Sophie Kinsella wrote a great article for the BBC website, ten tips for a writer. One of her tips is never to discuss your book, whilst it’d being written, with anyone. She only ever discusses with her husband, over cocktails, when she’s stuck.
So I went and discussed this with my writer friend, who’s part of a book club. In that club they discuss their ideas and work all the time. She said that someone in the club found it very useful to discuss the work as she went along, so that she didn’t have to change it later. She liked the feedback to be immediate, and she would change her plan accordingly. She prefers this to having to go back to edit.
I’m the opposite. I hate discussing my book when it’s a work in progress. In my mind my plan is on train tracks, and any feedback along the lines of ‘why do that, why not do this?’ is likely to push the entire thing off the tracks and stop the writing completely. I prefer to write to the end, then go back if anything needs changing.
So which do you prefer? Talking and editing and accepting feedback as you go, or wait until the end, when you feel it’s ready before showing it to anyone?