I won’t lie, joining the Greater Fort Worth Writers group is the third best decision I made in my writing career. Not only did I make a bunch of new friends with similar interests, I now have a bottomless well of inspiration, challenges, and epic ass-kicking that I can dip into, constantly keeping me on my toes as a writer.
After my first year, we started a new event with the group, the Round Robin. Each event starts with a single writer selecting a genre and throwing down a thousand or so words to start a story. The next person in line then gets to add their own segment to the story, further developing the characters and world.
Sound simple enough? It really is…
Unless you don’t want it to suck.
The challenge in this lies in so much more than just writing a thousand words. The challenge is tackling somebody else’s world, characters, plot line, and (often) genre.
My first go at this had me filling in the meaty mid-section of a light-hearted romance titled “A Delicious Dalliance.” My kryptonite. But in the end, a perfect opportunity to work in a genre/subject matter I would otherwise have never ventured towards it. Might have even enjoyed myself! (but don’t tell the GFWWers)
Next go ’round, they had me start the Round Robin. I threw a handful of characters in an apocalyptic scenario of mother nature’s ultimate menstruation (later renamed “The Ultima Storm”). It was pretty awesome getting to sit back and watch all of my peers unfold an amazing story filled with complications I would never have thought to include; each writer setting up a new catastrophe for the next.
Out latest installment, a Young Adult Dystopian piece titled “Red” is currently in progress and the challenges continue. Not only must we as writers progress the story, but set challenges and obstacles for the next writer in the line. Or in my case, throw a giant fork in the road of a seemingly one-sided story of good vs. evil. The fifth installment was just added, but go ahead and take a look from the beginning, you’ll thank me later.
So the moral of the story – get a group. Not just any group, find a good collection of authors that will challenge you to change your wardrobe, look at your story from the villains perspective, and have some laughs along the way.