I want to discuss group writing, because I don't think it is talked about enough but I do think it has a lot of benefits for writers, in the way of maximizing their grasp of story-telling art, and expanding their literary horizons.
I believe writing in a group, or simply with another person, is great because it strengthens writing ability, by taking you out of your comfort zone.
That's to say, as frequent writers we develop certain habits and skills that we are comfortable with and, obviously work for us, which is great but is also reason to become lackadaisical in exploring underused, more exciting and original ways to go about narrating a story.
On the other hand, when working with someone the situation changes. You can’t simply go down the same boring route you usually would – end of. Working in a team, you'll be presented with an unfamiliar set of ideas, or ideas you wouldn't normally consider. So it's up to you to rustle through the grey matter and find or invent a way to keep all involved writers happy.
That means having a go with a new style of writing,
The result: broader story-writing skills
I hope you are following my drift because to be honest, I don't think I am even following myself (it's late).
The point is; having a writing buddy now and then can help in many aspects – to explore and discover different ways of writing, diversify skills, expand vocabulary, increase confidence and basically give you a fresh burst of writing inspiration and instinct.
Here's an example: I write with my sisters quite a lot, and they each have their own distinct style.
One in particular prefers to go headlong into a story, with little attention to detail (or grammar and punctuation ¬.¬) and a lot of focus on comedy. She is very good at coming up with ideas but not so good with giving reason to those ideas, whilst I am quite good with reasoning but not so quick in the ideas department.
So when we team up, I write faster because her ideas influence and inspire me. Her don't-sweat-the-small-stuff lack of attention to details rubs off during the course of our writing session, so I don't spend hours refusing to write for fear of not nailing the sentence in one effort. And with my input, she finds it easier to explain scenarios in clearer, constructed order (I know this flaky post isn't a good example of my explanatory talents but we all have our bad days).
The conclusion: group-writing is a form of writing development that gets the brain-juice flowing, but it’s underused and underrated. It shouldn't be!
Why not break the ice and start a literary session - or better; a club! - with your friends? It doesn't have to be a serious, mind-boggling venture. The aim is simply to write: a short story, a poem or even articles of varying tones for an imaginary magazine (my favourite).