Last week I spoke about fan fic. This week, I would like to cover writing within a group. There are a few ways to do this. One is group writing where each person writes a line or paragraph before handing it on to the next writer – and the next, around the circle. There is also writing as one character of a group plot. Many times, these are also done as fan fiction, as the group can share a common world easily. However the group writing is done, the question has to be, why bother?
In a rapidly shrinking world, we no longer tend to write for just one region. Even if we restrict ourselves to one language, there are huge differences between, say, the US and Australian markets. Writing with online groups allows you to discover what works and what doesn’t when dealing with people from all over the world. For example, for an Aussie, a thong is worn on the foot. In New Zealand, the same type of footwear is called a jandle. Elsewhere, a thong is worn much higher up the body and is a lot more sexy. Finding these things out amongst friends is a lot less embarrassing than getting letters from a confused reader that has paid for your novel.
Group writing can be done face to face, in chatrooms, via email, whatever works for your group. The main thing is to have fun learning where the differences lie.