A Post By Writestream Contributor Kristyn Fetterman
As a writer, you may not think about how essential it is to include other people in your writing process. Maybe you already have your perfect writing routine and don’t want to mess with your flow. Maybe you like to wait until you have a completed draft or final copy before worrying about others’ opinions. Either way, it would be worth it to try to include other people in each step of your writing process and see the benefits. At the very least you could help to break the stereotype of the secluded writer. It couldn’t hurt to try, right?
People are a great resource to use when you are working on developing your characters. You are essentially creating personalities on paper and the best way to research personalities and traits is by using real people. If you want your character to be suffering from a mental or physical illness, it will greatly benefit you to talk to and/or observe someone who deals with that illness on a daily basis. For example, if you want your character to be suffering from anxiety, talk to a few different people who have anxiety and figure out what their daily lives are like. The same goes for general personality traits, observing will always bring a real-life viewpoint into your book.
*It is ALWAYS necessary to disclose why you are discussing and/or observing someone even if you are not using any names or quotes in your writing*
Everyone’s imagination is different and it can be beneficial to ask others their opinion on where to take your story. They will often come up with something you never even thought of. Even if you choose not to use their idea, another person’s idea can often spark some of your own. If you are stuck on where to go next with your story or character, ask someone for some creative help. People tend to have surprisingly good ideas.
One of the most important parts of writing is the editing process. Editing is arguably the most essential part of the writing process to include other people in. When you are looking at and thinking about your story for a long time, you can become blind to mistakes both large and small. Allowing a few different people to read through and pick out any issues within the storyline, characters and structure can be the difference between a great story and a confusing one. Try having another writer look over your story as well as some others who are not as familiar with the writing process. Each person who reads it will likely focus on something different while reading through your story, which will allow you to get a variety of opinions.
Editor’s Note: If you would like to include seasoned professionals in the writing and publishing process, learn about Writestream’s Publishing Packages here. Then contact us to schedule your no-obligation consultation.