My RWA Conference this year was a blast due in no small part to my traveling companions - Tammy Lynn and Jeanie Therklesen. We really had a great time and laughed so much my face still hurts.
Our trip home started at 5:30 AM Alabama time after entirely too little sleep the night before because of the GH/Rita celebrations. On the way home, however, we turned what could have been a miserable ride into a thirteen or so hour plotting session. We filled several pages of a legal pad FULL of great ideas for our WIPs and even some future WIPs. We bounced ideas off each other, wrangled and mangled them and took lots of notes.
Writing can often be a very solitary endeavor. You sit alone at a computer and talk to people who aren't really there and immerse yourself in a world that only exists in your head. Inviting others in to wander around for a bit can be a bit unnerving unless they are the kind of people who know how to visit.
My critique partner, Erin, and I spend a lot of time brainstorming. Especially when we write ourselves into a corner or try to shoot holes in our stories before an agent, editor or contest judge can. We stand a much better chance of nabbing our target audience if we see the holes and then fix them. It can be a very rowdy process. Sometimes we don't agree. But the best thing about our relationship as critique partners is that we trust each other enough to be BRUTALLY honest and that we care enough about each other's work to want it to be the best it can be.
How about you? Do you like plotting alone or do you sometimes want the feedback of another person? Is that person usually another writer? a loved one? a teacher? How do you manage to take thoughts or advice that CAN sting and make really good use of it?