It’s a Secret! (Or Maybe Not?)

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

When I first started writing fiction, I’d freely share the specifics of whatever story I was writing.

But then…after I’d tell someone about my latest greatest idea, it would jinx me. No, I don’t mean it literally, but inevitably if I told someone what I was writing, I’d stop. Either the person would say something that deterred me—like she or he had just read a book exactly like the one I was writing—or when I said the idea out loud it sounded dumb and lost that magic “it factor.”

This came up recently when I participated in a “blog hop” about writing process. One of the questions asked what I was currently working on.

I hesitated.

Most of the writers I know have strong feelings about this subject—kind of like whether or not you like to listen to music while you write—either you do or you don’t. Different writers have different reasons…some are similar to mine, some writers I’ve known are afraid another writer might (for lack of a better word) steal their idea. Consequently, if I ask a writer friend what she’s working on and she changes the subject, I smile and nod.

Most of the writers I know have strong feelings about this subject—kind of like whether or not you like to listen to music while you write—either you do or you don’t.

When I first started writing fiction—part time, when I was a full time tech writer, during my “free sharing days”—my mother asked me what I was writing about. I told her I was writing a mystery novel about a woman who solved mysteries with the help of her dog. A week later I got a book in the mail (from my mother) about a woman who solved mysteries with the help of her dog. I stopped writing.

Another time, shortly after I moved into our old house, I did a month of research about the previous owners of our house—all the way back to 1895 when it was built. The characters were so interesting that I told my aunt I was thinking of writing a book called The Yellow House—about my house’s “people.” She said: “Who but you would be interested in reading about the history of your house?” All the notes sit, collecting dust, in a box under my desk.

See what I mean?

For a long time after that I kept my writing totally secret, never uttering a peep. If someone asked what I was writing, I’d say, “fiction.” When they gave me a questioning look, I’d add, “a novel.”

But then two things happened. First, I started using beta readers. Second, I self published a book (ironically, about a woman who solves mysteries with the help of her dog).

The wind shifted…or…the manuscript opened, and suddenly I was telling everyone (who asked would listen) what I was writing about. For a while it was really fun. I mean long hours at the dining room table—alone—will do that to a writer. But then something else happened. People started asking if they could read what I was writing. This startled me. I was fine with telling people high level information, but letting them read, now that was a totally different matter—it seemed impolite that they might even ask…yet, I had somehow opened the door enough that they felt comfortable doing so. It started to feel like people were prying into my private story…before I was really ready.

On top of that, sometimes I’d tell someone what I was working on and he or she would say, “Hmmm. That’s interesting, but boy do I have a story for you.” It happened the other night when I was interviewing someone for a magazine article. When I told him I was writing a story about a girl who is coming of age during wartime, he interrupted me to tell me a story he said was much more interesting. He launched into a long “top secret” story about a family member who had been a wartime spy and was involved in all kinds of wild and crazy (and super dangerous) espionage missions.

It actually did sound like an interesting story, but… you know how you really have to be in love with what you write? I tried to explain, but… well, finally it seemed easier to take some notes and agree to talk to his family member.

After we parted ways (no closer, by the way, to getting information for the magazine story I’d set out for in the first place), I decided that maybe it did make sense to strike a middle ground. Maybe I’d gone a bit overboard and overshared, opening the door for him to do the same. Maybe sharing some but not everything made sense.

Which brings me back to the writing process blog. What did I decide to do? In the end I divulged a couple of sentences-worth of what my current WIP is all about, but I also didn’t overshare and volunteer too much.

I figured that during the beta reading and querying stages (and hopefully publication), I’d have more than enough time (and people) to share my story with.

In the meantime, most of that world is still just mine.

What about you? Are you a sharer or not? Or somewhere in the middle (like me)? We’d love to hear your bad or good experiences that helped make you the kind of sharer you are.

 

 

 

 

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About Julia Munroe Martin

Julia Munroe Martin (@wordsxo) is a writer and blogger who lives in an old house in southern coastal Maine. Julia's other passion is photography, and if she's not writing at the dining room table or a local coffeeshop, you'll likely find her on the beach or dock taking photos. Julia writes The Empty Nest Can Be Murder mystery series as J. M. Maison.

Comments

  1. says

    Hi Julie. I’ve had similar experiences. I don’t share my developing stories. When people ask me I say I can’t really describe it at the moment, “too soon to say.” I say it’s a mystery or a supernatural story–that’s it. I feel that if I “tell” them the stories or the characters I’m disturbing the seedling as it grows. Your post reminds me of an old story about the farmer who was so anxious to see his crop that he kept pulling up the roots to see how they were doing. I think writing is similar in that the roots need the soft darkness of the creator to feel safe and nourished before entering the world. P.S. I love to listen to music when I write, classical mostly. And sometimes Billy Joel to get my blood jumping! Great post you have here. I’m glad to know I’m not alone in overprotecting my work.
    Paula Cappa´s last blog post ..Hanuman, the Monkey-God

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    • says

      Glad you can relate, Paula… this really struck me: “Your post reminds me of an old story about the farmer who was so anxious to see his crop that he kept pulling up the roots to see how they were doing.” I’ve been known to uncover seeds to make sure they’re truly sprouting so I’m beginning to think there really may be parallels to writing…

      Thanks for your comment and I love meeting another music listener!:)
      Julia Munroe Martin´s last blog post ..My Writing Process: blog tour

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  2. says

    Julia, thanks for sharing your thoughts on how much to reveal about what you’re writing. I agree, it’s a conundrum.

    I don’t worry so much about the sharing as the concern that someone’s eyes will glaze over, and by them doing so, it weakens my resolve. But I’m getting past that, as I’ve learned (rather late in life) that you can’t please everyone. Not everyone is going to like what I write, which is fine.

    The other reason I find it hard to share before I’m ready to show my work, is that by telling anyone, I lose some juice from my story. Somehow, the excitement dissipates. Maybe it’s psychological, I don’t know. Weird, huh? So now, like you, I temper what I say and continue to write and revel on my own.
    Diana Stevan´s last blog post ..Write What You Don’t Know

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    • says

      “I’ve learned (rather late in life) that you can’t please everyone. Not everyone is going to like what I write, which is fine.” I think this is exactly why (after self publishing) I became more free about talking about what I was writing, Diana! On the other hand, you are so right that “somehow the excitement dissipates” is true too. Sounds like we’re similar in these ways…as you say, a conundrum!
      Julia Munroe Martin´s last blog post ..My Writing Process: blog tour

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  3. says

    My biggest problem? They ask – I start telling – their eyes glaze over.

    I have some work to do on my elevator pitch, it seems.

    Which is fine, because I know what my story is about, even if I haven’t managed to condense thousands of words into a sound bite for someone else’s convenience yet.

    When I try, I find certain words have connotations I didn’t intend to call into my definition: Adult, for example, may make some people think ‘porn.’ ‘Love triangle’ makes some people think of threesomes. ‘Disabled’ makes some people think ‘Ewww!’

    So I try out my new combinations on those unfortunate enough to ask, and wonder if I’m overselling, or underselling when I tell them it’s a novel of obsession, betrayal, and love.

    That will simply have to do for now.

    I have time before publication. I read every blog post on synopses, cover copy, premise, logline, and ‘TV Guide description.’

    And then I go back to writing the good stuff. And trusting it will all come together when it’s ready.

    And yes, having that one good beta reader saves your soul.

    Good questions.
    Alicia
    Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt´s last blog post ..Fear of disappointing readers: write it your way anyway

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  4. says

    Great article. I also participated in the writing process blog hop and tried to tell a little about what I’m writing, but not too much. The main reason for that though is that during the first draft I need to figure out things for myself.

    I do share with other people in the pre-beta reader stage, people close to me who are supportive and who think along. My partner will ask what I’m writing about and then come up with ideas for the story. Some ideas would take the story in the wrong direction (and then I explain why, which helps me focus as well), but he’s come up with some really good ones as well. It just makes the story more interesting to me, because he offers a different view on things.

    Then I have what I’ve heard is called an alpha reader. She’s also a writer and we often send each other bits of scenes we’re working on, and when one of us is a bit stuck, we brainstorm together. I don’t think we’ll ever write a book together because our styles are very different, but it’s great to have someone to share the often lonely writing process with.

    So far I haven’t encountered any negativity. I do get quite a few people telling me how a friend of theirs has published a book and that they can get me in touch with this person (whose books so far have always been self-published, so not helpful if you want to go the traditional route like I do)
    Once I had a colleague telling me he’d written this book, managed to be invited by an editor at a publishing house to discuss his work, had a great chat with the editor until the editor realized the writer’s manuscript was fiction instead of non-fiction. The colleague kindly offered his advice on anything publishing-related I had questions about. True story…
    Andrea van der Wilt´s last blog post ..My writing process

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    • says

      “I do share with other people in the pre-beta reader stage, people close to me who are supportive and who think along. My partner will ask what I’m writing about and then come up with ideas for the story.”

      This is an excellent point, Andrea! Like you, I always share with my husband, and like your partner, he comes up with some very good suggestions and (like you) it definitely gives me more focus and makes the story more interesting. I love the idea of an alpha reader. I have one close writer friend who has “first reads” but never brainstorming… would love that.

      p.s. Interesting story about your friend! Wow, what a great window!
      Julia Munroe Martin´s last blog post ..My Writing Process: blog tour

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  5. Denise Willson says

    Great post, Julia.
    Years ago, when writing my first novel, my husband and I would spend ‘date night’ talking about my WIP. Now, for the reasons you mention, my work is kept in my head and hard drive; my baby, until it’s ready for adulthood.
    Once a manuscript has grown up and flown the coop, it’s no longer mine. It’s then a product, a book to be sold by someone else.
    I prefer to swaddle it to my chest for as long as possible. Then stand back and watch it fly.

    Denise Willson
    Author of A Keeper’s Truth and GOT

    p.s. Apologies for the cliches. :)

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  6. says

    I definitely share what I can, when I can. Sometimes it helps to share, because you can hear your thoughts out loud, and you’re not talking to yourself (wondering if you’re crazy). If I find myself struggling to describe my story, alerts go-off. Something must be wrong; I should be able to rattle off this story with ease. Bah- back into the oven you go story idea. If I’m moving along smoothly with my sharing I feel confident about my idea.

    Just the other day, for the first time, I was able to share my story idea with a co-worker and she was able to regurgitate it.
    Shit, that felt good. I think she was clairvoyant, though. *smile* But I’ll take it. It was, by far, my best experience with sharing my stories and story ideas, and it was a good veteran-newbie ice breaker, too.

    I’ve never really had any bad experiences with sharing, but I have had some not so cool ones. A few people tried to get me to write their heart’s desires. I gave them a flat- NO, end of story.

    (It’s fear hugging time) I will not allow my bad experiences to deter my goals, writing or otherwise. I did that a few times in the past (because of fear). They’re called regrets, now, and I remember every…single…last….one of those damned things.

    Shit! My heart just gained five pounds in two seconds while typing this response. This sensation sucks ass, too. Pretty soon I won’t be able to see through the water build up. DOES ANYBODY HAVE ANY DIGITAL TISSUE? MY FACE IS LEAKING!

    Without sharing, I would have been done writing stories years ago. Whether the feedback I receive strokes my ego, adds to my learning, or irritates me, I will learn from it.
    Share away I say, unless you seriously feel theft of intellectual property is evitable.

    Writers are not representatives of isolation.
    That’s why we’re UNBOXED!
    DAMMIT!

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    • says

      “Writers are not representatives of isolation.
      That’s why we’re UNBOXED!” This is exactly what I came to after the self publishing, Brian, so I can really understand this. On the other hand, I must be somewhat wishy-washy about this because I swing back and forth, now in a more non-sharing phase (after my recent experience perhaps)…so I also understand your heart gaining five pounds. Yes! As you say, we can’t let those feelings deter us from our writing. Here’s to staying unboxed! (p.s. very cool about your co-worker!)
      Julia Munroe Martin´s last blog post ..My Writing Process: blog tour

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  7. says

    Nope, nope, nope I keep it to myself. Occasionally I talk to my husband but only because I need his help on a technical aspect. Usually when I tell someone what I’m working on I get that side eye and the “oh, who would read that?” or the “sounds like it is all over the place.” That makes me want to scream. Yes, it is all over the place because the story isn’t done, I’ve thrown out ideas since that person last asked or I’m still working on the plot.
    Sadly I don’t think that people realize how those comments can deter someone from writing.

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    • says

      “Sadly I don’t think that people realize how those comments can deter someone from writing.” This is so true. I don’t think people DO understand… and once the words are out, even if we explain, it’s impossible to wipe them from our mind.

      As for husbands and technical help — YES! In my current WIP I have two fight scenes and my husband was very amused at my descriptions (me having never been or witnessed a fist fight). He acted them out, showing me why it was impossible how I’d written them, and then he helped me think of better ways (still acting out the fights). It was really fun!
      Julia Munroe Martin´s last blog post ..My Writing Process: blog tour

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  8. Jean Gogolin says

    Diana says that when she shares her idea “loses some juice” . . . I’ve often said that when I tell people what I’m working on the idea “leaks out” and weakens. Same idea. However, I now belong to a small writers’ group in which the members read chapters are critiqued and I find that’s really helpful. The difference, I think, is that writers know how to make their reactions helpful, while non-writers don’t.

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    • says

      I love the idea of a critique group — and I’m so glad you have a good one — but unfortunately my one experience with a workshopping class was not helpful or positive. The members of the group (all writers) seemed more interested in one-upping one another, and it really shut me down on what they critiqued for me.

      Your group sounds amazing, and I would love to find a group like yours!! Great exception to the rule.
      Julia Munroe Martin´s last blog post ..My Writing Process: blog tour

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  9. MaryRose says

    “She said: “Who but you would be interested in reading about the history of your house?” All the notes sit, collecting dust, in a box under my desk.”

    Wow. Deadly. Been there.

    On a different note, I would read that book!

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  10. says

    I go back and forth on how much to share. There is nothing worse than telling somebody with great enthusiasm about your idea, and getting that blank look. It’s deflating. My default these days is to share a couple of lines about my WIP and gauge the reaction of the other person. If the person’s ears perk up I will share more. Also, I don’t like to share any of the writing itself during the first draft stage. Thanks for sharing your experiences on this topic, Julia.
    CG Blake´s last blog post ..Book Review: The Cuckoo’s Calling, by Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling)

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    • says

      Thank you for reading, CG. Sounds like you and I have similar views on this… like you, I go back and forth and gauge reaction. I assume my sharing may well change (everything seems to in my writing life). Thank you for sharing your thoughts!
      Julia Munroe Martin´s last blog post ..My Writing Process: blog tour

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  11. says

    It’s my nature, and driven by excitement, I share–sometimes too much. But I’m trying to change my ways. I’m trying to learn to say, “fiction…a novel.” Readers love surprises. Once my story has been published I view it as a gift for readers–a gift I want them to have–so I tell them about it.
    I do, however, share (on my blog) information about the manuscripts I’m currently submitting.
    Leanne Dyck´s last blog post ..Interview with Michelle Halket of Central Avenue Publishing

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  12. says

    I agree with CG Blake – there’s nothing worse than drawing a blank stare or watching people turn away and talk to someone else about something totally different and that’s when you know that you’re out!

    Actually, I’m always surprised when someone asks me about my books – my friends really don’t seem to care one bit, most of the time they come up to me and ask me brightly: what are your painting these days? I used to paint but I stopped back in…2009, I guess it takes time for people around me to realize that I write!

    So yes, I agree with you, the less said, the better! Thanks for sharing and bringing up a point in our writer’s life that we try to forget about most of time…
    Claude Nougat´s last blog post ..What’s wrong with the UN Security Council

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  13. says

    When I’m writing my novel, I don’t reveal what it’s about– I don’t want others (especially, civilians to jinx it for me). Once I’m done, I give them a one-line teaser. That helps me come up with my pitch to know if it sounds compelling or not.

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  14. says

    Julia– thanks for this post. It relates to something all writers face. I would say that you and I reflect–or suffer from–different ego “issues.” You seem to be a true “sensitive plant,” highly susceptible to what others say. It can’t be used with family and old friends, but with anyone new, I would urge you to tell them that you write for the CIA and that, unfortunately, this means you are not able to talk about your work. In my case, I don’t know other writers, but when a civilian non-writer asks me about my work, I’m not much concerned with their opinions, suggestions, sidebars, etc. The only person who ever reads my work besides me is a paid professional editor. It’s similar to what shrinks say about the costs of psychotherapy: if you don’t have to pay, it won’t be important to you.

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  15. says

    Good discussion, Julia.

    Perhaps it’s not how much we share but when. When I started my WIP, I didn’t want to tell anyone anything and I was very reticent about sharing any of the work with my trusted critique group (5 people). But share I did and it really helped me think strengthen my storyline. I should mention that most of my critique partners don’t write fiction and have never written a novel, so I received way too many detailed line edits on material that wouldn’t be polished until subsequent revisions. But noting where people had problems connecting the dots or understanding a nuance was good feedback. I freely share a vague description of my plot but don’t explain all the plot points, themes, etc. I blog about my research, location and some of my characters (it’s historical fiction) but never the storyline. I’m far enough into the process now that I don’t think I can be deterred. I have confidence in the story and my ability to tell it. That said, let’s hope someone doesn’t send me a book that “sounds just like your story.” ;)

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  16. says

    Fun topic, Julia! I guess for the most part I’m in the Steven Pressfield camp: “Talking about a project [before it’s done] is bad luck. It’s bad karma…I always give a false name to the book I’m working on. I never use the real title when creating the working file. Why? Because the devil might see the real title. Then he would have power to jinx it. I called Gates of Fire ‘Spartans.’ I called The War of Art ‘Resistance.'”~ S.P.

    Thanks for inciting a great conversation! Have a great weekend!
    Vaughn Roycroft´s last blog post ..Written To Death – Writer Unboxed Redirect

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  17. says

    My writing partner and I are of different minds on this. He’s very protective of his work. His process is for him – and his writing group. The product is for the audience.

    I’m quite the opposite. I write blog posts about my book, post chapter thoughts and drafts, invite readers into my writing process, and generally spill everything out on the page (although I keep the final draft completely under wraps and never let anyone see the book in a fully structured way).

    Maybe it’s not surprising that he’s more inclined to write for traditional publishers, and my preference is for smaller presses (although neither of us eschews any publishing route).

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  18. says

    Julia, thanks for a great post–I wrestled with that same question on the writing process “blog hop.” Eons ago, I shared more about current work, but have since realized that that my personal creative process requires keeping the lips zipped. Revealing too much about a book early on drains my creative zest–or I’ll get swayed by commentary before the book is set in my mind.

    Unfortunately, my current vague response, “I’m writing a mystery/suspense novel” usually leads to, “Really? What’s it about?” Still haven’t found a way to answer that without revealing anything!

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  19. says

    Diana – I have read that there really is a psychological reason why you lose steam when you talk about it. The mind doesn’t differentiate very well between talking about accomplishing something and actually accomplishing it. You talk about your novel, and the mind gets the same reward it would get for finishing it. Since it has the reward already, it sees no reason to keep going with the work!
    Susan Mark´s last blog post ..Dear Ted Kooser: I’m Trying

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  20. says

    Hi Julia,
    It made me think of secrets or lies! Like you, I used to be very open, now share ‘a fiction love story in the Himalayas’. I recently asked an editor friend to read my first few chapters. It took 6 weeks and in that time, I had read alot of articles and when she gave me feedback, I had actually come to all the conclusions she had. So that was a positive experience.
    Every writer has a different process and all are right for them!
    Sherry Marshall´s last blog post ..The Pizza Eater. Food for Thought! The Discovery Diet. Chpt. 2

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  21. says

    When I was asked about the novel MS I am now editing back when I first started writing it, I didn’t say too much. After finishing, I’d share more. I had people ask to read it, and some were among my first beta readers. For the next book I’m going to write, I’ve shared a lot and gotten a lot of ideas from close friends I knew would be interested in it, but that’s as far as I’ll go with this for quite some time. I feel that in the early stages, it’s best to keep it close. Later when you need feedback, share away. And being challenged to boil your story down to a few sentences that sound interesting is a good exercise for writing loglines–and for figuring out if your story has a clear arc!
    Erin Bartels´s last blog post ..The Thrill of that First Paragraph

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  22. says

    I’m kind of not a sharer. I’ll tell people that I’m planning a fantasy novel, say, but not really get into the specifics. Some of it might have to do with the fact that I have few readers, and my Alpha reader is out of state. It’s funny how “my precioussss” I can get about even the basic ideas, though. Not that I’m afraid of theft, necessarily, just that I don’t want to ruin it with a peek before the whole thing is done.
    Jen Donohue´s last blog post ..On blog novel serialization

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  23. says

    I don’t really talk about my writing. As many others have said, I lose steam if I discuss my projects too much. If I go into detail on a story with someone, I feel that the story is done, and that I don’t need to write it. If people ask what I’m writing about, I give a vague answer and change the subject.

    If I want to discuss something in my WIP, I write it out in a journal instead. If I have a particular problem I want input on, I ask my husband, while giving him as little information as possible. Writing has become this secret thing – which sometimes takes me aback, because I think about it all the time, but the people around me don’t realise this.
    Linda C Jaeger´s last blog post ..10 Tips to Get You Writing

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    • says

      A journal is a great idea! Especially because then you have the ideas in writing to go back to — thank you for an inspired idea, Linda! I also know exactly what you mean about “I think about it all the time, but the people around me don’t realise this”… wow, could’ve written those words myself since I often feel like I LIVE in that other world I’m writing about!
      Julia Munroe Martin´s last blog post ..My Writing Process: blog tour

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  24. says

    In my experience, when a friend/relative/coworker/whatever asks me what I’m writing, she doesn’t care what the answer is. Unless she’s your agent/editor or an avid fan breathlessly awaiting your next publication, she’s either (a) just trying to make conversation or (b) introducing the topic so she can tell me what she’s writing (or what she thought she might write some day, or what would make a great story is if she could write, or what her brother wrote when he was in college, etc.).

    Re: the gentleman who wanted to tell you his relative’s life story, I’d be willing to bet it didn’t matter one lick how much you shared about your WIP. He wanted to talk about his relative, and he was going to talk about his relative. Most other people are the same. They’ll ask you what they’re writing, and then they pretend to listen to the answer while waiting for you to finish so they can talk about themselves.

    No matter what the person’s intentions, the answer “It’s a [genre here]” will suffice. If they’re genuinely interested, they’ll ask for details.

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  25. says

    It makes a difference who you share with. I have a critique group of four other writers. We’ve been meeting every other week for seven years. I don’t think I could write without them. We share chapters by email and meet for a leisurely Saturday morning breakfast to discuss and critique. We call ourselves the B.A.D Writer’s group. (Breakfast At Denny’s) On the other hand, no one in my family gets a peek.
    Carolyn Paul Branch´s last blog post ..Fast Draft Class – can I write 70,000 words in 14 days?

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  26. says

    I definitely overshare and am trying to pull back. But it’s hard because I’m usually excited about my WIP. The problem is, I need to channel that excitement into my writing and not into my talking.
    Heather´s last blog post ..forgiveness in conversation

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  27. says

    How much I share depends on the project I’m working on. If someone asks about one of the screenplays I’m working on, I give them the genre, title, and logline. When someone asks about my novel, by default I just give the genre (urban fantasy). If they ask what it’s about, I’ve got a two sentence description at the ready. Occasionally I’ll have a friend who really wants to know more, so I tell them about the world it’s set in rather than the story of the novel. I find that piques people’s interest well enough without discussing specifics of the book itself.

    As far as people reading my work in progress, I’ve got two alpha readers who I let read my novel: My best friend (an English major who used to write for a newspaper before she went back to law school) and another friend who’s the artist for my children’s book (and who loves drawing random scenes from my novel.) I laid out a couple ground rules with them when I told them I’d let them read along as I wrote. The main rule: I don’t want any critique right now. I know how I am, and I know that I would spend forever getting sidetracked fixing things in the middle of the first draft if I let myself. I told them to write down any notes and give them to me once I’ve completed my first draft. The only types of notes I want right now are if they notice I contradicted myself somewhere or if something makes ABSOLUTELY no sense. For me, their enthusiasm and excitement about the story helps keep me motivated. I do enjoy getting those 3am texts that just say “More. NOW!”
    Brian Work´s last blog post ..Uncommon Law movie poster!

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  28. says

    I’m in pretty much the exact same boat as you, Julia! I used to not tell people what I was writing about because I was embarrassed (those were the early, early years, when I was still sort of ashamed to call myself a writer). Then I got over it and told everyone, and it opened me up to what you experienced, too; well-intended commentary that often put me off, or at least threw me off. What I’ve landed on these days is a type of compromise. I tell only my handful of best supporters (husband, mom, best writing friends, etc.) when I’m starting something new. That way I don’t feel like I’m going it alone, but I still get to preserve some of that “all mine” magic. And I usually end up sharing more about it once the project is “finished,” because I feel more secure at that point.
    Annie Neugebauer´s last blog post ..Good News Abounds

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  29. says

    Great post Julia!
    I was very secretive with my writing for many years but slowly learning to open up. Not telling anyone the content of my new WIP though, that would kill the magic! :)

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  30. says

    I run ideas past my agent and my top beta reader, but keep pretty quiet beyond that. In fact, those are the only two people I generally let read portions of an unfinished work. The reasons you discussed here all play into my thought process, and also there have been times I’ve loved an idea in its early stages of writing only to shift gears onto something else when it didn’t stick. When asked how that story was progressing, I had to admit that it wasn’t progressing at all…and that was never a fun feeling to be reminded of a project I dropped.

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