It was my turn around the table. I hesitated and announced, “I have 12 pages. It seems like a lot for one time.” Sitting to my right, Kathleen asked, “Do you want to own it?” Of course I replied, “Yes!” And with that, we were off into the world of my imagination, with a story spun from nuggets of life experience.
I found myself editing single words here and there as I read aloud and the other members of my writing group followed along with their copies. Closing in on the final words, I was delighted to hear their sighs of compassion for the heroine. M. said, “I’m right there with her!” I loved that. My reading/listeners were totally onboard.
While working alone at my keyboard, with only the cat for feedback, I will occasionally ‘try something out’ by reading it aloud. Some say that this is an effective test for determining if something is well-written — or not. It may give me a moderate measure of perspective, but it’s nothing like having an audience or reading a substantial body of material in a single sitting. By putting the words out there, I did indeed take possession of the story in a way that is separate and different from the composition process.
I don’t pretend to understand the ironic magic of what transpired today, so I’ll just chalk it up to the creative process and leave it at that.