necessary to let someone read your work. Whether it’s during the outlining process or during DRAFT 5, you need it. Whenever you prefer to share your work. A new set of eyes will help you find plot holes and weak characters.
In the blogging world, it seems much easier to find people willing to talk which is a huge bonus to blogging for both writers who have support at home and those who don’t!
Encouragement is a must.
Seeing someone get excited after reading your story is amazing. Yes, it’s hard to let someone in, but you’ll be glad you did.
My sisters have read (without my knowledge at the time…..girls) a few of my stories. And the fact that they remember little things about the characters makes me SO SO happy.
You can work through problems.
Just like having my sisters’ opinions during outlining -it’ll save some time if you know your plot isn’t predictable BEFORE the words are on paper.
If you’re frustrated trying to figure out how to make your villain seem creepy or your climax more powerful, ask for ideas.
You don’t have to be an unsociable hermit.
We’ve all seen it happen during NaNoWriMo. You lock yourself away, fingers flying, eyes locked on the screen. Let’s not even talk about that last day when you’re scrambling to meet the goal and may or may not be heard from for hours.
With a buddy, it forces you to come back to reality and chat – which is important. And this is coming from an introvert 😉
It’s a 2 way street.
If you have a friend who is writing a story, then not only do you get help writing your masterpiece but you get to experience some one else’s amazing work! It’s so exciting to see my 11 year old sister ask for character name ideas for her own story after she helps me with mine. ❤
So next time you’re having some trouble with your plot, find someone willing to listen and start brainstorming! ((An amazing place to do this with online buddies is here – NaNoWriMo.org))
Do you have a writing buddy? Have you ever written a collab story (a HUGE goal of mine)?