I was at the “plot table” the whole session and from the reactions of the participants, I think our exercise was a great success. Here’s what we did (you can try this at home with some of your writing buddies; in fact, we can do some of it in our Illinois::Naperville forum, though online written exercises are not as immediate as live, in-person ones):
- each author in turn would give a quick synopsis of their NaNo novel
- they would indicate where gaps existed in their story (a surprisingly high number of folks did not have their main story well-established but only had characters and setting fairly well-defined)
- the others in the small group would then offer their thoughts on plot, character goals and motivation, and complications
Alas, we didn’t get all the way around the table by the end of the session; Dave and I didn’t get to go. However, it was still a dynamic, fascinating experience (I’ve benefitted from this in the past) and I think that the folks who did receive feedback have a lot more ideas now for paths they can take with their novels.