My talented friend and writing buddy, Peter Ball (author of the rapidly becoming notorious novella Horn) and I have been conducting Write Club for nigh on two months now. This started out as a result of me whinging about my writer’s block and Pete regaling me with the tale of how Holly Black (Spiderwick Chronicles) and Kelly Link (Magic for Beginners, Stranger Things Happen, Pretty Monsters) get together and sit in a cafe and just write (and presumably drink coffee). (Man, I hope that story’s true or my world is built on a marshmallowy foundation.) The idea is a support group of one to keep you on track putting down new words and to stop your inner editor from getting a hold of you.
So, once a week, we have Write Club in one of our living rooms – although I think my house may now be about to be deemed unsuitable as it has wireless, which defeats the purpose – we brew copious amounts of coffee, eat an amount of choclit roughly equivalent to the weight of a small child, and just write. If one of us stops writing for longer than 60 seconds, the other person must yell ‘WRITE!’ at an annoyingly loud volume. It’s like a jumpstart for writers – the literary equivalent of an electric shock. In a quiet room, with only the light tapping of keys, it can be quite effective – and messy if you’re in the middle of sipping your coffee.
But the point is: it works. I’ve managed to get the first draft of my novel done, to get a novella started, and am now on the rewrite of the first draft of said-same novel. Pete’s hit 60k on his novel and can now see the light at the end of the train tunnel.
Write Club works. I highly recommend it. It works best in a group of two or three – any more than that and the temptation to talk becomes a bit too strong – as Clive Barker said in Weaveworld ‘After three, the multitude’.
Next, Project Mayhem, writer-style.