Blog #1: Whatâ€™s in a Name? or Brainstorming Blitz
When Sandy first asked us as a critique group if we would be interested in contributing blogs for the OCC website, we scratched our collective heads. We being me, Barb DeLong, along with JannAudiss, Cathy Oliver and our newest CG member, Johna Machak. What would we write about? Would anyone be interested in what we have to say? Who are we, anyway?
We decided to discuss all this over dinner and drinks that very evening at the Taps Fish House and Brewery in Brea. As the meal progressed, we came up with possible subjects for future blogs. Yes, we decided we might actually have a few words to say from time to time, and yes, perhaps because weâ€™re ever so witty and wise, someone might actually enjoy reading them. But first and foremost we needed to name our critique group. It had to be something clever and upbeat. Hmmm . . .
What better way to come up with that definitive name than to brainstorm. As most of you know, brainstorming is a fabulous tool that writers use to list all the possible and impossible plots, scenes, consequences, etc., that will aid the writer in finding that perfect happening, that perfect thing, that will set her book apart from the rest. I pulled the napkin out from under my lemon drop martini and scrounged a pen.
We started off staidly enough with The Creative Quills (too stuffy, sounds historical), The Bookworms (Cathy wasnâ€™t going to be any darned animal), The Red Liners (too harsh), The Wordsmiths (hard to say), The Prose Polishers (ditto). O-kay. This was good. We were all contributing, throwing stuff out there. One admonition: no comments on the names until we were through. Brainstorming means get it down, no matter how bad or good or improbable. Or inappropriate. I grabbed another napkin. Drinks all around.
The Word Proâ€™s (copyrighted, I think), Word Divas (not bad), Words R Us (canâ€™t get that R to go backward), The Book Babes (Cathy wasnâ€™t going to be any darned babe), Happy Hour Critique Group (now we were getting somewhere). Oops, we just couldnâ€™t help it â€“ the comments and snickers continued.
The Drama Queens (we laughed till we cried), the Quivering Quills (Jann passed out the tissues), The Query Dearies (my fave). By that time weâ€™d begun disturbing the other diners. The waiters gave us dirty looks. We decided to continue this brainstorming activity on-line, where we could make all the noise we wanted.
Well, one month and one dining experience later, we settled on the Writers Rock Critique Group. For now. Subject to change without notice. So, brainstorming is a great tool. Enjoy it over dinner and drinks. Just bring lots of tissues and a designated driver. A notebook is optional. After all, they have plenty of napkins.