Discuss: Your Sounding Boards

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Yesterday, in our weekly advice post, we discussed the value of talking with someone about your writing. Talking about your writing projects and forcing yourself to say things about your project aloud can have an enormous benefit to your work. On the surface level, it can simply boost your self-esteem to discuss what you’re working on and get validation from someone listening to you. But on a deeper level, discussing your writing may lead you to learn where your plot holes are and figure out solutions to your writing-related problems.

If you’ve already had experience with talking about your writing projects, then you probably have a person or a group of people you typically consult. Maybe you have a trusted family member who has seen your writing grow from when you were young. Or maybe you have a friend who doesn’t do any writing herself, but is a big reader and can always pick out what your story needs. You may even have a writer’s group with whom you regularly meet to discuss projects.

Personally, I have several different sounding boards to discuss my writing with. I often talk to my brother about my various plot ideas, especially when National Novel Writing Month rolls around. I also have some friends who participate in NaNoWriMo with me, so they understand that special brand of insanity. It’s the most fun and the most helpful to discuss matters of writing techniques with them. And my NaNoWriMo group as a whole is a great sounding board for all things plot-related.

So, now it’s your turn. Who do you talk to about your writing? Who in your life can find the cracks in your plot, answer your queries, and support you as you continue to write? Feel free to share in the comments!

— Jet Fuel Blog Editor, Mary Egan