Writing the Group Novel

 

People are always asking, was it difficult to write a group novel? This is usually after some discussion about my involvement in The Rogues Gallery Writers’ first group novel titled, The Method Writers.

In short, the answer is no. Absolutely not. Method came together fast and brilliantly, and I’ve never had more fun working on a writing project of any kind.

So does that mean that any group of writers will find writing the group novel to be an easy venture?

Again, the answer is no.

I know, you’re probably thinking: what are you saying, Jeff—that tackling a challenging writing project like this is easy for the Rogues, but difficult for everyone else.

Perhaps I should qualify my previous answer: No, unless you have the perfect blend of writers. If you do, the group novel can be just as easy for you as it was for the Rogues.

Part of what makes the Rogues work as a group in the first place, is that we have great chemistry. All of us are like-minded, we have similar senses of humor, and more importantly, similar passions, dreams and goals. We all have quite the knack for creative writing and we like to think outside the box.

It doesn’t mean we all like to write the same type of prose. Quite the opposite, actually. We have a wide mix of writing interests, all the way from various genres of fiction and non-fiction all the way to poetry and screenplays.

This unique blend of writing interests and styles was a key to making The Method Writers‘ voice unique. The four of us each creating and writing about a first person character in our own distinct flavor of creative writing gave our novel plenty of variety, while creating balance and unity at the same time.

For us, creating this novel was easy, because being the like-minded individuals we are, we brainstormed the idea until we had a concept that we all loved, then we developed our unique characters, and then storyboarded out our individual and group plots. Once we had that thrown together during the early months of our project, the writing of the novel became easy.

Since a friendly competition of trying out do each other’s prior chapters bloomed naturally, we couldn’t wait to get back to our computers and try to bump up the quality and tension another notch for each succeeding chapter.

Can a successful group novel be written by other writing groups? Of course!

Will it be easy? Will it be a good read? Well, obviously that depends on the make of the group.

And I’m very thankful that my group is: The Rogues Gallery Writers!!

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About Jeff Swesky

Author Jeff Swesky primarily writes literary fiction where the characters balance a razor sharp line between redemption and destruction. Jeff is a member of the Rogues Gallery Writers, who published a short story collaboration, "Writing Is Easy," and a group novel, "The Method Writers." He also ghostwrote the Holocaust memoir of Rabbi Samuel Cywiak titled, "Flight From Fear," and released a collection of his short stories titled, "Fell on Black Days." He's currently working on several projects, including his literary, coming-of-age novel, "Such a Dreamer," and the crime noir serial, "The Awakening of Kenny Black." View all posts by Jeff Swesky

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