I am on my 3rd notebook since starting the writer’s group back in 2014. It wasn’t until I was almost finished the 2nd notebook that I realized it would be wise to type up all the pieces I wrote, not just the ones I posted here. So, for the past few months, I have been slowly catching up. This process of going back through old writing has made me realize a few things.
First, I have created some very interesting characters who are just waiting to be plucked and put into a story. This is great because sometimes you need a character who already has a bit of history to them. Other characters I’ve created are waiting for their story to be expanded. Some have big stories coming their way, others just little ones, but either way it is good because sometimes the main writing project you’ve got going starts to feel a little dry and it helps to take a break by working on a smaller side project.
Second, my approach to the prompts has undergone some interesting changes. Sometimes I start with the prompt, sometimes I end with it, sometimes it pops up in the middle, and at least once the prompt hasn’t come up at all because I ran out of time. The part that has changed most though is that every prompt used to create an isolated story with isolated characters. Each story stood on its own. But now the lines between prompts have blurred. One character’s story is told over many prompts. Characters cross over all the time; they meet each other, interact, become friends (or enemies). They impact each other in ways that I never would have guessed when I first started this group.
Third, I have written a heck of a lot more through the writer’s group than I thought I had. Since it’s advent in the fall of 2014, I have written 93 stories from the prompts I’ve given (seeing as we typically do 2 per night we obviously dropped the ball at least once). Because I decided to type out my stories and Word automatically provides a word count, I know that my writer’s group stories average 264 words per 20 minute prompt which means I have written over 24,000 words through the group. I for one am pretty impressed by that.
Lastly, (and this one I could have told you without going back through any of the stories) there is a common thread between many of my characters. Not all of them, but many of them drink a lot of tea. This one is reflective of my life. I think everyone should enjoy tea as much as I do. I drink a lot of tea; it’s delicious. In fact, I’m going to go make myself a cup right now and type up the stories from last night.