What’s the point of running a writing group and doing their blog if you can’t use it for a bit of the above once in a while eh?

I thought I’d tell you about my new writing project. It’s a collaborative novel. You may have head of these in the past: sometimes they’re husband and wife teams – Sjowall and Wahloo’s Martin Beck series, Nikki French – and other times they’re more of a collective – like the Wu Ming team. This is a collective. It’s called Ten to One so you may be able to guess there are ten of us.

There are more details at the website so I won’t repeat them here. What I will do is tell you about my involvement so far.

At the Nottingham Festival of Words this February I went to a workshop about collaborative writing. I’d never done it before but decided that I should try something new as an experiment – it’s what workshops are for right? You can read my review of the workshop for Left Lion here but in short, it was a fun experience and I decided to try more. The workshop was run by Pigeon Park Press who were advertising for people to apply to Ten to One. I did.

I sent in two samples of writing and an application form and was whittled down to a shortlist of 20 writers (from 65, I think, applicants). From there we started to work on a plotline that would allow ten characters to interact and an appropriate setting before we worked on our own characters. It’s been one long shared Dropbox folder at times and this is just the beginning.

The final list were chosen from their character sketches, a piece we’d each written with our character and someone else’s, ¬†and how best each character fitted into the story. And now we’re down to the ten, prepping and thinking about what happens next.

Writing proper starts on 24 June. Until then, I’m putting together some character sketches, thanks in part to Write Around Town’s character map (check them out here) and emailing other writers to discuss how we interact.

All this activity has, however, planted all kinds of seeds in my head about other characters and stories I don’t possibly have time to write, so I’m scribbling down everything for future use. Notebooks everywhere.


My character