Last weekend, we had a chance to record with the incredible Roundtable Podcast (RTP). It was really cool getting to interview someone in a different format, on a different show. But I think my favorite part of the experience was the workshop episode (that's coming out next Tuesday), where we picked apart Giles' new story idea.
I didn't just enjoy beating up on Giles--I really liked the entire concept of workshopping an idea, prying it apart to get at its center, figuring out how to make a vague concept into a working story. I think it's a step writers tend to overlook. We tend to see a shiny new story idea and some of us plot it and some of us just dive into writing it, but we don't usually stop and talk it over with other people.
It's not a step all writers need to do, of course, but I think it can really bring another layer to your story to have some outside input. To have people asking "what if?" and "why?" with you really makes you think about what you're writing and what's important to the story you want to tell. And that can strengthen the story by leaps and bounds.
Obviously, not everyone needs to workshop as publicly as Giles did on the RTP, but I think it is something we should consider doing more of, especially if you've got a solid writing or critique group already.
Giles and Michelle, look out!