I find that every time I try fiction, it ends up a bit like fan fiction one has written about oneself. Characters end up as shadows of the brightly colored characters in my own life. Adventures change, circumstances are altered, but the bones of my social circle are there. I'd basically given up the idea and figured I could just live such an awesome life that writing nonfiction would be just as fun. (I've been pretty pleased with the results of that decision, to tell the truth.)
But now I'm trying my hand at this fiction thing again. Three friends came up with the idea of a collaborative project, so the four of us are all putting together a story. We had our first meeting last week, which ended up a 5 hour session over beer and popcorn. We made our way home at 3am. The goal of our first meeting was to bring characters to the table and see what we had. I figured it was going to be a challenge to work them all together, since we set zero guidelines about the characters. I was fascinated by the whole process. Just as my friends are totally different, so was the writing everyone brought. B laid out scenes like he was directing a movie, revealing his characters' traits in the script. A described the music her characters listen to, the cars they drive, and from there we learned about them. M had ideas jotted down and edited as she spoke, adding more details the whole night. I started off with a general idea and just wrote a story about them, letting the characters tell me who they are.
It was strange how well they characters we each created fit together. Natural relationships and connections formed. I'm really excited to see where they go.
You think the rest of the group will object to a sparkly litter-busting unicorn? Just checking.