Had 'brunch' with my writing group again today. It was a gorgeous warm spring day, and our cafe had new stuff on the menu. Bliss! Our conversation ranged widely, and I can't remember half the stuff we discussed, but one particular achievement was solving a logic/timeline problem experienced by one of us in her novel.
This is just the kind of thing I hoped we would do when we started meeting for brunch, ostensibly to discuss novels and novel writing. Someone has a problem, lays it out, and we put our collective brains to work on it. By brainstorming the issue, it no longer seems insurmountable, and we gain new perspective on how to tackle things.
I think to-date we've all been a bit shy when it comes to discussing our works in progress in detail. However, since the long weekend we had down at Phillip Island, when most of us shared our first chapters and we discussed how well they were working, we at least have insight into what each of us writing. Without having already experienced the opening chapter of the novel in question (we made the author read it out to us one evening), we might not have had enough knowledge of the story to be helpful. As it was, we instantly grasped the problem and managed to come up with some ideas to help solve it.
I think we need to deploy the hive brain more often to assist with novel challenges, whether plot, character, or setting related etc. It's a powerful force and we should make the most of it.