Most readers of this blog know that I've done National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) since 2008. NaNoWriMo has a sister project, Script Frezy (or Screnzy), which takes place in April. I've always wanted to do it, and when I was living in London this past semester, I had the month of April off from university. What a perfect opportunity, I thought. I had an idea that I had scribbled down while on a train from New York City in May of 2010 but hadn't developed.
One of the great offerings of NaNo and Screnzy is that they have leaders for every location involved in the projects, and these leaders organize get-togethers so that participants can meet up and write together. I'd always wanted to attend one of these, but was unable to do so until I did Screnzy this past April. Transportation was a problem in previous years, but London is so easy to get around, even (or perhaps, especially) without a car, that I was able to attend most of the writing sessions.
While at these sessions, I discovered the joy of writing with others. Writing has always been a solitary thing for me- I don't write with anyone and I show very few people my writing. But meeting up and writing with the new acquaintences in the Costa at Piccadilly Circus made me extremely productive. There's something driving about sitting with other writers who are writing. You feel you need to keep up, and there's just this inspiring atmosphere.
I loved attending these meetings, but due to traveling around Europe in the same month, I didn't get to go to all of the meetings. However, I got so much done in that environment that I was determined to bring it home.
I've talked a lot about my critique partner and friend on this blog, and this summer, I suggested to him that we write together. He assumed I meant our collaboration novel. I told him that, while that would be nice, too, I thought he should try just writing his novel while I was writing mine. I found out just this week that he wasn't too sure about that; he'd never done it and wasn't sure it would work for him. We've gotten together a few times since then and he told me he loves it. It's even better to work with him because he knows me and he knows my writing, and vice-versa. It's a really awesome experience to be able to talk through hard places; last time we wrote together, I needed to have my character transition from homesickness to determination in what she was doing. On my own, I probably would have just moved on to a different section, but with my friend there, I was able to discuss the section, read him what I had, and he gave me this great idea that helped me finish not only the section, but the chapter. For his part, he asks me things like that, too, but mostly uses me for a dictionary/thesaurus :p
If you're wondering what I was working on during these sessions, it was not TOSOL. Though my friend has given me suggestions on how to fix that awful introduction, I'm waiting to get some edits back from other readers (my friend is currently finishing up edits on his own novel to turn in to me in a few weeks.) I was instead working on the novel that used to be called Q/Quarantined. It no longer bears that title, but I haven't yet found a replacement. I did, however, discover something interesting about said novel: it's officially science fiction. I never, ever though I'd be a writer of science fiction, but I'm definitely having fun with it!
In other news, the lovely Deirdra from A Storybook World has granted me the Powerful Woman Writer Award. I'm honored to be given it, and you should go and check out her blog!