When you’re writing do you tell people what your working on or not?
When I teach narrative writing, I often ask students to do prewriting activities that involve oral storytelling. Students tell about something that has actually happened to them.
It’s helpful to do this because you can orally narrow down a topic, rehearse details, ask for more details, and even do oral revisions before they ever put pencil to paper. I like this as a prewriting strategy for student writers.
But then, I thought about my own writing. Do I tell others about what I’m writing? Do I rehearse the story orally, decide to add/subtract details, look for weak areas and shore them up with an oral revision? No!
Why not? I don’t know. Certainly, I tell real events over and over and hone the details, presentation, delivery of the punch line. But fiction? Somehow, it’s different? I don’t like telling the story before hand?
Would I benefit from doing that? Maybe. I’m working on a science fiction story and realize the scientific basis of a couple things must be meticulous. So, I am discussing those things, trying to get it straight what might and might not happen, not using pure invention here. But that’s nonfiction stuff again.
The question is this: for your fiction, do you tell people what you’re working on? Why or why not?