A Strange Path Toward A Collaborative Writing Project
A month ago, I thought that I was losing my mind. I had finished all my creative projects and I tend to get depressed when I'm idle.
One Friday night, after a workout called The Blacksmith, the class sat around stretching and discussing admitting one thing that we enjoyed this week and one thing we need to work on. Originally, this was confined to gym stuff - I enjoyed the pull ups, I need to work on mace thrusts - but it became about our lives, in general.
I had mentioned that I needed a new project to work on, and someone in the class mentioned they needed that as well. The person had just been laid off and needed something to occupy his time.
We barely knew each other and had no idea what we wanted to work on, but decided to at least hash it out. This would be the first project where I had no idea what we were getting into, and where I hadn't chosen, or been given a partner for the particular project I was working on.
Met up and talked about our interests and history. Found out we had quite a few common interests, but no idea what to work on. In the end we decided to give ourselves some homework. We each had to write down 50 ideas for a potential project, by the same day of the next week. Our goal was to come up with ideas, flex our creativity, and see if we both could hit deadlines.
We met and shared the ideas, noting which ones we liked, and which ones seemed to spring to life naturally. We'd both bought more than 50 to the table and found the brainstorming enjoyable. Then we decided on a new homework assignment.
We took one of the ideas that we enjoyed the most, and would each jot down 50 different thoughts, concepts, scenes or images that sprung to life based on the original idea. The goal here was to simply see how much enthusiasm we had for the idea. We assumed, that if the idea didn't spark at least 50 thoughts, then it probably wasn't worth pursuing.
The next time we met up, we not only shared more than 50 thoughts each, but also we found that our ideas meshed well. We started to see a story concept coming together and narrowed down the medium for storytelling that we thought best for the project. Our new assignment would be to write a scene - prose, screenplay, graphic novel format - it didn't really matter we just wanted to start looking at our storytellings styles.
- What did we focus on?
- What did we leave out?
- Was there a specific tone?
- What seemed to be our strengths and weaknesses as writers?
This is where the project is after three days:
- We have a concept.
- We have a medium.
- We have a structure.
- We have characters.
Our next goal will be to start digging into the project: mapping out scenes and points of conflict.
Thanks for reading - I hope you got something out of this weird little project.