Last night, my son and I talked for five hours straight, discussing our various projects. Essentially, we were bouncing ideas off of one another.
He’s a game developer currently working on a MOBA (multi-player online battle arena). I suggested a few different ways he could branch out and gave him feedback on a UI (user interface).
As part of our discussion, I passed a couple of ideas by him for upcoming books, one of which he’s eyeing for possible development into another game at some point in the future.
In the process, we each learned that we’re working on similar story lines (him for a game, me for a book), which allowed us to share ideas and different ways we could develop our individual stories.
His feedback has been an integral part of my writing process over the past couple of years. Without him and my editor acting as sounding boards, my stories would not have been nearly as well developed. Or, at the very least, I would’ve had to work a lot harder at making them logical and whole.
For some, sounding boards might come in the form of a critique group, a writing partner, or a mentor, or maybe editors and beta readers provide that function. Whomever an author turns to, it’s important we have someone who can hear us out when we need help. Writing often seems very much like an isolated, solitary pursuit, but it doesn’t have to be, particularly when characters refuse to cooperate or the plot of a current WIP grinds to a screeching halt.
Cultivate your sounding boards through mutual good will and courtesy for both the feedback and the fellowship, and in the meantime, happy writing!